With the announcement of Daniel Bryan being medically cleared to wrestle in the WWE, this episode of SmackDown Live, suddenly became one filled with anticipation and excitement as to what lies ahead for the Flying Goat. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

The now medically cleared Daniel Bryan opened the show, to the loudest yes chants we’ve heard since — probably — Daniel Bryan’s retirement speech. The former unified champion delivered a truly heartfelt and emotional promo in which he thanked the crowd and his wife, Brie. Bryan went on to say how much it means to him to be able to return to the ring, again thanking the fans, and his voice cracked when thanking Brie a second time. He left the date of his full return up in the air as he declared he didn’t know exactly when he will be returning to the ring, but looked at the WrestleMania sign before leading the crowd in another huge “YES” chant. There’s more to come!


The none Daniel Bryan stuff:

– Following on from AJ Styles’ match last week, it was Shinsuke Nakamura’s turn to try put down the most over guy in WWE at the moment, Rusev. Styles sat in on commentary to witness Nakamura roll up Rusev for the pin. After the match, Aiden English and Rusev attacked Nakamura. Styles was slow to help, which Nakamura didn’t even need as he fought off the pair by himself before Styles could even get in the ring.

– A clunky match between Baron Corbin and Tye Dillinger was won by the Lone Wolf with the End of Days.

– The Usos cut a promo, running down the Super Smash Bros Bludgeon Brothers. Luke Harper then faced Jimmy Uso in singles action, which ended with Harper slamming Jimmy’s head into the top of the ringpost, and following it up with a discus lariat for the win.

– After an attempted cash-in of Carmella’s Money in the Bank briefcase went wrong, Natalya was able to beat Charlotte Flair by taking advantage of the distraction with a roll up pin.


– Jinder Mahal cut the same old promo about being disrespected by the WWE Universe. Bobby Roode interrupted and promised to win the US title back from Randy Orton at WrestleMania. In turn, Roode was then interrupted by Orton, who said Mahal is nothing without his “stooge”, Sunil Singh. Mahal then fled while Orton hit the rope-hung DDT on Singh, with Roode then hitting the Glorious DDT. Orton and Roode then attempted to attack each other but countered each other’s finishers in a stalemate.

– Becky Lynch and Naomi onnce again took on the Riott Squad. It was Lynch who claimed the win with a Disarmer on Logan.

Welcome back, Daniel:

In an earlier backstage segment, Daniel Bryan was on the lookout for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. He was eventually met by a producer (or showrunner idc) who informed him of their arrival. Though it was nice of them to show up for work on time, Bryan asked the stagehand to tell the Canadian duo to meet him in the ring.

Bryan returned to the ring, and welcomed Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The pair congratulated Bryan for getting cleared and thanked him for being their biggest supporter. They spoke about how far they had all come since their days on the independent scene, but the General Manager had some serious news to address. Footage was played from Zayn and Owen’s attack on Shane McMahon last week. The pair laughed and boasted that Shane got what he deserved. Bryan refuted this and declared that what they did last week was unacceptable, and pointed out that they attacked Shane after they had already came out on top by being awarded a match against each other at WrestleMania.


For their callous actions, Bryan had no other choice but to tell them that they were fired. As Bryan tried to shake their hands, they attacked him. Bryan managed to turn the tables and, to everyone’s delight, hit some signature moves on both of them. However, Zayn and Owens regained the upper hand, with Zayn landing a Helluva Kick and Owens hitting what is now a trademark powerbomb on the ring apron. The show came to a close whilst Bryan was being placed on a stretcher.

By Bradley Tiernan

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