By: Jamie Henry –
Last night’s WWE Smackdown Live, coming from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania opens with Bobby Roode. Roode is tagging with WWE Champion, Randy Orton, and the two are facing Jinder Mahal and Rusev, though it was originally meant to be Mahal tagging with Sunil Singh. While Roode and Orton seem poised to win with a series of Superkicks, forearms and Powerslams, Mahal and Rusev score the victory with Mahal causing a distraction between Roode and Orton, and Rusev taking advantage, pinning Orton with a Matchka Kick.
Backstage, Mahal and Rusev celebrate their win, alongside Aiden English. Mahal invites Rusev and English to his Wrestlemania celebration when he wins the United Stated Championship, but not before Rusev says that he just pinned the United States champion and that he’ll be turning Mahal’s triple-threat match into a fatal four-way at Wrestlemania.
Shinsuke Nakamura approaches WWE Champion AJ Styles and asks if he’s okay because of Styles losing his confidence. Styles, who’s looking particularly orange today, states he’s never had confidence issues and Nakamura ignores him, saying he wants and needs Styles in his corner tonight in case Chad Gable gets involved.
Up next is Becky Lynch vs Ruby Riot, with the Riott Squad accompanying her. RIott pulls off a few forearms, kicks and backslides while Lynch retaliates with a very nice Straight Fire. Lynch eventually wins the match with a Rollup. The rest of the Riott Squad attempts to attack Lynch but our Irish Lasskicker is truly straight fire as she manages to throw both Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan over the top rope without much effort.
The comeback kid, Daniel Bryan comes out next, wearing his now-iconic Yes! Shirt to discuss Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens’ vicicus attack on him last week. The crowd chants his name before Bryan can begin. ‘You know, last week was one of the greatest moments of my career because after so long, I finally got the news I was waiting for. I was cleared. And I can now continue doing what I love to do for over sixteen years….” He continues before he finally remembers it’s not always about him and as a General Manager of Smackdown Live, he has a job to do. And then he pitches a Wrestlemania match between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs himself and Shane McMahon, with the stipulation that if Zayn and Owens win, they’ll be reinstated to Smackdown Live.
The New Day vs The Bludgeon Brothers are up next. The Bludgeon Brothers dominate the match, but not before it ends in disqualification when The Uso’s come to the rescue of The New Day when The Bludgeon Brothers were about to unfairly attack. It’ll be interesting to see how this impacts their triple threat match at Wrestlemania.
Tyler Breeze and Fandango are out next, with Breeze facing Ziggler. Breeze manages to do an Arm Trap Double Knee Backbreaker to Ziggler on the top turnbuckle, despite Ziggler dominating Breeze early in the match up. Ziggler manages to pin Breeze with a ZigZag, as he stares at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle trophy before Superkicking an oblivious Fandango.
Lastly is Shelton Benjamin vs Shinsuke Nakamura. The match begins with both men evenly matched, with Benjamin being a WWE veteran and Nakamura an indies darling. Nakamura scores with numerous kicks and Knee Drops while Benjamin manages a Northern Lights Suplex before Nakamura scores the pin with a Kinsasha.