Smackdown Live starts with -insert random interviewer- in the ring to introduce Charlotte Flair. The SD women’s champ makes it out to the ring and earlier referenced interviewer brings out Ruby Riott. Ruby cuts a promo on how she formed the Riott Squad to take out Charlotte. Charlotte retorts, says she has to work hard because she’s a Flair. This entire promo segment was good but a slow way to start off the show. Just as it looked like Charlotte was going to catch a beat down from the Riott Squad, here comes Bobby….WAIT, WHAT IS BOBBY ROODE COMING OUT FOR??? Charlotte has the biggest grin, leading me to believe that somehow we’ve reverted back to a time when men and women could whoop each other to drive storylines along. But alas, this was not to be, Bobby was coming out to commentate for the next match!
Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal
This was a pretty decent back and forth match between the two. Randy had some good steam running towards the end but ends up getting distracted by Bobby Roode and eating a Khallas from Jinder.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
This was a typical shady lose before a PPV that seems to be typical to build suspense before a big match. Good match though and worth the watch.
Backstage is Sami and Kevin. They talk a out their friendship and how important Kevin Owens has been to Sami. More build to a possible heel turn.
Baron Corbin does a phone promo thing about John Cena.
Random interviewer (I know she’s Dasha, I miss Renee Young) backstage with Shinsuke Nakamura. She interviews Shinsuke about his possible match with AJ styles at WrestleMania. He goes on to say that he’ll beat him with a knee to…and in comes Rusev and Aiden English. Aiden can’t speak because of the knee from last week and, naturally, Rusev is upset because there is no Rusev day song. He challenges Shinsuke to a match because why not, and Shinsuke accepts and says when he wins it’ll be Nakamura day. He sings the last part and I definitely popped. Favorite part of this Smackdown so far.
Becky Lynch vs Carmella
Fairly quick match with Carmella having a good majority of the offense. Becky Lynch had a few good spots and ended up making Carmella tap with a Disarmher.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Backstage we see Naomi and Natalya. Natalya says Becky was lucky, which leads to a little exchange between Natalya and Naomi. Naomi challenges Natalya and Carmella to a match with her and Becky Lynch at Fastlane (Tag Team match playa!) Natalya agrees, saying she could use a warm up before she goes on to Wrestlemania
After a break we get AJ Styles in the ring. He cuts a promo on his match at Fastlane and wanting to face Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania (yes, that's what we want too Uncle Alan). Dolph Ziggler comes out, joins in on the promo before their match. Nothing to substantial here in the way of promos.
Dolph Ziggler vs. AJ Styles
I personally loved this match. AJ and Dolph put on a hell of a show in the ring, both hitting many great spots, kicking out at the last minute, and really showing off how damn good they both are without really having a solid story behind them. *I know they are both in the same storyline, but with the writing like it is on Smackdown these days, its hard to get invested in this storyline without just thinking ahead.* Anyways, the match ends in a no contest with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens attacking Dolph and AJ.
Winner: No Contest
Shane McMahon comes out, having enough of the tomfoolery and makes the two sneaky attackers head back to the ring. He then says he bets you think he's going to make a tag match (MORE TAG MATCHES PLAYA!) but nay, he wants to bring the best to Smackdown. He says lets make this a Fatal Five way! Out come Baron Corbin.
AJ Styles vs Dolph Ziggler vs Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens vs Baron Corbin:
This match was chaos. Bodies flying everywhere. Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin had the best showing in my opinion. None of that matters. The biggest take away from this match is that SAMI ZAYN TURNED ON KEVIN OWENS! All caps because its that important. He hit a hell of a Helluva kick (see what I did there?) and pinned his best friend, Kevin Owens, 1...2..3..
Winner: Sami Zayn
Sami is interviewed after the match. He says he is the best in the WWE right now. Heel Sami says more Heel Sami things and Smackdown goes off the air.
Authors notes: I honestly had low expectations for this Smackdown but I was pleasantly surprised that we had a solid episode that seemed to progress a lot of the storylines here. My only real criticism was Bobby Roode interrupting the end of the Ruby Riott/Charlotte segment. Fastlane is sunday and they cut that short.
That's all we have for today folks. Coming sometime this week, Ill have a Fastlane prediction article, more snarky things on my twitter machine @buuurch1, annnnnd... well that's it for now. As always, take care!