Charlotte Flair Attacked Becky Lynch
In addition to recapping her amazing week, Lynch addressed Ronda Rousey again, and the way she was talking about their upcoming match definitely made it seem like it's on tap to main event the show. Meanwhile, Flair's mic work here was terrific. She is so much more comfortable in the heel role, and although we have seen a ton of her and Lynch against each other since SummerSlam, almost all of their interactions have been excellent. Here's hoping Flair's attack on Lynch isn't a sign WWE plans on adding Flair to the Raw Women's Championship matchup at WrestleMania and instead was designed to build to Lynch vs. Flair one more time at Elimination Chamber.
R-Truth def. Shinsuke Nakamura to Win the United States Championship
Here's a quick rundown of the United States Championship picture over the last month: Rusev beat Nakamura for the belt on Christmas. Nakamura then regained the gold from Rusev at the Royal Rumble. Then, Truth took the title from Nakamura a mere two days later. Still following? I'm not completely sure whether it was a botch or not as of this writing, but Truth's victory over Nakamura definitely did not feel like it was supposed to happen when it did (if at all). It came off as awkward, but worse yet, it was a dumb call. Look, Truth has had a nice career resurgence for himself, but him pinning Nakamura clean is a joke.
United States Champion R-Truth def. Rusev
Remember, the automatic rematch clause for former champions is no longer in effect in WWE, but Rusev demanded an impromptu title match against Truth after Carmella shoved Lana down to the mat, so that's how this came to be. It didn't last long at all and was total throwaway. Truth rolled up Rusev for the win, and immediately afterward, Rusev brutalized Truth and was joined by Nakamura. Yes, along with Elias, fan favorite Rusev has turned heel, too. Watch your back, Becky!
Andrade Attacked Rey Mysterio
We were told Mysterio was originally supposed to go one-on-one with Samoa Joe on this show, but Andrade ambushing Mysterio before the bell prevented that bout from happening. It would have been a first-time-ever encounter, so hopefully it can be saved for another day down the road. This effectively furthered the feud between Mysterio and Andrade coming off their recent instant classics, and although I would hold off on the rematch until WrestleMania, WWE will likely do it at Elimination Chamber and/or Fastlane instead.
Shane McMahon and The Miz Celebrated Their SmackDown Tag Team Championship Victory
As I noted in my Royal Rumble review, it's cool how Shane and Miz seem to genuinely enjoy teaming together. They have good chemistry and it has made for some fun segments, but it's only a matter of time before one of them turns on the other. Before then, though, I'd have no problem with Miz's dad George Mizanin being a part of their act on a weekly basis. The guy is a gem. That said, Corey Graves was right: why are we cheering him for being a poor father all these years?
The Usos def. The Bar, Heavy Machinery, and The New Day in a SmackDown Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match
The Bar would have been an easy choice to go with since they have been at odds with Shane and Miz as of late, but I was glad WWE went a different route with The Usos winning and earning the next shot at the twin titles. As for the match itself, it was a blast and the elimination stipulation helped. Granted, they didn't come out on top, but Heavy Machinery had a solid showing and even managed to get the crowd behind them at one point.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan Unveiled a New WWE Championship Belt
Bryan has been saying for months that he had a new, non-leather strap in mind for the WWE Championship and he finally revealed it here. To be honest, I don't mind the look of it, and it's a great gimmick for Bryan for as long as as he's champion. From there, chaos ensured when AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Mustafa Ali and Joe emerged and staked their claim at the championship before a brawl broke out. Of course, that led to the announcement from Triple H that Bryan would defend the gold inside Elimination Chamber against all of them. My only nitpick is that I can't see Bryan dropping the title so soon considering he just unveiled an all-new title belt. My guess is that he holds onto it until at least WrestleMania.
This was a promo-heavy show, but I liked that there was an ample amount of aftermath from the Royal Rumble as well as build for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view (the same could not be said for Monday's Raw). Bryan's new WWE title belt and Truth shockingly winning the United States Championship made it a somewhat newsworthy edition of SmackDown Live, but above all else, it was just an entertaining episode on the whole and the pacing was perfect. By the way, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville outright declaring themselves for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber was hilarious considering there were qualifying matches for it held on Raw.
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