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WWE SmackDown Recap & Reactions (Mar. 17, 2016): A-J Sty-les! A-J Sty-les!

This week's episode of SmackDown, airing on the USA Network on Mar. 17, 2016, comes from Cincinnati, Ohio.  The WWE is building towards the WrestleMania 32 pay-per-view (PPV) on April 3.  For full results and the live blog, click here.


The Prize Fighter versus the Phenomenal One

Renee Young's backstage interview of the evening was with the Phenomenal One, AJ Styles.  Styles began to talk about Chris Jericho turning on Y2AJ when the Intercontinental Champion, Kevin Owens, interrupted the interview.  He said Styles was just like Sami Zayn.  Both whine about how their friends turned their backs on them when in reality the only thing that matters in WWE is being a champion.  Styles said KO reminded him of Jericho, mostly because they are both selfish jackasses.  Styles and Owens bantered back and forth before Owens walked off after stating to Renee and AJ, "You guys have the same haircut."  Vintage Owens!

Later in the show, the main event of Kevin Owens versus AJ Styles was announced.  This is the first time these two have faced each other in the WWE.  Styles took control of the match early, getting in some offense on KO and controlling the pace.  An error in the corner lead to KO countering Style's springboard into the ring into a fireman's carry, planting Styles onto the mat.  The move was so devastating that Styles rolled out of the ring to put some space between himself and Owens.

Styles was able to recover and regained the advantage at one point with KO almost being counted out.  He continued his offense when KO entered the ring again.  KO stopped him momentarily but Styles kept coming.  It seemed as if Styles was faster than KO and was flying all over the place, busing out moves, and KO would pick the right moment to reverse his momentum with a big move to stop him.  At one point, both men were flat on their backs from the heavy strikes being dealt out.

The men recovered before being counted out and continued to trade blows.  The two went from trading strikes to reversing moves with collimated with Styles hitting an Argentina backbreaker on KO for a near fall.  Desperate, Styles went to the top rope but KO followed him.  Styles fought out of a possible suplex from Owens and head-butted him until he fell down.  KO popped up again before Styles could do anything and Styles bailed to the apron.  As Styles was in position for the Styles Smash or the Phenomenal Elbow, whichever they decide to run with, pyro exploded from the entrance and Chris Jericho's music played.  Styles was distracted as Jericho arrived on the scene, leading to KO hitting the Pop Up Powerbomb on Styles for the win.

After the match, Jericho hit a CodeBreaker on a vulernable Styles then began frantically chanting, "AJ Styles" over and over while standing over his victim.  Super Creepy, Jericho.


Teaching Mr. Lesnar

Dean Ambrose was shown hanging out in his hometown of Cincinnati.  Ambrose says that the city has taught him to survive and fight for his life; for a better life.  Every day is WrestleMania in Cincinnati because the stakes are so high.  The pressure makes diamonds.  Every time he got jumped, he learned a lesson.  The Queen City taught him how to be Dean Ambrose. Brock Lesnar has been trained to fight to be a champion but not to fight for his life.  Ambrose plans to give him a very painful education.

Later, Ambrose was seen at a local bar.  He talked about spending time in bars, thinking about all the fights he's been in.  The only fighting that matters is fighting for pride, respect, and who you are.  Ambrose promises to bring the entire of Cincinnati with him.  Lesnar does not know pain yet.  But he will when he meets Ambrose in a Street Fight.

Social Outcasts were out later in the show, sitting on the ring apron, bickering with each other about who would win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battleroyal.  Seeking to relieve his hometown of having to sit through this, Dean Ambrose, along with a trusty kendo stick, ambushed the Outcasts and kicked the all out of the ring.  Once he chased them off, Ambrose got a microphone and said that he was re-energizing himself around the city and heard a rumor that Lesnar would be on SmackDown next week.  So Ambrose intends to call him out, since he walked out on their last interaction.  I suppose Ambrose is eager to teach Brock this lesson a littler earlier than April 3.

Wonderful stuff from Ambrose.  A+ material and delivery here.


Horsewomen No Longer

The WWE Diva's Champion, Charlotte, along with her father, Ric Flair, came out to the ring to have a face to face with the dual challengers for the WWE Diva's Championship at WrestleMania 32, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.  Charlotte stated that the three have fought, made up, and fallen apart but she would not be where she is without the two of them.  Remembering the history they have together, Charlotte asked the ladies out to the ring.  Lynch came out first and she and Charlotte went back and forth with Lynch saying that she would take the title from Charlotte at WrestleMania.

Sasha Banks comes out to the ring after.  After a small spat between Banks and Charlotte, the Champ began to talk about her past with Banks and Lynch and the origin of the Four Horsewomen.  She said she wanted to apologize for ever thinking Banks and Lynch were worthy of being called Horsewomen then laughed in their faces.  This angered the Bo$$ and the Lass Kicker.  Charlotte stated that Lynch and Banks do not deserve to be called Horsewomen.  Lynch told her to take the name back and showed fire in her words while telling Charlotte that she would defeat her.  If I'm being honest, I'm behind Becky Lynch to win all the way.  This is still very much her story in my eyes and Sasha Banks is cutting in line.

Of course, Banks had a retort, saying that she has never been defeated since coming to the main roster so she deserved this spot and Becky should get in the back of the line, since she lost at the Royal Rumble.  Becky and Sasha went back and forth, with Lynch saying that Banks wears "dollar store jewelry".  The two got into a pushing match before they turned their anger on the Champ, taking her down.  Charlotte escaped after a suplex and the Bank Statement.  Her father helped her leave as Becky and Sasha stood tall, with "Sky's the Limit" playing as the segment ended.

Cannot be more excited to have this match happen.  Charlotte does not stand a chance against those two!


Other Matches/Segments:

  • Roman Reigns promo: The number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship gave a serviceable promo about his match against Triple H for the title at WrestleMania 32.  See, Roman is going to eat up all of HHH's food  before meeting up with him again and beating him to sleep.  Believe that.
  • Dolph Ziggler versus the Miz: The Showoff defeated Miz in exactly the type of match you would expect from these two.
  • Goldust versus Bubba Ray Dudley: Bubba won and the Dudleys went to beat up Goldie when R-Truth can out.  Unfortunately, the Dudleys took him out as well.  So the Usos ran out and chased Bubba Ray and D-Von away.
  • Wade Barrett versus Kofi Kingston: Before the match, New Day accepted the League of Nation's challenge for a match at WrestleMania.  Kofi got the win even though LON had the numbers game on their side.  They really are booty.


Final Thoughts/Opinions:

I am honestly still creeped out by Jericho.  Seriously.

Anyway, the show was good.  The three main angles on the show were done really well.  New Day is officially the face team heading into the biggest show of the year against the League of Booty.  Charlotte was her most despicable to date, spitting on the bond she had with Banks and Lynch in NXT.  KO continues to put over how much he dislikes Sami Zayn even when he is not on the show.  KOMania is approaching yet the Intercontinental Champion still is not booked on the card.  That's the only thing that was missing tonight.  Despite getting a win over Styles, KO still has no clear direction for the show.  As for Dean Ambrose . . . I really wish those promos did not feel like watching a guy put so much effort and emotion into something where he's destined to lose.  I really, really, really hope I'm wrong but I'm probably not.

Rating: 7.75/10

That's all for this week, Cagesiders!  What are your thoughts on the show?  Be sure to leave your opinion in the best comment section in sports entertainment!

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