Welcome to WNW for Smackdown Live! Tonight is the go-home show before The Royal Rumble. After a ..lackluster 25th Anniversary of Raw, let's see what Smackdown has in store for us!
The show starts with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Kevin tells the audience this is the better show, with the future in the ring, unlike Raw which was a parade of retirees. Kevin says the Yep movement is about staring in the face of adversity and overcoming the odds. Like when they were put into a 3 on 2 handicap match against no other than Shane McMahon. All that happened was that they proved AJ has no chance of walking out of The Royal Rumble with the WWE Championship. If they couldn't overcome the odds then AJ definitely doesn't have a chance. Sami says they're going to take AJ's title and after...they're going to hurt him. Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep!
AJ Styles music hits and the champ makes his way out. He asks if he heard them correctly, they think they're going to beat him Sunday? Nope. You think you'll be co-WWE Champions? Nope. That they're going to hurt him? Nope! Owens says after WE beat you, you're going to hear YEP in the arenas, in the airports, even at home with his family. AJ says to shut their Yep holes. AJ admits they have the advantage but they're not just facing anyone, they're facing someone phenomenal. This isn't the Kami show, this is the house that AJ Styles built! Owens say AJ is PHENOMENAL! But he's predictable. Sami says he knew AJ would do his macho guy act. Owens says he sounds ignorant just like all the people in Washington DC. Sami says it's ignorance that got him into this mess. When Daniel Bryan fulfilled HIS request and now he's backtracking and saying it's unfair. Now AJ HAS to be a man, for once in his life. With Daniel Bryan here, is he going keep his word. AJ asks what he means. They play footage of AJ saying he'd face both of them separately in one night. Owens asks if he's going to try to weasel out of that one, too. Owens says not for the championship, they'll do that on Sunday. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn and then AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens. Daniel Bryan's music hits and Bryan comes out and says they're right about being great superstars. He also admits that they are right that overcoming the odds is difficult. However, Daniel has the utmost faith in AJ. AJ cuts him off and says he doesn't want or need Daniel to be his advocate for him anymore, he doesn't even know if Bryan is in bed with Owens and Zayn. If they want to face off one at a time, so be it! They're on!
Shane and Daniel are together. Shane says seriously?! He put AJ in back to back matches against Owens and Zayn tonight, is that what he's going to say? Daniel says no, actually he doesn't think AJ has anything to prove. Shane seems surprised. Bryan asks Shane if he thinks AJ does because he seems surprised. Shane says it's not AJ who he is doubting.
Jey Usos vs. Chad Gable
Gable goes after the leg of Jey right off the bat. Gable then starts to use his amateur wrestling style to take down Jey several times. Jey hits some strikes on Gable then uses his own momentum to send Gable over the top rope and crashing to the floor below. We head to commercial. When we return Jey hits a suicide dive on Gable. When they get back in the ring Jey misses a move off the top rope but connects with a Samoan Drop. Gable catches Jey mid move and hits a rolling kick and hits a german suplex to follow up. 1-2-3!
Winner: Chad Gable
Renee asks Shinsuke Nakamura about the Royal Rumble. He says his game plan is put his knee in someone's face, the next person gets a knee to the face, knee face, knee face. Baron Corbin cuts him off and tells him he's all hype. Baron Corbin has the resume, what does Nakamura have? Nakamura says it's not what he's done, it's what he's going to do this Sunday. But tonight, they should RUMBLE!
Naomi vs. Liv Morgan w/The Riott Squad
Naomi hits some kicks to start and ends up going back and forth in pinning predicaments. They both try some kicks and miss until Naomi finally connects with one. Liv uses the ropes to keep Naomi off her and then pulls her into them. Liv plants Naomi and gets a long 2 count. Natty, Carmella and Lana come out to ring side, then Becky Lynch. Naomi hits a sunset flip pinfall for the win.
The Riott Squad attacks Naomi after the match and Becky runs in for the save. It all breaks down with all the women "eliminating" each other over the top rope.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
They lock up to start and Corbin gets Shinsuke into the corner. Baron twists the arm of Nakamura but Shinsuke flips his way out of it. Nakamura tells Corbin to COME ON! He dodges a clothesline and hits a big kick and then hits Good Vibrations. They move to the outside and brawl. Shinsuke gets in and tells Corbin again to come on!! Corbin starts to walk to the back and Shinsuke goes after him. Corbin is able to block a shot and then runs Shinsuke's throat into the bottom turnbuckle metal cord holding it to the steel post. We return and Nakamura is locked in a headlock. He fights out and hits Baron with a running kick. He hits a series of heavy kicks to Corbin. Nakamura gets Baron propped on the top turnbuckle and hits a running knee to the gut of Corbin. Corbin fights back with an elbow and goes for a suplex. Corbin gets hit with a facebuster. Nakamura then runs straight into a Deep Six! 2 count only. Corbin hits a WICKED clothesline and Corbin gets a very long 2 count. Corbin goes for End of Days but it's reversed. Nakamura signals the Kinshasa and as he's running at Corbin Randy Orton slides in the ring and hits an RKO out of absolutely nowhere! Corbin gets up and gets an RKO, too!
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ
New Day comes out and says they were apart of history last night, and they're going to make it again because they're entering the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Their partner made history last week when he became the United States Champion. Bobby comes out and thanks New Day for the wonderful welcome. He says he can't think of a better place to debut for the first time as the United States Champion that Washington DC! He promises his reign is going to be GLORIOUS!!
New Day w/Big E and Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal and Rusev Day
Kofi and Rusev start things off. Rusev gets an advantage right away using his strength. He tags English who hits Kofi with a series of strikes. Jinder tags in and hits some heavy knee strikes on Kofi and tags Rusev. Rusev locks in a bear hug. Rusev goes for a big splash in the corner after Kofi fights out but misses. Bobby tags in and so does English. Roode hits a neckbreaker on Aiden and then a cheap shot on Mahal. Blockbuster by Roode and then a spinebuster on Jinder who runs in. Rusev runs in and hits a kick to the side of the head of Bobby. Kofi runs in and takes out Rusev and then dives out of the ring to take out Jinder and Rusev. Woods tags in and hits a flying elbow on English for the win!
Winners: New Day and Bobby Roode
Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles
Before the match can start Shane comes out and says if Sami goes anywhere near the match then he will lose his spot in the WWE Championship match Sunday because he will fire him on the spot. The same goes for Kevin Owens during Sami's match with AJ.
AJ starts the match off strong and goes on the offense. He hits a dropkick then throws Owens into the corner. Owens dodges an attack and puts AJ in the corner for the cannonball but misses! Owens hurts his knee and AJ locks in the calf crusher. Owens taps!
Winner: AJ Styles
AJ Styles won't break the calf crusher. Sami runs down and attacks AJ. Owens knee is looking bad and he's having trouble leaving. Sami keeps attacking AJ. The second match hasn't technically started so Owens isn't getting fired. Sami throws AJ knee-first into the steel stairs. Sami hammers away at AJ as we head to commercial.
AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn
The ref asks AJ if he wants to compete and he says he can. Kevin Owens is still at ringside clutching his knee. Sami goes on the attack fast. Sami throws AJ into the turnbuckle chest first. Sami talks some trash and then chops away at Styles. KO is now getting looked at by medical staff. Sami hits a big clothesline on AJ. Sami shoves a knee into the back of AJ and stretches him out. AJ tries to fight out of the submission but Sami hits a knee to the gut. AJ gets some life and hits some heavy strikes and then a flying forearm to a seated Sami Zayn. AJ with a big splash in the corner. AJ sends Sami over the top rope where he crashes next to Owens. AJ flings himself over the top rope and hits a forearm on Zayn. AJ rolls Sami into the ring and starts to get in but notices KO. He goes on the attack on Owens injured knee. Sami runs out and attacks AJ to stop the attack.
We return from commercial and Sami has AJ in a headlock. Owens is still being looked at by medical staff. AJ starts fighting back. AJ gets Sami on the top turnbuckle and hits a huge hurricarana on Sami. Zayn gets up and they start trading blows in the center of the ring. AJ with the fireman's carry neckbreaker! Sami kicks out at 2. AJ sets up the Styles Clash but Sami fights out and hits the tornado DDT. Sami signals the Helluva Kick but runs into a boot from AJ. AJ hits a Pele Kick and gets a 2 count! Sami fights out of a rear hold and hits a Michinoku driver! 2 count! The medical staff are trying to get Owens on a stretcher now. Zayn smacks AJ and then goes up top with AJ. AJ slides out and sends Sami crashing face first into the turnbuckle. Sami slides out of the ring but AJ hits a sliding knee from the apron. Styles tosses Sami in the ring and then flips over KO on the stretcher! He gets back in the ring but immediately gets hit with the Helluva Kick! 1-2-3! Sami pins AJ!
Winner: Sami Zayn