WWE SmackDown Live started with a video package highlighting what had happened on the previous show, where AJ Styles had faced Sami Zayn. Styles was scheduled to defend his championship against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match by SmackDown’s General Manager, Daniel Bryan. We do WWE Smackdown ratings for each segment between +5 to -5.
AJ Styles Interview: +3
Renee Young interviewed AJ Styles inside the ring and asked him what he thought about Daniel Bryan’s decision to put him in a handicap match to defend his WWE Title.
Styles specifies that it is not his business if either Shane or Bryan is playing favourites. He said that his focus was just on retaining the WWE title and defeating the ‘idiots’ Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Owens and Zayn come down to the ring and accuse Styles of having put his foot in his mouth last week, and was now simply backtracking. Owens specified that when it was all done, SmackDown Live was going to be the Kevin and Sami, or the Sami and Kevin show.
Shane comes down to the ring and says that it is not fair to Styles to have to defend his title again two stars in a handicap match. Shane says that he will support Bryan’s decision for now, but at the same time he set up a handicap match with Orton, Nakamura and Styles facing Owens and Zayn later that night.
The Phenomenal One is confident that he can beat Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn at the Royal Rumble event to hang on to his WWE Championship, but he will get his hands on them sooner than he thinks.
Becky Lynch vs Ruby Riott: +3
Becky made her in-ring return against Ruby Riott in a match. She had been put on the shelf following an attack by the Riott Squad on their debut. Her match was not particularly difficult and Ruby was not ready for Becky’s Disarmer, and she tapped out, with Becky winning.
The Irish Lass Kicker returns to action to take on the leader of the crew that savagely attacked her and put her on the shelf, The Riott Squad’s Ruby Riott.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs Ascension: +3
The Bludgeon Brothers continued their massacre of the tag team divisions, as they picked up another win over the Ascension. They threw them around before hitting them with the Double Powerbomb to win the match.
After the match they continued the beatdown.
Konnor & Viktor seek retribution for Breezango and look to cut Harper & Rowan down to size in this monstrous tag team throwdown. Get your first month of WWE Network for FREE: http://wwenetwork.com Subscribe to WWE on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1i64OdT Visit WWE.com: http://goo.gl/akf0J4 Must-See WWE videos on YouTube: https://goo.gl/QmhBof
Mojo Rawley vs Zack Ryder: +3
In the last match of the 1st Round of the United States Championship tournament, Rawley faced his former tag team partner, Zack Ryder. Ryder never really had the plot in the match, and after an Inverted Atomic Drop and an elbow to the head, Rawley picked up the win.
With Bobby Roode watching, these former tag team partners collide for the final spot in the semifinals of the tournament to crown the next United States Champion.
Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable promo: +3
Benjamin and Gable came out to address the situation of what happened on the previous show, where they won the match for a minute before the decision was overturned. They blamed the referee for overturning the decision that had gone against them and claimed to have lost not to the Usos, but to instant replay. They called out the referee, but Bryan came down to the ring instead.
Gable and Benjamin argued with Bryan calling the previous week’s decision unfair, and asked Bryan if he wanted to defeat the Usos twice in one night. Bryan liked the idea and set them up in a best 2 out of 3 falls match against the Usos at the Royal Rumble.
After a controversial decision by the referee cost them the SmackDown Tag Team Titles last week, the mat-wrestling masters demand justice. Get your first month of WWE Network for FREE: http://wwenetwork.com Subscribe to WWE on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1i64OdT Visit WWE.com: http://goo.gl/akf0J4 Must-See WWE videos on YouTube: https://goo.gl/QmhBof
Rusev and Aiden English vs Breezango: +3
Aiden and Rusev announced their participation in the Royal Rumble, and the two started off the match against Breezango. Fandango hit Aiden with a dropkick but was downed by a kick from Rusev. He hit Fandango with a flying spinning heel kick and kicked Breeze out of the ring.
Fandango rolled up Rusev for the quick pin.
Tyler Breeze & Fandango have a new case to solve – how can every day be Rusev Day? The Fashion Police look for clues in a thrilling tag team match against Rusev & Aiden English.
AJ Styles, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura vs Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens: +4
Nakamura and Sami started off the match well. AJ came in and gave a Hurricanra to Kevin Owens; Sami and Kevin tried to walk out but Shane came in and made it a No Count-out match. Sami and Kevin were dominated by the team of Styles, Nakamura and Orton. Owens interrupted the match with a steel chair, and were disqualified.
The match was made no DQ, as Shane added a new stipulation. AJ beat Owens down with a steel chair and Sami was left alone with Nakamura and Orton. He was caught and thrown into steel steps held by Orton. Zayn was dumped over the announce table and back dropped on it, followed by a Kinshasa from Nakamura. Orton finally hit him with a RKO to end the match with a pin-fall.
AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: SmackDown LIVE, Jan. 9, 2018
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn try to cut their 3-on-2 Handicap Match short, but Shane McMahon isn’t putting up with their antics. Get your first month of WWE Network for FREE: http://wwenetwork.com Subscribe to WWE on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1i64OdT Visit WWE.com: http://goo.gl/akf0J4 Must-See WWE videos on YouTube: https://goo.gl/QmhBof
This SmackDown Live felt amazing yet again with Sami and Kevin’s feud with Shane continuing. The show got a rating of +22 out of a possible +35.