WWE SmackDown Report 4/3/18
– We’re live from Nashville, TN for the WrestleMania 34 go-home edition of WWE SmackDown. Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring and out comes SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan to a big pop. Bryan welcomes us as fans chant his name. Bryan introduces his friend and WrestleMania 34 tag team partner next, Shane McMahon.
Shane also greets the crowd and gives them props for being loud tonight. Shane gives props to Daniel for being a role model for the way he fought to get back into the ring, something he believed in. Shane congratulates Bryan on being medically cleared to do what he loves to do and what we love watching him do. A “yes!” chant starts up now. Shane says he couldn’t be more excited to be Bryan’s partner at WrestleMania. Shane talks about his own health issues from the past few weeks, blaming them on Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Fans boo their names. Shane says he has also been medically cleared and they will give it everything they’ve got on Sunday. That’s their promise for WrestleMania.
Bryan says there’s one thing he needs to address as a man and as the SmackDown General Manager. Bryan admits he’s made a lot of mistakes over the past few months, especially when it comes to Owens and Sami. Bryan says they have been friends for 15 years and he allowed that to cause problems. Shane warned him and Shane was right all along, Bryan says. Bryan apologizes. Shane thanks him and says there’s no need to apologize because Shane has done some self-reflecting of his own over the past few months. Shane admits he can be hot headed and a bit stubborn at times. Bryan says one thing he has learned is what there’s only one way to resolve things when partners have issues. Bryan opens his arms for a hug. Shane apologizes for the way he’s treated Bryan over the past few months and offers his hand for a shake. Fans boo. Bryan says he just shook Shane’s hand two minutes ago and Nashville does not want to see another shake. Fans chant “no!” when Bryan asks. Bryan asks if Nashville wants to see them hug it out and they do. Shane says he’s not much of a hugger but he appreciates it. Fans boo again. Fans chant “hug it out” now. Shane finally gives in and hugs Bryan. Shane says that actually kind of worked. Bryan agrees and says they are definitely on the same page now, which is bad news for Sami and Owens. Bryan says they will get payback for what they did to he and Shane, and everything in between. Shane thanks Bryan for reinstating Sami and Owens, calls them cancers and says we won’t be seeing them in a SmackDown arena after WrestleMania. Bryan asks if fans are ready to see he and Shane beat the holy hell out of Sami and Owens at WrestleMania. Fans pop and chant “yes!” as Bryan’s music hits. They celebrate and share another hug.
Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya
The music hits and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair for this non-title match. We cut to a WrestleMania 34 promo for Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon while the SmackDown feed airs in a box on the lower left corner. The feed goes back to full-size as Natalya makes her way out. Greg Hamilton does the introductions. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and they lock up. Back and forth to start. Natalya takes control and brings Flair to the mat to work on the leg. Flair with a roll-up for a quick pin attempt. Natalya takes back control and keeps Flair grounded. Flair looks to mount some offense but Natalya shoulders her and shows off some. Natalya talks trash and they lock up again, going to the mat. Flair with a 2 count.
Flair keeps Natalya down and slams her again for a pin attempt. Natalya sends Flair into the corner but Flair rolls her up for 2. Flair keeps Natalya down on the mat now. Flair with another 2 count. Flair takes Natalya into the turnbuckles and stomps away. The referee warns her and she backs off. Flair drops Natalya on the back of her head for another 2 count. Flair keeps Natalya down with the scissors now and uses that to toss her around. Flair keeps the scissors locked and keeps Natalya grounded.
Natalya ends up on the floor for a breather but Flair follows. Flair ducks a shot and goes to work with chops on the floor. Natalya sends Flair head-first into the ring post and she goes down. Natalya stands tall as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Natalya has control in the ring after dominating through the break. Flair turns it around with an abdominal stretch. Natalya sends her to the mat. Flair gets sent to the apron but she knocks Natalya back. Flair goes to the top rope but Natalya cuts her off and drops her for a 2 count. Natalya ends up getting Flair in the surfboard submission. Flair escapes from the hold and nails a big chop, and another. Flair with more chops and a neckbreaker.
Flair runs over Natalya with a big boot as some fans cheer. Flair wastes time before covering for a 2 count. Flair misses a move and Natalya jumps on her back with a sleeper hold. Flair gets out of that and slams Natalya to the mat. Flair goes to the top for the big moonsault but Natalya gets her knees up.
Carmella’s music hits and out she comes with a referee and her Money In the Bank briefcase. The original referee talks with Carmella’s referee. Flair gets up and knocks the briefcase out of the ring. The contract goes flying. Carmella looks to tangle with Flair but Flair drops her with a big boot. Natalya takes advantage but this leads to Flair applying the Figure Four, then the Figure Eight for the submission win.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
– After the match, Flair stands tall with the title as her music hits. The music interrupts as Asuka makes her way to the ring for a pop. Asuka enters the ring and dances right past Flair, going to the corner to pose. Flair watches as Asuka dances around. Asuka takes the mic and says at WrestleMania, The Queen will bow down to The Empress because no one is ready… Flair snatches the mic from Asuka’s hand. Flair says she is ready but the question is, is Asuka ready? They face off in the middle of the ring and look back up at the WrestleMania 34 sign. The staredown continues as Flair’s music hits.
– The announcers discuss the WWE Title match at WrestleMania 34. We get pre-recorded video from AJ Styles with comments on Shinsuke Nakamura playing mind games last week. AJ says his emotions are not his weakness, they are his strength but if yo want to talk about weaknesses, Nakamura has one – he takes AJ too lightly. AJ says he is the WWE Champion and they are far from the Tokyo Dome. This is WrestleMania and a dream match but this is no dream, it’s a reality and the reality is that he’s going to beat Nakamura.
– Still to come, Nakamura and Styles vs. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable. Also, a look at Shane and Bryan vs. Owens and Sami. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers lead us to a video package for Bryan and Shane vs. Owens and Sami.
– We go to the ring and out comes Bobby Roode. Back to commercial.
Rusev vs. Jinder Mahal
Back from the break and Bobby Roode has joined the announcers for commentary. Hamilton introduces Sunil Singh, who has a mic. Singh tries to sing better than Aiden English before introducing Jinder Mahal for the next match. English is out next to introduce Rusev and out he comes to a pop.
Back and forth to start the match. Rusev looks to go for The Accolade early on but Jinder dodges it and retreats to the floor for a breather. We go to commercial with Rusev looking on from the ring.
Jinder delivers a big knee after the commercial and drops Rusev. Jinder works Rusev around and tries for a pin but can’t get it. Jinder drops big knees on Rusev for a 2 count. Jinder takes Rusev to the corner and keeps the attack going. Jinder with a shot to the middle of the back now. Jinder keeps Rusev grounded in the middle of the ring as the “Rusev Day” chants start going. Jinder keeps control as the match airs in the lower left corner while a Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar promo for WrestleMania 34 is shown. We come back full-size as Jinder avoids The Accolade again.
Jinder sends Rusev to the floor but he comes right back in. Jinder drops Rusev for a 2 count. Rusev comes back with a big kick to the face, dropping Jinder. Rusev stomps on the mat and waits for Jinder to get up. Singh gets on the apron and Rusev kicks him off. Jinder takes advantage and rolls Rusev up for a 2 count. More back and forth. Rusev hits the Machka Kick for the pin.
– After the match, Rusev stands tall as his music hits. Rusev stands in the corner and looks up at the WrestleMania 34 sign. WWE United States Champion Randy Orton appears out of nowhere and drops Rusev with the RKO. English attacks Orton from the side. English waits for Orton to get to his feet, waiting on the second turnbuckle. Roode comes up to the apron and shoves English off the second rope, right into the RKO. Roode enters the ring and hands the title belt to Orton, hesitating some. Fans chant “Rusev Day” as Orton and Roode face off. Orton’s music hits as we get a replay. Roode and Orton have some words.
– We get a pre-recorded video from Shinsuke Nakamura, who tells AJ Styles that he’s not playing any games, he takes this very seriously. Nakamura goes on and says he does not take AJ lightly, he knows AJ very well and he knows AJ is very emotional. Nakamura says these emotions will cause AJ to make a mistake and when he does, Nakamura will become the WWE Champion with a… knee to face.
– Back from a break and we get a backstage promo from The New Day. They’re interrupted by SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos, who have some friendly but stern words about WrestleMania 34 on Sunday. They both leave and in comes The Bludgeon Brothers, who take out the camera with one of their mallets.
Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Mojo Rawley and Primo vs. Zack Ryder, Fandango, Tyler Breeze and Tye Dillinger
We go to the ring and out comes Baron Corbin. The other Superstars are waiting in the ring. Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder start things off. Ryder ends up hitting a missile dropkick for a 2 count. Mojo rams Ryder back into the corner. He nails some of his opponents. Other Superstars enter the ring as the referee tries to restore order. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and we see the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy at ringside. Mojo comes in to go at it with Dillinger. Tye sidesteps and Mojo goes down. Fandango comes in and knocks Corbin off the apron before going at it with Primo. Ziggler breaks a pin but Ryder clotheslines him to the floor.
Fandango dumps Corbin to the floor. Ryder with a Rough Ryder on Mojo before tossing him. Primo tosses Ryder over. Tye tosses Primo over. Ziggler sends Tye over. Breeze superkicks Ziggler over. Corbin grabs Breeze and launches him over the top, onto the other Superstars. Fandango with a 2 count on Corbin. Corbin catches Fandango with End of Days for the pin and the win.
Winners: Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Mojo Rawley and Primo
– After the match, Corbin stands tall as his music hits. Corbin goes to the floor and checks out the trophy.
– The announcers plug WrestleMania 34 on the WWE Network.
– Still to come, Styles and Nakamura team up in the main event. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a backstage promo from Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable for the main event.
– We go to the ring and Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens in the arena. They jump up on the announce table and talk trash about Sunday’s big match. We see Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan watching backstage.
Shane’s music hits as he and Bryan come out to the stage. Sami and Owens have retreated to the crowd now. Bryan tells everyone to look at them and record as it will be the last time they are on SmackDown. Shane gets the crowd to sing “goodbye” to Owens and Sami.
– Still to come, AJ and Nakamura team up in the main event. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers plug WrestleMania 34 Week and the WWE Network.
Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable vs. AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable. Shinsuke Nakamura is out first for his team. WWE Champion AJ Styles is out next.
Nakamura starts off with Gable back and forth. Nakamura ends up playing games as he tags AJ in by patting him on the head. This causes tension and they have some words in the ring. Gable and Benjamin attack them while they’re having words.
Back from the break and Styles nails a kick on Gable, looking to make a hot tag. Nakamura and Benjamin tag in at the same time and go at it. Nakamura also unloads on Gable, taking out both opponents with kicks. Nakamura with a running knee to the ribs in the corner. Gable tags in and they double team him in the corner. Gable goes up top and hits a moonsault on Nakamura for a close 2 count. Gable keeps Nakamura grounded now.
We cut to a promo for Asuka vs. Flair as the match continues in the lower left corner of the screen. The match goes back to full-size as Benjamin works Nakamura around, focusing on the arm. Nakamura and Benjamin trade strikes. Benjamin gets the upperhand for a 2 count. Benjamin keeps Nakamura grounded with holds now. Nakamura fights up and out but Benjamin keeps the strikes coming. Nakamura looks to make a comeback with kicks but Benjamin counters and drops Nakamura. Benjamin charges for a knee in the corner but Nakamura comes out of the corner and drops Benjamin with a kick.
AJ reaches for a tag as does Gable. AJ tags in and clotheslines Gable as he runs in. AJ unloads with strikes and another clothesline. Benjamin runs in but AJ nails a pele kick on him. Gable takes advantage and rolls AJ up for a 2 count. AJ comes right back with a neckbreaker. More tension between AJ and Nakamura. AJ jumps out to the apron, right beside Nakamura, and looks at him. AJ then springboards into the ring with the Phenomenal Forearm on Gable to send a message to Nakamura. AJ covers Gable for the pin.
Winners: AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura
– After the match, AJ stands tall as his music hits. AJ goes to ringside and retrieves the WWE Title belt, talking trash to Nakamura while he’s still in the ring. Benjamin comes from behind and lays Nakamura out. AJ watches from the ramp. Nakamura fights Benjamin off as AJ looks to be coming back into the ring. Nakamura turns around as AJ springboards in with a Phenomenal Forearm. AJ puts the brakes on just in time, exactly like Nakamura did last week. AJ taunts Nakamura and pats him on the head as Nakamura stares him down. AJ leaves with the WWE Title in the air as his music plays. We go to replays. Nakamura looks on from the ring as AJ stands tall on the ramp. The final show before WrestleMania 34 goes off the air.
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