Smackdown this week started with a recap of Daniel Bryan’s career up until now. This recap includes the news that broke earlier today, announcing that Daniel Bryan has been cleared to wrestle. After that, we go to our live crowd in Dallas, Texas. Daniel Bryan comes out to a crowd full of “Yes!” chants. Bryan mentions that he has to address the Shane McMahon situation, but can’t until Zayn and Owens are actually at the venue. After that, he starts talking about his retirement and return. Bryan gets emotional very quickly, talking about how Brie Bella motivated him to keep fighting until he was healthy enough to compete. Bryan says that he does not know where he will fight, following that sentence up with a long stare at the Wrestlemania sign. He finishes his promo by asking if he will fight in a WWE ring ever again, starting a YES! Chant afterwards.
This was great, and straight from the heart. You could hear him choke up a little a few times in the promo. Personally, I find it very inspiring that he went against all odds to get back in a WWE ring. It was also very touching to hear how much Brie Bella helped pull Bryan through tough times. Based off of how he sounded, it seems like if it wasn’t for her he would have given up.
Rusev w/ Aiden English vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Well, wipe away the tears, we have a whole show to watch. After the break, we got a match between Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura. As usual, Rusev was accompanied by Aiden English for this match. Sitting ringside during this match was AJ Styles, since Styles is set to face Nakamura in three weeks at Wrestlemania.
Early in the match, Nakamura was doing his usual mind-games. We went to a commercial break with Rusev in control. After the break, Nakamura was fighting out of a submission. Nakamura attempted a Kinshasa but Rusev was able to counter it into a kick. Nakamura won the match by a roll-up. Honestly, I understand why they did this. They wanted to put Nakamura over, but not completely bury Rusev since he is a big character right now. Though with that being said, just based off the past few weeks, it feels like WWE is asking for the Rusev Day gimmick to lose its luster.
After the match, Aiden English and Rusev team up on Nakamura. Nakamura fights off both of them, as AJ Styles was at ringside. Styles was going to help him, until he realized that Nakamura did not need any help.
Backstage, Natalya is talking to Charlotte. Natalya is completely confident that she could beat Asuka if she were to ever face her. Charlotte says that Natalya will not face her at Wrestlemania, but they can fight tonight.
Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin fought Tye Dillinger in a very brief match. Dillinger was hit with the End of Days to end the match. Not much to say about this, other than The End of Days is a cool move.
Charlotte vs. Natalya
Charlotte faces Natalya next since Charlotte guaranteed Natalya a match earlier. Late in this match, Natalya hit a Disqus Lariat for a two corunt. Natalya hit a Superplex onto Charlotte. As both wrestlers were laying around, Carmella ran out to cash in her Money In The Bank briefcase. Carmella got a kick from Charlotte, and did not cash in her briefcase. Once Charlotte dealt with Carmella, Natalya got a roll-up off of a distraction for the win.
Honestly, this match did not make sense. If Charlotte is the champion, then Natalya shouldn’t have gotten so close to a clean victory. A roll-up doesn’t really matter, but I feel that Natalya getting so much offense in this match makes Charlotte feel like a weak champion. On the positive side, I think that Carmella teasing the idea of cashing in sooner or later is good. It adds more complexity to the Wrestlemania storyline.
Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso vs. Luke Harper w/ Erick Rowan
Before the next match, The Usos cut a lengthy promo. They promos are usually good, but it felt like they were just trying to fill time with this one. Who knows, maybe they were. Harper won this match, which shocked nobody.
Jinder Mahal Cuts A Promo
Jinder Mahal is in the ring cutting a promo about his Wrestlemania match against Bobby Roode and Randy Orton. Bobby Roode cut off Mahal’s promo. As Bobby was talking, he got cut off by Orton. A brawl eventually broke out between these three, which ended in a stalemate.
Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan w/ Ruby Riott
Becky Lynch and Naomi face Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan to promote the Women’s Battle Royale match. Lynch gets the win for her team with the Disarmer onto Liv Morgan.
Daniel Bryan Confronts Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Bryan is in the ring for the second time tonight. He invites Owens and Zayn to the ring. The duo receives a decent amount of heat from the crowd. They show footage of the assault on Shane McMahon from last week. Because of what happened last week, Bryan fires both of them. Bryan says that they aren’t gone forever, just for now. Bryan shakes their hands, but gets attacked right after. Bryan begins fighting back, suplexing Sami and doing dropkicks in the corner to both Sami and Owens. With the crowd erupting, Bryan did Yes Kicks to Owens. His final Yes Kick got stopped by Sami Zayn. Owens ended the brawl, Powerbombing Daniel onto the ring apron. Ouch, that looked like a deadly spot.
Bryan was loaded onto a stretcher as the show went off-air. First of all, that powerbomb onto the apron was fucking brutal. No other way of putting it. Also, this whole segment was amazing. I loved all of it. What a way to end the show.