Rey Mysterio and Andrade brought the house down in another instant classic, this time a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match, but Samoa Joe and Randy Orton stole some headlines by match’s end. Elsewhere, the issues between SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair intensified as all three look to dominate at the Royal Rumble event this Sunday.
With Mr. McMahon moderating, WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles came face-to-face one last time before their WWE Title clash this Sunday at Royal Rumble.
After weeks of blindside attacks and personal smear campaigns, Bryan and Styles once again fired heavy words at one another, but Bryan did it from ringside, saying he refused to step in the ring with Styles. Bryan then verbally unloaded on Mr. McMahon for creating an environment for “someone like” AJ Styles to become a hero. A noticeably angry Mr. McMahon yelled at Bryan to get in the ring, but The Phenomenal One gave Mr. McMahon a simple alternative: If Bryan wouldn’t come to him, he’d go to Bryan. Styles lunged at Bryan, got his licks in and set up for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Bryan craftily hid behind Mr. McMahon, causing Styles to stop short of the attack. However, that brief hesitation allowed the WWE Champion the space to connect with the Running Knee, laying Styles out and getting the final leg up before their clash on Sunday.
Samoa Joe savagely attacked Mustafa Ali before the bell prior to their scheduled match last week, but Ali refused to stay down, instead eyeing a match with Samoa Joe tonight on the blue brand.
SmackDown LIVE’s newest sensation was fearless in the face of The Samoan Submission Machine, bringing the fight to him with his dynamic offense and unyielding resolve. The relentless Ali seemingly had Joe on the ropes when he was able to string together some of his signature dynamic offense on the big man, getting him reeling with a series of strikes and a massive DDT out of the corner.
In crunch time though, Ali was looking for the 054, but Joe was able to swat him down right into the dreaded Coquina Clutch. Mustafa hung on for as long as he could, but, inevitably, had to tap out, giving Joe the pivotal win heading into the Men’s Royal Rumble Match this Sunday.
Following their thriller last week, Rey Mysterio and Andrade collided in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match, and unlike last week, Zelina Vega would not be able to get involved, as she was barred from ringside.
The Superstars dazzled the WWE Universe yet again with a match that was enthralling and strategic in equal measure. The first fall was decided when Andrade unbelievably powerbombed Mysterio off the top rope to pick up the three-count, but Mysterio fired back with an absurd flipping piledriver to secure a fall of his own.
And then, with it all on the line, it appeared Mysterio was closing in on victory when he hit the 619 and got in position to Drop the Dime, but Samoa Joe blindsided Mysterio and decimated him with a powerbomb onto the apron. The Samoan Submission Machine doubled down on his efforts by ramming Andrade into the ring post and refocusing on Rey, savagely applying the Coquina Clutch. Joe grabbed a microphone and roared that he planned on doing this type of damage to every man that crossed his path in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match this Sunday, but he was met with a blindside attack of his own when Randy Orton struck suddenly with an RKO outta nowhere.
Orton then put up three fingers, perhaps suggesting that he would win his third Royal Rumble Match this Sunday night.
In other action … Asuka, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair engaged in an intense standoff … Mandy Rose def. Naomi … and Cesaro def. The Miz.