- Smackdown Live Episode #917 is live from Pittsburg, PA. Tom Phillips and John "Bradshaw" Layfield are at ringside to call all the action, unless otherwise noted. Mauro Ranallo is stuck in traffic somewhere and David Otunga is filming a movie or something that I more than likely won't watch or hear about outside of a WWE clip. Nothing major advertised in advance, although my mind might be playing tricks on me.
- After the show went off the air last week, Shane McMahon and A.J. Styles got into a brief scuffle at the gorilla position over Styles' disappointment in losing his Championship opportunity at WrestleMania Sunshine. A.J. Styles interrupts Shane McMahon's exposition phone-call, looking for Shane. Unfortunately for A.J., McMahon hasn't arrived yet. Styles comes to ringside to vent his frustrations to the WWE Universe™. Styles is still complaining about how Cena was gifted the title match at the Royal Rumble, but he accepts his loss. He expected a rematch, and all he got was a triple threat that he wasn't pinned in, then an Elimination Chamber. Then he not only won a Battle Royal, but he was forced to fight Luke Harper, and he beat him, too. Randy Orton burns down Bray Wyatt's house, and he doesn't get arrested or go to jail, he goes to the Main Event of WrestleMania. A.J. takes credit for the success of Smackdown Live. He says he's going to have a "conversation" with Shane McMahon about his career.
- A.J. Styles is pacing backstage.
- John Cena hosted Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards on Saturday Night. Here's some clips. - The Miz and Maryse are in the ring for a Special Edition of Miz TV. The guests this week are the IT COUPLE of WWE... Themselves. They're going to give everyone an in-depth look at what kind of frauds John Cena and Nikki Bella are. They once again had an awesome segment on Talking Smack (including another cheap shot at Daniel Bryan not being allowed to wrestle). Miz calls Cena the most manipulative, selfish, and plastic person he's ever known, and he lives in LA. Maryse gives us a story about how WWE wanted her to join the cast of Total Divas back in 2013, but Nikki told her the offer was too low because she could help her get more because she was "untouchable" since she was dating John Cena. The offer was quickly taken off the table, and she lost several years of time she could've spent with her husband. Is Maryse supposed to be a heel in this? Cena and Nikki come rushing out, and Miz and Maryse quickly bail. Nikki says they were never best friends and that Maryse is a brainless blowup doll. She offers Maryse to step in the ring, but Miz says she isn't John Cena, she just can't make a match. Daniel Bryan comes out to give Miz a piece of his mind. Every time he promises something and doesn't deliver, he wants to punch him in the face. Every time he rubs it in his face he can't wrestle any more, he wants to punch him in the face. Every time he poorly imitates his moves, that really makes him want to punch Miz in the face. There's someone that can punch him in the face, and at WrestleMania: The Ultimate Thrill Ride (and Ultimate Face-Punching Extravaganza), the Miz and Maryse will face Nikki Bella and John Cena. Miz continues to be awesome, deal with it.
- A.J. Styles is still waiting.
- Shane McMahon finally arrives. A.J. Styles ambushes him and lays into him with a flurry of rights. "Here's an opportunity to whoop your ass." He tosses Shane around like a rag doll and finishes by sending him head first through a car window. Finlay shows up to finally break things up, as if nobody expected some kind of physical altercation. Shane appears to be bleeding from the top of his head. My name is Finlay, and I need paramedics! When we return from commercial, Daniel Bryan confronts Styles about his behavior and fires him on the spot. NO! Smackdown Live NEEDS A.J. Styles!
- Randy Orton comes out to finally give some spotlight to the "Main Event" at WrestleMania. He reminds us about the whole "if you can't beat them, join them, and when it's the right time, screw them" motto. He laid in the grass, waiting for months, looking for the perfect time where he could hurt Bray Wyatt the most. He devised a plan to get close to Bray and earn his trust. The longer he stood beside him, the more the venom ran through his veins. He says Bray Wyatt's biggest fear is being alone, and now, he is just that. There's still one more step to climb to finish what he started, and at WrestleMania, he swears he will take everything from Bray Wyatt. We finally hear from Bray, who is allegedly at the remains of his compound. He says Sister Abigail is the spawn of Satan, and her spirit was forged in Hell. She has bestowed her power upon him, making him more powerful than ever before. He grabs handfuls of the ash and smears it all over his face... Um... I don't even know what to say to follow up on that, so NEXT SEGMENT.
- Dasha Fuentes interviews Baron Corbin (standing in front of a fork-lift) about whether or not he crossed the line last week. He says if Dean Ambrose can climb out of his hospital bed and show up at WrestleMania, he's going to take his Intercontinental Title and put him down, for good. They're really going full steam ahead on a loaded WrestleMania card.
- Shane McMahon stumbles out to announce that A.J. Styles has an opponent for WrestleMania, and FADE TO BLACK.
Final Thoughts: If you were looking for a good night of wrestling, well, this wasn't that episode. A couple of decent matches is all you're getting. On the flip side, we had a lot of talking, and it was mostly good stuff, building interest for a lot of matches that, on paper, weren't that enticing to begin with. I'm actually looking forward to the Mixed Tag, and Styles vs. Shane, while a disappointment on paper, means they think highly of Styles as a worker, so good for him. Every Championship seems to be in line for a title defense, but the Women and Tag Team matches might barely qualify as Kickoff Show material, and don't have much momentum.