The show opens up with SmackDown Live’s usual intro video.
We are live in the arena where Kevin Owens makes his way down to the ring and he is joined by Sami Zayn.
Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show. He is joined by Corey Graves & Byron Saxton.
Owens grabs the mic and says that what you have in front of you is the future of WWE and not a parade of retirees like you saw on RAW 25 last night. Owens and Zayn hype each other up as future Co WWE Champions then Owens says that the Yep! Movement is more than an affirmation, it is about persevering in the face of unsurmountable tyranny no matter the odds. Like when Shane McMahon put them in a three-on-two handicap match a few weeks ago.
Owens continues by saying that Shane’s vendetta backfired, because all that happened that night is they proved that AJ Styles has no chance of walking out of the Royal Rumble as champion. Owens then says that they are two of the greatest competitors on SmackDown, and if they couldn’t overcome the odds of a handicap match, AJ has no chance. Sami then says that he knows Styles isn’t the smartest so he’ll spell it out – they’re going to beat him, take his championship, and become the first-ever Co WWE Champions.
And just for a little insult to injury, after they take the title, they are going to hurt him. They start their “Yep!” chants.
AJ Styles’ music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. He asks if he heard Kami correctly that they are going to beat him and suggests an alternative, Nope. Are they gonna be co-champions? Nope. Are they gonna hurt him? Nope. That annoying? Because they have been annoying him for months now. Owens says that he doesn’t care because after they win he’s gonna have to hear “Yep!” everywhere he goes, even in his dreams.
AJ says that they are confident and why shouldn’t they be? They have the advantage. But they are facing someone who is phenomenal, and as long as there’s fight left in his body he’ll make sure they don’t win. This isn’t the Kami Show, it’s SmackDown, the House That AJ Styles Built. Owens admits that he’s phenomenal but above all else he’s predictable, and Sami says that he said Styles was gonna come out here and do his macho tough guy act.
Owens says that it makes sense that AJ would come out here and speak with ignorance, since ignorance is the official language of Washington, DC. Zayn says that ignorance got him into this pickle in the first place, and rolls the footage of a frustrated Styles pitching a handicap match a few weeks ago. Owens says that he didn’t expect anyone to take the offer but when they did AJ immediately tried to backtrack and weasel out of it.
Sami says that Styles is being forced to be a man by an actual authority figure with actual convictions making him live up to his word, but with Daniel Bryan not here right now, will AJ be true to his word? Sami acts like he can’t remember what he’s talking about and they roll more footage, of Styles saying he’ll wrestle them both separately in the same night, and Owens goads him about weaseling out of it again.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. He says enough is enough and Owens and Zayn are right about being two of the greatest to ever step in the ring and they are also right about how difficult it is to win a handicap match, but he has faith in AJ. Styles asks him to stop advocating for him and says that he doesn’t know if he’s in bed with “these two dirtbags”.
AJ says that if Owens and Sami think they can beat him back to back, he wants to find out. AJ says he accepts the two matches against Owens and Zayn tonight, but he’s not just going to beat them, he’s going to hurt them. AJ then drops the mic and has a brief stare-down with Bryan before leaving.
Commentary hypes up Jey Uso vs. Chad Gable for later on tonight and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, Daniel Bryan rolls up on Shane McMahon backstage and stares at him for a long beat. McMahon is incredulous that he put the WWE Champion in back to back matches, but Bryan says that he wasn’t going to sanction anything, because AJ doesn’t need to prove anything. Shane goes on to leave and Bryan pulls him back to ask if he doubted AJ and McMahon says he actually doubted Bryan.
Chad Gable vs. Jey Uso: Jimmy Uso and Shelton Benjamin are both at ringside for this one. Gable shoots for the leg to start, and they go back and forth with holds. Gable slams Jey Uso to the mat and tries to keep him grounded. Jey Uso ducks a shot and sends Gable out to the floor, then follows him out and beats him down at ringside. Back in the ring, Jey works over Gable until Gable catches him with a Northern Lights Suplex for a 2 count. Gable starts firing up but misses a moonsault. Jey sends Gable outside and hits a dive on Gable on the floor near Shelton. Back in the ring, Jey goes up top but misses. Jey recovers and does connect with a Samoan Drop on Gable. Gable gets to his feet and they brawl until Gable is able to catch Jey with a big German suplex for the three count. Winner: Chad Gable
After the match, Gable and Benjamin celebrate as they head to the back.
We head backstage where Shinsuke Nakamura is being interviewed. He says that in the Rumble if he sees someone, he is going to put his knee in their face. Next person? Knee. Face. Knee. Face. Baron Corbin shows up to say that Shinsuke is all show and no go but it’s okay because the WWE Universe cares about him. But that doesn’t pay his bills so they can keep their opinion to their-selves, and his resume speaks volumes.
Corbin then says what has Nakamura done? Shinsuke says that it is not what he has done, but what he is going to do at the Royal Rumble, and he wants to rumble tonight.
Naomi makes her way down to the ring as she will be in action after the commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, we get a promo from Tye Dillinger saying that he is entering the Royal Rumble and that anything is possible.
Naomi vs. Liv Morgan: Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan are both at ringside for this one. Naomi takes control early on and hits a side walk slam for a two count. Liv connects with some kicks, but Naomi answers with some kicks of her own. Liv sends Naomi face-first into the turnbuckle, then hits a double stomp to the back of the head. Liv continues to beat-down Naomi as Natalya, Lana, Becky and Carmella come down to ringside for a closer look. Naomi comes back with some kicks on Liv and springboards over the rope with a sunset flip on Liv for the three count. Winner: Naomi
After the match, Ruby and Logan hit the ring and attack Naomi. Becky runs in, then everyone else at ringside runs in and there’s a big brawl. It leads to the women all throwing each other over the top rope to the outside. It’s down to Natalya and Naomi, but Charlotte Flair comes out with mic in hand and says that friendships and alliances don’t really matter when you’re trying to win an opportunity to face the Queen at WrestleMania. So good luck to all of them, but especially to the winner. Wooo!
Commentary hypes up the two matches AJ Styles will have tonight as well as the match between Corbin and Nakamura and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, we get a video package hyping tonight’s Mixed Match Challenge.
Baron Corbin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: Nakamura starts this one off strong with strikes on Corbin, then he does the Good Vibrations in the corner. Corbin rolls outside for a breather and Nakamura follows him out. Corbin throws him into the apron, then back in the ring, and Corbin starts walking up the ramp. Nakamura rolls back outside, where Corbin hits an uppercut then throws Nakamura into the ring post. Back in the ring, Corbin controls the next moments of the match and beats down Nakamura. Nakamura finally fires back with a running boot to the face, then a running knee strike in the corner for a two count. Nakamura picks up Corbin and goes for a suplex, but Corbin fights out. Corbin hits an elbow and goes for a suplex of his own, but Nakamura fights out and hits a reverse suplex. Nakamura sets up for the running knee, but Corbin dodges it and hits the Deep Six for a 2 count. Corbin runs the ropes and hits a big clothesline for another 2 count. Corbin goes for the End of Days, but Nakamura reverses it into an armbar. Corbin gets out, but Nakamura decks him with a heel kick. Nakamura sets up for a Kinshasa, but Randy Orton runs in and hits an RKO out of nowhere. The referee calls for the bell and this one ends in a DQ. Winner via DQ: Shinsuke Nakamura
After the match, Corbin gets up and he is not happy. Corbin charges at Orton, but Orton hits him 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.
Commentary discusses last night’s RAW 25th Anniversary Special and goes through some of the press that the show got before showing us a video package highlighting last night’s show.
We get more hype for the two matches AJ Styles will have as well as a six-man tag-team match to send us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, Big E does the usual New Day promo and The New Day makes their way down to the ring.
Big E grabs the mic and starts by saying that last night they made history at RAW 25, and Kofi Kingston says that they will make history again because they are here to announce that your boys are entering the Royal Rumble Match, baby! Xavier Woods says that speaking of history, their partner tonight made history last week by beating not one but two men to become your new WWE United States Champion.
Bobby Roode makes his way down to the ring and thanks The New Day for the wonderful introduction. Roode says that he couldn’t think of a more fitting place than Washington, DC to debut as the new United States Champion. Roode says that his goal is to be the best United States Champion in history and he knows that that is no easy task, but his reign as champion will be absolutely stupendous, delicious, and exuberant, but The New Day corrects him by saying glorious.
Jinder Mahal makes his way to the ring with only one Singh Brother in tow and Rusev Day makes their way to the ring as well, but the match will begin after the commercial break.
Back from the commercial break and the next match is already in progress.
Bobby Roode & The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. Jinder Mahal & Rusev Day (Rusev & Aiden English): Rusev starts off strong with a big boot to Kofi. Rusev hits a cheap shot on Woods too, but then Kofi starts making a comeback. Roode and English tag in, and Roode unloads with offense. Roode hits a neck-breaker on English, then knocks Jinder off the apron. Roode follows up with a Blockbuster on English. Jinder comes in and Roode hits a spine-buster on him. Rusev runs in but Kofi comes flying off the top and takes him down. Jinder and Rusev roll outside, and Kofi hits them with a suicide dive. Roode and English still go at it in the ring until Woods tags in. Roode hits a spine-buster on English, then Woods immediately follows up with a top rope elbow drop for the three count on English. Winners: Bobby Roode & The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
After the match, Roode celebrates with The New Day as their music hits.
Commentary promotes the WWE Network and hypes up this Sunday’s Royal Rumble PPV Event.
AJ Styles makes his way down to the ring and Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn follow, but Shane McMahon comes out to send Sami Zayn back, because if Sami goes anywhere near the ring during the match, he is out of the WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble. In fact, he will be fired on the spot, and the same goes for Owens when Zayn wrestles Styles after.
We go to a commercial break with Owens jawing at McMahon.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for the bell.
AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens: Owens starts off strong here and beats down AJ in the corner. Owens goes for the running cannonball in the corner, but AJ dodges it. AJ drops Owens and locks in the Calf Crusher in the middle of the ring. Owens tries to fight it off, but taps out, and AJ wins via submission after a very short match. Winner: AJ Styles
After the match, AJ continues to hold onto the Calf Crusher until Sami Zayn runs down and breaks it up. Sami hits a cheap shot on AJ and then starts beating him down all over ringside. We see Shane and Daniel backstage watching on a monitor as Zayn pummels on AJ in front of the broadcast table at ringside. We go to a commercial break with the second match yet to begin.
Back from the commercial break and we are just in time for the bell.
Sami gets in the ring and AJ starts to recover. AJ tells the referee that he is good to go, and the referee starts the Zayn vs. Styles match. Owens is still at ringside selling his leg from the Calf Crusher. According to Shane McMahon, if Owens tries to interfere, he will be fired.
AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn: Sami immediately takes the fight to AJ and starts beating him down on the mat. We see company staffers and medics still checking on Owens at ringside. Shane and Daniel are still watching on a monitor backstage. AJ ducks a shot from Sami and fires back with a series of strikes. AJ hits a running forearm shot on Sami, then hits a splash in the corner. AJ goes for a fireman’s carry, but Sami escapes. AJ throws Sami out to ringside right next to Owens. Styles follows up with a suicide plancha on Sami at ringside. AJ throws Sami back in the ring, then gets on the apron. AJ turns his attention to Owens, then starts beating him down at ringside. Zayn rolls back out to ringside and clotheslines Styles down to the floor.
Back in the ring, Zayn and AJ trade strikes back and forth. They fight up to the top turnbuckle where AJ hits a Frankensteiner on Sami. They trade strikes again until AJ catches Zayn with a fireman’s carry neck-breaker for a two count. AJ goes for the Styles Clash, but Zayn fights out. Sami hits a kick and a chop, then a tornado DDT. Zayn charges at AJ in the corner, but AJ stops him with a boot to the face. AJ goes for the moonsault reverse DDT and misses, but he does connect with a Pele kick for a 2 count. Sami fights back with some elbows to the face, then a Michinoku Driver for a 2 count of his own. Owens is still being loaded on to a stretcher at ringside, and he seems to be stalling so he can keep watching the match. Sami and AJ fight back up to the top turnbuckle, but AJ slides through the legs and drops Sami. AJ hits boot to the midsection and attempts the Styles Clash, but Sami escapes and rolls outside. AJ kicks Sami from the apron, then throws him back in the ring. AJ turns his attention to Owens again, and this time flips him off the stretcher at ringside. Referee Charles Robinson tries to call down AJ. AJ rolls back in the ring and Sami immediately hits a big boot, then a Blue Thunder Bomb for the three count. Winner: Sami Zayn
After the match, Owens struggles up to his feet to congratulate Zayn on the win. Owens and Zayn celebrate in the ring as AJ lays on the mat. Owens and Zayn stand over AJ and yell at him, then raise their hands as SmackDown goes off the air.