Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura makes his way to the ring to open the show. Nakamura says at the Royal Rumble, Sami Zayn… knee to the face. John Cena… knee to the face. Roman Reigns… knee to the face. At Wrestlemania, AJ Styles… knee to the face. New WWE Champion.
Kevin Owens’ music plays and he makes his way to the ring with Sami Zayn.
Kevin says to give it up for the 2018 Royal Rumble winner. Kevin says you can point to that sign and say you are going to beat AJ Styles all you want, but they were screwed out of their title two nights ago. Sami says YEP. Kevin says they should be celebrating as Co-WWE Champion, but this happened.
We see photos of what happened at the end of the match when Kevin Owens did not make the tag but was pinned.
Kevin says they were once again victims of the vendetta constructed by Shane McMahon to hold them down. Sami says the referee has one job. You have one job, protect the integrity of the match at all costs. Kevin says YEP. Sami says that Kevin never tagged in. Kevin’s passion coupled with the incompetence of that referee got them into this situation. AJ Styles pinned the wrong man.
Kevin says that is why they have every right for an opportunity at the title. It will not be AJ Styles who Nakamura faces, it will be them. Sami jumps around and YEPs. Nakamura says that AJ was the winner and you are losers. Kevin and Sami prepare to corner Nakamura, but AJ’s music plays and he makes his way to the stage.
AJ says you can cry and complain all you want, but there will be a dream match in New Orleans on the grandest stage of them all. It will be between him and Shinsuke Nakamura. Right here, right now, in Philly, on the House that AJ Styles Built, AJ suggests they turn this dream match into a dream team and take on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn tonight.
Kevin leaves the ring and so does Sami. Kevin say something to Sami and Sami says if you really want this match… NOPE! Styles and Nakamura with forearms to knock Kevin and Sami off the apron. Sami and Owens hold their faces and back up the ramp as Nakamura’s music hits.
– Still to come, Kofi Kingston vs. Rusev vs. Zack Ryder vs. Jinder Mahal to crown a new contender to the WWE United States Title. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see stills from Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
– We go to the ring and out comes The New Day – Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods. Jinder Mahal, Rusev and Zack Ryder are waiting in the ring.
The cameras cut backstage to SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Bryan says AJ Styles does not have the power to make matches but Bryan does. He confirms the tag match for tonight. Sami complains about the Rumble finish. Bryan says the referee’s decision is final but he did make a mistake. Owens ends up asking Bryan to make this right and not let Shane McMahon keep them down. Bryan agrees that they deserve another shot. Bryan says they will get another shot at the WWE Title next week. Bryan says next week it will be Owens vs. Sami with the winner facing AJ at the Fastlane pay-per-view in February. Sami and Owens don’t like the news.
Fatal 4 Way to Crown a New #1 Contender to WWE United States Champion Bobby Roode: Kofi Kingston vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev vs. Zack Ryder
We go back to the ring and the match begins. Jinder rocks Kofi while Rusev beats Ryder down. Jinder drops Kofi but Kofi fights back while Rusev has control on the floor. Jinder floors Kofi. Ryder drops Rusev and goes in the ring to knock Jinder out to the floor. WWE United States Champion Bobby Roode is also out for commentary with Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. Big E is throwing pancakes around.
Rusev comes in and works Ryder around now as Kofi fights back on Jinder. Kofi drops Rusev with a dropkick but Ryder eventually comes from behind and drops Kofi for a pin attempt that Jinder breaks up. Ryder and Jinder go at it now. Ryder clotheslines Jinder to the floor. Ryder runs the ropes and dropkicks Jinder through the ropes, sending him back into the announce table. Ryder follows but Kofi runs the ropes and nails a dive, taking Ryder and Jinder down. Rusev is in the ring now. Rusev runs the ropes but has his leg grabbed by Sunil Singh as fans boo. Aiden English comes over and grabs Singh, pushing him back into Big E and Woods. The pancakes are dropped on the floor and Big E isn’t happy. The referee ejects Woods, Big E, Singh and English from ringside. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Jinder drops Kofi on the floor, then Rusev. Rusev gets sent into the ring post and he goes down. Jinder returns to the ring and drops Ryder for a 2 count. Jinder drops knees on Ryder and keeps him down. Rusev returns to the ring but Jinder beats him around the ring. Rusev drops Jinder twice with a pair of kicks. Jinder gets fired up to a pop. Rusev with a big charge into the corner, sending Jinder to the floor for a breather. Rusev runs into Ryder’s knees in the corner. Ryder with a missile dropkick from the top and more offense in the corner. Ryder with the Broski Boot. Jinder runs in and superkicks Ryder to the mat for a 2 count.
Jinder with a 2 count on Rusev now. Kofi runs in and takes out Jinder and Rusev. Kofi with the Boom Drop on Jinder. Kofi with SOS on Ryder for a 2 count as Jinder breaks it up. Jinder with a huge clothesline on Ryder. Rusev knocks Jinder over the top rope to the floor. Rusev stacks Kofi on Ryder and goes for The Accolade but Jinder runs in with a roll-up for a 2 count. Jinder ends up dropping Rusev with a knee to the face. Jinder grabs Rusev for The Khallas but it’s countered. Ryder charges and hits the Rough Ryder on Jinder. Rusev with a big superkick on Ryder. Kofi misses Trouble In Paradise and SOS on Rusev. Rusev counters and puts Kofi into The Accolade for the win and the title shot.
Winner and New #1 Contender to the WWE United States Title: Rusev
After the match, Rusev stands tall to a pop as his music hits. Rusev rolls out of the ring and faces off with Roode at the announce table, warning him about the title. Rusev walks off as Roode’s music hits.
– We see SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos walking somewhere. They say they have had this on lock and warn the other tag teams to pay attention to what they have to say. The Usos are coming at us, live and in living color, next. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Byron Saxton talks about the Fashion Files with Breezango taking over Social Media. The Ascension are looking at Twitter questions. Breeze is asked about his conditioner.
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin enter and Shelton asks if the Fashion Files is still a thing. Chad says what they are doing to the tag team division is embarrassing. Breeze asks if losing twice to the Usos is embarrassing. Shelton asks Fandango and Breeze if they can beat him and Chad. Chad Shuushes them before telling them no. Konnor tells Fandango and Breeze that they’ve got this.
In the Arena:
Jimmy and Jey Uso make their way to the ring.
Jimmy says that this is the City of Brotherly Love so show some love to your tag team champions. Jey says they told you all they will get silly up in Philly. Sunday they beat Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. Jimmy reminds everyone it was 2-0. Jey says they have been tearing through the tag division since they arrived. They mention American Alpha, American Alpha 2, the Hype Bros, Breezango, New Day, Sheamus and Cesaro and how they are all locked down. They have been doing that since Day One. They say it is not about selling merchandise, it is about a lifestyle. Jey says it represents the struggle. The struggle to pay bills, go to work, and fighting through the struggles. Jimmy says they are different from every tag team because his struggles are Jey’s struggles. Jimmy says it does not matter where you come from. Jey says they are not saying they are the best tag team, but Jimmy says they are the best tag team. They welcome everyone to the Uso Penitentiary.
The lights go down and the Bludgeon Brothers make their way to the ring and walk past the Usos. We go to commercial.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Enhancement Talents
Back from the break and The Bludgeon Brothers are in the ring with two enhancement talents that are not named. Harper with a running shoulder tackle and Rowan tags in. Harper with a splash and Rowan with a clothesline. Harper tags in and Rowan picks up his opponent and then he pushes him into Rory on the apron. Harper with a boot to Rory on the floor. Rowan with a slam and then Rowan with a splash to both men and Harper with a power bomb. They hit the T Gimmick on Rory for the three count.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
– We see Daniel Bryan’s Twitter video from earlier where he announced the new top 10 ranking system that will be voted on by SmackDown Superstars. Shane and Bryan will use it to make decisions on the show.
Shane McMahon is backstage on the phone talking about the Rumble when Tye Dillinger walks in. Tye says any other time he’d want to talk about the new rankings system but… Shane knows why he’s here, what happened with Sami at the Rumble. Baron Corbin walks in and knocks Tye. Corbin also rants about wanting a shot. They have words and Shane says they settle things in the ring here on SmackDown. It looks like we have Corbin vs. Dillinger for tonight. Corbin storms off and Shane mocks him to Tye.
In the Arena:
We go to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. Back to commercial.
We are back with a look back at Ronda Rousey interrupting the Asuka announcement after winning the first Women’s Royal Rumble.
Renee Young asks Charlotte about having a front row seat watching the first Women’s Royal Rumble. Charlotte says it was great to watch history but she wanted to compete. She says she did not want to be champion for the first time to see how she would do against the legends. Then she wanted to have the chance to out last someone she knows. Charlotte talks about the moment that broke the internet. She was in the ring with Alexa Bliss, the first Women’s Royal Rumble winner… Asuka, and Ronda Rousey.
Charlotte says she is walking into Wrestlemania the Smackdown Women’s Champion, but she wants to know who she will be facing.
The Riott Squad come out to the stage and Ruby says forget about Asuka or Ronda Rousey. She asks Charlotte if she can hear herself. Charlotte’s ego is as big as her father’s. Of course you think you could have won the Royal Rumble match and hand pick your opponent. Ruby says she has met people like Charlotte on every level. Impossibly arrogant. There is only one Ruby Riott. You are just a cheap imitation of your father.
Ruby says she came out here to tell Charlotte her time is over. If it is up to her, you won’t even make it to Wrestlemania.
Charlotte asks Ruby if she is done yet and then she wooooos in Ruby’s face. Charlotte blocks a punch and hits Ruby. Charlotte with punches to Sarah and Liv as well. Sarah with a waist lock but Charlotte with a forearm and she send Sarah to the floor. Ruby, Liv, and Sarah attack Charlotte and they work her over on the mat. Ruby with a thrust kick to the head. Ruby with kicks and Liv with a double stomp to the back. Liv and Sarah pull Charlotte into the center of the ring and they pick her up. Ruby with the Riott Kick.
Carmella’s music hits and out she comes with her Money In the Bank briefcase. Carmella hands her title shot to the referee and is cashing in. The referee is leaning through the ropes talking to Hamilton when Flair sends Carmella into the referee, knocking him out of the ring. The bell never rang. Flair gets up and stares Carmella down. Carmella leaves the ring and leaves with her briefcase.
– We see AJ backstage trying to talk to Nakamura about strategy for tonight but Nakamura is being Nakamura. Nakamura mentions how he will beat AJ at WrestleMania. AJ wants to know if Nakamura is messing with him. Nakamura tells AJ to listen to him out there tonight.
– We go to the ring and out first comes Tye Dillinger. Back to commercial.
– We are back Renee Young asks Carmella about what happened. Carmella says it was just how she wanted it. She wanted Charlotte to remember that she has the briefcase and that she is the most dangerous person on Smackdown. Carmella also says she wasn’t going to wrestle with a broken nail.
Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin
We go back to the ring and Dillinger’s entrance wraps as Baron Corbin makes his way out.
Dillinger with a thrust kick and Corbin goes to the floor. Dillinger sends Corbin into the ringside barrier. Dillinger with a punch to Corbin and he sends Corbin into the ring. Dillinger with a chop in the corner and punches. Corbin with a knee to the head and he punches Dillinger. Corbin with an Irish whip and splash into the corner. Dillinger with forearms and a kick. Corbin with a punch and Dillinger goes down. Dillinger is thrown over the top rope to the floor.
Dillinger is sent into teh ringside barrier and then Corbin follows with a forearm. Corbin hot shots Dillinger on the announce table. Dillinger is sent back into the ring. Corbin with forearms but Dillinger fires back and he also chops Corbin. Corbin with a knee and Irish whip but Dillinger moves in the corner. Corbin slides around the post and then he returns to the ring and clotheslines Dillinger and follows with a near fall. Corbin with a half nelson and chin lock.
Dillinger with punches. Corbin with a knee and he slides around the post but Dillinger knows the clothesline is coming and he avoids it. Dillinger sends Corbin into the ring post. Dillinger punches Corbin and chops him. Dillinger with a flying forearm. Corbin misses the pop up knee and Dillinger with a bicycle kick. Dillinger with a punch and chops. Dillinger pulls down the knee pad and he sets for the Tye Breaker but Corbin gets back to his feet. Corbin with a Northern Lariat followed by a choke breaker. Corbin with End of Days for the three count.
Winner: Baron Corbin
– Aiden English says next week Rusev will become the champion on Rusev Day. Rusev says that Roode’s swan song is next week on Rusev Day.
– Bobby Roode says he has an appointment next Tuesday. When you are the United States Champion, your schedule fills up very fast.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are quiet in the locker room. Sami says the good news is that one of them get a WWE Title opportunity. Sami says it is a shame they have to go against each other. Sami says they just need an opportunity. Kevin says as Sami doesn’t fail. Sami reminds Kevin about being pinned on Sunday. Kevin reminds Sami about his elimination in the Royal Rumble. Sami says they will not fail tonight. Kevin agrees that they will not fail tonight. We go to commercial.
Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable vs. Fandango and Tyler Breeze
Benjamin with a knee to Breeze to knock him off the apron. Fandango with chops to Benjamin followed by a kick. Benjamin with a spinebuster.and hammer lock. We see the Ascension watching in the back. Gable tags in and he connects with a knee to the midsection for a near fall. Gable with a knee drop to the elbow. Fandango with a bulldog out of a wheelbarrow for a near fall. Gable slides to the floor and he pulls Breeze off the apron. Gable with a shoulder and he goes for a slingshot move but Fandango with a kick and he gets a near fall. Gable with a Liger Kick for a near fall.
Gable with an arm bar. Fandango with a rollup for a near fall. Breeze tags in and he hits a back heel kick followed by a drop kick. Breeze with a spinning heel kick. Benjamin tags in and Gable with a cross body that sends both men over the top rope. Breeze with a kick and he goes for a rana but Benjamin blocks it and Gable with a bulldog off the turnbuckles for the three count,.
Winners: Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
After the match, Gable and Benjamin stand tall as we go to replays. We come back to the winners standing tall as their music hits.
– Still to come, WrestleMania 34 opponents team up for the main event. Back to commercial.
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Back from the break and all 4 Superstars are already out. WWE Champion AJ Styles is finishing his entrance up.
Kevin Owens starts off with AJ and they go at it. AJ gets the upperhand and sends Owens to make a tag. Sami Zayn tags in as does Shinsuke Nakamura. They lock up and trade holds. Nakamura ends up unloading on Sami and sending him to the corner for some Good Vibrations as Owens looks on. AJ tags back in and keeps control of Sami. Fans chant for AJ as he goes at it with Sami. AJ nails a big dropkick.
AJ takes Sami to the corner and in comes Nakamura. Sami manages to back Nakamura into the opposite corner so Owens can tag in. Owens stomps away on Shinsuke and then distracts the referee as he backs off, allowing Sami to hit Nakamura with a cheap shot. Owens with more offense until Sami tags in and keeps Nakamura in their corner. Owens tags back in with more offense on Nakamura in their corner. Owens chops Nakamura but he fights back. Nakamura drops Owens with a forearm.
Nakamura drives knees into Owens on the mat now. Sami comes in but gets sent right to the floor but this allows Owens to turn it back around on Nakamura. Owens looks out and asks Sami what the hell he’s doing, if he’s his partner or not. Owens drops Nakamura with a clothesline and takes his time covering for a 2 count. Nakamura gets up fighting and sends Owens out to the floor. Sami and Owens argue at ringside. Sami backs up the ramp and appears to be walking out on the match. Owens asks Sami what the hell he’s doing. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get another promo for tonight’s Mixed Match Challenge episode. We go to the ring and Owens has AJ grounded while Sami looks on from the ramp. AJ fights up and out and takes control. AJ with a big forearm. AJ with a jumping shot in the corner. Owens counters a move but AJ comes right back and drives him into the mat for a 2 count as Sami runs back into the ring to break the pin.
Sami tags in and mounts AJ now. Sami with a big backdrop and another pin attempt. Owens keeps yelling for Sami to tag him. Sami finally tags in as the tension continues between the two. Owens hits the senton on AJ for another 2 count. Sami wants in now and AJ slaps him on the chest to tag him in. They continue having words as Owens tells Sami to take it to AJ. Sami responds by tagging in Owens with a slap to the chest. They argue some more. AJ comes from behind and pushes Owens into Sami, knocking him off the apron. AJ with a roll-up on Owens for a 2 count. Owens comes right back and drops AJ. Sami says this is all Owens’ now as he walks out again. Fans boo.
AJ decks Owens from the apron and springboards up but Owens catches him with a Gutbuster over his knee. Owens with a big elbow drop out of the corner for a close 2 count. Owens with more offense but AJ blocks the Pop-Up Powerbomb and hits a pele kick. Nakamura tags in and hits a big kick to the face. Nakamura unloads on Owens with kicks now. Nakamura with more offense in the corner now. Nakamura with the high knees in the corner while Owens is laid over the top. Nakamura readies for the Kinshasa. Owens tries to run away but AJ stops him and rolls him back in. This leads to Nakamura hitting Kinshasa for the win.
Winners: Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles
After the match, Nakamura and AJ stand tall while Owens is on the mat. We see Sami backstage watching on a monitor. Renee Young walks up and asks if this is the end of their friendship and Sami says nope. Sami says this is all about opportunity. Owens has had several titles while he’s been overlooked. Sami says he’s been known as Kevin Owens’ friend but after next week he will be known as the guy who beat Kevin Owens and then after WWE Fastlane he will be known as the man who beat AJ Styles for the WWE Title. We go back to the ring as Nakamura and AJ celebrate in opposite corners. Nakamura points up at the WrestleMania 34 sign as SmackDown goes off the air.
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