The SmackDown Lowdown – Tensions escalate between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, Rusev gets a title shot

Rusev competes in a Fatal Four Way match, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s friendship in trouble

The Royal Rumble fallout meant one thing – the relationship between Owens and Zayn continued to dominate the headlines. At the Royal Rumble, AJ Styles found a chink in their armour, and managed to walk out of Philly as still the WWE Champion.

This week on SmackDown Live, Zayn and Owens had to co – exist, as they faced the team of Nakamura and AJ Styles. Talking about Shinsuke, the Japanese Superstar won the Rumble match, and will face the WWE Champion at WrestleMania. Will it still be AJ Styles? Only time will tell.

The other major talking about from Royal Rumble was the winner of the women’s Rumble match. Asuka managed to last longer than the 29 other Superstars, and became the first ever women’s Royal Rumble winner! The Empress of Tomorrow still has a decision to make, as to who she will face at WrestleMania.

This leaves a lot of spoils to fight for, and the Superstars once again focused on cementing their spot at the Showcase of the Immortals.

Nakamura vows to win WWE title; Styles and Shinsuke challenge Owens and Zayn

This week’s SmackDown Live kicked off with the winner of the Royal Rumble match, Shinsuke Nakamura making his way down to the ring. Nakamura talked about eliminating the likes of Cena and Reigns, and said that at WrestleMania, he will connect with a knee to the face of Styles to win the WWE Championship.

However, he was interrupted by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, who complained that Owens wasn’t the legal man when he was pinned. They chalked it down to Shane McMahon’s disdain, and said he was responsible for the fiasco. AJ Styles interrupted the proceedings, and said that while he and Nakamura will have their dream match at WrestleMania, they should team up on the evening to face Owens and Zayn.

Sami and Kevin then stood on the apron, and said no. They ate a punch for their troubles, sending them to the floor as the faces stood tall to end the segment.

Rusev becomes the number one contender for the United States Championship

Bobby Roode faced Mojo Rawley at the Royal Rumble, and the Glorious Superstar managed to hold on to his title. While Bobby certainly thwarted the challenge of Rawley, this week on the show, he found out who his next opponent would be.

Roode sat on commentary, to witness the Fatal Four Way match between Rusev, Kofi Kingston, Jinder Mahal and Zack Ryder, with the winner facing Roode. All four Superstars had their moments during the match, and towards the end, Kofi found himself alone in the ring with Rusev. Rusev then countered Kofi, and locked him in the Accolade, as Kingston tapped out! Post match, Rusev and Roode stared each other down.

The Usos made their way out, and cut a promo about beating their opponents. The Usos talked about picking up the victory over Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, and said that they were the best in the division.

The Bludgeon Brothers walked past The Usos for their match, and defeated two local Superstars with ease.

The Riott Squad interrupt Charlotte Flair; Carmella fails to cash – in

The SmackDown Women’s Champion made her way down to the ring, and talked about having a front row seat to the first ever women’s Rumble match. Charlotte Flair talked about standing side – by – side with Asuka, Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey. She said she will go to WrestleMania as the SmackDown Women’s Champion, and the only question was, who would stand on the opposite side.

The Riott Squad interrupted her, as Ruby talked about her not deserving to go WrestleMania as the champion. Riott told her that if it was up to her, she wouldn’t even go to WrestleMania, and the trio attacked the champion! Charlotte tried to fight back, but the numbers game caught up with her. The Riott Squad brutally assaulted Charlotte, and Ruby laid her out with an emphatic Ruby Kick!

Just as The Riott Squad were making their way to the back, Carmella ran out with a referee, and attempted to cash – in her contract! Charlotte tried to get up, and Carmella went for a dropkick, but accidentally kicked the referee out of the ring instead. Flair made it back to her feet, leading to Carmella saving her cash – in for a later date, as she hightailed to the back.

Baron Corbin and Tye Dillinger got into a war of words backstage, and Daniel Bryan booked a match between the two. Corbin won the bout with the End Of Days.

Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin put down Breezango

Backstage, Breezango were fielding questions from their fans, with The Ascension manning the laptops. Gable and Benjamin walked in, and poked fun at the duo. Breezango retaliated by bringing up the fact that Gable and Shelton lost to The Usos twice at the Royal Rumble. This led to a match between the two tag teams.

Chad and Shelton managed to put their opponents under pressure from the get go, and it didn’t take much time for the former number one contenders to pick up the victory.

End of the line for the best friends; Owens to face Zayn next week

Backstage, Bryan informed Owens and Zayn that they will face each other next week, with the winner taking on AJ Styles at Fastlane for the WWE title. This led to dissent creeping in between the two best friends.

In the main event, Zayn and Owens faced Nakamura and Styles, and the tensions started boiling over between the two Superstars. Owens yelled at Sami, while Zayn left Owens to fend for himself, while saying he’d see how Owens would perform without his guardian angel. Nakamura and Styles then picked Owens apart, and won the match. The faces celebrated to close the show.

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