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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (3/13/18)



All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter



  • Rusev w/ Aiden English VS AJ Styles; Styles wins, by disqualification.
  • Big E & Jimmy Usos VS The Bludgeon Brothers; The Bludgeon Brothers win.
  • Bobby Roode VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh; Mahal wins.
  • Naomi VS Carmella; Carmella wins.


AJ Styles heads to the ring!

The Phenomenal One is still the WWE Champion after Fastlane’s fast and furious Six Pack Challenge, and Indianapolis is happy to see him! He welcomes them to “The House that AJ Styles Built!” The odds were against him, and he admits getting put through the commentary table by John Cena was bad. Styles started doubting himself, but he knew it wasn’t impossible. Everyone knows “when you fall down, suck it up!” If you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way. And clearly, Styles found his way! But better than that, Styles knows he’s headed to Wrestlemania. He remembers where he came from, and remembers most thought it was “unbelievable” Styles would even be in the WWE. The fact that he’d become WWE Champion was unbelievable. Him going to Wrestlemania as WWE Champion was unbelievable, but not impossible.

Styles’ Road to Wrestlemania has been a tough one, but fans tell him, “You Deserve It!” No, he earned it. The man standing across from him is the biggest Japanese superstar in WWE history, Shinsuke Nakamura! The Dream (Re)Match is coming, and Styles respects Nakamura because they have similar paths. But when it comes to the title, there’s no comparison. Styles knows he’s no different from anyone else, he’s WWE’s Every Man. At least, until he’s in the ring. When Styles is in the ring, “I am Phenomenal.” But speaking of his opponent, Shinsuke Nakamura appears!

The King of Strong Style won against The Bulgarian Lion at Fastlane to keep himself running at top speed towards this match with Styles. He steps into the ring with his future opponent, hears the dueling chants of “AJ Styles!” “Nakamura”, then says, “AJ, you’re a champion. Everyone likes you. Everyone likes me, too. I respect you. At Wrestlemania, dreams come true. My dream: knee to face. And I become champion!” Fans have mixed reactions to his claim, but then Rusev appears! He’s here for a match with the champ!

Rusev w/ Aiden English VS AJ Styles!

Rusev Day may have been rained on by the King of Strong Style, but there’s always today! Can Rusev ruin Styles’ run this close to Wrestlemania?

The bell rings and the two stare down while fans chant “Rusev Day!” Styles and Rusev circle then tie up, Rusev powering Styles back into a corner. Rusev lets Styles come back out and they circle again. Styles gets a waistlock while Shinsuke watches from ringside, but Rusev throws Styles off. Rusev wags his finger “No, no, no,” then circles with Styles again. Styles kicks Rusev’s leg, but Rusev walks it off. He backs Styles up but Styles kicks back again to get a headlock. Rusev powers out and runs Styles over! Styles gets to a corner while fans duel, “AJ Styles!” “Rusev Day!” Styles and Rusev circle and tie up but Rusev kicks low. Rusev rocks Stylse with a haymaker, then another. Rusev keeps on Styles in a corner with a knee, then runs in but hits buckles.

Styles rocks Rusev back with haymakers and then chops. Styles whips but Rusev holds ropes to kick back. Rusev reels Styles in for a lariat, then drags Styles up to run. Styles ducks under then jumps over to drop Rusev with a dropkick. Rusev springs up but Styles clotheslines him out of the ring! The fans fire up, and Styles takes aim. Slingshot forearm takes Rusev down again!

Styles drags Rusev up and into the ring, fans keep dueling, Styles kicks Rusev. Rusev stands up, blocks the suplex, then suplexes Styles back. Styles escapes and throws chops and haymakers. Rusev blocks another whip, then throat chops! Spinebuster from Rusev, cover, TWO. The champion is in trouble while we go picture in picture.

Rusev stalks Styles to a corner, then rams shoulders in. He backs off at the ref’s count and Styles slumps to the mat. Rusev drags him out onto the apron to then ram an elbow right into Styles’ head. Rusev drags Styles over to a corner, and throws the arm against the post! Styles writhes out to the floor, but Rusev stands over him. Rusev brings Styles up and into the ring, then covers, ONE. Rusev keeps going, targeting the arm with a keylock. He wrenches Styles’ arm, but Styles stands up to fight back with right hands. Styles breaks free, runs but is thrown with a body drop! Rusev roars as he looms over Styles menacingly. Rusev brings Styles up and hatch suplexes him over, then stalks him to the ropes. The Bulgarian Brute sits Styles up to kick him in the back, then covers, TWO.

Rusev grows annoyed, but he toys with Styles while he’s down. He smacks Styles until he falls to the floor, but Styels springs up to rush back in and attack! Styles unleashes right hands, then whips. Rusev reverses, and dropkicks Styles! Rusev celebrates his feat of agility and we go to single picture. The fans duel with chants, but Rusev keeps on Styles by lifting him to the top rope. Rusev smacks Styles and Styles almost falls all the way off! Another right hand and Styles still has to cling to the top rope. Rusev climbs up, prepares a superplex, but Styles slips under to trip Rusev up! Fans fire up while Styles recovers. English grows worried for Rusev while Styles unleashes the Phenomenal Blitz! Sliding forearm, and Styles fires up.

Styles runs corner to corner, big clotheslines! Then the fireman’s carry lift but Rusev slips out. Rusev shoves Styles, styles ducks the kick, another try at the fireman’s but still not enough. Rusev shoves Styles again, and hits a pop-up knee to the stomach, followed by a roundhouse!

Styles goes down, Rusev covers, TWO! Rusev stands up and stomps the mat, preparing for his kick, but misses and gets Styles PELE! Styles lifts in the fireman’s, USHIGOROSHI! Styles’ own knee bothers him, but he keeps moving. He brings Rusev up and around for Clash position, somehow lifts Rusev, but Rusev gets the lag to drag Styles for the Accolade, only for Styles to go for his Calf Crusher! Rusev grabs the ropes, Styles keeps trying, and gets teh roll! Englihsh comes in, attacks Styles, the match is thrown out! English stomps and stomps, then throws hands, but Nakamura slowly rises.

The King of Strong Style sees Engilsh bring Rusev up for another roundhouse, then he comes in to strike! He takes out English with the roundhouse, then a KINSHASA for Rusev!

Nakamura nods to Styles as he stands tall. He leavees without needing thanks, this was all to keep the dream match alive. Will Styles be able to keep himself in good shape to pay Nakamura back?


Backstage interview with Big E.

After the carnage wrought by the Bludgeon Brothers, Harper & Rowan expect the survivors to answer an open challenge. Big E says that he wishes the New Day were 5-time champions, or conspiring to fill Corey Graves’ car with pancake batter, but he isn’t. Harper & Rowan didn’t just take away the New Day’s chance at another title reign, they tried ending careers. Kofi & Woods will be back, but Big E will hold down the fort for his team. Jimmy Usos shows up and says he won’t be alone. Jey got taken out, too, and Jimmy has beef with The Bludgeon Brothers, too. The Usos and New Day can settle their differences later, now is about Harper & Rowan. Can Jimmy & Big E get even with the most destructive duo in recent history?


AJ Styles finds Nakamura backstage.

He lets the Rockstar know that he didn’t need his help at Fastlane, and he didn’t need his help out there. Nakamura says that it looked like he did. “But don’t worry, I’ll help every time until Wrestlemania. So then I’ll beat you with a knee to face.”


Big E & Jimmy Usos VS The Bludgeon Brothers!

Things did not go the way anyone expected at Fastlane for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match. Harper & Rowan wreaked havoc on both champion and challenger teams, sidelining three of the five men in one fell swoop. Now rivals must team together to remove the upstart behemoths from the equation.

And to start, they bring the fight to Harper & Rowan during their entrances! Rowan goes down, then Harper is put into the LED! Jimmy & E then grab steel chairs to equalize things with Harper’s & Rowan’s hammers! Things are tense as the four men stare down, and the referee just gets out of the way.

Harper & Rowan stand in the ring with Jimmy & Big E, and the tension mounts, and the fans are fired up! The fight breaks out, but the chairs are swatted away. Jimmy & Big E get clear before taking hammers to heads, we go to break while things cool off.

SmackDown returns and the match is actually a match now as Big E starts with Harper. The bell rings and they both go at each other! Big E rams Harper in a corner, then stomps away on him. He runs but into the Scrapbuster! Harper tags Rowan, and Big Red splashes Big E! Rowan taunts Jimmy, then turns to Big E to stomp a mudhole into him. He drags Big E up for a big scoop slam, then steps on him before tagging in Harper. Harper mule kicks Big E, then uppercuts him into a corner. The fans chant for Uso & E, but Harper whips Big E corner to corner. Big E elbows back, hot tag to Jimmy!

Jimmy hits back, jumps over then hits again. Jimmy speeds things up to forearm then mule kick and uppercut to another mule kick. Harper blocks teh third, but Jimmy elbows him away. Jimmy goes up, Whisper in the Wind! SUPERKICK for Rowan, then Jimmy runs, but into Harper’s boot! Harper throws Big E out then Rowan throws Big E into steel steps! Tag to Rowan, then the slap to fire him up for the corner to corner splash! Full-nelson lift, Killer Bomb!! The Bludgeon Brothers win!

The Tag Apocalypse of SmackDown isn’t over, Harper rams Big E in the barriers, then feeds him to Rowan’s body check! They leave Jimmy for dead, is there any hope of survival in the Division after this?


Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.

Who does Sami blame for not becoming WWE Champion? Well that’s a load question. The obvious answer is Shane McMahon. Sami was pinning Kevin Owens but Shane pulled him off before three. Yet, Sami can’t completely blame Shane, he also blames Kevin. Kevin is the target of Shane’s obsession, and it made Sami “guilty by association.” Sami admits that Kevin is talented, funny and has always been by his side, but he’s also “a self-absorbed, egomaniac.” Sami played his game perfectly, yet because of Kevin and Shane, he paid the price. That is a price Sami will never, ever pay again, not for anyone. Can the Underdog from the Underground turn it around on the home stretch of the Road to Wrestlemania?


Charlotte Flair heads to the ring!

The Queen of Flair held onto her SmackDown Women’s Championship against the Squad Leader, Ruby Riott, but then she-like the rest of the WWE Universe-got a great surprise. The Empress of Tomorrow won the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble and therefore had her choice of Women’s Champions in the WWE. Yet she had gone for quite some time without naming who she wanted. That is, until she appeared at Fastlane to be face to face with her choice and issue the challenge in person! Charlotte says she’s honored to be the one chosen, so she wants to be here to meet her “woman to woman.” With that, Asuka makes her way out to the ring.

The Queen welcomes the Empress, and says “be careful what you wish for.” Asuka thanks Charlotte, and Charlotte says that everyoen else always tells her two things: Congratulations; and what would happen if you faced Asuka? The undefeated Empress is almost untouchable, but what would happen to her if she went 1v1 with The Queen? Who bows down? We’ll see at Wrestlemania. “Iron sharpens iron”, and Charlotte saw Asuka win. Charlotte hoped Asuka would choose her, to bring this challenge. When Asuka’s music hit, Charlotte got goosebumps over this “once in a lifetime opportunity”. Charlotte admits she’s never faced anyone like Asuka, but says Asuka’s never faced anyone like Charlotte. Charlotte vows to end the Streak and cement her Legacy. “WOO~!”

Asuka responds with, “I chose you because I like a challenge!” Charlotte is the Queen, but she’s the Empress. “And Asuka bows to no one.” That’s because “no one is ready for Asuka!” The two stare down and even grin, but who will be the one smiling after a SmackDown Women’s Championship dream match!?


Randy Orton appears!

The Viper is now the United States and Grand Slam Champion after hitting an RKO #outtanowhere on the GLORIOUS Bobby Roode. He also wants to keep an eye on Roode and the Modern Day Maharaja in their match up next. But before that, Orton says that “I’ve been called many different things throughout the course of my career. Some good, some not so good, but the one thing that I have never been called until now, is United States Champion.” Winning the title puts Orton on a short list of elite superstars, and that’s a list he cares about. Roode proved himself a tough competitor and has Orton’s respect. But, the title is Orton’s now, and he’s taking it to Wrestlemania, and no one will stop him. That’s when Bobby Roode makes his entrance!

Roode congratulates Orton, but counters with talks of a rematch. That rematch is going to happen on the Grandest Stage of Them All, Wrestlemania! And when Roode regains his United States Championship, it will be “Absolutely GLORIOUS!” That’s when Jinder Mahal appears to say, “I would like to also congratulate Randy Orton.” The fans cheer but Mahal continues to say that Orton has been here for an eternity, yet finally did it. But Roode has been here for less than a cup of coffee, yet got it before him. That’s the truth. Forget Wrestlemania and rematches, Mahal vows to beat Roode just like he did Orton. Orton, please sit and watch as Mahal “inflicts carnage” on Roode.

Bobby Roode VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh!

Roode’s goal of becoming the greatest United States Champion in WWE History may be delayed, but he won’t let Mahal interfere in his mission to get the title back. Can Roode once again be GLORIOUS and roll on towards a championship rematch?

The bell rings, Orton takes a seat and Roode circles with Mahal. Mahal kicks and punches Roode to a corner then whips corner to corner. Roode goes up and ever, goes for the DDT but Mahal narrowly escapes. Orton smirks at Mahal while we go picture in picture. Mahal takes his time returning into the ring, but then drags Roode out. Roode punches back then bounces Mahal off the apron before putting him back in the ring. Roode keeps on Mahal with punches and kicks, then a chop. He chops Mahal more, then whips, but Mahla reverses. Roode kicks Mahal away, but Mahal responds with the kitchen sink knee and a dropkick to the back. Mahal covers, TWO, and Roode gets to a corner.

Mahal stomps a mudhole into Roode, then grinds in his knee. He backs off at the ref’s count, but then drags Roode up to choke him on the ropes. He backs off again to stomp and give springboard knee drops over and over. The referee reprimands Mahal, but Mahal sits Roode up to drive in a knee to the back. Mahal puts on a half-nelson chinbar while we go back to single picture. He wrenches and twists Roode, but fans rally and Roode stands up. Roode fights out of the hold, then throws haymakers. Mahal puts the headlock on, Roode powers out and things speed up, but Mahal runs into Roode and their heads collide! Both men go down, dazed from the impact.

The fans rally for Roode while he and Mahal stand up, and Roode blocks to counter with punches and chops. Roode whips Mahal, Mahal reverses, but Roode still rallies with forearms and lariats. He runs and clotheslines Mahal in a corner, then hits the neckbreaker. Roode climbs up to the top rope, takes aim, and flies for the clothesline! Then he fires up and winds it up, GLORIOUS Pose, to GLORIOUS– No, Mahal powers him back. Roode boots him away, then hits the GLORIOUS Blockbuster!

TWO! Mahal gets to ropes, Roode walks over, and Mahal sends Roode to the outside. Roode comes back, but Mahal boots him right down! Cover, TWO, and Mahal can’t believe it.

Even so, he grins as he stalks Roode, preparing for his finish. He drags Roode up, but Roode slips out to try his DDT. Mahal body drops Roode but Roode sunset flips and high stacks, TWO! Roode runs but into a back elbow, to then SPINEBUSTER Mahal! Cover, TWO, and even Orton is a bit surprised by that. Roode gets up to climb up but Sunil Singh distracts. Roode shoves Singh into a post, then climbs over him. Mahal hits the ropes to trip Roode up! KHALLAS! Mahal wins, just as he said!

But then Orton slides in, to RKO Mahal!

The Viper stands tall with his championship, will he keep his word to keep that title?


Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.

What is his response to Sami Zayn saying Kevin is to blame for why Sami isn’t champion? Kevin’s to blame?! Why can’t Sami see this is is all Shane’s fault. Sami is being selfish, because Kevin got screwed over, too, and first! Kevin would be WWE Champion right now, and Sami wouldn’t have been screwed at all. And what about his stunt, pretending to let Kevin win to then get a cheap victory? Kevin is sick of it all. Sami is a liar, manipulator and passing blame.

Kevin is the rightful champion, but he’s not because of Shane! Like all McMahons, Shane insists on having the spotlight! Why did we need Shane at ringside? If Sami can’t see Shane for who he really is, then Kevin will “open his eyes up to the truth.” What will happen when/if Kevin and Sami meet in person?


Naomi VS Carmella!

Ms. Money in the Bank got the pin on Lady Glow in a tag match she and the Queen of Harts won over Naomi and Becky Lynch. Can Naomi even things up with only weeks left before Wrestlemania and the inaugural Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal?

The bell rings and they tie up, Naomi puts Carmella in a corner. They pull hair then break, but Carmella kicks low. She throws Naomi into the corner, then out of the corner, all via the hair. Carmella grinds Naomi’s face into the mat, and calls her “a nobody!” She bounces Naomi off the mat, then covers, TWO, so she stands on Naomi’s hair and pulls! Carmella toys with Naomi as she brags about being Ms. MITB. She puts Naomi in a corner to bump her off her boot then stretches Naomi back before shoving her into a buckle. Carmella even wraps Naomi’s hair around the rope to pull on it! Naomi protests but Carmella keeps going until the count of 4.

Carmella embraces the heat then moonwalks, but Naomi runs out for a Thesz Press and fast hands! Naomi gets her back for all the hair pulling and face smearing, but then Carmella slaps her! Naomi slaps back, and again and again and again! Carmella screams, Naomi backs off, to then run Carmella over with clotheslines. Naomi blocks a kick, Carmella ducks kicks, but not that knee! The fans fire up with Naomi, and Naomi springboards, but Carmella trips her up to then hit a draping neckbreaker! High stack cover, Carmella wins! The #ModernDayMoolah rolls on towards the battle royal, can she cash in big with two history making moments at Wrestlemania?


Shane McMahon heads to the ring!

The SmackDown Commissioner promised a major announcement for Wrestlemania, and speculation has been running wild. Shane O’Mac says hey to Indianapolis before saying “it’s no secret that over the last several months”, he’s had trouble with both Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. He isn’t apologizing, because Kevin started this when he attacked Shane’s father, Vince McMahon. Vince may not be the nicest guy, but imagine if it was your father. What would anyone else do? That’s what led to Shane VS Kevin at Hell in a Cell, but then Sami Zayn got involved. That led to more trouble with him going after Sami & Kevin with “conduct unbecoming of SmackDown’s Commissioner.” Shane has talked things over, such as with Daniel Bryan-who will return next week, not tonight-because after tonight, Shane is taking an indefinite leave of absence.

But before that, Shane has one more announcement. Leading up to Fastlane and from events tonight, it will be Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn at Wrestlemania! Simple as that, Shane washes his hands of this mess. However, Kevin Owens appears to respond! Finally something Kevin agrees with. He wishes Shane the best of luck. And as for that ‘Mania match, he can just beat up Sami whenever he wants. Speaking of, Sami comes out to respond, as well!

Sami gets in Kevin’s face, then turns to Shane and says, “You are just doing this because it made you so happy to hear fans” cheering for two friends beating each other up. If he’s basing things off what the fans think, then thank GOD Shane is leaving.

This is baffling. Shane gave them the chance to face each other, on the Grandest Stage of Them All, but they’re upset. Oh they appreciate it, but they know he’ll also appreciate this beat down! They go after him 2v1, but Shane fights them off! Only for a moment, though, as Kevin drags Shane off Sami for Sami to mug Shane. The Best Frenemies put Shane in a corner, and Sami hits the HELLUVA KICK! But that’s not all, Sami feeds Shane to the Pop-Up Powerbomb!

Kevin & Sami see the referees coming in and they go after them now! #Kami are reunited as they rip into officials and the Commissioner, and Sami gets a chair! They set it up and put Shane through it, to then ram his throat into the post!!

Shane’s eyes are glazed over and he wheezes for air, but #Kami drags him up the ramp and to the stage, then to the back. They drag him all around, to give him a send-off. Sami drags Shane up for Kevin, and together they powerbomb Shane on spare frames!!

Shane crumples and groans in pain and #Kami leave him to the medics. Forget the match for ‘Mania, will Kevin & Sami even be employed after this!?


My Thoughts:

This was not the episode of SmackDown to follow a great Fastlane with. Styles’ interaction with Nakamura was good, and Styles’ match with Rusev was also pretty good, as was Nakamura bailing Styles out to emphasize their friendly rivalry. I wonder if Nakamura’s promise to keep Styles safe until Wrestlemania will result in one or two tag team matches of Styles & Nakamura VS Rusev Day or some other team. And I liked that Big E and Jimmy Uso teamed up in an attempt to get back at Harper & Rowan, but it was more or less obvious that it wasn’t going to work in their favor. If kayfabe says Big E is too hurt for ‘Mania and Jey is still sidelined, I wonder if the titles would be vacated and then The Bludgeon Brothers could just demolish all the other SmackDown teams to win hands down.

Charlotte and Asuka had a good promo showdown, and Asuka was smoother tonight than she’s been on Raw. Rumor has it they hold her English vocabulary back, but whether that’s true or not, maybe being on SmackDown where there isn’t a Mean Girl style Heel will benefit Asuka’s promos. Orton had a decent promo in his own right, as did Roode and Mahal when they came out to stake their claims to the US Title. The Mahal-Roode match was alright, but once again, a Singh is the key to Mahal winning. Orton gets payback, though, and stands tall. I would’ve instead hoped someone in management just skipped ahead and announced a triple threat, to give us a US Championship round robin to fill out the last few weeks.

No offense to Carmella and Naomi, but how were they the last match of the night? I would’ve put this as the opener and made either the tag team or Styles segment in its place. Good for Carmella to be on a roll like this, but I wonder if it’s just setting her up to fail. Then closing with Shane, hooray~ (sarcasm). He said he’s stepping down, but now he might be hospitalized given that semi-surprising beat down. I’d think instead of Kevin VS Sami, this will now shift into Kevin & Sami VS Shane & ???. Shane might choose someone rumored for a return, and that could be anyone from Lashley to Jericho. Given everyone’s history, Jericho seems like a great choice to take on Kevin & Sami in a grudge match.

My Score: 7.5/10