The March 26, 2019 Edition of Smackdown Live is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on March 26, 2019 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Still horribly let down over Mr. McMahon's treatment of Kofi Kingston last week, The New Day arrived on SmackDown LIVE, reflective of their WWE experiences, but also ready to call it quits. Big E and Xavier Woods spoke to how difficult it's been for them to see how poorly Kofi has been treated by The Chairman, and they demanded Mr. McMahon come to the ring to give them some answers. Heeding their call, Mr. McMahon arrived, but before he could get a full sentence out, WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan intervened, seemingly looking to pile on after Kofi's “failure” last week and insisting that The Chairman just let The New Day quit.
The New Day fired back, claiming that Bryan's whole crusade was simply to avoid having to defend his title against Kofi on The Grandest Stage of Them All and labeling The Planet's Champion a “hypocrite.” Mr. McMahon soon put the kibosh on all of it, saying that he still saw Kofi as a B-plus player and openly wondering if Big E & Xavier Woods were a B-plus tag team. Mr. McMahon then dropped a bombshell, saying that Kofi would have no more opportunities to obtain the WWE Championship Match at WrestleMania. However, if Big E & Xavier Woods could win a Tag Team Gauntlet Match tonight, then Kingston would be granted the WWE Title Match on The Show of Shows!
One last hurdle, but one more chance.
Not taking kindly to Becky Lynch referring to her as the “third wheel” in the WrestleMania main event, Charlotte Flair challenged Asuka for the SmackDown Women's Championship on SmackDown LIVE, an impromptu title matchup that left everyone guessing as to how it came together.
The two rivals threw down with ferocity, with Charlotte relying on brute force to hold down The Empress of Tomorrow. However, Asuka fired back with a devastating barrage of kicks to the head and midsection. The Queen narrowly stayed alive several times, fighting her way out of the Asuka Lock even after Asuka blocked Charlotte's signature moonsault. Asuka somehow kicked out after a dazzling Spanish Fly from Charlotte, and Charlotte survived a perfectly applied Triangle submission from The Empress. In the clutch, The Queen fought out of one more Asuka Lock attempt and locked in the Figure-Eight for an unbelievable submission victory.
As the new SmackDown Women's Champion, Charlotte is the first Superstar in WWE history to hold eight Women's Titles. The WrestleMania main event now features two Women's Champions, but what that will mean for the history-making match is anybody's guess.
For the first time ever on WWE television, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles squared off as The Olympic Hero's farewell tour continued. The two's storied past was clearly on everyone's mind as the WWE Universe was enthralled by every action each Superstar took. Angle and Styles stormed out of the starting blocks, quickly trading blows and big-time maneuvers in spades.
However, neither Superstar would get the chance to see how it would have played out; right after Styles escaped the Ankle Lock, Randy Orton slid into the ring and struck his WrestleMania opponent with an RKO. Randy looked ready to pounce on Angle as well, but Kurt turned the tides and dropped The Viper with an Angle Slam. The Apex Predator had struck first, but The Phenomenal One would clearly not be down for long.
After his impassioned plea last week, The Miz hit the scene on SmackDown LIVE still seething over Shane McMahon putting his hands on his father, and he wanted his WrestleMania bout against Shane to be a Falls Count Anywhere Match so he could decimate him all over MetLife Stadium and give the WWE Universe an up-close-and-personal view.
Shane interrupted and a litany of security guards and WWE Superstars arrived to seemingly act as a buffer between him and Miz. After forcing ring announcer Greg Hamilton to yet again introduce him as “The Best in the World,” Shane then laid into Miz, accepted his challenge and insulted the former WWE Champion's family, saying that his father's biggest “Miztake” was spawning Miz with his mother. An incensed Miz charged the barrage of security guards and Superstars. Astonishingly, Miz took out the entire crew, prompting Shane to quietly exit as The A-Lister continued to take out his aggression on the sea of humanity placed in front of him.
There will be nowhere for Shane to exit in two weeks, however.
With the news that Kofi Kingston would be barred from ringside for the contest, The Dreadlocked Dynamo watched on from afar as Big E & Xavier Woods attempted to run the gauntlet to secure Kingston his WWE Title opportunity at WrestleMania.
First up for The New Day were former Raw Tag Team Champions Gallows & Anderson, and Big E & Xavier quickly disposed of The Good Brothers, finishing them off with a thunderous UpUpDownDown.
As Kofi and several Superstars erupted with joy while watching from backstage, Big E & Xavier remained focused as Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura stalked to the ring. The Bulgarian Brute & King of Strong Style looked to use their fresh legs to their advantage, but The New Day proved resilient and toppled the maulers with another UpUpDownDown.
Third out were arguably the toughest challenge yet – The Bar. The long-time rivals of The New Day showed no sympathy for Big E & Xavier's plight and looked to decimate the pairing. Sheamus & Cesaro were unrelenting, but Woods endured tremendous punishment before catching Sheamus with a surprise rollup for three. An enraged Celtic Warrior & Swiss Cyborg took out their frustrations with a post-match beatdown of The New Day members, punctuating the attack by smashing Big E through a table before taking off.
With that, it seemed Big E & Woods’ chances were all but gone, especially with SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos up next. With the two so worn down and one of the greatest tag teams in WWE history standing across from them, the WWE Universe and Kofi collectively held their breath. Yet, the match would never go down, as Jimmy & Jey addressed their long history with The New Day, but also Kofi's deservedness to challenge for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. And, with that, The Usos forfeited and exited the ring.
“The New” Daniel Bryan and his intellectual peer Rowan blew a gasket backstage, but the pair eventually somewhat composed themselves and entered the match as the last line of defense that could dash Kofi's WrestleMania dreams once and for all. Bryan & Rowan were vicious, immediately pouncing on the worn-down New Day members. Yet, Big E & Woods never stopped believing, and they found the willpower and strength to take Bryan and Rowan down outside and trap Rowan underneath the announce table. Rowan couldn't rise from the rubble, and one dramatic 10-count later, Woods & Big E finally secured Kofi's WrestleMania opportunity.
Kofi rejoiced with The New Day, the WWE Universe rejoiced with Kofi and the SmackDown LIVE Superstars rejoiced with them all as Bryan vs. Kingston for the WWE Title was now the newest destination on The Road to WrestleMania.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka (c) to win the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship (17:33)
- AJ Styles defeated Kurt Angle by disqualification (2:33)
- The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) defeated Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows and Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura (w/ Lana) and The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) and The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) and Daniel Bryan & Rowan in a Tag Team Gauntlet Match (38:11)
Other on-screen talent
Mr. McMahon granted Kofi Kingston one last WrestleMania opportunity … sort of
Charlotte Flair v Asuka
AJ Styles v Kurt Angle
Miz and Shane exchanged shocking words and agreed on a major WrestleMania stipulation
- WWE Smackdown Live #1023 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #1023 at WWE.com
- Smackdown #1023 on WWE Network