At the Royal Rumble, the WWE Championship will be defended in a handicap match. How that is going to work exactly wasn’t explained but hopefully, that minor detail would be cleaned up on SmackDown Live this week. There was also the not so small matter of the continuing United States Title tournament and as is always the case this time of year, plenty more Superstars declaring themselves for the Royal Rumble matches. Throw in the ever increasing tension between the two men running the show and you’d be forgiven for wondering how on earth they managed to fit it all into just two hours.
5. Apparently, There Can Be Co-WWE Champions
Last week, SmackDown Live came to a close with the bombshell announcement by Daniel Bryan that the WWE Championship would be defended in a handicap match at the Royal Rumble. AJ Styles having to put his title on the line against the team of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. What wasn’t explained was how that is going to work exactly. If Owens or Zayn manage to pin The Phenomenal One, will the man who gets the fall become champ, or will both men share the much-coveted accolade? Well, if the Canadian pair is to be believed, a win for them on Jan. 28, 2017, will result in them being co-WWE Champions. That’s what KO claimed would be the case during the opening segment of this week’s show, so, for now, that’s what we believe to be the case.
4. Did The Riott Squad Do Something Wrong?
When Absolution and The Riott Squad entered the fray on Raw and SmackDown Live respectively it felt like the two teams would run rough shot over the whole of the women’s division. For Ruby Riott and co, that has been far from the case. It feels like the trio has been on the wrong end of beat downs and losses a lot more often than they have been standing tall and it has really affected their credibility. What makes it even worse is that Riott is normally the one being beaten, as was the case on this week’s SmackDown Live. Riott went up against Becky Lynch and not only did she lose, she tapped out. Could Liv Morgan or Sarah Logan not have taken that spot this week?
3. Mojo Means Business
— WWE (@WWE) January 10, 2018
It has now been two months since Mojo Rawley attacked Zack Ryder and brought an end to their time together as The Hype Bros. Aside from the one match nothing more has really been done to further the animosity between the two, or to garner interest in either man as a singles star. This week, however, the two met in the tournament to crown a new United States Champion. Many may have thought that Ryder might have got the win in this one since he lost the last clash between the two and WWE loves 50/50 booking. That didn’t happen though and Rawley progressed in the tournament, once again winning the match with a nasty looking forearm to his former partner. Next up for Rawley is Bobby Roode, and don’t be surprised if he makes short work of The Glorious One.
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2. Benjamin And Gable Get Justice. Sort Of.
It was a little tricky to keep track of what exactly was going on during last week’s Tag Team Championship match. At one point it looked as if Benjamin and Gable had won the title from The Usos, then it turned out that neither the man who was pinned nor the one doing the pinning were the legal men at the time. The match was restarted on the back of that and Jimmy and Jey went on to retain. Benjamin and Gable’s issue with that was the decision was made by an interfering second referee. That’s why this past Tuesday the supposedly wronged tag team came to the ring in pursuit of justice. They got it too, although it might not have been in the form that they wanted. Gable and Benjamin will get another shot at the titles, but it will be in a two out of three falls match at the Royal Rumble.
1. Technically We Got Three Main Events
Anything Daniel Bryan can do apparently Shane McMahon can do too. Although Owens and Zayn will have the numbers advantage at the Royal Rumble, on Tuesday night Shane-O Mac put them in a three-on-two match against AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Randy Orton. Knowing that their chances were slim the outnumbered pair did all that they could to save themselves from too bad a beating. First, they got themselves counted out, but McMahon restarted the match with no count outs, then they got themselves disqualified only for the commissioner to re-emerge again and start the match for the third time and yes you guessed it, this time it was no DQ also. Styles then chased Owens backstage with a steel chair and that left Zayn at the mercy of the remaining two members of the WWE Champion’s team. A Kinsasha and an RKO later and it was the trio picking up the win.
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