WWE SmackDown Live Results 13 March 2018, latest SmackDown Live winners and video highlights
AJ Styles opened the show
AJ Styles came out to a raucous ovation and expressed his joy at overcoming the odds at Fastlane. He was in a world of pain when John Cena put him through the table, but the former Bullet Club man held his own and punched his ticket to WrestleMania.
Styles said that he was very happy to face Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania, calling the IWGP Intercontinental Champion "one of the biggest Japanese professional wrestlers of all time." However, just as the reigning WWE Champion was getting into his stride, Nakamura made his way to the ring.
The King of Strong Style got on the microphone and admitted to respecting Styles but was adamant that he would win SmackDown Live's biggest prize at WrestleMania. Before the Phenomenal One could respond, he was interrupted by Rusev, his opponent for the show.
AJ Styles vs. Rusev
The match got underway with Nakamura at ringside and didn't do much to inspire momentum following a lacklustre opening segment. Rusev had the beating of Styles at the onset, but the former NJPW standout connected with a dropkick and flung the Bulgarian Brute outside the ring, following up with a plancha.
However, as the action returned to the ring, Rusev regained a measure of control as he hit Arn Anderson's patented spinebuster. Even though Lana's husband appeared to have taken the initiative, Styles capitalized on a scramble to lock in the Calf Crusher. However, before he could force Rusev to submit, Aiden English intervened, causing a disqualification.
AJ Styles def Rusev via disqualification
After the match, English and Rusev started to launch a brutal attack on Styles. At first, Nakamura looked content to watch, but he eventually decided to rescue his WrestleMania opponent, laying waste to both English and Rusev.