Following a huge Six-Man Tag Team Match, the challenger for “The New” Daniel Bryan’s WWE Championship at WWE Fastlane was revealed. Elsewhere, NXT Superstars continued to shine bright as Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black and Ricochet brought their best to the blue brand.
Continuing the run of emerging NXT talent making an impact were NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa & NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano, who were rekindling their former #DIY partnership for the second straight night after besting Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival on Raw.
Ciampa & Gargano continued to fall back into their old rhythms, fluidly taking the fight to The Bar, who are arguably the most dominant tag team in WWE over the past several years. Sheamus & Cesaro weren’t here to play anybody’s fool, however, and they attempted to slow Ciampa & Gargano’s dynamic attack by implementing their size and strength advantages.
In the clutch, it appeared that Gargano & Ciampa were reeling. The Bar had done great damage to Ciampa’s knee, and Gargano was seemingly on dream street, but a surging Ciampa made a shrewd blind tag, rolling up Cesaro and catching him off-guard for the three-count.
The final NXT standout to make his SmackDown LIVE debut was Ricochet, who took on SAnitY’s unpredictable leader Eric Young. Ricochet picked up right where he left off last night on Raw, dazzling the WWE Universe with his unbelievable athleticism and aerial mastery. The One and Only took Young’s best and fired back full force, taking out the meddlesome Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe before connecting with his dazzling 630 Splash for an incredible win.
With everyone eyeing the opportunity to face WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan at WWE Fastlane, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy & Kofi Kingston took on The Planet’s Champion, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe in thrilling Six-Man Tag Team action in the main event of SmackDown LIVE.
Though all six Superstars battled through the treacherous Elimination Chamber Match just two nights prior, the competitors fought at a furious pace while looking to make a major impression en route to WWE Fastlane, except for Bryan, who made it clear prior to the match that he didn’t think anyone from this contest was worthy of facing him in three weeks, as he had already defeated them all.
However, after a brutal contest that saw everything from Orton twice dropping Kofi on the announcer’s table to a Twist of Fate to a LeBell Lock, Kingston pinned Bryan for the second time in two weeks, putting the WWE Champion down with the Trouble in Paradise for the win.
The WWE Universe roared in approval, but the good news was just beginning for a euphoric Kingston. Moments after The Dreadlocked Dynamo’s monumental victory, Shane McMahon arrived to inform everyone that Bryan’s WWE Fastlane opponent had been decided … and his name, yep, is Kofi Kingston.
In other action … Shane McMahon & The Miz secured a SmackDown Tag Team Championship rematch for WWE Fastlane … Aleister Black def. Andrade … Mandy Rose def. Asuka … and Ricochet def. Eric Young.