WWE Smackdown Results
April 17, 2018
Report by Mike Killam for ProWrestling.com
– Tom Phillips welcomes us to Smackdown Live alongside Byron Saxton and Corey Graves for part two of the Superstar Shakeup!
WWE Champion AJ Styles kicks off the show to a great reaction, as per usual. Loud “AJ STYLES” chants eventually calm down and he gets right down to business, talking about last week’s match for the ages against Daniel Bryan and how it should have been one of the best highlight of his career, until Shinsuke Nakamura showed his “true colors” and ruined yet another dream match for the fans. Styles says that he’s not leaving the ring until Nakamura comes out and answers for his actions, and he’s ready to FIGHT tonight.
Aiden English instead answers the challenge in the form of a song, revealing that Nakamura had taken a vacation “anywhere but here” and would not be appearing in Providence tonight. Rusev hit the ring and for whatever reason there’s already a referee, who rings the bell. Styles immediately puts the Bulgarian Brute in a Calf Crusher and they tease a 20-second submission, until English rolls in and causes a disqualification. The two but the boots to the WWE Champion until Daniel Bryan runs down and makes the save, chasing off the heels. The pop when he came out was ENORMOUS.
— WWE (@WWE) April 18, 2018
We cut backstage where Shane McMahon, who is apparently still the Smackdown Commissioner despite resigning his post like a month ago, is watching the show on television. Paige shows up and channels her inner Teddy Long, announcing a tag match between English and Rusev taking on Styles and Bryan later on tonight. Holla holla!
IN-RING SEGMENT: SHELTON BENJAMIN
Shelton Benjamin makes his way to the ring and says that last night he tweeted about how happy he was for Chad Gable moving to RAW, and called him an inspiration tag team partner. The reality is that his Twitter was hacked and he would never say something like that because Chad Gable was a disgrace of a partner and Shelton never needed him; he was only doing the gig as a favor to Kurt Angle. He asked for some big competition here tonight and… out comes Randy Orton! Before the “Viper” can get to the ring, Jeff Hardy’s music hits and the new United States Champion makes his way down to the ring!
Superstar Shakeup: U.S. Champion Jeff Hardy to Smackdown!
SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. JEFF HARDY
The match is already underway as we come back from commercial. Shelton is firing away in the corner trying to chip the champion down strike after strike. They battle up to the top rope and Hardy manages to knock the challenger down, but he scurries right back up for a beautiful arm drag off the top. Benjamin slows things down once again working holds and alternating between suplexes for a few minutes before Hardy fires up and mounts his comeback with a mule kick in the corner. He follows up with a splash in the corner and connects with the Twist of Fate, then heads up top and puts things away with the Swanton Bomb. Solid match.
Winner: Jeff Hardy