Well, Fastlane happened on Sunday and we’re finally seeing developments throughout the SmackDown card. Aside from the already presumed WrestleMania main event of Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles, we’re now set to have a few more interesting potential match-ups from the blue brand on the so called “grandest stage of them all”. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

Opening the show was the WWE Champion, AJ Styles. The face that runs the place recalled how his journey to this point in time seemed unbelievable, beating 5 other superstars on Sunday, but stated it was not impossible. He went on to promote his (and our) dream match with Nakamura before being interrupted by the red leather clad King of Strong Style. Shinny, in his own unique way, said his dream will also come true at WrestleMania – he will become champion. Rusev cut the promo short ahead of his opening match of the night with Styles.


As we saw in his match with Nakamura at Fastlane, Rusev is very capable of delivering hard hitting blows, which both he and AJ traded throughout the match. Eventually, it was the Phenomenal One who won this non-title match via disqualification when Aiden English got in the ring and attacked him. He took his time, but Nakamura made the save by helping Styles from a 2-on-1 beatdown.

In a later backstage segment, Styles would go on to say he didn’t need Nakamura’s help but the Japenese star responded by saying he will always help AJ before WrestleMania. Yet, Corey Graves posed the earlier question that maybe Shinsuke would like to face a weakened Styles for the title.

The Inbetweeners:

– With their respective tag partners facing injury from the Bludgeon Brothers’ beatdown (what a mouthful) on Sunday, Big E and Jimmy Uso teamed up to take on the aforementioned Harper and Rowan. ‘Big Jim-E’ as I’ve just dubbed them, fought bravely but the sheer power of the Smash Bros proved too much as Rowan pinned Jimmy Uso following a double-team powerbomb. Expect to see the mallet-wielding madmen added to at least a triple threat match for the tag team titles.

— Asuka and Charlotte Flair had a face-to-face meeting, with Flair saying she will end Asuka’s undefeated streak and retain her SmackDown Women’s championship. Asuka retorted by simply saying, “Charlotte is the Queen, but I am the Empress”. Touché.


— Despite his best efforts to make it look like he actually gives a damn, Randy Orton ironically said he finally has something he cares about – the United States Championship. Roode entered and congratulated Orton, and claimed his rematch, to take place at WrestleMania. The Maharrrrraja then entered to taunt Orton and Roode, saying he will beat Roode just like he beat Orton last week.

– In the match, Mahal did exactly what he promised, albeit due to a distraction. This enabled him to hit Roode with a Khallas for the win. So, two straight defeats for Roode but at least Orton got to land another RKO outta nowhere after the match. Eugh.

– The match of the night saw Carmella defeat Naomi with a rollup after pulling her off the ropes. *intense sarcasm*

Kevin and Sami Take Matters Into Their Own Hands:

Throughout the show, it was heavily advertised that Shane McMahon would be making a “huge” WrestleMania announcement at the end of the night. Before that, he addressed his recent behaviour and declared he will be taking a leave of absence as commissioner for a while, and general manager, Daniel Bryan will be taking charge as of next week.

What was this “huge” announcement then? Well, Shane O’Mac would be setting up one more match for WrestleMania before leaving. After their recent actions, he announced that Sami Zayn will be taking on Kevin Owens in New Orleans. Both Owens and Zayn appeared, despite still not seeing eye-to-eye, they began to berate Shane for his treatment towards them. Then, they proceeded to brutally beat him down, shoving his head inside a steelchair and slamming him against the ringpost. With McMahon in a complete state, the pair continued their assault, dragging him to the back where Owens powerbombed McMahon onto what appeared to be stacks of metal, where the show faded to black as Shane began to convulse on the floor.


A shocking way to end the show which leaves us with matches to be confirmed, but surely they’re beginning to develop ready for WrestleMania.

By Bradley Tiernan

"Wrestling is better than the things you like" - John Oliver