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WWE SmackDown live results: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Plus, Gunther defends the Intercontinental title against Braun Strowman.
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The build to the Royal Rumble continues on tonight's SmackDown from the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Kevin Owens goes one-on-one with Sami Zayn tonight. Owens is set to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. Tension continues to build in The Bloodline due to Zayn's past friendship with Owens.

Last week, Reigns blamed Zayn for their loss to Owens & John Cena. But later in the show, Reigns apologized for the way that he berated Zayn. Zayn was told that he can make it up to Reigns tonight by solving their Kevin Owens problem ahead of the Royal Rumble.

Plus, Intercontinental Champion Gunther defends his title against Braun Strowman on tonight's show. Strowman's feud with Gunther began after Imperium cost him the SmackDown World Cup. Strowman confronted Imperium and demanded a title shot. Gunther accepted after Imperium attacked Strowman.

Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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Intercontinental Champion Gunther defeated Braun Strowman to retain the title (17:29)

Strowman and Gunther had an excellent big-man match. They beat each other up with hard chops, clotheslines, and power moves. But, they also told a story around Strowman's arm that Imperium injured two weeks ago. 

They recapped Imperium attacking Strowman's shoulder two weeks ago. Gunther sent Imperium to the back to win the match without help. 

Michael Cole pointed out Strowman's wearing custom Green Bay Packers boots to honor Jackson Sparks, an eight-year-old boy killed in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack in November 2021. The boots go up for auction to benefit a foundation set up to raise money for victims of the Christmas parade attack.

Before making any contact, Gunther rolled out of the ring to boos. He seemed scared and avoided Strowman. Gunther tried attacking the injured arm, but Strowman easily threw him over the top rope. At ringside, Strowman rocked Gunther with a shoulder tackle over the commentary table. 

Back from the break, Gunther took over by targeting Strowman's injured arm. Strowman tried fighting back, but Gunther went back to the arm. Gunther slowed the pace and continued to destroy the arm. He rocked Strowman with a vicious chop. The fans broke into a loud "Let's go, Strowman" chant. 

Strowman fought back, absorbed a chop, and nearly took off Gunther's head with a hard clothesline. He followed with a back-body drop. As Gunther distracted the referee, Imperium ran out and attacked Strowman. He fought them off, but Gunther took advantage. Strowman recovered and power slammed Gunther for a close near fall as they cut to a commercial. The fans popped for the near fall.

Gunther continued to pick apart Strowman's arm. Strowman and Gunther traded chops until Strowman hit a spinebuster for another close two-count. The fans erupted in a "Strowman" chant. 

Gunther avoided the monster bomb. He then rocked Strowman with another clothesline. Gunther hit a top rope splash for another close near fall. Gunther and Strowman fought on the top rope. Gunther rocked Strowman with a chop, slipped out, and hit a powerbomb for the win. 

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The Progressive Match Flo recapped The Bloodline angle leading to Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens. 

Sami Zayn knocked on The Bloodline locker room door to talk strategy with Roman Reigns. Paul Heyman stepped out to greet Zayn. Heyman informed Zayn that Reigns, The Usos, and Solo Sikoa aren't there tonight. Reigns wants Zayn to beat Owens without any help. 

Zayn agreed and told Heyman to tell Reigns he had made the right choice. Zayn vowed to solve the KO problem. He added that's not a prediction but a spoiler. 

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Rey Mysterio Segment 

Rey Mysterio made his way to the ring. He discussed Dominik Mysterio walking around like he's a thug. Mysterio's fed up with his son. He's not going to let Dominik distract him anymore. Mysterio announced he's entering the Royal Rumble to get back on track and promised to win. 

Karrion Kross and Scarlet interrupted and marched the ring. Kross mocked Mysterio for winning the Rumble 17 years ago. Kross assumed it was a special moment for Dominik. Kross claimed Mysterio wouldn't know because he wasn't there for Dominik. Mysterio heard enough and attacked Kross. He went for the 619, but Scarlet grabbed his leg. Kross locked on the Kross jacket to end the segment. 

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In the locker room, Maxine Dupri and Emma spoke with Liv Morgan. They second-guessed Morgan wanting to enter the Royal Rumble at number one. Raquel Rodriguez entered and agreed with Emma and Maxine. Rodriguez thinks Morgan should enter at number 30 because of her small size. Morgan claimed she had her palm read and slapped Rodriguez. She challenged her to a match later. 

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Tegan Nox defeated Xia Li (2:46)

Nox and Li had a solid little match. It wasn't a show stealer, but it was better than most 2:46 matches. 

Nox was on fire early until Li knocked her off the top rope. Li slowed the pace with a chin lock. Nox tried fighting back. Li absorbed the shots and rocked Nox with forearm shots. The finish came out of nowhere when Nox hit the shiniest wizard for the win. 

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They showed footage of The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus from last week. After they went off the air, The Viking Raiders attacked McIntyre and Sheamus.

In a Viking Raiders vignette, Valhalla said when God speaks, she listens. When she listens, The Viking Raiders obey. Valhalla mentioned Sheamus and McIntyre. 

Adam Pearce spoke with McIntyre and Sheamus in his office. They did a bit where Sheamus and McIntyre kept hitting each other. It's supposed to be playful, but they're hitting each other hard. 

McIntyre wants a chance to get revenge on the Viking Raiders. Sheamus disagrees nd wants another match with The Usos. Pearce announced a SmackDown tag team tournament with the winners taking on The Usos for the titles. McIntyre and Sheamus take on the Viking Raiders in a first-round match next week. 

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Bray Wyatt Segment 

Bray Wyatt entered the ring and sat on a rocking chair. The fans love Wyatt and popped for his entrance. Under a spotlight, Wyatt said, "Green Bay, we're here." He thinks it's funny people forget who they are. But all it takes is a push in the right direction. Wyatt remembers everything he lost. He is the eater of worlds, Uncle Howdy, and "Him." He's Bray Wyatt. The fans popped. 

The Royal Rumble will be his rebirth. He warned LA Knight that when the lights go off, he should run. 

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Kayla Braxton tried to interview Kevin Owens, but Sami Zayn interrupted. Zayn was upset with Owens for putting him in this position. Owens noted he didn't want any of this. The Bloodline came to Raw and got in his business. He didn't want the tag match or the match tonight. He pointed out that Roman's the one that wants this. Zayn noted things are good with the Bloodline, and Owens can't stand it. Zayn promised to take care of business tonight. 

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Kayla Braxton spoke with Imperium in the trainer's room as Gunther iced his neck. Gunther claimed today was a glorious day because he beat Braun Strowman. It's time to capitalize, win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania.

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Raquel Rodriguez defeated Liv Morgan (4:45)

Rodriguez and Morgan had a pretty uneventful match until the odd finish. They did a spot where Morgan teased putting Rodriguez through a table. Instead, Rodriguez just rolled off, and nobody went through the table. Rodriguez became the biggest heel for getting off the table. The fans were firmly behind Morgan. 

Morgan took over early until Rodriguez rocked her with a clothesline. Morgan tried to dump Rodriguez over the top rope like it was the Royal Rumble. Rodriguez fought back. Morgan fired up by hitting her own head on the turnbuckle. Morgan charged at Rodriguez and sent her to ringside with a clothesline. Michael Cole freaked out and noted Rodriguez would be out of the Rumble. 

They fought around ringside, with Morgan sending Rodriguez into the ring steps. Morgan pulled out a table to a loud pop. Cole pointed out this isn't a no holds barred match. Morgan placed Rodriguez on the table and slowly climbed to the top. Rodriguez simply rolled off the table to loud boos. The fans weren't happy that she got off the table. The finish came when Rodriguez knocked Morgan out of the air. She then hit the Tejano Bomb for the win. 

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They recapped Charlotte Flair defeating Sonya Deville last week. Deville spoke with Adam Pearce in his office, demanding a rematch. Pearce wouldn't give it to her because she lost last week. He told her to enter the Royal Rumble if she wanted a title shot. Deville assured Pearce she was going to get that rematch. 

Back from the commercial, Deville and Flair fought backstage. Officials tried to break it up, but Deville kept attacking Flair. Flair made it clear that she didn't start the fight.  

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A great video package recapped Cody Rhodes defeating Seth Rollins in Hell in a Cell despite his injury. It also looked at his surgery and Rhode's questioning if he could return.

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Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn via DQ (15:52)

Zayn and Owens had an incredible main event until the DQ finish. They got a lot of time and worked hard with tons of nail-biting near falls. However, the disqualification actually played into the storyline. The fans hated the finish until a table spot won them back. 

Zayn and Owens both got a huge reaction. The fans loved both of them and this match. 

Zayn dominated Owens early hitting a dive to ringside. Owens recovered and pummeled Zayn against the barricade. They traded stiff shots. Zayn took over with a brainbuster on the apron as they cut to a break. 

Zayn stomped down Owens in the corner. Zayn was firmly in control as he went for a superplex. Owens fought back, knocking Zayn down and hitting a frog splash for a close near fall. Zayn avoided the pop-up powerbomb and hit a blue thunder bomb for another close two-count. Zayn and Owens let loose and traded punches. Zayn hit a half-nelson suplex, but Owens popped up to his feet and destroyed Zayn with a clothesline. 

Back from the break, Owens went for a Swanton bomb, but Zayn got his knees up. Zayn and Owens fought fiercely on the top rope. Zayn went for another superplex. Instead, Owens countered with a fisherman buster for a near fall. The fans broke into a loud "This is awesome" chant. 

Owens and Zayn traded shots again. They repeated the spot from earlier with a twist. Zayn hit the half-nelson suplex, but Owens popped up again.  Zayn avoided the clothesline this time and hit a second-half-nelson suplex. Zayn set up for the helluva kick when The Usos and Solo Sikoa ran in for the disqualification. The fans erupted in boos.

Zayn was surprised to see them and didn't seem happy. The Usos and Sikoa beat down Owens and hit the 1 D. Zayn was unhappy they interfered. He noted he had a job to do. Zayn seemed bothered even as The Usos praised him. Sikoa gave Owens a running splash onto the commentary table to a massive pop. Zayn posed with the Usos and Sikoa, but he seemed uneasy and looked down at Owens with concern.

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Next Week: WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens make their Royal Rumble match official with the contract signing. Plus, the SmackDown tag team tournament begins as Drew Mcintyre & Sheamus take on The Viking Raiders in a first-round match. 

In Two Weeks: Rey Mysterio goes one-on-one with Karrion Kross the night before the Royal Rumble.