Smackdown kicked off with Daniel Bryan taking on The Miz who was accompanied by his personal assistant, Damien Mizdow. Bryan was fresh off his duel with Roman Reigns on Raw ahead of their WWE Championship number one contender match at Fastlane.
Miz spent much of the first half of the match insulting Mizdow, who he felt was stealing his limelight. Bryan took advantage of a distracted Miz and tied him in a Yes Lock to win by submission in just five minutes. The former WWE Champion celebrated by climbing the ropes and pointing at the WrestleMania sign to signal his confidence going into his bout with Reigns.
The action continued with Ryback battling with Kane to continue their long-term rivalry that stemmed from Survivor Series. Kane threw Ryback to the outside and knocked him down to the matt before lifting him up to signal for the end. “The Big Guy” however delivered a Shell Shocked out of nowhere and pinned Kane for the victory.
Ryback will be partnering with Erick Rowan and Dolph Ziggler to take on Kane, The Big Show and Seth Rollins at Fastlane to put an end to the drawn out saga.
R-Truth rapped his way towards the ring to take on Wade Barrett while Dean Ambrose watched on at ringside. Barrett will be defending his Intercontinental Championship against Ambrose this Sunday and “The Lunatic Fringe” kept a close eye on his opponent.
Barrett tried to intimidate Ambrose by telling him to watch how he dominated Truth but the challenger refused to watch the Bull Hammer being set up, much to the dismay at the champion. Truth rolled up a preoccupied Barrett to steal the win as Ambrose smiled his way back up the ramp.
The Ascension took on New Day in a tag-team match as they looked to continue their winning momentum. Big E and Kofi Kingston combined well to keep the recent debutants at bay for the most part. Ascension were however able to turn the tables and deliver the Fall of Man for the victory for Michael Cole to highlight their dominance since being promoted to the main roster.
The duo is likely to turn their attention to the Tag Team Championship after Fastlane with them picking apart every team by the week.
Roman Reigns made his way through the crowd for a match with Luke Harper to prepare for his showdown at Fastlane. The two powerhouses were at each other’s throats but it was Reigns that came out on top.
The Royal Rumble winner hit a spear out of impulse to counter a Harper attack and followed with a pin for the three count. It was then Reigns’ turn to point at the WrestleMania sign to show his confidence in beating Bryan this weekend.
Big Show and Erick Rowan charged down to the ring for a match but “The world’s largest athlete” blindsided Rowan at the ramp. Rowan was virtually worn out by the time the two entered the “squared circle” when the referee signalled for the bell to ring to start the match. Show gave a further beat down before landing the Showstopper to finish off Rowan.
The Authority man stormed back up the ramp angrily to set himself up for his six-man tag team match on Sunday.
The Bella Twins joined the commentators at ringside to watch Paige take on Cameron in a singles match. Nikki Bella mocked her number one contender ahead of their Fastlane Divas Championship match. Paige showed that she was unhindered from the twins’ mind games and finished Cameron within two minutes with the PTO The contender invited Nikki to join her in the ring after the match but The Bellas wished to keep fans waiting.
Jimmy Uso took on Tyson Kidd ahead of their team’s WWE Tag Team Championship match at Fastlane. The match got off to a slow start before Rusev charged in and took apart The Usos to send a statement to John Cena. Rusev pummelled on the Usos on the floor whle Lana watched on from the stage and smiled. Rusev then grabbed a microphone to taunt John Cena in Russian ahead of their singles match.
The main event saw Dolph Ziggler take on Seth Rollins with J and J Security banned from ringside. This move however didn’t end up favouring Ziggler as Kane and Big Show joined Rollins instead but Ziggler had back up of his own in Ryback and Rowan.
Kane caught Ziggler on the turnbuckle for Rollins to counter a high risk manoeuvre into a turnbuckle Powerbomb and follow up with the Curb Stomp to go into Fastlane as victors.
The Authority were not done as they were joined by J and J security to deliver a post-match five on three beat down. Rollins hit another Curb Stomp, this time on Ryback to head into the pay-per-view as the dominate team.