The World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) SmackDown event was hosted live from Charlotte. After RAW, the Tuesday weekly show also witnessed a dramatic turn of events as chairman Vince McMahon stripped Kofi Kingston of his WWE title contention match against Daniel Bryan in the pay-per-view event of Fastlane. It was a decision which took the WWE Universe by surprise as Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon praised Kofi for several minutes, Vince McMahon interrupted. Vince also praised Kofi but then said he was removing Kofi from the WWE Title match.
Following this the chairman introduced Kofi Kingston replacement as the returning Kevin Owens. The wrestler had been sidelined from action following a double knee surgery in October. According to reports, Owens vs. Bryan had been initially rumored for WrestleMania 35. However, that was still unclear as the company had recently displayed a promotion where Owens said he was still about one month away from returning.
The penultimate pay-per-view ahead of the grandest event of the year Wrestlemania will take place on the 10th of March at the Q Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Here is the updated match card so far for the Fastlane event:
Kevin Owens vs. Daniel Bryan (c)
SmackDown Tag Team Titles Match
Shane McMahon and The Miz vs. The Usos (c)
WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles Match
Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley (c)
Earlier, WWE RAW also had a dramatic display. In the show, former World Champion Batista returned in the episode to send shock waves across the WWE universe. Earlier, in the Smackdown 1000 episode, the iconic team of ‘Evolution’ which comprises of Randy Orton, Triple H and Ric Flair and Batista had returned. During their appearance, there was a low face-off between Batista and Triple H which was contained by Orton and Flair but it seems like the rage is still within them.
In the episode, Batista had returned and entered Ric Flair’s locker room, where he attacked the former 16-time champion. Following which he said, “Do I have your attention now, Hunter?”. The episode was a special event dedicated to Ric Flair on the occasion of his birthday. The event was graced by some of the popular former and current stars like Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Sting, Shawn Michaels, Ricky “Dragon” Steamboat, and Kurt Angle.
Apart from this the other incident that took place in the episode was the return of Roman Reigns. The former universal champion announced his return to action after a four-month hiatus. In October last year, WWE superstar Reigns stunned the Monday Night Raw crowd by announcing his long battle with leukemia and relinquishing the Universal Championship belt. He once again chose the same platform as he returned to Raw on Monday to announce that his cancer has gone back into remission. Reigns says he will be returning to the ring.