KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/6: Charlotte-Riott open show, Styles vs. Ziggler, Orton vs. Mahal, final Fastlane hype

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

WWE Smackdown Live logo - new July 2016 (c)

MARCH 6, 2018

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


Tonight after Smackdown, the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show goes LIVE taking your calls for about 30 minutes starting within a few minutes of Raw ending. Call (347) 215-8558 as soon as Smackdown ends to participate. You can stream the show LIVE after Smackdown HERE even if you’re not planning to call. Just stand by until we introduce the show within a couple minutes of Smackdown ending.

The entire show will be available as usual a few hours after Smackdown goes off the air with the rest of our usual format (including an on-site correspondent and mailbag section), but we’re aiming to have it available for you sooner now than in recent months.

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-They opened with Dasha Fuentes introducing Charlotte Flair. Then after Charlotte entered the ring, she introduced her challenger at Fastlane, Ruby Riott. The announcers talked about the rivalry between Charlotte and the Riott Squad. Riott took the mic from Dasha because she didn’t like her first questions. (That happens way too often – wrestlers dismissing the interviewer and the interviewer just walking away.)

Riott mockingly built up Charlotte’s resume and lineage. She then said her reputation turned into a myth that she was personification of the Women’s Revolution. She said as a result she formed the Riott Squad two weeks after she won the Smackdown Women’s Title. She said their sole purpose was to destroy The Myth that is Charlotte Flair.

Charlotte said the only myth that exists about her is that she was handed anything in her life. She said she has had to work hard, perhaps harder, than others because of who she is. She said she has the weight of expectation on her shoulders. “Do you know how hard that is to live up to?” she said. “If I fail, those failures are magnified and that reflects on my family.” She said she can’t just succeed, she has to be transcendent. She said what Riott just said proves she has transcended any myth about her. “I am every bit as good as you’ve heard,” Charlotte said.

Riott said when she’s done with her at Fastlane, Charlotte’s reality will crumble and she will be nothing but another bleached blonde failure with a famous last name. The Riott Squad threateningly surrounded Charlotte. Just then, Bobby Roode’s ring entrance took place and Riott Squad stopped in their tracks and stared at Roode’s ring entrance as if they were required to. Phillips said just as things were looking bleak for the Women’s Champion, the heaven’s opened up. Graves said Roode is Charlotte’s partner in the Mixed Match Challenge. Phillips said he was coming out to do commentary for the Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton match up next. He also plugged Roode’s defense of his U.S. Title against Orton at Fastlane. [c]

(1) RANDY ORTON vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/Samil Singh)

Yes, one of the first five words Roode said when he sat down at the announce table was “Glorious.” Roode said Fastlane is his biggest WWE match yet and, while he respects Orton, he will win and retain his title. Graves pointed out that Roode holds the one title Orton has never possessed. As Mahal came out, the announcers recapped their feud in recent weeks. A “Randy Orton!” chant rang out early during a mid-ring lock-up. Roode said what every babyface says when scheduled to face another babyface – he wants the “best Randy Orton” possible on Sunday.  They cut to an early break. [c]

They stayed with the acton on split-screen. Jinder was in control after the break with a mid-ring half-cobra. The announcers talked about the Top Ten List. Phillips said Orton has been perturbed over where he was ranked by his peers. Roode said he doubts Orton cares about the list and that he’s more focused on Sunday’s match. When Samil got in Orton’s face at ringside, Orton dropped him on the back of his head and neck on the announce table. Then Jinder tried to throw Orton into the ringpost, but Orton reversed Jinder and threw him into Roode at ringside. Back in the ring, Orton gave Jinder his second-rope DDT. Orton played to the crowd, then turned and pounded the mat. Roode tried to get into the ring. The ref stopped him, so Roode yelled at Orton instead. Jinder then gave Orton a running knee from behind and a sudden Khallas for the win. The announcers wondered if Orton earlier sent Jinder into Roode on purpose or by accident.

WINNER: Jinder in 10:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: This served to build some tension going into Sunday’s Fastlane. Orton has a lot of limitations on what he can do or is willing to do at this point in his career with so much mileage, but he does a lot of little gestures and facial expressions to make everything he does count for a little extra that others could learn from.)

-Backstage, Sami Zayn told Kevin Owens he is totally ready for the Six-Pack Challenge on Sunday. Owens said it’s every man for himself on Sunday. Sami said, “That’s how it’s billed.” Owens said Sami said that if it came down to it, Sami would lie down for him to help him become champion. Sami said he meant it. Owens said he can’t believe he’d do that for him. “It’s almost too good to be true,” he said. “But you are such an amazing guy.” Sami said nobody seemed to notice him until he associated with him. Sami said his day will come and he is sure he will someday day be WWE Champion, but this is KO’s time. He said he’s one championship away from becoming a Grand Slam Champion in WWE. Sami thanked KO for everything he has done for him and he vowed to lie down for him at Fastlane. KO smiled and hugged him. [c]

-Baron Corbin did a selfie promo where half of the words Baron said were flashed on the screen in bold colorful fonts. He said he is going to beat John Cena’s eyes closed so that when he stands over him with the WWE Title under the WrestleMania sign, “You can’t see me.”

(Keller’s Analysis: This is the STUPIDEST THING WWE HAS EVER DONE in terms of a production technique. EVER. It’s too bad because the selfie promo format and the words-on-the-screen stupidity just distracts from what the wrestlers are saying rather than enhancing it, and Corbin was pretty good here for the 20 seconds he talked.)

-The announcers threw to a video package hyping the Usos and New Day, with the framework being its two of WWE’s greatest tag teams of all time.

-Dasha interviewed Shinsuke Nakamura backstage. She asked if he’s concerned his dream match against A.J. Styles is in jeopardy this Sunday. Shinsuke said he hopes Styles wins so he can beat him at WrestleMania with a knee to the… at which point Rusev and Aiden English interrupted. English held his throat in pain. Rusev blamed Nakamura for costing English his beautiful voice and might have caused permanent damage. He said it’d be like breaking Billy Joel’s fingers. He said now there is no Rusev Day song for him. Shinsuke said English is no Billy Joel. Rusev challenged him to a match at Fastlane. Shinsuke sang that after he beats him, it will be “Nakamura Day!” Rusev said, “You can’t just make up your own holiday, bro.”

-Becky Lynch made her ring entrance.

-A clip aired of Becky trying to out-tweet Carmella and Natalya last week. #BeckyWillBeatCarmella was flashed on the screen. Becky said people don’t like her based on the response to her tweets. The screen said: “People really don’t like you” and “Trending.”


Becky’s music was still playing after the break. The Carmella’s ring entrance took place. Graves said he can’t even speak he was so upset with the #BeckyWIllBeatCarmella hashtag because it was so mean. Carmella got the advantage and gloated at ringside. They showed Naomi watching on TV backstage, and the camera showed the back of the TV and Naomi was watching straight on. How do we know what she was watching?!?! (Just kidding.) Byron said it appears Carmella is trying to show the world how dangerous she is. She threw Becky hard into the ringside barricade and then the ringpost. Phillips said she has been incredibly vicious. Back in the ring she scored a two count. Carmella settled into a chinlock. Becky put her foot on the bottom rope to stop a count after a sidekick by Carmella at 4:00. Graves put over Carmella for dominating, which foreshadowed the comeback from Becky seconds later. Becky hit an exploder suplex and then finished Carmella with a Disarm Her seconds later.

WINNER: Lynch in 5:00 via tapout.

(Keller’s Analysis: Seriously, WWE is just too predictable with their commentary tropes. Complimenting the wrestler right before they lose as often as they do gives away the finish.)

-Backstage Natalya was mocking clapped as Naomi cheered Becky’s win. Naomi said she heard Carmella had the flu all week and that’s why she lost. Natalya told Naomi to be careful of Becky because her friends always get burned. Naomi said people genuinely like Becky. Natalya said she has a lot of friends, too. Naomi asked her to name one who wasn’t a cat. Natalya said she’ll name one – Carmella. Naomi challenged Natalya and Carmella to a tag match against her and Becky at Fastlane. Natalya said she can use a tune-up before WrestleMania. She said she plans to challenge the winner at Fastlane to the Women’s Title match at WrestleMania. Naomi said all Natalya will be doing on WrestleMania Sunday is fighting for space on her couch with Two Paws.

-They showed Styles backstage.

-The announcers hyped the Saudi Arabia “Biggest Royal Rumble Ever” announcement. [c]

-The announcers hyped the Fastlane line-up.

NOTE: If you have questions or a reaction to tonight’s Smackdown, send it to for the Mailbag Segment of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast (#WKPWP) taped tonight and available a couple hours after Smackdown ends.


-Styles made his ring entrance. The announcers commented on highlights of last week’s Styles vs. John Cena match. He said he used to care about only one person, but after winning the WWE Title for the second time, he sees things a little differently. He said it’s a grind to get to WWE and it makes him think of all of the years he worked to get there. He said after two years of the grind in WWE, it makes him think of Fastlane and what’s at stake. He said he doesn’t have to get pinned to lose his title. “What a surprise?” he said. “The odds are stacked against me once again.” He said he isn’t going to stand in the ring and whine and cry and say it’s not fair. “To hell with fair, I’m going to fight. That’s what I do, that’s who I am.” He said Smackdown is the house that A.J. Styles built. He said last week Cena got the best of him. Boos. He said he doesn’t need any extra motivation, but Cena is never at a loss for words. He threw to highlights of Cena’s promo from Raw, and they added words to the screen as Cena talked.

Styles said Cena might think he’d be okay getting a rematch at WrestleMania, but that’s not what he wants. He wants to go to WWE as the defending champion and face Shinsuke. He said who imagined he and Shinsuke would have a match at WrestleMania. He said on Sunday he’ll be fighting for himself and for Shinsuke. Dolph Ziggler interrupted.

Ziggler said Styles used to be phenomenal but he’s changed. He said he is just desperate now. Styles said Ziggler has been in WWE 13 years and hasn’t reached his potential. Ziggler said it took Styles a decade to walk in the door of a place Ziggler built. He told Styles to relax, though, because he’s a fan. He said he decided to tell him to his face that on Sunday he’s going to lose. He said his head isn’t in the right place because he said he’s out there doing it for “these people,” adding a sneer as he said it. He said the second you let the fans down just one inch, they’ll stab you in the back. He said, “Let me tell you a story here, kid.”

Ziggler said he was told to his face he would never be champion WWE ever, but somehow every road block put in his way he kicked down. He said he managed to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and became World Hvt. Champion. He said everyone experienced the momentum moment together, but the fans didn’t deserve it. He said they did what they’ve done their entire lives – they sat on the sidelines and did nothing. Ziggler said he is the best thing to happen to the company whether the fans like it or not. He said the fact that he has yet to have one singles match at WrestleMania is criminal. He said Styles can say “us” and “we” and “them” all he wants, but those facts don’t give a damn about his feelings, so he can take his dream match and shove it.

Styles told Ziggler that he’s talking a lot, but since they have a match later, why don’t they just do it right now. They took off their jackets. [c]


Phillips said they have to both be careful not to get hurt so shortly before Fastlane. A few minutes in, Styles landed a slingshot forearm over the top rope to the floor. They cut to a break. [c]

They stayed with the acton on split-screen. Back from the break, Ziggler knocked Styles off the ring apron to the floor. A few minutes later, Ziggler raked Styles’s eyes and then gave him a Fameasser for a two count. More back and forth and they cut to another break. [c]

Ziggler set up a Styles Clash after the break about 15 minutes into the match. Styles slipped out and went for a Calf Crusher as a counter, but Ziggler escaped. Styles just gave away how to counter his own move! Ziggler suddenly hit a Zig Zag for a near fall. Sami and KO then charged to the ring and attacked both men when they were down. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: No contest in 17:00.

-Styles and Ziggler eventually fought back and knocked KO and Sami to the floor. Shane McMahon’s music played and he walked out onto the stage. He patted his heart at the fans to thank them for loving him so much and then waved his finger at KO and Sami. He told them since they want to fight so much, they should get in the ring. He asked, “What’s up, Green Bay?” Cheap pop. He then said fans likely suspect he was about to book a tag team match, but he and Daniel Bryan always want to make the best possible Smackdown. Shane then booked a Fatal Five-way match with the four out there along with Corbin.

(Keller’s Analysis: That was just a dickish move by Shane when it comes to Styles and Ziggler, who were at a distinct disadvantage after fighting 17 minutes.)


Graves said this was going to be the main event at Fastlane at one point. Byron said he loves the call by Shane, but pointed out that Styles and Ziggler have to retrain their minds and refocus on this new challenge. Graves complained that Cena will now be the freshest of anyone in the match on Sunday. Corbin had early control, but Sami and KO worked together against him at ringside. Then they went into the ring and stomped away at the exhausted Ziggler and Styles. Graves said there’s no way Styles will make it to Fastlane at 100 percent after this. KO and Sami hugged mid-ring as they were the last two men standing in the ring. Corbin resurfaced from ringside and took it to Sami. KO superkicked Corbin. Ziggler gave Owens a Fameasser. Sami gave Ziggler a big boot. He went for a kick on Styles, but Styles countered with a Pelé kick. They cut to a break. [c]

Back from the break. Styles and Ziggler set up a superplex on Sami. KO and Corbin joined in and gave Sami a tower of doom. Not sure why KO did that to Sami. Graves said all five landed hard, but Sami got the worst of it since he fell the furthest. #Physics. Corbin charged at Owens, but Owens moved and Corbin went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Owens then gave a cannonball to Ziggler in the other corner. Owens landed a swinging elbow out of the corner for a two count, broken up by Styles. Ziggler then gave Owens a leaping DDT. Corbin entered and went for a suplex, but Ziggler flipped out of it and hit a Zig Zag. Sami entered and went after Ziggler, but Ziggler superkicked him and made the cover. Styles broke up the count. When Styles went for a springboard Phenomenal Forearm, Corbin punched him out of mid-air. He blocked a Ziggler superkick and then gave him a chokeslam backbreaker. Corbin gave Owens a Deep Six seconds later. Styles yanked Corbin off of KO as the ref began his count.

Styles gave Corbin a Pelé kick and then clotheslined him over the top rope. Ziggler came up behind Styles who countered with a spin wheel kick. Then he caught a charging Sami and gave him a reverse DDT. Everyone was down. Styles stood and signaled for the Phenomenal Forearm. He had to fend off Corbin, then Ziggler. Sami charged at Styles, but KO knocked Styles down. Sami then surprised KO with a Helluva Kick and scored the three count. Graves said he can’t believe what he just saw. Byron asked what happened to their friendship and Sami’s vow to sacrifice himself for KO. The announcers agreed it’d be every man for himself on Sunday. Byron said nothing trumps the desire to become WWE Champion, not even friendship.


-Phillips gave a final pitch for the Fastlane main event. Graves said if what just happened here happens on Sunday, Styles will lose his title. They showed KO sitting up and looking shocked and dismayed at Sami, who walked away from the ring. They talked about adding Cena to the mix. Sami turned and looked back at KO without a sense of regret. Caruso interviewed Sami on the stage and asked him “Why?” Sami said, “Why what, Dasha?” Sami said, “How about I am the best WWE has, how about the fact that ever since I have come to Smackdown the most under-looked performer on the roster. Don’t ask me stupid questions. How about that?” He said tonight was about who is the best and he proved it is him.

(Keller’s Analysis: Not the best show-closing promo from Sami.)


NOTE: If you have questions or a reaction to tonight’s Smackdown, send it to for the Mailbag Segment of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast (#WKPWP) taped tonight and available a couple hours after Smackdown ends.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 2/27: Cena makes first appearance on Smackdown in months as he seeks Path to WrestleMania

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