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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (1/30/18)



All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.



  • WWE United States Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way: Kofi Kingston w/ The New Day VS Zack Ryder VS Rusev w/ Aiden English VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh; Rusev wins and will challenge Bobby Roode for the US Championship next week.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers VS It Doesn’t Matter; Bludgeon Brothers win.
  • Tye Dillinger VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Breezango VS Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin; Gable & Benjamin win.
  • AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Styles & Nakamura win.


SmackDown welcomes the Men’s Royal Rumble Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura!

The King of Strong Style outlasted even the likes of Finn Balor, John Cena and Roman Reigns to earn his main event spot at Wrestlemania 34! Not only that, but he didn’t wait long to name who he wants to face, either. He wants the WWE Champion, AJ Styles! The fans of Philly welcome him with a standing ovation and chanting his name. Nakamura speaks, “At Royal Rumble, Sami Zayn: Knee to the face. John Cena: Knee to the face! Roman Reigns: Knee toĀ face!” And at Wrestlemania, it will be him VS AJ Styles, and a “KNEE, FACE, new WWE Champion!” However, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn come out to respond.

“Give it up for your 2018 Royal Rumble winner, Shinsuke Nakamura!” Kevin says he can point at the sign and talk about beating Styles all he wants, but #Kami believes they wereĀ screwed over. Yep. Sami & Kevin should be co-champions but are instead losers because of a “controversial” call. They claim Shane McMahon’s vendetta still holds them down. The referee has one job: protect the integrity of the match at all costs. Yep. And clearly Kevin didn’t tag in. Kevin’s strong passion coupled with incompetence of the referee has put us in this situation. “Styles pinned the wrong man!” Therefore, #Kami should be given a second chance. That means it won’t be Styles VS Nakamura, it’ll be #Kami VS Nakamura. YEP, YEP, YEP! Nakamura says Styles is a winner, and #Kami are losers.

Philly says “YEP!” to that. However, #Kami decides to intimidate Nakamura, only for AJ Styles to appear in person!

Styles speaks now, saying #Kami can complain all they want, but they’re still getting the dream match at ‘Mania, and that’s Styles VS Nakamura. But as for tonight in Philly, in the “House that AJ Styles Built”, the Dream Match shall become a Dream Team! Styles & Nakamura VS Sami & KevinĀ tonight!

However, #Kami seems to say NOPE to that, as they take their leave. Though, on second thought, if Styles, Nakamura and Philly want it that badly, still NOPE! In that case, Styles and Nakamura knock #Kami down! Kevin & Sami may not feel like in a fighting mood, but then how are they to get the title from Styles?


Kevin & Sami visit SmackDown General Manager, Daniel Bryan.

They need to talk. Well he wanted to talk to them too. He reminds them that Styles doesn’t have match-making power, but Bryan does. The dream team matchĀ will happen.

This is almost as bad as the Rumble’s “single biggest blown call ever”! Bryan says the footage could not overturn the ruling, the referee made a mistake and they have to live with it. Mistake? No, a mistake is when you set your alarm for 7PM instead of AM! This was for a title! C’mon, Daniel! He has to fix this, they can’t be pushed to the back of the line, and Bryan knows it! Bryan agrees, but their opportunity at the title will happen next week. See? Voice of Reason right here! Yes, next week, major main event, and the winner of that match moves on to Fastlane! It’ll be Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn 1v1! That’s great, right? Bryan can’t wait for that! But #Kami can’t believe they’ll have to fight each other now. Will their friendship survive?


WWE United States Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way: Kofi Kingston VS Zack Ryder VS Rusev VS Jinder Mahal!

The GLORIOUS One has a lot of eyes on him now that he’s champion, and he joins commentary to watch this personally. Will the high-flyer of the New Day, the Long Island Iced Z, the Bulgarian Brute or the Modern Day Maharaja rise up to challenge him along this Road to Wrestlemania?

The bell rings and while fans chant “Rusev Day!”, Rusev comes under attack from Ryder. Meanwhile, Mahal goes after Kofi and we have a pair of brawls. Ryder and Rusev spill out to the outside while Mahal keeps Kofi inside. Mahal whips, Kofi evades and sunset flips, but Mahal sits down. TWO, and Kofi rolls Mahal, TWO. Kofi keeps moving but runs into Mahal’s stiff knee! Ryder returns in the ring and slips out of Mahal’s scoop to dump Mahal out. Rusev returns but Ryder is ready, except for running into Rusev’s body attack. Big E serves pancakes aggressively at Corey Graves while Rusev stomps out Ryder.

Mahal keeps on Kofi on the outside then puts him inside, also stomping away. Roode is honored to have so many contenders and vows to be a fighting champion. Rusev and Mahal keep on Kofi and Ryder, but Kofi fights back as the fans rally. Mahal and Rusev coordinate and go to whip Kofi and Ryder at each other, but Ryder reverses and Kofi knocks Rusev down with a dropkick! Mahal runs but misses, Ryder knocks him with a lariat. Kofi goes after Ryder now, but his suplex is countered with a neckbreaker, Mahal breaks the pin. Mahal drags Ryder up for crossface punches and stiff elbows. He whips Ryder but Ryder counters with a facebuster, then clotheslines Mahal out of the ring. Ryder builds speed and hits Mahal with a wrecking ball dropkick. Kofi sees a target, and FLIES! Big E throws more pancakes! Rusev gets in the ring,Ā he builds speed, but Sunil trips him up! Aiden English comes over and threatens him, then shoves him, and causes Big E to spill the pancake platter!

Sunil done done it now! The New Day argues with English and Singh, but the referee ejects all four of them! The arguing just gets worse while we go picture in picture.

With the four legal men the only ones left, Rusev fires up with the “RUSEV DAY!” chants. He slips out of the ring to throw Ryder into barriers. Rusev puts Ryder into the ring but Mahal and Kofi have also returned. Kofi breaks Rusev’s cover, then goes back to Mahal. Mahal and Rusev keep control, but Kofi reverses a buckle bump to give a bump. Ryder fights back on Rusev and gives him corner punches while Kofi stomps on Mahal. Kofi walks off tot he side, to then run in and rock Mahal with a dropkick! Ryder covers Rusev, ONE, Kofi goes after Mahal’s leg. Rusev kicks Ryder right in the head! Ryder rolls out of the ring while Mahal turns things around on Kofi. Mahal chokes Kofi at the ropes, then Rusev comes over to help out. Rusev drags Kofi up while Mahal goes after Ryder. Ryder reverses Mahal and bumps him off the apron, Rusev covers, TWO. Mahal grinds a knee into Ryder, Rusev rams shoulders into Kofi. Mahal throws Ryder out then rejoins Rusev to bully Kofi. They double suplex Kofi, then Mahal drops a knee. Rusev adds an elbow drop, then they both drag Kofi up to throw him back out. Mahal and Rusev stick together as they go out of the ring, embracing the heat. Mahal grinds his knee into KofiĀ  then rocks him with a right and we go back to single picture.

Rusev keeps on Ryder while Mahal whips Kofi at steel steps, but Kofi leaps up and over them! Kofi returns but Mahal evades, to then send Kofi into those steel steps. Then Mahal turns on Rusev with a right hand and a bump off a post. He puts Ryder in the ring and covers, TWO. Roode touts the accomplishments of Mahal while Mahal lays into Ryder with springboard knee drops. Rusev returns and Mahal is right upon him, but the fans cheer Rusev on. Rusev fights back, brawling with Mahal. Haymaker after haymaker, then a pair of big roundhouses. Rusev fires up, and runs corner to corner to ram a shoulder into Mahal!

Mahal escapes the ring, so Rusev goes after Ryder. Ryder knees Rusev away, then hits a missile dropkick. He goes corner to corner, forearm smash and more forearms, “WOO WOO WOO!” Broski Boot! But Mahal wipes Ryder out with a boot of his own, TWO! Ryder rolls away while Mahal covers Rusev, TWO. Mahal grows frustrated but Kofi flies in to knock him down! The fans fire up for Kofi as he hits the Boom Drop. Kofi gets the fans going again, but Ryder returns, Kofi hits SOS! Mahal breaks the cover, then lariats Kofi inside-out. Rusev gets up and throws Mahal out, before seeing he has his pick between Ryder and Kofi. He choosesĀ both for a Stack-olade! However, Mahal returns to roll Rusev up, TWO! Mahal hits the big knee strike on Rusev, then calls for his finish. He drags Rusev up, but Rusev resists and throws him off. Ryder comes in, pop-up for the Rough Ryder on Mahal! Rusev rocks Ryder with another roundhouse, then he blocks Kofi’s SOS into the Accolade!

Kofi endures, but taps! Rusev wins! The Bulgarian Brute shall challenge Roode for the US Championship next week on SmackDown! And he gets out of the ring to stare right at the champion. The GLORIOUS One is ready, but will he still be CRUSHED on Rusev Day?


The Usos speak.

“Since Day One, the Usos have had the SmackDown Live Tag Division #OnLock.” Every other tag team in the WWE better pay attention to them. They’re going to put everyone on notice, “live and in color”, after the break.


The Fashion Police are in Fashion HQ.

They finish power-ranking their favorite looks before checking in with the Ascension and the #AskBreezango Twitter questions. The questions keep pouring in! First up, “What kind of conditioner do you use for your hair?” “What is your favorite thing about Viktor?” But before they can cover any more questions, Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin enter. What even is this? The Fashion Files still exists? These “clowns” are embarrassing the SmackDown Tag Team Division.

As embarrassing as losing to the Usos twice in a row? Gable & Benjamin have a question: Do they really think they can beat the team of Benjamin & Gable? The answer: No. Then they throw the table over! The Ascension keep the Fashion Police calm, they’ll settle this in the ring.


The Usos come to the ring.

The Usos won against Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin in a Best 2 out of 3 Falls tag team match for the SmackDown Tag Team titles, keeping the Uso Penitentiary open for business. Philly is the City of Brotherly Love, so show some love to the championship brothers! They got silly up in Philly, they beat Gable ‘n’ Benjamin 2-0, “back to back!” But that’s nothing new, the Usos have always dominated SmackDown. “Y’all don’t remember, huh?” They go on a trip of memory lane! American Alpha: LOCKED DOWN! American Alpha 2: LOCKED DOWN! Hype Bros: LOCKED DOWN! Breezango: LOCKED DOWN! NEW DAY~: LOCKED DOWN! And even The Bar, from Raw, but at Survivor Series: LOCKED DOWN! They lock ’em down and this Day One Ish isn’t just merch, it’s a lifestyle! It’s real, true, being 100 and being UCE! Day One is the struggle, and everyone knows about that. Bills, work, grades, staying otu of trouble, but remember this: all those struggles will only make you stronger. That’s why the Usos go to war side-by-side. That’s what makes them different, because they share struggles, Uce. They get stronger together, so it won’t matter where you’re from, what Club you’re in, what Bar you are, what Day you are, it doesn’t even matter if you’re other brothers! The Usos may not be theĀ best tag team, but they’re the best in WWE! “Run up ‘n’ get done up!”

Philly is fired up alongside The Usos, but before the Usos can leave, out come a certain pair of brothers.

Yes, Harper & Rowan have returned, and theseĀ Bludgeon Brothers are ready to show why everyone should be worried about them.


The Bludgeon Brothers VS ???

Like any other Bludgeon Brothers match, they come out hard at the bell as Harper runs over ? then puts him in a corner to chop stiffly. He tags in Rowan, Rowan whips Harper right in for a big back elbow, then Harper feeds Rowan’s tackle. They tag back, and Rowan hauls up the carcass and walks over to the opposing corner. Harper keeps “Mr. Amazing” from running, Rowan makes ? tag him in, only to use ? as a weapon! Harper runs “Mr. Amazing” over with a boot! Rowan then throws his partner, and the two small men end up in a corner. Harper tags Rowan back and and whips him in for a big corner splash sandwich. Then, with the full-nelson lift, Rowan assists Harper in the sit-out powerbomb! And for the legal “Mr. Amazing”, Bludgeon Bomb! The Bludgeon Brothers win! Will these brothers in destruction soon challenge the Usos for SmackDown tag team gold?


Daniel Bryan speaks.

“On SmackDown Live, we’re always exploring new and different ways to make the show more interesting for our fans and more engaging for our superstars.” That’s why Bryan himself is proud to announce the first ever, official SmackDown Top Ten List! The stars of SmackDown will vote on who they think are the most deserving. It is all based on locker room leadership, talent and skill. There are ground rules, however. Shane and Bryan won’t have a vote, it is all for the superstars. The other rule is that you can’t vote for yourself! Bryan is so excited and knows this will go a long way to helping make SmackDown better!


Shane McMahon speaks on the Royal Rumble.

Everything was so exciting, but now Tye Dillinger walks in. On any other day the Top Ten List would be priority, but they both now what this talk is about. The Perfect Ten was going to be entry 10, but Sami Zayn took taht form him. Baron Corbin comes in to complain about the Top Ten ListĀ and about #Kami. Shane agrees on the latter, and Corbin wonders who is really in charge. Is Shane a McMahon or what? ShaneĀ is a McMahon. Tye speaks up, and riles Corbin up but Shane calms them down. Tempers are running wild but things are settled in the ring. The Lone Wolf and the Perfect Ten will face off, which one of them will revitalize themselves on the way to Wrestlemania?


Charlotte Flair heads to the ring!

The Queen of Flair and SmackDown Women’s Champion will speak after the break.

SmackDown returns and we have an in-ring interview conducted by Renee Young. What was it like to watch the inaugural Women’s Rumble in person? It was incredible. Charlotte was so proud of the women in that match, but was also itching to compete. It was the first time that she didn’tĀ want to be champion, because she’d rather test her mettle against the legends. Charlotte wanted to see if she could be like a certain Nature Boy she knew. Then there was a surreal moment where she stood in the ring with the Raw Women’s Champion and Asuka, the winner of the Rumble. And of course, there was “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. All Charlotte knows is that she will still go to Wrestlemania as SmackDown Women’s Champion, but who will be her opponent? The Riott Squad comes out!

Ruby speaks, saying Charlotte needs to forget about Asuka and Ronda. Does Charlotte hear herself putting herself over? Her ego is big as her father’s. The fans let out a “WOO~” in agreement. Of course Charlotte thinks she would’ve won the Rumble and handpick her opponent. Ruby has met Charlottes all over the world. So talented, yet so entitled and unoriginal. There is only one Riott, from the way she talks to the way she acts to the way she looks. But Charlotte? She’s a cheap imitation of Ric. Ruby is out here to say that Charlotte’s time is over, because if the Squad had their way, she wouldn’t even make it to ‘Mania. Charlotte asks if Ruby’s done talking, then lets out a “WOO~” right in her face. Ruby goes to swing, Charlotte fights herĀ and the Squad off! She knocks Ruby out, kicks Liv out and then throws Sarah out! The champion wants to fight, but the Squad has her surrounded! They club away on the Queen, and Philly boos and jeers as they stomp her out. Sarah drops a cartwheel knee, and then Ruby kicks her while she’s down. Liv gives the springboard double stomps in the corner, then she and Sarah bring Charlotte over for Ruby. They stand her up, Ruby gives her the Riott Kick! Philly boos and jeers but The Squad stands tall. Will they make good on their words and take that title from Charlotte before Wrestlemania?

Forget the Squad, here comes Ms. Money in the Bank!! Carmella rushes the ring with her briefcase, then makes sure Charlotte is good and done. Then she gives the case over to the referee! She sees Charlotte get up and panics! Carmella goes to dropkick Charlotte, but Charlotte evades and the referee takes the hit!

He tumbles down, Carmella freaks out, but Charlotte gets to her feet. Carmella shrieks for the referee to get up and activate the contract, but too late. She grabs her case and runs now that Charlotte is capable to fight back. Maybe not today, but when will Carmella finally make good on her MITB contract?


Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles talk backstage.

Nakamura knows what they have to do, right? Yes, they’re meeting at Wrestlemania. No, tonight they face #Kami! Yes, they meet at ‘Mania. Is he messing with Styles? Of course he’s messing with you. They’ll be fine, just listen to Nakamura out there. Styles listen to Nakamura? Will this Dream Team really work out?


Backstage interview with Carmella.

A bit of bad luck kept her from cashing in. Bad Luck? Carmella says that went as planned. She simply wanted to remind everyone that she has the MITB contract, and that makes Carmella the most dangerous woman on SmackDown. Plus, she broke a nail. Well, best of luck next time.


Tye Dillinger VS Baron Corbin!

The Perfect Ten and Lone Wolf have had problems with each other for a long time, and now they must settle a whole new grudge. Corbin rusehes in, Tye SUPERKIKCS him back then unloads left hands on the outside before throwing him into a barrier! The fans fire up for Tye as he hits Corbin with a flying forearm!

Tye keeps on Corbin then puts him in the ring, running chop in a corner before Perfect Ten corner punches! Corbin pushes Tye back, gets him with a knee, then pounds him with forearms on the mat. The fans boo, Corbin tells them to “Shut up!” Corbin whips Tye corner to corner, then runs in for a big corner clothesline. He drags Tye up, Tye fights back with body shots and forearms. Tye runs, kicks Corbin back, but Corbin rocks Tye with a right hand. The fans troll Corbin with “You Need Hair Plugs!” but Corbin ignores them to drag Tye up again. He throws Tye right out over the top rope and embraces the heat while we go picture in picture.

Tye writhes while Corbin grins, then Corbin goes out to fetch him. He brings Tye around the corner to then throw him into more barriers. Corbin walks around while Tye writhes again, then Corbin drags Tye up fore more stiff shots. He lifts Tye and drops him on the announce table face first! The referee keeps counting, things return into the ring. Corbin stalks Tye to ropes and rocks him with more right forearms, but then Tye fights back with chops! Corbin drives a knee in then whips Tye to a corner, but Tye evades, only for Corbin to slide out then in and run him over with a lariat! Cover, TWO, and Corbin grows annoyed. He keeps on Tye with a half-nelson chinbar while we go back to single picture.

Tye endures while the fans rally. Corbin keeps the grip on tight but Tye starts firing up. Tye gets up to his feet and fights back with body shots. Corbin drives in another knee then whips Tye, Tye goes up and over while Corbin slides out again. He sees Corbin coming, evades again, and then sends him into a post! Tye sees this is his chance, and fires himself up again. Corbin staggers over and Tye rocks him with southpaw haymakers and right hand chops. Tye rallies with forearms, and evades a pop-up knee to give a boot of his own. Tye knees and lariats Corbin down, then brings him back up for headbutts and chops. Knee pad comes down, Tye lifts Corbin up, but Corbin slips out to shove and clobber Tye down. The fans boo and jeer while Corbin gives Tye the Choke Slam Backbreaker! But Corbin isn’t done there, he brings Tye up again for End of Days! Corbin wins! The Lone Wolf won’t let opportunities slip through his fingers again, will he finally sink his teeth into a WWE Championship match?


Rusev speaks.

And Aiden English magically appears! The spotlight is on them, as next week is going to bring victory on Rusev Day~~~ “Bob Roode” loses his title while Rusev “Machka”!

However, Roode has a response.

The US Champion has marked his calendar for next week’s “Rusev Day”. But when you’re Bobby Roode, the schedule fills up very quickly.

Which man will have his day with SmackDown sees this GLORIOUS United States Championship match?


Kevin & Sami prepare backstage.

The good news: at least one of these best friends gets a title opportunity. Yep. But a shame it’s against each other. Yep. Though, an opportunity is all either has ever needed, right? Yep. Unless, Sami fails. Much like how Kevin was the one pinned in their match. And like how Sami was eliminated in the Rumble. Well, the important thing is, Sami won’t fail tonight in the tag match because he has Kevin. Right, Sami won’t failĀ tonight. Is tension already mounting between these reunited friends?


Breezango VS Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin!

The bell rings and we have Fandango starting against the Gold Standard. They circle, but Benjmain gives a cheap shot to Prince Pretty! Fandango rocks Benjamin with right hands and chops in return, but Benjamin reverses the whip. Fandango evades, but then runs into a spinebuster!

Benjamin drags Fandango up for a seated hammerlock. The Ascension watch backstage and are worried for their “best friends.” Gable tags in and gets the hand-off to then flip Fandnago with the kitchen sink knee, ONE. Gable goes after the arm, but Fandango gets to ropes. Fandango evades Gable and hits a wheelbarrow bulldog! Cover, TWO, and Fandango keeps on Gable with chops. He whips Gable but Gable slips out to trip up Breeze! Gable then shoulders his way in and slingshots, but into a backbreaker! TWO, and Gable backs up to hit the rolling kick! Cover, TWO, and Gable grows frustrated. He drags Fandnago up into the keylock, but fans rally for the Lord of the Dance. Gable whips, Fandango rolls him, TWO! Tag to Breeze! Breeze rallies on Gable and Benjamin, then gives Gable a forearm smash. Gable reverses the whip and Benjamin tags in. Fandango runs in but Gable tackles him out of the ring. Breeze hits Benjamin with a mule kick, then tries a spinning headscissors, but ends up in the Doomsday!

Benjamin & Gable win! Can “American Alpha 2” make a comeback and take on the Usos again?


AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!

A dream team takes on a duo of best friends, but they all want to hold the WWE Championship. Which team will keep it together long enough to win tonight before facing their partner on the Road to Wrestlemania?

The bell rings and Kevin starts against Styles. Keivn gets a waistlock but Styles gets the standing switch. Styles tries to lift Kevin, but Kevin trips him up first, only for STyles to headscissors Kevin to his corner. Sami tags in, and so does Nakamura.

The Rockstar and Underdog tie up, Sami gets the armlock. He puts on a wristlock and then armbar but Nakamura rolls and cartwheels to reverse it. Sami gets to ropes for the break, so Nakamura rests on Sami’s abs. Kevin gets annoyed for both of them, but then even more when Nakamura says “C’MON!” Sami rushes in and takes the knee, then Nakamura drops a knee. He puts Sami in a corner for Good Vibrations! Nakamura drags Sami over and Styles tags in. Styles throws hands but Sami kicks back and puts on a headlock. The fans cheer for Styles while Sami grinds him down. Styles powers out, things speed up, Styles rocks Sami with a dropkick! He won’t let Sami get away, he brings Sami back and Nakamura tags in. Nakamura is pushed into #Kami’s corner and Kevin stomps away. Sami gets a cheap shot while Kevin says “And that’s why this is MY show!” Kevin keeps on Nakamura with stomps and right hands, then crossface punches and kicks. He drags Nakamura up and puts him in a corner, then tags Sami back in. Sami gives Nakamura punch after punch, and even a chop. He tags Kevin back in, the best friends mug Nakamura. Kevin brings Nakamura up and chops him, then whips him to ropes. Nakamura reverses, Kevin kicks back, but Nakamura gives him the strike fest.

Nakamura drives knees into Kevin’s ribs, but then Sami comes in. Sami gets thrown out but that allows Kevin to pounce on Nakamura. Kevin sees where Sami ended up and gets mad. “Are you my partner or not?” Kevin lariats Nakamura down then orders Sami to get back to his corner. Cover, TWO, and Sami looks to be just as annoyed with Kevin as Kevin is with him. Nakamura fights back and Kevin escapes the ring. The friends argue, the Philly fans boo and jeer them, and the referee starts a ring count. Sami starts to leave?! “See how well you do without your guardian angel!” Is this becoming a handicap match?!

SmackDown returns and Kevin has Styles in a chinlock. Sami stays on the stage and watches while Styles gets to his feet. Styles fights back but Kevin clubs him before going for a back suplex. Styles gets out and gives Kevin the Phenomenal Blitz and sliding forearm! Kevin crawls to a corner and Styles comes in for a big clothesline, then tries the fireman’s carry. Kevin slips out, but Styles still hits the wheelbarrow facebuster!

Cover, but Sami returns to break it up! Seems Sami wasn’t going to give up on this match after all. He gets to the corner and Kevin tags him ni. Sami fires off crossface punches on Styles while the fans sing “Ole~ ole~!” Sami whips and body drops Styles, then covers, TWO. Kevin wants back in already but Sami says he has this. “Tag me dammit!” Sami lets go of Styles, and tags Kevin like he wanted. Kevin stomps on Styles, then hits the back senton, TWO. Now Sami wants a tag, and Kevin gives it to him, with a bit of attitude… Kevin lets Sami handle Styles, but then Sami tags him back.

The friendship is tearing, but while they argue, Styles bumps Kevin into Sami, rolls up, TWO! Kevin clobbers Styles with a lariat! Sami gets mad at Kevin for that, and now heĀ truly leaves this match. The fans boo while Kevin shouts at Sami, but Styles comes back! He forearms Kevin away, but Kevin blocks the springboard with a fireman’s carry and gutbuster! Then a banzai splash! TWO!? Kevin takes his frustration out on Nakamura, then whips Styles, Pop-Up avoided for a PELE! Styles tags in Nakamura, and Nakamura runs to hit Kevin with the dynamic dropkick. Nakamura unleashes kicks, then hits a corner knee. He hoists Kevin up, Top Shelf knee! Now Nakamura fires up and fans know what’s next. So does Kevin, he goes to run away, but Styles puts him back in the ring. Nakamura knocks him down, then finishes with a KINSHASA! The Dream Team wins!

Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.

Is this the end of their friendship already? NOPE! This isn’t about friendship, this is about opportunities. Kevin has had his time, now it’s Sami’s! Sami won’t just be Kevin’s Best Friend, he’ll be the #1 contender and the future WWE Champion! Will it really just be business after next week’s SmackDown?


My Thoughts:

Like Raw last night, this post-Rumble SmackDown was pretty darn good. SmackDown works towards their final stop before Wrestlemania, aka Fastlane. The opening fatal 4 way was great and it really boosts the profile of the US Championship. Everyone was great in their character work, especially Big E on the outside with his constant pancake antics. Rusev getting the win is great because fans really do love the Rusev Day gimmick, and because there seems to be a New Day VS Mahal & Singh(s) program building. Rusev and Roode both do great to speak on their match for next week with those smartphone video promos, their match is going to be great but I don’t think Roode would lose so soon after winning the title. Tye VS Corbin on the heels of this new Top Ten List concept is an interesting bit. Corbin wins to keep himself strong in spite of his “falling short” trend, but I would love to see his Heel reaction to the other superstars not voting him into the Top Ten.Ā The SmackDown Tag Team Division keeps going strong as Gable & Benjamin get back on winning ways by making the Fashion Police job out again. Then the Usos tear it up with a great promo, as always, to then be followed up by Harper & Rowan again mauling jobbers they don’t even give time to be introduced. There may be a #1 contenders match before Fastlane, but finally seeing Usos VS Harper & Rowan seems the more logical choice and a very entertaining one given how smash-mouth both teams have shown they can be.

The Women’s Division gives us an interesting bit with The Riott Squad taking the fight to Charlotte and unwittingly setting her up for Carmella’s cash-in attempt. I had mixed reactions about Carmella still being denied her chance, but it happened in a very unique way so I’ll let it slide. Carmella did well to play it off, too, and could still cash-in at Fastlane, or copy Rollins and cash-in mid-match at ‘Mania. Kevin & Sami logically continue where they left off last night with protesting a “controversial” ending, but in similar fashion don’t want to fight it out unless they have to. Then they start getting on each other’s nerves, which is a bit of a shame since they just became friends in kayfabe again rather recently. Of course, the WWE Championship is a major prize, they’d both want to hold it all by themselves. The tension and bickering was good character work, though, and in reality helps give Sami reason not to overdo it since he had a Mixed Match Challenge match to worry about right after this. The arguing of course costs them the match, which keeps Styles and Nakamura strong while they each head for ‘Mania. Kevin VS Sami could go either way, but I really hope the two don’t kayfabe break up over this. Unless it’s to then long-term swerve where the loser appears to help the winner at Fastlane.

My Score: 8/10