Welcome to SmackDown Live. AJ Styles makes his way to the ring. AJ welcomes everyone to the House that AJ Styles Built. He says the odds were stacked against him. When he was put through the announce table by John Cena, he was in trouble. He says he was in pain. How could he beat five men when anything goes. Unbelievable, but not impossible. AJ says we have all heard it before. You were told by your parents to suck it up and find a way. AJ says he found that way and he is still champ.
AJ says he is going to Wrestlemania. AJ says he has not forgotten where he came from. There was the time when it was unbelievable that AJ was coming to WWE. The idea of AJ Styles as WWE Champion was unbelievable. AJ says going to Wrestlemania as champion is unbelievable, but not impossible. AJ says it has been a rough road to get to Wrestlemania.
AJ says he earned it and we are four weeks away from Wrestlemania. AJ says his opponent at Wrestlemania is probably the biggest Japanese star, Shinsuke Nakamura. This is a dream match. They both have similar paths to get to the WWE. When it comes to this championship, those comparisons stop.
AJ says he is no different than you. If you want to call him ‘the every man’, that is fine until he steps through those ropes. Then he is Phenomenal.
Shinsuke Nakamura’s music plays and he makes his way to the ring.
Nakamura says everyone likes AJ because he is champion. Nakamura says everyone likes him too. He says he respects AJ. At Wrestlemania, dreams come true. He says his dream is Knee to Face and he becomes champion.
Rusev’s music plays and he makes his way to the ring with his lyrical stylist Aiden English.
We go to commercial.
Match Number One: Rusev (with Aiden English) versus AJ Styles in a Non Title Match
They have some words for each other before locking up. Rusev pushes Styles to the mat. Styles with a waist lock but Rusev with a hip lock take down. Styles with a kick to the leg. Styles with another kick to the leg and a side head lock. Rusev with a shoulder tackle. Rusev wants a test of strength and Rusev with a kick and punches. Rusev with a knee to the midsection but he misses a charge into the corner.
Styles with chops and punches. Rusev with a kick and short arm clothesline. Styles with a Phenomenal Drop Kick but Rusev gets back to his feet. Styles clotheslines Rusev over the top rope to the floor. Styles with a slingshot forearm to Rusev and he sends Rusev back into the ring. Styles with kicks to Rusev and he tries for a suplex but Rusev blocks it. Rusev gets Styles up but AJ lands on his feet. Styles with punches but Rusev with a shot to the throat followed by a spinebuster for a near fall.
Rusev with shoulders in the corner and then he connects with a forearm across the chest. Rusev pulls Styles to the ring post and he wrings the arm into the ring post. Rusev sends Styles back into the ring and he gets a near fall. Rusev with a top wrist lock. Styles with an elbow but Rusev with a back body drop. Rusev with a front chancery suplex. Rusev kicks Styles while Styles is in the ropes. Rusev gets a near fall. Rusev pie faces Styles on the apron and sends him to the floor. Styles with forearms to the back followed by punches when he returns to the ring,.
Rusev with a drop kick and he celebrates by spinning around. Rusev puts Styles on the turnbuckles and connects with a forearm and Styles barely hangs on the top rope. Rusev with another punch and he goes up top. Rusev sets for a superplex but Styles slides under and drops Rusev on the top turnbuckle. Styles with a series of strikes and a leg sweep followed by a flying forearm. Styles with a forearm into the corner. Styles avoids a round kick. Rusev with a pop up knee to the midsection followed by a round kick to the temple but Styles kicks out.
Rusev sets for the Accolade but he misses the pump kick. Styles with a Pele Kick followed by an Ushigoroshi but Styles holds his knee after the impact. Styles sets for the Styles Clash but Rusev counters to try for the Accolade but Styles goes for the Calf Crusher. Rusev grabs the ropes but Styles applies the Calf Crusher. Aiden English attacks and the referee calls for the bell.
Winner: AJ Styles (by disqualification)
After the match, Rusev and English attack Styles and Nakamura watches from ringside. Eventually, Nakamura gets up and goes into the ring and kicks English and hits Kinshasa on Rusev.
We take a look at photos from the Tag Title Match at Fastlane and the interference by The Bludgeon Brothers.
Big E walks in the back and he is asked about the challenge by the Bludgeon Brothers. Big E says he wishes he could say that they proved everyone wrong and won the tag titles. He wishes he was here with his brothers but he cannot. The Bludgeon Brothers tried to destroy them. Kofi and Woods will be back. Big E says he will represent The New Day.
Jimmy Uso shows up and he says Big E will not be standing alone. Before the Bludgeon Brothers interfered, they had a classic and they will meet again when they heal up.
Jimmy and Big E walk together as we go to commercial.
AJ Styles walks in the back and he sees Nakamura. He says he didn’t need his help against five guys at Fastlane and he didn’t need his help tonight.
Nakamura says it looked like he needed his help and he will help him until Wrestlemania when he gives him a Knee to the Face.
Match Number Two: Luke Harper and Erick Rowan versus Jimmy Uso and Big E
Big E and Jimmy attack Harper and Rowan as they take off their jackets. They send Harper and Rowan into the ringside barrier. Jimmy and Big E get chairs. Harper and Rowan pick up their mallets. They enter the ring and the referee leaves.
Rowan hits Jimmy’s chair and then Harper misses Big E.
We go to commercial.
We are back and the match is started and Big E with shoulders to Harper in the corner but Harper with a Bossman Slam. Rowan tags in and he hits a splash with help from Harper. Rowan kicks Big E in the corner and then he slams Big E. Rowan walks across Big E’s chest and tags in Harper. Harper kicks Big E in the chest. Harper with chops to Big E but Big E with an elbow and he tags in Jimmy. Jimmy leaps over Harper and connects with an uppercut and a flying forearm. Uso with a thrust kick and uppercut. Harper blocks a super kick and Uso with a kick and corkscrew splash. Jimmy knocks Rowan off the apron.