SmackDown LIVE preview, April 3, 2018: Styles & Nakamura team up before WrestleMania showdown
The rivalry between WWE Champion AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura is heating up as their WrestleMania dream match draws near. Last week, The Artist saved the titleholder from an attack at the hands of Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin, then stopped just short of drilling Styles with a Kinshasa and letting him know what lies ahead in New Orleans. This week on SmackDown LIVE, Styles and Nakamura will join forces to take on Gable & Benjamin. Will they be able to focus on tag team victory, or will the bad blood lead to defeat? Find out tonight at 8/7 C on USA Network!
Last week, Shinsuke Nakamura had WWE Champion AJ Styles in his corner to keep an eye on Chad Gable while he battled Shelton Benjamin on SmackDown LIVE. Nakamura was victorious, but The Phenomenal One was attacked from behind by Gable & Benjamin until WWE’s Rockstar made the save. The Artist then played some mind games with Styles, stopping short of clobbering the WWE Champion with the Kinshasa before playfully reminding him with a pat on the head that a knee to the face awaits him in New Orleans.
With just five nights remaining until their dream match on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Styles and Nakamura will team up to battle Gable & Benjamin. Will Styles be able to concentrate on the tag team struggle, or is Nakamura truly inside The Phenomenal One’s head?
Rusev battles Jinder Mahal days before U.S. Title Fatal 4-Way
Last week, Rusev shook up the WrestleMania card by pinning United States Champion Randy Orton in tag team action, then getting himself added to the Fatal 4-Way Match for the star-spangled title at The Show of Shows, much to the chagrin of Jinder Mahal.
Before he gets to New Orleans, The Bulgarian Brute will take on the Superstar who believes he is the uncrowned United States Champion. Will The Modern Day Maharaja prove why, or will the Rusev Day celebrations begin early?
Charlotte Flair faces Natalya in a rematch from two weeks ago
SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair has a tall task ahead of her this Sunday at WrestleMania in the form of the undefeated Asuka, but she also has to worry about two of her fiercest rivals on Team Blue: Natalya and Carmella.
Natalya is frustrated that she will not be challenging for Charlotte’s title in New Orleans, while Carmella is always waiting in the wings with her Money in the Bank contract, ready to try and steal The Queen’s championship. These three women crossed paths two weeks ago, when Carmella’s meddling led to Natalya defeating Flair in a one-on-one battle. Charlotte is getting her chance at payback this week; will she vanquish the third-generation Superstar and once again turn her focus to Asuka?
Shane McMahon to return ahead of WrestleMania
Last week, Daniel Bryan shocked the WWE Universe when he issued a challenge on behalf of himself and Shane McMahon to Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn for WrestleMania. Bryan had just been cleared to return to competition before he was brutally ambushed by Owens & Zayn, while McMahon was recently hospitalized with acute diverticulitis and an umbilical hernia suffered in a similar attack at the hands of KO and Zayn.
With five days remaining until this unbelievable showdown, Shane McMahon will be at SmackDown LIVE to address the WWE Universe. Will he be ready for WrestleMania? Will Owens & Zayn be keeping a close eye on McMahon’s status after crashing a SmackDown Live Event this past weekend? Find out tonight on SmackDown LIVE at 8/7 C on USA!