Following another controversial situation involving Commissioner Shane McMahon inadvertently costing WWE Champion AJ Styles his match against Kevin Owens last week on Team Blue, Shane-O-Mac made a point to apologize to Styles during the opening moments of SmackDown LIVE. With Team Blue General Manager Daniel Bryan also in the ring, Shane declared that he would be in The Phenomenal One’s corner for tonight’s match between Styles and Sami Zayn. With that out in the open, The “Yes!” Man responded by stating that he would not only allow Owens to be at ringside, but that he too would be at ringside tonight.
After weeks of tit-for-tat and a key non-title pinfall victory by Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable, the explosive tandem finally got their first two-on-two opportunity at the SmackDown Tag Team Titles against The Usos. The incredibly action-packed contest saw momentum shift back and forth several times. It appeared that Benjamin & Gable had picked up the victory when Benjamin pinned Jimmy 1-2-3 after he and Gable executed a vicious double team maneuver. However, it was soon revealed that Jey was actually the legal man, and thus, the match was restarted.
With a new lease on life, Jimmy & Jey recovered, weathering Benjamin & Gable’s storm and superkicking both Superstars into oblivion and getting the win after a big splash.
After being volunteered by their “best friends” The Ascension last week, Breezango once again faced off against The Bludgeon Brothers on SmackDown LIVE. Tyler Breeze & Fandango were once again overmatched and attacked by Harper & Rowan before the bell ever rang.
However, when the bludgeoning on Breezango seemed as though it wasn’t going to end, Konnor & Viktor looked to help out their Fashion Files cohorts. Unfortunately for The Ascension, they too were overpowered, and Harper & Rowan took them out as well, making a bold statement to the rest of the Team Blue tag teams in the process.
With the war between The New Day and Rusev Day still raging, Xavier Woods and Aiden English squared off in the first round of the United States Championship Tournament. And as Big E & Kofi Kingston as well as Rusev patrolled ringside, the two Superstars battled boldly with a spot in the semifinals of the tournament hanging in the balance.
In the height of the action, Woods was able to block a major high-risk maneuver attempt by English, allowing him to connect with his top rope elbow to set up a clash against Jinder Mahal in the next round.
After getting the better of The Riott Squad in a wild brawl last week, Natalya, Carmella & Tamina looked to continue the momentum by defeating the squadron in Six-Woman Tag Team action tonight on Team Blue.
With the animosity simmering between the two sides, the action was intense. After a hard-fought battle, The Riott Squad prevailed when Sarah Logan hit Tamina with a brutal double knee out of a handstand for the win.
After the contest, Ruby Riott declared Liv Morgan and Logan for the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match. However, The Riott Squad’s good vibes were quickly diminished when SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair hit the scene. The Queen informed the deadly trio that a dose of reality was coming their way and then introduced Naomi and the returning Becky Lynch (who The Riott Squad ruthlessly assaulted in the backstage area on their first night on Team Blue, causing her to miss several weeks). Together, the three Superstars charged The Riott Squad and swiftly took them out.
Lesson learned? Play with straight fire, and you’re gonna get burned.
With Kevin Owens in Sami Zayn’s corner, Shane McMahon in AJ Styles’ corner and Daniel Bryan seemingly in a neutral corner, Zayn and Styles faced off in a thrilling main event.
With an odd aura surrounding the contest due to the three men lurking at ringside, Styles and Zayn engaged in combat. In the match’s pivotal moments, KO attempted to interject himself into the contest after the referee took a tumble. This caused Shane to get physical with Owens, then prompted the official to throw KO out from ringside. However, he was one-upped by Bryan, who then suggested that Shane-O-Mac should also be ejected. This distraction caused Styles to get caught with a pinpoint Helluva Kick from Zayn, which resulted in another controversial victory for The “Yep!” Movement.
After the contest, Styles was so worked up that he, in frustration, challenged both Owens and Zayn to a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. Surprisingly, Bryan then got on the microphone and declared that exact match would happen … at the Royal Rumble … for the WWE Title.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) defeated Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship (13:00)
- Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) ended in a no contest
- Xavier Woods (w/ Big E & Kofi Kingston) defeated Aiden English (w/ Rusev) in a WWE United States Title Tournament First Round Match (6:00)
- The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan) defeated Natalya, Tamina & Carmella (w/ Lana) (6:00)
- Sami Zayn (w/ Kevin Owens) defeated AJ Styles (13:00)
Other on-screen talent
The frostiness between Shane and Daniel continued
The Usos v Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
Breezango v The Bludgeon Brothers
Xavier Woods v Aiden English
The Riott Squad v Natalya, Tamina & Carmella
Sami Zayn v AJ Styles
- WWE Smackdown Live #959 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #959 at WWE.com
- Smackdown #959 on WWE Network