An Uphill Battle.
The 959th edition of WWE SmackDown LIVE was the first SmackDown LIVE of 2018 and it came to you, live, from the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. After last week’s controversial conclusion to the main event between WWE Champion AJ Styles and Kevin Owens that saw SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon inadvertently cost AJ Styles the match after Shane came down to ringside to make sure that Sami Zayn was ejected, the first SmackDown LIVE of 2018 would see WWE Champion AJ Styles go one-on-one with Sami Zayn in a non-title match. Can Sami Zayn achieve the same success that Kevin Owens did last week? Will Shane McMahon get involved again? Also, after winning a hard-fought Triple Threat Tag Match last week to earn the opportunity, Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin would be looking to kick off 2018 with gold around their waists as Gable & Benjamin would challenge The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin def. The Usos (c) by Chad Gable pinning Jimmy Uso (c) following the double team powerbomb clothesline. However, neither Chad Gable or Jimmy Uso (c) were legal in the match so the match would be restarted.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) def. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin by Jey Uso (c) pinning Shelton Benjamin following the Uso Splash to retain.
- United States Championship Tournament: First Round Match: Xavier Woods (with Big E & Kofi Kingston) def. Aiden English (with Rusev) by pin following the Up, Up, Down, Down to advance to the Semi-Finals.
- 6-Woman Tag: The Riott Squad def. Natalya, Carmella, & Tamina (with Lana) by Sarah Logan pinning Tamina following a handstand knee drop.
- Non-Title: Sami Zayn (with Kevin Owens) def. AJ Styles by pin following the Helluva Kick after a distraction by Kevin Owens, Shane McMahon, and Daniel Bryan.
See page 2 for detailed results.