The March 7, 2017 Edition of Smackdown Live is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on March 7, 2017 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Last week’s SmackDown LIVE saw a flurry of activity where the WWE Title was concerned. First, AJ Styles won the No. 1 Contender’s Match against Luke Harper to gain entry into the WWE Title Match at The Showcase of the Immortals. Then, Randy Orton burnt down the Wyatt Family Compound and declared he was coming for the head of WWE Champion Bray Wyatt.
Because these two instances stand in direct conflict with one another, Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan kicked off SmackDown LIVE by explaining their decision to have The Viper take on “The Face that Runs the Place” in tonight’s main event with the winner definitively going on to face The Eater of Worlds for the most prestigious prize in WWE at The Show of Shows.
In their first match together as a tag team, John Cena & Nikki Bella made quick work of James Ellsworth and his “friend who is a girl” Carmella defeateding them with some impressive and synchronized tandem offense.
However, the Total Bellas stars would not have long to celebrate, as The Miz & Maryse left the SmackDown LIVE announce table to blindside the victorious couple. After brutalizing The Cenation Leader & Fearless Nikki, The A-Lister and his bride yet again tore down Cena and Nikki’s character and then shared a celebratory kiss in the ring.
After quickly taking out Curt Hawkins for the second week in a row, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose ponied up on once again calling out Baron Corbin, as well. Much like he did last week, Corbin appeared via the TitanTron to answer Ambrose’s challenge.
The Lone Wolf reiterated that he would square off with Ambrose on his own terms, incensing The Lunatic Fringe and prompting him to go looking for Corbin … but not before having Hawkins face the facts of a second Dirty Deeds on the outside.
Ambrose’s search for Corbin would take an unexpected twist, however, when The Lone Wolf blindsided the unstable Intercontinental Champion backstage. Ambrose attempted to fight back, but the element of surprise allowed Corbin to get the advantage, leaving The Lunatic Fringe laying and crushing him with a forklift.
With Mickie James by her side, SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss addressed the WWE Universe with a self-titled “Blissertation” in hopes of announcing her opponent for WrestleMania … but then, right after declaring herself the greatest female Superstar on the entire SmackDown LIVE roster, seemingly everything went wrong for the Wicked Witch of WWE.
First, Becky Lynch interrupted to say that she would be the one to defeated Bliss for the title at WrestleMania, then Natalya arrived to imply the same and finally Mickie piped up to say that she too expected Bliss to call her name for the opportunity, which didn’t exactly seem to be what the SmackDown Women’s Champion had in mind.
This all prompted SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan to arrive on the scene to make sense of the developing chaos. Much to Bliss’ chagrin, the “YES!” Man announced that because she perceived herself to be the best of the bunch on SmackDown LIVE, she would defend the title against every available woman on the roster at The Show of Shows. Bryan then doubled down and channeled soon-to-be WWE Hall of Famer Theodore Long, making a tag team match pitting Lynch & Natalya against Bliss & James.
The four Superstars wasted no time getting into the heat of the action, as Lynch, James and Natalya basked in the knowledge that they were now WrestleMania-bound.
Bliss & Mickie’s alliance seemed to pay dividends in the early portions of the contest with the two using their familiarity with one another to gain an edge. Natalya and Lynch fought back, but the tide shifted when Natalya turned on The Irish Lass Kicker, giving James & Bliss the chance to capitalize. James attempted to pin the fallen Lynch, but Bliss would blind tag herself in to score the victory.
Seemingly tired of the poor treatment from Bliss over the course of the evening, James blasted the SmackDown Women’s Champion in the face with a Mick Kick after the match.
Prior to his WWE Title No. 1 Contender’s Match against Randy Orton, AJ Styles was once again unable to contain his displeasure for Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan, still firmly believing that he was being robbed out of the WrestleMania title opportunity that he had earned by defeateding Luke Harper last week.
Once The Viper made his way to the ring, however, The Phenomenal One was as focused-in as ever. In their first ever clash, Orton and Styles absolutely threw down, both displaying why they believed they belonged at the center of The Ultimate Thrillride.
After an enthralling several minutes of back and forth action, it was The Viper who was able to strike and seal the deal with a major RKO for the win. With his ticket to WrestleMania officially punched, the question quickly became … what would happen next between he and his former leader, Bray Wyatt?
WWE Network's Talking Smack revealed that AJ Styles and SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon had a backstage altercation after SmackDown LIVE went off the air.
Styles, clearly frustrated over his loss to Randy Orton in the No. 1 Contender's Match in the main event, got right in Shane's face and they quickly began to argue. WWE officials had to separate the two, who were both irate by the end of the confrontation.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- John Cena & Nikki Bella defeated Carmellsworth (Carmella & James Ellsworth) by submission (7:06)
- Alexa Bliss & Mickie James defeated Becky Lynch & Natalya (12:40)
- Randy Orton defeated A.J. Styles to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship (17:42)
Other on-screen talent
Shane & Daniel put the WrestleMania WWE Championship picture in perspective
John Cena & Nikki Bella v Carmellsworth
Dean Ambrose called out Baron Corbin
Alexa Bliss hosted SmackDown LIVE’s Women’s Division “Blissertation”
Alexa Bliss & Mickie James v Becky Lynch & Natalya
Randy Orton v AJ Styles
- WWE Smackdown Live #916 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #916 at WWE.com
- [Smackdown #916 on WWE Network]