There are a lot of moving parts in SmackDown Live right now. Not only are the Usos facing the everpresent danger of the Bludgeon Brothers, but AJ Styles has four other people fighting for his title at Fastlane.

The New Day is set to face Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable in a match that could be outstanding if given the time. Bobby Roode’s reign as US Champion is also getting off to a good start.

The Riott Squad is also set to face Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Naomi in a six-woman tag match which only intensified the current climate in SmackDown’s Women’s Division.

Let’s see what happens as the Blue Team does their thing in Pheonix.

Opening Segment

Renee Young was in the ring and AJ Styles was introduced for an interview segment. He didn’t seem worried about the fatal five-way match at Fastlane as the arena filled with chants of his name.

Then the crowd started chanting, “too sweet, whoop, whoop” which was pretty cool too.

Styles said he controls his own destiny and he can beat any man that steps in the ring because he’s backed it up his whole life. But anything can happen in a fatal five-way and then he said it would feel good to put Kevin Owens through the announce table but at the same time, Ziggler could be pinning Zayn in a fatal five-way.

He kept painting scenarios of how he could lose the fatal five-way match and each time Ziggler is winning the WWE Championship for some reason. He listed everyone in the match and when he got to Corbin’s name, The Lone Wolf interrupted.

Baron Corbin was drawing a considerable amount of heat. Baron brought up how he beat Styles twice before and there’s a major difference between them because Styles is an athlete and he’s a fighter and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Insert Kevin Owens here…

Owens came out and said he was shutting them up. Then he said he’s going to use his popup powerbomb to win the WWE Championship. He said Baron didn’t look like a Lone Wolf last week, he looked like a scared little cub.

He said Corbin doesn’t deserve to be near the WWE Championship but Shane McMahon has a vendetta against him. AJ asked Kevin if he got a boil lanced off his back referring to Sami Zayn. Owens said he didn’t need Sami because he let him down because he had all night last week and still lost to Ziggler last week.

Kevin kept talking about Shane’s conspiracy toward him and then McMahon came out to join the party. Shane-O said they don’t want to talk in Pheonix Arizona because Corbin will be singles competition against Styles in the main event. He also put Owens in a match against Dolph Ziggler and that match starts right now.

Dolph Ziggler vs Kevin Owens

Ziggler jumped Owens at the bell and Kevin had to leave the ring but Dolph followed to take a beating on the outside.

Dolph fought back and gained the upper hand but then Owens launched him into the edge of the ring apron and that looked pretty painful. Owens missed a running senton and then Dolph reversed a suplex into one of his own.

They kept referring to Ziggler’s US Championship vacation to a “seven-week layoff” still totally ignoring why he vacated his title in the first place which is very frustrating.

Kevin Owens hit a cannonball in the corner for a two count and Ziggler rolled out of the ring. Once Dolph returned he soon found himself in a brutal headlock from Owens to tire him out even more.

Then Ziggler reversed into a headlock of his own until Owens sent his own body through the ropes toppling to the floor to break the hold and injure Ziggler in the process.

Ziggler hit a surprise DDT once they returned to the ring but The Show Off was too exhausted to make the pin. Ziggler sent Owens’ shoulder into the post and hit a Zig Zag for a two count. Owens blocked a superkick and turned it into a gutbuster and then hit an elbow drop for a two count.

Owens went to the top rope but Dolph stopped him. Owens tossed him down and Ziggler hit the canvas. Owens went for a senton but Dolph got the knees up, hit a Fameasser and scored a near fall. The crowd was very into the match at this point with some “this is awesome” chants.”

Ziggler avoided a popup powerbomb and hit a Zig Zag for another near fall. Dolph hit a splash in the corner but then Sami Zayn ran down. Owens nailed a superkick off the distraction and scored the pinfall.

Winner: Kevin Owens via pinfall

Jinder Mahal’s Big Reveal About Bobby Roode

Mahal was out and said he discovered something that shook him to his core and we deserve to know. He said Roode has a secret and we deserve transparency.

Then he revealed Roode’s personal 10 top Superstars list with Roode as #1 which is against the rules because people aren’t allowed to vote for themselves. He also left Randy Orton off the list.

After Jinder called him a liar, Bobby came out and denied that was his list. Then he got in the ring and said Jinder knows he can’t win a fair fight while a “you can’t win” chant started in the crowd.

Mahal kept going back to how Roode is better than Randy Orton and he thinks he’s the next Legend Killer and Roode said he never said that. It was very weird. Mahal brought up Orton again and Roode yelled, “forget about Randy Orton! This is about you and me.”

Roode took off his jacket and just as they were about to forget about Randy, he came out to join them.

Randy turned on Mahal and sent him out of the ring then he sent the Singh Brother outside too. Randy tried to hit an RKO on Bobby but he reversed into a Glorious DDT. Just as the music played, Mahal jumped back in the ring and hit the Khallas. The Modern Day Maharaja posed down to end the segment.

Backstage Segment

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon were going back and forth about matches and how they should book to US Title match at Fastlane. Daniel Bryan wanted to give Jinder Mahal a US Title match but Shane booked Randy Orton vs Bobby Roode instead. “Whatever you want, boss” Daniel Bryan said before exiting.

Charlotte Flair, Naomi, and Becky Lynch vs The Riott Squad

The babyfaces rallied for a bit and Naomi landed a splash on the Riott Squad but Liv Morgan sent her into the steel ring steps to take her out.

Once they got in the ring, Sarah Logan locked in an anaconda vice-looking move and Corey Graves actually mentioned CM Punk’s famous submission hold.

Charlotte got the tag but the Riott Squad’s offense got the best of her. Becky got the pin and locked in a Dis Arm Her but it was broken up by Liv Morgan.

Becky soon cleared the ring but Ruby Riott caught her with the Riott Kick out of nowhere and got the win.

Winners: The Riott Squad via pinfall

Kevin Owens was backstage and said he was just looking for Zayn as he walked up. Zayn said he wanted to thank Kevin and said he owed him. He said since joining him he is where he belongs.

Sami said the last thing Owens needs is another enemy, he needs his guardian angel which is him I guess. He said he wants to pay him back for all he’s done for him. Zayn said after they take everyone out at Fastlane, he will lay down for him in the center of the ring and then they hugged after Zayn said all Kev needs to do is go onto Mania as champion.

The New Day vs Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable

They’re doing new graphics during Big E’s intro which is just amazing and I’m so glad they’re doing that now so I know when he’s going to say “feel the power.” I’m obviously just kidding the new graphics WWE is using are awful.

Xavier Woods fought Gable until Benjamin got the tag and started taking it to Woods. Xavier took a knee to the face for a two count but Gable was soon tagged back in and the two hit a nice double backbreaker move.

Xavier got free and climbed to the top turnbuckle but Shelton joined him. Benjamin was knocked down and Woods hit a missile suplex and tagged in Big E. Gable got the tag too and hit Big E with a big belly to belly suplex and climbed up top himself but he missed the moonsault and landed on his feet but Big E sent him down with a one-armed slam.

Gable avoided a Big Ending and tagged in Gable. They hit a double team finishing move but Kofi was distracting the referee and Big E kicked out by the time the referee got to them. Xavier got the blind tag and took Benjamin out with a shining wizard for the three count.

Winners: The New Day via pinfall

As The New Day was celebrating the Bludgeon Brothers came out to look very creepy and massive. The three former WWE Tag Team Champions just stood there with their trombone and plate of pancakes while Harper and Rowan walked past them and got in the ring.

The Bludgeon Brothers vs Two Unfortunate Souls

This match was brutal and 2B didn’t take their time destroying their opponents.

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers via murder

Ruby Riott cut a backstage cell phone video promo challenging Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Title at Fastlane.

AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin

AJ and Baron Corbin had a nice little back and forth match with Styles doing a lot of selling to make The Lone Wolf look especially strong.

Styles created some separation and laid a sliding knee into the side of Baron Corbin’s skull on the outside. But Corbin launched AJ over the announce table only to no sell it, jump back in the ring, hit a Phenomenal Forearm, and make a pin for a near fall.

AJ kicked out of a Deep 6 and Baron went back to the drawing board. Styles reversed out of an End Of Days but ended up in the Calf Crusher. Baron broke up the submission by driving AJ’s head into the canvas. It wasn’t pretty but it was effective.

But Styles turned it around and hit another Phenomonal Forearm for the win.

Winner: AJ Styles via pinfall

After the match was over Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn jumped in the ring to attack AJ Styles. But Baron Corbin laid them out with an End Of Days to get his heat back to end the show looking defeated, yet strong.



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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble