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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Jan. 30, 2018): On to the next

It’s WWE’s last night in Philly.

The Headliners

Team Blue captured one of Sunday’s two Royal Rumbles, and Shinsuke Nakamura didn’t waste any time revealing he’d be trying to capture the brand’s main prize...

... which just so happens to set up a rematch fans have been hoping for since both men worked for New Japan. At WrestleMania 34, Nakamura will challenge for AJ Styles’ WWE championship, and The Phenomenal One is already excited about the challenge.

And why shouldn’t he be? AJ just survived a two-on-one handicap defense against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at this past weekend’s pay-per-view (PPV). That feud may linger a bit, especially since The Yep Movement will have something else to rally around since commissioner Shane McMahon admitted he knew that Styles didn’t pin the legal man on Sunday night. There’s also another SmackDown event between now and ‘Mania creative will need to fill before letting Shinsuke and Styles really start to posture.

But with KO dealing with an injury issue which has kept him pretty limited in the ring, will “Kami” be able to fill the time, or will it be Sami alone? Or someone else?

The King of Strong Style will have a moment to celebrate, and then it’s on with the show.

The Title Scene

Do you think Bobby Roode was surprised when Mojo Rawley and not Dolph Ziggler answered his United States title open challenge? Lots of folks were, so he wouldn’t be alone. After The Glorious Champ survived Mojo Rawley and his killer instinct, Ziggler appeared in The Rumble, which kind of negates his walkout from December... And he doesn’t look to be concerned with getting back the red, white and blue belt tonight either, as Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, Rusev and Jinder Mahal will compete for the next shot at Roode. Which also makes the Open Challenge gimmick from Sunday’s Kickoff seem like a one-off. Oh well.

We know Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin were surprised when they lost their two-out-of-three falls tag team championship match to The Usos. Jimmy and Jey keep the division on lock, and it looks like it’s back in line for Benjamin and Gable.

WWE isn’t trying to fool us with a Ronda Rousey appearance like they did heading into Raw, but they are making it clear we’re at least getting the highlight package which made a few female Superstars upset last night. Given their run-in at The Mae Young Classic and seeing as how The Rowdy One told Women’s champ Charlotte Flair she was headed to WrestleMania, look for The Queen to have something to say about the new star in the sports entertainment sky.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- After being eliminated from Sunday’s battle royal, Baron Corbin was not happy, and continued to take out his frustration on everything in his path. Will The Lone Wolf’s latest setback lead to something more for him?

- After being denied his “TEN” spot in The Rumble, will Tye Dillinger be out for revenge against Zayn and Owens? Or at least looking to prove he’s better than that made him look?

- Her “Tea Time” co-host has been trying to get Becky Lynch to channel her own killer instinct. Will we see more fire from the Lasskicker post-Rumble, or was that storyline just for the historic Women’s Rumble?

It’s the Royal Rumble Fallout show!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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