Dean Ambrose kicked off WWE Thursday Night SmackDown by offering Kevin Owens a title shot at the upcoming Royal Rumble event in the form of a Last Man Standing Match. Amidst the shenanigans with Sheamus and Neville that set up SmackDown‘s main event tag team match, Owens accepted Ambrose’s challenge — the WWE Intercontinental Championship Match was booked for WWE Royal Rumble 2016. While WWE will undoubtedly book a few more matches for the undercard this week, this is only the second confirmed match for one of WWE’s biggest annual PPV events.
As confirmed by WWE, the results of the matches from WWE Thursday Night SmackDown on January 14, 2016 include the following.
- The Dudley Boyz defeated The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) in a Tag Team Tables Match
- The Social Outcasts (Bo Dallas, Heath Slater, Adam Rose and Curtis Axel) defeated Goldust, Damien Sandow, Zack Ryder and Jack Swagger in an Eight-Man Tag Team Match
- Alberto Del Rio (w/ Wade Barrett) made Kalisto submit in a WWE United States Championship Match
- Becky Lynch defeated Brie Bella (w/ Alicia Fox)
- Kevin Owens and Sheamus lost via disqualification against Dean Ambrose and Neville
As always, there are a few things worth noting that provide context for these results. After the Dudley Boyz won their match, Braun Strowman put both D-Von and Bubba Ray through tables. Conspicuous by his absence was the head of The Family, Bray Wyatt.
While the Social Outcasts won their match, tension is already being teased among the new faction. As Bo Dallas hit the Bo-Dog on Zack Ryder, he accidentally kicked Heath Slater off of the ring apron.
In the U.S. Title Match, Alberto Del Rio’s victory came with the assistance of Wade Barrett. Unfortunately for Kalisto, John Cena was not available as an equalizer. Since SmackDown is taped on Tuesday nights, Del Rio actually won the title back the day after he lost it.
Becky Lynch’s win over Brie Bella comes after Lynch attacked Charlotte prior to her match with Daniel Bryan’s better half on Raw. Charlotte ended up cancelling her match after being attacked by the Lass Kicker.
Before SmackDown went off the air, Ambrose and Neville hit their finishers on Kevin Owens.
Now that the IC Title Match has been set for this year’s Royal Rumble, the updated card (as confirmed by WWE’s official Royal Rumble preview) currently includes the following.
- Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship — Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kevin Owens
- Royal Rumble Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship — Roman Reigns (c), Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Big Show, Sheamus, Curtis Axel, Ryback and 17 WWE Superstars yet to be announced.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) January 13, 2016
While nothing else has been confirmed, it is expected that Charlotte will defend the WWE Divas Championship against Becky Lynch at this year’s Royal Rumble event. Since every male WWE Superstar is a potential entrant for the 30-man battle royal, it is hard to determine who will be competing on the undercard. The New Day or Alberto Del Rio could very well end up defending their titles prior to the main event.
[Image via Twitter]