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TAMPA - Thursday night’s hottest show exploded onto USA Network with an impromptu 8-Man Tag Team showdown, a high-flying United States Title Match and the emergence of a giant presence during the horrific 6-Man Tag Team main event.
The WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day kicked off SmackDown, explaining why they confronted The Rock on Raw and attempting to shame The Great One for his insulting (and downright painful) response. Although The Miz soon emerged to pile it on, things really got interesting once The Usos joined the party — mocking both The Awesome One and the power of positivity.
Though, at first, it looked as if Jimmy and Jey were at a numbers disadvantage for the inevitable confrontation, the Samoan warriors soon called in reinforcements in the form of Titus O’Neil and Dolph Ziggler. The fired-up foursome wasted little time cleaning house and, when the smoke cleared, a huge 8-Man Tag Team Match was made.
In the height of their impromptu 8-Man Tag Team Match, The Usos and Dolph Ziggler took out The New Day, clearing the way for Titus O’Neil to finish off The Miz with the thunderous Clash of the Titus.
After the match, Titus O’Neil danced in the crowd with a special group of honor students, whose success he recently rewarded with the gift of more than 150 SmackDown tickets, from visiting Tampa Bay–area schools.
SmackDown’s high-flying U.S. Title Match showcased one absolutely awe-inspiring moment after another — including an incredible Super Frankensteiner by Kalisto off the top rope. In the end, the fighting lucha titleholder ultimately reigned supreme, countering The Man That Gravity Forgot with a modified Salida del Sol for the three-count.
After lasting 51 minutes in Sunday’s Royal Rumble Match and battling AJ Styles on Raw, Chris Jericho turned his attention to the WWE World Heavyweight Title No. 1 Contender’s Match at WWE Fastlane — welcoming two of the three combatants, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.
Things started civil enough, as The Lunatic Fringe brought Y2J a potted plant and The Big Dog presented him with a stool. And while the two Superstars made it clear to the six-time World Champion that they have no problem fighting each other, once Brock Lesnar’s name was added to the conversation, things ended up getting noticeably tense between the two brothers-in-arms.
That is until The Wyatt Family interrupted. When Bray Wyatt talked of slaying The Beast and more, Reigns invited him and his dark forces down to the ring right then and there. Biding his time, The New Face of Fear proceeded to challenge Jericho, Reigns and Ambrose to face him and two of his disciplines later on SmackDown.
WWE Universe, AJ Styles has definitely emerged. Following up on his near 30-minute participation in the Royal Rumble Match and his Raw showdown against Chris Jericho, Styles made his SmackDown debut against The Social Outcast’s Curtis Axel — who the phenomenal Superstar eliminated during Sunday’s pay-per-view free-for-all.
After single-handedly dismantling Social Outcast interference, Styles countered the Perfect Plex to take Axel out for the second time this week with the Styles Clash.
Following interference from Ric Flair, Divas Champion Charlotte made Natalya tap-out with the Figure-Eight Leglock. But when she locked in a Figure-Four after the bell, Becky Lynch emerged to save The Queen of Harts.
In the final moments of SmackDown’s turbulent 6-Man main event, the “observing” Braun Strowman pulled Roman Reigns out of the ring just as he was going for the pinfall and forced the referee to call for the bell. This prompted an all-out Wyatt Family onslaught on The Big Dog, Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho.
That was until Big Show emerged, looking for payback from a Wyatt assault weeks ago. When the ominous forces descended upon the giant, Reigns soon reengaged. This paved the way for The World’s Largest Athlete to hurl Strowman out of the ring. Reigns then avoided Sister Abigail to hit Bray Wyatt with the Superman Punch and Ambrose and Jericho promptly disposed of Rowan. This left poor Luke Harper alone as easy prey for Big Show to throw him into Reigns waiting Spear.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso), Dolph Ziggler & Titus O’Neil defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods) & The Miz
- Kalisto (c) defeated Neville to retain the WWE United States Championship
- AJ Styles defeated Curtis Axel (w/ Adam Rose, Heath Slater & Bo Dallas)
- Charlotte (w/ Ric Flair) defeated Natalya by submission
- Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns defeated The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) (w/ Braun Strowman) by DQ
Other on-screen talent