This week, SmackDown Live looks towards Fastlane while also featuring a championship match. Bobby Roode defends his United States Championship for the second time when he faces Rusev. The main event features Kevin Owens taking on his best friend Sami Zayn, with the winner facing AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Fastlane.
SmackDown Live kicks off with Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan. Bryan made tonight’s main event, which pits Kevin Owens against Sami Zayn to determine who will challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Fastlane. McMahon thinks that Bryan is giving the pair too many chances and accuses him of “living vicariously” through them. This brings out AJ Styles.
Styles, the WWE Champion, is tired of McMahon and Bryan “obsessing” with Owens and Zayn because all of the decisions made affect him. Styles tells them to stay out of the way and let him make his own destiny.
Charlotte Flair vs. Liv Morgan (w/Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan)
Last week, Charlotte Flair was cutting a promo when she got attacked by the Riott Squad. Flair assumedly wants revenge on SmackDown’s newest trio and her first step is by facing Liv Morgan.
Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott attempt too much interference and the referee ejects them from ringside. The SmackDown Women’s Champion is given a fair one-on-one match and easily puts away Morgan with the Figure Eight Leg Lock. After the match, she tells commentary that it is “one down; two to go.” Winner (via submission): Charlotte Flair
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Irrelevant Tag Team
Last week, the Bludgeon Brothers returned to face small tag teams that don’t matter. They continue that this week and decimate their opponents. Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
Top 10 List Reveal
Last week, General Manager Daniel Bryan announced a Top 10 List, which is voted by the Superstars of SmackDown Live. They can’t vote for themselves and the list will be used to award future opportunities. The compilated list is below.
10. Tye Dillinger
9. Randy Orton
8. Becky Lynch
7. The Usos
6. The New Day
5. Bobby Roode
3. Shinsuke Nakamura
2. Charlotte Flair
1. AJ Styles
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Rusev (w/Aiden English) – United States Championship
Ever since he captured the vacant United States Championship, Bobby Roode has been a busy champion. He defended the title against Mojo Rawley on the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show and now, he takes on the former two-time US Champion in Rusev. Rusev earned this opportunity last week by defeating Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, and Jinder Mahal in a Fatal Four-Way #1 Contender’s Match.
Roode manages to prevent Rusev from locking in the Accolade and after the final attempt, Roode transitions into the Glorious DDT. Roode gets the cover and for the second time, retains the US Title. Winner, and STILL United States Champion: Bobby Roode
As Roode is celebrating with the Glorious pose, he is hit with an RKO truly out of nowhere. Just for fun, Randy Orton does the same to Aiden English and Rusev.
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The Ascension
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin are on a mission to get the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, but they are also trying to “legitimize the tag team division.” They defeated Breezango last week and this week face Breezango’s friends, The Ascension.
Viktor starts to get rolling after a hot tag, but the chemistry between Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin is too solid to give The Ascension a chance of victory. After a rolling German suplex, Gable and Benjamin hit the assisted powerbomb to pick up a victory in the second consecutive week. Winners: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
Dolph Ziggler returns to SmackDown Live for the first time in seven weeks to face fellow former United States Champion Baron Corbin.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens – #1 Contender’s Match (WWE Championship)
At the Royal Rumble, AJ Styles successfully retained the WWE Championship in a handicap match by rolling up Kevin Owens. However, Owens was never tagged in and the result was a mistake. Daniel Bryan has created this main event to make up for the ref’s bad judgment, with the winner facing AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Fastlane.
While the fight spills to the outside, Sami Zayn instigates AJ Styles at the announce table. Styles has enough of their shenanigans and attacks both of them. Daniel Bryan immediately shows up and announces the main event of Fastlane: Styles will defend the WWE Championship against both Owens and Zayn but this time, it is a Triple Threat Match. Result: No Contest
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