Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn make their way to the ring to open Smackdown.
Kevin says it is time to pay attention because you have in front of you the future of WWE, not a parade of retirees like you saw last night on Raw’s 25th Anniversary. Kevin introduces the next co-WWE Champion Sami Zayn.
Sami says he wants to spread the love a bit as he bounces around Kevin and he wants everyone to give it up for the next co-WWE Champion.
Kevin says the Yep Movement is about more than a single syllable. It is about standing in the face of adversity and tyranny. Sami with a Yep. Kevin brings up the 3 on 2 handicap match from a few weeks ago, set up by Shane. Shane’s vendetta backfired because they proved that AJ Styles has no chance of walking out of the Royal Rumble with the WWE title. They are the absolute best competitors on Smackdown. If they couldn’t overcome the odds of a handicap match there is no way AJ will overcome the odds on Sunday.
Sami says he will spell it out for AJ. They are going to beat AJ. They are going to take your championship. They are going to become the first ever co-WWE World Champions. Just to add a little insult to injury, they are going to hurt AJ after taking his title. Kevin and Sami with Yeps until AJ Styles makes his way to the stage.
AJ says he cannot be the only one who heard them correctly. Did they say they were going to beat him this Sunday? AJ says nope. Did you say you were going to be Co-WWE Champions? Nope. Did you say you were going to hurt him on Sunday? Nope. AJ asks if that is annoying them because they have been annoying everyone for weeks.
Kevin says when they win, AJ is going to hear YEP everywhere. They say that even AJ’s family will be saying YEP.
AJ tells them to shut their YepHoles. AJ says you should be cocky because of your advantage but you are going to fight someone phenomenal. AJ says he will do anything possible to keep the title from you. AJ says this is the House that AJ Styles Built.
Kevin says that AJ is phenomenal but he is predictable. Sami says that he told Kevin that AJ would come out and do his macho tough guy act. Kevin says that you talk like you have a chance on Sunday. That is why you speak with ignorance because ignorance is the official language of Washington D.C. Sami adds that it was ignorance that got you into this pickle. Kevin asks Sami if he can remember what AJ said a few weeks ago. Sami goes to the video tape.
Kevin calls AJ a tough guy. Those were supposed to be empty words because you didn’t expect someone to take you up on that offer. As soon as the match was made, you started to backtrack. Sami says that AJ has to be a man because he is forced by an actual authority figure with actual convictions who will make you live up to your word. With Daniel not here right now, will you be true to your word? AJ wants to know what do they mean. Kevin and Sami go to the footage.
Kevin asks AJ if he is going to weasel out of things or will he be a man? What about AJ Styles versus Kevin Owens and then AJ Styles versus Sami Zayn immediately after?
Daniel Bryan’s music plays and he makes his way to the stage.
Daniel says they are right about Kevin and Sami being two of the best superstars to step in the ring. They are also right about how difficult it is to win a handicap match. Daniel says he has the utmost faith in AJ Styles.
AJ says he does not need Daniel to advocate for him because he does not know if Daniel is in bed with Kevin and Sami. If they think they can beat him in back to back matches, why not find out. AJ says he will not only beat them, he will hurt them. Styles’ music hits as he drops the mic and leaves, trading looks with Bryan.
– Still to come, Bobby Roode and The New Day vs. Jinder Mahal, Rusev and Aiden English. Also, Chad Gable vs. Jey Uso.
We are back and Shane and Daniel are together in the office. Shane asks Daniel if he was serious putting the champion in back to back matches so close to his title match. Daniel says that he has faith in AJ. Daniel asks Shane if he is questioning whether AJ has the ability to defend himself tonight. Shane says he is not questioning AJ’s ability tonight.
Jey Uso vs. Chad Gable
Gable goes for the legs but Jey backs himself into the ropes. Gable with a single leg and waist lock take down. Jey gets to the turnbuckles and Chad with a break. Chad with an arm bar. Gable with an Irish whip but Jey slides into the corner. Gable with a take down and crossfaces. Gable is sent to the floor and Jey with an uppercut to send Chad to the floor again.
Gable returns to the ring and he goes for another waist lock. Jey with a back elbow and thrust kick followed by an uppercut. Gable escapes a Samoan drop attempt and Jey is sent shoulder first into the ring post. Jey goes to the floor and Chad brings him back into the ring. Gable with a step over knee drop to the arm and then he gets a near fall. Gable with a hammer lock and he sends Jey shoulder first into the turnbuckles. Chad gets a near fall.
Chad with an arm bar. Jey with chops to Gable but Gable blocks a thrust kick. Chad with a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall. Chad goes up top for a moonsault and he lands on his feet when Jey moves. Chad is sent to the apron and he blocks a kick. Jey with a dragon whip and then he goes for a suicide dive but Chad with a forearm. Jey with a hip toss to send Gable over the top rope to the floor. Jey with a suicide dive onto Gable and both men are down.
Jey goes up top but Gable moves. Jey lands on his feet and hits a Samoan Drop. Jey sets for the running butt splash into the corner but Chad catches him. Jey escapes Chaos Theory. Chad avoids a super kick and Chad with Chaos Theory for the three count.
Winner: Chad Gable
Renee Young is in the interview area and she is with Shinsuke Nakamura. She asks Nakamura about statements that he would be a WWE Champion. Nakamura sees someone in the ring and he gives them a knee to the face.
Baron Corbin stops by and he says that Nakamura is just hype. It is okay because the WWE Universe cares about you. Baron says he does not care about them so they can keep their pathetic opinions to themselves. Corbin says his resume speaks volumes and he will add to it on Sunday. That is not hype, it is results. Corbin asks Nakamura what has he done. Nakamura says it is not what he has done, but what he will do at the Royal Rumble. Nakamura tells Corbin let’s rumble tonight.
Naomi vs. Liv Morgan
We go to the ring and out comes Naomi. Back to commercial.
They lock up and Liv with a clean break but Naomi kicks Liv from the corner and slides into a slap. Naomi with a near fall and then she goes for a jackknife cover. Liv with a backslide for a near fall. Naomi with a kick to the head and the referee stops Naomi because Liv appears injured. Liv was playing possum and she sends Naomi into the turnbuckles. Liv with boots to the back to send her to the mat. Liv gets a near fall.
Liv with a Japanese stranglehold while Natalya, Carmella, and Lana make their way to the ring.
Liv with a clothesline and Becky Lynch makes her way to the ring.
Naomi gets to the ropes and Naomi with a round kick and sunset flip for the three count.
After the match, Ruby and Sarah attack Naomi. Becky comes into the ring to help Naomi. Natalya with a discus clothesline to Becky. Lana with a bicycle kick to Ruby. Natalya throws Lana over the top rope. Carmella with a thrust kick to Liv. Natalya and Carmella throw Liv over the top rope. Natalya with a clothesline to Carmella and she leaves the ring when Naomi and Becky return to the ring. Becky tries to throw Naomi over the top rope to the floor but Naomi lands on the apron.
Charlotte Flair comes out and she tells Becky she loves that. It is clearly every woman for themselves on Sunday. That is why friendships and alliances do not work when you try for an opportunity to face her at Wrestlemania. She wishes luck to all of you, especially the winner. We go to commercial.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
They lock up and Corbin backs Nakamura into the corner and he pushes Nakamura in the chest. Corbin with a wrist lock. Nakamura with a reversal. Nakamura backs Corbin into the ropes and he leans his head against Corbin’s belly. Nakamura tells Corbin to come on and Nakamura with a knee to the midsection followed by a knee drop. They go to the floor and Nakamura is sent into the apron and he returns to the ring and tells Corbin to come on.
Corbin goes up the ramp and Nakamura follows. Nakamura taps Corbin on the shoulder and Corbin punches Nakamura into the throat and then he sends Nakamura into the ring post as we go to commercial.
We are back and Corbin with a half nelson and chin lock. Nakamura gets back to his feet but Corbin brings him back down to the mat. Nakamura stomps on the foot but Corbin with a knee to the midsection. Nakamura with strikes to Corbin and then he hits a flying boot and both men are down. Nakamura with kicks to the chest but Corbin blocks one. Nakamura with an enzuigiri and then he hits a running knee into the corner.
Nakamura puts Corbin on the turnbuckles and he connects with a running knee for a near fall. Nakamura goes for a reverse exploder but Corbin with an elbow and he tries for a suplex. Nakamura with a knee and a sit out gourdbuster. Corbin counters a Kinshasa attempt with Deep Six for a near fall. Corbin runs into a boot and then Nakamura leaps over him but Corbin slides around the ring post and hits a clothesline for a near fall.
Corbin sets for End of Days but Nakamura counters into a cross arm breaker but Corbin blocks it and he gets a near fall with a rollup. Nakamura misses a round kick and hits an enzuigiri. Nakamura goes back tot he corner to wait for the Kinshasa but Randy Orton runs into the ring and hits Nakamura with a RKO outta nowhere for a big pop. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner by DQ: Shinsuke Nakamura
After the bell, Orton also hits Corbin with the RKO. We go to replays as Orton celebrates in the corners while his music plays. Nakamura and Corbin are laid out in the ring.
– The announcers discuss last night’s RAW 25th Anniversary special and show some of the mainstream media coverage. We get a video with highlights from RAW 25.
In the Arena:
We are back and the New Day make their way to the ring and they have something to say.
Big E says last night they were part of history being in attendance for the 25th Anniversary of Raw. Kofi says they will make history on Sunday because they will be in the Royal Rumble. Xavier says their partner tonight made history tonight when he beat not one, but two men to become your United States Champion.
Bobby Roode thanks the New Day for that wonderful introduction. Bobby says there is no better place to debut as the US Champion than in the nation’s capital. Bobby says his goal is to be the best United States Champion in history. It is no easy task, but his reign as United Champion is going to be absolutely…
Stupendous, delicious, exuberant? Bobby tells them no. It will be absolutely GLORIOUS!
The music hits and out comes Jinder Mahal. Rusev and Aiden English are out next. Back to commercial.
The New Day and Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal, Rusev and Aiden English
Kofi and Rusev start things off and Rusev with a jumping thrust kick for a near fall. Aiden tags in and Rusev kicks Kofi in the corner and Aiden adds a few kicks. Aiden with a jab and then he tags in Mahal who punches Kofi and snap mares him followed by a knee to the back. Mahal with a kick and he tags Rusev back in. Rusev with a bear hug. Kofi with a head butt and punches but Rusev stops Kofi. Rusev with a running hip into the corner and he knocks Woods off the apron.
Rusev misses a splash into the corner and Kofi with a bulldog. Roode and English tag in and Roode with clotheslines and a neck breaker. Roode knocks Mahal off the apron. Roode with a blockbuster to English. Roode with a spinebuster to Mahal and Rusev with a round kick into a rollup for English and he gets a near fall. Kofi with a springboard clothesline to Rusev followed by a trust plancha onto Rusev and Mahal.
Woods with a round kick followed by a spinebuster from Roode. Woods with a springboard elbow drop for the three count.
Winners: Bobby Roode, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston
– The announcers run through the card for Royal Rumble on Sunday.
AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens
We go back to the ring and out first comes WWE Champion AJ Styles for the first part of tonight’s main event. Kevin Owens is out next with Sami Zayn at his side. They make it half-way down the ramp when the music hits and out comes Shane McMahon. Shane tells Sami to get back to the back. Shane says if Sami goes anywhere near the ring tonight during the match, he will lose his chance at the WWE Title this Sunday at the Royal Rumble because Shane will fire him on the spot tonight. Shane says the same goes for Owens if he gets involved with Sami’s match, he will be fired on the spot. Shane tells them to bring the “Yep Movement” wherever they want because he doesn’t care, it’ll be the last thing they do on SmackDown… yep! Shane approaches them and asks if they have anything to say. Sami talks a bit of trash and Owens argues with Shane as we return to commercial.
We are back Owens misses a punch as the bell rings and Styles with punches and a drop kick. Styles punches Owens followed by an Irish whip and Styles misses a splash into the corner. Owens with a clothesline but he misses the cannonball. Owens holds his knee after hitting the turnbuckles. Styles kicks Owens in the leg and applies the Calf Crusher. Owens taps out.
Winner: AJ Styles
After the match, Styles refuses to release the hold and Zayn comes to the ring and attacks Styles. The referee tries to restore order as Sami works AJ over some more. Owens looks to be limping away from the ringside area. Sami attacks AJ in the corner again and stomps away. The referee backs Sami off of AJ. Sami brings AJ to the floor and works him over, sending him into the steel ring steps. We see Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon backstage watching as we get a replay of the steps spot. Sami mounts AJ at ringside but the referee backs him off. The referee checks on AJ as we go to commercial.
Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles
Back from the break and we finally get the bell for AJ’s second non-title match of the night.
The referee starts the match and Zayn with a running boot to the chest. Zayn with a crossface while Owens is checked on by the officials at ringside. Zayn punches Styles. Zayn punches Styles again and he sends Styles into the turnbuckles. Zayn Irish whips Styles sternum first into the turnbuckles and he gets a near fall. Zayn with chops as Owens is being put on a stretcher. Zayn with a clothesline and he gets a near fall.
Zayn with a rear chin lock. Styles with elbows but Zayn adds more pressure to the chin lock. Zayn with a knee and Styles with forearms and strikes followed by a clothesline and a sliding forearm. Styles with a flying clothesline into the corner but Zayn with a waist lock. Styles sends Zayn over the top rope to the floor while they continue to work on Owens on the floor. Styles with a slingshot forearm to Zayn on the floor. Styles sends Zayn back into the ring.
Styles kicks Owens in the injured knee and then he punches Owens. Zayn with a clothesline to Styles on the floor as we go to commercial.
We are back and Zayn with a shot to Styles’ head while Owens is still being checked out at ringside. Zayn with a reverse chin lock. Styles tries to escape but Zayn holds on. Styles with forearms to Sami followed by a chop. Zayn with an elbow and then he goes to the turnbuckles. Styles punches Sami to stop him and Styles goes for a superplex but instead hits a Frankensteiner.
Shane and Daniel continue to watch the match in the office in silence.
Zayn with a chop but Styles with a forearm. They go back and forth but Styles with an Ushigoroshi and a near fall. Zayn blocks the Styles Clash but Zayn lands on his feet and he kicks Styles. Zayn goes to the turnbuckles for a tornado DDT. Styles with a boot when Zayn charges into the corner. Styles goes to the turnbuckles but misses the moonsault and lands on his feet. Styles with a Pele Kick for a near fall.
Zayn with an elbow to Styles and a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Owens is finally on the stretcher but he remains at ringside. Zayn with a chop and he puts Styles on the turnbuckles. Styles escapes and drops Zayn on the turnbuckles. Styles with a thrust kick and he tries for the Styles Clash but Zayn escapes. Styles goes to the apron and he connects with a sliding knee on the apron. Styles pushes Owens off the stretcher.
Zayn with a Helluva Kick followed by the Blue Thunder Bomb and the three count.
Winner: Sami Zayn
After the match, Owens gets in the ring and he says something to Sami. They stand over Styles as we go to credits.
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