Daniel Bryan booked a triple threat match for Fastlane, pitting WWE Champion AJ Styles against both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at the last pay-per-view before WrestleMania.
On this week’s SmackDown, the match was booked after Styles interfered in a No. 1 contender match for the title.
Now, this should be a good match, but it’s not one I’m particularly excited about. First, we know that Styles will defend against Nakamura at WrestleMania, so the result will not be in doubt. Secondly, the result seems to be inviting more involvement from Shane McMahon, which is something I’ll never be a fan of. But it does feel like Shane McMahon will get involved at some point in this story, feuding with Daniel Bryan over his decision to give both Owens and Zayn a title match.
That being said, at least this feud isn’t getting rushed to an ending. It felt like they were skipping a few weeks in the booking, but with a few weeks before the show and then the match itself, this feud between Owens and Zayn with Styles will get a proper sendoff instead of being rushed through for the sake of sending all three men onto different things.
Charlotte beat Liv Morgan
SmackDown’s women’s division is a mess. When you compare it to Raw, it’s a total train wreck. SmackDown can’t seem to figure out what it wants to do with its women — this match is a perfect example – while Raw has multiple detailed storylines with ladies like Asuka, Sasha Banks, and Bayley.
I think part of the difference is simple: Raw has three hours and SmackDown has two. So, it’s easier for Raw to run more multi-layered storylines with its women.
But that shouldn’t be an excuse. SmackDown should be able to do the same thing, but maybe focusing on one feud at a time instead of two.
Instead, SmackDown seems to just throw a bunch of women in one segment every week and call it a day.
The Bludgeon Brothers beat a local tag team
The Bludgeon brothers continue to, well, bludgeon people. This was a really physical squash match with the heels going over very strong.
The Usos vs. Bludgeon Brothers is going to be an interesting match once it happened. I’m not convinced it will be good, but it will be interesting. If nothing else, I’m intrigued what WWE does with the Bludgeon Brothers. Do they try to elevate them the way they did Ryback and Braun Strowman — they’re being built in a similar way, just as a tag team — or does WWE try to relegate the team as quickly as possible to the mid card with a loss to the Usos?
Daniel Bryan debuts the Top-10 List
OK, go ahead and email me if I’m wrong, but what was the point of this? Is it a ranking system? If so, why are the champions included? I have no idea what this was supposed to represent, and that’s a problem for WWE. It made it very hard to care about anything going on.
Also, Tye Dillinger at No. 10? Really? They lost me with silly garbage like that.
Bobby Roode beat Rusev
Granted there were commercial breaks, but I thought this match went a lot longer than expected.
Orton showed up and hit an RKO, which was timed well. The finish of the match was good but the slow, plodding pace at the beginning made me yawn a bit.
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin beat The Ascension
At least the right team won …
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn ended in a DQ through AJ Styles interference
This was an excellent main event between two guys who have a lot of chemistry. I thought that this match felt different than the matches they had in the past, which was a good thing, but also because of the development in their characters.