WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER 3/20: Will Bryan address being medically cleared to return? Will he add himself to WrestleMania? Will Styles missing matches this weekend be addressed?

By Joey Galizia, PWTorch Specialist

Sami Zayn comments on Bloodline storyline
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens (photo credit Ross McAdam © PWTorch)


MARCH 20, 2018


  • Will Shinsuke Nakamura and A.J. Styles have each other’s back on the road to their Mania clash?
  • How will the SD Women’s Division change after the arrival of Asuka?
  • Daniel Bryan returns, expected to address his return to wrestling, will he punish Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn?
  • Is Jinder Mahal winning the U.S. Championship a sure thing?


We are only 19 short days away from WrestleMania and the “Dream Match” may be in slight jeopardy. WWE Champion A.J. Styles is currently not 100 percent healthy (not kayfabe) and the most recent shenanigans at a house show in Madison Square Garden to keep him from wrestling are giving much of the wrestle-verse severe heart palpitations. As for this evening, WWE previews is wondering if Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura and the champ will work to keep each other healthy on the road to their WrestleKingdom 10 rematch. Since his debut back in 2016 Styles has been fortunate enough to remain active on the roster with little time off, which can be attributed to his impressive skill as an in-ring performer. However, even the best can have an accident, and the idea that he may not be his full self-going into New Orleans is a dark cloud indeed. With all that said: all we know right now is that A.J. didn’t wrestle at a house show, so until WWE tells us otherwise, the Dream Match isn’t going anywhere.


Speaking of injuries, Shane McMahon got the absolute piss knocked out of him seven days ago by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The YEP movement starters have been beefing with the Smackdown commissioner for quite a while now, but him costing both of them a chance at holding the WWE title at Fastlane was what finally sent them over the edge. Not on site for that most recent PPV was General Manager Daniel Bryan. DB has been just as involved in all this controversy as any of the aforementioned three, but he has made an effort to remain as neutral as possible. Considering the attack last week by the Canadians, that neutrality may finally shift. Preview is teasing the idea of Bryan laying down a punishment for Kevin and Sami. Could that mean the American Dragon laces up his boots and delivers the punishment himself? Will Shane be added to the K.O. and Zayn bout at Mania or will it shift into a tag match? This angle has become much more interesting in the last two weeks, but where the end game will take us is still very much up in the air. (Late News: Bryan has been cleared by WWE to wrestle this afternoon and we expect that to be addressed tonight, also!)


-Over in the women’s division, the blue-brand ladies are slowly preparing for the arrival of the Empress Asuka after she declared at Fastlane that she would be challenging the SD women’s champion Charlotte at the show of shows. That might be intriguing for Carmella who still holds the MITB briefcase, and may look to cause some damage at that major marquee matchup. As for Becky Lynch, Naomi, Natalya, and the rest of the division, expect them to declare themselves in the first ever Mania women’s battle royal. (Not Moolah.)

-Last week Big E. and Jimmy Uso put aside their differences and teamed up to exact some revenge on the brothers who Bludgeon. Harper and Rowan decimated both teams during their tag team bout at Fastlane, and sent poor little Xavier Woods to the closest medical facility. Can anyone stop the determined former members of the Wyatt family, or will tag team gold inevitably be draped over their shoulders?

-Another inevitable outcome may involve the Maharaja Jinder Mahal. He prepares to enter a triple-threat at Mania against the Glorious Bobby Roode and the Viper Randy Orton for the United States Championship. Mahal has had Orton’s number for the better part of a year now, and he recently defeated Roode on television as well, although did eat an RKO post-match from the current champ. With a slew of multi-man matches occurring in New Orleans, this one may be the lowest on everyone’s list, even though it has the potential to really impress. I hope I’m right. As for tonight, expect more jockeying for positioning by every man.

-The Cruiserweight Tournament Finals will be set after tonight’s 205 Live. Either Drew Gulak or Mustafa Ali will be joining Cedric Alexander to determine the new champion of the purple brand. Can Mustafa overcome his old rival Gulak, or will he fall victim to the PowerPoint presentation, or more specifically, a dangerous dragon-sleeper hold that has been rendering opponents useless? Guess you’ll have to tune in to find out.

Fingers crossed that Styles isn’t too active in order to keep him healthy ahead of the biggest match of the year. SD Live in Texas! You watching?

NOW CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S SMACKDOWN: KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/13: Fastlane fallout, Shane has a big announcement, Asuka vs. Charlotte hype, Styles vs. Nakamura hype

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