With a week to go until WWE Payback, the stars of WWE SmackDown Live battled it out in Kalamazoo, Michigan, including a big triple threat match. The main event featured World Champion Randy Orton defending his title against the man he’ll meet in a “House of Horrors” match next week, as well as the man responsible for “building” the brand known as SmackDown Live. Other stars on hand included Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose and the man who won this year’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
According to Top Rope Press, in Saturday night’s WWE results, the opening match was a women’s tag team match involving stars from both brands. SmackDown Live stars Natalya and Carmella teamed up against a team featuring Becky Lynch and Mickie James. Just recently, James moved over to Raw in the “Superstar Shake-Up.” Also involved in the match was Alexa Bliss, who worked as the special guest referee. The team of Becky and Mickie won the match.
In another match, this year’s winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was in action. Mojo Rawley was victorious in his match against “The Showoff” Dolph Ziggler. At a previous live event, Ziggler was involved in a match against former NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura who did not appear for this particular show. Also in action were former tag team champions American Alpha as they won a triple threat tag team match over Breezeango and the team of Rhyno and Heath Slater.
Another superstar who moved to Raw in the “shake-up” a few weeks ago was WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose. At WrestleMania 33, he successfully defended his championship against “The Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin. On Saturday night, Ambrose and Corbin squared off once again. The result was no different here, as Ambrose came away with the win. As of this report, he’s not scheduled to defend that championship at the Payback PPV.
— Dean-Ambrose.Net (@DeanAmbroseNet) April 23, 2017
In tag team action, Kalisto teamed up with Apollo Crews to take on The Ascension, and the babyface team was victorious. Both Crews and Kalisto recently moved over to Monday Night Raw for the “shake-up.” Of the two stars, Kalisto is scheduled to take on the monstrous Braun Strowman on Monday in a dumpster match, which makes it return to WWE after a 17-year hiatus.
Also in action were two former Wyatt Family teammates, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. In this battle, Harper got the win over his former family member. There’s speculation these two could meet at next month’s WWE Backlash PPV. If they do, it would likely be on the pre-show, but these two could provide an interesting feud for a few weeks.
Speaking of the Backlash event, one match that will go forth is a WWE World Championship bout featuring Randy Orton. He’s also scheduled for the Payback PPV next Sunday, but won’t defend the title there. Instead, he’ll be in a “House of Horrors” match. Orton had a good tune-up for that on Saturday night when he had to compete in a triple threat match with the title on the line. With Bray Wyatt and AJ Styles as his opponents, “The Viper” still managed to get the win in Kalamazoo.
— ????RKOISMYCHAMP???? (@carrieorton38) April 23, 2017
The current women’s champion and tag team champions were reportedly off this weekend. Naomi and The Usos, as well as Roman Reigns, did not appear at events due to the recent death of relative Matt “Rosey” Anoa’i. At the very least, Reigns and Naomi are expected to appear on Raw and SmackDown Live, respectively, but it’s unknown if The Usos will appear on Tuesday night. Also not at this show was current United States Champion Kevin Owens who was working at a different show, mostly with Raw stars, in North Dakota last night.
[Featured Image by WWE]