As CJ mentioned earlier with the official Smackdown preview, it is going to be a huge night. AJ Styles faces Luke Harper for the right to battle Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 33, Apollo Crews goes one-on-one with Dolph Ziggler in a chairs match and Becky Lynch faces off against Mickie James in a 2-out-of-3 Falls battle. Join us tonight and comment below to join the discussion as we live-recap the show!
SMACKDOWN! LIVE (02.28.17)
ST. PAUL, MN (Xcel Energy Center)
Host: Tom Phillips
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, David Otunga
Written by Brendan Wahl
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon re-watched the ending of last week's battle royale before AJ Styles interrupted and offered to just take the title shot at Wrestlemania. Bryan said that the match WILL happen. AJ made fun of Luke Harper, who then appeared behind him staring the Phenomenal One down. Luke thanked the bosses and left.
An edition of MIZtv was scheduled to open the show with John Cena as the guest. Miz immediately had Cena's microphone turned off and accused him of manipulating everyone that gets in his way and getting ahead based on everything besides talent. Miz brought up his victory over John Cena at Wrestlemania and then Cena being jealous of him. Miz also mentioned Cena lambasting The Rock for being part-time before becoming exactly what he had previously mocked. "You Sold Out" chants rang through the arena as Miz referenced Super-Cena and said that he is barely even Decent Cena. Miz took credit for making Smackdown! Live the most must-see show and talked about Cena manipulating his way into the history books by coming back to win the title at the Royal Rumble after coming back for a couple of weeks. Miz said that he illegally tossed Cena out of the battle royale to get him back for holding him down for ten years.
Cena finally got the chance to respond and said that he would "turn Miz's theory into crap." He said that if he had all the pull in the company he wouldn't be face-to-face with Miz but rather the Undertaker. He questioned Miz's identity and accused him of stealing Chris Jericho's personality, Ric Flair's Figure Four and Daniel Bryan's offense and personality. Cena said that Miz was just an unoriginal shell of a WWE superstar that blames everyone else while Cena stands up like a man and keeps fighting. He ended by telling Miz not to bring a knife to a gun fight because he's "not the Undertaker" but if he presses again, "he's a dead man." Maryse then told Cena not to leave until they allow him to because he's a controlling egomaniac freak. Maryse unloaded on Cena with a slap but Cena said that she just made a huge mistake. Nikki Bella then ran out and promised to "break" her for messing with Cena.
A Black History Month feature was shown focusing on Oprah Winfrey.
1) Becky Lynch def. Mickie James in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match with 2 falls to 1 in 14:08. After a commercial break, Mickie was dominant on offense for the early portion of the match, using holds to wear down her fiery opponent. Mickie was able to score the first fall with the Mickie-DT in 7:26. After another break, Mickie began to target Lynch's back but Becky was able to grab a rollup out of nowhere to take the second fall in 12:46. After hitting the Bexploder, Alexa Bliss made her way down to distract the referee. Becky was furious but a rollup was evaded and she managed to lock in the Dis-Arm-Her for the victory.
Luke Harper cut a promo about having new eyes so he can see what true evil is... and he's not afraid of Bray Wyatt. Immediately after, Bray appeared on the big screen and offered a retort, wishing him luck and saying "may the best man win" tonight.
Alexa Bliss cut a promo on being the new Women's Champion after last week before Natalya interrupted and threatened to take the title from her.
AJ Styles cuts a promo about his match with Harper tonight.
2) AJ Styles def. Luke Harper for the #1 contendership at Wrestlemania via pinfall in 11:57. Early on, Harper showed some uncharacteristic athleticism and followed it up by mocking AJ's trademark pose. The big man was also pretty dominant on offense in the early parts of the match, using his brute strength to combat AJ's speed. Harper used his signature dive to send AJ toppling over the announce table and then even used a dragon suplex to send AJ sailing. After a mid-match commercial break, Harper got a near fall with a powerbomb in the middle of the ring. AJ then fired back and hit the Phenomenal Forearm but Harper's foot is on the ropes at two. However, the referee doesn't restart the match... but Shane McMahon hits the ring and forces the match to be restarted. Harper then cradled AJ for a near fall but AJ fought out of it and then argued with Shane McMahon on the outside. Harper went for a superkick but AJ moved and Shane got nailed! AJ then hit the springboard 450 and... got the win?
John Cena and Nikki Bella cut a promo until they were interrupted by James Ellsworth and Carmella. The latter two make fun of the happy couple so they challenged them to a match next week. Carmellsworth are not ecstatic about that development.
Daniel Bryan congratulated AJ Styles for making it to the main event of Wrestlemania and even offered a handshake. Styles said "no thanks" though and said he would be attending Bray Wyatt's invocation later tonight.
Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose came down with no intention of facing his opponent, Curt Hawkins, as he quickly planted him with Dirty Deeds and then called down Baron Corbin. Instead, the Lone Wolf appeared on the big screen and taunted Dean to be careful because he's going to finish what he started. Dean said that this feud is far from over.
3) Dolph Ziggler def. Apollo Crews in a chairs match in 8:55. Crews got the match started pre-emptively by attacking Dolph in the aisle and getting a head-start. Ziggler kicked out of a chair-assisted standing moonsault and Crews sold it almost as much as his opponent. Dolph rammed the chair into Crews' throat and then dropped him crotch-first on the back of said chair as well for the win.
WWE Champion Bray Wyatt made his way to the ring for what he called his invocation. He referred to AJ Styles and Luke Harper as mere mortals and said that he comes from a place where Randy Orton is right now. Orton then revealed that he was in a shed of some kind with a rocking chair. Orton noted that you can smell the stench of evil in the air. He noted that this is Bray's world... but not Orton's... and it never HAS been his world! Orton said "once you join 'em and it's the right time... screw 'em!" He referred to the shed as Bray's temple and said that Abigail is buried directly beneath his feet. Orton then took a pick axe and asked how long the maggots have been eating her. Orton threatened to destroy and burn down "the spirit of Sister Abigail" to make himself the master while Bray will be the servant. Orton then doused the place in gasoline while a mortified Bray looked on from the ring. He also doused the iconic rocking chair and said that he would be coming for Bray's title at Wrestlemania (despite AJ winning the earlier match). Orton then lit the place up and the building burned down as Bray absolutely lost it at ringside, hitting himself and quivering in agony.
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