WWE Smackdown airs live this evening starting at 8pm Eastern. We will have live coverage of the show as it happens, including all of the fallout from WrestleMania, and hopefully a crowd that is just as passionate as they were at last night’s Raw.
Randy Orton defeated Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania on Sunday, winning the WWE Championship. What’s next for The Viper? Will Bray Wyatt get any measure of revenge?
Plus, AJ Styles defeated Shane McMahon in a hellacious match at WrestleMania. What’s next for AJ Styles? Is he setting sights on the WWE Championship, or are there other plans for the Phenomenal One?
Swing on by at 8pm Eastern for live coverage of the show, and join us on Twitter @RingRap as well!
The show opens with a highlight package of WrestleMania. We see Dean Ambrose retain the IC Title, Mojo Rawley win the Andre the Giant Memorial (with a little help from Gronk), Naomi win the Smackdown Women’s Title, AJ Styles defeat Shane McMahon, and John Cena propose to Nikki Bella after defeating The Miz and Maryse. We see extended highlights of Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton, cheap mind games and all, with Randy Orton picking up the win to earn the WWE World Championship.
And then we go to the arena, with fireworks and music. Tom Phillips welcomes us to Orlando, FL, and JBL and David Otunga plug the show, including Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss for the title, and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in a street fight. Plus, The Miz and Maryse calling out Cena and Bella.
The announcers qualify the audience as being “unique” as it’s still the same crowd from the weekend.
Randy Orton comes out to open the show. He holds the title and soaks up the cheers. He asks if we remember when he said “If you can’t beat them, join them, and then screw them.” He says that if he faces them at Wrestlemania, you better be able to beat their ass. He tells Wyatt he is his master, and he should never forget his name.
Wyatt appears on the screen and says Orton is the master of nothing. Wyatt says he will reclaim what is his. He has a rematch coming, but first, he has something special for him. He wants to fight, but in a different kind of match – one that will push his body and his mind. He wants to drive Orton to a new level of insanity, not just mentally but physically. He’ll change how he views the entire world. He wants to hear Orton scream, cry, and watch his soul devour itself. At the end of the night, one of them will be sentenced to eternal damnation. He wants to fight him in a “House of Horror’s” match.
Do. Not. Want.
Randy says he doesn’t know what a House of Horror’s match is, but he accepts the challenge. He invites him to the ring right then and there so he can whip his ass once more. The lights go out, and when they come back on, Wyatt is standing behind him. He says “I’m here” and attacks him from behind. Orton fires back and hits a powerslam. Out of nowhere, Orton is attacked by Erick Rowan, who is wearing a sheep mask/gas mask combo. He throws Orton back into the ring and the two attack – until Luke Harper’s music hits. Harper helps Orton take out Rowan and Wyatt, who bail to the back.
I’m not crazy about hocus pocus gimmick matches. Whatever the “House of Horrors” is going to be, I already hate it. I’m old, get off of my lawn.
Backstage, Renee Young interviews The Miz and Maryse. She asks them about Cena proposing to Nikki Bella on Sunday. Miz says only Cena turns a proposal into a WrestleMania moment. Maryse feels they should be thanking him, because they backed Cena into a corner and he had no choice. Miz says thanks to the Superstar Shakeup, they may not get another chance, so they’re going to call out John Cena and Nikki Bella. Miz guarantees this will be the last time we see Bella and Cena on Smackdown Live for a very long time.
Color me interested. Miz and Maryse have my full attention. Randy Orton does not. It’s same old Randy, but now he’s facing someone with a bag of tricks. Bleh.
We come back from commercial, and we’ve got ourselves a tag match later – Orton and Harper taking on The Wyatt Family!
We go ringside to Naomi’s entrance. She needs a new title – this one does not glow.
Naomi (c) vs. Alexa Bliss for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
The Action: Full championship intros here from Greg Hamilton. The ladies lock up, and Bliss gets aggressive immediately. Naomi hits a running bulldog, sending Bliss head-first into the turnbuckle. She follows Bliss outside the ring with a leaping kick as we go to break.
We return, and Bliss is working Naomi’s leg. Naomi breaks the hold on the bottom rope. Bliss wraps the leg around the bottom rope and continues the assault. Naomi starts to fire up with a series of elbows. She hits a back body drop, then sets Bliss up on her shoulders and drops her into a roundhouse, a la Go 2 Sleep. The pin is worth two.
Bliss fires off a DDT for two. Naomi misses an enzuigiri. Bliss slaps her and taunts her. Out of nowhere, Naomi hits the rear view, covers for two. She hits a rebound roundhouse of sorts, and goes for a split legged moonsault, but Bliss stops her. She yanks the legs and goes for a pin, but Naomi reverses it into a submission for the win.
The Winner: Naomi to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
Naomi’s reign is officially beginning with this victory. She’s off to a good start, but can she maintain it? Time will tell.
Curt Hawkins awaits in the ring. He says he keeps hearing about a Superstar Shakeup, and it makes him sick, because he should be hearing about himself. He’s issuing an open challenge to anyone in the lockeroom, and he’s giving until the count of 10….
And then, Tye Dillinger’s music hits.
Tye Dillinger vs. Curt Hawkins
The Action: Dillinger cartwheels out of a hold and taunts Hawkins with a “ten.” Hawkins hits a back body drop and taunts. Dillinger fires back with chops and a flying forearm, and a short-armed clothesline. He lays in 10 punches from the top turnbuckle, and the fans chant “Ten!” for each one. He drops the kneepad, and hits the Tye Breaker for the win.
The Winner: Tye Dillinger
I am so freaking happy for Tye Dillinger right now. He’s a guy that’s been in and out of WWE’s developmental territory for over 10 years. He’s finally got an opportunity on the main roster, and the fans were naturally thrilled to see him. Can he sustain this energy beyond the WrestleMania crowd? I hope so. He’s very talented, but he’s got a gimmick with a short shelf life.
After the break, we see still photos of WrestleMania.
Dasha Fuentes interviews Mojo Rawley, who is standing alongside an Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy. She asks him about celebrating with Gronk. He says it was a dream come true – he’s seen Gronk and the Patriots win Superbowls, now Gronk has seen him win at Wrestlemania. She asks how they celebrated – he says they went ballistic, but they kept thinking about what would’ve happened if Andre was there. He says yeah, they went out and celebrated, and then he got real, saying how could you not? He had his Wrestlemania moment, and it was the best moment of his life. He worked his whole life to have that moment, but he’s just getting started – he says it’s just the beginning. The bar has been raised and it’s time to throw some weight on it. He asks her if she can feel it? She says “Not really.” He tells her that’s ok – he can feel it, and so can Andre.
A good promo from Mojo that really got special when he got real. But then he slipped back into character again, and it went off the rails a bit. I’ve got hopes for him though. Mojo is a guy that when he’s not 125% in character, he is extremely likeable. I want to see more of that.
The announcers talk about Vince McMahon’s announcement of the Superstar Shakeup. Shane McMahon will address the fans tonight to shed some light on it.
Back after break, John Cena’s music hits. Except it’s The Miz and Maryse, dressed up as Cena and Bella. They’ve got the mannerisms down and hit the ring, posing for the fans. Miz says “I’m John Cena. Recognize.” He says Rule #1 is you may not say Cena Sucks at any time in this arena.
So naturally, the fans chant it.
“John Cena would like to get romantic for a second.” He holds her head and says he loves her. Maryse says she loves she manipulated him to get what she wants, and he looks like a more relatable human being. He says their love is not real. Maryse says they only love themselves. Miz says “Effective immediately, Cena and Nikki Bella are leaving WWE.” He says they’re going to Hollywood, and they will be gone a very long time. Miz chants “No more Cena!” The fans chime in.
And then someone walks out onto the stage with a violin. He starts playing, as Miz and Maryse stand on the apron confused. The playing intensifies. The lights go out, and it’s freaking Shinsuke Nakamura! The fans sing right along with the music, as Nakamura bows to the violinist, who bows right back.
Nakamura makes his way to the ring, and does everything Nakamura does best. And I’ve got chills. Chills. The music comes to an end and the fans chant his name. He stands in the middle of the ring, soaks up the chants, and his music hits once more. No promo, no exchange with The Miz, nothing.
Absolutely awesome seeing Nakamura make his Smackdown debut, and the entrance was everything I had hoped for, maybe more. But, it was odd to have him interrupt The Miz and then have absolutely nothing else happen. No promo, no match, no physical contact, nothing. It was a bit disappointing on that level, actually.
Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose (c) in a Street Fight
The Action: This doesn’t appear to be a title match. Corbin picks Ambrose up and shoves him into the corner immediately. The two trade blows. Corbin grabs a chair from under the ring, but Dean kicks it into him and then dives through the ropes, sending Corbin over the announcer’s table. He sends Corbin over the barricade and leaps off of it into the crowd.
Back from break, there’s tables and chairs everywhere. Corbin tackles Ambrose through a table set up in the corner. The fans chant “Holy shit!” Corbin heads under the ring and grabs a leather strap. He lays into Ambrose with the strap. Corbin sets a chair up in the turnbuckles. Ambrose sidesteps a tackle, and Corbin hits the chair head-first.
Corbin breaks free of Dirty Deeds, and they trade blows. Ambrose gets the better of the exchange, hitting a clothesline and grabbing the strap, unleashing on Corbin. Ambrose dives out of the ring onto Corbin. He sets Corbin up on a table at ringside. Ambrose climbs up top and connects with a diving elbow. Back in the ring, Ambrose heads up top. Corbin throws a chair at him, and then hits End of Days out of nowhere for the win.
The Winner: Baron Corbin
This was a much better match than what they had at WrestleMania. Granted, it was a different kind of match, but I felt like they gave it more than they did two nights ago.
After the break, Shane McMahon heads down to the ring. The fans cheer him on. He thanks everyone, says it’s been a wild ride this weekend, and says his father announced a Superstar Shakeup – it means excitement for the fans, new challenges for he and Daniel Bryan. He says the Raw superstars should be praying to end up on Smackdown Live, because they have all created the land of opportunity.
AJ Styles’ music hits, and he heads out to the ring in jeans and a t-shirt. Styles takes a mic as the fans chant for him. Styles is porting a bit of a shiner under his left eye. He says he doesn’t know what’s going on with this Superstar Shakeup, but he knows he doesn’t want to go anywhere. “You know it, these people know it, Smackdown Live is the House that AJ Styles Built.” He says he’ll be damned if someone else tries to come over and take that from him. But that’s not why he’s there.
Styles says after Wrestlemania, he feels he owes Shane something. Styles extends a hand to Shane, and Shane accepts it. He then teases attacking him, causing Shane to flinch, before posing in taunt and leaving the ring.
We still don’t know anything about the “Superstar Shakeup,” but AJ’s promo indicates it’s not a full-blown draft, just a small trade of sorts. I like hearing a star say they’re proud of being on a brand because they helped build it, and in AJ’s case that couldn’t be more true. I would be incredibly disappointed to see him leave the blue brand.
As a side note, I love that Styles can show honor and be a dick at the same time.
Austin Aries cuts a hype promo for 205 Live.
Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan head to the ring, followed by Luke Harper, and Randy Orton.
Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan vs. Luke Harper & Randy Orton
The Action: Rowan starts things out with Orton. Orton goes for an early RKO, but Rowan reverses it and hits a spin kick that takes Orton down. Orton rolls out of the ring and we go to break.
Bray Wyatt is on the offense after the break. Orton counters his charge and makes a hot tag to Harper, who is on fire. He leaps over the turnbuckle and hits a senton from the apron. Harper goes leaping through the ropes sending Rowan over the announcer’s desk. Wyatt takes him out with a clothesline.
Wyatt and Rowan double-team Harper. Rowan whips Harper into the corner, and squeezes his head with his fists. Rowan hits a side slam. Tag to Wyatt.
This is a slow match, compared with everything else tonight. Harper finally manages to make the tag to Orton, who powerslams Rowan. Wyatt attacks him from behind. Orton counts and hits a draping DDT. Orton fires up, but before he can hit an RKO, the lights go out. When they come back on, Wyatt is no longer in the ring. Rowan attacks, eats a superkick from Harper, and an RKO from Orton. Lame.
The Winners: Randy Orton & Luke Harper
When the lights go out, I expect something to happen – a debut, return, disappearance, appearance, something. Not Bray suddenly up on the ramp, recovering, and Rowan in the ring taking the abuse. Not good.
This was a newsworthy show, with Tye Dillinger and Nakamura making their Smackdown debuts. That aside, not much else happening here. The Naomi/Bliss match was good. The street fight was good. But this show felt like a huge exhale, not a reason to be pumped.
205 Live is up next, and perhaps that will be an exciting show. Join me for live coverage!