As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
SmackDown Live aired from the Amway Center in Orlando.
WWE Champion AJ Styles was still upset over the way he lost his match against Kevin Owens last week. Commissioner Shane McMahon apologized for what happened and promised the Phenomenal One that he would be in his corner for his match with Sami Zayn.
General Manager Daniel Bryan put his two cents in and said that not only would Owens be allowed at ringside, but he himself would be there as well.
Styles and Zayn faced off in a physical, hard-hitting main event. The two went back and forth until the referee accidentally tumbled out of the ring. Owens tried to “checkup” on him while Styles attempted a pinfall that would have guaranteed him the win.
McMahon had seen enough and shoved Owens to the ground, followed by the referee ejecting the Prizefighter. Bryan then got on the mic and suggested that maybe the Commissioner himself be ejected as well. In the confusion, Zayn was able to hit the champ with a Helluva Kick for the surprising upset.
Understandably, Styles was livid after the match, telling McMahon and Bryan to quit arguing like children. He then challenged both Zayn and Owens to a handicap match. The general manager obliged, but upped the ante: the match would happen at the Royal Rumble, for the WWE Championship.
Before all of the chaos ensued at the end of the night, the action kicked off with the Usos putting their Tag Team Championships on the line against Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. Momentum shifted between both teams throughout the match, with neither getting the upper hand for long.
Benjamin and Gable seemingly won the belts after hitting their finisher and pinning Jimmy. But Jey was actually the legal man, causing the match to be restarted. The champs took advantage of this second chance, hitting the challengers with their own finisher to retain the titles.
There was more tag team action next, as Breezango attempted to once again face the Bludgeon Brothers. However, the match would never get started, as Harper and Rowan demolished Breeze and Fandango before the bell rang. The Ascension came out to try and help, but shared the same fate as their Fashion Files costars.
Xavier Woods and Aiden English then squared off with a chance to advance in the United States Championship Tournament. The two threw everything they had at each other, vying for a chance to face Jinder Mahal in the next round. Woods was finally able to hit his diving elbow drop from the top rope to secure the win.
In women’s division action, the Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan) took on Natalya, Carmella and Tamina. The war within the division raged on, but once again the newcomers were able to emerge victorious. After a brutal battle, Logan hit Tamina with a handstand-double knee strike to pick up the win for her team.
Once the match was over, Riott made the statement that her and her teammates would be a part of the first Women’s Royal Rumble match. SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte then made her presence known, telling the trio they needed to get hit with a dose of reality.
That’s when Naomi came out to join the Queen, but she wasn’t the only one. Becky Lynch made her return after being attacked by the Riott Squad several weeks ago. All six women then engaged in an all-out brawl, with the champ, Naomi and Lynch getting the upper hand for now.
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