In a shocking turn of events, Randy Orton, AJ Styles and LA Knight banded together to take out The Bloodline in the main event of last night’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown. This surprise alliance caught fans off guard and has major implications for WWE’s flagship show going into the Royal Rumble later this month.
Background Leading up to the Main Event
The show opened with LA Knight calling out Bray Wyatt and his allies, questioning their intentions. Before he could get answers, The Bloodline interrupted and a match between Knight and Solo Sikoa was set up. However, the match didn’t officially start before the rest of The Bloodline swarmed Knight and took him out with a brutal 4-on-1 attack.
This seemed to set the tone for the night, establishing The Bloodline’s dominance without their Tribal Chief Roman Reigns, who was not at the show. Sami Zayn attempted to recruit Ricochet to join the group later on, seeing value in his high flying abilities.
Meanwhile, Damage CTRL failed to help Bayley pick up a win against RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, and an Intercontinental Championship match between Gunther and Braun Strowman ended in a double count out. Strowman would lay out Imperium after the match before confronted by Karrion Kross.
The Main Event
The show’s main event was slated to be a six-man tag team match between The Bloodline and the team of Orton, Styles and Knight. However, as the teams were preparing to square off, Solo Sikoa viciously attacked Knight from behind, focusing his attack on Knight’s knee.
Knight had to be helped to the back by trainers, unable to compete. This left Orton and Styles without a third member against the trio of US Champion Austin Theory and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos.
At first, it seemed The Bloodline would easily pick up the win 3-on-2. But the alliance of Orton and Styles proved resilient, using their veteran instincts to isolate Theory and nearly secure the victory on multiple occasions.
The Usos broke up a couple pinfall attempts to keep Theory in it. But the complexion of the match changed when Sami Zayn came down and got involved on The Bloodline’s behalf, going against his allies.
|Leader of the Faces team
|Veteran high flyer
This seemed to spur something in Orton and Styles. They mounted a fiery comeback, with Orton hitting his signature powerslam on Theory while Styles took out both Usos with a Phenomenal Forearm and springboard 450 Splash.
In the climax, Orton dropped Theory with an RKO then motioned to Styles. Together, they hit a combined Styles Clash/RKO finisher on Theory to pick up the monumental win, leaving all three members of The Bloodline laying.
Fallout and What’s Next
As Orton and Styles celebrated, LA Knight returned to the stage, selling his injured knee but triumphant having helped score the moral victory over the dominant faction.
In the closing moments, the trio hit a Triple Powerbomb on Solo Sikoa, using The Shield’s old signature move in a show of solidarity. This surprise team up was reminiscent of Steve Austin, Mick Foley and The Rock’s famous partnership over 20 years ago.
With the Royal Rumble just weeks away, could we see these three fan favorites challenge Roman Reigns and his family dynasty for their championships? It remains to be seen whether LA Knight will be cleared to compete on the big event after the attack.
But for one night at least, the combined effort of three generations of wrestling legends was enough to conquer The Bloodline’s tyrannical rule over SmackDown. With Reigns set to defend against Kevin Owens soon, his choices of allies may begin to crumble at the seams.
Sami Zayn’s actions tonight show his relationship with his “Honorary Uce” Roman Reigns and the rest of The Bloodline may be splintering. After their crushing defeat, what will the dominate faction have in store to re-establish their unmatched supremacy and how will Orton, Styles and LA Knight respond?
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