While Monday Night RAW concluded their build to Elimination Chamber last night, Smackdown Live plods along toward Fastlane, scheduled for Sunday, March 11th. Tonight is headlined by a – gasp! – six-woman tag team match pitting the Riott Squad against the team of Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Naomi. Tonight’s edition takes place in Phoenix, Arizona; let’s skip the small talk, I’m @SpennyLove, and welcome to Win Column’s official Smackdown Live preview!
Last Week’s Smackdown:
Two weeks ago, Smackdown Live debuted their initial Top 10 list of Superstars that were – and I quote – “deemed deserving of opportunity by their Smackdown Live peers”. Of course, like most things that WWE does, they basically threw it out the window last week by giving Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin title shots last week. Neither were anywhere near the Top 10 list; hell, Ziggler wasn’t even an active participant on the Smackdown roster. It’s baffling decision making from Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan, as per usual; at the very least, why not give someone like Tye Dillinger the shot? I guess reasonable decision making is too much to expect from the Smackdown Live writers these days.
More Quick Hits:
- Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin both earned their way into the main event of Fastlane by defeating Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, respectively.
- Bobby Roode‘s United States Open Challenge was answered by Randy Orton, but a match never started after the two were interrupted by Jinder Mahal.
- Charlotte Flair defeated Sarah Logan.
- The New Day defeated Gable & Benjamin
- Notable absences from AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev Day.
State of the Belts:
AJ Styles is mad, you guys. I mean, wouldn’t you be, too? I know if my bosses kept interfering in my matches, and kept making it progressively more difficult to do my job I’d be upset too. However, he’ll still have to defend his WWE Championship in a fatal-five way match at Fastlane, after both Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin were added to the match. I’d expect to get his reaction to the situation tonight.
Bobby Roode was poised to defend his United States Championship against Randy Orton last week, prior to a Jinder Mahal interruption. WWE’s official preview doesn’t give much insight as to what will occur tonight, but it looks as though the U.S. Championship is headed toward “multi-man ladder match” territory, just in time for WrestleMania season.
The women will be making history once again, as they hold the first-ever six woman tag-team match in Smackdown Live history. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Naomi will battle the Riott Squad in a unique, first-time matchup. I’m kidding, obviously – the women’s division has been in shambles since the announcement of the women’s Royal Rumble match. This marks the second time in less than two months that we’ve had this exact match occur; hopefully, something will happen to move the division along.
For the last three weeks, the Bludgeon Brothers and Usos have indirectly feuded, interrupting each other’s exits from the rings and staring each other down. However, Harper and Rowan took their clearest shot yet at the tag-team champs last week, smashing a TV while the twins were cutting a promo. I couldn’t be more excited for a Bludgeon’s/Usos feud; the Usos’ have been the tag division’s MVP’s for the last two years, and the former Wyatt’s may be my favourite tag team. I’m stoked.
Here and There:
Rusev Day unfortunately didn’t make an appearance on last week’s edition of Smackdown Live, in what can only be described as a tragedy. Regardless of WWE’s current plans for them, they have to find a way to showcase what’s easily their most popular gimmick right now. Rusev continues to delight, both on Smackdown and as Lana’s tag-team partner in the Mixed Match Challenge; if you don’t believe me, check it out now.
Speaking of absences, where’s Mojo Rawley? He hasn’t been seen since answering Bobby Roode‘s open challenge on the Royal Rumble kick-off show, and has slowly dropped off TV since breaking up the Hype Bros a few months ago. It’s been a fall from grace for the former football player, after winning the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at last years WrestleMania. Are they perhaps holding out for a certain NFL tight-end – and Rawley buddy – Rob Gronkowski to bring the former Brother of Hype back to TV?
Three Things to Watch For:
- There may be trouble brewing between Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, with WWE’s preview asking what’s next for the duo. Could their loss last week to the New Day start to sow the seeds for a break up?
- It was Tye Dillinger‘s birthday yesterday, but that seems to be all to celebrate lately after making sporadic appearances (at best) through the last few months. All I want is for the Perfect 10 to be on our screens more; will he make an appearance tonight?
- Don’t forget to send in your questions to us for next week’s edition of Over the Top Rope, hosted by Spencer Love. You may just make it onto our next podcast!
WWE Last 5
- Monday Night Hayden: Predictions for the 19/02/18 RAW
- Over the Top Rope: Episode Two
- Spoiler-Free NXT Preview: February 14th
- Fry and the Guy: Episode Two
- When a Promotion isn’t a Promotion: NXT’s Greatest Disappointments