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Styles and Bryan form dream team on Smackdown Live

The Phenomenal One and the Bearded One join forces but suffer a sneak attack.  Carmella celebrates her title victory.  What shocking changes will the Smackdown Live roster undergo in the Superstar Shakeup?

Smackdown Live follows a shocking Raw.  The blue brand opens their show with a new Women’s Champion and unanswered questions surrounding Shinsuke Nakamura.  Not to mention Daniel Bryan is a full-time wrestler once again.  What surprises can fans expect in night two of the Superstar Shakeup?

Smackdown Live broadcasts from Providence , RI this 27th of April, 2018.

Unanswered Questions

The show opens with the WWE Champion AJ Styles voicing his frustrations with rival Shinsuke Nakamura.  Nakamura remains an enigma following his recent heel turn at Wrestlemania.

Styles is playing the appropriate card here.

He is right to say his encounter with Nakamura should be cause for celebration.  The potential highlight of the WWE Champion’s career is forever tarnished by Nakamura’s low blow following the match.  Add to that Nakamura’s interference in the Daniel Bryan match and Styles certainly has a legitimate character argument against his new enemy.

Styles would call out Nakamura but instead the melodious voice of Aiden English rang over the sound system instead.

Rusev and English are out for Styles.  Rusev demands the spotlight and an opportunity at the WWE Championship.  Both heels storm the ring and begin stomping Styles until Daniel Bryan emerges to level the playing field.  In a backstage segment the new general manager Paige makes a tag team match featuring all four Superstars.

Stealing Thunder

Shelton Benjamin is now a singles competitor following the apparent departure of Chad Gable to the Raw brand.  The seasoned WWE superstar demands “big” competition having shed the dead weight of his former tag team partner.

Randy Orton answers the call but his theme music ends abruptly.  The newly crowned United States Champion Jeff Hardy takes the place of Orton in a match against Benjamin.  The seemingly random appearance of the former Raw Superstar is unexpected and Orton does not know how to react.

Hardy defeats Benjamin with a Swanton Bomb after a decent match.


Orton seems visibly besmirched as Hardy steals his entrance before the match.  One can only imagine this will lead to a program featuring the Viper and the Charismatic Enigma.  This is a solid booking play as both Orton and Hardy are huge names and their is an obvious heel and face dynamic for the characters respectively.

Singles Bludgeoning

Jey Uso and Harper of the Bludgeon Brothers square off in singles competition.  No one seems to have an answer for Harper and Rowan who remain dominant over the Smackdown Live roster.

This match of course is short lived as Harper quickly decimates Jey.  After the match the Usos are both maimed by Harper and Rowan who continue their traditional post match beat downs.  Things get interesting when Jimmy Uso’s wife Naomi runs down to the ring to plead with the Bludgeon Brothers to spare the otherwise doomed Samoans.  Mallets in hand with the intent to potentially end a career, Harper and Rowan mercifully discontinue their attack and head to the back.


One criticism here is that WWE miss opportunities to utilize both female and male competitors in combination to enhance story lines.  Granted the recent Mixed Match Challenge brings fans pairings that would likely never be featured in cannon, this can do great things to feuds.  This instance caught my attention and it would be cool to see more of this in the future.

Joe, Joe, Joe…

Sin Cara stands in the ring awaiting an unknown opponent.  Little does he know he faces the sadistic Samoa Joe.  The newly acquired Joe storms to the ring and quickly defeats Sin Cara.  In a promo afterwards Joe vows to destroy Roman Reigns and potentially capture the Universal Championship.

WWE seem hesitant to pull the trigger on Joe.  This could be due to recent injury but there is no denying the abilities of the Samoan Submission Machine.  Hopefully he is used for more than enhancing other Superstars.


Carmella is in the right place at the right time.

Not only in story but booking as well.  She is despicable, hate-able and is only Smackdown Live Women’s Champion due to her opportunistic cash in against an beaten Charlotte Flair.  Her celebration tonight is perfect.  Her promo inspires “good” heat and she is comfortable being insufferable.

Charlotte would chime in with a recap Carmella’s privileged climb to the top.  Peyton Royce and Billie Kay would also make an appearance and comfortably cut an additional heel promo.

The Iconics and Charlotte begin to fight as Becky Lynch rushes in to aid her friend.

Kay and Charlotte then compete in a singles match as Carmella joins the broadcast team.  Charlotte defeats Kay which sets up another brawl between all aforementioned Superstars.  Carmella and the Iconics obviously possess the numbers advantage.  That is until a surprise appearance by new Smackdown Live Superstar Asuka.  Lynch, Charlotte and Asuka successfully fend off the heels and celebrate in the ring.

It seems as though Carmella’s title reign may be short lived.  There is however opportunity in the new champion continually retaining via shady means.  Whereas WWE could have done a better job in this exact regard with Alexa Bliss, Carmella has more heat at this point.

The Dream Team

Not only was Styles vs Bryan a dream match for fans but also for Bryan himself.  Bryan’s motivation for having Styles’ back is to one day face off again.  Tonight Bryan and Styles form a dream team, utilizing tag team offense and dual submissions.  It is truly surreal to see these two in the ring, let alone on a team.

Not even the popularity of Rusev Day could withstand the overwhelming crowd support garnered by Styles and Bryan.  Bryan would have the advantage over English for the first part of the match.  Rusev would later overpower Styles who struggled to tag his partner.  Bryan would get the hot tag and fire up against Rusev.  As Bryan nailed his flying knee both Shinsuke Nakamura and a returning Big Cass would attack Styles and Bryan.  This would result in a disqualification.

Involving Cass in this angle where there are already three players is interesting.  The motivation seems to be that Cass is not impressed with the hype surrounding a returning Bryan.  He feels as though the WWE Universe should be buzzing around his return instead.

As for Nakamura, when asked about this latest attack he again replies that he does not speak English.  Nakamura continuing to withhold answers for his actions is great and the language excuse is even better.  WWE should continue this to build toward another program with Nakamura and Styles.  There are plenty of booking opportunities with the current talent pool and their recent skirmishes.  It will be interesting to see if WWE advances any of this at the Greatest royal Rumble April 27th.

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