The show opens up with Tom Phillips welcoming us to SmackDown Live. He is joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
We go right to the ring where John Cena makes his way down.
He welcomes us to the show and introduces himself. He reminds us that he is here to find his way to WrestleMania and says that he wants in on the Fatal Five-Way Match for the WWE Championship at Fastlane. He says that he is not here for a handout, he is here to do whatever it takes to earn a spot in that match.
Shane McMahon’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. He puts Cena over as one of the most decorated superstars in the history of WWE and shakes his hand to welcome him back. Shane says that we all heard exactly what was on his mind and everybody is looking for their role at WrestleMania, but the pathway he’s proposing puts him directly into the WWE Championship match. John says that half the folks want him to win and half want him to lose so he thinks being in the match is a great idea.
McMahon reiterates his statement, saying that if he does win, not only would he go on to main event WrestleMania, but history would be made, seeing as he’d be walking into WrestleMania as a 17-time world champion. This is the land of opportunity, however, there is.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. He says that he thinks he and Shane are actually on the same page tonight, because SmackDown is the land of opportunity and every superstar in the Fatal Five-Way Match earned their shot at the WWE Title. If John wants in the match, he’ll have an opportunity in tonight’s main event, a match where if he wins, he’ll be in the WWE Championship Match at Fastlane.
Cena double-checks the stipulation and says he’s in, and Bryan informs him his opponent is someone he’s familiar with, the WWE Champion himself, AJ Styles!
Commentary hypes up the match between Naomi & Ruby Riott and Sami Zayn & Baron Corbin for later tonight. A hype reel for tonight’s Mixed Match Challenge is shown and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for the entrances of the first match of the night and to see that Kevin Owens has joined commentary.
Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn: The opening bell sounds and Corbin backs Zayn into the corner. Zayn fights out of the corner, but Corbin drops him with a lariat. Corbin takes Zayn outside and beats him down next to the barrier. Corbin charges, but Zayn throws him over the barricade. Zayn takes Corbin back in the ring and beats on him, while Shane and Bryan watch on a monitor backstage. Zayn works on keeping Corbin grounded in the ring, and a “Rusev Day” chant breaks out in the crowd. Shane and Bryan are still backstage watching, and they disagree over allowing Owens to be on commentary. Back in the ring, Zayn comes flying off the top, but Corbin swats him out of mid-air. Corbin follows up with a chokeslam backbreaker, and then a lariat for a two count. Zayn knocks Corbin outside and then attempts a suicide dive, but Corbin catches him and launches Zayn into the table. Zayn and Corbin start fighting back in the ring, and then Dolph Ziggler comes out of nowhere and attacks Owens at ringside. Meanwhile in the ring, Corbin hits the End of Days on Zayn for the three count. Winner: Baron Corbin
After the match, Corbin stands up as his music hits but Ziggler enters the ring and drops him with a Zig Zag out of nowhere. Ziggler’s music hits and he leaves as we go to replays. We see Owens, Sami and Corbin all trying to get back up to their feet. We head backstage where we see that Shane and Bryan are still watching and they just saw what happened. Shane jokes that Bryan should go check on his boys. Bryan says that he will leave that up to Shane and asks Shane if he can go home and spend some time with Brie Bella and their daughter Birdie Joe. Shane says that that is a good idea. He sends his well wishes to the family and Bryan leaves, so it sounds like Shane is in charge by himself for the rest of the night.
Commentary informs us that the match between Naomi and Ruby Riott is coming up next and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we see Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens walking. Sami Zayn is apoplectic about what just happened and Kevin Owens is selling his neck injury as they roll up on Shane McMahon. Shane cuts them off by saying that before they go off on another conspiracy theory, they best go after Bryan and catch up since Brie doesn’t it like when they are late for dinner. Zayn loses his mind about what Shane McMahon just said.
Ruby Riott vs. Naomi: The Riott Squad is at ringside, and so are Charlotte and Becky. Naomi sends Ruby rolling outside for a breather early on. The six women come face to face at ringside. Back in the ring, Ruby takes control until Naomi starts firing up with kicks. Naomi hits a series of kicks, and finishes with a springboard heel kick off the middle rope for a two count. Naomi misses a shot off the top, then misses a kick but Ruby sells it. Naomi misses a shot in the corner, and Riott comes back with a kick to the face for the three count. Winner: Ruby Riott
After the match, The Riott Squad stands tall but quickly exits the ring as Flair and Becky come in to check on Naomi. We go to replays. Ruby talks trash to her Fastlane opponent while Flair just stares back at her.
Commentary hypes up our main event for tonight between John Cena and WWE Champion AJ Styles and we go backstage with Breezango, who are looking over their cork-board of cases when a man who was introduced as the star of Unsolved shows up. This man’s name is Josh Duhamel. Josh Duhamel is impressed to meet Breezango and Breeze has a laugh that his show is called Unsolved.
Breeze says that he has his case solved, because Big E is right here. Josh Duhamel points out that his show is actually about Biggie Smalls but they are not having it, pointing out that Big E once won a rap battle, and Big E lets out a few bars to prove it. Josh Duhamel then points out that he is not an actual detective, he just plays one on TV and it’s all make-believe. Fandango is heartbroken as Duhamel says goodbye to The New Day and leaves as we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and Big E does the usual New Day promo and they make their way down to the ring as they throw pancakes everywhere like they usually do.
Xavier Woods begins by saying that with WrestleMania season in full swing, your boys are looking to secure their position on the grandest stage of them all. Kofi Kingston continues by saying that Fastlane is first and they’ll be up against their greatest rivals, two men that have pushed them to the limit at every turn, Jey and Jim, The Usos. Big E says that their rivalry is hotter than his inner thighs in the summer and demands Kofi to spray him in the crotch area repeatedly.
Woods reminds us how they earned the opportunity, by beating Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin, and Kofi says that they respect The Usos, but this isn’t about respect, it’s about winning. And at Fastlane, when they win, they’re gonna head down to New Orleans and party.
The Usos’ music hits and they make their way down to the ring. They say that The New Day are spreading the power of positivity through pancakes but they’re right about one thing, they did go to war, and only one team was left standing tall with the tag titles, and they haven’t looked back since. They used to be just like The New Day, running around singing and dancing dressed like a box of Skittles, but that didn’t take them to the next level.
You talk about the power of positivity, how about a dose of reality? The New Day have been grinding for nine years, blood, sweat, and tears in the middle of the ring, trying to prove that The Usos belong on WrestleMania. Year after year they’ve been getting passed over, nine years in the game and zero WrestleManias. WrestleMania 27? Sidelined. 28? Sidelined. 29? 30? 31? 32? 33? All sidelined.
But this year is their time. And they’re gonna run through The New Day like they always do, and this year they’re the starters and The New Day are on the sideline. The difference between the two teams is that The Usos know how to adapt and evolve, and The New Day are stuck five years ago. Big E gets hot at the notion of five years in the past and says that they’ve been at the top, kicking down doors and setting records.
They hosted WrestleMania when The Usos were in the back eating catering and they didn’t get here because of their daddies, and they didn’t stand on the sideline because they rushed the field and took what was theirs. And at Fastlane, they take what’s theirs and become five-time WWE tag team champions, and there’s not a damn thing The Usos can do about it.
The Usos swats Big E’s hand out of his face and they step up to each other when The Bludgeon Brothers’ music hits. Harper and Rowan make their way to the ring, hammers in hand, and The Usos and The New Day take their leave.
Commentary hypes up our main event once more.
We go to a backstage segment from earlier in the day when Rusev Day rolls up on Shane McMahon to complain about not being on the show. McMahon says that today is their lucky Rusev Day, because Aiden English has a match tonight against Shinsuke Nakamura.
On that note, we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get a promo from Dolph Ziggler about how he didn’t come back to SmackDown to get lost in the shuffle and how he intends to rise above everyone at Fastlane and to do what he was put on the planet for, to main event WrestleMania.
We head backstage where Bobby Roode is being interviewed. He says that he is excited to wrestle Randy Orton and he wants to be the greatest United States Champion in history, and that means testing himself against the best, and Orton is one of the best of all time. He seems to have an issue with him as of late, but after all Randy’s accomplished and it can’t be that Roode was ranked above him.
Randy Orton shows up and says that it is not about the list, it is about the title. The United States Championship is the only title that he has never won in his sixteen years in WWE, and Roode is just the guy he has to roll through to take it.
We head back to the ring where Aiden English sings himself an introduction running down Los Angeles and putting himself over.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Aiden English: English starts off strong, but Nakamura shuts him down with a knee. Nakamura continues to tee off on English, then takes him outside. English distracts the referee, and Rusev hits a cheap shot on Nakamura. Back in the ring, English starts beating Nakamura down in the corner. Nakamura kicks English away, then gets distracted by Rusev. English capitalizes with a shot in the corner and a version of the Death Valley Driver for a two count. English looks for a splash in the corner, but Nakamura avoids it. English hits a splash off the top, but Nakamura comes back with a flying kick to the face. Nakamura takes English to the corner for the Good Vibrations, then a running knee strike. Nakamura hits the Kinshasa next, and that’s it for this match. Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
After the match, Rusev looks disappointed as Nakamura’s music hits and he celebrates. Nakamura leaves the ring but John Cena’s music hits and out he comes to fans singing his song. Cena stops and looks Nakamura up & down at ringside. Cena points up at the WrestleMania 34 sign. Nakamura looks at him and points up at the sign as well. Cena hits the ring and runs the ropes.
We then get another Black History Month Video Vignette that sends us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we see YouTube superstar Lilly Singh at ringside.
WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. John Cena (Non-Title Match) (If Cena wins, he is added to the WWE Title Match at Fastlane): Cena hits an elbow to AJ’s face early on to take control of the main event shortly after the opening bell. Cena works over AJ in the corner now with right hands and kicks. AJ starts firing back with chops to Cena’s chest, but Cena stuns him with a DDT. Cena comes back with a back suplex and then the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena looks for the AA, but AJ escapes and hits a fireman’s carry neck-breaker. Cena comes back with a shot in the corner and a powerslam for a two count. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are shown watching backstage, as is Baron Corbin. Cena takes AJ up top for an AA, but AJ escapes and hits a spin out powerbomb for a two count. Dolph Ziggler is also backstage watching. Cena grabs AJ and hits the electric chair drop for a two count. Cena follows up with a running clothesline for another two count. Cena goes for another one, but Styles stops him with a boot to the face. Cena comes back and connects with an AA, but Styles kicks out at 2. AJ comes back with a lariat now, and goes for a Lion-sault but misses. Cena hits the Code Red for a two count, then the STF. AJ escapes and hits a shot to Cena, then hits a Phenomenal Forearm off the top for a two count. Cena comes back and hits an AA, then goes for a second one but AJ escapes. Cena follows him outside and hits an AA on AJ through the announce table. Cena rolls back in the ring and the referee starts counting. AJ rolls in at the 9 count. Cena charges, but AJ locks Cena in the Calf Crusher. Cena escapes and hits the AA for the three count. Winner: John Cena
After the match, Cena’s music hits as the announcers confirm a Six-Pack Challenge for the Fastlane main event. Cena checks on AJ but the music hits and out comes Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Cena gets ready to fight but here comes Baron Corbin from the side. Corbin unloads on Cena and beats him up. Sami and Owens enter the ring and beat down Cena, then AJ. The music hits and out comes Dolph Ziggler next. Ziggler superkicks Corbin and drops Owens, then Sami with a superkick. Ziggler stands tall in the middle of the ring with AJ and Cena. Ziggler turns and drops AJ, sending him to the apron. Ziggler turns around to an AA from Cena as SmackDown goes off the air.
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