WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan looked to evade every single threat to his title on SmackDown LIVE, but he instead received news that he would have to face five of them inside the dreaded Elimination Chamber in three weeks. Elsewhere, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair got into a wild brawl.
As a make-good for being attacked by Nia Jax prior to entering the Men’s Royal Rumble Match at his promised slot of No. 30 this past Sunday, R-Truth was granted a United States Title Match against new champion Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown LIVE.
The King of Strong Style took immediate control, delivering several punishing knee strikes to Truth’s midsection. However, in an absolutely shocking moment, R-Truth caught Shinsuke in a rollup for a three-count to become the new United States Champion!
The three-count was so unexpected that even R-Truth couldn’t believe it. Truth and Carmella had very little time to celebrate, however, as they were quickly interrupted by a furious Rusev & Lana. The Bulgarian Brute declared that the United States Championship deserved better than R-Truth and demanded a title opportunity right now. Before Truth could respond, Carmella and Lana started to jaw jack, and The Staten Islander Princess knocked Lana to the canvas with a hard shove. An infuriated Rusev began yelling at Carmella, prompting R-Truth to intervene. Rusev shoved the new champion to the canvas, and Truth signaled to the referee that he wanted Rusev right now!
Following their monumental SmackDown Tag Team Championship victory at the Royal Rumble event, The Miz & Shane McMahon came to SmackDown LIVE with one very simple goal: throw The Best Championship Celebration in the World!
Shane told Miz that he wanted to give him something that’ll last a lifetime. Shane first showed his co-bestie a video package that documented their journey to becoming SmackDown Tag Team Champions together, and then, in a beautifully touching moment, Shane welcomed Miz’s dad George to the ring.
Miz was stunned, saying that he thought his dad had left the Valley of the Sun yesterday. George told his son that he loved him and was proud of him. Father and son embraced, and emotion was overflowing from all three men in the ring for a few tender moments. Shane-O-Mac then quickly redirected the team’s focus, announcing that their first challengers would be determined in a Four Corners Elimination Tag Team Match … next!
What started off as WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan revealing a new eco-friendly WWE Championship -- but not before throwing the old title, which Bryan claimed “was bound from the skin of a cow that was taken from her,” in the trash, and re-introducing his new running buddy Rowan to the WWE Universe quickly turned into something that changed the landscape of SmackDown LIVE.
Bryan stated that Rowan wasn’t the mindless grunt that everyone perceived him as, but an enlightened man of Earth, and that is why he sees through the “façade” of AJ Styles, who would soon hit the scene to call out Bryan for Rowan’s involvement in their WWE Championship Match at the Royal Rumble event. Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Mustafa Ali and Samoa Joe all hit the scene, and Joe ran down everybody before a brawl broke out between all five Superstars, all eager to get their hands on Bryan’s WWE Championship.
Bryan, who was keeping a safe distance away from the insanity by standing on the announcer’s table with Rowan in front of him, soon took the microphone and refused to defend his championship against any of the Superstars in the ring. However, Triple H appeared on the TitanTron with some news for Bryan and all the Superstars: Bryan would not be defending the WWE Title against any one of the men … because he would be defending it against all of them inside the Elimination Chamber on Sunday, Feb. 17!
From there, the chaotic brawl inside the ring continued, with all five Superstars still going at it and an enraged Bryan and Rowan getting out of dodge while they still had the chance.
In other action … Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair got into a chaotic brawl to kick off SmackDown LIVE … and United States Champion R-Truth def. Rusev.