SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon kicked off the show and announced that in four weeks, SmackDown LIVE would have its next pay-per-view event, Elimination Chamber, which would be headlined by a WWE Championship match in the unforgiving structure.
This instantly drew the ire of WWE Champion AJ Styles, who was incensed at the idea of having to defend his title inside the barbaric chamber. However, Shane-O-Mac reminded him that after his clash with John Cena at Royal Rumble, he may not even be champion any longer.
Shane and Styles’ bickering brought out both Styles’ Royal Rumble opponent Cena and The Miz, which was proceeded by a ton of jaw-jacking that ultimately saw Styles and Miz getting into a war of words that was egged on by The Cenation Leader. The Commissioner was so inspired by their tiff that he made a Styles vs. Miz match … and it was next!
With John Cena sitting on commentary, WWE Champion AJ Styles and The Miz battled in an impromptu match. The two jockeyed for position until the action spilled to the outside, where Styles could not help but take a swipe at the unsuspecting Cena.
This led to bedlam between Cena and Styles as Styles attempted to throw Miz into Cena, however The Cenation Leader was hip to the jive and not only blocked the attack, but ultimately gave an AA to both Miz and The Phenomenal One for good measure. Cena raised Styles’ championship before taking off with confidence.
After their explosive exchange last week, Nikki Bella called Natalya out in the ring, declaring she wanted to finish what they started. However, The Queen of Black Harts did not step foot in the arena, instead opting to ridicule Fearless Nikki, first from the crowd and then while stationed in front of the merchandise stand in the arena.
Nikki eventually became fed up and dashed to the concourse to scrap it out with Natalya where security had to separate the Superstars after they completely wrecked the area.
After requesting a match with The Viper earlier in the evening, Dean Ambrose took on Randy Orton. The two tough-as-nails Superstars fought vigorously and the action was furiously competitive, until Luke Harper (who had just eaten an inadvertent dive from Ambrose moments earlier) abruptly entered the ring just as it seemed Orton was gearing up for an RKO. The distraction proved costly, however, with Ambrose being able to capitalize as The Apex Predator attempted to usher Harper out of the ring, rolling up Orton for the win.
After the contest, Harper and The Viper began exchanging blows before Bray Wyatt separated them and then struck Harper, as well exchanging tense words with Orton before Harper promptly exited.
Memphis’ own Jerry “The King” Lawler journeyed to SmackDown LIVE to host the return of his talk show, “King’s Court,” with special guest Dolph Ziggler. Lawler attempted to prod Ziggler into what the catalyst for his recent attitude shift has been over the past several weeks, but Dolph would have none of it, provoking Lawler with a clip from several years ago of Ziggler beating down The King.
The WWE Hall of Famer did not back down though, proceeding to call The Showoff a loser. This proved to be a bad move, as it was the final straw for Ziggler who then brutalized The King in front of his hometown faithful, superkicking him square in the chest. Lawler attempted to get back to his feet and call Ziggler back in the ring, but The Showoff just coldly walked off.
The two Superstars did not hold back, delivering an instant classic for Team Blue. The pendulum of momentum swung back and forth several times over, but, in the final moments, it seemed as though The Irish Lass Kicker was closing in on victory as she began to escape from the cage. Yet, her descent out of the cage was stopped as La Luchadora reared her head again, kicking Lynch in the head after applying the Dis-arm-her to Bliss. This allowed Bliss to connect with her patented DDT and retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
After the match, Bliss and La Luchadora continued their beat down on Lynch, until Lynch was able to find an opening and unmask La Luchadora to reveal none other than Mickie James! Bliss and James then got the best of Lynch again before James raised Bliss’ hand in victory after they felt the damage was sufficiently done.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Mojo Rawley defeated Tyler Breeze
- AJ Styles vs. The Miz (w/ Maryse) ended in a No Contest (10:41)
- Dean Ambrose defeated Randy Orton (w/ Luke Harper & Bray Wyatt) (13:43)
- Alexa Bliss (c) defeated Becky Lynch in a Steel Cage match to retain the WWE Smackdown Women's Championship (10:47)
Other on-screen talent