SmackDown: Tension between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s alliance showed further signs of cracking as they faced Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles.

And the growing rift between the two was not helped when it was confirmed they will go head to head on next week’s episode for the right to face Styles for his WWE title at the Fastlane pay-per-view.

After interrupting Royal Rumble winner Nakamura as he was about to address the prospect of his huge WrestleMania match against Styles, the pair were booked to face the King of Strong Style and the champion in a tag match.

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January 31, 2018, 10:00pm

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Zayn twice abandoned Owens during that contest, and it was during his second absence that KO fell victim to a Kinshasa knee strike which secured his team’s defeat.

Backstage, the pair appeared to settle their differences but their match next week could spell the end of their brief alliance.

Rusev earns US title shot

Bobby Roode made the first defence of his United States title at the Royal Rumble, defeating Mojo Rawley to begin a series of open challenges for the belt.

With several contenders in the frame, a fatal four-way was booked to establish who his next opponent will be, with Kofi Kingston, Jinder Mahal, Rusev and Zack Ryder fighting for that particular right.

And it was a happy Rusev Day as the Bulgarian Brute who picked up the win, forcing Kingston to tap out to his Accolade submission hold.

Carmella cashes in – almost

Carmella has been in possession of the Money In the Bank briefcase – and the ‘anytime you want it’ title shot which accompanies it – since June 27 but sensed her opportunity for a cash-in last night.

With SmackDown women’s champion Charlotte Flair down and out after a three-on-one attack by the Riott Squad, Carmella sprinted to the ring with case in hand and referee in tow.

The Princess of Staten Island handed her briefcase to an official and charged at Charlotte, but Flair moved out of the way and instead it was the official who was on the receiving end of an attack which sent him flying out of the ring and to the floor.

Carmella screamed at the referee to get up, but by then, Charlotte had staggered back to her feet, and Miss Money in the Bank thought better of cashing in her contract.

Watch SmackDown in full on Sky Sports Arena every Wednesday at 10pm.