WWE returned to the SyFy network for SmackDown last night (Mar. 5, 2015) from Washington D.C. with a show that featured all the latest build to WrestleMania 31 later this month in Santa Clara. That includes putting even more focus on the Intercontinental championship with a new player added to an already crowded scene.
Here's what we were treated to.
Intercontinental altercations: I'm having a bit of an issue with this story surrounding the Intercontinental championship and the mad dash by various wrestlers to get their hands on it. On the one hand, I love what they're doing. What's playing out on television is quite literally something I could see myself booking if I had the pencil. A bunch of good to great workers are all battling back-and-forth while stealing the physical title and busting their asses to keep it in their possession. My problem is with motivation. Why do all these people suddenly care about the title? It's a little too obvious WWE is trying to load up the ladder match for WrestleMania instead of various characters within a story having a clear motivation for their actions. I suppose you could argue that the title itself is motivation enough, but then why not just wait for the match and earn it? Why is it so important to warrant thievary? Half of these guys are babyfaces! It's obviously important but tell me why it's this important. I still like what they're doing, but would love a better explanation, especially from the likes of the most important player in all this, Daniel Bryan. By the way, I haven't been this entertained by R-Truth in years. He's perfect as comedy relief in all this.
Brass Ring Club vs. Los Matadores: A standard tag team match that was fine for what it was but Natalya has gone so far to the dark side she's making El Torito face plant to help her man and his partner win matches. Nattie is so much better as a heel.
Didn't we see this already: Big Show and Kane are once again arguing about a battle royal. Didn't we see this in January? Show and Kane bickering back and forth is truly awful for a number of reasons but the biggest is that the only reason they should be going back-and-forth like this is to set up a match. That may end up being a simple ring clearing altercation in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Does anyone on Earth actually want to see this? Are there paying customers who have WWE convinced this is something they want to see? Who are these people? Meanwhile, Ryback matches against the both of them is something no one should be subjected to, even on the "B" show.
Urn it: I like the teaser for Raw but isn't that a clear indicator that SmackDown is hardly worth the time?
Give Divas A Chance: They've co opted the hash tag and that's just fine if it's going to lead to more opportunities, like the Bellas cutting a promo on not giving AJ Lee a chance at anything. But this whole "frenemies" thing with AJ and Paige is played out in the worst way. The work in the AJ-Brie match left something to be desired as well. I firmly believe the biggest issue with the women is the need to stiffen up their offense.
Mizdow: First, absolutely loved Mizdow tagging himself into the match with The New Day, running wild with his glasses on, and only taking them off after a kip up. Here's my issue: you run a real risk of making Mizdow look like a complete dolt by having him back down to Miz too often. I would love to see some creative booking that doesn't involve Mizdow shrinking away.
Believe it: Standard Roman Reigns promo is standard but what the hell is wrong with this man's eyes? Super distracting.
The little engine that couldn't: My favorite ongoing story in WWE is Jack Swagger having never given up in his quest to take out Rusev despite the fact that he has failed like 658 times. He will not be deterred, people. He will lose for the 659th time, disappear off to Superstars or something or other, and return another day to try again. Sometime he does well (like here) and sometimes he doesn't, but he always tries and he always fails. I hope this goes on forever. Every time Rusev needs a win, they should turn to Swagger.
This was your standard SmackDown that you could have skipped and that would have been just fine.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?