Commissioner Shane McMahon rocked the Blue boat last Friday when he announced on Twitter that the Triple Threat for the WWE Championship would become a Fatal Four-Way. The winner of the match between Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin will be added to the match. After what Shane said last week to General Manager Daniel Bryan, we can ask ourselves who is manipulating who… United States Champion Bobby Roode is issuing an Open Challenge while his MMC partner Charlotte Flair will continue her quest for payback against The Riott Squad but squaring off with Sarah Logan tonight. And Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable will have to swim in a sea of pancakes (was Pancake Day…) as they’re taking on The New Day.
Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review brought to you this week by your French Enygma, Steph.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin ended in a No-Contest
For once, the show started right with a match. Dolph Ziggler made his way to the ring but, when Baron Corbin’s music hit next, he didn’t appear. The announcers seemed confused but, when the cameras went backstage, we saw Corbin being beaten down by Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Corbin attacked when they walked away, but they beat him down again. Owens said: “One down and one to go.” Ziggler was watching from the ring as Zayn and Owens came to the stage. Sami walked through the crowd while Owens walked down the ramp. Ziggler went into the crowd to start brawling with Zayn, quickly followed by Owens. They beat down Ziggler in the crowd and over to the ringside area, Zayn hit a Helluva Kick at ringside but Corbin ran out and attacked them on the stage. Corbin was beaten down again and thrown through a barricade. Officials arrived, stopped Zayn and Owens, and stood over Corbin.
Charlotte Flair defeated Sarah Logan
Of course, Sarah Logan was not alone as The complete Riott Squad came to the ring. But Charlotte Flair didn’t come alone too, as Becky Lynch and Naomi joined her to watch The Champion’s back. Logan was in control a long moment, locking Flair to the mat, then unloading chops. Logan then continued to keep Flair grounded, before connecting with a big boot and a suplex. Flair was able to send Logan face first into the turnbuckles and hit The Natural Selection for the win. No interferences in this match, which made it an interesting bout. Becky and Naomi celebrated with Flair after the match.
– Backstage, Commissioner Shane McMahon was discussing what happened in the opener with General Manager Daniel Bryan. Shane said he would give Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin their chances. He made Sami vs. Ziggler and Owens vs. Corbin for tonight. If Corbin and Ziggler win their matches, the main event of Fastlane becomes a Fatal Four-Way or a Fatal Five-Way. Shane added if either of Bryan’s “boys” got involved in the other match, they would lose their spot at Fastlane.
Baron Corbin defeated Kevin Owens
Owens attacked Corbin in the corner right in the match and worked on his bruised ribs. Corbin tried to rally with a big boot but Owens rolled to the floor. Corbin followed him and made Owens eat a barrier, but Owens sent Corbin into the ring post. Back in the ring, Owens continued to work Corbin’s ribs, hit the Corner Cannonball. Back from break, Corbin was whipping Owens again into a barrier on the outside but Owens turned it and dropped Corbin in. Back in the ring again, Owens unloaded a Senton and a headlock, but Corbin rallied and hit the chokeslam backbreaker. After a series of “cut you off” and “fought back”, Corbin hit the Deep Six, Owens replied with a Superkick, but Corbin turned an attempt of Pop-Up Powerbomb into The End of Days for the pin. Backstage, Sami Zayn was not very happy of the fate of the match.
WWE United States Title Open Challenge: Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton ended in a No-Contest
Roode kicked off the US Open Challenge and said he hoped whoever answers the challenge tonight met him face to face instead of hitting him with an RKO outta nowhere. What Randy Orton did last week. But here came Randy Orton. Roode was happy but Jinder Mahal appeared too. Mahal said as the other Superstars voted him at #9 on the first SmackDown Top 10 List, Orton’s had the respect from the crowd. Mahal said he respected Orton but The Viper replied he didn’t give a damn of Top 10. Jinder then came to Roode to express his respect for Orton and his career. The Champion speculated fans voted him as #9 because they were tired of being RKo’ed outta nowhere. Orton hit an RKO on Singh, Roode went for the Glorious DDT on Mahal but hit Orton with a right. Jinder trapped Roode and Orton in The Khallas and stood tall.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) defeated Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
There was a table with several trays full of pancakes in the ring as today is Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday (I personally say, Mardi Gras…). Big E tried to destroy the record of eating 113 pancakes in 8 minutes but Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin interrupted this great moment. After a very “pancaked” argument on who was a serious competitor or not, pancakes hit the floor and things got serious, mostly when Benjamin asked for waffles.
Back from break, the match was on. Benjamin and Gable were in control, working on Kofi and preventing him from tagging in Big E for a very long time. Very good teamwork from Gable and Benjamin who seemed to enjoy being the bad guys. When Woods tried to get involved in the match, Benjamin laid him out with a cheap shot. Big E was finally tagged in and unloaded 3 Belly-to-Belly Suplexes on Gable. Gable ate the Big Splash but countered the Big Ending into a massive German Suplex. The referee didn’t see Gable tagging in Benjamin as Woods was distracting him. So Kofi kicked Shelton out, Gable argued with the referee and Big E and Kofi hit the Midnight Hour for the win. Pancakes 1- Waffles 0.
– Backstage, Dolph Ziggler told Renee Young he’s been away as he’s been a little more selective when it came to his spot. But now he’s got another opportunity and he loves it. Ziggler said how he was the best and Zayn and Owens attacked him from behind because they knew what he’s capable of. Ziggler said he came back because he wants the only thing that has alluded him his entire career, main eventing WrestleMania. And he’d be damned if he didn’t enter the show as WWE Champion.
– The Bludgeon Brothers destroyed the screen showing a backstage promo from The Usos. Harper and Rowan stared at the camera. Meanwhile, Sami Zayn said to Kevin Owens there as no “we” in this WWE Title match at Fastlane, as it will every man for himself.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Sami Zayn
I was pretty surprised when I checked the Internet that it was the first time, on live television, Sami Zayn and Dolph Ziggler had squared off in a one-on-one match. They were involved in team matches, had a few one-on-one dark matches. But on television, it was a first. And my initial reaction was, what didn’t it happen before? Because what a great match it was. Ziggler took control at first with two neckbreakers but Zayn unloaded on Ziggler in the corner with stomps and a slingshot Ziggler under the rope.
Ziggler tried to rally with a dropkick as Zayn was keeping off the second rope. Back from break, Zayn continued his attack but Ziggler unloaded The Big DDT before missing a Fame-asser attempt and connecting with another. Ziggler went for a Superplex Zayn countered into a huge Exploder Suplex from the top rope. Ziggler missed a charge in the corner, Zayn missed a Helluva Kick, but Ziggler connected with the Zig Zag. Fans started to chant “this is awesome” as Zayn was sending Ziggler shoulder-first into the ring post. Ziggler fought back but Sami unloaded another Exploder into the turnbuckle. Ziggler countered the Helluva Kick into a Superkick for the pin and the win. Ziggler celebrated and posed in front of the WrestleMania banner hanging high.
A very interesting episode with action and only action. A real pleasure to watch. The war of Blue MastHeads is more and more boring, I wish we could put Shane and Daniel in a ring and end this “war” once and for all, but of course it won’t happen this way. The Blue Road to WrestleMania promised to be epic and full of surprises…
All pics and screencaps courtesy of WWE.com