The March 20th, 2018 edition of WWE Smackdown Live took place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
– SmackDown opens up with a video montage looking back at Daniel Bryan’s retirement.
– SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan comes down to the ring and gets on the mic. Daniel says since Shane was seriously hurt last night, he needs to address Shane’s attackers, but they’re not at the building yet. He says since he can’t talk to them, he’ll talk about something else. He talks about being forced into retirement due to medical issues, and how it caused him to be depressed and forced him to look at the positive things in life. He talks about his great fans and great wife, and his wife encouraging him to fight to get back in the ring. He talks about the doctors clearing him to compete in a WWE ring again, and he thanks the fans for always supporting him and being the best fans in world. He talks about his road to being medically cleared, and thanks his wife for pushing him to see specialists. Bryan says he doesn’t know when he’ll be getting back in the WWE ring, but he is medically cleared to do so. The crowd starts chanting “WrestleMania” and he looks up at the sign. He asks the fans if they think that would be a good idea, which prompts a “yes” chant.
– Daniel Bryan heads backstage and is greeted in the hallway by senior official Charles Robinson who congratulates him. Dolph Ziggler approaches Bryan next and congratulates him, then says he can’t wait to beat him. Bryan says he can try, and Ziggler walks off.
– Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: WWE Champion AJ Styles is at ringside for a closer look at this one, and Aiden English is at ringside in Rusev’s corner. The opening bell sounds and Rusev wrestles Nakamura down to the mat early on. Nakamura gets up and starts firing off with kicks. Rusev throws Nakamura into the corner and pummels on him, then hits a boot to the face for a two count. Nakamura comes back with strikes and then starts working over Rusev in the corner. He hits a variation of the Good Vibrations in the corner, but Rusev is able to fight back and level Nakamura with a shot to the face for a two count. Rusev looks for the big boot, but Nakamura ducks. Rusev ducks a kick from Nakamura, but then Nakamura latches on to him and looks for an arm bar. Rusev breaks free, but Nakamura rolls him up in a small package pin for the three count.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
– After the match, Aiden English attacks Nakamura from behind. English and Rusev go to double team Nakamura, and AJ very slowly starts to get up and looks like he’s going to help. Before AJ gets in the ring, Nakamura is able to fight off Rusev and English by himself. AJ and Nakamura have a brief stare-down before leaving.
– Natalya confronts Charlotte Flair backstage and says she knows Flair is scared of Asuka. She says Charlotte’s time is coming to an end, and Charlotte tells Natalya to lay off the cat nip. Charlotte says she’s excited about facing Asuka. Natalya is still mad about Asuka taking “her” WrestleMania spot. Natalya says she’s the one who would beat Charlotte at WrestleMania, and Charlotte tells her to prove it.
– Shinsuke Nakamura confronts AJ Styles in the back. They have a brief exchange, which ends with Nakamura telling AJ again that he’s going to beat him with a knee to the face at WrestleMania.
– Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger: It’s all Corbin in the opening moments of this one. Corbin runs around the ring post and looks for a lariat, but Dillinger shuts him down with a boot to the face. They brawl to the outside, where Tye hits him with another kick. Back in the ring, Corbin comes back and looks for the End of Days but he botches it. He holds Tye in the front face lock, then throws him outside. He throws Tye back in the ring, then successfully hits the End of Days for the win.
Winner: Baron Corbin
– WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair is out to the ring next. The broadcast team informs us that Daniel Bryan booked her in a non-title match against Natalya tonight.
– Charlotte vs. Natalya: Charlotte starts off strong here and hits a series of headscissor take downs on Natalya. Natalya fires up and looks for the back slide pin, but Charlotte escapes and hits a big boot. Both women are slow to get up, and Natalya gets on the offensive first. Natalya works over Charlotte in the corner, but Charlotte starts firing up and hitting some chops to the chest. They fight over to the corner where Charlotte hits a vertical suplex. Charlotte goes to pick up Natalya, but Natalya drops her face-first into the turnbuckle. They scramble across the ring and Charlotte slams Natalya into the turnbuckles. Charlotte goes up top, but Natalya hops up and grabs her, and hits a sit-down powerbomb on the Champion. Both women are slow to get up, and Natalya hits a spinning lariat for a two count. Charlotte comes back with an inside cradle for a two count. Charlotte looks for the Figure Four, but Natalya kicks her away and throws her outside. Natalya follows her out to ringside, but Charlotte drops her with a spear and throws her back in the ring. Charlotte goes for the Figure Four, but Natalya rolls over to the ropes to break the hold. Charlotte goes up top, but Natalya runs up and hits a superplex. Carmella’s music hits, and Carmella wants to cash in her Money In The Bank briefcase. Carmella runs in the ring, but Charlotte drops her with a big boot. Natalya capitalizes on the distraction with a roll-up for the three count.
– The broadcast teams shows us some headlines about Daniel Bryan being cleared to wrestle again.
– The Usos come out to the ring and cut a promo about holding it down for the tag team division. They talk about still having their Tag Team Titles, and being in the best damn tag team in WWE. They say it doesn’t matter if they’re at 100% or 20% health, they’re ready to go to war with the Bludgeon Brothers.
– Jimmy Uso vs. Luke Harper: Jey Uso and Eric Rowan are at ringside for this one. Jimmy starts off fired up here but Harper takes control early on. They brawl at ringside, where Uso sends Harper into the apron. Uso runs back in the ring for a suicide dive, but Rowan appears on the apron and distracts him. Uso turns around into Harper and they start going at it again. Rowan tries to get back in the ring, and the referee stops him. Jey takes advantage of the distraction to superkick Harper behind the ref’s back. Jimmy isn’t able to capitalize on it with a pin. Jimmy and Harper fight in the corner which leads to Uso’s head getting slammed on the ring post. Harper follows up with a big clothesline for the three count.
Winner: Luke Harper
– Jey pulls Jimmy to safety after the match as Rowan gets in the ring. Corey Graves announces that Jinder has been added to the U.S. Title match at WrestleMania with Bobby Roode and Randy Orton.
– Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh are backstage heading towards the gorilla position.
– Jinder and Sunil are in the ring, and Jinder has a mic. He talks about how everyone there is jealous of him, and should be bowing down to him. He says the people claim to want change and diversity, but they also want to keep the status quo with people like Randy Orton. Jinder trashes the American fans until Bobby Roode’s music hits and he interrupts. Roode walks down to the ring, and then Randy Orton interrupts next. Orton says if not for Jinder’s lackeys, he wouldn’t have any success in WWE. Jinder throws Sunil to Orton as a human shield, and leaves the ring.
– Naomi and Becky Lynch are backstage getting ready to come out for their match against the Riott Squad.
– Naomi & Becky Lynch vs. Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan: Ruby Riott is at ringside. Things look good for Becky and Naomi in the opening moments as they trade tags and take control of the match. Becky misses a shot in the corner and goes face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Sarah Logan hits a shot to the face of Becky, then puts her in a head lock on the mat. Becky fights out, but Logan slams her back down. Becky gets up and throws Sarah to the outside. Becky looks for the tag, but Sarah runs back in and knocks Naomi off the apron. Sarah goes back to work on Becky, but Becky grabs her and locks her in the Dis-arm-her. Liv runs in for the save, but Naomi also runs in and stops her. Logan taps out for the finish.
Winners: Naomi & Becky Lynch
– We go backstage, where Daniel Bryan is told by a staff member that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have finally arrived. Bryan tells him to have Owens and Zayn meet him in the ring.
– Daniel Bryan comes out to the ring and leads the crowd in a “yes” chant. Bryan gets on the mic and tells Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to come down to the ring. They walk down and hug Bryan. Owens gets on the mic and says they weren’t even going to come tonight, since Shane isn’t here, but they raced over here when they heard the news about Bryan being cleared. They say they got pulled over by a Texas ranger for speeding, but they talked their way out of it because “everyone’s dumber in Texas.” They congratulate Bryan on his medical clearance, and they thank Bryan for treating them fairly when everyone else on SmackDown hated them. Sami says SmackDown is now without a doubt the “A-show” with the three of them on it, and if Bryan joined them it would be like a dream team. Bryan says that’s nice, but the real reason he brought them down here is because of their assault on Shane McMahon last week. Sami says it might have looked extreme, but Shane deserved it. Bryan says they don’t get it — this is a big deal. Bryan says that while Owens and Zayn are two of the best performers in this generation, they went way overboard last week by assaulting their boss. Bryan says Shane even admitted he was wrong and gave them WrestleMania matches, and they still attacked them. Bryan reminisces about them wrestling on the indy scene together in front of 300 people. Bryan says he doesn’t want to have to do this — but Sami and Kevin, you’re fired. Bryan says he’s been fired by WWE before, and he came back a better person. Sami and Kevin look heartbroken. Bryan says this doesn’t mean they’re gone forever, it just means they’re gone for now. Bryan shakes their hands, and then Kevin attacks Daniel and screams at him. Sami then starts pummeling on Bryan with right hands. Bryan starts fighting back and hits some kicks on Owens and a suplex on Sami. He hits running dropkicks on them, then hits the “yes kicks” on Owens. Sami runs over from behind and attacks the SmackDown GM from behind and pounds on his head. Owens then superkicks Bryan, and Sami hits the big boot. They take Bryan out to ringside and Owens powerbombs him onto the corner of the ring apron. Sami and Owens walk off as medics start putting Bryan on to a stretcher. Bryan is loaded on to a stretcher as SmackDown goes off the air.