Kofi Kingston’s future WWE Title opportunity was decided when Mr. McMahon made a major announcement regarding what Kingston would have to do to face off against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. Elsewhere, Shane McMahon held nothing back in his explanation of why he betrayed The Miz at WWE Fastlane.
Following his unruly attack of The Miz in front of The A-Lister’s father and hometown fans this past Sunday at WWE Fastlane, Shane McMahon addressed his shocking actions on SmackDown LIVE and minced no words.
Shane-O-Mac first roughed up WWE ring announcer Greg Hamilton for not putting enough oomph behind his introduction as “Best in the World” and explained that a simple trophy or the SmackDown Tag Team Titles aren’t what makes him worthy of that nickname; he’s “Best in the World” because he was born that way. Shane railed on The Miz for being so desperate for his father’s approval and closed his tirade by demanding that Miz be at WrestleMania to face The Best in the World.
After weeks of subtle jabs (which became literal jabs on Sunday night at WWE Fastlane), Randy Orton and AJ Styles confronted one another on SmackDown LIVE, trading harsh words.
The Viper claimed that it was absolutely ludicrous that SmackDown LIVE is referred to as The House that Styles Built when Orton has been holding it down and making history on the blue brand since 2002. Orton declared that this wasn’t Styles’ house, but his, and The Phenomenal One would soon just be another ”indy darling” who couldn’t hack it against him. AJ interrupted The Apex Predator and accused him of having never accomplished one thing in WWE that he could call his own since his father and grandfather opened the door for him. Orton took great exception to that claim and promised Styles that this was his house, rent was due and that he should make the check out to the three most destructive letters in sports-entertainment... R-K-O.
Styles didn’t blink, retorting by challenging The Apex Predator to a match at WrestleMania… but Orton left The Phenomenal One guessing, at least for now.
After being kept away from yet another WWE Championship opportunity at WWE Fastlane, Kofi Kingston was joined by the rest of The New Day when he confronted Mr. McMahon about his decision to keep The Dreadlocked Dynamo at arm’s length from WWE’s most prestigious prize.
Big E and Xavier Woods were adamant that no one was more deserving than Kofi, while Mr. McMahon fired back that he just didn’t believe Kofi to be a main event-caliber performer. After several minutes of back and forth, Kofi said he didn’t expect Mr. McMahon to give him anything but the opportunity to prove himself. That approach piqued Mr. McMahon’s interest, and he told Kofi that he would give him the greatest opportunity of his career next week – a Gauntlet Match in which Kingston could earn the right to challenge Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania if he can defeat Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, Cesaro, Sheamus and Rowan.
Kofi was shocked, and The New Day were livid, but the group would not have too much time to process the controversial decision, as they were quickly swarmed by Kofi’s Gauntlet opponents. New Day cleared the ring of the opposition, and Kofi clobbered Cesaro with Trouble in Paradise, but Kingston must go it alone next week with his WrestleMania aspirations on the line.
In other action … The New Day made waves during The Hardy Boyz & Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. The Bar & Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev … Asuka def. Sonya Deville … Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair traded more insults … Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair traded more insults … Rey Mysterio & R-Truth def. Samoa Joe & Andrade … and Daniel Bryan & Rowan def. Kevin Owens & Mustafa Ali.