smackdown

It might only be a matter of time before Daniel Bryan turns heel and let’s see how the path toward the Royal Rumble will turn out as it twists its way through the WWE Universe.

Opening Segment

AJ Styles came to the ring and Renee Young was there to do a sit-down interview with him on director’s chairs. Young asked Styles if he thought it was fair that he was booked in a handicap match in Philly and Styles said he wishes he hadn’t said Daniel Bryan might as well just make it a handicap match and he said it sarcastically at first.

Then he started to talk about how he was going to win the match anyway, no matter is the odds weren’t in his favor while also saying it wasn’t fair. But life’s not fair either. Just because KO and SZ have wins over him doesn’t mean they need a handicap.

Styles said it’s not smart booking to book a match on SmackDown and then Daniel Bryan asked him if he thought he was playing favorites, then she asked the same thing about Shane McMahon. Styles said he’s not getting into it so that’s a way not to advance that story for now.

AJ said he can’t let “those two idiots” beat him and once he beats them in the same night there will be no doubt that SmackDown Live, and just as he was about to say “the house that AJ Styles built” Kevin Owens’ music hit and the Yep Movement came out.

Owens said people should call AJ “The Remorseful” AJ Styles instead of Phenomenal and Sami Zayn said, “yep!”

KO said heaven doesn’t give out miracles to people like AJ Styles and he has no chance of walking out of Royal Rumble with the WWE Championship… Zayn said, “yep!”

Kevin said they will be the first-ever co-WWE Champions… Sami said, “yep!”

They’ll turn it into the Kevin and Sami Show and do whatever they want, “yep, yep, yep, yep”… “Yep” chants actually started because it’s a fun word to say.

Then Shane McMahon entered the situation and said he had to go with AJ Styles and said the handicap match isn’t fair. Shane said he’s puzzled why D-Bry would book the match in the first place. But Shane McMahon still backed Daniel Bryan’s decision… “for now.”

Then Shane McMahon booked a handicap match tonight with KO and SZ vs Nakamura, Randy Orton, and AJ Styles. McMahon did a super babyface thing where he walked over to a kid in the crowd and acted like the youngster told him Styles’ name.

When Shane walked backstage Daniel Bryan was standing there and said, “you’re puzzled, huh, well you made a hell of a main event.” The two shook hands and McMahon left while Daniel stood there. That wasn’t weird at all.

Becky Lynch (With Naomi and Charlotte Flair) vs Ruby Riott (With The Riott Squad)

Becky Lynch is back from her hiatus thanks to the Riott Squad (even though she was out for the same reason as The Miz) and now she’s looking to seek her revenge on The Riott Squad.

Riott and Lynch fought a pretty even match even though Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan really tried their best to get involved. Logan swiped at Becky’s foot as she shot off the ropes and it looked like she was supposed to grab her but missed.

Ruby kept Lynch grounded for a bit with some leg scissors and kept her grounded as much as possible by slowing things down with some submission holds until Becky flipped Riott out of it and scored a roll-up pin for a two count.

Lynch started hammering away on Riott and started laying in uppercuts and a nice side kick followed by a German suplex and a Becksploder. Riott dodged a kick from Becky and took control until Lynch reversed out of a Riott Kick and slapped in a Dis Arm Her for the win.

Winner: Becky Lynch via submission

After the match was over, the babyfaces celebrated in the ring like the best friends they are.

The Ascension vs The Bludgeon Brothers

Let’s see this match happen because at this point they need to keep Harper and Rowan away from the SmackDown Tag Team Titles because as soon as they get a shot at them they have to logically win the belts, right?

As soon as the bell sounded, The Ascension tried to jump Harper but it didn’t last long. They hit the Crucifix Slam in no time.

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers via pinfall

After the match was over, Harper and Rowan pulled off a beatdown and another finisher. Yup, they like the bludgeon.

Zack Ryder vs Mojo Rawley

It’s time for the Hype Bros to battle once more as Ryder looked like he was sporting some new merchandise before the match started. Okay, Mojo Rawley’s new theme song sounds like something from a Sega Genisis game I couldn’t play because it would give me a seizure.

Ryder had a real fire under him for this match because he didn’t want a repeat from the Clash Of Champions kickoff show. These two actually had a much better match here than they did at COC too.

But Mojo would soon take control and start hitting tackles and then he hit the running forearm in the corner and picked up the win. That was reasonably simple.

Winner: Mojo Rawley via pinfall

After the match was over, Bobby Roode got in the ring and shook his head at Mojo before Mr. Get Hyped Stay Hyped walked away and Roode’s Glorious music hit.

Jinder Mahal cut a backstage promo about why he’s going to become the US Champion because that’s a logical step from being the WWE Champion for most of the year.

Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable

Before the match started, Gable cut a heel promo about how nobody in the building knows what it’s like to have your sacrifice pay off. Benjamin said Alabama winning the National Championship had nothing to do with the crowd in attendance because all they did was watch on their couch and stuff their faces.

Gable said last week when they won the titles for a moment they had ecstasy running through their bodies which is interesting. Apparently, MDMA isn’t on the banned substances list?

Gable and Benjamin said they didn’t lose to anyone except for instant reply last week and demanded to have the referee come out that made the call to restart the match. Then Daniel Bryan came out.

Bryan said he knows what it’s like the have something he loves taken away from him and then he said there are some rules the roster needs to understand, the referee’s decision is final. Benjamin said the decision was that they won the match, “except you didn’t win the match, you pinned the wrong Uso” Bryan replied. Bryan said that’s how he felt.

“Tell me more about how he felt,” Gable said, and then he said this isn’t Dr. Phil. Gable kept saying how he felt by saying Byran is just being mean to them because Shane is mad at him. Then he asked if they needed to beat The Usos twice in the same night and then Daniel Bryan said that was a great idea so he booked a two out of three falls match against the Usos at the Royal Rumble.

Backstage Segment

Randy Orton and AJ Styles were talking about their main event match. Orton said AJ needs to trust him tonight, but when he wins the Royal Rumble, he’s coming after that title. Then Nakamura was there and said, “Not so fast” then Shinsuke simply touched AJ’s title, “good talk,” Nakamura said and then he left.

Rusev Day vs Breezango

Aiden English told the crowd to put down the hotdogs and lane cake. Then he sang their official entrance into the Rusev Rumble Match on Rusev Day. I guess that’s the same as the Royal Rumble match but they’d probably sell more t-shirts if it says Rusev Rumble. Yes, I am wearing my Happy Rusev Day shirt and no, I don’t do that kind of thing on purpose.

It’s really amazing how well Rusev and English are at this point, but Breezango were the obvious babyfaces in this match. Breezango had the advantage although they traded advantage a little.

Then Rusev got the tag and started laying in an assault onto Dango. He hit some kicks and geared up for the Accolade, but Breeze got involved. Rusev hit Breeze with a Superkick which gave Dango a chance to score a roll-up pin for a quick win while Rusev threw a temper tantrum in the ring.

Winners: Breezango via pinfall

“Good for them,” Daniel Bryan said while watching on a monitor backstage. Shane McMahon walked up to him and said they’re not on the same page, his decision making has come off as impetuous and irrational at times.

McMahon gave a rundown of all the matches D-Bye booked recently and asked him if he’s doing okay because he doesn’t seem to be doing well. Then Daniel Bryan said considering Shane’s gene pool, he should be asking the same question. Ouch!

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and Shinsuke Nakamura

The babyfaces took it to the Yep Movement until Kevin Owens got the tag and then he and AJ Styles worked a little back and forth action. Styles laid in a forearm and looked like he was going for the Styles Clash but Sami dragged Owens out of the ring and they started to walk off.

Suddenly, Shane McMahon came out and said, “no, no, no, no not happening on my watch, this match is now a no count out… restart the match” so the bell rang without the referee calling for a count-out in the first place.

When the match continued in the ring, KO and Styles fought on until Zayn took the tag. Orton was tagged in next and then Owens took a chair to Orton right as he was preparing for the RKO.

As the babyfaces were announced as the winners, Shane McMahon came down and said the match now no DQ. So AJ Styles took a chair to Owens on the ramp and again in the entrance area.

AJ drove Kevin backstage leaving Sami alone with Nakamura and Orton. The two babyfaces caught Zayn before he could leave and hammered him against the ring post. Then Orton picked up the ring steps and took them to Zayn’s face.

Then the two babyfaces tossed Zayn over the announce table before cleaning off the furniture so Orton could suplex Zayn on top of it. Then Sami was rolled in the ring and Nakaura hit a Kinsasha. Orton hit an RKO, and that was all she wrote for the Yep Movement that night.

Winners: AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Randy Orton via pinfall