WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER 3/27: Nakamura vs. Benjamin, Charlotte vs. Natalya, Roode & Orton vs. Singh & Mahal, plus latest on Bryan

By Joey Galizia, PWTorch Specialist

Shelton Benjamin (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


MARCH 27, 2018


  • Will Daniel Bryan be on SmackDown live after last week’s attack?
  • Shinsuke Nakamura in singles action against Shelton Benjamin.
  • Charlotte Flair faces Natalya Neidhart in a rematch from last Tuesday.
  • Roode and Orton team up to take on Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh.


What a difference a week makes. Moments after my primer for last Tuesday’s Smackdown was released, a bombshell of all bombshells dropped onto the wrestling universe: Daniel Bryan has been cleared to return to in-ring action. Just writing those words brings tears to my eyes for reasons I’m sure you can understand.

Bryan took that gracious opportunity to address the WWE fans and thank them for their overwhelming support. However, he immediately shifted back into General Manager mode, and enforced a ruling on culprits Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for their attack on commissioner Shane McMahon. That is, he fired them. K.O. and Sami didn’t take too kindly at DB’s decision, and left him lying on his back as well after a brutal beatdown followed by an apron powerbomb.

Tonight’s preview promises us that Bryan will return to address what happened, and perhaps even bring back those dastardly Canadians just so he can kick their teeth in at WrestleMania. Problem now is that his suspected tag partner Shane is (not kayfabe) as ill as a human being can be. WWE has proven in the past that they can bounce back from an unsuspecting injury that dampers their plans, but with Mania only two weeks away it is essential they tell this story correctly. Who will be Daniel’s new tag team partner if they continue down this path? Guess we’ll just have to tune in and find out.


As for the “Dream Match” that most of the WWE Universe has been waiting on, we can breathe a little easier. A.J. Styles was noticeably not competing on television or house shows since Fastlane, and word got around that he was dealing with some type of leg injury, possibly an MCL sprain. Fortunately, it seems that he is in good enough condition to defend his belt in New Orleans, and as of now it doesn’t seem like anything will get in the way. His opponent on April the 8th, Shinsuke Nakamura will be very pleased to hear this. The Rumble winner will attempt to continue to build up his momentum and win streak as he prepares to face Shelton Benjamin tonight in singles action. Will Styles be on site to scout out the King of Strong Style? If he wants to keep the WWE Championship he might.


-In the women’s division we will see SmackDown champion Charlotte Flair in a rematch from last week with one of her oldest rivals Natalya Neidhart. Hopefully, the Nature Girl will make quick work and keep herself 100% healthy as she prepares to face the undefeated Empress Asuka at WrestleMania. She should also keep her eye out for Ms. Money in the Bank Carmella who after sitting on her briefcase for nearly nine months has attempted to cash-ins that were foiled by her own stupidity. At this point, the Staten Island Princess may just stay on the sidelines until New Orleans and try to recreate the heist of the century.

-Bobby Roode and Randy Orton may be opponents on April 8th, but tonight they will team up to face the other man in the triple-threat for the U.S. title Jinder Mahal. Jinder will be tagging with his longtime lackey Sunil Singh, who hasn’t won a match since he and his brother opened the very first 205 show. (True story.) Can the Glorious One and the Viper coexist before their date with destiny?

-Xavier Woods will be returning to the blue brand tonight! The heart of the New Day has been M.I.A. since the Brothers Bludgeon, Harper and Rowan, decimated them and the Usos at Fastlane. They will look for revenge on tonight’s episode, but where is this all leading in regards to Mania? Nothing has been announced as of yet for the SD tag belts. Look for that to change tonight.

-Any man or woman who doesn’t seem to have a clear direction will obviously be entered into their respective battle royals. Hopefully the women of SmackDown Live start developing their own storyline so Sasha and Bayley don’t dominate the whole match. (Although I would be fine with that as well.)

12 days until the show of shows. Lots of filler still to be had. You in?

NOW CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S SMACKDOWN: KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/20: Daniel Bryan to appear live day he was medically cleared, Styles-Nakamura hype, U.S. Title hype, more

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