WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: One Plans to Illuminate the WrestleMania Stage (March, 28th 2017)

The Last Smackdown before WrestleMania has arrived, and as you all should know by now, Alexa Bliss’s Smackdown Womens Title is on the line against every available woman on the Smackdown Roster, with Natalya, Carmella, Mickie James and Becky Lynch already qualifying for their contendership spots one way or another. On top of the rules of this match being unknown, another downer is that this said match is now slated for the Kickoff Show, meaning the Smackdown Women are once again off the main card. Oh the Flagship Brand just means too much….

Anyway, this doesn’t stop the women amping up the animosity days before Mania as Becky Lynch gets another chance to square off against her fellow contender, Carmella, who has her ever so troublesome buddy James Ellsworth there at ringside to execute any possible shenanigans. On Commentary are Bliss and Mickie, at opposite sides to (currently) avoid an altercation considering their partnership is no longer intact. In the ring Carmella, however, doesn’t appear to be prepared yet, immediately heading between the ropes the moment the bell rings to avoid locking up with Lynch. Carmella removes some chewing gum before returning to the ring, where Lynch tries to seize her in an armbar readying for her finisher. Carmella hooks the second rope to try avoid this but Lynch kicks away at it, loosening the villainesses grip. Lynch scores an uppercut before having her whip countered by Carmella. Lynch tries floating by the turnbuckles only to take a knee to the midsection mid elevation by Carmella, who sweeps her backward to the mat right after. Carmella utilizes the move from her NXT days as she sits on Becky’s shoulders during a mid rope choke, then viciously sending her back to the mat before proceeding to pin. Unlucky for Mella, Becky kicks out at one.

Becky fires forearms at Carmella, nailing an inziguiri at the heel to make up for a kick being blocked. While both Becky and Carmella are out on the mat, a war of words goes on between Mickie and Alexa at the commentary table. A Fearless Mickie has no problem squaring up to her title wielding former ally, and a fight ensues that soon involves Carmella and Becky Lynch as well. The Cattiness in the squared circle leads to the quick booking of a tag team match, as once rivals Becky and Mickie team up against Alexa and Carmella.

And that match is already underway when we come back from a commercial break, as Mickie takes on Alexa. Mickie fires a clothesline or two directly at Alexa, reversing an irish whip from the champ before more reversals ensue. Mickie snapmares Alexa towards the center, executing a low dropkick afterward to get a near fall. Mickie kicks Alexa in the face before tagging in Becky. Becky takes advantage of the fallen opponents position to nail a single leg drop and elbow drop, and a second leg drop is added before Becky decides to go for a cover, though only getting a near fall on the woman who dethroned her inaugural reign. Becky seizes Alexa in a front facelock, bringing her to her corner before tagging Mickie into the match. However Alexa has bolted away from the competition, avoiding combat with the former ally and tagging in the equally cocky Carmella. Speaking of cockiness, Carmella tries to smack talk Mickie before attempting to lunge at her, to no avail as Mickie ducks her attack and hits a back kick followed with a high knee. Mickie manages to knock off Carmella with another knee after having an irish whip reversed, also taking Alexa right off the apron with a kick. However the tactic of Mickie to divert Alexa’s possible assist soon costs her as she receives a cheapshot from Carmella. Carmella forearms Mickie wildly, trying to quickly capitalize with the follow up pin attempt which gets her a near fall.

Carmella continues the momentum right after the failed pin attempt as she chokes Mickie against the second rope with Ellsworth and Bliss looking on. With the refs back turned, even Bliss gets to cheapshot the former comrade with a kick from the outside. Carmella goes into another pin attempt, but again gets a near fall on the veteran. Carmella hands the rest of the job to Alexa, tagging her in and stepping out to the apron. Alexa immediately fires at Mickie with a kick before reverting to a hold that Mickie punches her way out of. However she isnt entirely separated from Alexa as she charges after her in her attempt to reach over to Lynch, only to have her attempted attack reversed into a roll up. Alexa kicks out, grabbing Mickie by her hair and again diverting her attempt to reach to her own side and to Lynch. Alexa places herself atop Mickie in her attempt to pin, getting a near fall on the veteran. After a short stretch hold, Alexa has Mickie struggle in a side headlock, but the veteran knows much, as displayed there as she counters again, this time into another roll up, unfortunately again not submitting Alexa as she’d so need. Alexa takes down Mickie, standing over the fallen former comrade when out comes another woman with a watchful eye on the title, Natalya…

When we return from the second commercial break, Natalya has found herself a spot on commentary to watch her champion rival Alexa Bliss and her fellow contenders and challengers compete. Meanwhile back in the ring, Alexa still has the momentum over Mickie, whipping her into a corner only to take an elbow as she runs forward towards the future challenger. Mickie elevates herself to the top turnbuckle and seizes Alexa appropriately to execute a hurricanrana, following it up with a neckbreaker/RKO that leaves both women down and chances for both to reach their allies. Indeed Mella and Becky do tag in, and Becky comes in with the fire, clotheslining Carmella on multiple occasions and taking her down with the additional leg lariat. After a back kick, Becky nails an exploder towards the corner to Carmella, following with her traditional corner offense, in the form of the flying firearm and springboard sidekick. As Becky tries to keep up her momentum, Natalya charges to the apron to grab her attention, and doing so as Becky goes to attack her. Carmella takes advantage of this, also using Ellsworth who chooses to trip Becky from ringside, before Mella rolls over Becky and pins her. Alexa and Carmella win the match.

However another brawl with the Ladies of Smackdown has just begun, as Natalya forearms away at Becky during Carmella’s victory celebration. Alexa and Carmella target Mickie as she tries to get involved then out comes a familiar babyface, Naomi. Naomi makes work of clearing off Carmella then Alexa, the Woman who took advantage of her injury to become a history making 2x Champion. After taking in the roar of the pleased crowd, the returned athlete announces shes back and officially part of this Sundays Smackdown Women’s Title Match. The Orlando Native is Heading to WrestleMania!

From one Mania feud to another, as Miz and Maryse present the last installment of their Total Bella’s Parody aimed at falsely presenting their WrestleMania opposition John Cena and Nikki Bella. The footage and vicious words are enough again to force the presence of WWEs babyface power couple, and Cena makes an opportunity in ripping Miz apart verbally. He and Nikki even try encourage a fight from the Must See Superstar and his former champion wife, but do not receive it, at least not until Sunday.

(Becky Lynch vs Carmella w/ James Ellsworth; Alexa Bliss and Mickie James on Commentary)

(Carmella and Alexa Bliss w/ James Ellsworth vs Becky Lynch and Mickie James feat Natalya; Naomi Returns)

(The Miz and Maryse Total Bellas Parody Segment)

(The Miz, Maryse, John Cena and Nikki Bella Segment)

(Alexa Bliss Backstage Exclusive)

Thoughts On:
Carmella/Alexa vs Becky/Mickie: Decent time for the ladies this week with attempts to get all women heading into Mania involved. A Part of me is surprised the heels won before Mania, because while this may mean Carmella has much lower odds of winning on Sunday, the win also counts for Alexa also here, who is the champion heading into Sunday. Luckily it wasnt just a post match brawl with nothing but a repeat of last week, but a chance opened up and capitalized on with the return of Naomi. While we can now say this feud is about Naomi getting redemption more than ever, WWE have done quite a job giving reasoning behind each womans placement in this Sundays Match. Becky is a former champion looking to overcome the odds again in order to be atop the mountain. Mickie has hatred for Alexa over what appeared to be a bogus Mania deal on Alexa’s side. Carmella wants to prove herself and has Ellsworth at her side as a possible factor. Natalya is a longtime veteran like Mickie whose also announced interest in taking Alexa’s title, and this will be her first match at WrestleMania involving the Womens Championship, like it is for many others. Im Surprised Tamina didnt return here either as she was backstage at the event as Natalya confirmed, but they cant really have multiple returns in a night, especially when Naomi’s return is a part of a bigger picture and coordinates with the storyline that is her recovery from injury and ability to compete on the grand stage as she so desired. Maybe we’ll see Tamina at Mania, who knows, but considering the Team BAD history, unless Becky turns heel, then maybe Tamina vs Naomi is a feud for this year.

Miz/Maryse/Cena/Nikki: This was a really intense and very well done segment, and again Maryse and Miz continue to do what they’ve been doing pretty much all year, working to the best of their ability with whatever they are getting, and this feud has not only capitalized on Nikki and Maryse’s legit heat, but has allowed her to be there and do more than just be Miz’s manager standing at his side during every match. Im Surprised she didnt get chance to attack Nikki here and give a snippet of what shes bringing to Mania as she will be returning to the ring, but that makes the excitement all the more for Mania. Since Maryse and Miz have been the stars on Smackdown, excelling wherever possible over the course of the year, its only fair that Miz putting on excellent performances and so forth, taking Cenas place as one of the top stars in his absence and becoming one of the most interesting stars on the brand should be rewarded with a win, but its clear that while the momentum couldn’t be predicted from the ending of the segment, it feels too obvious Cena and Nikki are winning. Cena is passionate for the WWE, that is certain, but he doesn’t really need another Mania win, having many under his belt as Rusev and Bray will know, but Nikki has never won at WrestleMania. Shes won at most of the PPVs shes had involvement in as of late, minus Elimination Chamber, but maybe excelling other stars through having her work with them needs some payoff. That and the expected post match proposal and Al Rokers involvement kind of gives it all away as to who is winning. To be fair, im really rooting for the heels this weekend, because where will Miz and Maryse go from Sunday? Heck, if Roker wants to pull a Jon Stewart then by all means, but the end of the mixed tag result wise feels too obvious.

– Catherine

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