Wrestlemania season concludes in epic fashion. Daniel Bryan is wrestling again. A heel turn rocks the WWE Championship picture. How will the landscape of Smackdown Live evolve post Wrestlemania?
A returning Daniel Bryan will face AJ Styles in a Wrestlemania caliber match. A new Women’s Champion is crowned. Meanwhile Smackdown Live names a new general manager. Who will lead the roster into the remainder of 2018?
Shane McMahon kicks off the post Wrestlemania Smackdown Live in New Orleans this tenth of April, 2018.
Paige Becomes The New General Manager
Shane McMahon is coming off of his victory against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, who unsuccessfully attempted to get a job on Raw the previous evening. He thanks the fans for their support and addresses the resignation of general manager Daniel Bryan. Immediately Paige is revealed as the new Smackdown live general manager.
After announcing her retirement the previous night, the former Raw superstar and Diva’s Champion takes the reigns as the authority figure on Tuesday nights. Her first act as general manager is to create a WWE dream match: Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles.
Paige As GM
The selection of Paige filling the gap left by a now competing Daniel Bryan checks so many boxes. Paige is in a similar situation with her injury that Daniel Bryan once found himself in. Now she will takeover his position with a secret hope and yearning to once again make a return the ring as her predecessor did. This is very poetic.
Paige can also bring a different perspective as recently there have been few female authority figures in WWE aside from Stephanie McMahon. Her interactions with the Women’s division will have more depth than Bryan who had little involvement compared to the men’s roster. Notoriously controversial, Paige can easily stir up TV worthy drama with her persona. This is all around a smart move on the part of WWE creative.
Good Luck Usos
The New Day and The Usos emerge from Wrestlemania 34 without the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships. The Bludgeon Brothers dominated the triple threat tag team match and punished the other participants. The losing teams participate in a match to determine the number one contenders for the titles who will face Harper and Rowan at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
It seems that we can expect repetitive rivalries until the next “Big Four” pay per view. Although both teams in this match never fail to put on a show, the feud should come to a close before it gets stale. The announce team continues to hint at the Superstar Shake-up to take place next week which will hopefully alleviate redundant match ups in the near future.
The Usos emerge as the winners and new contenders for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships. After the match The Bludgeon Brothers confronted the winners of the match, pointing their mallets at their prey.
Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal winner Naomi challenges Natalya to a match earlier in the evening. The Queen of Hearts is once again running her mouth, this time about how Naomi’s big win three days prior was a fluke. Both competitors continually demonstrate great wrestling ability and tonight is no different. Naomi is able to pick up the victory off of a split legged moonsault from the top turnbuckle.
Hopefully the remainder of 2018 sees more time given to women’s under card matches. The addition of the Wrestlemania battle royal to showcase talent is a great idea. Naomi can capitalize on her success by having great matches with the mid card and eventually challenge for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship.
The Queen Dethroned
Charlotte makes her post Wrestlemania address to the crowd before being interrupted by Billie Kay and Peyton Royce from NXT. The self proclaimed Iconics make fun of the Charlotte’s speech and assault the Women’s Champion. The nefarious duo leave a prone Charlotte face up on the canvas.
As the assailants exit the music of Carmella plays over the PA system. The crowd erupts as the Women’s Money in the Bank brief case holder runs down to the ring. Charlotte is in no shape to compete but that does not stop Carmella from delivering the briefcase to the official who initiates the match.
Carmella quickly pins Charlotte and wins her first championship.
Carmella will make a great heel champion much the same way Alexa Bliss has done so well on Raw. By squeaking by in close call victories that involving cheating, Carmella will continue to garner heat. Supplement this with her gift for trash talking and you have a solid, hate-worthy heel.
United States Title Opportunity
Rusev, Randy Orton and Bobby Roode battle for another shot at the United States Championship. All three competitors would fail to win the title at Wrestlemania. Jinder Mahal would sneak away with the title.
After a short triple threat contest, Orton would win the opportunity to face Jinder Mahal in Saudi Arabia for the Untied States Championship.
The match itself was nothing special considering all the craziness that had occurred earlier on in the night. The disappointing part was that once again Rusev would come up short despite overwhelming crowd support.
Yet Another Dream Match
Even the raucous post Wrestlemania crowd sat down and intently watched the dream match made earlier in the evening by Paige. There are no promos before the match, only two of the greatest, pure wrestlers squaring off in their first WWE encounter.
Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles immediately lock up, both struggling to gain the upper hand. The match transitions into high speed offensive maneuvers off of the ropes. Styles would hit a back flip into a reverse DDT before the two men would grapple and trade submissions.
Bryan tries to hit a premature running knee that is countered into an attempted Style Clash. Bryan would successfully counter into a Yes Lock. Styles would narrowly escape.
Shinsuke Nakamura would end the match as he ran in to disrupt the match, causing a disqualification. Nakamura would deliver knees to the faces of both Styles and Bryan. Bryan would roll out of the ring while Styles received another round of low blows from the man he defeated at Wrestlemania.
The sore loser angle works great for Nakamura who is over with the crowd but arguably needs another direction on roster with a returning, major face like Bryan. Anyone who is skeptical on whether Nakamura was the right choice to turn should watch his interview from earlier in the night.
Nakamura conveys more with a handful of words than most superstars do in normal promos.
He refuses to answer for his actions following the WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania. This makes him even more of a heat magnet along with the fact that he tarnished what should have been a feel good moment in New Orleans. Once more his motives are clear and makes sense, even if Nakamura remains enigmatic. Coming up short in the biggest match of your life would make anyone upset.
What is even more exciting here is that Nakamura struck Daniel Bryan during Smackdown Live. This will inevitably lead to yet another dream match that until recently fans never thought they would see.
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