This week on Smackdown Live, Randy Orton battles Jinder Mahal. Five of the six men involved in the six pack challenge match at Fastlane compete in a fatal five way.
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown Live
From: Green Bay, WI
Smackdown Live’s Women’s Champion Charlotte starts the show but is quickly cutoff by Ruby Riott and her friends. Riott dismisses the thought that Charlotte is the personification of the women’s revolution and mentions everything that Charlotte had accomplished in the WWE. Charlotte disagrees and says she’s had to work harder than anyone to reach her success. Riott tells Charlotte she’ll be just a bleached blonde failure with a famous last name. WWE United States Champion makes his entrance before Riott and her Riott Squad members could outnumber. Charlotte looks like superman just saved her life.
Opening Contest: Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal: WWE United States Champion Bobby Roode is on commentary for the match. Mahal gets the early advantage with a top wrist lock. Orton quickly counters with a hammerlock but Mahal elbows out of the hold easily. Orton back elbows Mahal knocking him down to the mat. Mahal continues to work over Orton in the corner with strikes. Orton attempts the RKO, but Jinder breaks free and bails to the floor as we go to commercial.
Mahal has kept control on Orton with a rest hold. Orton kicks Mahal but is met with a knee strike and Jinder gets a two count. Orton plants Mahal with a back suplex. Orton continues his offense with clotheslines and a snap powerslam. Orton grabs Mahal looking for an elevated DDT but Mahal shoves him away. Orton tosses Mahal with a fallaway slam. Orton continues to deliver uppercuts against the ropes. Orton connects with a backbreaker and Mahal rolls to the apron. Orton goes for an elevated DDT, but Mahal gets to the floor and Orton drops Singh onto the announcers table.
Mahal sends Orton into Roode at the commentary table. Orton plants Mahal with an elevated DDT over the middle rope. Orton gets the crowd behind him for the RKO. Roode tries to get in the ring as he’s pissed about Orton hitting him. Mahal knee lifts Orton into Roode on the apron allowing Mahal to hit a cobra clutch slam for the win. (*1/2. God, why? They’ll probably keep the singles match at Fastlane but this is likely setting up a triple threat for Mania similar to what’s going on with the IC Title. I truly hate this booking. Both shows are feeling nearly identical and it’s driving me insane.)
Backstage, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens talk about Fastlane and Zayn promises he’ll lay down for Owens. They praise each other. It’s nothing but love between these two.
Backstage, Baron Corbin has plans to get payback on John Cena.
Shinsuke Nakamura is interviewed and he hopes he can face AJ Styles at Mania so he can beat him. Rusev and Aiden English enter the scene. English can’t talk since he got kneed in the throat by Nakamura. Rusev ends up challenging Nakamura to a match at Fastlane and that’s accepted. It’s going to be Nakamura Day.
Apparently, last week online Becky Lynch asks fans if they wanted to see her beat Carmella this week. She said that the fans clearly don’t like Carmella and we got the match here. It was a corny segment, I must say.
Second Contest: Becky Lynch vs. Carmella: When the hell will Carmella cash in her MITB briefcase? It would be funny if she runs out of time and doesn’t realize it or something ridiculous like that. I don’t think she’s ready to be champion, that’s for sure. You might have guessed that I really don’t care about this match and you’d be right. Carmella gets a good amount of offense sending Lynch into the guard railing a few times and into the post face first. Lynch hits an exploder suplex and wins the match with the Disarmer.
Backstage, Natalya and Naomi argue and that means we’ll get Natalya & Carmella vs. Naomi & Becky Lynch at Fastlane.
WWE Champion AJ Styles comes out and talks about how it took him years elsewhere to get to the top on Smackdown Live. He notes that at Fastlane he doesn’t have to be pinned in order to lose the title. Styles knows that he lost last week, but he needs to win at Fastlane and he doesn’t want John Cena involved in his title match at WrestleMania. Styles wants his Mania moment and wants to defeat Nakamura at the event. Dolph Ziggler comes out and disagrees with AJ’s plan. He thought that Styles was cool at one point but he’s changed since then. Styles says that Ziggler hasn’t reached his full potential in 13-years and Ziggler says that Styles took ten years to get to the house that he built. Ziggler thinks that AJ is doing all of this for the wrong reasons, which is for the people. Ziggler remembers when he won the title and thinks the fans didn’t deserve that moment. Ziggler thinks it is criminal he’s never had a singles match at Mania. These two will do battle next.
Third Contest: WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match: Ziggler has control on the mat looking for a rollup but Styles is able to get free and they have a standoff. Ziggler works over Styles with a few strikes before getting a two count with an inside cradle. Ziggler dropkicks AJ to keep control of the match. Ziggler gets a two count following an elbow drop. Styles manages to fight back with a dropkick to send Dolph rolling to the outside. Styles takes Ziggler out with a slingshot forearm to the floor as we go to commercial.
Ziggler has managed to get control by knocking Styles off the apron with a knee lift. Ziggler continues to work over Styles in the corner with strikes. Ziggler backdrops Styles and gets a two count. Styles comes back with a series of strikes followed by a clothesline and a forearm strike. Styles goes to the corner and hits a splash. Ziggler holds onto the ropes and eye rakes Styles before hitting the Fame-Asser for a two count. Styles and Ziggler get up and trade right hands until Ziggler decks AJ to the apron. Styles rolls back into the ring but goes to the apron anyway. Ziggler hooks Styles for a suplex but AJ blocks it. They end up on the apro n where Ziggler catapults Styles face first into the post as we go to commercial.
Ziggler has Styles setup for the Styles Clash, but AJ breaks free. Ziggler is able to hit the Zig-Zag for a near fall. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn come out to attack Styles and Ziggler causing the match to be thrown out. Styles and Ziggler fight back to send Owens and Zayn out of the ring. (**. They never really got going, but it was okay for what we were getting action wise.)
Shane McMahon makes his way out to provide an announcement. McMahon wants to know what Zayn and Owens are doing. McMahon tells them to get back in the ring because we’re getting a fatal five way match. So, basically we’re getting the Fastlane main event aside from John Cena. Nobody cared when Baron Corbin came out, by the way.
Main Event: WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin in a non-title match: Zayn and Styles are brawling on the floor while Corbin sends Owens into the guard railing. Corbin does the same to Zayn. Corbin decks Styles with a right hand but Owens pummels Corbin for a moment before being decked by Corbin. Corbin tosses Styles across the ring but misses Ziggler against the ropes and falls to the floor. Zayn and Owens send Corbin into the ring steps shoulder first. Zayn clotheslines Ziggler and Owens hits a standing senton for a two count on Ziggler. Owens and Zayn have managed to keep control of the match by working together. Owens hits a senton splash on Styles for a two count. Corbin tosses Zayn away from the apron and delivers a big boot. Owens superkicks Corbin but Ziggler hits a Fame-Asser on Owens. Styles drops Zayn with the Pele and all five men are laid out as we go to commercial.
Tower of Doom out of the corner as we return from commercial. Corbin clotheslines Ziggler and Zayn in the corner until Ziggler hits a couple of splashes. Zayn sends Ziggler into Corbin and hits the Blue Thunder Bomb on Ziggler for a two count as Styles breaks up the cover. Zayn sends Styles over the top to the floor. Ziggler dumps Zayn to the floor but Owens tosses Ziggler with a German suplex. Owens avoids Corbin in the corner and Corbin hits the post. Owens hits a cannonball on Ziggler and the KO Bomb on Corbin for a two count. Owens dumps Styles to the floor. Ziggler plants Owens with a DDT. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag on Corbin but Zayn enters and runs into a superkick from Ziggler for a two count as Styles breaks up the pin attempt. Styles goes for a springboard but Corbin punches him in midair. Corbin clotheslines Zayn and blocks a superkick by Ziggler to hit a chokeslam backbreaker. Corbin hits the Deep Six on Owens for a two count as Styles breaks up the cover. Styles kicks Corbin and clotheslines Corbin over the top to the floor. Styles spin kicks Ziggler and hits a springboard reverse DDT on Zayn. Styles nails Corbin with a knee strike from the apron but gets knocked down by Owens and Zayn. Zayn proceeds to hit a running kick on Owens in the corner and pins Owens! (***. A fine main event, but it’s annoying to me that they did this right before the pay per view. I’m sure we’ll get a similar match with Cena involved, so that kind takes away my anticipation. Zayn seemingly turning on Owens adds some mystery, but I’m not taking it as a face turn or anything. This felt like a much needed victory for Zayn, too.)
Sami Zayn is interviewed to close the show. Dasha asks why Zayn. Zayn thinks he’s the best that WWE has. Zayn says since he’s been on Smackdown Live that he’s been the most overlooked performer. Tonight he proved that he is the best.
Well, this didn’t increase my interest in Fastlane at all. WWE programming is easily the most difficult thing to sit through each week. I’m just glad this week is over for their TV.
Thanks for reading.