WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER 3/13: Fastlane fallout and a shift to WrestleMania hype with Shane McMahon announcement, Asuka appears, Styles-Nakamura

By Joey Galizia, PWTorch Specialist

Shinsuke Nakamura (photo credit Josh Parry © PWTorch.com)


MARCH 13, 2018


  • Is A.J. Styles ready for Shinsuke Nakamura?
  • Shane McMahon to make major announcement for WrestleMania.
  • Asuka makes her first appearance on Smackdown Live after appearing at Fastlane to challenge Charlotte.
  • New United States Champion Randy Orton must now deal with the target on his back.


A.J. Styles may have had the deck stacked against him this past weekend, but fortunately for him he proved to be the ultimate opportunist, and escaped the six-pack challenge at Fastlane still the WWE Champion. That means that the dream match for most of the wrestle universe is back on, and will culminate at the granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania. I’m talking of course about the Phenomenal One defending his prestigious heavyweight title against the Royal Rumble winner, Shinsuke Nakamura. The King of Strong Style also came out of Sunday with a victory over the Bulgarian Brute Rusev (and on Rusev Day to boot!) after a very stiff/entertaining back and forth affair. Now with no other obstacles in their path, these two former New Japan alums can reignite that once great feud from WrestleKingdom 10, and finally prove once and for all who is the greatest of all time. It was a rocky road, but it’s finally time for the big time.


The other massive story to come out of Sunday’s main event was the actions of commissioner Shane McMahon. With Daniel Bryan absent for the event, there was no one to stand in Shane’s way in case he decided to insert himself into the match, which is exactly what he did pulling out the referee when Kevin Owens had the title won, and then pulling out Sami Zayn moments later for the very same reason. To be fair, Shane was “accidentally” superkicked by K.O. at ringside, but he is a McMahon, and McMahon’s essentially do whatever the hell they please. Owens would eventually be on the receiving end of a Phenomenal Forearm that decided the match, and the hopes of walking into Mania as champion have once again thwarted K.O.’s reach. It doesn’t help that his friendship with Zayn is once again at a boiling point after they couldn’t capitalize on pinning each other and instead had a hockey fight for the ages.

This all leads us to tonight, where Shane’O’Mac will be making an announcement regarding WrestleMania, most likely involving himself and the two troubled Canadians. Will there be some type of stipulation made that really sells this angle? Will Daniel Bryan return to give his two cents on the matter? Even though this story has sort of dragged on, it has now reached a new level of insanity, and I for one am eagerly awaiting the blue brands show tonight.


I must say that Fastlane really over-delivered considering how stale and lame it was going in. Charlotte and Ruby Riott delivered a fantastic bout that told a great story and may do wonders for Ruby down the line. (Once she rids herself of her stable that is.) More importantly, the Empress Asuka revealed herself moments after Charlotte’s defense to officially challenge the Nature Girl at WrestleMania. The crowd absolutely lost their minds, and they very rightfully should have. In a perfect world, this match could 1000% go on very last on April 8th and would fit with the year long progression the WWE has had in pushing its female superstars.  Asuka meanwhile, will be making her SD Live debut this evening, and probably looking to send a message by destroying some of the very diminished roster.


-Speaking of destroying, how great are the Bludgeon Brothers? Never has Luke Harper or for that matter Erick Rowan ever seemed so dastardly or dangerous. Their domination of The Usos and The New Day is the classic David vs. Goliath story that will most likely set-up a triple-threat bout for the blue brand’s tag championships. That is if Harper and Rowan don’t murder them until then.

-Bobby Roode may be glorious, but even he failed to scout out how dangerous Randy Orton’s RKO can be. The Viper is now a grand-slam champion and will be walking into the show of shows with the U.S. title, but it comes with a price. Jinder Mahal, the man Orton has a 1-4 record against immediately ran to ringside to lay a beating on the new champ, but it was Roode who got the last laugh laying out both men with a glorious DDT. This also has triple-threat written all over it for Mania, but as it should. There is no way you should be leaving Jinder off the card after his six month reign at the top, and what would New Orleans be without the Glorious entrance? Will Roode try and cash-in on his rematch clause for a singles match, or will he just take the challenge at Mania? All this and more tonight.

-Carmella finally snagged herself a PPV win, and reminded us that she can very well surprise everyone and cash in her MITB at any time. Becky Lynch on the other hand hasn’t won a PPV bout since 2016, oh well. Hopefully she performer well in the Fabulous Moolah Battle Royal!

-What of Tye Dillinger, Mojo Rawley, Rusev, and the other wrestlers who appeared on Sunday? Are they all planning on entering the Andre the Giant Battle Royal?

Fallout from Fastlane, and right onto the road towards WrestleMania. I’m watching, are you?

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

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