”The New” Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy squared off in the main event of SmackDown LIVE, but all six WWE Title Elimination Chamber Match participants couldn’t help but get involved by the end of the bout. Elsewhere, Becky Lynch confronted a McMahon Family member for the second consecutive night, going face-to-face with Triple H.
Charlotte Flair kicked off SmackDown LIVE by not so subtly hinting that she would more than happily take Becky Lynch’s place if the now-suspended Irish Lass Kicker couldn’t get healthy in time for WrestleMania.
Lynch immediately emerged from the WWE Universe, hopping the barricade, more than ready to give Charlotte a piece of her mind. WWE officials sprinted to the ring to separate the two rivals, and Triple H arrived and dismissed Charlotte before speaking to Becky. The Game initially told her that she was only putting herself in jeopardy by foregoing the grounds of her suspension and refusing to allow doctors to look at her knee. The Man fired back by stressing that she did not trust Triple H and reminding him of what she did to his wife last night, wondering aloud if he should check if Stephanie is medically cleared after Becky punched her in the face.
An infuriated Triple H lambasted The Irish Lass Kicker, calling her self-destructive and questioning her injuries and mindset. The Cerebral Assassin then doubled down, accusing Lynch of being scared – but not of what would happen if she couldn’t fight Rousey, but also if she could. That was the final straw for Lynch, who slapped Triple H, clearly without fear of repercussions. Triple H seethed as The Man stared him down, smiled and then exited back through the audience, defying authority for the second consecutive night.
With both Superstars slotted for the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match, Mustafa Ali and Randy Orton collided on SmackDown LIVE with the fateful match less than two weeks away.
Orton brought the fight to Ali early, smothering SmackDown LIVE’s newest sensation with an array of brutal offense and dropping him back-first onto the announce table. Ali began to mount a comeback when he dropkicked Orton over that same table and launched himself head-first at The Viper, knocking him off his feet and raining down haymakers. In the pivotal moments, Ali faked out Randy to avoid an RKO, but when Mustafa looked for his signature 054, Randy grabbed his feet and yanked him off the ropes right into an awe-inspiring RKO for the win.
After the contest’s conclusion, Samoa Joe suddenly appeared and locked Orton the Coquina Clutch to take him out. The Samoan Submission Machine had clearly not forgotten that Orton had struck him with an RKO out of nowhere two weeks ago, and he doubled down on the destruction by booting Ali right out of the ring. Satisfied with his handy work, Joe began to make his way back up the ramp when WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan & Rowan arrived. Joe crossed paths with the environmentally conscious pair, and Bryan stood behind Rowan, as Joe, who seemingly would have been down to throw some more fists, ultimately carried on his way.
Clearly still displeased with his WWE Championship being on the line inside the Elimination Chamber, “The New” Daniel Bryan looked to take out some of his frustrations on fellow Chamber competitor, Jeff Hardy.
However, even with Rowan lurking at ringside, The Charismatic Enigma wasn’t interested in being a vessel for Bryan’s frustrations, coming at the WWE Champion with his dynamically unique offense in this non-title affair. Just when it appeared that Hardy was closing in on victory after connecting with the Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb, Rowan intervened, pulling Hardy out of the ring and throwing him into the steel steps to prompt a disqualification.
Bryan then locked in the LeBell Lock onto Hardy, but Samoa Joe quickly hit the scene to eliminate Rowan and trap Bryan in the Coquina Clutch. Randy Orton hit the ring and threw fists with Joe until Mustafa Ali showed up and cleared house until Rowan viciously hit him with the Claw Slam onto the announcer’s table. Up next, AJ Styles took out everyone except Bryan, who got out of dodge. The Phenomenal One eyed Bryan down, with Bryan insisting backstage that Rowan wasn’t there to protect him; he was there because they are intellectual peers and the planet needed him as WWE Champion. In less than two weeks, however, Bryan will compete inside the chamber, where Rowan won’t be able to assist him.
In other action … Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura def. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson … “The New” Daniel Bryan rallied against his placement in the Elimination Chamber Match … and Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville def. Naomi & Carmella and The IIconics.