Wrestlenewz brings you play-by-play coverage and viewing party for tonight’s Smackdown Live broadcast. Pre-show starts at 7:50 pm EST and the main show starts at 8 pm EST. Time for some more fallout from Sunday’s Fastlane as WrestleMania 34 fast approaches. Tweet and follow @wrestlenewz on Twitter.
Smackdown Live: 8 om EST
WWE Champion AJ Styles comes out to the ring and the crowd chants his name. He welcomes them all the the house that AJ Styles built. Styles says at Fastlane the odds were stacked against him. When John Cena put him through the announce table, even he started to believe the odds. But he found a way and now he’s going to WrestleMania as champ. Styles says the odds have never favored him. Even just him being in WWE was a long shot. Being a champion, even longer. Now, going to WrestleMania as champ: unbelievable. The crowd chants, “You deserve it!” Styles corrects them, “I’ve earned it.”
Styles starts talking about the ‘dream match’ against Shinsuke Nakamura at ‘Mania, and Nakamura’s music hits. Nakamura tells Styles he’s the champion and everyone like him. Everyone likes Nakamura too. Nakamura says he respects Styles and that WrestleMania is going to be a dream come true. And in that dream, “Knee to face.” Suddenly, Rusev’s music hits and he comes out to the ring with Aiden English.
Singles Match: AJ Styles vs. Rusev
Back from commercial and a match gets underway. The crowd chants, “AJ Styles! Rusev Day!” Rusev has some success but then Styles turns it around and clothesline Rusev out of the ring. Styles follows up with a slingshot cross-body out onto him. Back in the ring and Styles goes for an Irish whip but Rusev holds the ropes. Then he plants Styles with a spinebuster. Commercial break.
Back again and Rusev is setting up a superplex. Styles sneaks out the backdoor and knocks Rusev off the turnbuckle. They scramble but Rusev ends up kicks Styles in the head and pinning for a near-fall. Rusev gets angry and starts to stalk but Styles counters his attack with a pele kick. Styles sets up for a Styles Clash. Rusev avoids it but gets caught in a Calf Crusher. Aiden English comes it to break up the hold and the ref disqualifies the match.
Winner: AJ Styles (DQ)
Rusev and English beat on Styles after the match until Nakamura decides to come in and fight off his WrestleMania opponent’s assailants. After rescuing Styles, Nakamura heads to the back as his music plays.
Big E is interviewed backstage and he has some harsh words for the Bludgeon Brothers, who attacked the rest of New Day on Sunday. Jimmy Uso enters the scene holding his arm. He tells E that they got his brother Jey too. He asks Big E to come and handle business with the Bludgeon Brothers with him. E agrees.
Styles tells Nakamura backstage that he didn’t need his help. Nakamura said it looked like he did. And Nakamura says he’s help Styles every time until WrestleMania so he can beat him at 100%.
Tag Team Match: Jimmy Uso & Big E vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
Before the match can get officially underway, Jimmy and Big E slide out of the ring and charge the brothers in the aisle. Jimmy and E grab some steel chairs as equalizers against the brothers’ mallets. The two pairs stand off and talk trash at each other. Finally things boil over and they engage. The Bludgeon Brother drives Jimmy and E from the ring as it cuts to commercial.
Bell finally sounds and Big E comes out aggressively. However, Luke Harper fires back and lays E out with a shot. Harper and Erick Rowan cycle tags and cut the ring off. E gets a tag to Jimmy who comes in hot. The Bludgeon Brother regain control and hit a double-powerbomb to secure the pinfall.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
The brothers clobber Big E at ringside before walking up the aisle, retrieving their mallets, and heading to the back.
Sami Zayn says he should be champ right now if not for Shane McMahon on Sunday. But he doesn’t blame Shane, he blames Kevin Owens. If Shane wasn’t so obsessed with Owens, Zayn wouldn’t have been in the crossfire. Zayn was guilty by association.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair comes out to the ring. She says when you’re a champion you’re always a target. And she knew exactly what Asuka wanted when her music hit the other night. And Asuka is here tonight so she invites her to come to the ring and meet face-to-face, woman-to-woman. Asuka makes her entrance. Charlotte says there has always been the question about what would happen if the Queen faced the Empress of Tomorrow? Well they’re about to get an answer to that.
Charlotte says iron sharpens iron. And when Asuka’s music hit on Sunday, she got goosebumps because she is so excited about this opportunity. Charlotte has never faced anyone like Asuka but Asuka has never faced anyone like Charlotte. And at ‘Mania, Charlotte says she’ll end Asuka’s streak. Asuka says she chose Charlotte because she likes a challenge. Asuka says she doesn’t bow to anyone because no one is ready for Asuka. They stare each other down as Asuka’s music plays.
New United States Champion Randy Orton comes out. He points out how he has just joined the short-list of Grand Slam Champions. He says former champ Bobby Roode proved himself a great competitor on Sunday, but that title is Orton’s now. Roode’s music hits and he comes out to the ring for a match. Before the match, though, Roode says he’s going to invoke his rematch clause at WrestleMania.