The March 27th edition of WWE SmackDown Live took place at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.
– This week’s broadcast opens up with a video package looking at Daniel Bryan being medically cleared to return to the ring, and then brawling with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on SmackDown last week.
– Bobby Roode comes out to the ring first to kick off SmackDown this week with a tag team match alongside Randy Orton. Jinder comes out with his partner, Sunil Singh, but Singh is in an arm sling and Jinder says Sunil is in no shape to compete. Jinder says he found a new partner: Rusev. Rusev and Aiden English come out and hit the ring, and we have a match.
– Bobby Roode & Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal & Rusev: Jinder and Roode start things off here. Jinder starts off strong, but Roode shuts him down with an elbow off the middle rope. Sunil Singh gets on the apron to distract Roode, but Orton pulls Singh down and throws him into the fan barricade. Back in the ring, Orton and Rusev tag in now and Orton levels him with a dropkick. Roode comes in now and continues the offense on Rusev. He beats down Rusev in the corner and Orton tags back in. Orton puts the boots to Rusev in the corner, but Rusev fights out and tags in Jinder who hits some knee drops on Orton. Orton starts to fight up, but Jinder hits a karate chop and then some more knees to the body of Orton. Jinder hits a flying karate chop off the middle rope to Orton’s head, then puts him in a headlock. Orton fights out with a back suplex, and Roode tags in. Roode hits a series of clotheslines on Jinder, then a neckbreaker. Roode knocks Rusev off the apron, then goes up to the top rope. Roode hits a flying clothesline off the top and Jinder is down. Jinder fights away and tags in Rusev, who puts the boots to Roode. Rusev and Jinder continue to trade tags and take turns beating on Roode. Roode finally fires up with some right hands and chops to Jinder. Roode clotheslines Jinder down and Orton tags himself in on Roode’s back. Rusev tags in and Orton clotheslines him down. Orton hits the DDT over the middle rope, then Orton and Roode clear the ring. Orton and Roode get in each other’s faces, and Orton hits an RKO on Roode. Orton turns around into Rusev’s boot in his face, and Rusev covers him for the three count.
Winners: Rusev & Jinder Mahal
– Aiden English celebrates the win with Jinder and Rusev in the ring.
– We go backstage where Jinder and Rusev are talking about their win. Jinder says they need to celebrate, and he’ll buy front row tickets to WrestleMania for Rusev. Rusev says thanks, but no thanks, since he just pinned Orton, he’s going to ask Daniel Bryan to add him to the U.S. Title match at WrestleMania. Jinder is not happy about this. Rusev and Aiden walk off with Aiden singing.
– AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura exchange words in the locker room. Nakamura says he wants AJ at his best at WrestleMania, and he wants to be his best at WrestleMania, so he wants AJ in his corner tonight for his match. AJ says he’ll be out there, but it’s not for Nakamura, just because he doesn’t want anyone getting in the way of their WrestleMania dream match.
– Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott: Becky hits a dropkick on Ruby early on, and Ruby rolls outside for a breather. Becky follows her outside and they fight around ringside. They go up to the apron, but Ruby knocks her down then throws her into the fan barricade. Back int he ring, Ruby hits some knee drops on Becky on the mat. Ruby drops Becky with a lariat, but Becky fires back with a clothesline of her own. Becky hits an elbow to the face of Ruby then goes up top, but Sarah Logan distracts her from the apron. Ruby comes back and drops Becky then pins her with her feet on the ropes, but the ref sees and stops counting. Becky looks for the Disarm-her, but Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan distract on the apron. Ruby rolls up Becky for a two count, then Becky comes back and rolls up Ruby for the three count.
Winner: Becky Lynch
– Sarah and Liv attack Becky after the match, but Becky fights them off and throws them both out of the ring.
– Daniel Bryan is backstage walking towards the gorilla position.
– Bryan comes out to the stage and gets on the mic. He talks about getting the good news that he’s medically cleared to return to the ring. Bryan says he’s out here right now because he has a job to do as the GM – and he proposes one more opportunity for Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. His idea is: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. Bryan adds that he’s sick of doing the tasks that come along with being GM, and that he’s ready to fight at WrestleMania and kick Owens & Zayn’s asses.
– We see a pre-taped promo backstage by Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, who are complaining about not having a match at WrestleMania yet. He says they’re going to make their own opportunity tonight against Nakamura.
– Tom Phillips informs us from the broadcast table that Rusev has officially been added to the U.S. Title match at WrestleMania.
– The New Day comes down to the ring, and they’ve got microphones. They cut a promo on the Bludgeon Brothers, saying that they’re trying to get in their way on their road to WrestleMania. Xavier says they’re going to take care of the Bludgeon Brothers tonight, so they can focus on regaining their Tag Team Championships at ‘Mania.
– Big E & Xavier Woods vs. The Bludgeon Brothers: Big E and Woods use frequent tags to double team Rowan early on. Harper finally tags in and they double team Big E and Woods, then throw Big E outside. Rowan continues beating on Woods in the ring and hits a backbreaker. Rowan hits some knee drops, then tags in Harper. Harper puts the boots to Woods and looks for a splash in the corner, but Woods stops him with an elbow to the face. Woods looks for the tag, but Rowan pulls Big E down to the floor and beats him down before they can tag. Harper hits a splash on Woods in the corner, then a running big boot. Rowan throws Big E in the ring, then he grabs the huge mallets. Before Rowan can put the hammers in the ring, The Usos run in for the save. The Usos brawl with Rowan at ringside, while The New Day brawls with Harper in the ring. They throw Harper outside, then The New Day and The Usos start arguing about the finish. Rowan and Harper run in with their mallets, and the ring clears out. The New Day and The Usos retreat up the ramp.
Winners via DQ: The Bludgeon Brothers
– We see a replay from earlier tonight of Daniel Bryan talking about fighting for his dream to get back in the ring and wrestle again, and issuing the challenge to Owens and Zayn for WrestleMania. Tom Phillips reveals that Sami Zayn has accepted the challenge on Twitter, and also that Shane McMahon has been released from the hospital. The announcers review the WrestleMania card before going to commercial.
– Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler: Fandango is at ringside dancing next to the Andre The Giant Battle Royal trophy. Fandango also keeps dancing on the apron and distracting both Ziggler and Breeze. Ziggler attacks Breeze from behind then stomps on him. Ziggler looks for a dropkick, but Breeze blocks and slingshots Ziggler into the corner. Ziggler rolls outside to group and Breeze follows. They run around the ring, then back inside, where Breeze blocks a kick and hits a kick of his own. Fandango distracts Breeze again, and Ziggler rolls up Breeze from behind for a two count. Breeze misses a shot in the corner and Ziggler capitlizes with a Zig Zag for the three count.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
– Ziggler superkicks Fandango at ringside after the match, then poses next to the Andre trophy.
– Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Shelton Benjamin: AJ Styles and Chad Gable are both at ringside for this one. Nakamura starts off strong and sends Benjamin out to ringside for a breather. Nakamura follows and they fight up to the apron, where Benjamin drops Nakamura on his face. Bejmamin takes control in the ring now with knee strikes and a side headlock. They run the ropes and Nakamura stuns Benjamin with a dropkick. Nakamura is first to his feet and he starts laying into Shelton with knee strikes. He follows up with a splash in the corner, then a running knee strike. Gable gets up on the apron, but AJ pulls him off and drops him. The distraction leads to Benjamin hitting a flying knee to the face of Nakamura, then a running powerslam for a two count. Benjamin looks for the finish, but Nakamura side-steps him and applies a triangle choke. Shelton fights up and hits a spinning heel kick on Nakamura. They fight into the corner and Nakamura comes off the middle rope with a knee to the face. Nakamura follows up with the Kinshasa for the three count.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
– We go to replays as AJ applauds the win from ringside. Nakamura invites AJ into the ring after the match. Nakamura says he didn’t really need AJ’s help, he just wanted to show AJ how he’s going to beat him. AJ says they’re going to put on a clinic, but in his mind the dream match goes differently, because AJ leaves as still WWE Champion. AJ says he’ll prove he’s better than Nakamura, but Nakamura says AJ is too emotional so he’ll lose. Nakamura leaves, and Gable and Benjamin attack AJ from behind. Nakamura comes back for the save and suplexes Gable. He kicks Benjamin in the face, then looks like he wants to do the Kinshasa to AJ, but he doesn’t do it. Nakamura leaves as AJ recovers in the ring and SmackDown goes off the air.