Video: AJ Styles-Sami Zayn from last week's Smackdown
Welcome to WWE Smackdown Live from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama and we kick things off with WWE Champion AJ Styles making his way down to the ring for an in-ring interview.
Renee asks him if Daniel Bryan's decision to book a handicap match at Royal Rumble was fair. AJ says he takes pride in everything he does in the ring and he wishes he could have taken back what he said last week and meant it sarcastically but he knows he can't change the match
Is there a chance he can lose the championship yes, is there a chance he can beat them both? Absolutely. Renee says that doesn't answer the question. We get an 'AJ Styles' chant. Styles says the match isn't fair but then life isn't fair. They both have non-title victories over him but it's not smart booking to do it on Smackdown
Renee asks if Daniel Bryan is playing favorites. Styles says some think he is, it certainly seems that he's playing favorites. AJ doesn't know who's playing favorites the only thing he's thinking about is that he can't let Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens take his championship at Royal Rumble
We are then interrupted by The Guardian Angels who rename the Phenomenal AJ Styles, The Regretful AJ Styles. The Remorseful AJ Styles. Who put his foot in his mouth last week and wishes he could take it all back. Owens says it would take a miracle for Styles to beat Owens and Zayn and heaven doesn't hand out miracles. Styles doesn't have a chance of walking out of their match with the title and at the end of the night they will be the first ever co-holder of the WWE Championship and they will then turn the house that AJ Styles built into The Kevin and Sami Show
Shane McMahon then comes out and says he couldnt help but come out and has to agree with Styles. Is it fair he has to defend in a handicap match? Nope. And is puzzled as to why Daniel Bryan would make such a match and baffled as to why Bryan would give them another opportunity at the championship. He does however back the GM and speaking of handicap matches, they should have one right here in Birmingham Alabama
So tonight, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will face Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton and AJ Styles
Backstage: Daniel Bryan tells Shane he made a hell of a handicap match for tonight's main event and they shake hands.
Tonight: US Championship Tournament - Mojo Rawley vs Zack Rhyder
Up Next: Becky Lynch vs Ruby Riott
BECKY LYNCH VS RUBY RIOTT
Becky goes to work on Ruby's arm. Becky picks Ruby up in a front facelock and Ruby goes to the ropes forcing the break. Sarah takes a swing at Becky as Ruby looks to capitalize on the distraction but is sent to the outside as we go to break
Switch to split screen and Becky throws Ruby back into the ring. Single leg takedown and deep armdrags by Becky. Forearm off the ropes to Ruby and Becky goes back to work on the arm but Ruby backs Becky into the corner. Ruby misses with a forearm. Ruby counters a kick and lands a series of kicks of her own. Snapmare by Ruby and now it's Ruby going to work on Becky's arm
Becky gets to her feet trying for a comeback but Ruby still in control as she has Becky tied up in the ropes delivering body blows and a waistlock applied by Ruby
Back to fullscreen, Ruby with a bodyscissors locked in on Becky. Becky breaks the hold. Right hand by Becky and a kick and now Becky with a series of right hands but Ruby back in control as The Riott Squad looks on. Ruby with a series of kneedrops and a modified abdominal stretch locked in on Becky and Becky takes Ruby down with a snapmare. Nearfall by Becky and Becky with forearms to Ruby and an uppercut to finish it off. The Exploder Suplex to Ruby and Ruby back in control with kicks to Becky.
Ruby setting up for the Riott Kick but it's countered by Becky who locks the Dis-arm her in for the submission
The winner of the match: Becky Lynch
THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS VS THE ASCENSION
Konor and Viktor attack Harper. Harper with a clothesline to Viktor and then he kicks Konor off the apron. Harper Irish whips Rowan into Viktor and they hit the assisted sit out power bomb for the three count.
The winners of the match: The Bludgeon Brothers
US CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT: ZACK RYDER VS MOJO RAWLEY
Rawley and Ryder lock up and Rawley shoves Ryder into the corner. Ryder with a dropkick and Rawley back in control with a series of punches to Ryder. Nearfall on Ryder and Rawley repeatedly slamming Ryder into the corner. Rawley working on the neck.
Series of knee strikes to Ryder and he hooks Ryder up for a suplex. Ryder counters it into a neckbreaker and Ryder with a forarm. Running forearm into the corner and Ryder settomg up for the Broski Boot but Rawley slides out of the ring. Dropkick by Ryder who sends Rawley back into the ring.
Ryder unloads with punches but Rawley puts a stop to that with an inverted atomic drop and he throws Ryder into the corner shoulder first and Rawley with a running knee into the corner and the cover for the three count
The winner of the match: Mojo Rawley
Backstage: Jinder Mahal says 2017 was a great year for him. He became WWE Champion something no one thought was possible but 2018 is just beginning and he now has his sights set on a new prize. The United States Championship. He already defeated Tye Dillinger and next week he goes on to defeat Xavier Woods
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin are out and ask if any of the WWE Universe know what it takes to be a winner or a success. Shelton says last week they were robbed of the championship due to a bad referee call.
Gable says last week they beat The Usos and set the titles free from the Uso Penitentiary and then another referee shows up who wasn't part of their match. Gable asks why that referee was in the match and Shelton says jealousy. Just like everyone else, he doesn't know what it's like to be a winner. They demand a rematch because they didn't lose to The Usos they lost to instant replay.
Daniel Bryan then comes out. Bryan says he understands their euphoria of thinking they won and understand what it feels like when they have it taken from them and officials represent management and there are cold hard rules and one of them is the referee's decision is final.
Benjamin says that's right and the referee counted three and they won that match. Daniel says except they didn't win, Gable and Benjamin pinned the wrong Uso and that referee felt iike he did the right thing. Gable says he doesn't care and Benjamin tells Gable to tell Daniel how he feels and Gable says he feels like Daniel is mad at Shane and taking it out on Gable and Benjamin, like they beat The Usos, like they are the champions. What else do they have to do beat The Usos in one night?
Bryan calls Gable a genius and says at Royal Rumble The Usos will defend the championships against American Alpha 2.0 in a 2 out of 3 falls match
Backstage: Randy Orton is preparing for tonight's main event and AJ walks in asking if they're going to talk strategy or if Orton is just going to go out and RKO everything and anything that moves and needs to know they're on the same page. Orton says he needs AJ to trust him when he says they're on the same page but at the same time to trust him when he says after he wins the Rumble he doesn't care who's champion he's coming after the title. Shinsuke Nakamura walks in and says not so fast. Nakamura then too sweets the title , says good talk and leaves
Up Next: Breezango vs Rusev Day
BREEZANGO VS RUSEV DAY
Side headlock by Aiden and a shoulderblock to Fandango. Fandango hangs English over the top rope and The Fashion Police deliver kicks to English as we go to break
Switch to split screen and Rusev gets the tag as he kicks Breeze. Rusev puts the boots to Breeze. Rusev picks Breeze up and Breeze delivers a kick to the side of the head. Breeze on the apron and Rusev sends him crashing to the floor as he tags Englsih
Aiden bounces Breeze's head off the apron. Nearfall on Breeze. Kneedrop by Aiden and English with a chinlock as we switch back to fullscreen.
Tyler looking for the tag but Aiden with a kick and English goes to the top rope and misses with the senton. Right hand misses as Breeze gets the tag unloading on English. Back body drop to Aiden. Irish whip and Aiden with a kick to Fandango. Rusev with a clothesline and series of kicks
Rusev with the spinning heel kick as the crowd starts a 'Rusev Day' chant. Rusev sends Breeze to the outside. Rusev picks Fandango up and Breeze with a dropkick as Fandango falls on Rusev. Breeze gets sent to the outside again meanwhile Fandango rolls Rusev up for the three count
The winners of the match: Breezango
Backstage: Shane walks in and Daniel says the whole tag team division is on fire just like tonight's show is on fire. Shane says Daniel's decisions as of late is coming off as impestuous. Shane questions the Royal Rumble main event as well as the 2 out of 3 falls match that Bryan made and Shane asks if Bryan is doing okay because he seems a little unstable
Bryan says he could say the same about Shane because he's been known to make impetious decisions in the past. Look at the gene pool. Shane then says they will just agree to disagree and leaves
AJ STYLES, SHINSUKE NAKAMURA AND RANDY ORTON VS THE GUARDIAN ANGELS
Orton and Owens start things off and Orton with a forearm and Irish whip. Orton tries for an RKO but Owens escapes and goes to the floor. Orton follows and hits Owens from behind while Nakamura distracts Owens. Orton sends Owens into the ringside barrier and then back into the ring. Owens with kicks and punches before tagging Zayn into the match. Zayn with punches but Orton sends Zayn to the mat. Orton with the Garvin Stomp. Nakamura tags in and he kicks Zayn. Nakamura with kicks to the chest.
Zayn blocks a kick and Nakamura follows up with another kick. Nakamura with boots in the corner. Styles tags in and he punches Zayn and tries for a suplex but Zayn blocks it. Owens tags in and he punches Styles. Owens with a single leg take down but Styles with a head scissors and strikes followed by a clothesline and flying forearm. Zayn pulls Owens to the floor when Styles goes for the Styles Clash.
Owens and Zayn go up the ramp and the referee makes his count until Shane McMahon comes out to stop the count. He says this is not happening on his watch. It is No Count Out.
Orton, Nakamura, and Styles go up the ramp to attack Owens and Zayn as we go to commercial.
We are back and Zayn with a rear chin lock on Styles. Styles tries to make the tag but Zayn takes Styles back into the center of the ring. Owens tags in and clotheslines Styles and punches him. Owens with kicks and a short arm clothesline for a near fall. Owens returns to the reverse chin lock. Styles with punches but Owens with punches. Styles with an Ushigoroshi and both men are down.
Zayn and Orton tag in and Orton with two clotheslines and then he ducks a clothesline from Zayn before hitting the power slam. Orton with the IEDDT. Orton sets for the RKO but Owens hits Orton with a chair to get disqualified.
Winners: Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, and AJ Styles (by disqualfiication)
After the match, Owens hits Nakamura and Styles with the chair as well.
Shane McMahon comes out and he says the match is No Count Out, No DQ, and Anything Goes.
Styles hits Owens with the chair. Styles follows Owens to the back with a chair. Nakamura backs Zayn towards Orton and then he goes into the ring and he goes to the floor and he tries to get over the ringside barrier but Orton and Nakamura stop him. They send Zayn into the ring post. Orton grabs the ring steps and Nakamura sends Zayn into them. Orton sends Zayn over the announce table. Orton with a back drop driver onto the announce table.
Orton sends Zayn back into the ring and Nakamura hits Kinshasa. Orton with an RKO for the three count.
The winners of the match: AJ Styles, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura