Updated: Feb 9
Match #1 - The Wyatt Family [Luke Harper & Erick Rowan O] def. Heavy Machinery [Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight X]
[WWE World Tag Team Championship Tournament Quarter-Final Match]
The WWE World Tag Team Championship Tournament once again opened SmackDown with Heavy Machinery taking on the imposing Wyatt Family duo of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Dozovic and Knight, though initially out-muscled and out-manoeuvred by the more experienced Wyatt Family team, took the fight to their opposition and even looked like taking the match when Tucker Knight managed to hit his Trapping Suplex on Harper, but Rowan managed to break up the count just in time. In fact, it took something special from The Giant Redwood, a giant Splash from the top rope, to eventually put down the plucky Heavy Machinery team, meaning it would be the Wyatts who would take on Breezango in the Tournament Semi-Finals.
Ruby Riott was in the ring next and took to the microphone in order to call out Bayley, sneering that in the 6-woman tag team match last week, Bayley had once again needed her best friend Sasha to dig her out of a hole. Riott carried on to say that she had the beating of Bayley and demanded a chance to prove it without her having to rely on her more talented Horsewomen friends. Bayley answered the call and told the Virginia crowd that she had never backed down from a fight and that she didn't intend to start against a coward who hid behind her Riott Squad posse.
Match #2 - Ruby Riott O w/ Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan def. Bayley X
The remainder of the Riott Squad predictably joined ringside during this match to watch Ruby dominate the early proceedings, mercilessly targeting Bayley's knee and back.
Any manner of resistance from Bayley was immediately quashed by the numbers game with Morgan and Logan running interference on the outside. A chance Bayley to Belly after Riott missed a Senton from the top was broken up by Logan after Morgan distracted the referee and proved to be the story for the remainder of the match. However, Bayley didn't lay down and take the defeat, kicking out of Riott Kick just after 2 to the very clear annoyance Riott. This annoyance almost cost her the match recklessly attempted to attack Bayley in the corner, only to be hit with a Corner Exploder Suplex, leaving her prone to the Macho Man Elbow Drop. Logan sprinted round and distracted Bayley for just long enough before the Huggable One dived, giving Riott enough time to get the knees up, hit the Riott Kick and take the victory.
Laughing up the ramp, Ruby took to the mic, yelling that she had proved Bayley couldn't hang with the best and that she was simply living in the shadows of more successful people.
Match #3 - Noam Dar O def. Drew McIntyre X via DQ
This match never got going, with Noam Dar not even making it down the ramp before McIntyre took him out from behind. The Scottish Psychopath then laid into Dar with a series of Chair Shots and Sledgehammer Shots until the referee had no choice but to award Dar the match via DQ. Unfortunately this seemed to merely anger McIntyre, who then hit three Claymore Kicks on the outside to the already comatose Dar.
Even after referees and backstage personnel attempted to hold Drew back he continued. It eventually took Daniel Bryan's music to hit, causing the place to erupt, for Drew to even look up. Bryan sprinted down to the ringside area, but Drew had already escaped into the crowd, grinning as he looked back at Bryan tending to what was left of Noam Dar.
Match #4 - Roderick Strong O def. Shelton Benjamin & Sami Zayn X
[WWE United States Championship Qualifying Triple Threat]
The final Triple Threat to find the competitors to face off for the United States Championship began, with the in-ring veteran Shelton Benjamin taking on two relative upstarts on the roster; Roderick Strong and Sami Zayn.
The crowd made it clear from the outset who they were behind, with Zayn's entrance theme echoing around the arena, but he never really got a foothold in the match, instead bumping round for the big moves of the other two competitors. Strong especially looked in fine form, delivering his wide array of Backbreakers to anyone in his way. Benjamin looked good, hitting the Jumping Complete Shot relatively early on, but otherwise this was a match made for Roderick Strong.
Zayn somewhat unwittingly did help out Strong, by taking out Benjamin with a Helluva Kick, but turned straight into a Rocket Kick from Strong, who then covered him for the 3 count, meaning that Week 4's main event would be Cedric Alexander vs. Roderick Strong for the WWE United States Championship.