For the first time since voluntarily relinquishing the United States Title back in December, Dolph Ziggler would be on SmackDown LIVE as “The Show Off” was set to open the show in a match against Baron Corbin to decide who will be the fourth man in the Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Title at Fastlane next month. However, Corbin would no-show the match and we would soon find out why as it’s shown backstage that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn ambushed Baron Corbin and were beating “The Lone Wolf” down! Satisfied with their handiwork, Owens & Zayn would start to leave but Corbin would refuse to stay down, continuing to battle back against Owens & Zayn but “The Lone Wolf” was no match for the numbers game as Owens & Zayn would end up leaving Corbin in a heap.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn would then come out to the stage before Sami Zayn starts to head through the crowd while Kevin Owens head down the ramp with their sights set on Dolph Ziggler. Dolph would exit the ring and enter the crowd, bringing the fight to Sami Zayn but Kevin Owens would arrive on the scene and Owens & Zayn would beat Dolph down. Owens & Zayn then bring Ziggler to ringside where Dolph tries to fight back only to get overwhelmed again. Owens then holds Dolph up so that Sami can level Dolph with the Helluva Kick! Owens & Zayn then head up the ramp before Baron Corbin comes out to continue his fight with Owens & Zayn but Corbin’s efforts were for naught as Owens & Zayn take it to Corbin again, sending Baron into the barricade as referees and agents come out to break it up.
In her continuing quest to defeat every member of The Riott Squad, the opening match of the night would see SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair face The Riott Squad’s Sarah Logan, with Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan in her corner, in a non-title match. However, with the match about to begin, Charlotte would bring out her own backup as Becky Lynch comes out to be in Charlotte’s corner before Naomi comes out as well, evening the odds! In the end, it was Charlotte Flair spiking Sarah Logan with Natural Selection, pinning Logan to pick up the win. After the match, The Riott Squad would regroup on the outside as Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, & Naomi stand tall in the ring.
After Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn tried to take Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin out earlier in the night, SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon would make two separate matches as Baron Corbin would face Kevin Owens in one match and Dolph Ziggler would face Sami Zayn in the other match. If Corbin and/or Dolph win their respective matches, then they will be added to the WWE Title match at Fastlane. The first of these two matches would then take place with Baron Corbin going one-on-one with Kevin Owens with Sami Zayn being kept in the back with the threat of losing his spot in the WWE Title match if he gets involved. In the end, it was Baron Corbin avoiding the Pop-Up Powerbomb before planting Kevin Owens with the End of Days, pinning Owens to pick up the win and earn his way into the WWE Title match at Fastlane, making the match a Fatal 4-Way Match!
After he, along with Rusev and Aiden English, got taken out with an RKO by Randy Orton last week, United States Champion Bobby Roode would make an appearance on SmackDown LIVE for his United States Championship Open Challenge. Roode says that the Open Challenge is to anyone in the locker room, but he hopes that the man who comes out there will confront him face-to-face and not hit him with an RKO out of nowhere. “The Glorious One” would get his wish as “The Viper” Randy Orton answers the challenge, making his way to the ring. However, just as the title match is about to begin, the confrontation is interrupted by Jinder Mahal, along with Sunil Singh. Jinder says that the SmackDown LIVE roster voted Randy Orton #9 on the SmackDown LIVE Top 10 list last week, getting on the ring apron before saying that he respects Randy Orton. As Jinder gets in the ring, Orton says that he doesn’t care about some Top 10 list before Jinder continues to try and get under Orton’s skin, pointing out that “The Viper” has been in WWE for sixteen years and was #9 on the list while Bobby Roode has only been on the main roster for six months and he’s #5 on the list. Jinder continues, saying that he has it on good authority that Bobby Roode fancies himself as the next “legend killer”.
The United States Champion responds by pointing out that Jinder Mahal wasn’t even on the SmackDown LIVE Top 10 list at all last week, saying that nobody “respects” Jinder. Bobby Roode then says that he has nothing but respect for Randy Orton but suggests that, maybe, the rest of the locker room is tired of getting attacked “out of nowhere”. Orton responds by doing just that, dropping Sunil Singh with an RKO out of nowhere before Roode goes for the Glorious DDT to Jinder. However, Orton breaks it up before Roode decks Orton with a right hand and Jinder hits the Khallas on the United States Champion before Jinder grabs Orton, hitting “The Viper” with a Khallas as well! This leaves “The Modern Day Maharaja” standing tall in the ring, having taken out both Bobby Roode and Randy Orton.
The New Day then make their way to the ring to celebrate Fat Tuesday with a table filled with trays of pancakes. Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston would then cheer Big E on as Big E would gorge on pancakes before Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin interrupt. Chad Gable sarcastically says that, when he was training for the Olympics, he envisioned being a part of a pancake-eating contest before Shelton Benjamin says that The New Day can go and open their own pancake restaurant and leave the SmackDown LIVE tag team division to “serious competitors” like themselves. Xavier Woods responds by reminding Gable & Benjamin that they are the longest reigning tag team champions of all-time before saying that “nobody” wants to see Gable & Benjamin as the champions. Gable & Benjamin then raise the ire of The New Day by throwing their pancakes on the ground before Gable says that “nobody likes pancakes”. Benjamin then harnesses his inner Donkey by telling The New Day that, from now on, “we’re eating waffles” before Benjamin knocks a tray of pancakes of Big E’s hands! Xavier & Kofi then have to hold Big E back before a referee comes out to try and keep the peace.
After Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin crashed the Fat Tuesday celebration of The New Day moments earlier, The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston, with Xavier Woods in their corner, would face Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin in tag team action. During the match, Xavier Woods would get on the ring apron, distracting the referee so that the referee does not see Chad Gable tag in Shelton Benjamin. This would allow The New Day to take advantage as Big E & Kofi Kingston hit Chad Gable with the Midnight Hour as Kofi pins Gable to pick up the win for The New Day.
Then it was time for the main event as “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler would go one-on-one with Sami Zayn in a match where, if Dolph Ziggler wins, he will be added to the WWE Title match at Fastlane, making the match a Fatal 5-Way Match. In addition, if Kevin Owens gets involved, he would lose his spot in the WWE Title match at Fastlane. During the match, Dolph Ziggler would get out of the way of the Helluva Kick before Dolph scores with the Zig Zag to Sami Zayn, but Sami kicks out. Shortly after this, Dolph would nearly put Sami away with a roll-up before Sami delivers an exploder suplex to Dolph into the corner. Sami then sizes Ziggler up for the Helluva Kick, but Dolph springs out of the corner with a super kick to Sami, pinning Zayn to pick up the win, making the WWE Title match at Fastlane a Fatal 5-Way Match! After the match, Dolph Ziggler celebrates his victory, looking at the WrestleMania sign as Dolph will get the opportunity to walk out of Fastlane and into WrestleMania as the WWE Champion for the first time in his career.
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