By: Jamie Henry –
Last night’s Smackdown Live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles opens with free agent John Cena, who vowed on this week’s RAW to appear on Smackdown Live to get his road to Wrestlemania 34 back on track. He demands to be added to the Fatal Five Way match at Fastlane, but before that happens, he needs to earn his spot by defeating the reigning WWE champion, AJ Styles.
Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin is up next with Kevin Owens as guest commentator. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan appear backstage watching the match and arguing about Owens being there, McMahon believing that he will interrupt the match, while Bryan believing otherwise. When it seems like Zayn will pin Corbin, Dolph Ziggler comes out and Superkicks Owens from behind. This is the distraction Corbin needs to pin Zayn with the End of Days but of course, Ziggler then attacks Corbin with a ZigZag.
Ruby Riot faces Naomi next, who comes out with the Riot Squad. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch come out to watch on Naomi’s behalf and for back up no doubt, when the Riot Squad interferes. Riot Squad tries to leave the area with Flair, Lynch and Naomi following them and trash talk occurs. Riot and Naomi eventually face off in the ring where Riot garners a pin against Naomi, despite the crowd’s indifference.
Breezango makes an appearance, with a surprise visit from actor Josh Duhamel. The New Day interrupts, and the two groups joke about Duhamel’s role in Unsolved, believing he was a detective. The segment is funny but doesn’t put much forward towards in terms of storyline.
The New Day makes their way to the ring, saying they will face The Uso’s at Fastlane and walk into Wrestlemania 34 as Champions. The Uso’s arrive, and throw down a stellar promo, “there was only one tag team standing tall with these” while they raise their Smackdown Live Tag Team titles. “We used to be just like you three, running around here dancing, singing, looking like a box of skittles. But that right there didn’t take us to the next level. Here’s a dose of reality, we right here grinding for the past nine years. We tried to prove to everybody that the Uso’s belong on Wrestlemania. Year after year we’ve getting passed over. Nine years in the game, zero Wrestlemanias. This year, our time. It’s our time!” Their promo speaks volumes because just like Reigns, they speak the truth and they speak from the heart.
The New Day’s Big E responds with his own promo, saying that they’ve been on the top that entire time and at Fastlane, they’ll be taking the titles back, becoming five-time champions and there’s nothing the Uso’s can do about it. As it seems like the two teams will come to blows, The Bludgeon Brothers interrupt. The Uso’s and The New Day watch the Bludgeon Brothers carefully before leaving, teasing the crowd with another hint of The Bludgeon Brothers wanting the tag team titles and doing nothing about it.
In a quick intermission, we learn that Aiden English will be facing Shinsuke Nakamura after pleading to McMahon for a match. We also see Bobby Roode being interviewed by Renee Young, only to be interrupted by Randy Orton, saying that the title Roode has is the only one that has alluded him for his WWE career.
English vs Nakamura is up now with Rusev ringside. Nakamura wins the match with a kick and a pin, and while Nakamura is making his way backstage, John Cena comes out for his match. The two have a staredown as Nakamura and Cena point to the Wrestlemania sign.
Styles and Cena begin trading moves, from a DDT to a Sack Bomb, both men kicking out as the crowd becomes progressively more interested. At one moment, it appears like Styles will be pinned when Cena places him in the STF but Styles manages to kick out and pull off a Phenomenal Forearm, nearly pinning him as the crowd chants ‘This is Awesome’. Styles is put through the table when he stops a count out from the referee, the crowd going mad as Cena rolls into the center of the ring, creating another count out. Styles beats the count at nine after getting to his feet. However, Cena pulls out the win after pinning Styles with an AA.
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