– Air Date: March 3, 2016 (Mar 2 in Canada)
– Location: Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA
– The Big News:
Dean Ambrose beat Kevin Owens in a non-title match, and Charlotte will have to defend her title in a triple threat match against Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks.
Also, they just sort of assumed the viewers know what WWE Roadblock is and made two matches official for that show: Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H for the WWE title, as well as Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt.
– Show Recap:
Despite getting tossed aside by Triple H on Raw, Byron Saxton was back on commentary with Mauro Ranallo and Jerry Lawler. I was hoping we could go one show without him.
Dean Ambrose slowly limped to the ring to start the show, and used a steel chair to sit down because he said his entire body was bruised. Ambrose said sometimes his actions don’t work out, like when he got thrown into a windshield by Brock Lesnar. But it worked out on Raw, because after taking a beating from Triple H, he gets a WWE Championship match at Roadblock on March 12th (in Toronto).
He said if things work out again, he gets the main event of WrestleMania. Ambrose acknowledged that he’d be screwing up their plans because they’ve already printed the posters for Roman Reigns vs. Triple H. Ambrose wondered who he would defend the title against at Mania and ran them all down. His mention of Reigns got a tepid response, which was mostly booing. He concluded that he was okay with defending it against Reigns, Triple H and Lesnar in a cage. He rambled some more until he was interrupted by Kevin Owens.
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Owens was mad that we have two WWE Title matches set up but we don’t even have a credible contender for the Intercontinental title, and said Ambrose represented everything that’s wrong with WWE. He tried to attack Ambrose from behind, but Ambrose ducked and hit him with the chair, and Owens bailed. Ambrose said he saw Owens trying to attack him on the giant screen, which was funny. He challenged Owens to a match right now but Owens left.
I’m a big Ambrose fan but this was pretty dull. I did like that they acknowledged it would screw up their plans of Ambrose won the title.
Sheamus & Rusev (w/Alberto Del Rio & King Barrett) beat The Usos via pinfall
LON worked over Jey and the crowd chanted “Let’s go Usos” until Jey hit a floatover DDT and made the hot tag. Jimmy did a running hip attack, which Ranallo made sure to mention was a tribute to Umaga (not Rikishi). The Usos took out Del Rio, Barrett and Rusev with dives to the outside.
Sheamus tried to do a move off the steel steps but was caught by a superkick, which made Lawler pop. Back in the ring, Jimmy tried a diving splash but Sheamus got his knees up and followed with a Brogue kick for the pinfall win.
As the League celebrated, the Dudleys came out with a table. Jey tried to fight them off, but he was overwhelmed and Bubba nailed him with a big boot. They taunted the Usos and just knocked the table over. The match and post-match were fine, although I’m not sure why the Usos are jobbing so much.
They played some of Stephanie McMahon’s promo from Raw and announced Shane would return this Monday.
Dolph Ziggler beat The Miz via pinfall
Before the match, they showed Ziggler at a [corporate sponsor] store signing autographs, and he gave free tickets for tonight’s show to a group fans. The story of the match was that Miz wanted to beat Ziggler even quicker than he did on Raw, but Ziggler caught him with a backslide and won in about 54 seconds, beating Miz’s time. Lame.
R-Truth was in catering and saw Goldust sitting by himself. Truth apologized for being so harsh and said he likes the sound of “Golden Truth.” The crowd cheered. Goldust said he doesn’t want pity and isn’t an idiot. He figured Truth was about to shove Goldust’s food in his face. Truth sincerely denied that, but Goldust was upset and shoved his food in his own face so Truth didn’t have to. Goldust left and Truth was sad.
Divas Title #1 contenders match: Becky Lynch DDQ Sasha Banks
Match started with dueling chants from the crowd, while Lynch and Banks did some back and forth chain wrestling. After a double dropkick spot, they started at each other until Charlotte’s music hit and she came out with Ric Flair. Lynch and Banks just stood there and watched her walk down the ramp, instead of continuing with this match that the announcers called the most important of their careers. Banks basically had her back turned to Lynch who didn’t take advantage. They both looked like idiots.
Anyway, after a break, there were more dueling chants. Lynch made a comeback, hitting lariots, a jumping forearm and Exploder suplex. Lynch missed a leg drop and Banks followed with double knees. Banks applied the crossface but Lynch grabbed the rope. Lynch tried the Disarmer but Banks countered and hit double knees in the corner for a near fall. Lynch followed that with a European uppercut for a near fall.
The fight spilled to the outside and they did a double clothesline spot. Flair strutted around them. They got to their feet and confronted Flair, so Charlotte attacked them both from behind. The referee called for a DQ and Charlotte laid out both women. This was a technically good match, but it never felt like this match mattered, and it didn’t.
After a break, Renee Young found Charlotte and Ric Flair and basically accused Flair of purposely getting involved. Charlotte informed Renee that Lynch previously failed twice against her, and Banks has never beaten her. She said she was doing Renee’s job better than her and that Renee should be the one with the scoops. Renee said she did have a scoop, that Charlotte would have to defend the title in a triple threat match. Charlotte and Flair and no comment and just slunk away. Renee was actually the highlight of this segment.
AJ Styles beat Kofi Kingston (w/Big E & Xavier Woods) via pinfall
New Day did a promo before the match. The only noteworthy thing was they said it was a miracle that Woods became a success despite being from here in Trashlanta. Styles, also from Georgia, came out alone.
Woods played the trombone, so Styles gave him a Pescado. Big E started yelling at Styles, but when Styles got in his face, Big E said “I’m just playing! I’m just playing!” That was amusing. The distraction allowed Kingston to hit a dropkick. A minute into the match, they went to commercial.
Styles made his comeback, but Kingston launched him to the outside. Woods tried to interfere, but the referee caught him and tossed him and Big E out of the match. Kingston distracted himself by arguing with the ref, allowing Styles to hit a springboard flying elbow for the pinfall win. Big E and Woods immediately ran back down and cornered Styles, but Styles escaped and ran out of the ring.
I didn’t like this segment. The match was ok, but Styles didn’t really fight back against the odds, the referee bailed him out. When confronted after the match, he basically ran away.
They had Saxton announce Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt at WWE Roadblock. You could tell this was added in post. Bray did a promo about Lesnar somewhere in here. Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose was made official as well. Lawler said Roadblock wasn’t on PPV, it was only on WWE Network, even though they say every PPV is only on WWE Network.
They announced the announcement of Fabulous Freebirds going into the Hall of Fame.
Non-Title: Dean Ambrose beat IC Champion Kevin Owens via pinfall
As Ranallo threw it to commercial two minutes into the match, Owens told him to shut up. Lawler said Ambrose was “so dumb his dog teaches him tricks.”
This was really good. The story was that Ambrose kept fighting back despite the recent beatings he has taken. The finish came when Owens hit a superkick and went for a senton, but Ambrose got his knees up and followed with Dirty Deeds for the win. Ranallo did a pretty amazing job getting over Ambrose’s effort, and Lawler even admitted that Triple H might be in trouble.
– Final Thoughts:
The main event segment was well done and a positive for Dean Ambrose. The rest of the show wasn’t much, and a lot stood out as being negative.
AJ Styles essentially ran away from a fight with the New Day. Maybe it makes sense to avoid an unfair fight, but this was on the same show where a half-dead Dean Ambrose beat the Intercontinental Champion. Speaking of which, last week on Smackdown, Owens said Ambrose was the only worthy contender for the IC title (because he’s owed a rematch). But, for no reason, tonight’s match was not for the title.
Also, the booking to get to a triple threat between Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks was crap.