clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE SmackDown Live preview (April 17, 2018): Settled

WWE on YouTube

The Shakeup continues in Providence, Rhode Island!

The Headliners

Don’t get us wrong. The continuation of the Superstar Shakeup is a big deal, especially whan the general consensus seems to be Team Blue’s won the 2018 version even though we only know one of the names they’ve added. “Addition by subtraction” was a common refrain on Monday night, as SmackDown mid-carder after SmackDown mid-carder moved to Raw.

And maybe that’s the case, and maybe new General Manager Paige is set to add some more big names. That’s certainly the expectation - especially with the United States championship heading to the red brand last night, and quickly moving from Jinder Mahal to Jeff Hardy. Could the Charismatic Enigma be moving to Tuesdays to balance the belt count, or maybe the man who currently holds the Intercontinental title, Seth Rollins? Or will the question of whether or not SmackDown even has a secondary men’s title hinge on the outcome of matches at Greatest Royal Rumble and Backlash?

These are all important questions, but in the opinion of this writer, none of them really matter. Paige and commissioner Shane McMahon already won, and I don’t just mean because they officially unloaded the thorns which have been stuck in Shane’s side for months - Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

No, it’s because the GREATEST FEUD IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPORT is about to play out on the blue brand!

Daniel Bryan’s face-punching extravaganza is finally coming to The Miz’s face. And it’s gonna happen on SmackDown.

And we all win when that happens.

The Title Scene

Like the Shakeup itself, we’re just starting the second phase of the program between WWE champion AJ Styles and a newly-heel Shinsuke Nakamura. But after Nak followed up his ‘Mania low blow with a troll-ish interview and a party-crashing Styles/Bryan, it’s showing potential of being a hot feud, too. Not DB vs. Miz hot, but pretty darn hot.

She finally did it. The Women’s title is around Carmella waist after she successfully cashed in her Money in the Bank contract following IIconics statement-making assault on Charlotte Flair. Now The Fabulous One has to defend it against a pissed off Flair. And with Asuka likely sticking around, Naomi looking to follow up her WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal win and the possibility of a big name like Sasha Banks, Bayley or Alexa Bliss heading to Tuesdays - Carm doesn’t have much time to celebrate.

Several teams moved to Raw, but the big three who represented SmackDown at The Showcase of The Immortals remained. And after The Usos won a showdown with their long-time rivals The New Day last Tuesday, they’ve earned another shot at tag team champs Bludgeon Brothers at next Friday’s Greatest Royal Rumble.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- He’s got a date with The Dead Man in the desert... as of this writing anyway. It may be Chris Jericho again by the time this is posted. What drama does the future hold for Rusev?

- Uh... that covers it, we think. But expect the unexpected. It’s the Shakeup!

Three weeks until Backlash!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats