- Smackdown Live Episode #918 is live from the Mohegan Sun Casino. Tom Phillips, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, and David Otunga are calling the action this week. Mauro Ranallo is said to be "sick", but he has a history of severe depression, and has been inactive in all his usual routines for the last week and a half. On a side note, did everyone enjoy Southpaw Regional Wrestling as much as I did? We’re less than two weeks away from WrestleMania Sunshine: The Ultimate Thrill Ride.
- We recap last week where A.J. Styles took his frustrations out on Shane McMahon, ending with Shane being thrown head-first through a car window. Moments later, Daniel Bryan fired Styles, but Shane came out at the end of the show to announce that A.J. Styles has a WrestleMania opponent now, implying that it would be himself (Shane). We join Bryan and Styles backstage, and I guess Bryan terminating Styles has been vetoed by the higher power.
- A.J. Styles comes out to brag about what it feels like to beat up Shane McMahon. Is #BeatUpShaneMcMahon trending on Twitter, yet? He doesn’t even try to milk offering fake sympathy for last week’s attack. Then he mocks Shane’s announcement at the end of the show, and mocks him for thinking he can handle being in the ring with him. Without A.J. Styles, Smackdown plummets, and their social media crashes... just like Shane going through a car window. He’s going to repeat last week and give Shane a warm welcome in the parking lot.
- Baron Corbin wants to know if Ambrose has accepted his challenge for WrestleMania. Daniel Bryan says he hasn’t heard from him since what he did with a forklift, but instead, he’ll get to compete tonight... against Randy Orton. First time ever! This should make the Baron Corbin DVD set, without a doubt.
We return from commercial, with Jey hanging on to a chin-lock on Gable. Hard whip to the corner with a chest first bump. Gable avoids a dive, but Jimmy cuts off the tag attempt. Gable fights through more defense, but Jimmy sweeps Jordan off the apron once Gable makes it to his corner. Gable gets dumped and Jimmy lays him out with a clothesline. Gable rolls back in at 9 to avoid the count-out and we get some misguided exposition from Phillips. Gable gets slammed across the ring post and hung in a tree of woe. Jimmy meets the post on a missed charge. Jordan with the hot tag and he throws Jey overhead. Diving shoulder tackle in the corner to Jey and another belly-to-belly suplex to Jimmy. Angle Slam to Jey gets two. They go for the Steiner Bulldog, but Jey escapes and Jimmy hits Jordan with a Super-Kick. Gable with a body press, but he gets rolled up for two. Jimmy with a Super-Kick, and the Superfly Splash gets two! Usos climb opposite turnbuckles, but Jordan tosses Jimmy, and Gable slams Jey off from the other. The Flying Bulldog connects, but Jimmy pulls Jordan off at two. Jordan with the Alpha-Plex to Jimmy on the floor. Jey with a running keel kick to Jordan, knocking him off the apron. Gable climbs the ropes and hits a moonsault on Jimmy. Jey recovers, tossing him over the barricade, and Jordan hits Jey with a shoulder tackle. Back inside, Jordan gets straddled on the middle rope and a Super-Kick finishes at 9:54 (shown), making the Usos the 4th-ever Smackdown Tag Team Champions. ***1/2 Hot match with nonstop action. The crowd seemed way too into the Usos, but that just exposed how poorly handled American Alpha were since their call up to the main roster.
- A.J. Styles is waiting in the parking lot. Déjà vu.
- Luke Harper is hanging around backstage, talking about what Sister Abigail has done to what once was a good man. He says Randy Orton opened Pandora’s Box. Next week, he’ll have the chance to destroy Bray Wyatt.
- Never Before Seen Footage from Total Bellas... starring the Miz as John Cena and Maryse as Nikki and Brie Bella. "John Cena" woodenly proposes... that she stop breaking rule #11 of John Cena’s house rules of putting her feet on the furniture. As a reward for correcting her behavior, he’s going to pop the question. A balloon with "Question?" on it. TO BE CONTINUED.
- Renee Young is backstage with Randy Orton, wanting to know if he has a response for Bray Wyatt’s message last week when he "bathed himself in Sister Abigail’s ashes." The lights flicker, Renee Young disappears, and Orton gets beaten up by Wyatt’s followers. He speaks in his usual confusing tongues and starts singing his favorite jukebox song.
- Part TWO of the Lost Episode of Total Bellas! More dead line delivery from "John Cena", proclaiming his love for "Nikki Bella", with the help of que-cards. Tours are against the Cena House Rules, but he’ll do anything that will make him look good on TV. People violate rule #40 by not using drink coasters, but that isn’t a problem anymore, since they don’t have any friends. "Cena" says he is going to give her a diamond... Dallas Page Yoda DVD set. The servants aren’t allowed on television because they aren’t relatable. He says he bought Nikki a ring... a WWE toy ring. "Cena" reprimands "Nikki" for asking to advance her career in front of the camera. He cheers her up by getting to his knee and tie the knot... on his shoe. TO BE CONTINUED!
- A.J. Styles is still stalking the parking lot, but finds out he almost ambushed Rhyno and Heath Slater. Why are they showing up this late?!
- Shane McMahon comes to the ring, so I guess he’s been in the building all day after all. Renee Young lets A.J. know that Shane is waiting for him in the ring. Shane calls out Styles for attacking him from behind instead of meeting him face-to-face like a man. Styles comes out, backing down a bit, saying he was frustrated from losing his spot in the Main Event of WrestleMania and offers an "apology". Shane responds by throwing his signature awful punches that look bad and potato people. They take it to the floor, with Styles throwing Shane into the barricade with a suplex. Styles undresses the announcers table, but Shane catches him with an overhead suplex. Shane continues where Styles left off, lays Styles out across the table, and comes off the top rope, crashing through Styles and the table with a flying elbow... and end show.
Final Thoughts: WrestleMania is now only about a week away, and the entire card seems to be ready to go. With the unexpected title switch from American Alpha to the Usos, that leaves a question mark of whether or not those titles will be defended on the show. There’s some rumors and speculation, but I don’t know if we should look too deep into them. Everything else was your typical "moving on to WrestleMania" development, with a lot of feuds featured, but nothing earth-shattering. WrestleMania doesn’t look to be a blow-away show, but there’s going to be plenty of action and both shows will be well represented.