WWE SmackDown Live
Watch: USA Network, Hulu, WWE Network on an one-month delay
Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN
The show starts with a video recapping the recent events that have unfolded between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan come out to try and solve the problem of who’ll face Bray at WrestleMania, AJ Styles or Orton. Both disagree at first about which man should go on to headline the big show, then start breaking down the timeline of events that has led them to this situation. It’s decided that AJ and Orton need to settle this problem in the ring, AJ confronts both men backstage and expresses his anger and makes it clear that he’s not afraid of the viper or Shane and Bryan.
John Cena & Nikki def. Carmella & James Ellsworth
Once again, James Ellsworth is in-ring to introduce his tag partner and friend that is a girl, Carmella. Right after the bell rings, the Miz’s music hits and the Miz and Maryse start walking to the announce table, while she’s distracted Nikki gets laid out by Carmella. Miz quickly gets to insulting Cena on mic while Cena gets tagged in and waits for Ellsworth to finally get in the ring. One look and Ellsworth wants out but Carmella gets in his face telling him to go face Cena, he tries a super kick but Cena grabs the leg and powerbombs Ellsworth. Carmella gets involved and pushes Cena back but Nikki gets in between the two and hits Carmella with a forearm. John and Nikki both hit an AA and their spinning toe-hold finishers, a cute little filler match that ends in a battle between our winners and ‘The Power Couple’ Miz and Maryse. Miz calls Cena’s love for Nikki a lie, an insult to real love, real love doesn’t require a contract and Cena is using Nikki to improve his own brand. Maryse asks Nikki to, “break that bitch” before dropping the mic and kissing her husband.
Renee Young is backstage to interview Randy Orton and says no one is going to stop him from facing Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania and if he was AJ he’d be very afraid and should run.
Dean Ambrose vs Curt Hawkins
Curt Hawkins wants Dean Ambrose to come to the ring and actually face him in a match. Ambrose walks calmly down the ramp and clotheslines Hawkins before getting on a mic to call out Corbin for a match, claiming Corbin doesn’t have the balls to face him. Corbin appears on the titantron and reminds Ambrose that he doesn’t come to the ring when someone asks him to and when he’s ready he’ll take everything from Ambrose including the Intercontinental title. Ambrose starts walking backstage trying to find Corbin.
Mojo Rawley announces that he is entering the Andre the Giant Battle Royal but Dolph Ziggler slides in and demeans Mojo for being so optimistic getting WrestleMania moment but Rawley quickly reminds Ziggler that he doesn’t have one himself.
Ambrose is still looking for Corbin around the arena, Corbin is behind a pillar and throws a man at Ambrose before hitting him with a pipe and trapping him under a forklift as if it was 1999 again.
Alexa Bliss comes out with her friend Mickie James to give a ‘Blissertation’ in front of the WWE Universe. Spoiler alert every woman that’s available comes out to the ring with a mic and talks before Daniel Bryan comes out and declares that he’s making a tag match between the four woman that happens next.
Alexa Bliss & Mickie James def. Becky Lynch & Natalya
This match is a plot device that allows an explanation to there being a multi-woman match at WrestleMania for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Becky Lynch and Mickie James fight because they’re feuding and the same deal with Alexa and Natalya, this was a well-worked match by all involved and is the best so far in the show. At the ending moments of the match Mickie watches Natalya walk away from her tag partner but Alexa tags herself in and gets the pin on Becky Lynch. Mickie is shocked that her ally would steal the win from her and Mick Kicks Alexa after their arms are raised.
Randy Orton def. AJ Styles
Before the match AJ Styles says that when he was champion, he took SmackDown Live from ‘The B-show’ to ‘The Show’ but Shane and Bryan disrespect him while rewarding Orton for burning down property. Orton tries for the RKO early but Styles slips away and rolls out of the ring. He gets back in and both circle each other before locking up and trading blows and headlocks. After a hard Irish whip to the corner Orton gains control of the match and is picking apart Styles while the crowd chant his name but Styles gets a kick in and takes over. Now, the crowd chants: “AJ Styles,” before he gets tossed out the ring by Orton. With Orton’s leg weakened Styles’ strategy is now to go for a submission while Orton keeps using his power to try to win the match. The two have made this a fun, slower paced match that showcases each man’s strength well. No doubt, the highlight of this match was the Styles’ fake out of the Phenomenal Forearm, causing Orton to jump for a RKO that wasn’t there and landing hard on his back before recovering and hitting a RKO for the win. 12-time champion Randy Orton is now on his way to possibly win championship number 13 against Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania.
WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE - MARCH 7, 2017
Average - 5/10
This episode of SmackDown Live is skippable and reading a review, like the one you've just read, is all the effort you need to put into this week. Important things happened that built towards WrestleMania but it was nothing earth-shattering, the women are going to be in a multi-woman match and the Royal Rumble winner is still heading to WrestleMania for the World Championship, just the norm.