The Sami and Kevin Show continues as WWE builds toward Fastlane. Shinsuke Nakamura has a guaranteed spot at WrestleMania but Owens and Zayn are battling it out to determine who will face AJ Styles to get a place in the main event at the Show Of Shows as well.

Opening Segment

Shane McMahon was already in the ring where he talked about why he’s not excited about the Kevin vs Sami match tonight because he didn’t want either of them to get a shot at AJ’s title.

Then McMahon introduced Daniel Bryan who entered to a chorus of “yes” chants.

Shane-O started to talk and people started chanting “Rusev Day” and cut him off. “Duly noted,” McMahon said as he carried on about how he didn’t want to see Sami or Kevin in the World Championship match at Fastlane.

Bryan can’t believe McMahon has a problem with this match and thought he deserved a well-deserved pay raise.

Then Shane told Bryan that he changed the WWE landscape forever with the “Yes Movement” and although he’s had a similar career path as Sami and Kevin, they’re not him. The Yep Movement is too similar and a knockoff and he said he didn’t want Owens and Zayn to manipulate him anymore.

Shane said he knows Daniel would want nothing more than to compete in the ring and people chanted “yes” while he continued and Bryan cut him off and asked him, “what exactly is it that I’m doing.”

Then Shane said Daniel was living vicariously through Kevin and Sami. Things got awkward before AJ Styles came out. Styles said he’s traveled over 10,000 defending his championship since he won it and he was put on this planet to be Phenomenal. He can deal with the travel, canceled flights, and everything else because he was built for the grind. But what he can’t deal with is SmackDown Live management obsessing over Kevin and Sami. He said he was talking to Daniel and Shane because every time they make a decision it affects him.

AJ said he controls his own destiny and he will walk into Mania as the WWE Champion no matter what happens tonight.

Meanwhile, backstage The New Day was backstage reading Twitter questions and Big E said someone asked if Corey Graves had a better left or right hook to which Kofi said, “we’re about to find out!” What an excellent dig at the current Booker T and Corey Graves situation.

AJ Styles was walking backstage when he saw Shinsuke Nakamura. “I’m gonna beat you at WrestleMania,” Nakamura said before walking off.

Liv Morgan (w/ Riott Squad) vs Charlotte Flair

Charlotte started off by taking the boots to Morgan right off the bat until she had to roll out of the ring. The Riott Squad tried to surround Charlotte but they quickly backed off. Once they returned to the ring, Flair continued her assault. She seemed awfully upset from the attack last week which almost resulted in Carmella cashing in her Money In The Bank briefcase.

Liv found a chance to take advantage and she jumped on it. Morgan was soon slamming Flair’s face against the mat and holding the SmackDown Women’s Champion down in a submission hold.

Flair came back by laying a knee into Morgan and then chopped away at her before strutting and hitting a throw. Flair climbed to the top rope but Liv pulled her off the turnbuckle to smash her face against the mat where she got a two count after a vicious stomp.

The two wrestled on and traded moves until Flair hit a spear and knocked Sarah Logan off the apron. Ruby pulled Liv out of the ring and the referee ejected the Riott Squad from ringside.

Then Flair pulled Morgan inside the ring, hit a big boot, and applied the Figure 8 for the win.

Winner: Charlotte Flair via submission

Renee Young was outside Kevin Owens’ locker room and he came out and was pretty sure that he’d be winning tonight.

The Bludgeon Brothers vs Some Unfortunate Souls

Harper and Rowen destroyed two enhancement talent and it was quite brutal. But it was also very cool.

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers

But as Rowan and Harper were leaving, The Usos came out to stare them down. This was interesting how the champions were the ones coming out to look them down. The Usos are no strangers to these former Wyatt Family brethren and a feud between these two teams could be awesome.

The Bludgeon Brothers reserved themselves as the Usos simply walked past them and got into the ring.

The Usos cut a promo about keeping things on lockdown and how it’s like to be in jail. They were very hard. They took us on a walk down memory lane and bragged about how much they’ve grown as a team. It was quite nice. They went from Uso Crazy to Day One Ish because it’s not paranoia, it’s the Usos.

SmackDown Live Top 10 Superstars List

Okay, let’s give this a try, Daniel Bryan was very excited as he introduced this list voted on by the SmackDown Live locker room.

10) Tye Dillinger (smattering of applause for the Perfect 10 at #10)

9) Randy Orton (meh)

8) Becky Lynch

7) The Usos (this list idea is already getting old)

6) New Day

5) Bobby Roode

4) Naomi

3) Shinsuke Nakamura

2) Charlotte Flair

  1. AJ Styles

Yeah, this list idea is cute, but what the hell does it mean and please explain to me how does it matter? Corey Graves wanted to know where Rusev was on the list. Really.

The New Day were backstage and pretty upset as Big E and Kofi rubbed Xavier Woods’ face with pancakes. Xavier was wearing an “Aaron Burr 1800” election t-shirt which was pretty sweet.

“6? That’s the percentage I’d give Corey Graves in a streetfight!” Big E shouted as they cut to a backstage Aiden English and Rusev cell phone promo where Rusev worked out in the gym. They were ready for Bobby Roode.

Rusev vs Bobby Roode (United States Championship Match)

Aiden English’s song had all the words on the bottom of the screen and a bouncing Rusev head so we could all sing along. It was quite excellent and everybody was ready to celebrate Rusev day by the time the Bulgarian Brute came out.

They got things going slowly at first as they felt each other out a little bit. Roode tried to power up by Rusev muscled him down to yell “Rusev Day!” with his arms raised high.

Roode hit a blockbuster for a two count and got back up to get caught by Rusev off a cross body for a fallaway slam.

Corey Graves said if Booby loses then he’ll be changing his name to “Roodesev” and Saxton asked him who his sources are. Graves asked him if he knew anything about broadcast journalism and if he revealed his sources then they’re no longer sources and he called him a dummy.

Rusev latched on a headlock but Roode fought out of it. He hit a neckbreaker and climbed to the top turnbuckle to hit a flying elbow drop. Aiden got on the apron and distracted Roode. Then he turned around while Rusev hit a kick to the side of the head for a near fall.

The two fought on the top turnbuckle once again where Rusev hit a superplex but couldn’t get to the cover. Both men were pretty beat up during this contest so far as they got to their feet around the same time ato slug it out some more.

Roode tried for a Glorious DDT, but Rusev landed a knee to the ribs. Bobby countered with a spinebuster for a two count. Roode knocked English off the apron and soon caught a Machka Kick and went to lock in an Accolade but Roode countered into a pin.

Roode kept fighting out of it and finally hit a Glorious DDT for the win. Therefore it looks like no matter how over he might be, Vince McMahon might not see Rusev as the big star we all hoped he would if this clean pinfall loss is any indication of things.

Winner: Bobby Roode via pinfall

But as Bobby Roode was celebrating, Randy Orton slid in and hit an RKO outa nowhere. He did the same to Aiden English as well and hyped the crowd up before hitting one on Rusev to celebrate Rusev Day.

Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs The Ascension

Gable was taking it to Konnor until Viktor got the tag and he lit up Chad with some chops and hit a clothesline off the second turnbuckle. But Benjamin got the tag and took Konnor out with a spinebuster before Viktor took him out of the ring.

Shelton hit a blind tag and blindsided Viktor. They hit a double team move and got the quick win.

Winners: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable via pinfall

Renee Young asked Zayn at Gorilla Position if he had any final comments before he faced Owens and Zayn said tonight’s the night to step out of Kevin’s shadow but that’s fine because they’re best friends. But they’ve fought a lot and Sami knows what he’s capable of and Kevin won’t stop at anything “but then again neither will I” he said before hitting the curtain.

Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn (#1 Contenders Match)

AJ Styles joined the commentary team at ringside for this match and said he can’t wait to see who he’ll be facing at Fastlane.

After a feeling out period, Sami fired the first real shots by taking his best friend down with an arm drag into a submission until the referee made him break it up after KO got in the ropes.

Kevin hit a back elbow and Sami nailed a double leg takedown and hammered down on Owens until KO rolled out of the ring. “Rusev Day” chants broke out as SZ took KO out again.

Zayn knocked Owens off the apron and his best friend went toppling to the floor until Kevin got in the ring and turned things around. They traded some shots in the corner and ended up taking each other out after Owens clotheslined Zayn inside out.

Owens hit a neckbreaker for a two count after rallying a little bit as AJ Styles said they’re “guys you like to hate, they just get under your skin.”

Zayn caught Owens off a cannonball but KO avoided the exploder suplex. But Zayn hit a tornado DDT for a close two count.

Zayn sat Owens on the top turnbuckle and tried to superplex him but KO knocked him off and went for a top rope senton but SZ got his knees up to stop KO. Owens rolled outside and Sami hit the jumping DDT through the corner on the floor.

But KO nailed a superkick to stop a Helluva kick as he climbed up top for a bullfrog splash which got him a very close near fall. Owens was spent as Sami started to look angry.

“Fight forever” chants broke out as Kevin yelled, “stay down! I’m the one who wins the titles!”

Suddenly Zayn hit a half and half suplex followed by a blue thunder bomb for a two count of his own. Owens rolled out of the ring and Zayn followed him. The two fought in front of the announce table as AJ sat laid back in his chair.

“You see that?!” Zayn asked as he got in AJ’s face. Then Styles had enough and he hit both Sami and Kevin. The referee called for the bell as AJ went in the ring to assault both Owens and Zayn until he chased both of them out of the ring.

AJ hit a splash on both of them as Daniel Bryan came out and said due to the outside interference of AJ Styles he declared both SZ and KO will compete for the WWE Title at Fastlane in a triple threat match.

“I think it’s the fairest decisions I’ve heard in quite some time,” Corey Graves said.

 

 

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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble