On Sunday night, the WWE Raw brand's Fastlane pay-per-view was underway in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the superstars of SmackDown Live were also in action in Illinois. Two longtime pro wrestling stars met in the ring for their first battle. The latest live WWE show took place at Rockford, Illinois, and featured some interesting matches ahead of Tuesday's next episode of SmackDown on the USA Network. In particular, both Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt were in action just days after Orton burned down Sister Abigail's resting place.
As reported by Wrestling Inc., the WWE Rockford event featured a total of nine matches on the latest pro wrestling card. Among them were several championship bouts, including the tag team, Intercontinental, and Women's titles all on the line. Several matches were repeated from previous WWE shows, while a brand new match happened for the first time ever. That match featured "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles and The Viper going toe-to-toe just days ahead of their scheduled match for Tuesday's SmackDown Live.
In the opening bout, the SmackDown Tag Team champs were in the house to defend the titles. American Alpha and The Usos seem to be building toward a match possibly at WrestleMania 33. In their most recent encounters, the tag team champs have been victorious over the former champions who have now gone heel.
Dolph Ziggler gained yet another win over Apollo Crews in the second match, which led to Curt Hawkins attacking Crews after the match. That set up the second straight match for Crews, who was able to get the win over Hawkins. Kalisto was also in action as he teamed up with Mojo Rawley for a tag team bout. The duo defeated The Ascension. One has to wonder how Zach Ryder feels about his tag partner working with Kalisto, but it could just be a temporary thing.The WWE Intercontinental and WWE SmackDown Women's titles were also on the line at this event. Dean Ambrose successfully retained his championship against his current rival Baron Corbin. Alexa Bliss fought in another Fatal Fourway match which included Natalya, Tamina Snuka, and Mickie James. One has to think this match is setting something up for WrestleMania 33 too, with Tamina either set to return before Mania or another women's superstar taking her spot in the match.
WWE Champion Bray Wyatt was in action Sunday night, but it was against former family member Luke Harper. In the matchup, Bray was victorious, with the bout taking place one spot on the card ahead of Bray's other "former family member" in a match. It doesn't seem as if the two future opponents' paths crossed during the night, though.
The main event match at the WWE's Rockford show featured "The Viper" and "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles in their first-ever match. Orton emerged victorious in the encounter, which could give an indication of the results for their upcoming match.
The finish came as Styles set up for the Phenomenal Forearm from the side ropes. Orton was able to duck the move and then come back with his trademark finisher, the RKO, for the big pinfall win heading towards Tuesday night. Will it go down the same way in their upcoming bout with more on the line?The two are scheduled to fight on Tuesday's SmackDown Live, with the winner getting to take on Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight title. However, one has to wonder if Bray Wyatt will look for revenge after Orton set a fire to Sister Abigail's resting place. If Orton wins, Wyatt may simply appear after the victory to start up the mind games for the coming weeks.
Among the notable superstars who weren't mentioned at this latest live WWE event were James Ellsworth, Carmella, John Cena, Nikki Bella, The Miz, and Maryse. It seems these six stars will be a part of the next episode of the television program, which will feature Cena and Nikki taking on James and Carmella in a mixed tag match. Indications are that next in the plans will be a WrestleMania battle for Cena and his girl against The Miz and his wife Maryse.
The next episode of SmackDown Live will be live on USA Network Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, with most of the stars mentioned above, and others, appearing on the latest installment.
[Featured Image by WWE]