Two weeks remain until WWE Fastlane, the final Smackdown Live PPV before WrestleMania. This week’s edition of Smackdown takes place at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, where Monday Night RAW was last night.
Last Week’s Smackdown:
Last Tuesday’s main event featured AJ Styles battling Baron Corbin in a match set up by Shane McMahon at the beginning of the show. It was a fine match – is there ever going to be a bad AJ Styles match? – but it was more of what we’ve come to expect from the blue brand in recent months: filler. Most of the episode was filler, really; it’s become tougher and tougher to watch this show as the weeks go by. We’re in a holding pattern until WrestleMania, it seems; it was even impossible for the blue brand to get Shinsuke Nakamura on this week’s edition.
More Quick Hits:
- Kevin Owens defeated Dolph Ziggler
- Bobby Roode, Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton cut promos before attacking each other, with Mahal standing tall to end the segment.
- Shane McMahon makes Bobby Roode/Randy Orton official for the United States Championship at Fastlane
- The New Day defeated Gable & Benjamin to become the #1 contenders to the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
- The Riott Squad defeated Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Naomi
State of the Belts:
We’re under two weeks away from Fastlane, and it’s main event is still a mess. Last week did little to add to the fatal five-way for the WWE Championship; however, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn did manage to add one interesting stipulation to the match. After Zayn assisted Owens in his bout against Dolph Ziggler, he claimed that he would lay down for Owens, implying that he would be willing to take the pin to make KO the champ. While Zayn was convincing, even Owens himself seemed unsure of whether to believe his best friend. Are we on the way to another showdown between the two? I also suppose I should mention AJ Styles, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler here, but they really haven’t done much worth mentioning lately.
It was announced on last weeks’ episode that Randy Orton would challenge Bobby Roode for the United States Championship at Fastlane. Expect Jinder Mahal to be added to the match sooner rather than later, however; if he’s not, he’ll interfere in the match at the PPV. It’s looking more and more likely that the U.S Championship will be the title defended in a multi-person ladder match this year, and the three men involved in this feud are only the first pieces that will be involved.
Last night’s edition of RAW seemingly made it official that Asuka will challenge Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship; now, where does that leave the Queen? Charlotte Flair is without a WrestleMania opponent at the moment, so look for some development on that end. I’ve said since the start that I’d love to see a Becky Lynch/Charlotte program in the near future; could it be big enough for ‘Mania?
Usos. New Day. Haven’t we done this all before? I was shocked last week when the New Day defeated Gable & Benjamin to become the #1 contenders; not because I don’t enjoy their matches, but I’d thought things had been settled at Hell in a Cell between the two squads. Especially with the Bludgeon Brothers looming, it was an odd direction for WWE to go, and I’m anxious to see how they explain their lack of inclusion tonight.
Here and There:
— WWE (@WWE) February 27, 2018
John Cena returns to Smackdown Live tonight in his quest to get to WrestleMania. While there hasn’t ever been doubt that the Leader of the Cenation would be at the Show of Shows, I’ve loved his storyline in the build to his rumoured match with the Undertaker. There’s word going around that Cena may be challenging Shinsuke Nakamura for his #1 contenders status – do we begin to see the build to that tonight? Come on, guys – he’s just trying to get to WrestleMania.
We hear WWE talk often about what’s best for business, and yet they keep their top merchandise pusher off of TV for the last two weeks. Rusev Day is the best thing WWE has going for it right now, bar none. Both Rusev and Aiden English are consistently the most entertaining part of WWE programming; week after week, I find myself wishing passers-by in the street a Happy Rusev Day. I haven’t worn a shirt other than Rusev merchandise on a Tuesday in weeks. Somehow, this has indicated to Vince McMahon that Rusev Day doesn’t belong on TV. Whatever it takes to change that opinion, Vinny, I’m happy to do it.
Three Things to Watch For:
- Naomi will battle Ruby Riott in singles action tonight; hopefully Road Dogg starts to feel better soon, as this booking is totally out of character for him.
- Sami Zayn will take on Baron Corbin tonight as well, with absolutely nothing on the line.
- Where’s Tye Dillinger?
WWE: Last Five
- Monday Night Hayden: Predictions for the 26/02/18 RAW
- Elimination Chamber Preview and Predictions
- Fry and the Guy: Episode Three
- Smackdown Live Preview: February 20th
- Over the Top Rope: Episode Two