Welcome to SmackDown Live.
The New Day makes its way to the ring and Big E is dressed like Baby New Year while Kofi and Xavier are in tuxedos.
Xavier welcomes everyone to the first Smackdown of 2019. Xaver says they have a big announcement because they will be in the Royal Rumble. Big E tells the people in Las Vegas to be some money on them because when you look at the three of them and their odds compared to the other participants, but Xavier and Kofi stop Big E from doing any further Steiner Match.
Kofi says they will win the match and then go on to Wrestlemania to challenge the WWE Champion. Xavier says they could challenge for the Universal Championship, but he might not show up. Kofi says that he shows up every week for 11 years and he never gets a shot.
Kofi says they are going to win the Royal Rumble, but first they have to deal with some New Year’s Resolutions.
Xavier says they spoke to their doctors and their New Year’s Resolution should be that they no longer eat pancakes. Xavier says they will be giving out nice heads of lettuce with a balsamic . . . Kofi says it is doctor’s orders. Xavier says they will no longer be devouring these delicious and fluffy . . . Xavier yells at Big E for eating pancakes. Kofi says those pancakes came out of your diaper and Kofi says no one adheres to their New Year’s Resolution. Kofi says his resolution is to buy a new car. A Yellow Bug that he becomes friends with, but it is more than meets the eyes. Big E reminds Kofi that is the plot for Bumblebee.
Xavier says he will use the year to learn how to proceed through life with a blindfold while guiding his children to safety. Kofi advises that is the plot for Bird Box.
Big E mentions that we will have a match to see who joins the Fatal Five Way Match to see who faces Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble. It will be Samoa Joe versus Jeff Hardy.
We go to commercial.
Match Number One: Jeff Hardy versus Samoa Joe in a Qualifying Match for the Fatal Five Way Match to Determine the Number One Contender for The WWE Championship at Royal Rumble
They lock up and Joe backs Hardy into the corner and Joe kicks Hardy on the break. Joe with jabs and punches. Joe kicks Hardy in the legs and then Jeff blocks a kick but Joe rolls through into a knee bar. Hardy gets to the ropes and Joe releases the hold. Joe with a jab and chop. Joe with a head butt followed by a kick to the leg. Jeff with a sit out jaw breaker. Jeff pulls Joe to the corner and wrings the leg into the ring post. Jeff with more shots to the leg and knee. Hardy goes for a figure four leg lock but Joe escapes and goes to the floor.
Joe destroys the cover of the announce table in frustration. Joe pulls Jeff to the floor but Hardy with punches. Hardy sends Joe into the ringside barrier and then back into the ring. Hardy with a leg drop and he gets a near fall. Hardy sends Joe into the turnbuckles and then he punches Joe and gets a near fall. Jeff with a snap mare and drop kick to the back. Hardy sends Joe into the turnbuckles and then connects with a shoulder to the midsection and punches to the knee. Hardy with a baseball slide into the injured knee. Hardy with a kick and he goes for a Twist of Fate but Joe escapes. Joe with a clothesline. Joe with a chin lock trapping the arm. Hardy with an elbow to escape but Joe pulls Hardy to the mat by the hair.
Joe with jabs in the corner. Hardy with punches but Joe with a back elbow and he gets a near fall. Joe with forearms to Hardy in the corner. Joe with an Irish whip and he runs into an elbow. Joe puts Hardy in the tree of woe and hits a baseball slide on Hardy. Joe gets a near fall. Joe works on the neck. Hardy with elbows and punches to escape. Hardy with a running forearm and reverse atomic drop and leg drop followed by a drop kick for a near fall. Hardy with a Twist of Fate and then Hardy goes up top for the Swanton and hits it but Joe rolls to the floor after the impact.
Hardy with a drop kick but Joe blocks it and applies the Coquina Clutch on the floor. The referee starts his count and Joe releases the hold when the referee gets to eight. Joe wants the referee to continue his count, but the referee starts again from one. Jeff dives back into the ring at nine and then Joe reapplies the Coquina Clutch. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner: Samoa Joe
We take a look at what happened at the end of Smackdown between AJ Styles and Vince McMahon.
Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon are in the office and they talk about the Fatal Five Way Match.
There is a knock on the door and AJ Styles enters. AJ asks if they want to see him or are they sure they want to see him. AJ says maybe he should apologize for last week, but he won’t. You wanted the real AJ Styles, well watch what happens tonight. Unless, you want to see the real AJ Styles right now.
Shane and Vince get up and Vince tells The Best in the World to back off.
AJ leaves the office.
Shane asks Vince if he is sure he wants to see the real AJ Styles and Vince says absolutely. Shane warns Vince about what he wants.
We go to commercial.
We go to Kayla Braxton in the ring and she introduces the new United States Champion Rusev who is joined by Lana.
Rusev is asked about his victory last week. Rusev says it was the greatest Rusev Day of them all. Rusev is asked how will his reign as champion differ from Nakamura’s. Rusev says he takes pride in the US Championship and his title reign will be long and luscious, like his beard. Rusev says he will defend his title against any opponent with honor and strength, along with his animal magnetism. He will do it while smelling like a bacon flavored cinnamon bun. This is his pledge and he pledges allegiance to the United States Championship.