SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
APRIL 3, 2018
NASHVILLE, TENN. AT BRIDGESTONE ARENA
REPORT BY JOEY GALIZIA (@RamJam89)
ANNOUNCED BY WWE
- Styles & Nakamura team up to battle Gable & Benjamin
- Shane McMahon to return ahead of WrestleMania
- Charlotte Flair faces Natalya…again.
- Rusev in singles action against Jinder Mahal ahead of their Fatal 4-Way
“DON’T GET EMOTIONAL”
Shinsuke Nakamura may still be dealing with a language barrier, but the man has more charisma than some Hollywood celebrities. He induces joy with a grin and terror with the bulgy eye’d precursor to setting up his vicious Kinshasa finisher. I think it’s also safe to say that even though the quality of his bouts haven’t matched the classics he was putting on in New Japan, he’s still able to make every one enjoyable. Flashback to Money in the Bank 2017 and you’ll recall a brief standoff between the King of Strong Style and the Phenomenal A.J. Styles, which had the fans of St. Louis, lose their minds with excitement.
So with five days to go until WrestleMania, the angle behind Rumble Winner and WWE Champion facing off may not have Stephen King levels of storytelling, but it does have two of the very best facing off in what should be the VERY best match of the night. (It’s not like they haven’t proven it before.) Shinsuke and A.J. have had their moments of disdain for one another, especially when Nak told Styles that he would beat him because he wouldn’t get overly emotional. A.J. didn’t take too kindly to that. Fortunately, both men are able to aim their aggression at a common enemy in Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin this evening in tag action. Will they leave us with anything more than a competitor’s edge going into the show of shows?
“FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE”
-The other big storyline coming out of the blue brand is Daniel Bryan’s return to the ring. After an attack at the hands of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, D.B. is willing to put aside all of his past differences with commissioner Shane McMahon to take on the Canadian Duo in a tag match, and added the stipulation that if they lose, they remain fired. K.O. and Zayn have been crashing house shows over the past month to remind the wrestle universe of what they would be missing if they were gone. We’ll see how deep this story goes, especially with Shane returning this evening.
-In the women’s division, Charlotte Flair prepares for her toughest challenge to date on Sunday against the undefeated Empress Asuka. As for tonight, she’ll be clashing once again with her long time rival Natalya Neidhart. Also casual reminder that Carmella has been teasing cashing in her Money in the Bank briefcase for weeks, and has promised on Twitter that she will steal the spotlight at WrestleMania. That is…if she doesn’t fall flat on her face again.
-The Usos, New Day, and Bludgeon Brothers tension has raised to an all time high, and last week it was made official that the Samoans tag title will be on the line against both teams on Sunday. (Not on the preshow either!) Rumor has it that a very dangerous stipulation could be added to make the match more intense than it probably already will be. Stay tuned.
-Two of the participants in the Fatal 4-way for the United States Championship will be facing off in singles action this evening. The Maharaja Jinder Mahal will be colliding with his old teammate, and EXTRAORDINARILY popular Rusev. Look for Bobby Roode and/or Randy Orton to be keeping a close eye on this bout in hopes of gaining some type of advantage ahead of Sunday.
-Who else will declare themselves for the men’s and women’s battle royals? With only five days to go, we may see a lot of additions before the night is up.
The go home show before the show of the year! Hello Nashville!
NOW CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S SMACKDOWN: KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/27: WrestleMania developments including Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon, Charlotte vs. Natalya, Shelton vs. Shinsuke
CHECK OUT THE “WADE KELLER PRO WRESTLING POST-SHOW” FOLLOWING THIS EPISODE OF RAW RIGHT HERE…