Happy Rusev Day, everyone! Good news: we’re less than two weeks from WrestleMania!
It was a terrific episode of Smackdown last week, and the blue brand hopes to continue the momentum in Pittsburgh for tonight’s episode.
Last Week’s Smackdown:
Is there anyone in the wrestling world who doesn’t know what happened last Tuesday?
March 20th, 2018 will go down as one of the greatest days in modern wrestling history. After nearly three years away, Daniel Bryan announced he was medically cleared to compete in-ring once again. There’s really not enough that can be said about his return; until Tuesday, Bryan seemed destined to be one of the all-time great losses to wrestling injuries; now, he has a chance to wrestle again, and automatically becomes the top babyface on Smackdown. We’re only three months into 2018, but we may already have hit wrestling’s pinnacle this year.
A Quick Recap:
- Daniel Bryan un-retired. What a terrific thing to get to type.
- Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev via roll-up. Aiden English and Rusev
- Nakamura and Styles spoke in a backstage promo in which Nakamura declared again that he’d defeat Styles with a knee to the face.
- Baron Corbin def. Tye Dillinger with an End of Days
- Charlotte Flair def. Natalya
- Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were fired by general manager Daniel Bryan. They subsequently beat down the newly-cleared superstar. Bryan fought back - which was the greatest thing ever - but the numbers game was simply too much.
State of the Belts:
Last week, rumours flew that WWE Champion AJ Styles was battling an injury, with his WrestleMania status up in the air. It appears, however, that Styles is good to go for the Show of Shows, wrestling in house events this weekend. However, it doesn’t appear as though he’s scheduled for tonight’s Smackdown, with WWE.com not even mentioning their champion in their official preview. However, one-half of the ‘Mania title match are in action tonight, with Shinsuke Nakamura battling Shelton Benjamin in what I can assume will be the main event. I’m hoping for a fantastic match, but given the two talents in the ring, that shouldn’t be asking too much.
We’re really, really lucky to have the Smackdown tag team division, everyone. Ever since the start of the feud between the Usos and the New Day, Tuesday night’s tag action has been fantastic; frankly, the Usos entire title reign has been a treat. With the New Day back in the picture and the Bludgeon Brothers looking to enter the title picture prior to WrestleMania, it’s made for some fantastic segments. Tonight, Harper and Rowan will take on Big E and the recently-returned-from-injury Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods - and if it’s anything like their match last week against Rikishi’s sons, it should be a slaughter.
Charlotte. Asuka. I’m so excited, everyone. It’s a bit overshadowed by the other big matches coming out of Smackdown Live, but this truly is a dream match for a lot of the WWE Universe - this writer included. Both are spectacular athletes, and it’s genuinely the first time I feel Asuka’s streak could be in jeopardy. Charlotte, however, has to be questioning herself after losing to Natalya last week; even with a rematch scheduled for tonight, will last week’s loss still be in Flair’s head?
Randy Orton is still United States Champion. Jinder Mahal is now confirmed to be involved in the feud. Orton and Bobby Roode will wrestle Mahal and Sunil Singh in tag-team action tonight. I won’t write anything more than that on the subject.
My Biggest Question:
While it may have been secondary to DB’s return to the ring, both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were “fired” from WWE last week. It’s another huge development in a storyline that’s gained a ton of steam over the past three weeks; while I had my complaints over the last few months - and who didn’t? - Smackdown has managed to draw me back into it’s main event scene in a big way. After their firing, Zayn and Owens went nuts, attacking the recently-cleared Smackdown Live GM and relegating him to a stretcher. WWE.com is questioning whether Bryan will appear after last week’s ruthless attack, and with Zayn, Owens and commissioner Shane McMahon reportedly in the hospital, how will the blue brand further their main storyline?
Three Things to Watch For:
- Rusev Day! Give me Rusev Day! Am I aware that both Rusev and Aiden English are likely relegated to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but this writer is still holding out for a huge, career-defining WrestleMania win. Yeah, I’m used to disappointment.
- Will Carmella attempt to cash in her Money in the Bank contract again tonight? After last week’s snafu, she still holds her guaranteed title shot; the only question is, when will she strike?
- On a more serious note, all the best to Shane McMahon, who’s been hospitalized with diverticulitis after a vacation with his family.
That’s it, that’s all wrestling fans! It’s week two of the Daniel Bryan return - you watching? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @WCSportsCA, or let us know what you think in the comments section below!
WWE Last 5:
- Monday Night Hayden: Predictions for the 26/03/18 RAW
- BREAKING: Daniel Bryan cleared for In-Ring Return
- Spoiler-Free NXT Preview and Prediction: March 21
- Smackdown Live Preview: March 20th
- Over the Top Rope: Episode IV