This is the Fightful.com live coverage for tonight's episode of WWE Smackdown! Live. We are just two days removed from the first big show of the year where Shinsuke Nakamura made history as being the first Japanese Superstar to win the Royal Rumble match and he's already got his eyes set on AJ Styles and his WWE Championship. What will AJ have to say about Shinsuke winning, what's next for the Usos after retaining their titles in a Two out of Three Falls match this past Sunday and how will the Smackdown! Live Women's division react to the arrival of Ronda Rousey? These questions and more will be answered so be sure to come back here at 8 PM EST and stick around after the show for the post show podcast!
-Shinsuke Nakamura comes out to start the show and talks about all of the people he gave a knee to the face to, including Roman Reigns, John Cena and Sami Zayn before saying that AJ will suffer a knee to the face as well and he will become the new WWE champion before pointing to the WrestleMania sign. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn interrupt Shinsuke, Kevin patronizing him before saying that he and Sami were screwed out of their title and that they should be the co-WWE champions before showing highlights of the handicap match they had against AJ this past Sunday at the Royal Rumble. Kevin says that he and Sami were victims of Shane McMahon's vendetta before Sami blames the referee and says that Kevin was never legally tagged in and that the referee was incompetent because AJ did not pin the legal man. Kevin says that Shinsuke won't be facing AJ, but them before Shinsuke says that AJ is a winner and they are losers before they close in on Shinsuke only to be interrupted by AJ Styles. AJ says that Sami and Kevin can complain as much as they want and there will be a rematch at New Orleans at WrestleMania and it will be between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.
AJ then convinces Shinsuke that he and AJ should take on Sami and Kevin later tonight before Sami and Kevin leave the ring, the two getting on the apron and saying that they won't have a match with them only for AJ and Shinsuke to knock them off of the apron as they leave as we go to commercial.
-We go backstage to Daniel Bryan making the tag match that AJ and Shinsuke wanted as well as making a number one contender match between Kevin and Sami for next week.
WWE United States Championship Fatal Four Way Number One Contender Match
Rusev beats on Zack in the ring, then at ringside as Kofi is in with Jinder, the two exchanging quick two counts before Jinder drops Kofi with a boot. Zack sends Jinder out of the ring, but he's quick to get back in and he continues beating on Kofi as Rusev beats on Zack. Kofi dropkicks Rusev before Zack clotheslines Jinder, Kofi immediately kicking Zack in the midsection before he hits a neckbreaker to Kofi for a quick two count that Jinder breaks up. Zack clotheslines Jinder over the top rope before hitting a wrecking ball dropkick through the ropes, then Kofi hits a tope to the outside as Big-E throws pancakes at the announce team. Rusev teases a tope of his own, but the one Singh brother left trips him, then Aiden shoves him into E and Xavier, dropping the pancakes and upsetting New Day and Rusev Day as well as we go to commercial.
Jinder gets a near fall on Zack as we come back from commercial before dropping several knees across the throat of Zack, then Zack hits the Broski Boot to Rusev only for Jinder to hit him with a boot for a near fall. Kofi comes in and hits the Boom Drop to Jinder before hitting the S.O.S. to Zack for a near fall that Jinder breaks up. Jinder then turns Kofi inside out with a lariat before Rusev tosses Jinder out of the ring, then Jinder rolls Rusev up for a near fall, Rusev countering the Khallas and the Rough Ryder which Zack hits on Jinder before Rusev locks in the Accolade to Kofi for the tap and the win.
Winner: Rusev defeats Jinder Mahal, Zack Ryder and Kofi Kingston to become the new number one contender for the WWE United States Championship by submitting Kofi Kingston with the Accolade.
-Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin get into a scuffle with Breezango backstage before the Usos come out to the ring and talk about all of the team's they've "locked down" including Sheamus and Cesaro among others. They then talk about how everyone has struggles and how one can overcome them before saying that they are the best tag team in the world only to be interrupted by the Bludgeon Brothers who pay no attention to them and get ready for their match as we go to commercial.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs Enhancement Talent
Harper and Rowan tag in and out and beat on the one guy in the ring before his partner tries to escape, but Harper blocks him and drops him with a boot at ringside. Rowan tags in and Harper sends him into both of them in the corner before finishing with a crucifix bomb for the pin and the win.
Winner: The Bludgeon Brothers win via pinfall with a crucifix bomb to two unnamed performers.
-Backstage Daniel Bryan announces that the Smackdown! Live roster will have its own top ten list. We then cut to Shane McMahon on the phone talking about Shinsuke and Asuka winning their respective Royal Rumble matches before he's interrupted by Tye Dillinger and Baron Corbin, Shane subsequently making a match between them. We then have Charlotte coming out to the ring as we go to commercial.
-We come back from commercial to Charlotte being interviewed about what she thought about the women's Royal Rumble, Charlotte saying that she wished she could have been in the match before talking about how she was in the ring with Alexa, Asuka and Ronda. Charlotte says that she wonders who she'll face at WrestleMania only to be interrupted by the Riott Squad, Ruby saying that Charlotte is generic and a cheap imitation of Ric Flair. Ruby then gets in the ring and says that if she has anything to do with it Charlotte won't make it to WrestleMania before the Riott Squad attacks Charlotte. Charlotte fights them off at first before they gang up and overwhelm her before Carmella comes out to cash in her Money in the Bank briefcase, but she accidentally dropkicks the referee when he's talking to the ring announcer before leaving as we go to Shinsuke talking to AJ backstage.
-AJ asks Shinsuke about a game plan before Shinsuke says that he's going to beat AJ at WrestleMania before saying that they will be fine and leaving as we go to commercial.
Tye Dillinger vs Baron Corbin
Baron beats Tye down as soon as the match starts before whipping him across the ring and splashing him in the corner, then tosses him over the top rope as we go to commercial.
Corbin is in control as we come back from commercial until Tye side steps him and Corbin goes shoulder first into the ring post before Tye drops him with a series of knees. Tye then goes for the Tye Breaker, but Corbin counters and hits a chokebreaker into the End of Days for the pin and the win.
Winner: Baron Corbin defeats Tye Dillinger via pinfall with the End of Days
-After the match Rusev and Aiden cut a promo about Rusev's title match against Bobby Roode next week before we cut to Roode who says that when you're champion your schedule fills up very quickly. We then have Kevin and Sami talking backstage about having to face each other in a number one contender match next week. They each bring up several of the others failures before Kevin says that Sami won't fail tonight as we go to commercial.
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs Breezango
Shelton starts the match off with Fandango, taking control early and showing off his strength and athleticism before tagging Chad in. They double team Fandango for a quick one count before Fandango comes back with a bulldog, then Chad hits a rolling kick before Fandango finally tags Tyler in. Tyler comes in and takes out Chad and Shelton, but it is short lived as Shelton counters a huricanrrana and picks Tyler up before he and Chad hit their finisher for the pin and the win.
Winner: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin defeat Breezango via pinfall with a powerbomb diving clothesline.
AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
AJ and Kevin start the match by exchanging standing switches before AJ hits an arm drag that sends Kevin into his corner where he tags Sami in. Shinsuke tags in just as Sami does and they exchange wrist locks before locking up for a clean break. Shinsuke hits Sami in the midsection with a knee before hitting Good Vibrations in the corner and tagging AJ back in. AJ dropkicks Sami before dragging him back to his corner and tagging Shinsuke in only for Sami to drive Shinsuke into his corner and tag Kevin in. Sami and Kevin start tagging in and out and beating on Shinsuke until Shinsuke sends Sami out of the ring. Sami and Kevin then argue at ringside before Sami starts to leave up the ramp as we go to commercial.
Kevin is in control as we come back from commercial until AJ drops him with a clothesline and hits a sit-out facebuster for a near fall that Sami comes back and breaks up. Sami beats AJ down until Kevin demands to be tagged in, Kevin getting a near fall before tagging Sami back in soon after. Sami tags Kevin in and they argue until AJ sends Sami off of the apron only for Kevin to then AJ inside out with a lariat. Sami then leaves up the ramp before Kevin counters the Phenomenal Forearm into a gutbuster before AJ counters a pop-up powerbomb and hits a Pele kick before ttagging Shinsuke in. Shinsuke drops Kevin with a series of kicks before hitting double knees in the corner, then goes for the Kinshasa, but Kevin tries to escape through the crowd only for AJ to toss him back into the ring. Shinsuke then hits a running knee before finishing with the Kinshasa for the pin and the win.
Winner: AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura defeat Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn via pinfall when Shinsuke hits Kevin Owens with the Kinshasa and pins him.