The February 6th, 2018 episode of WWE SmackDown Live aired live from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. Here are 5 takeaways from this week’s SmackDown:

AJ Styles Asked Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan To Get Out Of The Way

SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon kicked off this week’s episode of SmackDown. Shane claimed to not be excited for tonight’s main event between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The winner of that match will go on to face WWE Champion AJ Styles at WWE Fastlane next month. Shane stated that he doesn’t think Sami & Kevin deserve another shot at the WWE Championship. Shane then introduced SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan.

Bryan came down to the ring to “yes!” chants and joined Shane. Shane said that the keys to our success was listening to the fans. A “Rusev Day!” chant broke out in the crowd. Shane acknowledged it and then accused Daniel Bryan of not listening to the crowd. Daniel Bryan brought up the fact that the referee made a mistake in the WWE Championship and that he was just trying to make it right. Bryan joked that he thought it was such a great idea that he deserves a pay raise and the crowd once again chanted “yes!”.

Shane stated that he is looking forward to Kevin & Sami ripping each other’s heads off tonight, but he still doesn’t understand why Daniel Bryan continues to give them opportunities. Shane added that Bryan has changed WWE’s landscape forever with the Yes Movement. Shane called the Yep Movement a cheap imitation of the greatest thing that Bryan has ever created and asked Bryan to not allow Owens & Zayn to manipulate him any more.

Shane noted that he was aware that Bryan wants to wrestle in this ring more than anything else in the world. Shane accused Bryan of living vicariously through Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. WWE Champion AJ Styles interrupted and made his way down to the ring to join Shane and Daniel.

Styles stated that he cannot deal with SmackDown management (Shane & Daniel) obsessing over Owens & Zayn. Styles added that their decisions affect him. AJ said that he was a fighting champion and he doesn’t care who wins tonight. Styles asked both Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon to stay out of the way tonight in the main event. Styles vowed walk out of WWE Fastlane and into WWE WrestleMania as the WWE Champion.

AJ Styles was shown walking backstage and Nakamura approached him. Nakamura simply said “I am going to beat you at WrestleMania” and walked away.

The divide between Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon continues to grow. Shane got personal with Bryan tonight and accused of him of living vicariously through Owens & Zayn. Styles asked Bryan and Shane to not get involved in tonight’s main event, I’m guessing that won’t be the case later in the show.

Charlotte Is On A Mission To Takedown The Riott Squad

Charlotte faced Liv Morgan tonight on SmackDown. Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan were ringside for the match. Charlotte controlled the match early and knocked Morgan out of the ring as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returned, Liv Morgan was in control and Riot & Logan were cheering her on from ringside. Liv bounced Charlotte’s head off the top rope a couple of times but Charlotte responded with a knee to the midsection. Charlotte connected with a couple of chops that knocked Morgan to the canvas. Charlotte strutted a bit and then hit a Fallaway Slam.

Charlotte connected with a boot to the face and made her way towards the top rope. Liv hopped up and dragged Charlotte off the top rope and back to the mat. Charlotte kicked out of a roll-up and then hit Morgan with a Spear. Charlotte Speared Sarah Logan off the ring apron. Ruby Riott dragged Liv out of the ring but the referee saw it and Sarah Logan & Ruby Riott were tossed from ringside. Charlotte locked Liv in the Figure Eight in the middle of the ring for the submission victory.

After the match, Charlotte approached the announce table and said “one down, two to go”. Charlotte will face Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott in the upcoming weeks.

Daniel Bryan Announced The First SmackDown Top 10 List

SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan introduced the first SmackDown Live Top 10 list. The list was voted on by SmackDown Superstars.

10. Tye Dillinger

9. Randy Orton

8. Becky Lynch

7. The Usos

6. New Day

5. Bobby Roode

4. Naomi

3. Shinsuke Nakamura

2. Charlotte Flair

  1. AJ Styles

The only relevant thing Tye Dillinger has done lately was getting attacked Owens & Zayn backstage at Royal Rumble. Tye is a great wrestler, it just makes zero sense that he his on the list right now. He is number ten on the list because he is “The Perfect 10”.

The Usos being ranked behind the New Day on this list is also odd since they are SmackDown Tag Team Champions. The Usos also cut a great promo tonight after a brief altercation with The Bludgeon Brothers. Harper and Rowan dismantled another jobber team tonight and The Usos came down to the ring after their win. The two teams stared at each other on the entrance ramp before Jimmy & Jey got into the ring.

The Usos cut a promo about how they have transitioned from a team that the WWE Universe thought was alright, into a team that consistently has match of the night. They said it much cooler than I am writing it and you can check out a clip from the promo in the video below. I’m looking forward to a potential feud between the Usos and the The Bludgeon Brothers in the near future.

Bobby Roode Is Still United States Champion

Bobby Roode defended his United States Championship against Rusev tonight. Aiden English graced us with his presence and performed a wonderful ballad about Rusev Day before the match.

Chants of “Rusev Day!” echoed throughout the arena as both Superstars locked up in the ring to start off the match. Rusev controlled the match early as SmackDown quickly went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, Roode connected with a Blockbuster off the second rope for a two count.

Rusev battled back and applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring. Roode broke free and knocked Rusev to the canvas with a Clothesline. Roode followed it up with a Neckbreaker and then hit a Clothesline off the top rope. Roode set up for the Glorious DDT but Aiden English hopped up on the ring apron. Roode got distracted by it and turned around into a kick from Rusev for a two count as SmackDown went to a break.

When SmackDown returned, Rusev countered the Glorious DDT into a knee to the ribs. Roode responded with a Spinebuster for another two count. Roode punched Aiden Englsih off the ring apron and Rusev tried to roll-up Roode. Bobby kicked out but Rusev connected with another kick to the face. Roode countered the Accolade into a roll-up for a two count. Roode then hit the Glorious DDT for the pinfall victory.

After the match, Randy Orton ran into the ring and connected with an RKO out of nowhere. Orton then hit an RKO to Aiden English and delivered another one to Rusev.

The crowd was split during this match, but there were some very loud “Rusev Day!” chants during the action. In the end, Roode wound up ruining Rusev Day but his celebration was short-lived thanks to Randy Orton. The crowd may also be split in a feud between Bobby Roode and Randy Orton.

Daniel Bryan Announced The Main Event For WWE Fastlane

Sami Zayn was interviewed before the match with Kevin Owens tonight. The winner of the match will go on to face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WWE Fastlane. Zayn stated that tonight was his opportunity to step out from Kevin Owens’ shadow.

WWE Champion AJ Styles joined commentary for the match. Owens and Zayn locked up to start off the match. The referee broke it up as they were against the ropes. Owens took Zayn to the mat but Sami quickly got back to his feet. Owens shoved Zayn against the ropes and smirked as he backed away.

Owens leveled Zayn with a shoulder tackle but Zayn responded with a couple of Arm Drags. Zayn locked in an Arm Bar in the middle of the ring but Owens quickly battled to his feet and leaned against the ropes. The referee once again broke it up and Sami shoved Owens.

Kevin Owens connected with an elbow to the face and the two started taunting each other. Sami knocked Owens to the mat and unloaded with a couple of punches. Owens rolled out of the ring and shouted at Sami to calm down. Owens got back in the ring and Sami once again took him down and connected with a couple of punches. Owens rolled to the apron and Zayn connected with a punch that knocked Owens out of the ring as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returned, Owens and Zayn were trading kicks in the ring. Owens leveled Zayn with the Clothesline and AJ Styles noted that he was loving watching these two beat the hell out of each other.

Owens connected with an Enziguri and followed it up with a Neckbreaker for a two count. Owens went for a Cannonball but Sami got up and prevented it. Sami connected with a Tornado DDT off the top rope for another two count. Zayn perched Owens up on the top turnbuckle and went for a Superplex. Owens held onto the ropes to prevent it and then connected with a couple of jabs to Zayn’s midsection. Owens headbutted Sami off the top rope and then went for a Senton but Sami got his knees up.

Zayn leaped through the ropes and hit a DDT on Owens to the floor outside the ring. The crowd chanted “this is awesome!” as the action returned to the ring. Zayn went for the Helluva Kick but Owens was ready and hit a Supercard. Owens quickly climbed to the top rope and hit a Frog Splash for a two count.

Owens shouted at Sami to stay down and went for the Pop-Up Powerbomb but Sami escaped. Zayn hit an Exploder Suplex and followed it up with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Kevin Owens once again rolled out of the ring and approached the announce table. Zayn knocked Owens to the floor and started taunting AJ Styles. Styles heard enough and attacked both Owens and Zayn and the referee called for the bell. Styles knocked Zayn and Owens out of the ring and then leaped onto both of them.

SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan came down to the entrance ramp and made an announcement. Bryan declared AJ Styles will defend the WWE Championship against Owens and Zayn in a Triple Threat match.

The main event for WWE Fastlane is now set. It is hard to argue with Bryan’s logic here, as it was AJ Styles that interfered in the match. I’m sure we will see another few weeks of arguments between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan leading up to WWE Fastlane. This storyline has dragged on forever, but it is hard to complain about a Triple Threat match between Styles, Owens and Zayn. That is the match I would have preferred to see at Royal Rumble, instead of the Handicap match. Just like at the Royal Rumble, it seems pretty obvious that AJ Styles will retain at Fastlane.