WWE SmackDown Report 1/23
– The Royal Rumble go-home edition of WWE SmackDown opens live from Washington, DC as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Byron Saxton and Corey Graves.
– We go right to the ring and out comes Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Owens and Sami give props to each other and rant about SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon, then WWE Champion AJ Styles. Owens says they have proven that AJ stands no chance at leaving the Royal Rumble with the title after their Handicap Match on Sunday. Owens goes on and Sami throws a “yep!” at him every now and then. Sami says they are going to take the title from AJ on Sunday but they are also going to hurt him. They try to get a “yep!” chant going as fans chant for AJ. The music interrupts and out comes AJ to a pop.
AJ speaks from the stage and waits for fans to stop chanting his name. Styles calls them “Kami” and says nope in response to their claims about winning on Sunday and becoming co-WWE Champions, and their claims about hurting him. AJ knocks the “Yep! Movement” and they get upset, saying AJ will have to get used to it after Sunday because everyone will be doing it, including AJ’s own family. AJ says they should be cocky because they do have the advantage on Sunday but they’re not facing just anybody, they’re facing someone phenomenal. AJ says as long as he has fight in his body he will make sure they do not become co-WWE Champion. AJ once again declares that this is the house he built.
Owens and Sami mock AJ some more. They go on and Owens proposes that AJ wrestle them both in singles matches tonight, back to back. The music hits and out comes SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan to the stage. Bryan says enough is enough. Owens and Sami are right about being two of the best to step into the ring, he says. Fans boo. Bryan says they’re also right about how hard it is to win a Handicap Match but Bryan has the upmost faith in AJ… AJ cuts Bryan off. AJ says he’s not sure Bryan’s not in bed with these two dirtbags. AJ accepts the challenge and says he’s not just going to beat Sami and Owens tonight, he’s going to hurt them. Styles’ music hits as he drops the mic and leaves, trading looks with Bryan.
– Still to come, Bobby Roode and The New Day vs. Jinder Mahal, Rusev and Aiden English. Also, Chad Gable vs. Jey Uso.
– Back from the break and Daniel Bryan is backstage with SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon, who doesn’t agree with the WWE Champion being booked in back to back matches right before a title defense. Bryan says he has faith in AJ. Shane isn’t sure if Bryan is shooting straight with him. Bryan asks if Shane is questioning AJ’s ability to defend himself tonight. Shane says he’s not.
Chad Gable vs. Jey Uso
We go to the ring and SmackDown Tag Team Champion Jey Uso is out with partner Jimmy Uso. Out next comes Chad Gable with Shelton Benjamin.
Gable tries to go for the leg to start. They go at it and Gable slams Uso to the mat and works him over. Gable with another takedown as he keeps Uso on the mat. Gable keeps control until Uso sends him out to the floor. Uso nails Gable from the ring and sends him back into the barrier with an uppercut. We go to commercial with Jey standing tall in the ring.
Back from the break and Gable hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a 2 count. Gable with more offense but he misses a big moonsault. Jey ends up running the ring and nailing a big dive on Gable on the floor.
Jey brings it back into the ring and goes to the top but is forced to land on his feet and roll through. Jey with a Samoan Drop. More back and forth and counters between the two. Gable ends up getting the win with a big German suplex.
Winner: Chad Gable
– After the match, Gable and Benjamin celebrate as they head to the back.
– Renee Young is backstage with Shinsuke Nakamura to talk the Royal Rumble. Baron Corbin interrupts and says Nakamura is all hype but that’s OK because the WWE Universe cares about him. Corbin doesn’t care about the fans because they don’t pay his bills. Corbin goes on and says they can keep their pathetic opinions to themselves. Corbin talks about how his resume will improve when he wins the Rumble match on Sunday. Nakamura ends the segment by proposing that they Rumble with each other tonight.
Naomi vs. Liv Morgan
We go to the ring and out comes Naomi. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we see the backstage video of Tye Dillinger announcing his Royal Rumble spot. We return to the ring and Liv Morgan is wrapping her entrance.
They go at it and Naomi takes control early on. Naomi with a sideslam and a 2 count as Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan of The Riott Squad watch from ringside. Liv gets some offense in and nails a kick. Liv then ducks several kicks in a row but the last kick catches her and drops her. Liv retreats to the corner and suckers Naomi in, sending her face first into the turnbuckles. Liv nails a double stomp to the back of the head, smashing Naomi’s face into the mat.
Liv keeps control and covers Naomi for a close 2 count. Liv keeps control as we see Natalya, Lana and Carmella come down to ringside to watch the match. Liv drops Naomi as we see Becky Lynch coming to ringside. Naomi kicks Liv from the apron and drops her. Naomi comes in from the apron with a sunset flip and gets the win out of nowhere.
– After the match, Naomi stands tall as her music hits. Ruby and Logan immediately attack her and beat her down. Becky makes the save. Logan tosses Naomi to the floor. Becky tosses Logan out. Ruby tosses Becky. Natalya and Ruby go at it. Lana superkicks Ruby and drops her. Natalya dumps Lana to the floor. Carmella drops Liv. Carmella and Natalya team up to toss Liv over the top rope. Natalya turns and drops Carmella. She rolls to the floor. Becky and Naomi stand tall together in the middle of the ring after Natalya leaves on her own. Becky turns on Naomi and goes to toss her. Naomi comes back and face off until the music hits and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. Flair gives Becky props and says her move was fierce. Clearly it’s every woman for herself on Sunday but that’s why friendships and alliances don’t matter when you’re trying to win a shot at The Queen at WrestleMania 34. Flair wishes them all good luck but especially to the winner. Flair does a “Wooo!” as her music hits and she raises the title while the others look on.
– Still to come, Corbin vs. Nakamura has been made. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get quick clips from the teams participating in tonight’s Mixed Match Challenge Week 2 match-up on Facebook Watch. It will be Big E and Carmella vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Asuka.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
We go back to the ring and out comes Shinsuke Nakamura as Greg Hamilton does the introductions. Baron Corbin is out next.
They lock up and go to the corner to start. Corbin backs off and Nakamura approaches as they lock up to trade holds again. Nakamura with some offense to send Corbin to the floor for a break. Nakamura follows and returns to the ring to yell at Corbin to bring it. Corbin turns to walk away but Nakamura comes from behind. Corbin turns and nails Nakamura in the throat with a right hand.
Corbin sends Nakamura into the ring post for another shot to the throat and Nakamura goes down beside the ring. We go to commercial with Nakamura down on the floor in pain as Corbin stands tall.
Back from the break and Corbin has Nakamura grounded on the mat. Nakamura fights up and out. Nakamura drops Corbin with a big jumping kick. Nakamura ends up placing Corbin over the top rope in the corner after more offense. Nakamura charges in with the big knee while Corbin is on the ropes. Nakamura with a 2 count. Corbin counters a move and goes for a suplex but Nakamura resists. Nakamura with more knee strikes. Nakamura slams Corbin on his face and waits in the corner for the Kinshasa. Corbin counters that and hits a Deep Six for a close 2 count as the crowd wakes up and pops.
More back and forth now. Corbin runs back into the ring and turns Nakamura inside out with a huge clothesline. Nakamura still kicks out at 2. Corbin yells at Nakamura to get up. Corbin goes for End of Days but Nakamura turns it into the armbar as the crowd pops again. Corbin reverses the hold and covers for a 2 count. Nakamura drops Corbin with a big shot to the ear. Nakamura goes back tot he corner to wait for the Kinshasa but Randy Orton runs into the ring and hits Nakamura with a RKO outta nowhere for a big pop. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner by DQ: Shinsuke Nakamura
– After the bell, Orton also hits Corbin with the RKO. We go to replays as Orton celebrates in the corners while his music plays. Nakamura and Corbin are laid out in the ring.
– The announcers discuss last night’s RAW 25th Anniversary special and show some of the mainstream media coverage. We get a video with highlights from RAW 25.
– Still to come, AJ vs. Sami and AJ vs. Owens back to back. Also, six-man action. Back to commercial.
The New Day and Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal, Rusev and Aiden English
Back from the break and out comes Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston. They talk about being a part of history being at RAW 25 and then announce their spots for the Royal Rumble. They also talk about how their partner made history last week with his WWE United States Title tournament wins. The music hits and out comes Bobby Roode to a pop.
Roode takes the mic after posing with The New Day and thanks them for the introduction. He says he can’t think of a better place to debut as the new WWE United States Champion than the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Roode’s goal is to be the best US Champion in history and that’s no easy task but he can guarantee that his reign will be… absolutely… The New Day offer their own words but Roode and the fans finish it with a… glorious. The music hits and out comes Jinder Mahal. Rusev and Aiden English are out next. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Rusev is in control of Kofi. Rusev charges in the corner and nails Kofi. Rusev with a cheap shot to Woods as well. Kofi ends up making the comeback and hitting a bulldog to Kofi. Roode gets the tag and unloads on English as he also tags in. Roode with a neckbreaker and a shot to Jinder to knock him off the apron. Roode keeps control and hits a Blockbuster on English.
Roode poses and gets a big “glorious!” pop. Jinder comes in and hits a spinebuster. Roode ends up covering English for another 2 count. Kofi comes flying off the top and takes Rusev down to stop him. Kofi runs the ropes and takes out Jinder and Rusev on the floor. Roode and English go at it again in the ring. Woods tags in but English doesn’t see it. Roode with a spinebuster to English. Woods follows up with the big top rope elbow on English for the pin.
Winners: Bobby Roode, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods
– After the match, Roode celebrates with The New Day as their music hits.
– The announcers discuss the Royal Rumble again.
AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens
We go back to the ring and out first comes WWE Champion AJ Styles for the first part of tonight’s main event. Kevin Owens is out next with Sami Zayn at his side. They make it half-way down the ramp when the music hits and out comes Shane McMahon. Shane tells Sami to get back to the back. Shane says if Sami goes anywhere near the ring tonight during the match, he will lose his chance at the WWE Title this Sunday at the Royal Rumble because Shane will fire him on the spot tonight. Shane says the same goes for Owens if he gets involved with Sami’s match, he will be fired on the spot. Shane tells them to bring the “Yep Movement” wherever they want because he doesn’t care, it’ll be the last thing they do on SmackDown… yep! Shane approaches them and asks if they have anything to say. Sami talks a bit of trash and Owens argues with Shane as we return to commercial.
Back from the break and the match is underway. They go at it and Owens gets some offense in until he goes down on his knee. AJ takes advantage of the injury and goes right to work on Owens’ leg.
AJ drops Owens into the Calf Crusher and Owens quickly taps out for the easy win.
Winner: AJ Styles
– After the match, Sami Zayn runs in and attacks AJ. The referee tries to restore order as Sami works AJ over some more. Owens looks to be limping away from the ringside area. Sami attacks AJ in the corner again and stomps away. The referee backs Sami off of AJ. Sami brings AJ to the floor and works him over, sending him into the steel ring steps. We see Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon backstage watching as we get a replay of the steps spot. Sami mounts AJ at ringside but the referee backs him off. The referee checks on AJ as we go to commercial.
AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn
Back from the break and we finally get the bell for AJ’s second non-title match of the night.
Sami charges in the corner and goes right to work on AJ. The referee warns Sami in the corner. We see Owens down at ringside but sitting up with two trainers talking to him. Sami beats AJ around as fans chant for the champion. AJ rocks Sami and fights back but Sami drops him again. Sami keeps control as we see a stretcher being pushed out for Owens. Sami with a few pin attempts and more offense before keeping AJ grounded in the middle of the ring again.
AJ finally makes a comeback and drops Sami. More officials and trainers are out checking on Owens. AJ with a knee and more offense to send Sami out to the floor. AJ springboards out and drops Sami right in front of Owens and the group of officials & paramedics. AJ rolls Sami back into the ring and takes his time following him. AJ comes off the apron and changes his mind on re-entering the ring. AJ attacks Owens and unloads on him while officials are with him on the ground. Sami comes and makes the save. We go to commercial with everyone outside of the ring.
Back from the break and Sami has AJ grounded, talking trash. AJ fights up and out, fighting Sami into the corner. AJ with a big chop. Sami with an elbow that knocks AJ down. Sami goes to the second rope but AJ hits him and climbs up for a superplex. They tangle and AJ brings Sami to the mat with a hurricanrana. We see Shane and Bryan backstage watching again.
We see Owens being prepped for the stretcher at ringside again. AJ and Sami trade shots in the middle of the ring now. AJ with a big neckbreaker for a close 2 count as the crowd wakes up a bit with the pop. AJ calls for the Styles Clash but it’s countered. Sami with offense and a big tornado DDT out of the corner. Sami goes to the corner and waits for AJ to get up. AJ blocks the Helluva Kick with a boot to the face. AJ misses a springboard moonsault from the second rope but comes right back and hits a pele kick for another close pin attempt. We get a replay of the pele.
Fans chant for AJ as he gets up first. Sami tries to fight back and nails a few elbows. Sami catches AJ in a Michinoku Driver for a close 2 count. Sami works AJ over in the corner and takes him up top. Sami climbs up for a superplex but AJ slides under and drops Sami face first into the turnbuckles. AJ with a big kick to the gut. AJ goes for the Styles Clash but Sami retreats to the floor. Fans boo. AJ goes to the apron and nails a sliding knee to the jaw. Sami goes down at ringside in front of Owens again. AJ brings Sami back into the ring but runs over and tips the stretcher over, sending Owens back to the floor. Fans cheer.
AJ returns to the ring and Sami quickly nails a Helluva Kick in the corner, sending AJ to the mat. Sami immediately scoops AJ for the Blue Thunderbomb and the pin.
Winner: Sami Zayn
– After the match, Sami gets up and celebrates as his music hits. Owens also recovers at ringside and rolls into the ring to join Sami. We go to replays as Owens and Sami stand over AJ. Sami and Owens talk some trash and raise their arms in the air as SmackDown goes off the air.