The January 30th edition of WWE SmackDown Live was the first episode after Sunday’s Royal Rumble 2018, and took place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
– Shinsuke Nakamura comes down to the ring first to kick off the show. Tom Phillips welcomes us on commentary, and he’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. Nakamura steps in the ring and gets on the mic, then runs down the list of names he kneed in the face at Royal Rumble. Nakamura says at WrestleMania, AJ Styles will be getting kneed in the face and Nakamura will be the new WWE Champion. Nakamura points at the WrestleMania sign, and then is interrupted by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Owens and Zayn walk down to the ring and complain on the mic about being screwed by the referee and Shane McMahon at the Royal Rumble. Owens and Zayn say they were screwed, and they should be co-WWE Champions right now. They say they will get a rematch and beat AJ before WrestleMania, so Nakamura will have to face them at WrestleMania. Nakamura says AJ is a winner, and Owens & Zayn are losers. AJ Styles is out to interrupt next. AJ says Owens and Zayn can whine and complain all they want, but the AJ vs. Nakamura dream match will happen at WrestleMania in New Orleans. AJ walks down to the ring and proposes that he and Nakamura team up tonight to take on Owens and Zayn in a tag match. Owens and Zayn say “nope” and leave the ring. AJ and Nakamura knock Owens and Zayn off the apron down to the floor, and the heels retreat up the ramp.
– Up next is a four-way match featuring Jinder vs. Kofi vs. Rusev vs. Ryder to determine the #1 contender for Bobby Roode’s U.S. Title.
– We see some still shots from Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
– We go backstage where Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are confronting SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan. Bryan books the tag match for tonight, while Sami complains about their match on Sunday. Bryan says the referee made a mistake, but the ref’s decision is final. Bryan thinks they deserve another shot, so next week, Sami and Owens will face each other, and the winner will get AJ at Fastlane in February. Sami and Owens are not pleased with this decision.
– Fatal 4 Way: Rusev vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Zach Ryder vs. Kofi Kingston: The winner of this one will get a shot at U.S. Champion Bobby Roode, who is on commentary for this match. The opening bell sounds and Jinder takes Kofi, while Rusev takes Ryder. Rusev and Ryder spill out to ringside, while Jinder beats on Kofi in the ring. Ryder drops Rusev on the ringside floor, then slides in the ring and knocks Jinder outside. Big E is throwing pancakes around and he gets confronted by Aiden English at ringside. The referee ends up throwing Big E, Xavier, and Aiden English out of ringside and orders them to go backstage. Jinder and Kofi are now going at it at ringside, and Jinder knocks Kofi out of mid-air after he jumps off the ring steps. Jinder then decks Rusev, and then rolls back in the ring to work on Ryder. Jinder drops some knees on Ryder, then Rusev gets back in the ring. Jinder and Rusev start brawling back and forth, then Rusev drops Jinder with a kick. Rusev hits a splash on Jinder in the corner, then Ryder drops Rusev with a missile dropkick. Ryder hits a series of elbows to the face, then the Broski Boot. Jinder then hits a big boot on Ryder and covers for a two count. Kofi comes flying off the top rope with a shot on Jinder, then he hits the Boom Drop on the former WWE Champion. Ryder runs up on Kofi, but Kofi catches him with the SOS. Kofi pins, but Jinder breaks it up. Jinder hits a big lariat on Kofi, then Rusev throws Jinder outside. Rusev stacks up Kofi and Ryder for the double Accolade, but Jinder runs in and breaks it up. Jinder hits a flying knee to the face on Rusev, then attempts the Khalas but Rusev escapes. Rusev then throws Ryder into Jinder, then kicks Ryder in the face. Rusev drops Kofi next, then locks in the Accolade. Kofi taps out, and Rusev has won via submission. Rusev celebrates and eyes Roode from the ring.
Winner & new #1 contender for the U.S. Title: Rusev
– We see a pre-taped promo from The Usos, who are up next.
– Breezango is backstage with The Ascension for the Fashion Files, but then Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin interrupt. Gable and Benjamin make fun of them, and say they’re making a mockery of their tag team division. Gable and Benjamin flip over Breezango’s table and leave.
– Tag Team Champions the Usos are down to the ring next with microphones. They say they’re getting silly in Philly, and then they run down a list of all the teams they’ve beaten. After each team name, they say “locked down,” and then a jail cell door graphic slams on the screen. They say “day one ish” means being true and being 100 and being you. They talk about struggles and getting stronger, and say they’re the best tag team in WWE. Before they can leave, the Bludgeon Brothers come out to interrupt. Harper and Rowan don’t acknowledge the Usos, and just step into the ring. The Usos stare at them and then leave. The Bludgeon Brothers are in action next.
– The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Enhancement talent: The jobbers don’t get names in this one. Harper and Rowan use frequent tags and take turns clotheslining down the first jobber. Rowan stares down the other jobber on the apron and he starts to back down, but Harper is already behind him. Rowan bumps the other jobber off the apron, and Harper boots him down. Meanwhile in the ring, Rowan slams the legal jobber down. Rowan hits a splash on both jobbers in the corner, then they hit their double team finisher on each jobber separately for the win.
Winners: The Budegeon Brothers
– We see a selfie video from Daniel Bryan, who talks about a new top 10 list. He says the list will be voted on by the other wrestlers, and it will rank the top ten talents on the roster as voted by their peers. He says that he and Shane will use the list to book matches.
– Shane McMahon is in his office on the phone talking about the Rumble. Tye Dillinger walks in and complains about his opportunity taken from him last night. Baron Corbin walks in next and complains about Owens and Zayn being handed opportunities. Corbin says he thought Shane was in charge, and asks if he changed his last name or if he’s still a real McMahon. Tye gets in Corbin’s face, and Shane separates them. Shane books them in a match tonight, and Corbin walks off.
– Charlotte is out to the ring next. She joins Renee Young for an interview, and they discuss Asuka’s Royal Rumble win last night. She talks about being proud of the women making history last night, and says Ronda Rousey’s arrival broke the internet. Charlotte says all she knows is that she’s going to WrestleMania 34 as Champion no matter what. The Riott Squad comes out to interrupt, and Ruby tells Charlotte to forget about Asuka and Rousey. Ruby says Charlotte’s ego is as big as her father’s, and continues trashing Charlotte on the way to the ring. Ruby throws a punch at Charlotte, but Charlotte blocks it and fires back. Flair fights off Liv and Loga, then goes back to working on Ruby. Charlotte clears the ring, but they hit the ring again. This time they successfully triple team Charlotte, and Ruby hits the Riott Kick. The Riott Squad is leaving, when Carmella’s music hits and she runs down with her Money In The Bank briefcase. Carmella hands the case to the ref, but the bell never rings as Charlotte shoves Carmella into the ref, bumping the ref down to the floor. Charlotte gets up and stares down Carmella. Carmella leaves with her briefcase.
– WWE Champion AJ Styles is backstage trying to talk strategy with Nakamura for their match tonight. Nakamura keeps bringing up WrerstleMania, and tells AJ to listen to him out there tonight.
– Carmella is backstage for an interview with Renee Young. Carmella says the attempted cash-in didn’t go as planned, but she’s still the most dangerous woman in WWE. She complains about breaking a nail in the run-in, and leaves.
– Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin: Tye starts off strong and unloads with offense on Corbin. The fight spills outside and Tye whips Corbin into the barricade. Tye springboards off the ring steps and drops Corbin again. Back in the ring, Corbin hits a hard knee to Tye and then pummels on him. Corbin hits a splash in the corner. Tye tries to fight back, but Corbin shuts him down and then throws him out to ringside. Back in the ring, Corbin stomps on Tye and keeps him grounded. Tye dodges a lariat and fires back with kicks. Tye lays into Corbin with chops and then goes for the Tye Breaker, but Corbin escapes. Corbin bashes Tye in the back of the head, then hits the chokeslam backbreaker. Corbin picks up Tye and hits the End of Days for the win.
Winner: Baron Corbin
– We see Rusev and Aiden English backstage, with Aiden singing about Rusev winning the U.S. Title next week. We cut to Roode, who says he’s looking forward to his appointment with Rusev next week.
– Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are backstage warming up for their match tonight. Sami tries to look on the bright sided and says at least one of them will get a WWE Title shot. Sami and Owens briefly argue about who was to blame for their loss on Sunday, then walk off
– The announcers promote tonight’s 205 Live episode.
– Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. Breezango:Benjamin and Fandango start off, and Benjamin takes control with a spinebuster early on. The Ascension is backstage watching on a monitor. Shelton continues to beat on Fandango, then tags in Gable for a double team. Fandango starts mounting a comeback until Gable rolls outside for a breather. Gable drops Breeze off the apron, then slides back in the ring. Fandango starts working over Gable’s arm, then Breeze tags in for a dropkick. Shelton runs in but Breeze dropkicks him too. Breeze goes back to work on Gable, and Shelton tags in but Breeze doesn’t see it. Gable takes out Fandago with a cross body off the top, and both men land outside. Breeze hits a kick on Shelton, but Shelton comes right back and ends up hitting a double team powerbomb on him with Gable. Shelton covers for the three count.
Winners: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable
– Gable and Benjamin celebrate their win together after the match.
– AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: AJ and Owens start this one off, with AJ getting the upper hand and sending Owens to go tag in Zayn. Zayn and Nakamura both tag in and Nakamura unloads with offense. Nakamura hits the Good Vibrations on Zayn in the corner, then tags in AJ who dropkicks Zayn back down. Nakamura tags back in, but Sami hits a cheap shot behind the ref’s back and takes over. Sami pummels on Nakamura in the corner, then tags in Owens. Owens chops Nakamura, but Nakamura fights back and drops Oens with a forearm shot. Nakamura follows up with knees to the body, and then Sami runs in but gets thrown outside. The distraction allows Owens to hit Nakamura and drop him. Owens and Zayn seem to argue briefly. Nakamura fights his way back up, then throws Owens outside. Owens and Zayn argue more at ringside, and Zayn appears to be backing up the ramp and backing out of the match. Owens asks Zayn what the hell he’s doing, then Owens gets back in the ring. AJ and Owens go at it in the ring while Zayn watches from the ramp. AJ hits a series of strikes and pins, but Sami runs in to break the pin. Sami tags in and fires up on AJ now, stunning him with a big back body drop. Owens yells at Sami to tag him back in, and he tags in then hits a senton on AJ for a two count. Sami now yells that he wants back in, and Owens slams him on the chest to tag him in. They continue arguing , and AJ capitlizes by shoving them into each other and knocks Sami off the apron. AJ rolls up Owens for a two count, while Sami starts walking out again at ringside. Zayn backs up the ramp as AJ beats on Owens in the ring. Owens comes back with a gutbuster and an elbow drop for a two count. AJ escapes the Pop UP Powerbomb attempt, and answers with a Pele kick. Nakamura comes in now and puts the boots to Owens. Nakamura hits some knees, then hits the Kinshasa on Owens for the three count.
Winners: Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles
– After the match, we see Sami watching on a monitor backstage as Owens recovers, and AJ and Nakamura celebrate. Renee Young walks up to Sami and asks if this means his friendship with Owens is over. Sami says nope, and this is all about opportunity, and he’s tired of being overlooked. He says next week he will beat Kevin Owens, and then beat AJ for the WWE Title at Fastlane. Back to the ring, Nakamura points at the WrestleMania 34 sign as SmackDown goes off the air.