SmackDown Recap: April 18, 2017
S2017 episode 922 Aired on April 18, 2017

SmackDown LIVE continued to prove why it is most certainly the land of opportunity, as six of its brightest stars, from before and after the Superstar Shake-up, laid it all on the line to become the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship in a Six-Pack Challenge.

Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Mojo Rawley and Jinder Mahal were relentless in their pursuit of the proverbial golden ticket to Team Blue glory. Following a flurry of activity and close calls, Mahal came out on top, pinning Zayn to become theNo. 1 contender to the WWE Championship at Backlash thanks to a shocking assist from the Singh Brothers, also known as The Bollywood Boyz.

After the contest, the new No. 1 contender berated the WWE Universe for not accepting him. He was soon interrupted by WWE Champion Randy Orton, who hit the ring to congratulate Mahal … and then tell him that his prize for winning the Six-Pack Challenge wouldn’t be becoming the next WWE Champion, but feeling the effects of an RKO.

Mahal cautiously exited as The Viper directed his attention toward Bray Wyatt and their House of Horrors Match at WWE Payback. Before long, Orton was joined by The Reaper of Souls on the TitanTron, where he promised The Apex Predator that he would get more than he could ever imagine at the House of Horrors Match at WWE Payback.

Naomi and Charlotte Flair clashed in this dream match on SmackDown LIVE, and it sure did not disappoint. SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon announced earlier in the evening that Charlotte would become the No. 1 contender to Naomi’s SmackDown Women’s Championship if she won tonight.

Under the watchful eyes of the Team Blue Women’s division (many of whom had expressed their displeasure with Charlotte seemingly jumping them in line for a title opportunity), The Queen and Naomi captivated their peers and the WWE Universe with an incredibly memorable contest. Momentum shifted several times throughout, but Flair prevailed after blocking The Rearview and landing Natural Selection to become the No.1 Contender to the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

United States Champion Kevin Owens sat in on commentary as AJ Styles and Baron Corbin clashed in the SmackDown LIVE main event. The Phenomenal One and The Lone Wolf went at it in a contentious battle that got even more heated as it progressed. The two Superstars eventually spilled to the outside, where Styles was soon catapulted onto Owens.

From there, The Phenomenal One delivered a unique Phenomenal Forearm to The Lone Wolf on the outside, which kept Corbin down. Styles was able to answer the official’s 10-count to pick up the count-out victory.

In other action … Shane McMahon made a match between Naomi and Charlotte … Primo & Epico Colon def. American Alpha … and Kevin Owens def. Gary Gandy in a Face of America Open Challenge.

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