– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from Kansas City with Tom Phillips welcoming us. He’s joined by Byron Saxton and Corey Graves. Tom hypes tonight’s show.
– We go right to the ring and Greg Hamilton introduces SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon.
Shane says normally he would be ecstatic about tonight’s main event but he’s not because of the epic implications. He talks about how Sami Zayn or Kevin Owens will go on to compete for the WWE Title against AJ Styles at Fastlane. Shane says Sami or Owens don’t deserve another opportunity. Shane introduces SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan and out he comes to a pop.
Shane talks about how SmackDown is the land of opportunity and how they listen to the fans each week. Shane says he called Bryan to the ring because he just doesn’t think Bryan is listening. Fans start a Rusev Day chant. Shane says he doesn’t think Bryan is listening because he keeps giving the same 2 Superstars opportunities. Shane believes the fans want to see someone else go for the WWE Title and they agree. Bryan says the referee made a mistake at the Royal Rumble and he’s just trying to turn a negative into a positive, which is why he made tonight’s huge main event. Bryan thought Shane would give him a well-deserved pay raise. Shane tells him not to get carried away as fans do the “yes!” chant. Shane says he is looking forward to seeing Sami and Owens rip each other apart but what bothers him is Bryan rewarding them once again.
Shane says it’s very difficult for him to understand why Bryan keeps giving Owens and Sami title shots. Shane says this is emotional for him but Bryan has changed WWE forever with The Yes! Movement and while he’s had a similar career path as Owens and Sami, they aren’t Bryan. Shane says The Yep! Movement is a cheap imitation of the greatest thing Bryan ever created. Shane doesn’t want Bryan to allow Sami and Owens to manipulate him any longer. Shane knows Bryan feels for Sami and Owens and Shane knows more than anything that Bryan wants to compete in the ring but what he’s doing… Bryan interrupts Shane and tells him to hold on. Bryan asks what exactly is it that he’s doing. Shane says it’s plain to see to everyone – Bryan is living vicariously through Owens and Sami. Fans boo Shane’s comments. Shane says it breaks his heart. The music interrupts and out comes WWE Champion AJ Styles.
Fans chant for AJ as he takes the mic. AJ talks about the grind that comes with WWE and says he can deal with that because he was built for it but what he can’t take is SmackDown officials obsessing over Sami and Owens. And he’s not just talking about Bryan, he’s talking about Shane too. AJ says every time they make a decision based on Sami or Owens, it affects him. AJ says this is the house that he built and he needs them to do him a favor – stay out of the way tonight. AJ says he can create his own destiny and control his own luck, and he will walk out of WrestleMania still the WWE Champion. AJ’s music hits and he leaves as the blue brand bosses look on.
– We see The New Day backstage with a bunch of pancakes. They’re interacting with fans on Twitter all night during the show.
– Still to come, Rusev vs. WWE United States Champion Bobby Roode with the title on the line plus SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Liv Morgan in a non-title match.
– We go to a commercial, including Mixed Match Challenge promos from tonight’s two teams – Goldust & Mandy Rose, Naomi & SmackDown Tag Team Champion Jimmy Uso.
– Back from the break and AJ Styles stops walking backstage when he sees Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura simply declares that he will defeat Styles at WrestleMania 34.
Liv Morgan vs. Charlotte Flair
We go to the ring and out comes The Riott Squad – Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott. We see what happened last week to set this match up. SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair is out next for this non-title match.
The bell rings and Flair goes right to work, taking Liv to the corner and unloading. The referee tries to back Flair off but she keeps at it, right in front of Riott and Logan. They pull Liv to safety but Flair stays right on top of Liv as they go to the floor. Flair stares down Logan and Riott, causing them to back off as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Liv keeps control, beating Flair around and talking trash. Flair finally makes a comeback and drops Liv with a big boot. Flair steps on Liv and goes to the top for a moonsault but Liv yanks her back to the mat by her leg. Both are down now as we get a replay. Liv keeps control for a close 2 count in the corner.
Liv keeps Flair grounded now. More back and forth after Flair fights up and out. Flair with a neckbreaker and a Spear. Logan gets on the apron and talks trash but Flair Spears her to the floor. Ruby pulls Liv to safety on the floor. The referee ejects Ruby and Logan from ringside. Flair ends up dropping Liv after avoiding a cheap shot. Flair applies the Figure Eight and Liv taps for the finish.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
– After the match, Flair stands tall and raises the title as her music hits. Flair goes to the announce table and says that’s 1 down, 2 to go. Flair walks to the back and stops to laugh at Liv, who is trying to recover on the floor.
– Tom leads us to a Black History Month video with WWE Superstars visiting the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
– Back from the break and Renee Young approaches Kevin Owens backstage, asking if his friendship with Sami Zayn can survive tonight’s main event. Owens says for once Renee has a good question but she’s asking the wrong person because it’s up to Sami and if he can handle losing to Owens.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Enhancement Talents
We go to the ring and out comes Rowan and Harper, The Bludgeon Brothers. Two enhancement talents are waiting in the ring.
Th bell rings and Harper immediately nails a dropkick on one of the jobbers. Harper with another big power move. He stares down the other guy, scaring him off the apron. Rowan ends up running over the other guy on the floor. Rowan rolls that guy in the ring with the legal man, who is getting beat on by Harper.
Rowan tags in and destroys both opponents. They then hit an assisted running powerbomb on one guy before sending him out to the floor. The other jobber takes the double Crucifix Bomb for the easy win.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
– After match, Rowan and Harper stand tall as we go to replays. We come back and they’re headed to the back but the music interrupts and out comes SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos. The two teams face off for a second at the bottom of the ramp. The Usos keep walking and enter the ring as The Bludgeon Brothers head to the back. Tom says The Usos are about to lay down their street code. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and The Usos are in the ring with the mics. Last week they let us know about this Day One-ish and this week they’re here to let us know what it means to be locked down.
They’re not talking about being fingerprinted, sleeping on a slab of concrete, being on a chain gang or any other prison-related conditions. They’re talking about a state of mind. They go on about how a lot of cats out here are hungry for success and thirsty to be in the spotlight. They say 2017 was a turnaround for The Usos, it was their come-up. They went from “yeah they might be alright” to “yeah they were in the match of the night.” They go on talking trash and end it with, “It’s not paranoia, it’s Usooooos…” The Usos drop the mics and leave as their music hits.
– We go backstage to SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan for the reveal of the first SmackDown Top 10 List, which Bryan and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon will use to make decisions and plan matches. Bryan says the list was compiled by the roster and they can not vote for themselves. He also says he and Shane had no input. Bryan announces the list like this: 10. Tye Dillinger, 9. Randy Orton, 8. Becky Lynch, 7. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos, 6. The New Day, 5. WWE United States Champion Bobby Roode, 4. Naomi, 3. Shinsuke Nakamura, 2. SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, 1. WWE Champion AJ Styles.
– The announcers talk about the list and we see The New Day backstage. Big E consoles Xavier Woods for their 6th place ranking.
– We get a Twitter video from Aiden English and Rusev to promote the WWE United States Title match. Back to commercial.
WWE United States Title Match: Rusev vs. Bobby Roode
We go to the ring and out comes Aiden English with a song for the next match. He introduces Rusev, who gets a big pop and a “Rusev Day” chant from fans. Out next comes WWE United States Champion Bobby Roode to a pop. We get formal ring introductions from Hamilton.
They lock up as fans do the “Rusev Day” chant. They go to the corner and Rusev breaks but shows off some. Roode does the same, takes it to the corner and backs off before showing off some. They lock up again and Rusev takes Roode down to the mat. Roode turns it around and they trade holds on the mat. Rusev with a quick 1 count. More back and forth between the two now. Rusev drops Roode with a big shoulder. Rusev stands tall for another “Rusev Day” chant as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Roode ends up hitting a Blockbuster for a 2 count. Roode launches himself at Rusev but Rusev catches him with a Fall-Away slam. Rusev can’t get the pin but he keeps control and works Roode around the ring. Rusev with a suplex for another 2 count as English look on. Rusev keeps Roode grounded now.
Rusev unloads on Roode with elbows to the chest, keeping him grounded in a hold. Fans do dueling chants now. Roode fights up and out of the hold, rocking Rusev with rights. Roode with a flying forearm and more offense. Roode with a splash in the corner and a neckbreaker. Roode goes to the top and hits a flying clothesline. Roode stands tall as fans pop. English tries to get involved for a second, which leads to Rusev connecting with a big superkick for a close 2 count. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Roode keeps control. Rusev avoids a Glorious DDT and counters. Roode counters Rusev and nails a big Spinebuster in the middle of the ring for a 2 count. Rusev ends up tossing Roode across the ring and superkicking him again. Rusev stomps on Roode’s back and goes for The Accolade but Roode rolls him up for a 2 count. Rusev counters the Glorious DDT with a roll-up of his own for 2. They trade counters again and Roode hits the Glorious DDT for the pin.
Winner: Bobby Roode
– After the match, Roode stands tall with the title as we go to replays. We see English checking on Rusev as Roode’s celebration continues. Randy Orton hits the ring and drops Roode with a RKO outta nowhere as fans go wild. Orton drops English with the RKO next. Orton gets hyped up as the crowd cheers. Rusev stumbles to his feet but Orton drops him with a third RKO. We go to replays as Orton stands tall.
– Still to come, best friends battle in the main event for a WWE Title shot at Fastlane.
– We go backstage to Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable, who take shots at other blue brand tag teams that they have photos of on a board, similar to The Fashion Files. They’re here to bring prestige back to the division but they can’t believe how these clowns are in the division with them. Last week they targeted and took out Breezango, this week they’re going after The Ascension. They invite everyone to come watch the carnage. Back to commercial.
Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable vs. The Ascension
Back from the break and out comes Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable while The Ascension waits in the ring.
Shelton starts off and smacks Konnor in the middle of the ring. Konnor fights back and drops Shelton. Byron acknowledges Konnor’s birthday today. Konnor keeps control but Shelton stuns him. Gable comes in but backs off thew apron as Konnor goes after him. Gable ends up taking out Konnor’s leg as Viktor comes in and the referee is distracted by Shelton. Shelton keeps control and covers for a 2 count on Konnor. Gable tags back in and they double team Konnor to take both knees out. Gable focuses on one of the knees now.
Gable keeps control but stops to talk trash to Viktor. Gable turns around to a big Flapjack from Konnor. Viktor gets the hot tag and unloads on Gable. Viktor with more offense and a close 2 count as the pin is broken. Shelton and Konnor go at it as they come in. Shelton with a Spinebuster to Konnor. Viktor sends Shelton to the floor. Gable comes from behind and takes Konnor tot he corner after tagging in Shelton. They double team Viktor and hit a big double team move out of the corner for the pin.
Winners: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable
– After the match, Gable and Benjamin hit the corners to pose as we get replays.
– The announcers show us Twitter reactions to the new Top 10 list.
– Renee Young approaches Sami Zayn for comments on tonight’s main event. He says tonight is his chance to step out of Kevin Owens’ shadow. He goes on about Owens holding titles while he hasn’t. He goes on and says they are best friends but even as best friends he knows Owens will stop at nothing to get to WrestleMania. But so will Sami stop at nothing. He walks off.
#1 Contenders Match: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event as Sami Zayn makes his way to the ring. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and WWE Champion AJ Styles is out for commentary. The winner of this math will face Styles in the main event of the WWE Fastlane pay-per-view. Kevin Owens is out next. The bell rings and they size each other up with a bit of stalling. They trade holds early on and go back to the ropes a few times. The referee has them break. Owens shoves Sami just a bit against the ropes. They run the ropes and Owens drops Sami with a shoulder. They run the ropes again and Sami takes Owens down twice. Sami keeps Owens down by his arm for a second but Owens gets to his feet and against the ropes.
Sami with a slap that doesn’t look like it sits well with Owens. They lock up and Owens delivers a similar shot to Sami. They have some words and Sami takes Owens down. Owens scrambles to the floor for a breather, arguing with Sami. Owens returns to the apron and wants Sami to back off while he comes in. Owens comes in but Sami tackles him and mounts him. Owens goes back to the floor and comes right back to the apron but Sami knocks him off to the floor. Sami stands tall in the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. Owens gets the upperhand and drops Sami with a big lariat but they’re both down in the middle of the ring now. Owens comes back with a superkick and a neckbreaker for another 2 count. Owens goes for the Corner Cannonball but Sami blocks it with an Exploder attempt. Owens counters that but Sami ends up hitting a big tornado DDT out of the corner for a 2 count.
Sami takes Owens up for a superplex but it’s blocked. Owens knocks Sami to the mat. Owens goes for a big senton but Sami gets his knees up and Owens lands bad. Owens goes to the floor. Sami also goes to the floor and runs for the big DDT through the ropes at the corner, dropping Owens on the floor for a big pop. Fans chant “this is awesome” now. Sami brings it back into the ring and waits for the Helluva Kick. Owens shuts it down with a big superkick. Owens goes back to the top and hits the Frogsplash on Sami for a close 2 count.
Owens yells at Sami to stay down because he’s the one that wins the titles. Sami fights back. Sami blocks the Pop-Up Powerbomb, drops Owens on his head and then hits a Blue Thunderbomb but Owens manages to kick out at 2. Sami can’t believe it. Owens rolls to the floor for a breather. Sami follows and talks some trash to AJ. AJ tells Sami to finish the match but Sami keeps running his mouth in AJ’s face. Styles has heard enough of Sami. He decks Sami and then decks Owens. The referee calls for the bell.
– After the bell, AJ beats Sami into the ring and knocks him back out. AJ stands tall but Owens comes from behind and grabs him. AJ also takes Owens and sends him to the floor. AJ launches himself over the top rope, taking Sami and Owens down on the floor. AJ returns to the ring and yells about how he wanted a winner. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan comes out and announces that it will now be a Triple Threat at Fastlane due to the match and the outside interference. It will be Sami vs. Owens vs. Styles. Btyan’s music hits as AJ isn’t happy in the ring. Owens and Sami talk at ringside as we go to replays. We see AJ yelling and holding the title as Owens backs up on the stage and Sami backs up the ramp, away from Owens. We get more replays. AJ lays the title down in the ring and stands tall as SmackDown goes off the air.