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WWE SmackDown Live results (Jan. 9, 2018): Fighting Authority

WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 9, 2018) from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for later this month in Philadelphia.

Advertised for tonight: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan continue infighting, and more!

Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)


Why are you scared? What have you seen? In the castle with the silent roses I ask again and again-- Why are you sad? What pain are you feeling? Oh I ask of the rose with its petals of blood, but the rose of blood can’t answer me till the end, so I’ll have to settle for liveblogging this here pro wrestling show, folks.

The show opens with a recap of last week’s main event between AJ Styles and Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan’s controversial decision to book a handicap WWE Championship match at Royal Rumble.

Live in the arena, AJ makes his entrance for a sit-down interview in the ring. He starts off saying every time he steps foot in the ring he takes pride in what he does in it, but he’s human, he does make mistakes, and had he known Bryan was going to take him seriously, he probably wouldn’t have been sarcastic last week. But he can’t change it and it’s a handicap match now.

Is there a chance he could lose his title? Absolutely. Is there a chance he’s gonna beat the crap out of Owens and Zayn? You better believe it, he’s going to hit them so hard and so fast they don’t know what’s happening. But they’re professionals, and logic tells him the longer the match goes, the more likely they win as they can tag a fresh man in opposite him.

As to whether it was a fair decision of Daniel Bryan to make, no, but neither is life. And yes, Sami and Kevin have non-title victories over him, but that doesn’t mean they deserve a shot together. Separately? Let’s do it, he’ll fight both of them in the same night, but to him it’s not smart booking to do it on SmackDown. Asked if he thinks Bryan is playing favorites, well the crowd thinks he is, but AJ doesn’t know what his deal is.

Styles says he doesn’t know what Bryan is thinking, and as far as Shane McMahon, he’s not gonna point fingers. He’s already in the middle of Zayn and Owens, he doesn’t need to be in the middle of Dan and Shane as well. The truth of the matter is he can’t allow those two idiots to take his title from him, and when he does he’s gonna thank high heavens for beating them in the same match and there will be no doubt that SmackDown--

Enter Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Owens asks the crowd to give it up for AJ before suggesting that a better moniker might be the regretful or the remorseful AJ Styles, rather than phenomenal. Or perhaps the AJ Styles who put his foot in his mouth and is doing everything he can to take it back. KO says it’ll take a miracle for AJ to beat them one-on-two and heaven doesn’t give out miracles to people like him.

Styles can sing to high heaven all he wants but he has no chance of walking out of their match with that title. When it’s all said and done, Owens says, when the night is over they’re going to be the first-ever co-WWE Champions and they’ll turn the House That AJ Styles Built into the Sami and Kevin show. Yeps ensue.

Enter Shane McMahon. He says it’s not fair that AJ has to defend in a handicap match and he’s puzzled by Bryan making it in the first place. He’s further baffled as to why Dan would let the Yep! Clowns have another chance at the title, but be that as it may, he backs the decision to do the match at the Royal Rumble... for now. But while they’re on the subject of handicap matches, he wants to have one tonight, right here in Birmingham, Alabama.

So why not have Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn team up to take on Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, and (he consults with a child at ringside) AJ Styles?

Shane heads backstage to see Bryan standing there. Dan asks about him being puzzled and says he’s made a hell of a main event tonight. They proceed to shake hands.

Commentary hypes up our last United States Championship Tournament match as well as Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott and we go to break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances.

Becky Lynch gets a picture-in-picture promo, promising that Ruby is going to get burned, and also she’s the last woman on SmackDown to enter the Royal Rumble and thus also the last one to leave, because she’s winning.

Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott

Collar and elbow, Becky gets a judo throw out of it, waistlock takedown, keeping the hold, another and she breaks. Drawing Riott up, front chancery, Ruby gets the ropes and Lynch breaks at referee Jason Ayers’ insistence. Double leg pickup off the ropes, Riott Squad trying to run interference but Becky dumps Ruby to the floor with her allies and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Riott is in control with a bodyscissors. Shifting to a pin when Lynch starts to break loose, she gets a nearfall and immediately reapplies, shoving Becky’s face to the mat a few times for good measure. Lynch with a pin reversal, elbow up, sidestep a charge, springboard kick, right hands but Ruby hits a mat slam for some breathing room.

Knees to the ribs set up a grounded abdominal stretch but Lynch gets to her feet and flips her out! Small package, only two, right hands, firing away, finishing with an uppercut, off the ropes with a charge, rolling solebutt, exploder suplex! Another one, Ruby sidesteps a kick and hits one in return. Another kick to the ribs, calling for her finish but Lynch reverses...

Becky Lynch wins by submission with Dis-Arm-Her.

We toss to Facebook video of Sami Zayn and Becky Lynch’s partnership for Mixed Match Challenge being announced. Commentary discusses the field for a moment and we go to break.

Back from commercial, the Ascension are in the ring for a match, and we see a clip of Fashion Files explaining why Breezango are not in their corner. They have a match against Rusev Day, you see, so... good luck?

Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan)

Harper to start and the Ascension blindside him! Viktor throwing hands, Luke shoves him back and hits the big boot! Superkick takes Konnor off the apron, tag to Rowan, assisted body avalanche sets it up...

Bludgeon Brothers win by pinfall with the assisted Brodie Bomb from Harper on Viktor.

Konnor heads in and the Bludgeon Brothers strike, hitting him with the double crucifix powerbomb!

We’re informed that Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin will be demanding justice later.

Bobby Roode makes his entrance, and he’ll be joining the commentary booth for Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder, after the break.

Back from commercial in time for entrances.

Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder (WWE United States Championship Tournament First Round Match)

Collar and elbow, Rawley throws Ryder away but he comes back with a dropkick and Mojo heads outside. Back in, double leg pickup into the corner, shoulder thrust, another but Zack gets the knees up and a second time. Leg trip puts Ryder on the mat and Rawley picks him up and shoves him into the mat a few times! Cover gets one, he grabs Zack by the face and shoves him into the turnbuckles three times before spinning him out!

Neck crank applied, Mojo yelling at him, asking where his killer instinct is. Ryder gets a punch in but Rawley swats him down before hoisting him up for a suplex... ZACK COUNTERS TO A NECKBREAKER! Back elbow up on the charge, a forearm, a kick, elbows in the corner, Ryder’s fired up... Broski Boot denied, Mojo slides to the floor! Zack readjusts, hits a boot through the ropes and takes him back in for a cover that gets two.

Chop puts Rawley in the corner, Ryder mounts him for punches but Mojo counters to a Manhattan Drop and puts his shoulder into the post! Charging elbow to the back of the neck! He has Ryder where he wants him...

Mojo Rawley wins by pinfall with the charging elbow strike in the corner, advancing to face Bobby Roode in the semifinals.

Speaking of Roode, he gets in the ring to have a staredown with Rawley after the match. Bobby gives him the once over and a slight grin plays across his face before Mojo leaves, pointing. Roode poses for the crowd.

Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers are standing in front of an Indian flag and Jinder talks about how he defined 2017. No one thought he could be champion except for him, but as 2018 begins he has his eyes on a new prize, the United States Championship. He’s already defeated Tye Dillinger and next week he hopes Xavier Woods knows how to play Taps on his trombone because he’s already lost.

New Day is a fad, but the Modern-Day Maharaja is forever.

Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin are walking backstage to send us to break.

Back from commercial we get the video package showing us that Natalya and Shinsuke Nakamura are partnering in Mixed Match Challenge.

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin make their entrance and we get a recap of their title match last week wherein they pinned the wrong Uso to win the titles for a moment before the decision was reversed and the match restarted. Chad starts off, asking if anyone knows what it takes to be a winner. The hours of training, neglecting your family and friends to chase down one goal.

To hold the championship high over your head to show the world it’s possible, does anyone really know, he’s seriously asking. Shelton says don’t think for one second that because the University of Alabama won it makes any of the crowd winners, all they did was sit on their couch and stuff their face. On the other hand, Georgia was robbed, he says, due to a bad referee call, just as they were last week.

Last week they broke the titles out of the Uso Penitentiary, they got ecstasy flowing through their bodies and then... another referee shows up. A referee who wasn’t part of their match, so why was he in the match? Benjamin says it boils down to one thing, jealousy. The referee was jealous, and doesn’t know what it takes to be a winner. He’s no hero, he’s a thief, a tattletale, a rat, a snitch.

The crime was committed last week and they demand justice. They’re here to free the tag titles, because they didn’t lose to the Usos, they lost to instant replay. So they call Generic Referee #2 down to free the tag titles.

This brings Daniel Bryan out. He says he understands the euphoria of thinking you won, and trust him, he definitely understands having something you’ve worked so hard for taken away. He doesn’t care what they think of their opponents, but when they start knocking management-- Gable protests, saying they were just talking about a referee, but Dan cuts him off and says referees are part of management.

There are some rules talent need to learn to live by, and that’s that the referee’s decision is final. Shelton agrees, pointing out the referee counted three and they won the match! Bryan disagrees, saying they didn’t win the match because they pinned the wrong Uso. The referee realized he made the wrong decision and reversed it. He felt he did the right thing and they stand behind him.

Chad mocks the idea of this referee’s feelings mattering, asking if this is Dr. Phil. Benjamin says if we’re talking about feelings, Gable should look Bryan in the eye and tell him how he feels. Chad tells Dan he thinks he’s taking it out on him because his boss is mean to him. And he feels like they already beat the Usos. And he feels like they’re already champions.

What else do you want, for them to beat the Usos twice in one night? Bryan says that’s it, Chad is a genius, and at the Royal Rumble, the Usos will defend their titles against Gable and Benjamin in a two out of three falls match!

Backstage, Randy Orton is getting ready when AJ Styles rolls up. He wants to know if Orton’s gonna talk strategy or just RKO everything that moves. Randy says that works for him and Styles is into it. Orton says he needs AJ to trust that they’re on the same page but to understand that after he wins the Royal Rumble, he’s coming for the title at WrestleMania no matter who holds it.

We pan over to Shinsuke Nakamura lurking on the other side of him, telling the Viper not so fast and Too Sweeting the title belt before taking his leave.

Breezango vs. Rusev Day will be after the break.

Back from commercial, Aiden English sings us an intro.

They have an announcement to make, Rusev Day are in (and going to win) the Royal Rumble. Er, the Rusev Rumble, that is.

Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) vs. Rusev Day (Aiden English & Rusev)

Fandango and English to start, Aiden with a side headlock, he gets shot off but knocks Dango down. Off the ropes, into a hip toss, gourdbuster over the ropes and a tag to Breeze. Stereo kicks send English to the floor and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Aiden is in control with a reverse chinlock on Tyler. Breeze to his feet, body blow, stretching for the tag but English won’t let go of the wristlock and lands a kick to the midsection before heading up top. Senton atomico comes up empty, back body drop to the apron, slingshot roll back in, Tyler lunges for the tag!

Fandango in with chops, backing English into the corner, whip across and a big back body drop! Chop, jab, forearm, Aiden off the ropes, blind tag and he runs into a kick but Rusev is legal. In with a flurry of kicks, backsplash in the corner and the spinning wheel kick connects! Calling for the Accolade but he has to pass Breeze outside, Dango off the ropes, crossbody, Rusev catches him and Tyler dropkicks him over but it’s only a nearfall!

Rusev with a roundhouse to Breeze but Fandango takes advantage...

Breezango win by pinfall with a schoolboy pin from Fandango on Rusev.

Breezango dance in celebration up the aisle.

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon are backstage and Bryan is very happy with the way the show has gone. McMahon says he wants to be honest and they’re not on the same page. Dan is coming off impetuous and you just have to look at the matches he’s been making for the Royal Rumble. The handicap WWE Championship match, with Owens and Zayn wanting to be co-champions, for one.

The tag title match for another, with Gable and Benjamin beat fair and square they shouldn’t get another shot. He asks Bryan if everything’s okay and says he’s coming off a little unstable. Dan says you could say the same about him thanks to his gene pool, and he’s made irresponsible decisions before and likely will again. Shane politely agrees to disagree and takes his leave.

Commentary informs us our main event is next, after the break.

Back from commercial, we get some hype for the Royal Rumble.

Entrances for the main event follow, but the match will have to wait until after the break.

Back from commercial in time for the bell.

AJ Styles, Randy Orton, & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (Handicap Match)

Orton and Owens to start, Randy backing KO into the corner with strikes and whipping him across. Duck a lariat, early RKO attempt denied and Kev heads outside, frustrated! The Viper heads out after him and blindsides him but when they get back in the ring Owens takes advantage and cuts him off, getting him in the corner for a tag to Zayn. Sami throwing hands, but Orton’s able to turn him around and hit the Garvin Stomp.

Wristlock, tag to Nakamura, half nelson knee lifts into a knee drop, a big roundhouse sets up the chest kicks, Sami catches one but Shinsuke hits the enzuigiri immediately. Good Vibrations, taking him back over, tag to Styles. Suplex denied, Zayn backs him into the corner nad makes the tag. KO throwing hands, scoops him up, AJ floats over to a waistlock but Kev is able to pick his legs.

Kip-up Frankensteiner, Styles Rush, off the ropes with the sliding forearm and the champion is feeling it! Calling for the Styles Clash but Zayn makes the save, pulling Owens out of the ring and looking to take a walk. Referee Jason Ayers counts as they make their way up the aisle but here comes Shane McMahon. He says that’s not happening on his watch and the match is now restarted as a no count-out match!

AJ Styles, Randy Orton, & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (No Count-out Handicap Match)

The babyfaces all leave the ring and jump Owens and Zayn and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Zayn is in control of Styles with a rear chinlock in the middle of the ring. AJ gets to his feet, reaching for the tag, but Sami takes him over and keeps him in the middle of the ring with a side headlock. Owens tags in, overhead elbow right to the cheekbone followed by right hands to the forehead as Styles writhes in pain.

Drawing him up, short-arm lariat gets two and KO locks a reverse chinlock on. AJ to his feet, throwing hands to try and break, Owens off the ropes and he runs right into Ushigoroshi! Crawling for the tag but he’s out of it, tags made anyway! Orton clobbering Zayn with lariats, the snap scoop powerslam finds home, looking for the rope-hung DDT... and he gets it!

Going to that special place is the Viper, but Owens comes from behind with a chair when he goes for the RKO!

AJ Styles, Randy Orton, and Shinsuke Nakamura win by disqualification.

Owens wails on the babyfaces with the chair before throwing it out of the ring and heading out with Sami.

Shane McMahon comes out again, he’s restarting the match and anything goes!

AJ Styles, Randy Orton, & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (Anything Goes Handicap Match)

AJ wallops Owens with the chair! He fights KO to the back, leaving Sami trapped between a Viper and a King! He makes a break for it but they catch up to him and Orton clobbers him with the steel steps! They throw him over the announce table to boot and Randy climbs over after him... back suplex on the announce table! He rolls Sami back in the ring... KINSHASA!

Randy Orton lines it up...

AJ Styles, Randy Orton, & Shinsuke Nakamura win by pinfall with an RKO from Orton on Sami Zayn.

Shinsuke and Randy celebrate.

That’s the show, folks.

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