5 Ups & 2 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Mar 13)

Moving forward, finally.

Kevin Owens Shane McMahon

Mark it down, ladies and gentlemen: Brian 'Road Dogg' James and his team of merry men delivered last night. Big time.

This week's SmackDown was the brand's best offering in months. It was a sharp, purposeful broadcast that actually pushed things forward rather than moving in the same old circles, and WrestleMania 34 finally feels within touching distance.

SD left a pile of bland storylines behind at Fastlane. Charlotte Flair vs. The Riott Squad? Gone. Ziggler, Corbin, and Cena in the WWE Title scene? No more. Shane McMahon, main event mischief maker? Finito. Now, it's time to look forward to the biggest show of the year, and infinitely more exciting stories like Styles vs. Nakamura.

'The Phenomenal One' went face-to-face with the Royal Rumble winner last night. Asuka and Charlotte mirrored this later in the show, and there were further developments in the United States and tag divisions too. Elsewhere, Carmella and Naomi met in singles competition, Rusev's recent string of fun one-on-ones continued, and Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens pulverised a certain authority figure.

The show had its flaws (as we're about to find out), but this was a big leap forward from recent form. Here's hoping it was a genuine turnaround, not an anomaly, and that the coming weeks are just as enjoyable...


A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.