This is the Chairman and here are my three hits and misses for the go home episode of Smackdown Live for Fast Lane.
HIT: Becky Lynch vs Carmella
I’ve been one of the biggest critics of the women’s division on Smackdown Live, but tonight they finally did something right. They got Becky Lynch and Carmella back into the ring and in singles action. Sure the match was made because of some backstage drama, but I enjoyed watching these two in the ring. Becky of course got the better of Carmella by making her tap out to the Disarmer, but Carmella has a chance at revenge this Sunday at Fast Lane. Carmella and Natalya join forces to take on Naomi and Becky. I was nervous thinking Becky and Naomi could’ve been facing Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan of the Riott Squad since Charlotte Flair is facing Ruby Riott. WWE however made the right call getting Natalya and Carmella back on television again just as we turn the corner into Wrestlemania.
MISS: Riott Squad Scared Off by a Theme?
Charlotte and Ruby Riott cut a decent promo to build their match for Fast Lane this Sunday. When things got heated, Ruby of course summoned her followers Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan to get a three on one ambush on Charlotte. Normally we’d be expecting Becky and Naomi to make the save, however it was Bobby Roode? Roode’s theme started playing and all the sudden the Riott Squad abandon their plans to attack Roode’s Mixed Match Challenge partner. It just seemed strange to me that a wrestling theme automatically stopped an ambush in the ring.
HIT: Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev Finally Made the Fast Lane Card
Two of the most polarizing figures on Smackdown Live have been barely used the past several weeks, but tonight we had an interesting encounter between Nakamura and Rusev backstage. Apparently Nakamura damaged Aiden English’s vocals and Rusev took offense. Rusev once again cut another hilarious promo and challenged Nakamura to a match at Fast Lane. Nakamura accepted and made a reference to Nakamura Day. It’s definitely exciting to see these two on the Fast Lane card, but is having them face each other the right move considering how over Rusev is? Guess we will see who the Fast Lane crowd puts their support behind Sunday.
MISS: No New Day or Usos?
All we got from the New Day and Usos on the go home show before Fast Lane was a promo video. That’s it! No match, no segment, no nothing. Last week was the final chapter before their in ring clash this Sunday. Considering this was one of the best feuds in 2017, it sure would’ve been nice to see one last encounter before the pay per view. Sadly I think the match at Fast Lane doesn’t get the proper ending fans want because I see Harper and Rowan showing up.
HIT: Sami Zayn Leaves Smackdown Live On Top
After Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens ambushed AJ Styles and Dolph Ziggler during the match, Shane McMahon decided to make Zayn and Owens return to the ring and tossed Baron Corbin in the ring as well for a fatal five way match. More on that shortly, but Zayn shocked the world by hitting Kevin Owens with a Helluva Kick for the win. For the past few weeks it was Zayn telling Owens he would take the fall for him at Fast Lane. But is that really true after what we seen tonight? Is Sami Zayn now in it for himself or is this some random ploy by Kami??? Guess we will find out more Sunday what the standing between Owens and Zayn is.
MISS: Fast Lane Main Event For Free on Smackdown Live
So up until last week, the Fast Lane main event was Styles vs Owens vs Zayn vs Corbin vs Ziggler. John Cena cried for a opportunity and of course he got it and after beating Styles got added to the match. So Shane McMahon just decided the hell with it and gave away basically ⅚ of the Fast Lane main event tonight. To me this is a bad decision and I partly wonder if this was made on the fly or what? Why do I want to watch the match this Sunday if I already seen it tonight on Smackdown Live and don’t say John Cena. This was a poor booking decision by the E once again. If anything, this would’ve been the perfect opportunity for one of those famous six man tag matches. Of course, big John didn’t want to work Tuesday night so we had to scratch that idea. Either or, I despise giving away a match you’ve spent weeks building for a pay per view. Let’s see if they do anything this Sunday to wow us. Sadly we all know the predictable finish and it’s AJ Styles retaining so all us wrestling fans are just hoping to be entertained and maybe another Wrestlemania story unfolds at this point.
That’s it for me. If you haven’t heard, check out my podcast debut as I joined Justin and Cam as a special guest on the Hittin’ the Canvas podcast as we previewed Fast Lane and touched base on other topics in the wrestling world. Otherwise that wraps up another weekly edition of Smackdown Live Hits and Misses. Follow me on twitter @chairmanpodcast for my wrestling tweets about anything and everything in between and thanks for reading.