SmackDown Lowdown – Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn persevere, Mahal and Roode advance

The United States Championship tournament began on SmackDown Live

The land of opportunities is quickly descending into chaos. While the power struggle between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan has strained their relationship, the primary villains continue to one – up the Commissioner.

At Clash Of Champions, Dolph Ziggler proved the nay – sayers wrong, and won the WWE United States Championship. The Show – Off however deemed the fans unworthy of watching him compete, and laid down the title last week. What does it mean for the United States Championship? And more importantly, what does it mean for Ziggler?

The tag team title picture is none too clear either, as The Usos continue to hold on to the title, albeit by a thread. Aiden English and Rusev, along with New Day and the team of Gable and Benjamin continue to mount pressure on the champions. So what will the General Manager do to quell the unrest?

SmackDown Live provided was with some answers, as we count down the days for 2018.

Daniel Bryan announces tournament for the U.S. Title and Tag Team Championship

This week’s episode began with the General Manager, Daniel Bryan making the walk to the ring. The bearded Superstar talked about the fate of the United States title, and said he couldn’t reach Ziggler. Bryan announced a tournament to crown the new U. S. Champion, but was interrupted by Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin.

The two Superstars made their case to face The Usos for tag team gold, but were interrupted by English and Rusev. Aiden cleared his pipes, and serenaded the fans, while the fans cheered for Rusev. The New Day then made their way out, and made fun of the other teams.

Bryan announced a triple threat match to determine the new number one contenders for the tag team gold.

Gable and Benjamin defeated New Day and the team of Aiden English and Rusev to book a date with The Usos.

The Bludgeon Brothers faced Breezango in a rematch from Clash Of Champions. The two intimidating Superstars put a beating on their opponents, and finished the lop sided affair early. However, they continued the attack, leading to The Ascension coming down to make the save.

Natalya leads charge against The Riott Squad on SmackDown Live

Naomi has found herself embroiled in a rivalry against Ruby Riott and her entourage. This week, the former SmackDown Women’s Champion faced Riott in a singles match, with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan at ringside.

Just as it looked like Naomi wrestled herself into a dominant position, Morgan and Logan provided the distraction, allowing Ruby to pick up the victory. Post match, the trio continued their attack, leading to Charlotte making the save. However, the numbers game soon caught up, and The Riott Squad dispatched off the Queen.

It wasn’t the end, though, as Natalya made her way out, along with Lana, Tamina and Carmella. The Riott Squad backed down, as Natalya and her mates stared them down.

Bobby Roode advances in the United States Championship tournament

Ziggler’s future in WWE remains uncertain, as The Show – Off refused to show up for SmackDown Live. Daniel Bryan then announced a United States Championship tournament, with the winner being crowned as the new United States Champion.

The first match of the tournament was between the former champion and challenger, as Baron Corbin faced Bobby Roode. After a good back and forth match, it was Roode that managed to pick up the victory with a roll up. Post match, The Lone Wolf looked devastated, as the former champion squandered the opportunity to get his title back.

Jinder Mahal joins Bobby Roode in the next round of the tournament

The former WWE Champion unsuccessfully challenged AJ Styles at Clash Of Champion. With AJ now moving on to different feuds, ‘The Maharaja’ now turned his attention to the United States Championship.

Standing in his way in the first round was Tye Dillinger. While Tye managed to put up a spirited performance, Mahal proved to be too much for ‘The Perfect 10’. The former WWE Champion picked up the victory with his finisher, and advanced in the tournament.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn outsmart Shane McMahon and AJ Styles

In the main event of SmackDown Live, we witnessed a non – title match between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. The WWE Champion defeated Jinder Mahal two weeks ago, and welcomed a new challenge. Sami Zayn, however, was at ringside to ensure that Styles wouldn’t have an easy night.

KO and Styles put on a solid match, and towards the end, Sami tried to get involved. This brought Shane McMahon out, who ejected Zayn from ringside. This distraction allowed Owens to roll Styles up to pick up the victory!

Owens and Zayn celebrated hysterically, while Styles stared Shane McMahon down to end the show.

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