WWE SmackDown – Review, Highlights and Analysis from 03/10/14

John Cena/Dean Ambrose/ The Authority Segment

Believe it or not, Cena was actually on Smackdown. That’s something, which doesn’t happen often. Cena explained again that he wants Rollins because the match against Lesnar at NOC wasn’t just any match but an opportunity for Cena to prove that he still got it and Rollins took that away from him. This was basically a summary of the interview with Michael Cole for those, who hadn’t seen it yet.

Dean Ambrose came out to claim rights over the feud with Seth Rollins. The Lunatic Fringe not only wasn’t intimidated by the 15-times champion in the ring, but he got straight up in Cena’s face with no hesitation.  That’s the dirty, rugged face that the mature audience gets behind. Ambrose doesn’t need to be pure, doesn’t need to be a white knight in shining armor to be a good guy. He doesn’t even need to be good to be a good guy. The Luntaic Fringe, much like the Shield were, is a character that dwells in that gray area where the boundary between good and evil is muddled in a way that opens countless possibilities for the birth of unique individuals. One could say that Ambrose is what’s left of the soul of the Shield.

Cena didn’t want to fight Ambrose. He offered him a truce – whoever gets to Rollins first, gets him. Which, to be fair, is a much more logical option than fighting each other for the right to beat up Seth. Ambrose seemed to be about to accept when Kane, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins popped up on the titantron. Kane and Orton were trying to cause a quarrel between Cena and Ambrose by telling them all the bad things that each of them had said about the other backstage. Seth ironically didn’t have anything to say.

It’s impressive that Cena appeared on Smackdown. It shows how important this storyline is for the WWE. The seeds of dissension between Cena and Ambrose are planted for a reason. Although the future is still foggy, the possibility of having Ambrose vs. Rollins as the main event at Hell in a Cell is quickly evaporating.

Sheamus & Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz & Damien “Mizdow”

Although the crowd was chanting WE WANT ZIGGLER throughout the match, Ziggler wasn’t meant to be in the center of the events. This match was used to further the narrative for the US Championship feud.

Miz and his stunt double were actually working quite well as a team. Every time Ziggler was in the ring, he was fired up and did the most of his screen time, although as I already said, he wasn’t the main focus.

Sheamus was manhandling his opponents as usual but he had an issue with the A-lister in particular. The Celtic Warrior threw Miz into the barricade and then Miz attacked Sheamus with a chair. Meanwhile in the ring, Ziggler pinned Mizdow after the ZigZag.

After the match ended, Sheamus took a chair and attacked Mizdow with it, looking directly at the Miz.  It’s clear that the US champ has found his new opponent.

It’s good that the WWE has moved away from the Ziggler and Miz tossing back and forth the IC title, although there was no actual reason to end the rivalry that Sheamus and Cesaro had. It’s also good that the WWE Creative is making some effort to develop an actual feud between Miz and Sheamus. However, the Miz is not being built as a credible threat to anyone. You can’t expect the audience to take seriously a movie star, who runs away from fights and whose stunt double wrestles better than him. Something needs to be changed in Miz’s character if he’s ever to become a believable champion.

Naomi vs. Paige w./Alicia Fox

It was a short match, the goal of which was to establish the partnership between Paige and Alicia. Foxy tried to help Paige during the match. Once she pulled her out of the ring to save her but Naomi launched herself over the ropes and took them both out.  However, back in the ring, Paige took over and locked Naomi in the PTO, leading to a tap out victory for the Brit.

After the match AJ came out and took out Alicia Fox, while Paige was hiding behind JBL. This storyline is making Paige look weak. For the second time that night, a champion is going after the #1 contender for their title. Isn’t it meant to be the other way round?

Naomi just shouldn’t be on Total Divas. She’s too good of a wrestler to be stuck in a reality TV show. I feel bad for her.  She’s one of the most athletic divas in the WWE in the moment, she’s a solid worker and she’s been with the company for a long time. Naomi should be a champion but as long as she’s on Total Divas, she’ll always be used only as a disposable character to support real feuds.

Big Show/ Rusev/ Lana Segment

The Big Show came out to apologize to the Russian people for the way he treated the Russian flag on RAW. He said he actually liked most Russians but his dislike for Rusev and Lana was personal. The two characters in question joined him in the ring and asked for a personal apology, which Big Show refused to give them. Rusev attacked Big Show with the Russian flag, kicked him and retreated, while the World’s Largest Athlete was asking for a fight.

It’s smart to fix the attention on a personal feud against Rusev. Until now, all his rivals were in it out of patriotism. This time, although it might have started there, the focus has shifted to who Rusev actually is. I think this is why he speaks now too. It was about time to give Rusev not only nationality, but a personality as well. If he wants to stay relevant in the future, he needs to be able to gain heat without relying on the cheap anti-American gimmick that he uses now.

The Usos vs. Slater and The Gator

Was this even a macth? The bell had barely rand when the Bunny hopped to the ring. Gator Hornswaggle charged at him but the Bunny jumped over him. Slater and Titus got distracted, the Usos superkicked them and won the match.  Then Jimmy and Jay celebrated by dancing with Adam Rose and the Bunny.

What the hell happened to the Usos?! It was only last week when they were in a red hot feud for the titles, making insanely good matches and suddenly they end up in the Bunny feud?! The WWE Creative is killing me sometimes…

Dean Ambrose Promo

Renee Young asked Dean Ambrose about the situation with Cena and Rollins. The Lunatic Fringe basically said that he couldn’t care less about Cena and focused his promo on how he got under Seth’s skin by humiliating him on RAW.

The promo wasn’t an instant classis but it served to show that Ambrose’s focus is on Rollins and Rollins alone. Even the people in this feud agree that Cena’s completely out of place there.

Cesaro vs. R-Truth

This match was based on a backstage comment that R-Truth made. He told Cesaro that his sense of humor is bad, which is pretty much true as of lately.

Nothing much happened in the ring. Cesaro dominated throughout the match. R-Truth barely got any offence going. Cesaro won with the Neutralizer.

This was just a filler match, which kept Cesaro on TV because his current rival – Dolph Ziggler was needed more in the tag team match with Sheamus.

Gold and Stardust Promo

The Cosmic Brothers’ promo from RAW was aired again on Smackdown.

Probably the WWE Creative is still contemplating what to do next with the Tag Team Champions.  They might have realized that apart from the Usos they haven’t built any credible tag teams to oppose Gold and Stardust.

Kane & Randy Orton vs. John Cena & Dean Ambrose

Ambrose was hyped and had some nice spots. He jumped over the ropes onto Kane and Orton. He got smashed into the announce table and then into the steps by Orton. However, the crowd was still chanting LET’S GO CENA! CENA SUCKS! even when Dean Ambrose was in the ring. This is precisely why Cena is always going to be a top guy and is always going to be involved in every big feud there is. Everyone complains about him but in the end no one else gets a reaction when Cena is around.

Ambrose was looking for a tag after having taken a lot of punishment. He was just about to make it to his corner, when Seth Rollins showed up and Cena ran after him, abandoning the Lunatic Fringe. Finding himself all alone, Ambrose attacked Orton fiercly but got hit by a 2nd rope DDT. Ambrose was looking for the Dirty Deeds when Kane got involved and caused a DQ.

Kane chokeslammed the Lunatic Fringe while the crowd was calling for Cena to come to the rescue. The Viper mocked them by asking “Where’s your boy, huh?” and RKOed Ambrose.

Cena ran back to the ring but it was too late. Ambrose was already laid out by the Authority. Cena had to stand near the fallen Ambrose, looking at Kane, Orton and Rollins retreat to the sound of Seth’s victorious laughter.

What happened on Smackdown has most probably killed even the smallest chance for a truce between Cena and Ambrose. I can’t see the Unstable One trusting Cena again.

What did you think of Smackdown? Share your thoughts in the comment section on FB or Twitter!

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