We go live immediately to Kansas City where Shane McMahon is already in the ring.
Shane says normally he would be excited about a big main event, but he points out how tonight’s match will feature Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn with the winner advancing to Fastlane to face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. He doesn’t think Owens or Zayn deserve another opportunity. Shane points out Daniel Bryan does.
Here comes Bryan to a big reaction in Kansas City. Shane says Smackdown is the land of opportunity and every week they listen to the fans who play free spins on sign up.
He says when they all feel a superstar deserves an opportunity, it’s up to them to give he or she that opportunity. Shane doesn’t think Bryan is exactly listening to the fans.
A loud “RUSEV DAY” chant starts up. Shane adds, “Duly noted.” He again points out how Bryan keeps giving Owens and Zayn opportunity after opportunity. Shane thinks the fans may want to see someone else go for the WWE Championship – the fans cheer – or would they rather see Owens or Zayn? The fans boo. Bryan points out the referee making a mistake at the Royal Rumble and how he’s turning a negative into a positive.
He says Shane may dislike Owens and Zayn, but they will rip each other apart and he figured Shane would like to see that. Bryan even suggests Shane should give him a pay raise for booking something so interesting. The fans chant “YES” at this. Bryan hopes that was duly noted as well. Shane would love to see Owens and Zayn fight, but he has a problem with awarding them shots at the WWE Championship – even going back to the Royal Rumble. He’s genuinely confused by Bryan’s decision making.
“Daniel, I understand what you have done here. And this is very emotional for me. You have changed the WWE landscape forever with the Yes Movement.” Shane says the “Yep Movement” is a cheap imitation of what Bryan created. He wants Bryan to think about this. Shane doesn’t want Bryan to allow Owens and Zayn to manipulate them. Shane knows he feels for them and how he would love to compete in this ring. Shane says everyone can see it: Bryan is living vicariously through Owens and Zayn.
Here comes WWE Champion AJ Styles to interrupt. A loud “AJ STYLES” chant starts up in Kansas City. He talks about defending his championship in the new year and competing at the highest level. Styles can deal with the bumps, bruises and the pain. He can deal with the canceled flights and the travel that takes him away from his family. “I was built for the grind,” adds Styles. Styles says he can’t deal with Smackdown Live management obsessing over Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. He’s talking about both Shane and Bryan. Styles points out the house he built and doesn’t care who wins tonight. “Do me a favor – just stay out of the way tonight.” He plans to walk out of Fastlane and right into WrestleMania the WWE Champion. Styles exits the ring as Shane and Bryan seem a bit surprised.
Backstage, The New Day is eating pancakes and answering Twitter questions. The New Day jokes about Corey Graves’ feud with Booker T.
Charlotte Flair vs. Liv Morgan is up next.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Liv Morgan w/ The Riott Squad
Charlotte charges Morgan immediately in the corner and throws kicks as Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan yell from the outside. Morgan rolls out and Charlotte yells at them to back off.
Back live, Morgan has Charlotte down on the mat. During the break, we see Morgan snapped the back of Charlotte’s head over the top rope. Morgan sends Charlotte face first into two corners. Charlotte fires back with a big kick. Charlotte with chops and connects with a fallaway slam on Morgan. Morgan eats a boot to the face near the corner. Charlotte is going up top when Morgan trips her up. Morgan with a roll up for a two count. Charlotte with a neckbreaker and spear combo that levels Morgan. Sarah Logan is up on the ring apron and Charlotte spears her off. Ruby Riott pulls Morgan out of the ring. The referee sees this and kicks both Ruby and Sarah to the back. Charlotte tosses Morgan back in. Morgan misses a kick to the head and Charlotte connects with a big boot. Charlotte gets the Figure Four applied and bridges into the Figure Eight. Morgan taps out.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
After the match, Charlotte approaches the announce table and yells that one is down and two more are left. They talk about Charlotte trying to take out the Riott Squad.
WWE celebrates Black History Month with a video package about Memphis.
Backstage, Renee Young knocks on the door to Kevin Owens’ locker room and wants to know if his friendship will be ruined after tonight with Sami Zayn. Owens says that is up to Sami and whether or not he can handle losing to him.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Local Tag Team
Harper levels one of the wrestlers with a huge dropkick. Harper tosses the man over his head. The second man jumps down when Harper jumps out and approaches him. Rowan levels the other wrestler on the outside. Harper slides back in and Harper throws the second wrestler back inside. Harper tosses both men on each other in the corner and tags in Rowan. Rowan is slapped by Harper and launched into the men in the corner. Rowan puts one of the wrestlers up on the shoulders of Harper who powerbombs him down. Harper and Rowan grab the other wrestler and give him a big double chokeslam. Rowan covers the man to pick up the very easy and quick pinfall victory.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers
After the match, Harper and Rowan exit the ring. Here comes the Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos. They walk by Harper and Rowan and get inside the ring.
We will hear from The Usos next as Harper and Rowan head to the back.
We return live as Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos are still in the ring with mics in hand. They are out here to talk about a state of mind. The Usos say you can’t eat until they say you can eat. They add people have been sleeping on them. The Usos talk about how people used to say they were “alright” to “match of the night.”
Backstage, Daniel Bryan is ready to reveal the Smackdown Top 10 List.
The list is as follows:
#10: Tye Dillinger
#9: Randy Orton
#8: Becky Lynch
#7: Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos
#6: The New Day
#5: WWE United States Champion Bobby Roode
#3: Shinsuke Nakamura
#2: Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair
#1: WWE Champion AJ Styles
Corey Graves talks about being surprised that Randy Orton was #9 on the list and how The New Day ranked above the current Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos. He also asks where Rusev was on that list as well. Tom Phillips reminds us this list was voted on by the WWE superstars backstage and not the fans.
Backstage, Aiden English says “Bob Roode” will lose his title tonight to Rusev.
WWE United States Championship
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Rusev w/ Aiden English
Aiden English did a musical introduction for Rusev complete with a sing-a-long Rusev graphic and text on the bottom of the screen. Loud “RUSEV DAY” chants.
We get ring introductions for the challenger Rusev and champion Bobby Roode.
Lock up and Rusev pushes Roode to the corner. Rusev backs off and yells “RUSEV DAY.” Another lock up and Roode pushes Rusev to the corner this time. Roode backs off and does his “GLORIOUS” pose. Rusev with a quick takedown on Roode. Roode works the left arm of Rusev right away to counter. Rusev is back up with a waistlock and transitions quickly into a snapmare. Rusev with a front face lock to keep Roode grounded. Roode goes back to work on the left arm of Rusev. Rusev with a big shoulder tackle that drops Roode.
Back live, Roode catches Rusev in the corner with boots and then connects with a Blockbuster off the second rope for a two count. Rusev catches Roode and drops him back with a big fallaway slam. Rusev with a big kick to the body of Roode. Rusev with a suplex and keeps Roode grounded in a headlock. Roode with forearms and a clothesline on Rusev. Roode clotheslines Rusev in the corner and connects with a swinging neckbreaker. Roode comes off the top rope with a flying clothesline catching Rusev. Rusev catches Roode with a big superkick. Rusev goes for the cover and Roode kicks out!
We return live as Rusev counters Roode connecting with a lifting knee. Roode then immediately counters with a spinebuster after Rusev hit the ropes. Roode knocks Aiden English off the ring apron. Rusev pushes Roode away in the corner and connects with a big kick to Roode! Rusev kicks the lower back of Roode. Roode counters into a roll up for a two count. Rusev with a reverse roll up. Roode kicks out. Rusev is going for the Accolade. Roode counters out and connects with the Glorious DDT to pick up the win.
Winner and still WWE United States Champion: Bobby Roode
After the match, a spotlight focuses on Bobby Roode celebrating in the middle of the ring when Randy Orton jumps in connecting with an RKO out of no where! The crowd erupts when Orton connects with the RKO. Aiden English is inside the ring checking on Rusev. English tries to get away, but Orton gives him an RKO. Orton with an RKO on Rusev.
Backstage, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin rundown Breezango and The Ascension.
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. The Ascension
We start with Konnor and Shelton Benjamin. Konnor with rights and catches Benjamin with an elbow. Konnor misses an elbow drop and Benjamin catches him with a spin kick. Konnor with a shoulder tackle that sends Benjamin flying back to the corner. Konnor misses a big boot in the corner. Gable drops the leg of Konnor off the top rope. Benjamin with a knee to Konnor for a two count and tags in Gable. Gable and Benjamin with a double chop block to Konnor. Gable works the left leg of Konnor. Konnor drops Gable face first on the mat. Tag to Viktor who takes out Gable and Benjamin. Viktor with chops to Gable. Viktor with a jumping uppercut to Gable in the corner, jumps off the second rope and takes out Gable. Benjamin breaks up the pinfall attempt. Konnor is in throwing rights to Benjamin. Benjamin with a spinebuster to Konnor. Viktor dumps Benjamin over the top rope. Gable with a rolling through german suplex as Benjamin tags himself in. Benjamin has Viktor up on his shoulders and Gable dives off the top taking out Viktor. Benjamin gets the pinfall.
Winners: Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
Backstage, Renee Young tries to get final comments from Sami Zayn. He feels like tonight is his opportunity to step out from Kevin’s shadow. Zayn says Owens has been Intercontinental, United States and Universal Champion. He says while that is fine, they have fought each other more than anybody and he is ready.
A fired up Sami Zayn walks through the curtain and heads to the ring.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin is announced for next week.
WWE Champion AJ Styles is joining commentary for tonight’s main event.
No. 1 Contendership Match
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
The bell rings and we get a lock up. Owens backs Zayn to the ropes and then pushes off. Owens trips up Zayn and gets a front face lock. Owens drags Zayn around the ring and Zayn backs to the ropes to break it up. Owens catches Zayn with a shoulder tackle. Zayn fires back with a pair of arm drags and works the left arm of Owens. Zayn with a takedown on Owens and throws big rights. Owens rolls out of the ring quickly. Owens yells at Zayn to calm down as he returns to the ring. Zayn with another takedown and more rights. Zayn then blasts Owens off the ring apron when he jumps back up.
Back live, Owens and Zayn exchange boots to the face. Owens finally gets in a big clothesline that drops Zayn. Owens with chops. Zayn eats a kick to the head and then takes a hanging neckbreaker over the knee of Owens for a very close two count. Zayn goes for his exploder in the corner, but Owens counters. Zayn slaps the chest of Owens and Zayn connects with his springboard tornado DDT for a close two count. Owens prevents Zayn from propping him up on the top turnbuckle. Zayn continues fighting and gets Owens up top. Zayn is pushed back to the mat by Owens. Owens goes for a senton splash, but Zayn gets his knees up! Zayn connects with his drive through the ropes near the corner and connects with a DDT to Owens on the floor! Zayn tosses Owens back in. Owens with a big superkick when Zayn charges in for the Helluva Kick. Owens is going up top and jumps connecting with the frog splash. Zayn kicks out! Owens can’t believe it. Owens yells at Zayn to stay down. They exchange slaps. Zayn avoids a Pop Up Powerbomb attempt and dumps Owens back with an exploder. Zayn with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Owens barely gets a shoulder up. Zayn falls back frustrated. Owens rolls out and Zayn follows. Zayn asks Styles if he sees that. Styles is yelling at Zayn to finish the match. Styles turns his back to Zayn. Zayn gets in the face of Styles. Styles throws a right at Zayn and then at Owens.
The referee immediately calls for the bell.
Winner: No Contest
Styles with boots to Zayn kicking him out of the ring. Styles clears house on Owens when he walks up and dumps him out. Styles springboards over the top rope taking out Owens and Zayn.
Daniel Bryan walks out with a mic in hand. He says due to what just took place, he declares that both Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will compete for the WWE Championship at Fastlane in a triple threat match. Styles smiles at the announcement.