WWE SmackDown Live
Original Air Date: April 3, 2018
Event Date: April 3, 2018 (aired live)
Commentary: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
Daniel Bryan heads to the ring. He welcomes everyone to the show and introduces his tag team partner at Wrestlemania, Shane McMahon. Shane heads to the ring.
Responding to something Bryan said on a previous show, Shane says Bryan is a role model. He congratulates Bryan on working so hard to return to the ring. Shane talks about his recent hospitalization and says he is proud to be Bryan’s partner against Owens and Zayn.
Bryan has something he needs to say. He talks about the mistakes he’s made regarding Owens and Zayn over the last few months. Bryan apologizes for everything he’s done to and against Shane. Shane says there is no need to apologize. Shane admits that he’s been stubborn and hot-headed. He apologizes to Bryan and holds out his hand.
Bryan doesn’t think shaking hands is good enough, so he asks the crowd if they’d like to see Shane and Bryan hug it out. The crowd does, so Bryan and Shane hug. Now that Bryan and Shane are on the same page, they are going to get payback on Owens and Zayn for everything that’s happened over the past few months.
Charlotte Flair (SD Women’s Champ) vs Natalya
(referee: Charles Robinson)
Result: Charlotte wins via submission with the Figure Eight
Time: 13:01 (joined in progress)
Good match. This went on a lot longer than I thought it would, and Natalya got a lot more offense than I expected. Natalya got so much offense that it prompted Carmella to run to the ring and nearly cash in. Charlotte prevented Carmella from using her MitB contract, and Carmella’s distraction led to a fitting finish.
After the match, Asuka heads to the ring. Asuka says the queen will bow down to th empress at Wrestlemania. Charlotte says she’s ready for Asuka, but she wonders if Asuka is ready for Charlotte.
AJ Styles says Nakamura might think he’s in Styles’ head, but Styles’ emotions are his strength. Nakamura has a weakness though. He’s taking Styles too lightly. This isn’t the Tokyo Dome, this is Wrestlemania, and Styles is the WWE Champ.
Chronicling the buildup for Bryan and McMahon versus Owens and Zayn.
Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh vs Rusev w/ Aiden English
(referee: Jason Ayers; guest commentary: Bobby Roode)
Result: Rusev wins via pinfall after a Machka Kick
Time: 6:08 (1 break)
Pretty good match. I liked the overall flow of it, and the action was fine. Nothing too special, but I thought the finish was smart.
After the match, Orton hits Rusev with an RKO. Aiden English attacks Orton, but Roode interferes and feeds English to Orton for an RKO. Roode and Orton stand in the ring and stare at each other.
Shinsuke admits that he’s playing games with Styles, but Nakamura takes this game seriously. He came to America for one reason. Wrestlemania. Nakamura knows Styles well, and he knows Styles is very emotional. When his emotions cause Styles to make a mistake, Nakamura will hit a knee to the face and become the new WWE Champ.
New Day advertise the WWE Network. It’s free for 30 days for new subscribers. The Usos walk up and say it won’t cost anything to watch them defend their titles against New Day and the Bludgeon Brothers. Harper and Rowan walk up and smash the camera (or maybe the camera guy, it’s hard to tell).
Breezango & Tye Dillinger & Zack Ryder vs Primo & Mojo Rawley & Dolph Ziggler & Baron Corbin
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)
Result: Baron Corbin pins Fandango after End of Days
This went about like I expected. Since it was set up as a sort-of preview of the Andre Battle Royal, the match eventually broke down so everyone could get thrown over the top rope. Also, Corbin was the only person who got a televised entrance tonight, so of course he was going to play a major factor in the match.
Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable don’t care that everyone wants to see Styles versus Nakamura. They’re going to send Styles and Nakamura limping into Wrestlemania after their tag match tonight.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn walk in from the crowd and jump the barricade. They stand on the announce table as they grab microphones. Owens says this is still the “Sami and Kevin Show.” Zayn has some apologies to make. Zayn apologizes to Daniel Bryan’s wife and daughter for what they’re going to do to him. Owens is going to have a Wrestlemania moment by destroying Daniel Bryan. Owens also says that Shane doesn’t belong in the ring.
Owens and Zayn have their mics cut off, so they head out back through the crowd. As they leave, Shane and Daniel come out to the stage. Bryan hopes everyone has their cameras ready, because this is the last time anyone will see Owens and Zayn on SmackDown. Shane starts a “goodbye” chant.
Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs Shinsuke Nakamura & AJ Styles (WWE Champ)
(referee: Charles Robinson)
Result: AJ Styles pins Chad Gable after a Phenomenal Forearm
Time: 7:44 (1 break)
Good match. The main story was of course Nakamura and Styles, but it didn’t feel like the usual match we see when rivals team up. They didn’t roll over Gable and Benjamin. This was a fairly competitive match, and the tension between Styles and Nakamura came from their decisions in teamwork (or lack of teamwork).
After the match, Styles sets up for a Phenomenal Forearm on Nakamura. He goes for it, but like Nakamura did last week, Styles stops short of connecting with his strike. He smiles at Nakamura and pats him on the head. Nakamura doesn’t like that.
Like RAW last night, this was a good final show before Wrestlemania. The matches were good, and the story lines were nicely addressed.
Match of the Night
Benjamin & Gable vs Nakamura & Styles
Charlotte versus Natalya was good too, but I liked the drama in this one a bit more.
Official Results: http://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2018-04-03