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SmackDown Live Recap & Review – Episode 973

WWE SmackDown Live
Episode 973
#SDLive

Original Air Date: April 10, 2018
Event Date: April 10, 2018 (aired live)

City: New Orleans, LA
Venue: Smoothie King Center

Commentary: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton

 

Ring Area
Shane McMahon heads to the ring. Shane thanks everyone in the WWE Universe for their participation during Wrestlemania week. He says this Wrestlemania was special because he got to team with the returning Daniel Bryan to defeat Owens and Zayn. Bryan has returned to being a full-time competitor, so Shane has accepted Bryan’s resignation as GM of SmackDown. He then introduces the new GM of SmackDown: Paige.

Paige heads to the ring. Paige says the first person waiting for her after her retirement speech last night was Shane McMahon. Getting down to business, Paige wants to make her first night as GM special. Daniel Bryan hasn’t competed on regular TV In a while, so Paige put him in a match with AJ Styles. Everyone seems to approve.

 

Match 1
SmackDown Tag Team Title Number One Contender Match
The Usos vs Big E & Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston
(referee: Charles Robinson)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jey Uso pins Xavier Woods after a Samoan Splash, The Usos will challenge the Bludgeon Brothers for the SD Tag Titles at the Greatest Royal Rumble
Time: 10:29

Match Thoughts
Very good match. New Day dominated a large part of the match, especially early, which forced The Usos to mount a convincing comeback. I like that even though this is the night after the night after Wrestlemania, this match wasn’t about new faces, it was about two current teams putting on another great match like they always do. It’s always entertaining.

 

Ring Area
After the match, the Bludgeon Brothers come out to the stage. Wearing their new SD Tag Title belts, they use their hammers to point to the ring.

Backstage
Earlier today, Dasha Fuentes congratulated Naomi on winning the Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal. Natalya isn’t impressed. Nattie says she can’t wait until Naomi gets shipped off to RAW. Naomi says this might be the last time she can beat Natalya, so she accepts the challenge that Natalya never made.

 

Match 2
Naomi vs Natalya
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Naomi wins via pinfall after a split-legged moonsault
Time: 4:54 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. Both women looked good, and though the finish wasn’t surprising, it was well done.

 

Backstage
Renee Young attempts to get a word from Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura doesn’t know what came over him. He says he’s very, very sorry for attacking AJ Styles. Young asks for a real answer, so Nakamura says he doesn’t speak English.

Ring Area
Charlotte heads to the ring. She says her match with Asuka was the toughest challenge of her career, but she left Wrestlemania still the SmackDown Women’s Champ. That night was magical, so now she’s wondering who she’ll make magic with next. As Charlotte speaks, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay come out and head to the ring.

Billie says she and Peyton are wizards. They can make the SD Women’s Title disappear from Charlotte’s waist. Peyton then impersonates Charlotte, thanking everyone (and air) for Charlotte’s title defense. Peyton and Billie tell Charlotte to stop talking about a match that happened in the past when she is looking at the future. Charlotte has heard enough, so she attacks.

Charlotte is quickly overwhelmed. Peyton and Billie beat up Charlotte, hitting her with a double-team powerbomb on the floor. They drag Charlotte back into the ring so they can pose and gloat over her.

As Peyton and Billie leave, Carmella runs past them. Carmella grabs Mike Chioda and demands that he ring the bell.

 

Match 3
SmackDown Women’s Title Match
Carmella vs Charlotte Flair (SD Women’s Champ)
(referee: Mike Chioda)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Carmella wins via pinfall after a superkick and becomes the new SD Women’s Champ
Time: 0:07

Match Thoughts
This was a great moment. You could see it coming from a mile away, but the buildup to it was great.

 

Match 4
Triple Threat US Title Number One Contender Match
Bobby Roode vs Randy Orton vs Rusev w/ Aiden English
(referee: Jason Ayers; at ringside: Jinder Mahal, Sunil Singh)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Randy Orton pins Bobby Roode after an RKO and will challenge for the US Title at Backlash
Time: 7:06

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. Everyone had their moments, but Orton seemed to dominate more than anyone else. This was fine.

 

Backstage
Dasha Fuentes welcomes the new SD Women’s Champ, Carmella. Carmella says that when a queen overstays her welcome, there is always a princess waiting to knock her off her throne. Carmella gets emotional as she thanks herself for making history all by herself yet again.

Backstage
Renee Young tells AJ Styles that Nakamura sort of apologized for what he did, but Styles doesn’t care. Tonight is about his match with Daniel Bryan. Bryan is one of the greatest, but he’s not phenomenal.

 

Match 5
Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles (WWE Champ)
(referee: Mike Chioda)

Show/Hide Results

Result: the match ends in a No Contest when Shinsuke Nakamura attacks
Time: 9:10 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
This was good, but it feels like it was only a teaser for something they’ll revisit sometime in the future. The action was great and was building to something, but before any kind of payoff happened, the match was abruptly ended.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Nakamura hits Styles with a low blow, a Kinshasa, and another low blow.

 

Show Impressions
Good show. There weren’t as many debuts or surprises as RAW, but there was much more of a focus on matches than RAW. I’ll take that trade.

Match of the Night
The Usos vs New Day
Of course the main event was good, but the finishes of the matches as well as the implications helped me to pick the tag match as the match of the night.

 

Official Results:http://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2018-04-10

 

 

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