WWE Smackdown LIVE took place from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here’s all the action that went down last night.
Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles stood united despite their looming WrestleMania encounter
Having won the Royal Rumble, the night belonged to Smackdown LIVE’s Shinsuke Nakamura. Having already decided to challenge WWE Champion AJ Styles at Wrestlemania, the King of Strong Style made his way to the ring to detail how Styles would soon taste the business end of his knee when the two clash on the grandest stage of them all.
Styles decided to make an appearance to address his challenger, expressing excitement for a once in a lifetime showdown. A match that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens took umbrage with, as the Yep Movement claimed that they were screwed over at the Rumble and should be co-champions instead of Styles.
Smackdown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan’s solution? A tag team bout between the faces and heels, with another match scheduled for next week: Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens to decide who’ll face AJ Styles for the gold at the Fastlane event. So much for that co-champions idea.
Rusev def. Jinder Mahal, Zach Ryder and Kofi Kingston in a Fatal 4-Way to become the new #1 contender for the United States Championship
With the United States Championship safe in the hands of Bobby Roode after Mojo Rawley failed to dethrone the glorious one at the Royal Rumble, it was time to find a new challenger for the title. And what better way to do so, than by chucking all four of the worthiest superstars around into a single bout? With each man having a 25% chance of winning, it was Rusev who multiplied his odds to 100% when he managed to outlast Jinder Mahal, Zach Ryder and Kofi Kingston in a furious bout.
With the match becoming a chaotic brouhaha of hard-hitting moves and finishers, Rusev managed to clear the ring of Mahal and Ryder, locking Kingston into the dreaded Accolade and forcing the New Day member to tap. Looks like another great Rusev Day for the super-athlete.
The Usos put SmackDown LIVE’s Tag Team division on blast
Having successfuly defended their tag team championship, the Usos decided to hit the ring and revel in their victory. Exclaiming that they’d take on any challenger at any time, The Usos may have found their next opponents: The Bludgeon Brothers, who made their way to the ring to demolish some in-ring talent.
The Bludgeon Brothers def. some homegrown talent
This match was so brutal, the local talent may as well have been named the Squash Bros. It was the same story that had played out across several other Bludgeon Brothers matches for weeks, as Luke Harper and Rowan quickly decimated their foes within the ring, using sheer brutality and violence to get the job done.
Carmella attempted to cash-in on The Queen
While Charlotte Flair might have her hands full soon depending on which champion Women’s Royal Rumble winner Asuka decides to face or even the appearance of UFC legend Ronda Rousey, she had to keep her wits about her last night as the Riott Squad made their way to the ring and decided to tear her apart.
Battered and bruised, it looked like Carmella would finally cash in her Money in the Bank contract when she rushed the ring. The second that Charlotte Flair stood up however? Carmella got cold feet and rescinded cashing in on golden ticket.
Baron Corbin def. Tye Dillinger
Hard luck for both Baron Cornin and Tye Dillinger, as neither man managed to earn a coveted win at the Royal Rumble on Sunday. The solution? Beating each other down in the ring, as the two rekindled an intense rivalry and let loose the dogs of war. Dillinger may have delivered plenty of pain to Corbin, but the Lone Wolf weathered the storm and locked in the End of Days to pick up the pin.
Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable def. Breezango
Their tag team championship dreams may have been decisively ended when The Usos managed to score tow successive pins in a best of three match at the Royal Rumble, but Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin were far from finished when they joined Tyler Breeze and Fandango in the ring. Using a combination of brawn and brain power, Gable and Benjamin connected a double powerbomb on Tyler Breeze to prove that they were still in contention for the titles.
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
While Styles and Nakamura will soon face each other at Wrestlemania, their mutual respect for one another resulted in challenger and champion forming a dream team in the ring when they faced the Yep Movement. Two well-oiled teams clashed, at least until Zayn and Owens self-destructed in the ring in light of their upcoming bout, resulting in their teamwork going off the rails.
Eventually having enough, Zayn decided to skip the match entirely, leaving Owens to eat a Kinshasa from Nakamura that ended the bout. Was the Yep Movement finished? No said Zayn backstage, but the days of him living in the shadow of Owens certainly was.
Last Updated: January 31, 2018