WWE SmackDown Live results – 4 things we learned just days from Royal Rumble 2018

WWE SmackDown Live results – 4 things we learned just days from Royal Rumble 2018

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains full match results and spoilers for WWE SmackDown Live, which aired on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

While WWE Monday Night Raw was a nostalgiafest of celebration this week marking the show’s 25th anniversary, over on SmackDown Live it was business as usual.

With WWE Royal Rumble 2018 just days away, it was mainly a holding exercise in both the men and women’s division, but there was still plenty of action to get through.

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Read on for four things we learned from the Royal Rumble go home show on the edge of the Road to WrestleMania 34.

1. The men’s Royal Rumble is as open as ever, and Randy Orton is in with a real shot

We’ve been raising eyebrows at this partnership between Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura for a while now.

The oddest of pairings, their marriage of convenience has stuck together for a surprisingly long time.

But in the Royal Rumble, it’s every man for himself (or woman for herself, of course). And Randy Orton has been in enough to realise that.

He perhaps did the honourable thing, and made his intentions very clear on SmackDown Live last night.

While his buddy Nakamura was battling Baron Corbin in a pre-Rumble barney, The Viper decided to pop into the ring and dispense a pair of RKOs – one to each man.

That showed two things. Firstly, that the partnership of Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura is surely over.

Secondly, that you can never, ever count out Randy Orton. A man who has continued to sneak under the radar and earn major title shots and the titles themselves as the years progress.

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Nakamura, Orton, a now title-free Roman Reigns, a returning Dolph Ziggler even… this Rumble could be anyone’s.

2. The women’s Royal Rumble is just as open as the men’s, and Ronda Rousey is in with a real shot

Naomi beat Liv Morgan last night on SmackDown Live, but as ever on SDLive in recent weeks, the match was only ever a teaser for the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble.

And on Tuesday nights, no single Superstar has really stuck her head and shoulders above the rest to stake a claim to be the inaugural women’s Royal Rumble winner.

Over on Monday Night Raw, it looks like Asuka is way out in front, with perhaps Nia Jax right behind her.

On SmackDown, members of the Riott Squad are still in pretty ill-defined competition with the older guard.

And there’s still WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, who seems to have the edge over her Raw counterpart Alexa Bliss in terms of on-screen profile right now.

But beyond Asuka or Nia (or Becky or anyone on either roster right now), there’s the possibility of a newcomer surprising everyone come Sunday.

And with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H hanging out with WWE superfan Ronda Rousey, could the former UFC champ be that person?

She’s already had one WrestleMania moment alongside The Rock in battle with those Authority figures before, but is it her destiny to take on Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 34?

We wouldn’t bet against it.

3. If Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn DON’T beat AJ Styles, one or both of them will get involved in the Royal Rumble

The ‘Yep!’ Movement duo of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are nothing if not smart.

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