This is the go-home show before WWE Wrestlemania 32, and my favorite Smackdown of the year. Why? Because I only have to recap one or two matches and one or two promos.
MATCH 1: AJ STYLES VS. HEATH SLATER (W/CURTIS AXEL, BO DALLAS AND ADAM ROSE)
The Social Outcasts make their entrance, and we are “treated” to a promo. Slater reminds they are present, then says they are the Andre battle royal winners. This turns to some half-assed mocking of Styles, with Axel calling him a “little guy”, despite the fact that they’re about the same size, and Styles is more muscular. Axel calls them the “Phenomenal 4”. It just goes on like this. Who is responsible for this sh*t?
The match starts with Slater trying to toss Styles to the corner, only for Styles to put on the brakes. Styles does the same to Slater, then goes into a crisscross and nails a dropkick, followed by a jumping knee for 2. Styles lands some forearms and a boot in the corner. Axel trips Styles in the apron, which allows Slater to knock him to the floor. Slater slams Styles face-first into the steps before rolling Styles back in for 2. Slater drops an elbow and a knee, then goes into a chinlock. Styles fights out before Slater connects with a Harlem Side Kick for 2, then stacks Styles up for another 2. Back to the chinlock, which Styles fights out of once more. Slater sidesteps him and sends him back to the floor. Styles beats the count, then gets stomped down before Slater foot-chokes him in the corner. Slater misses a corner splash, and now Styles unloads on him with strikes and a basement forearm. Leaping corner clothesline and an Ushi-goroshi get 2 for Styles. Rose tries to talk trash from the apron and eats a Pele, then falls onto Dallas. This allows Slater to get in a schoolboy for 2. Styles gets sent into the corner and lands on the apron, where he blasts Axel with a knee to the face. He then comes back in with a Phenomenal Forearm for 3.
WINNER: AJ STYLES.
MATCH 2: JEY USO (W/JIMMY USO) VS. D-VON DUDLEY (W/BUBBA RAY DUDLEY)
Jey lays into D-Von with uppercuts, then tees off on him in the corner. D-Von reverses a corner whip, but Jey puts on the brakes and lands another uppercut before clotheslining D-Von to the floor. Outside, Jey tackles D-Von into the barricade before sending him back in as Bubba talks trash. Back in, D-Von sidesteps a corner charge and sends Jey shoulder-first into the ring post. Bubba gets in a cheap shot as the ref is distracted by Jimmy on the other side of the ring. D-Von throws Jey into the corner, then pounds on him with fists before foot-choking him. D-Von nails a spinning back elbow off the ropes. The two trade some weak punches, then D-Von hits a bodyslam. He heads up top for the one-man Wassup?!, which misses. STOP DOING DIVING HEADBUTTS, EVERYONE. Jey hits a couple clotheslines and a superkick to the gut before dropping down for an uppercut. Jey hits a Samoan drop, which sets up the running hip attack. Jey goes for the pin, but only gets 2. Jey sets D-Von up for a superplex, but Bubba causes a bit of a distraction. Jimmy wipes him out while D-Von escapes. He sends Jey face-first into the top buckle, then hits a standing spinebuster, which he is now calling the RDS (Ron DAMN! Simmons) for 3.
WINNER: D-VON DUDLEY.
MATCH 3: DEAN AMBROSE VS. ERICK ROWAN
Amazing. This is the first time I can recall the go-home episode getting 3 matches in ages. The Wyatt Family come out and stop on the stage. Bray Wyatt whispers something into Rowan’s ear, then sends him down to the ring by himself.
Ambrose locks in a hammerlock, but Rowan quickly elbows out before hitting a shoulder off the ropes. Rowan throws some weak-looking kicks in the corner before Ambrose comes back with forearms. Rowan puts Ambrose down with a back elbow, then stands on his face. Rowan rakes at the face, then drives an elbow into the forehead. Ambrose comes back with a kick off the ropes, then clotheslines Rowan to the floor. Ambrose heads out and dives off the apron with a clothesline. Commercials.
We’re back, and Rowan runs into a drop toehold. Ambrose sets up Dirty Deeds, but Rowan shoves him away, then hits a spinning powerslam for 2. Rowan pounds on Ambrose. Rowan rakes at Ambrose’s face while in the ropes, then hits a quick suplex for 1. Rowan applies a chinlock. Ambrose fights out before Rowan knees him in the gut and hits a pumphandle backbreaker. A Warrior Splash gets 2. Rowan rakes at Ambrose’s face once more, then clubs him in the corner. Ambrose comes back with some corner forerarms of his own, but Rowan no-sells and hits a big boot for 2. Back to the chinlock. Rowan then drives his fists into Ambrose’s temples. Ambrose escapes, ducks a back elbow and hits a cross-body before going right into mounted punches. Ambrose runs into another boot in the corner, then gets caught with a spinning European uppercut from the middle for 2. Rowan sets Ambrose across the top buckle for some forearm shots, then throws him down with a sloppy bodyslam. Rowan heads to the top, but Ambrose blocks him and hits a superplex. Ambrose follows up wtih a corner forearm, then dropkicks Rowan to the floor. He hits a suicide dive and knocks Rowan into the barricade. Back in, the two trade punches before Ambrose unloads and caps off with a high knee. Ambrose heads up and connects with a flying elbow for 2. Rowan recovers and sets up another pumphandle. Ambrose escapes and connects and goes for the Lunatic Lariat, only to have Rowan catch him with a sit-down uranage for 2. Rowan nails a spin kick for another 2. Rowan piefaces Ambrose, so Ambrose slaps him, then hits the Lunatic Lariat. He then hits a quick Dirty Deeds and pins Rowan for 3.
WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE.
END OF SHOW.