The show opens up with Greg Hamilton announcing Shinsuke Nakamura as the winner of the Men’s Royal Rumble Match from last Sunday and Shinsuke Nakamura making his way down to the ring.
Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show. He is joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
Nakamura steps in the ring and gets on the mic. He then runs down the list of names he kneed in the face at the Royal Rumble. He says that at the Royal Rumble, Sami Zayn? Knee to the face. John Cena? Knee to the face. Roman Reigns? Knee to the face and at WrestleMania, AJ Styles? Knee to the face, and new WWE Champion.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn makes their way down to the ring and Owens asks the crowd to give it up for Nakamura. Owens says that he can point at the sign and talk about how he’s gonna beat AJ Styles all he wants, but two nights ago they were screwed out of their title. They should be standing here tonight as the very first co WWE Champions, but instead he got pinned when he wasn’t the legal man.
Owens continues by saying that once again they were victims of the vendetta machine constructed by Shane McMahon, hell bent on holding them down. Sami then says that the referee has one job, protect the integrity of the match at all costs, and Owens never tagged in, he just got caught up in the heat of the moment, and his passion coupled with the incompetence of the referee and any way you slice it AJ Styles pinned the wrong man.
Owens then says that they have the right for another shot, and it won’t be AJ Styles that Nakamura will face at WrestleMania, it’ll be them. Nakamura fires back that Styles is a winner and they’re losers.
AJ Styles’ music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. He says that Owens and Zayn can cry and complain all they want, but a dream match is gonna happen in New Orleans on the grandest stage of them all, and it will be between him and Shinsuke Nakamura. But right here, right now, in Philly, in the House That AJ Styles Built, he wants to turn the dream match into a dream team and take on Owens & Zayn right here tonight.
Owens and Zayn leave rather than answer but they turn around. Sami asks if he really wants this match and gives him a “Nope!” for an answer, so Styles and Nakamura rush the apron and clobber them down with forearms.
Commentary hypes up a United States Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal Four-Way Match for later on tonight and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, we get several still pictures recapping the Royal Rumble.
We head backstage where we see Daniel Bryan in his office when Owens and Zayn shows up. He says that AJ doesn’t have the power to make matches, but he does, and they thank him before he goes on and makes the tag match Styles proposed. They complain about the injustice but Bryan says that the referee’s decision is final and he watched the tape from a million different angles and it was a mistake.
Owens says that a mistake is when you set your alarm wrong, not a life-altering catastrophe like that, and Bryan knows that they deserve another title shot. Bryan says that he does agree, and promises them another opportunity. Sami hugs him and Bryan says that next week, he is going to have a huge match where the winner will face AJ Styles at Fast Lane. It is going to be Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. Bryan says that it is going to be fantastic, and he can’t wait.
Owens & Zayn are definitely not happy about it.
We head to ringside for out Fatal Four Way United States Title #1 Contenders Match.
Rusev vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Zach Ryder vs. Kofi Kingston (Fatal Four Way United States Title #1 Contenders Match): The opening bell sounds and Jinder takes Kofi, while Rusev takes Ryder. Rusev and Ryder spill out to ringside, while Jinder beats on Kofi in the ring. Ryder drops Rusev on the ringside floor, then slides in the ring and knocks Jinder outside. Big E is throwing pancakes around and he gets confronted by Aiden English at ringside. The referee ends up throwing Big E, Xavier, and Aiden English out of ringside and orders them to go backstage. Jinder and Kofi are now going at it at ringside, and Jinder knocks Kofi out of mid-air after he jumps off the ring steps. Jinder then decks Rusev, and then rolls back in the ring to work on Ryder. Jinder drops some knees on Ryder, then Rusev gets back in the ring. Jinder and Rusev start brawling back and forth, then Rusev drops Jinder with a kick. Rusev hits a splash on Jinder in the corner, then Ryder drops Rusev with a missile dropkick. Ryder hits a series of elbows to the face, then the Broski Boot. Jinder then hits a big boot on Ryder and covers for a two count. Kofi comes flying off the top rope with a shot on Jinder, then he hits the Boom Drop on the former WWE Champion. Ryder runs up on Kofi, but Kofi catches him with the SOS. Kofi pins, but Jinder breaks it up. Jinder hits a big lariat on Kofi, then Rusev throws Jinder outside. Rusev stacks up Kofi and Ryder for the double Accolade, but Jinder runs in and breaks it up. Jinder hits a flying knee to the face of Rusev, then attempts the Khallas but Rusev escapes. Rusev then throws Ryder into Jinder, then kicks Ryder in the face. Rusev drops Kofi next, then locks him in the Accolade. Kofi taps out, and Rusev has won via submission. Winner & New #1 Contender for the United States Title: Rusev
After the match, Rusev stands tall to a pop as his music hits. Rusev rolls out of the ring and faces off with Roode at the announce table, warning him about the title. Rusev walks off as Roode’s music hits.
We are informed that the United States Title Match will take place next week on SmackDown Live.
The Usos cut a promo from somewhere in the arena about how they have the tag division on lock and everybody needs to listen to what they got to say because they are coming live and in living color right after the commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, we get the next edition of the Fashion Files.
Breezango are building their own top ten, and it is all them, except #10, which is the Ascension. The Ascension are right there screening questions for them, like what kind of conditioner they use. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin walks in and interrupts them. Gable calls them clowns that are embarrassing their Tag Team division. Tyler Breeze asks them if it is about as embarrassing as losing to the Usos twice.
Gable and Benjamin asks them if they think they can win tonight but they give them the answer for them, which is “no”, and flip the table on their way out.
We head back to ringside where The Usos makes their way down to the ring and get in the ring for a promo. They say that if this is the city of brotherly love, they want some love for the tag champs. They also say that they were gonna get silly in Philly and on Sunday they beat Gable and Benjamin 2-0, but it ain’t new because they have been sweeping through the division since they came to SmackDown. They mention several tag teams. American Alpha? Locked down. American Alpha II? Locked down. Hype Bros? Locked down. Breezango? Locked down. New Day? Locked down. Even Sheamus and Cesaro, who aren’t on SmackDown, are behind bars.
They continue by saying that when they say day one ish it’s not about moving merch, it’s a lifestyle, about being 100 and true to yourself. The struggle to wake up in the morning, get good grades, any struggle you go through, but it only makes you stronger, and that’s why they struggle together. And that makes them different from every tag team in the locker room, because they share their struggle and only get stronger together.
They then say that it don’t matter whether you’re from the Club, the Bar, the Shield, or if you’re brothers yourself, they’re not saying that they’re the best tag team, but they are the best tag team. Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary. They go to leave but out comes the Bludgeon Brothers. They set down their hammers and gear next to the Usos and continue to make their way to the ring to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for the bell.
The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) vs. Enhancement Wrestlers: Harper and Rowan use frequent tags and take turns clotheslining the enhancement talent early on. Rowan stares down the other enhancement talent on the apron and he starts to back down, but Harper is already behind him. Rowan bumps the other enhancement talent off the apron, and Harper boots him down. Meanwhile in the ring, Rowan slams the legal man down. Rowan hits a splash on both enhancement talent in the corner, then they hit their double team finisher on each of them separately for the win. Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan)
After the match, The Bludgeon Brothers’ music hits as they stand tall.
We get a promo from Daniel Bryan talking about how they’re always trying to make the show more interesting and engaging so he’s introducing an official top ten that will be voted on by the roster. There are a few ground rules, the first is that he and Shane won’t have votes, and the other rule is that you can’t vote for yourself. He’s very excited about it.
We head backstage where we see that Shane McMahon is on his phone in his office talking about how great the Royal Rumble was when Tye Dillinger shows up. Tye says that any other day he would be all about a top ten list, but he’s here to talk about the Royal Rumble. It was a chance at WrestleMania that was taken from him.
Baron Corbin shows up to complain about Bryan handing another opportunity to Owens & Zayn. Shane says that he agrees and he will talk to Bryan about it and Baron asks if he has changed his last name or if he is still in charge and a McMahon. Tye butts in and Corbin asks if he is still here, to which Dillinger says he is here but Baron’s Money in the Bank briefcase isn’t.
Shane says that they settle things in the ring here and makes a match between them.
Charlotte Flair makes her way down to the ring to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get some still pictures from Asuka’s Royal Rumble win as well as Ronda Rousey’s debut at the Royal Rumble.
Charlotte Flair is interviewed about the Women’s Royal Rumble. She says that she was really proud to watch history being made, but as she sat there it was the first time in her career she didn’t want to be champion. She also says that she wanted to be in that ring with all those legends, see if she could hold her own, and maybe outlast everyone from #3 like some guy she knows.
And then the moment came, she was in the ring with Alexa Bliss and Asuka and then, Ronda Rousey. All she knows is that she’s walking into WrestleMania as SmackDown Women’s Champion, but who will be standing across from her in New Orleans?
The Riott Squad makes their way down to the ring. Ruby Riott says to forget about Asuka and Rousey and does Charlotte hear herself. Her ego is as big as her father’s and of course she thinks she’d win the Rumble and of course she thinks she can pick her opponent at WrestleMania. Ruby says that she has known people like her at every stage of her career, incredibly talented and incredibly entitled.
But there is only one Ruby Riott, the way she talks, looks, and acts, but Flair is just a cheap imitation of her father. The Riott Squad gets in the ring and Riott continues by saying that Charlotte’s time is over and if it’s up to her, she won’t even make it to WrestleMania. Flair asks if she is done yet and Wooo’s in her face, and we got a brawl. Mounted punches from Charlotte, Sarah Logan pulls her off but the champion fends them off and clears the ring.
Second try and they manage to use The Numbers Game to overwhelm Flair. Basement superkick lays her the rest of the way out. Logan hits the cartwheel knee drop and Ruby kicks at her a few times to set up Liv Morgan’s slingshot stomp. They drag Charlotte up and Ruby puts her down with the Riott Kick. The Riott Squad go to leave and Carmella comes down with her briefcase.
She’s cashing in, but referee Danilo Anfibio takes a bit too long to hand the case over to the ring announcer and Flair dodges a kick that hits him square in the back and knocks him off the mat. Carmella turns around and sees an angry Flair staring her down and gets the hell outta Dodge. The bell never rang. Flair gets up and stares Carmella down. Carmella leaves the ring and leaves with her briefcase.
We head backstage where we see Shinsuke Nakamura warming up when AJ Styles shows up to ask him about his plans for tonight. Shinsuke says that he is going to beat him at WrestleMania. AJ asks him again and again, but Nakamura again says that he is going to beat him at WrestleMania. Styles asks if he is messing with him and again Shinsuke starts saying he is going to beat him before swerving and saying that he is messing with him and they will be fine out there as long as AJ listens to him.
Tye Dillinger makes his way down to the ring but we get a Mixed Match Challenge hype reel and go to a commercial break before the match can begin.
Back from the commercial break and Carmella is interviewed and she scoffs at the notion that what just happened was bad luck. She spins it like she was just trying to show Charlotte that she can strike at any time and she would never dream of cashing in with a broken nail.
Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger: Tye starts off strong and unloads with offense on Corbin. The fight spills outside and Tye whips Corbin into the barricade. Tye springboards off the ring steps and drops Corbin again. Back in the ring, Corbin hits a hard knee to Tye and then pummels on him. Corbin hits a splash in the corner. Tye tries to fight back, but Corbin shuts him down and then throws him out to ringside. Back in the ring, Corbin stomps on Tye and keeps him grounded. Tye dodges a lariat and fires back with kicks. Tye lays into Corbin with chops and then goes for the Tye Breaker, but Corbin escapes. Corbin bashes Tye in the back of the head, then hits the chokeslam backbreaker. Corbin picks up Tye and hits the End of Days for the win. Winner: Baron Corbin
After the match, Corbin stands tall as his music plays.
We get a promo from Rusev Day where Aiden English sings about how next week can only end with victory on Rusev Day. Rusev tells Roode that Tuesday is his swan-song as champion because he’ll machka. We then get a promo from Roode where he circles Rusev Day on the calendar but notes that when you’re champion, your schedule fills up quickly, and he represents that by writing “glorious” across the calendar.
We head to the locker room area where we see that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are getting ready in silence and Sami speaks first. He says that the good news is that one of them will be getting a title shot, but it’s a shame they have to wrestle each other. But hey, opportunity is all they ever need. Owens says yeah, unless he fails, and Zayn ripostes about Owens getting pinned. Owens shoots back about Sami getting eliminated in the Rumble so quickly. Sami then says that at least tonight they won’t fail because Owens is in his corner. Owens agrees and says that Sami won’t fail tonight then Owens walks off.
We get an ad for WWE 24 and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get several more still pictures recapping the Royal Rumble.
We then get a hype for 205 Live’s general manager announcement for later on tonight, featuring all the tweets from the cruiserweight division about who they want as GM.
Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango): Benjamin and Fandango start off, and Benjamin takes control with a spine-buster early on. The Ascension is backstage watching on a monitor. Shelton continues to beat on Fandango, then tags in Gable for a double team. Fandango starts mounting a comeback until Gable rolls outside for a breather. Gable drops Breeze off the apron, then slides back in the ring. Fandango starts working over Gable’s arm, then Breeze tags in for a dropkick. Shelton runs in but Breeze dropkicks him too. Breeze goes back to work on Gable, and Shelton tags in but Breeze doesn’t see it. Gable takes out Fandango with a cross body off the top, and both men land outside. Breeze hits a kick on Shelton, but Shelton comes right back and ends up hitting a double team powerbomb on him with Gable. Shelton covers for the three count. Winners: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable
After the match, Gable and Benjamin stand tall as we go to replays. We come back to the winners standing tall as their music hits.
We then go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and we get a video package hyping up WrestleMania as it focuses on the party atmosphere in New Orleans.
All 4 Superstars who are in the main event which is coming up next are already out and we see that WWE Champion AJ Styles is finishing up his entrance.
WWE Champion AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: AJ and Owens start this one off, with AJ getting the upper hand and sending Owens to go tag in Zayn. Zayn and Nakamura both tag in and Nakamura unloads with offense. Nakamura hits the Good Vibrations on Zayn in the corner, then tags in AJ who dropkicks Zayn back down. Nakamura tags back in, but Sami hits a cheap shot behind the referee’s back and takes over. Sami pummels on Nakamura in the corner, then tags in Owens. Owens chops Nakamura, but Nakamura fights back and drops Owens with a forearm shot. Nakamura follows up with knees to the body, and then Sami runs in but gets thrown outside. The distraction allows Owens to hit Nakamura and drop him. Owens and Zayn seem to argue briefly. Nakamura fights his way back up, then throws Owens outside. Owens and Zayn argue more at ringside, and Zayn appears to be backing up the ramp and backing out of the match.
Owens asks Zayn what the hell he’s doing, then Owens gets back in the ring. AJ and Owens go at it in the ring while Zayn watches from the ramp. AJ hits a series of strikes and pins, but Sami runs in to break the pin. Sami tags in and fires up on AJ now, stunning him with a big back body drop. Owens yells at Sami to tag him back in, and he tags in then hits a senton on AJ for a two count. Sami now yells that he wants back in, and Owens slams him on the chest to tag him in. They continue arguing , and AJ capitalizes by shoving them into each other and knocks Sami off the apron. AJ rolls up Owens for a two count, while Sami starts walking out again at ringside. Zayn backs up the ramp as AJ beats on Owens in the ring. Owens comes back with a gut-buster and an elbow drop for a two count. AJ escapes the Pop UP Powerbomb attempt, and answers with a Pele kick. Nakamura comes in now and puts the boots to Owens. Nakamura hits some knees, then hits the Kinshasa on Owens for the three count. Winners: WWE Champion AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura
After the match, Nakamura and AJ stands tall while Owens is on the mat. We see Sami backstage watching on a monitor. Renee Young walks up to him and asks him if this is the end of their friendship and Sami says nope. Sami says that this is all about opportunity. Owens has had several titles while he has been overlooked. Sami says that he has been known as Kevin Owens’ friend but after next week he will be known as the guy who beat Kevin Owens and then after WWE Fastlane he will be known as the man who beat AJ Styles for the WWE Title. We go back to the ring as Nakamura and AJ continues to celebrate in opposite corners. Nakamura points up at the WrestleMania 34 sign as SmackDown goes off the air.