The show opens up with Tom Phillips welcoming us to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. He is joined by Corey Graves & Byron Saxton. Commentary runs down the fallout from Fastlane and promises a huge WrestleMania announcement from Shane McMahon.
AJ Styles makes his way down to the ring and gets on the mic. He welcomes us to the House That AJ Styles Built and says that at Fastlane the odds were stacked against him and he’ll admit when John Cena put him through the commentary table, he was in trouble and started to believe the odds. He also says how could he beat five superstars in a match where anything goes? Unbelievable not impossible.
He also says that we have all heard it, our parents said it to us, when we fall down they said “suck it up and get back in the game” and he found a way and he’s still WWE Champion. But even better than that, he’s going to WrestleMania. He also says that he’ll admit he hasn’t forgot where he came from and it wasn’t that long ago that the rumblings of AJ Styles coming to WWE were pretty unbelievable.
That AJ Styles was WWE Champion was unbelievable, and now that he’s going to WrestleMania as WWE Champion. Yeah, unbelievable not impossible. He also says that his road to New Orleans has been a tough one. He gets a “You deserve it!” chant and points out that he earned it before continuing by saying that the man that will be standing across from him is probably the biggest Japanese superstar in WWE history, Shinsuke Nakamura.
It’s the dream match, he’s wanted to give it to us and he has the utmost respect for Nakamura for following a similar path to WWE, but when it comes to the title, those comparisons stop. He also says that he is no different than the WWE Universe because they call him the everyman, but that only goes until he steps through these ropes and stands in front of us and is phenomenal.
Shinsuke Nakamura makes his way down to the ring. He tells AJ that he’s champion and everyone likes him. Everyone likes him, too, and he respects Styles, but at WrestleMania dreams come true. He steps up and continues by saying that his dream is a knee to the face and becoming WWE Champion.
Rusev Day makes their way down to the ring and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we have a Non-Title Match between WWE Champion AJ Styles & Rusev.
AJ Styles vs. Rusev (Non-Title Match): Nakamura and English are both at ringside for this one. AJ starts working over Rusev’s leg early on. Rusev starts firing up and hits a lariat on AJ. AJ gets up and fires back with a dropkick, then throws Rusev out to the floor and follows up with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, AJ continues the offense until Rusev hits a cheap shot to the eyes. Rusev follows up with a spine-buster for a two count. Rusev hits a backdrop then goes up to the top turnbuckle, but AJ fights away. AJ fires up but Rusev shuts him down with a kick to the head. Rusev goes for another kick, but AJ ducks and hits the Pele kick. AJ hits a backbreaker then looks for a Styles Clash, but can’t execute it. Rusev drops AJ and goes for the Accolade, but AJ reverses it into the Calf Crusher. Aiden English hits the ring and attacks AJ for the disqualification. Winner via DQ: AJ Styles
After the match, Rusev Day double teams AJ as Nakamura watches from his chair. Nakamura slowly stands up and eyes the ring. Nakamura hits the ring takes out English, then Rusev. Nakamura looks at AJ, who is down in the corner, as his music hits.
We head backstage where Big E is being interviewed about his unique tag match against The Bludgeon Brothers tonight. He says that he wishes he could say they proved The Usos wrong and was standing here with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods figuring out a plan to fill Corey Graves’ rental car with pancakes, but The Bludgeon Brothers happened. As long as he has two working legs, he’s gonna hold down his brothers and represent The New Day.
Jimmy Uso rolls up and says that Big E won’t be standing alone. Right before The Bludgeon Brothers got involved they were putting on a classic, and when they’re all healthy, they’ll do it again, but for now they’re gonna take care of business. Big E agrees and they fist bump and walk off together.
Commentary hypes up Shane McMahon’s announcement once again and tells us that Bobby Roode will wrestle Jinder Mahal later on tonight to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get a video package for Kid Rock being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
We head backstage where we see AJ Styles walking when he runs into Shinsuke Nakamura. He says that he didn’t need his help at Fastlane and he didn’t need it tonight either. Nakamura says that he didn’t look like he needed help, but he’s gonna help him every time until WrestleMania, when he’ll beat him with a knee to the face.
We get the entrances for our tag match, but Big E and Jimmy Uso take the fight to The Bludgeon Brothers before the bell. They put Harper into the apron and roll inside, ready to start the match, before heading out to the other side and getting a pair of steel chairs. The Bludgeon Brothers get their hammers as referee Danilo Anfibio gets out of Dodge and they square off. Rowan and Harper manage to run their opponents off but Big E and Jimmy Uso get off relatively scott-free and we go to a commercial break waiting for the match to begin.
Back from the commercial break and the tag team match is in progress.
The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) vs. Big E & Jimmy Uso: The opening bell sounds and Rowan and Big E start going at it. Harper tags in and they double team Big E. Jimmy Uso finally gets the tag and he cleans house. Harper shuts the momentum down with a big boot to Jimmy Uso. Rowan takes Big E out to ringside and whips him into the ring steps. Harper and Rowan double team Jimmy Uso in the ring for the three count. Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan)
After the match, Harper charges at ringside and smashes Big E into the barrier. Harper whips Big E into Rowan and Rowan drops him again. The Bludgeon Brothers head to the back as their music hits and we go to replays.
Commentary then recaps the confrontation between Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Shane McMahon from this past Sunday’s Fastlane.
We head backstage where Sami Zayn is being interviewed. He says that the idea of blame for last night is a loaded question but the obvious answer is Shane McMahon, but the truth is part of him can’t blame Shane. Really, he blames Kevin Owens, because if it wasn’t for Shane’s obsession with Kevin Owens, he wouldn’t have even been out there.
Zayn then says that he’s guilty by association now, and although Owens is talented and has been there for him outside the ring, when it comes to his career he’s just a self-absorbed egomaniac. Zayn also says that he played everyone perfectly and was milliseconds away from being champion, and trust him when he says that that is a price he’ll never pay again, not for Kevin Owens and not for anybody.
Commentary reminds us that we’ll be hearing from Asuka next and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get a video package hyping up WrestleMania.
Charlotte Flair makes her way down to the ring. She says that when you’re champion, you’re always a target, and when Asuka came out at Fastlane she knew exactly what she was up to. Tonight she wanted to make sure she was ready to meet Asuka in the center of the ring woman to woman.
Asuka makes her way down to the ring. Charlotte welcomes her to SmackDown and tells her to be careful what she wishes for. Asuka thanks her and Flair says that she’s traveled the world defending her title and people say two things – one, “Congratulations, Charlotte,” and two, “What would happen if you faced Asuka?” What would happen if the Queen went one-on-one with the Empress of Tomorrow? Who would bow down?
Charlotte says that we will get the answer to that question at WrestleMania. Iron sharpens iron and Charlotte knew from the moment Asuka won the Royal Rumble that she wanted the match against Asuka. So when her music hit Sunday she got goosebumps because she knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She’s never faced anyone like Asuka, and Asuka’s never faced anyone like her, so at WrestleMania, be careful what you wish for, because she’s going to end the streak and cement her legacy.
Asuka says that she chose Charlotte because she likes a challenge and Flair is the Queen, but she’s the Empress. Asuka bows to no one because no one is ready for Asuka. They stare each other down.
Randy Orton makes his way down to the ring and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and commentary recaps The United States Championship Match from Fastlane.
Randy Orton begins by saying that he has been called many different things over the course of his career, some good, some not so good, but the one thing he has never been called, ever, until now, is United States Champion. Orton says that winning this title puts him on a short list of elite superstars that are Grand Slam champions, and that’s a list he actually cares about.
Orton says that Bobby Roode proved himself to be one hell of a competitor at Fastlane and he earned Orton’s respect, but the title is his now. The United States Championship is his and he’s taking it to WrestleMania and nobody’s going to stop him.
Bobby Roode makes his way down to the ring. He gets on the mic and congratulates Orton and says that he got him but he gets a rematch, and he’s cashing that rematch in on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. And when he regains the title, it’s going to be absolutely glorious.
Jinder Mahal comes out and also congratulates Randy Orton for winning The United States Championship. He says that it seems like Orton has been in WWE for an eternity and he finally did it, but on the other hand, Bobby Roode has only been here for a cup of coffee but he’s already held that title, and Orton can never change that. Jinder then says forget about WrestleMania, forget about the rematch, because tonight he’s going to beat Roode just like he beat Orton last week.
Jinder tells Orton to take a seat and to watch as The Modern-Day Maharaja inflicts carnage on Bobby Roode. Orton takes a seat at ringside as the bell rings.
Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode: The opening bell sounds and they fight into the corner. Roode looks for the Glorious DDT early, but Jinder escapes and regroups at ringside. Back in the ring, Roode drops Jinder then grabs him for a reverse neck-breaker. Roode goes up top and hits a flying clothesline, then looks for the Glorious DDT but Jinder escapes again. Jinder rams Roode into the corner, but Roode fires back with a boot to the face and then a Blockbuster for a 2 count. Jinder hits a big boot for a 2 count of his own. Jinder looks for the Khallas, but Roode escapes and rolls up Jinder for another near-fall. Roode hits a spine-buster for another two count. Singh gets on the apron for the distraction, and Roode throws him into the ring post. The distraction leads to Jinder dropping Roode and hitting the Khallas for the three count. Winner: Jinder Mahal
After the match, Jinder stands tall but Orton immediately hits the ring and drops him with an RKO for a big pop.
Commentary reminds us about Shane McMahon’s WrestleMania Announcement yet again and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we see Kevin Owens walking backstage when he rolls up on an interview.
He says that if Sami wasn’t so selfish he would see he wasn’t the only one that got screwed over. In fact, Owens got screwed over first and Zayn wouldn’t have gotten screwed if he hadn’t been screwed first. Owens complains about Sami offering to lie down for him and not doing it, then Owens calls him a liar and a manipulator. Owens then says that if Zayn wasn’t so delusional he would see that Owens is the rightful champion and it’s all because of Shane McMahon trying to steal his spotlight.
Owens then says why did Shane need to be at ringside anyway. They didn’t need him, and if Sami can’t see McMahon for what he really is, he has no problem teaching Zayn a lesson and opening his eyes up to the truth.
Commentary then tosses us to a video package announcing The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal for WrestleMania in Memory of Fabulous Moolah.
Naomi makes her way down to the ring and commentary mentions that she has entered the battle royal before we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for Carmella’s entrance.
We get a promo from Carmella talking about entering the battle royal herself and she calls herself the Modern-Day Moolah before teasing a cash-in at WrestleMania.
Carmella vs. Naomi: The opening bell sounds and Carmella takes control of this one early on. Carmella talks trash to Naomi while she’s down and hits a running knee in the corner. She follows up with a boot to the head. Carmella wastes some time, and Naomi comes back with a shot out of the corner. Carmella slaps her across the face, and Naomi fires back with clotheslines and a knee to the face. Naomi goes to springboard off the ropes, but Carmella cuts her off and slams her down, then rolls her up for the three count. Winner: Carmella
After the match, Carmella stands tall as her music hits. We go to replays and come back to Carmella raising the briefcase.
Shane McMahon is shown walking backstage to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get a promo from Rusev and Lana to promote tonight’s Mixed Match Challenge.
Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon makes his way down to the ring as the announcers show us some shots from his involvement at Fastlane from this past Sunday.
Shane starts by saying that he has had a number of issues with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens as of late but he’s not here to apologize because they have crossed the line. Shane then talks about how it all started with Owens beating up his dad Vince McMahon months ago. Shane also talks about how Sami interfered in his Hell In a Cell match with Owens. Shane then says that that led to months of him going bonkers every time he looked at them and maybe he went too far. Shane then mentions having a conversation with SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan today, and that Bryan will be returning to TV next week. Some fans boo this. Shane then announces that he will be taking an indefinite leave of absence as SmackDown Commissioner after tonight’s show but before he does, he’s here to make one special match.
Shane announces Owens vs. Sami for WrestleMania 34. Shane’s music hits and he goes to leave but Owens comes out as his music interrupts. Owens knocks Shane and mentions how he can beat the hell out of Sami any time, he doesn’t have to wait until WrestleMania. Sami’s music interrupts Owens and out he comes next. Sami stops and looks at Owens on the ramp, then enters the ring with Shane. Sami says that he is glad Shane is leaving because he makes all of his decisions based on what fans react to, as they reacted to Sami and Owens beating on each other at Fastlane. Owens is in the ring now. Shane points to how he just gave them a WrestleMania match and they are ungrateful. Owens then says that Shane will appreciate this as well. Sami attacks Shane from behind and beats him down. Owens joins in and they double team Shane now. Shane tries to fight back but they drop him again. Owens holds Shane in the corner, allowing for Sami to deliver a Helluva Kick. Sami pushes Shane into a Pop-Up powerbomb from Owens. Referees hit the ring but Owens and Sami fight them off as well. Owens brings Shane to the floor and keeps up the attack. Sami brings a steel chair over.
Sami stands the chair up and Owens puts Shane’s neck through it. They both ram Shane into the ring post with the chair around his neck. Sami and Owens drag Shane up to the stage now. They talk trash while dragging Shane to the backstage area. Shane sounds like he’s dying after a powerbomb on top of steel production structure pieces. A referee comes over and calls for paramedics, telling Owens and Sami to leave. Shane sounds really bad, grasping for air. The referee tells him to hang on and that he’s going to make it. The paramedics grab a mask and prepare to load Shane on a stretcher as SmackDown goes off the air.