27th Mar2019

WWE Smackdown Live – March 26th 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

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Welcome to this week’s Smackdown Live review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a few surprises here to get to, so let’s see how it all goes (David Harbour gets hired to play Kurt Angle).

Match #1: Charlotte Flair def. Asuka to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Not taking kindly to Becky Lynch referring to her as the “third wheel” in the WrestleMania main event, Charlotte Flair challenged Asuka for the SmackDown Women’s Championship on SmackDown LIVE, an impromptu title matchup that left everyone guessing as to how it came together. The two rivals threw down with ferocity, with Charlotte relying on brute force to hold down The Empress of Tomorrow. However, Asuka fired back with a devastating barrage of kicks to the head and midsection. The Queen narrowly stayed alive several times, fighting her way out of the Asuka Lock even after Asuka blocked Charlotte’s signature moonsault. Asuka somehow kicked out after a dazzling Spanish Fly from Charlotte, and Charlotte survived a perfectly applied Triangle submission from The Empress. In the clutch, The Queen fought out of one more Asuka Lock attempt and locked in the Figure-Eight for an unbelievable submission victory. As the new SmackDown Women’s Champion, Charlotte is the first Superstar in WWE history to hold eight Women’s Titles. The WrestleMania main event now features two Women’s Champions, but what that will mean for the history-making match is anybody’s guess.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was a nice, long match that had the right outcome. Both women did great here in a match that adds a lot more interest to the main event of Wrestlemania. I don’t like marginalizing Asuka’s title reign, but Vince had lost all interest in her over the past month. Having the Smackdown Women’s Title potentially be run off to the kick-off show while its Raw sibling gets the main event of Wrestlemania is now a scenario that we get to avoid. The match itself was wrestled quite well and really did the trick. This was about as good of an opener you can hope for, especially at the last second.

Match #2: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

For the first time ever on WWE television, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles squared off as The Olympic Hero’s farewell tour continued. The two’s storied past was clearly on everyone’s mind as the WWE Universe was enthralled by every action each Superstar took. Angle and Styles stormed out of the starting blocks, quickly trading blows and big-time maneuvers in spades. However, neither Superstar would get the chance to see how it would have played out; right after Styles escaped the Ankle Lock, Randy Orton slid into the ring and struck his WrestleMania opponent with an RKO. Randy looked ready to pounce on Angle as well, but Kurt turned the tides and dropped The Viper with an Angle Slam. The Apex Predator had struck first, but The Phenomenal One would clearly not be down for long.

My Take: 2 out of 5 – Only Vince McMahon would be dumb enough to piss away a great match like this. They wrestled for about a minute, but it was a good minute.

Match #3: (Main Event) Big E & Xavier Woods won the Gauntlet Match to grant Kofi Kingston his WWE Title Match against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

With the news that Kofi Kingston would be barred from ringside for the contest, The Dreadlocked Dynamo watched on from afar as Big E & Xavier Woods attempted to run the gauntlet to secure Kingston his WWE Title opportunity at WrestleMania. First up for The New Day were former Raw Tag Team Champions Gallows & Anderson, and Big E & Xavier quickly disposed of The Good Brothers, finishing them off with a thunderous UpUpDownDown. As Kofi and several Superstars erupted with joy while watching from backstage, Big E & Xavier remained focused as Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura stalked to the ring. The Bulgarian Brute & King of Strong Style looked to use their fresh legs to their advantage, but The New Day proved resilient and toppled the maulers with another UpUpDownDown.

Third out were arguably the toughest challenge yet – The Bar. The long-time rivals of The New Day showed no sympathy for Big E & Xavier’s plight and looked to decimate the pairing. Sheamus & Cesaro were unrelenting, but Woods endured tremendous punishment before catching Sheamus with a surprise rollup for three. An enraged Celtic Warrior & Swiss Cyborg took out their frustrations with a post-match beatdown of The New Day members, punctuating the attack by smashing Big E through a table before taking off.

With that, it seemed Big E & Woods’ chances were all but gone, especially with SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos up next. With the two so worn down and one of the greatest tag teams in WWE history standing across from them, the WWE Universe and Kofi collectively held their breath. Yet, the match would never go down, as Jimmy & Jey addressed their long history with The New Day, but also Kofi’s deservedness to challenge for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. And, with that, The Usos forfeited and exited the ring.

“The New” Daniel Bryan and his intellectual peer Rowan blew a gasket backstage, but the pair eventually somewhat composed themselves and entered the match as the last line of defense that could dash Kofi’s WrestleMania dreams once and for all. Bryan & Rowan were vicious, immediately pouncing on the worn-down New Day members. Yet, Big E & Woods never stopped believing, and they found the willpower and strength to take Bryan and Rowan down outside and trap Rowan underneath the announce table. Rowan couldn’t rise from the rubble, and one dramatic 10-count later, Woods & Big E finally secured Kofi’s WrestleMania opportunity. Kofi rejoiced with The New Day, the WWE Universe rejoiced with Kofi and the SmackDown LIVE Superstars rejoiced with them all as Bryan vs. Kingston for the WWE Title was now the newest destination on The Road to WrestleMania.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was a dramatic way to do it, but it worked and made Kofi’s WWE World Title shot very emotional for everybody. I would have preferred for Kofi to have gotten his contendership confirmed several weeks ago, but at least it happened. The idea was that The New Day got Kofi what has been coming to him for over a decade. The various teams did a great job working with The New Day and all of the wrestlers kept the match feeling fresh. The spot with the Usos forfeiting their part of the match so Kofi could finally have his WWE World Title shot felt better than an angle like that would normally feel. I liked this and I’m glad it came together well enough to make Kofi’s official moment very meaningful.

News Of The Night:

  1. Randy Orton was booked to ruin the Kurt Angle/AJ Styles match.
  2. Becky Lynch challenged Charlotte Flair to bring some-thing important to the main event of Wrestlemania, so she politicked her way to taking Asuka’s Women’s Title.
  3. The Miz will fight Shane McMahon in a Falls Count Any-Where Match at Wrestlemania.
  4. The Usos solidified their face run by forfeiting their fall to The New Day.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

This was a good show that had two excellent matches and a strong promo from The Miz. Vince pissed away the AJ/Kurt match, but he does that kind of thing all the time. It will be interesting to see if the two Women’s Titles will be unified at Wrestlemania, thanks to Flair winning the Smackdown strap from Asuka. Overall, this show did quite a bit with not very much and kept the momentum going for Wrestlemania.

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