This is the Fightful.com live coverage for tonight's episode of WWE Smackdown! Live. Tonight the Smackdown! Live brand starts off 2018 with a bang as in our main event WWE World champion AJ Styles faces Sami Zayn, The Usos defend their WWE Smackdown! Live Tag Team Championship against Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, Aiden English faces Xavier Woods to see who will advance in the United States championship tournament and more so be sure to come back here at 8 PM EST for all of the action and be sure to stick with us for the post show podcast afterwards!
-AJ Styles comes out to start the show and talks about his match against Sami Zayn later tonight before he's interrupted by Daniel Bryan when he asks a rhetorical question about whether Kevin Owens will be allowed in Sami's corner later tonight only for both of them to be interrupted by Shane McMahon. Shane says that he's going to be at ringside later tonight before Daniel says that he and Kevin should be at ringside as well as we go to commercial.
WWE Smackdown! Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos (c) vs Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
Shelton sends Jey off of the apron as soon as the match starts before he and Shelton double team Jimmy for a quick two count. Jimmy then gets back in the ring just as Chad does as we go to commercial.
Jey and Shelton tag in as we come back from commercial before Jey hits a tope to the outside, then sends Chad out of the ring and hitting a tope onto him. Shelton drops Jimmy with a knee when he goes for another tope before Chad and Shelton hit their finisher after Shelton takes out Jey at ringside for the pin and the win.
Winner: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin defeat The Usos via pinfall to become the new WWE Smackdown! Tag Team Championship
-After the match it is determined that neither Chad who pinned Jimmy nor Jimmy were the legal men and the match is subsequently restarted.
WWE Smackdown! Tag Team Championship Match
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin (c) vs The Usos
The Usos send Chad and Shelton off of the apron before the match starts before Jey hits a thrust kick and a Samoan drop to Shelton before missing a splash in the corner. Chad hits a rolling kick to Jimmy before Shelton rolls Jey up for a near fall, then hits a spinebuster before they go for their finisher, but it's countered. The Usos then hit a series of superkicks before Jimmy hits a splash off of the top for the pin and the win.
Winner: The Usos retain their WWE Smackdown! Tag Team titles via pinfall after the match was restarted.
Bludgeon Brothers vs Breezango
Harper and Rowan immediately go after Tyler and Fandango before sending them out of the ring and the referee leaves as well as The Ascension come out to the ring.
Winner: No contest
-After the match the brothers take out both Konnor and Viktor before standing tall.
Xavier Woods vs Aiden English
They lock up to start the match before Aiden sends Xavier out of the ring. Big-E tosses pancakes on a lifeless Xavier before Aiden rolls him back into the ring and beats him down as we see Jinder looking on from a monitor backstage. Xavier fights his way out of a headlock before hitting a backbreaker for a near fall, then they both get a series of quick two counts before Aiden hits a sit-out DVD for a near fall of his own. Xavier then sends Aiden off of the top rope before hitting a springboard elbow drop for the pin and the win.
Winner: Xavier Woods via pinfall
Six-Woman Tag Match
Natalya starts off the match by grappling with Liv before exchanging wrist locks before Natalya drops Liv with a discus lariat for a quick two count. Liv then rolls out of the ring to regroup with Sarah and Ruby as we go to commercial.
Sarah is in control of Carmella as we come back from commercial, putting her in a modified rear-chin lock that she fights out of before Liv tags Tamina in. Sarah then takes out Tamina with a cartwheel knee drop when Liv sends her off of the top for the pin and the win.
Winner: Riott Squad via pinfall
-Charlotte, Becky and Naomi come out and clear the ring as we go to commercial.
AJ Styles vs Sami Zayn
AJ is in control early, beating on Sami and suplexing him for a quick two count before Sami comes back with a series of chops, then they exchange strikes until AJ dropkicks Sami out of the ring. AJ sends Sami back into the ring before putting him back into the ring, Sami retaking control as we go to commercial.
Sami is in control as we come back from commercial until AJ fights out of a submission before Sami counters an ushigaroshi and sends AJ throat first into the rope only for AJ to catch him on the top rope and hits an ushigaroshi anyway for a quick two count. AJ locks in the Calf Killer, but Sami manages to crawl to the bottom rope for the break right before tapping before they counter each other until the referee is sent out of the ring and AJ rolls Sami up for a near fall. The referee then bans Kevin before Daniel tells Shane that he should leave. Sami then hits AJ with the Helluva kick for the pin and the win.
Winner: Sami Zayn via pinfall
-After the match Daniel declares that AJ will defend his title in a handicap match at the Royal Rumble.