SmackDown Recap: March 24
S2016 episode 866 Aired on March 24, 2016

Just 10 days before WrestleMania, Brock Lesner, Dean Ambrose and The Wyatt Family went to war, the combatants of the WrestleMania Intercontinental Title Ladder Match fought for momentum and Roman Reigns continued to unleash his own vicious brand of authority.

Heralded by his always outspoken advocate Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar returned to SmackDown, poised to go head-to-head with Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight at WrestleMania. But when Heyman called out The Lunatic Fringe to battle The Beast right there and then, The Wyatt Family instead made a surprise appearance to reopen its own conflict with The Conqueror.

As they surrounded the ring, though, Ambrose emerged, with a Kendo stick in hand. As he disposed of an advancing Luke Harper, Lesnar took both Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan to Suplex City. Ambrose charged into the ring and engaged Lesnar with this week’s weapon of choice. But the dominate Beast brushed off his adversary’s assault as if it were nothing and delivered a devastating F-5 to his WrestleMania opponent.

Since returning from having his nose shattered by WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H, Roman Reigns has been a different man, embracing a new level of animalistic viciousness on The Road to WrestleMania.

With that in mind, Reigns came to the SmackDown ring to battle Bubba Ray. It was not a match that lasted long, however, as the dominating Big Dog was quickly disqualified for bouncing his opponent’s face off the announcer table repeatedly and unleashing a brutal onslaught of the extreme Superstar.

When D-Von opted to charge into the carnage, Reigns hit him with a Superstar Punch, before laying him out with the unforgiving steel steps. He then delivered a fierce Spear to Bubba, once again asserting his own version of ruthless authority as he prepares to play The Game at The Showcase of the Immortals.

Following Stephanie McMahon’s monumental decision on Raw to have Kevin Owens defend his Intercontinental Title in a 7-Man Ladder Match at WrestleMania, The Prizefighter teamed with one of his challengers, The Miz, against two other ones, Sami Zyan and Dolph Ziggler.

In the final moments of the tag team showdown, Owens characteristically attempted to leave The Awesome One high and dry. His exit was blocked, though, by emerging Ladder Match challengers Sin Cara and Stardust. Miz then attacked his fleeing partner, hurling him right into The Showoff’s waiting Superkick before adding his own Skull-Crushing Finale for good measure.

But The A-Lister got so wrapped up in his payback that he forgot to mind his surroundings. As a result, when he turned back around, he was treated to a Ziggler Superkick, a Zayn Helluva Kick and finally his own defeat.

The action didn’t stop there, however. Fueled by the tension over their upcoming WrestleMania Ladder showdown, all the competitors engaged each other in a post-match battle for momentum, climaxing with a Rough Ryder from Zack Ryder to KO.

In other action... Sasha Banks def. Charlotte... Sheamus def. Kofi Kingston... The Usos def. The Ascension... and AJ Styles def. Tyler Breeze.