Last week’s Tuesday night instalment of WWE Smackdown left us excited and astounded. It’s time for another night of Smackdown action. If it’s anything like last week’s show we’re in for a real barn burner.

All kidding aside, tonight’s show is liable to be full of outstanding action as we will finally have a better idea who will be facing Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. We also get to see John and Nikki Cena face off against James Ellsworth and Carmella.

At least Smackdown Live has one thing going for it: Goldberg isn’t their champion.

Opening Segment

Shane McMahon came out in jeans and a suit jacket, he didn’t do his Shane-O-Mac shuffle much as Daniel Bryan was close behind him. Daniel was probably out there just to make sure Shane didn’t jump off anything before WrestleMania.

Tom Phillips was at the announce table and it’s a good thing he was sitting down and the table was covering his… you know what. We’re bigger than that. Not gonna go there.

Shane and Daniel debated on who should face Bray Wyatt at Mania and surprisingly, Shane wanted AJ Styles whereas Daniel Bryan wanted Randy Orton. These two guys came out to catch people up on the recent events in the #1 contender picture for the WWE Championship. Bryan probably wishes he would have thought of leaving the Wyatts in the same fashion in 2014, but he likely would have set his beard on fire so the way he did it in the steel cage was probably a better choice.

They asked fans who they wanted and AJ and Randy both got pretty much equal responses if you plugged your ears when hearing the response AJ Styles got.

Backstage Segment

AJ Styles met Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon backstage as they were walking side-by-side like best friends. He said there is a conspiracy going on and he isn’t afraid of The Viper or fires.

Nikki Bella and John Cena vs. Carmella and James Ellsworth

JBL called this an “inter-species” match and that was absolutely delightful. John Cena and Nikki Bella are gearing up for their WrestleMania match against Miz and Maryse, and Carmella is gearing up for James Ellsworth to lose her phone number.

Ellsworth is in the ring saying that we’re about to witness a match we’ll never see again, let’s hope so. He said since he’s beaten AJ Styles so many times than John Cena has then he’s much better. He said he puts the “mack” in Smackdown, that was cute.

Carmella skipped to the ring, reminding us of AJ Lee a little bit. Let’s hope James Ellsworth gets mad at WWE and quits then joins UFC to get his head knocked in, that’d be fun.

John Cena came out with his usual pop, and Nikki Bella is still Nikki Bella. As soon as the bell rang, the Miz’s music hit as the A-List couple walked to the ring. As Nikki was distracted, Carmella kicked Nikki Bella’s teeth in which sent her to the mat. Neat.

Mauro Ranallo said John Cena and Nikki Bella go together like chocolate and strawberries and James Ellsworth and Carmella go together like alcohol and social media. That’s one masterful comparison. Wonder if that means Ranallo would block Carmellsworth on Twitter.

Miz and Maryse sat at commentary and Miz wisely put himself in between his wife and Tom Phillips. Nikki took some punishment until Super Cena got the tag and James acted like he didn’t want to get in there while the ref was like, “you gotta!”

Ellsworth finally got in the ring but wanted to leave, Carmella pushed him back toward Cena and told him to go for it. She didn’t look very happy with him. She looked even less happy with Cena after he sat James down. Nikki hit Carmella with her elbow and they both pulled off stereo 5 Knuckle Shuffles (that sounds way hotter than it really was). Then they hit Carmellsworth with duel AA’s and slapped on simultaneous STF’s to get the win.

Miz and Maryse pulled John and Nikki out of the ring and sent them into stairs and ring posts. Miz grabbed the microphone and talked some crap about John Cena and Nikki’s relationship while proclaiming how much in love he was with his French wife. It was both sweet and salty at the same time like a chocolate covered pretzel dipped in vinegar. Very good segment after that awful match was over.

Backstage Segment

Renee Young caught up with WWE’s favorite arsonist and Randy Orton said he burned Bray Wyatt’s compound to the ground, he asked, if he could do that then what does AJ Styles have waiting to him? Orton said nobody is going to keep him from headlining WrestleMania. Gee, thanks for spoiling it, Viper.

Curt Hawkins Calls Out Dean Ambrose

Hawkins is in the ring with his cane, calling out Dean Ambrose which is always a good decision. Dean didn’t let “Chad Hawkins” (as Mauro said) got clotheslined on the entrance ramp and apparently, that was enough to keep him down.

Dean grabbed the mic and said Baron Corbin didn’t have any testicles, Baron appeared on the big screen and said he didn’t understand why Ambrose was in such a rush to get a beating. Dean said, “it was worth a try if you’re not going to come to me, I guess I’ll just come to you.”

As Dean walked up the ramp, Hawkins grabbed Ambrose and received a Dirty Deeds for his troubles. JBL said “who cares” when they finally got his name right. Which is sadly correct. Curt Hawkins really does deserve more, but it’s still so much fun to see him get destroyed every week. But, if they keep that kind of booking up people won’t care about who’s beating him up sooner or later. Then they’ll just call Gillberg. So yeah, that’s a total win.

Backstage Segments

They showed Dean Ambrose walking backstage on the search for the Lone Wolf. One tactic that works for hunters trying to catch wolves is baiting them. So Dean should leave a stack of heavy metal compact discs somewhere and just wait.

Mojo Rawley says he has a big announcement. He brings up the fact Zack Ryder won the IC Title ladder match last year and we all got very sad because of how long Ryder’s reign lasted. He announced he was the first official entrant in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

Dolph Ziggler came up and told him he had to earn a Mania moment, and Mojo asked why Dolph didn’t have one. Nice.

Dean was back on his hunt when Baron Corbin ran from behind and smashed The Lunatic Fringe with a pipe and yelled, “You found me.” Dean said, “good talk.”

Baron continued his assault for a moment then got behind the wheel of a forklift where he crushed Dean underneath it. That was nifty and very impressive that Baron Corbin can drive a forklift with such efficiency.

Alexa Bliss’ “Blissertation”

This segment was so full of greatness that we made it into its own article. But, how lucky are you because all you have to do is click here to read it!

Alexa Bliss and Mickie James vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch

Alexa is still rocked by her WrestleMania announcement where she didn’t get to chose her Mania opponent, instead, she had the Bearded GOAT choose everyone for her. Therefore she took some abuse early on from Nattie.

Mickie James got the tag and turned things around against Becky for a bit until she had enough of an upper hand so Bliss got the tag back in. Bliss used Lynch’s hair and pulled her down to the canvas, but The Lass Kicker took advantage and got a close two-count after a series of offensive moves.

Alexa started to leave saying “I don’t need this, I’m the champ!” but Becky apparently thought she needed to get jumped on so she did just that. Once Becky got back in the ring, Mickie tripped her up and Alexa took advantage. Nattie is starting to look annoyed she hasn’t had any ring time yet.

Mickie James had Becky right where she wanted and Bliss got the tag to continue the punishment on the Lass Kicker. The two heels tagged in and out showing some good teamwork keeping Becky pinned back away from Natalya who was waiting for a tag.

Becky started throwing forearms and almost pinned Bliss with a backslide. Becky hit Bliss with an enziguri kick but still didn’t get the tag because Mickie James ran in to stop her. Natalya didn’t get a tag and started to look frustrated.

Becky created some distance between herself and her opponent but decided to hit James with a flying firearm instead. The Queen of Harts had finally had enough and ran in to German suplex Becky Lynch leaving her laid on on the mat.

Bliss pinned Lynch for the easy win. After the match, Mickie James hit Alexa Bliss with a Mick Kick to boot (no pun intended). As John Cena’s ex-girlfriend walked up the ramp they played her music. Mickie suddenly looks way more formidable in this match.

AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton (#1 Contender’s Match)

AJ Styles grabbed the mic and said Smackdown Live is the house that he built, can’t argue with that. If he’s going to try to go heel by speaking the truth they need to go in a different direction. He brings up the fact that Randy Orton burned down a man’s house and gets rewarded for it. He said he was built for the main event at WrestleMania and Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan, or Randy Orton aren’t going to keep him from making the Grandest Stage of Them All phenomenal.

The Apex Predator slowly walked to the ring in time with his awesome music that gets stuck in this writer’s head for weeks on end. I have voices in my head, they council me, they understand, they talk to me. And apparently, Randy’s voices say “fire good, AJ Styles bad.”

Randy started things off by trying to hit an RKO outta nowhere, but Styles powered out quickly. Styles gained control by grabbing the Viper by the head in a very tight headlock, Orton reversed it with a suplex but AJ still didn’t let go. Randy finally separated himself from the Phenomenal One, then they squared up for a test of strength. AJ didn’t buy into it fully and started hitting Randy with fists.

AJ tried to Irish whip Orton into the turnbuckle, but the Viper reversed it and sent him into the buckle so hard it sent him bouncing onto the mat. Orton hit AJ with a couple punches and AJ returned offense by kicking Randy’s leg out from under him. That’s a very smart move because if Randy can’t jump, he can’t hit that RKO.

Randy grabbed AJ and hit him with an overhead throw that sent AJ outside. Randy followed him outside and used the barricade to punish Styles. The two men got back in the ring and Styles hit him with a chop block to soften up those knees even more. Once again, AJ shows phenomenal ring intelligence. Both of these men are displaying cold and calculated techniques to prove they deserve their title shot at WrestleMania.

AJ kept Randy grounded with a leg lock to keep up that pressure but Orton slithered out of it and found himself standing and ready for AJ, however, Styles hit Orton with a dropkick to the knee before Orton could do anything. Styles applied a clever sleeper hold to further drain the Viper’s stamina bar.

Randy hit a powerslam on AJ that rocked him and followed it with a full-nelson slam that rocked him even harder. However, AJ kicked out after the one-count.

Randy started kicking AJ’s right leg as he sold his own leg injuries. He placed Styles on the top turnbuckle and followed up for a superplex attempt. AJ slipped under Orton and pulled his legs out from under him sending Orton’s face into the top turnbuckle.

Styles looked primed and ready to deliver a Styles Clash, he kicked Orton in the midsection and tried to get Randy up, but he couldn’t quite pull it off. Styles ended up on the apron, and Orton looked to hit him with that suspended DDT. Then Styles showed how smart he is by just stepping down instead of taking the face bump. Randy was soon in the calf crusher and Orton was straining to get to the ropes, which he did while taking some extreme damage in the process.

Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Orton hit him with his own forearm and a draping DDT which he pulled off this time. Just as it looked like Styles was going to get an RKO, he hit Orton with an amazing Pele Kick.

Styles positioned himself for a Phenomenal Forearm and Randy jumped early on the RKO while AJ hesitated. He went for a springboard 450 splash while Orton laid on his back but Orton sprung up and hit an RKO anyway to win the and secure his match at Mania against the Eater of Worlds for the WWE Championship.

Amazing match. These two gave us everything we wanted and more. As Randy Orton scaled the turnbuckle he pointed at the WrestleMania sign and did his iconic pose to end the night.