WWE Smackdown: Owens and Zayn are punished by Styles, Orton and Nakamura
UPI News Service, 01/10/2018
The antics of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn finally caught up to the duo on Smackdown Live Tuesday as they found themselves in a 2-on-3 Handicap match against WWE Champion AJ Styles, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura.
The main event match was made by Smackdown commissioner Shane McMahon as a way to punish Owens and Zayn and to deliver a different version of general manager Daniel Bryan's Royal Rumble title match which will see Styles defending his WWE Championship against Owens and Zayn.
The best friends, knowing that the odds were stacked against them, attempted at first to flee the Handicap match and get counted out by the referee, but they were thwarted by McMahon who restarted the bout under no-count rules.
After Owens attempted to get himself and Zayn disqualified by using a steel chair against his opponents, McMahon appeared again to restart the match a second time under no disqualification rules.
Styles then got revenge on Owens with a steel chair and chased The Prizefighter to the backstage area. This allowed Orton and Nakamura to gang up on Zayn who was driven into the announcer's table, attacked with steel steps and then struck by the Kinshasa followed by an RKO for the three count.
Styles defends his WWE Championship against Owens and Zayn in a Handicap Match at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 28.
Also on Smackdown Live, the first round of the United States Championship tournament continued with former tag team The Hype Bros coming to blows with Mojo Rawley taking on Zack Ryder.
Rawley, who ended The Hype Bros weeks ago when he brutally attacked Ryder, gained the win and moved up in the tournament bracket after he nailed his former friend with a running fist.
Rawley will now be taking on Bobby Roode in a semi-final match followed by Xavier Woods of The New Day vs. Jinder Mahal. The winners from those matches will then meet to determine the new United States Champion.
Other moments from Smackdown included Becky Lynch defeating Ruby Riott by disqualification; The Bludgeon Brothers defeating The Ascension; Breezango defeating Rusev and Aiden English; and Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable earning a Tag Team Championship rematch against The Usos at the Royal Rumble in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match.
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