After he was just the latest Superstar to walk off with Bad News Barrett’s Intercontinental Title belt this past Monday night on RAW, SmackDown would kick off with “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler, who makes his way to the ring with the Intercontinental Title around his waist. Dolph Ziggler says that he’s not one to hold a “grudge” against his boss, but he never did get a rematch after he lost the Intercontinental Title. Dolph then says that the Intercontinental Title means so much to him and that is why he is officially entering the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania! Ziggler says that it feels like “someone is missing”, someone who he wants to steal the show with at WrestleMania, someone who led a “movement” to prove that, against all odds, you can become a champion. Dolph then says that he would like this person to come out there right now, but before “The Show-Off” can introduce this individual, he is interrupted by the Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett. Barrett says that people like Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, R-Truth, and Dean Ambrose can play all the “juvenile games” that they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is the champion. Barrett continues, saying that the Ladder Match at WrestleMania is his match because he is the champion before telling Dolph that he has two choices, either hand the Intercontinental Title belt over or he is going to “take it” from him!
Dolph Ziggler then lays the title belt down in the ring, daring Bad News Barrett to come and take it, but that is when fellow Ladder Match competitor Luke Harper would slide into the ring behind “The Show-Off”. Harper would blindside Ziggler, taking Dolph out in the corner before Barrett tries to pick up the belt with Harper picking up the belt as well. Dolph then knocks Luke Harper into Bad News Barrett before Barrett and Harper work on beating down Ziggler, but Dean Ambrose would make the save as Ambrose and Ziggler sends Barrett to the outside before the duo comes face-to-face with Luke Harper. However, Harper would opt to bow out of the fight and, after a brief confrontation between Ambrose and Ziggler, Barrett and Harper would get on the ring apron, sparking a brawl between the four men on the outside of the ring. With everyone’s attention elsewhere, R-Truth would sneak out, covertly sliding into the ring and grabbing the Intercontinental Title belt before sliding back out of the ring and climbing under the ring itself. Ambrose and Ziggler then re-enter the ring and notice that the title belt is missing before R-Truth gets out from under the ring, walking off with the title belt again!
Backstage, Renee Young halts R-Truth for an interview as R-Truth explains that, when he heard that he would be in the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania, he had to come up with a “plan”. Truth then says that, if he has the title belt, then he doesn’t have to worry about climbing a ladder. However, Renee explains to R-Truth that they are still going to have to have the title belt above the ring for the Ladder Match at WrestleMania, so R-Truth decides that he doesn’t want to hold onto the title belt anymore. After Renee refuses to take the title belt, R-Truth frantically looks around the backstage area for someone to give the belt to.
The WWE Tag Team Champions were in action on SmackDown as Cesaro & Tyson Kidd, with Natalya in their corner, would face Los Matadores, with El Torito in their corner, in a non-title match. During a chaotic match, Cesaro would drag El Torito into the ring after El Torito caught Cesaro trying to cheat his way to victory, but as the referee kept Cesaro at bay, Natalya would take El Torito down. Then, with the referee’s attention on El Torito, Cesaro would catch one of Los Matadores in the Cesaro Swing as Cesaro swings the masked man right into a dropkick from Tyson Kidd with Cesaro pinning Los Matador for the win.
Backstage, The Authority’s two giants, Kane and Big Show, confront each other over who was right regarding Randy Orton’s loyalties. Big Show then lets Kane know that he is entering the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania, saying that he is going to win the battle royal, put his own head on the statue, and rename it the “Big Show Memorial Battle Royal”! Kane says that Big Show may be a “giant”, but he is not Andre The Giant before the Director of Operations tells Big Show that he too is entering the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal! Big Show then says that it all depends on who is going to show up at WrestleMania, asking Kane if he is will be there as “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” or as the “spokesman for Men’s Wearhouse”. Kane responds by telling Big Show to be ringside for his match against Ryback, telling Big Show, “you’re going to love the way I look, I guarantee it”.
Two of the favorites in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania would square off on SmackDown as “The Big Guy” Ryback would go one-on-one with The Authority’s Director of Operations Kane, with “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show at ringside. During the match, Ryback was ready to deliver the Meat Hook Clothesline to Kane when Big Show would get on the ring apron to distract Ryback. However, Kane would fail to take advantage as Ryback ducks a clothesline from Kane and Kane would then have a few words with Big Show, allowing Ryback the opportunity to hit the Meat Hook Clothesline and pin Kane for the win. After the match, Big Show would try to get in the ring, but Ryback would knock the giant off of the ring apron. Kane would then slide out of the ring to confront Big Show, grabbing a microphone and putting Big Show in an impromptu match against Ryback!
After losing to Ryback moments earlier, Director of Operations Kane would force “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show to square off with Ryback in an impromptu match on SmackDown. While Big Show would attempt to make a statement at the expense of Ryback, it was Ryback who would nearly put Big Show away before Kane gets on the ring apron. Upon spotting Kane, Ryback would bring Kane into the ring, taking Kane out with the Meat Hook Clothesline before Big Show would take full advantage of the distraction, blasting Ryback with the Knockout Punch and pinning “The Big Guy” for the win. Still unhappy, Kane would have some words with Big Show before the two giants walk to the back.
In another one of his messages for The Undertaker, Bray Wyatt appears on SmackDown, saying that he has something that he thinks that The Undertaker can “relate to”. Wyatt then reveals that he is in possession of the legendary urn of The Undertaker, vowing to be on RAW with the urn in hand, saying that it is time for The Undertaker to “rise”!
After making her surprise return to save Paige from a two-on-one beatdown from The Bella Twins on RAW, AJ Lee would return to action on SmackDown as AJ, with Paige in her corner, would face Brie Bella, with Divas Champion Nikki Bella in her corner. After Brie Bella dominated most of the match, the resilient AJ Lee would battle back, locking in the Black Widow on Brie and, with Paige keeping Nikki Bella from interfering, Brie would tap out as AJ picks up the win.
Despite his embarrassment over unknowingly taking part in an erectile dysfunction commercial, which premiered this past Monday night on RAW, The Miz would team with his personal assistant, Damien Mizdow, to face The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston, with Xavier Woods in their corner. During the match, Damien Mizdow would have control of the match before The Miz tags himself into the match, sparking an argument between the two. Doing as he was told, Mizdow would stand outside the ring, but The Miz would find himself in more trouble than expected as Kofi Kingston makes the tag to Big E. Big E & Kofi Kingston then hit the double Big Ending on The Miz and, as Mizdow looks the other way with a smile on his face, Big E pins The Miz for the win.
After again refusing to face John Cena in a rematch at WrestleMania on RAW, the United States Champion was in action on SmackDown as Rusev, with Lana in his corner, would face “The Real American” Jack Swagger in a non-title match. Despite Jack Swagger’s best efforts, Rusev would lock in the Accolade on Jack Swagger, making Swagger tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Curtis Axel would appear on the big screen and, continuing to mimic Hulk Hogan, challenging Rusev to a match Monday night on RAW, saying that he is going to beat Rusev and get a shot at the United States Title at WrestleMania!
Then it was time for the main event as, before they join R-Truth and one other unnamed competitor in the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania, “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler would team with “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose to face Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett and Luke Harper with R-Truth a guest on commentary. At the end of a wild match, it was Dolph Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag on Luke Harper, pinning Harper for the win. After the match, Bad News Barrett would blindside Dolph Ziggler, blasting “The Show-Off” with the Bull Hammer Elbow before Dean Ambrose tries to jump Barrett, but Barrett could catch Ambrose with a big boot.
Barrett then exits the ring to confront R-Truth, demanding to get his title belt back, but before Truth has to hand over the belt, Dean Ambrose dives to the outside, taking out Barrett! With a smile on his face, R-Truth was set to walk off with the Intercontinental Title belt before he was stopped by Luke Harper. Unlike on RAW, however, R-Truth would lay the belt down and when Harper goes to pick up the belt, Truth delivers a kick to Harper. R-Truth would then make it to the stage before Daniel Bryan comes out as R-Truth inexplicably hands the title belt over to Daniel Bryan before Truth leads a “yes” chant on Bryan’s behalf. After R-Truth’s exit, Daniel Bryan celebrates with the Intercontinental Title belt on the stage before he is attacked from behind by Stardust! The bizarre Stardust then climbs the ladder that is set up on the stage with the Intercontinental Title belt in his possession, declaring his intention to be in the Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania!
What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Post your comments in the box below.