AJ Styles joined forces with Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura to take on the team of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match.
WWE Smackdown Live started with the repercussions of last week’s mega-announcement by WWE Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan that WWE World Heavyweight Champion will take on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a 2-on-1 handicap match for the title at Royal Rumble. Styles, in an interview to Renee Young said that he is unhappy with the decision but will not interfere in the ongoing tiff between Commissioner Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan.
Owens and Zayn interrupted Styles’ interview and gloated that they will easily triumph over him at the Pay-Per-View to become co-champions. But they were interrupted by McMahon who came to announce that the duo will be involved in another handicap match before Royal Rumble. He added that Owens and Zayn will take on Styles, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura in a 3-on-2 handicap match in the main event.
The fight started with the three-man team taking advantage over their opponents using their numbers. But Owens and Zayn, being as clever they are, decided to get themselves count-out and staged a walkout. But they were stopped in their tracks by the Commissioner himself who said that the match will continue and will be a no-count out match from then on. Orton, Nakamura, and Styles launched a scathing attack on the duo outside the ring after the announcement and continued to lay down heavy punishment on them.
Owens again tried to use his mind and picked up a steel chair to lay down a heavy beating on the three and get disqualified. But again McMahon came to the ringside and said the match will continue as a No Disqualification match. Styles took Owens to the backstage leaving Zayn isolated in the ring with Orton and Nakamura. The duo punished Zayn for using a steel chair and threw him around the table. The Viper delivered an RKO after a Kinshasa knee strike from Nakamura and went down for the three-count pinfall to register the victory.
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