WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Mar. 27, 2018) from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming WrestleMania pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza scheduled for early next month in New Orleans.
Advertised for tonight: An update on Daniel Bryan, Charlotte vs. Natalya, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Shelton Benjamin, and more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR MAR. 27
From our lives’ beginning on, we are pushed in little forms-- no one asks us how we like to be. In school they teach you what to think, but everyone says different things; but they’re all convinced that they’re the ones to see. Me, I’m just here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with a recap of last week focused on Daniel Bryan’s announcement that he is once again cleared to compete in WWE and the beatdown Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens gave him after he fired them.
Ahead of his scheduled tag team match, Jinder Mahal cuts a promo castigating Roode and Orton for beating up Sunil Singh so bad that he can’t compete tonight. They were gonna face the wrath of a noble tiger, but he has a new tag partner, and he’s a lion... it’s Rusev!
Bobby Roode & Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal & Rusev
Mahal and Roode to start, waistlock from the Maharaja, standing switch, back elbow and Jinder backs him into the corner for punches and to put boots to him until he gets warned off by referee Jason Ayers. Bobby back out of the corner, punches and chops, Mahal with a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block, drop down, hip toss, Manhattan Drop but the neckbreaker is avoided.
Clear the apron, blockbuster off the second, Sunil Singh to the apron, Orton pulls him down and away from Roode’s wrath and throws him into the barricade to send us to break.
Back from commercial and Orton is in control on Rusev. Tag to Roode, to the corner, chops, Randy tags himself back in and the babyface team isn’t quite on the same page. Big dropkick from the Viper, tag back, Bobby draws Rusev up and hits a dropkick of his own! Keeping the Bulgarian Lion in their corner, another quick tag into boots and Orton takes Rusev to a neutral corner to stomp away on him.
Rusev with a roundhouse kick for some breathing room, he makes a cover... not enough! Mahal tags in, stomp to Randy, knee drops using the ropes for leverage and into a choke. Clubbing blows, an overhead elbow to the head, fist drop, tag to Rusev. Stomp to the ribs, straight suplex gets one, Jinder tags back in and clubs Orton off the turnbuckles before grabbing a reverse chinlock.
The Viper reverses to a back suplex and he makes a tag! Roode in hot with a lariat, whip reversed, flying forearm, corner lariat into a swinging neckbreaker, he clears Rusev from the apron, diving lariat and Bobby is fired up! Kick to the gut, Glorious DDT reversed, duck the lariat, spinning spinebuster, cover made but Rusev breaks it up! Nearfall off a kick from the Modern-day Maharaja and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Mahal has a half nelson chinlock in on Roode, but Bobby posts to one knee and then to his feet, levering his arm out of the hold and throwing punches and chops to back Jinder off. Off the ropes, he runs into a jumping knee strike but it’s not able to end the match in Mahal’s favor. Armbar into a tag, Rusev in with a stomp, overhead butterfly suplex follows and he hammers Bobby’s kidneys after.
Choke over the ropes, tag back to Jinder, driving knees into Roode’s back before going back to the half nelson chinlock. Bobby out of it, throwing desperate punches for breathing room, whip reversed, blind tag from Orton, Roode with a lariat, he’s building up steam but referee Jason Ayers informs him of the tag. Bit of an argument, Bobby leaves, Rusev in, he eats a few lariats and the snap scoop powerslam!
Rope-hung DDT connects, the Viper goes to that special place but Jinder comes in to attack. Roode runs him off but Mahal shoves him into Randy and Orton takes offense... RKO on Roode! Rusev takes advantage...
Jinder Mahal & Rusev win by pinfall with the Machka Kick from Rusev on Randy Orton.
Commentary hypes up New Day vs. Bludgeon Brothers for later and we go to break.
Back from commercial, commentary reminds us that Daniel Bryan will address last week’s attack.
Jinder Mahal is walking backstage with Sunil Singh when he rolls up on Rusev and thanks him for being his partner. He invites him to his victory celebration after WrestleMania and, in fact, says he’s gonna get him front row tickets. Rusev has a better idea, though-- he pinned the United States Champion, so he’s gonna go find Daniel Bryan and turn the triple threat for the United States Championship into a fatal four-way.
Aiden English sings that it’ll be RusevMania as they head off to do that. Jinder is furious and orders Singh to take his neck brace off.
AJ Styles is hanging out in the locker room when Shinsuke Nakamura rolls up to ask him if he’s okay. He says he’s worried about him, last week he tried to help but he didn’t need it. AJ says he’s never had confidence issues, and Shinsuke says he wants both of them at their best at WrestleMania, so he wants him in his corner tonight against Shelton Benjamin.
Styles says that means Chad Gable won’t be far behind, so he’ll be there, but not for Nakamura, rather because he doesn’t want anything to get in the way of their dream match.
We get entrances for Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott, but the match itself will have to wait until after the break.
Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott
Circling, collar and elbow, Riott with a side headlock, shot off, shoulder block, calling Lynch over for more. Becky ducks a lairat, side headlock to a hammerlock, Ruby out with a back elbow and a mat slam follows. Cover, bridge to standing, drop down, roll over, pass, duck a lariat, off the ropes, dropkick connects but Riott heads to the floor to hang with her pals.
Lynch around to her on the floor, jawing at the Squad, forearm strike, back inside, sidestep the shoulder but Ruby puts her down with an STO on the apron! Ramming Becky back-first into the apron and throwing her into the barricade. Back inside for the cover, no dice so Riott puts knees to Lynch’s back and locks a kneeling surfboard on. Shift to a cover, still can’t do it, choke over the middle rope until referee Mike Chioda warns her off.
Sarah Logan with a cheap shot, Ruby putting boots to her, hard whip, nearfall and both women are down and out. Slowly rising to their feet, trading forearms on the way, Lynch pulls ahead with repeated forearms but Riott takes her down with a backslide for two. Becky back in it with a strike combo, to the ropes, over them to the apron, right hand knocks Ruby to the mat, she climbs up top but Logan runs interference and gives Riott time to breath.
Headscissors driver into the turnbuckles, folding press but Chioda catches her feet on the ropes and stops his count. Riott Kick countered, looking for Dis-Arm-Her, knock her into Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, cover comes up empty, second try...
Becky Lynch wins by pinfall with an Oklahoma Roll.
The Squad attack, Morgan gets back body dropped to the floor and Lynch dumps Logan as well!
Daniel Bryan is shown walking backstage to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Daniel Bryan makes his entrance.
He soaks in the crowd reaction from the stage and talks about how last week was one of the greatest moments of his career, finally getting cleared and being told he can do what he’s loved to do for over sixteen years. He cuts a chant off and says he has a job to do as general manager and they’ve said it a thousand times, SmackDown is the land of opportunity.
So he wants to give Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn one more opportunity... but just one. His proposal is that Sami and Kevin face Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania! Due to complications from the attack, Shane has been hospitalized, but Bryan has good reason to think he’ll be ready, so here are the stipulations-- if he and Shane win, Owens and Zayn remain fired.
If he and Shane lose, they will be reinstated. Like he said, opportunities, and he’s had a lot of people ask him why he’s given those two so many opportunities. He’s given them opportunities because he thinks they’re two of the greatest performers of this generation and because he’s known them for fifteen years, struggling together and being poor together and because when he needed a place to stay, they gave him a bed.
He’s also given them opportunities because that’s his job as GM, to give their amazing talent opportunities. But he has a lot of jobs as GM, a lot of things he’s supposed to do, sit in board meetings, fill out paperwork, wear blazers or cardigans or whatever he’s got on now, but you know what? He’s sick of meetings, and he’s sick of paperwork, and he’s sure as hell sick of blazers!
He takes his off and says he fought for three years to be able to wrestle again and Sami and Kevin tried to take that away from him. He doesn’t care how many times you kick him in the face, how many times you powerbomb him on the apron, Daniel Bryan is back and Daniel Bryan will fight at WrestleMania! Now, there’s a lot of things he’s tried to avoid saying.
As an underdog, he thought he shouldn’t say ‘em, kids watching in the crowd, as a role model, he feels like he shouldn’t say ‘em, as GM representing the brand... But this is not Daniel Bryan the underdog nor the general manager, this is the Daniel Bryan who fights for his dreams and won’t accept no for an answer and will knock every wall put in front of him and this is the Daniel Bryan who’s gonna kick Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens’ ass at WrestleMania!
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin get a handcam promo talking about how they’re the best athletes on SmackDown but they don’t have a match at WrestleMania. Shelton says he knows the deal, if it’s not happening for you, make it happen, and that’s why he’s turning it up against Shinsuke Nakamura tonight.
Commentary informs us New Day vs. Bludgeon Brothers is next and we go to break on a hype reel for tonight’s Mixed Match Challenge.
Back from commercial, commentary informs us that Daniel Bryan has granted Rusev’s request and added him to the United States Championship match at WrestleMania.
Big E does the deal and New Day make their entrance in fine form, slinging pancakes and positivity.
E begins, saying a few weeks ago your boys were sitting pretty on the Road to WrestleMania, but they discovered that road was littered with trash. Kofi Kingston suggests that one might even say the road was bludgeoned with trash. Large, smelly, disgusting, sweaty, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pieces of trash. And to be clear, the trash he’s talking about are (owl gimmick) the Bludgeon Brothers.
Xavier Woods says your boys have decided to adopt this highway and remove the Bludgeon Brothers from their path, regardless of them trying to break his back on the steel stairs, because they made a mistake leaving them with the ability to walk. So tonight they’re running through the Bludgeon Brothers to take the next step on the way to reclaiming their tag titles.
Bludgeon Brothers make their entrance, but the match will wait until after the break.
Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) vs. New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods)
Rowan in control with an abdominal stretch on Woods, he follows with a backbreaker and an elbow drop, a knee drop, a tag to Harper. Off the ropes, sliding forearm to the back of the neck and Luke claws at Xavier’s face. Shove into the corner, big chop, whip across and Woods comes back with a superkick! Rolling elbow connects, but Rowan puts Kofi into E on the floor and Harper capitalizes with an elbow to the back of the neck and his sweet falling big boot.
Rolling Big inside, Luke stomps him and Erick gets the hammers... when the Usos attack him!
Bludgeon Brothers win by disqualification, presumably, although no finish is announced.
The Usos beat the Bludgeon Brothers down with an assist from the New Day but end up arguing and all five men have to make a break for it when they come back in with the hammers and nearly smash faces in.
This is followed by a recap of Daniel Bryan’s challenge and a Tweet from Sami Zayn accepting. Commentary then gives us an update on Shane McMahon, saying he was discharged today.
Commentary then hypes up WrestleMania, running through the announced card before sending us to break.
Back from commercial, we get a hype video for WrestleMania.
This is followed by a video package for Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka.
At ringside, Fandango is grinding on the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in Memory of Andre the Giant trophy ahead of Tyler Breeze having a match.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze
Circling, Fandango pops up to hump air on the apron but Tyler asks him to get down. He gets right back up and Ziggler takes advantage with a blindside elbow into stomps! Big dropkick, standing facewash, he squares Breeze up for another dropkick but Tyler counters with a catapult into the ringpost! Dolph to the floor, Breeze out after him, they chase each other around the ring, back in, superkick blocked but the enzugiiri connects... nope!
Tyler’s distracted by Fandango running around the ring repeatedly, Dolph with a schoolboy, only two, Breeze with one of his own, same deal, Ziggler puts him into the turnbuckle...
Dolph Ziggler wins by pinfall with the Zig Zag.
Dolph superkicks Fandango for good measure before sizing up the trophy.
Commentary informs us that Nakamura/Benjamin will take place after the break before hyping up the replacement partner vote for Bobby Roode’s match on Mixed Match Challenge tonight and sending us to break.
Back from commercial we’re informed that Daniel Bryan has made a triple threat for the tag titles at WrestleMania, New Day vs. Usos vs. Bludgeon Brothers!
Shelton Benjamin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Test of strength, Benjamin rushes Nakamura to the mat but gets kicked off and has to duck a kick to stalemate. Whip reversed, knee to the midsection and a kick to the back from Shinsuke, follows it up with a knee drop and takes Shelton to the corner for kicks and Good Vibrations to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Benjamin is in control with a bodyscissors reverse chinlock sleeper locked on in the middle of the ring. Nakamura fights to his feet and out, gets caught with a knee but floats out of a slam and hits the jumping kick to leave both men wiped out. King of Strong Style to his feet and asking for more, he gives it right out with a knee, a forearm, an axe kick, whip to the corner, set up the big knee lift and it lands true!
Fired up, Chad Gable gets on the apron and AJ Styles yanks him down! Shelton sidesteps the knee, puts him in the corner, bridging northern lights suplex... NOPE! Slashing his throat, Benjamin goes for Paydirt... COUNTERED INTO A CROSS ARMBAR! Shift to a triangle choke, trying to get it locked in but Shelton turns it into a cover before reversing into a half crab!
Nakamura rotates, turns it back into the triangle, Benjamin falters and fades but doesn’t go out, deadlift counter, Shinsuke gets out, catches the kick, eats the other, boots up in the corner, springboard knee strike! Calling for it...
Shinsuke Nakamura wins by pinfall with Kinshasa.
Post-match, Nakamura gets on the mic and invites AJ into the ring. He thanks Styles for being in his corner, but he never needed his help. He only wanted him to see how he’s going to beat him at WrestleMania. AJ is incredulous and accuses him of mind games, before saying at WrestleMania he’s not playing any games. It’s not just a dream match for us, it’s a dream match for him.
For us, we know they’ll tear the house down, put on a clinic, because that’s who they are. But AJ’s dream is a little different-- outside of him, Shinsuke is the best, but when he beats him at WrestleMania, he’ll prove that he is Phenomenal and that SmackDown is the House That AJ Styles Built.
Nakamura responds by gurning and making noises before saying he’s going to beat him at WrestleMania because he’s too emotional. Shinsuke leaves and Gable and Benjamin attack Styles! Nakamura hits the inverted exploder suplex on Chad and chains strikes together on Shelton, leaving AJ still down and out... KINSHASA!
Or not, because Shinsuke does the whole lead-up and stops short before reminding Styles that he’s gonna take a knee to the face and patting him on his head.
That’s the show, folks.