WWE Smackdown Results: Daniel Bryan defeats Kane in a No Disqualification match as Ryback and Dolph Ziggler return to action ahead of the Royal Rumble

It was the last event before the Royal Rumble

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Daniel Bryan kicked the show off by introducing the three men that were rehired thanks to John Cena on Monday Night Raw. Ryback and Erick Rowan entered to cheers from the crowd but when Dolph Ziggler’s music hit, the arena erupted with delight to see one of their favourites back in the ring. Ziggler said that he would take any beating from The Authority over sitting at home and complaining on a podcast, which could be seen as a dig at CM Punk and his infamous podcast with Colt Cabana.

The Authority approached the ramp as Seth Rollins said that in three days he will become the new WWE Champion by defeating John Cena and Brock Lesnar in his Triple Threat Match. Big Show said that he will give Ryback a first class ticket over the top rope in the Royal Rumble match but that Bryan won’t even make it as he faces Kane later tonight. Kane then made a match between Ziggler and Bad News Barrett to qualify for the Rumble match.

The two went at it for fifteen minutes and it looked like Barrett would be squashing Ziggler’s hopes by signalling for the Bull Hammer. “The Show Off” however reminded the fans why he has that nickname by landing a Dropkick on the Intercontinental Champion and following up with the Zig Zag to steal the victory. Ziggler celebrated the earning of his Rumble spot in the ring as Michael Cole highlighted how he could be an outside favourite to win the whole competition. Ziggler had been the focus of the Rumble in 2013 and he would thrive if the spotlight is on him once more following a stint in the midcard.

Ryback got right back into the thick of the action by taking on Rusev in another Royal Rumble qualifying match. The two powerhouses were at deadlock until “The Big Guy” delivered a massive running Powerslam on the United States Champion. Ryback went to follow up with a Powerbomb but Rusev blocked the grapple and countered with an Alabama Slam to regain some momentum. Rusev went to finish the match with The Accolade but Ryback was able to reverse and signalled for the Meathook Clothesline. “The Big Russian” craftily sneaked out of the ring to avoid being hit but this only made him get counted out and enable Ryback to qualify for the Rumble.

Brie Bella took on Naomi in a singles match as Paige and Natalya watched on from the commentator’s table. Paige told the commentators that The Bella Twins felt threated by her and Nattie as the two teams would be taking each other on in a tag-team match on Sunday night. Brie won the match inside five minutes with an X Factor before she was joined by Nikki to gloat. The two groups of friends have been at war on Total Divas and they showed no love for each other as they stared each other down ahead of their upcoming bout.

There was one more Royal Rumble qualifying match as Erick Rowan was forced to take on his former ally, Luke Harper. Rowan was set to go to the next level but a failed high risk manoeuvre shifted all the momentum in favour of Harper. Rowan was not able to regain any drive as Harper hit his Discus Clothesline and earn the victory. The former Wyatt Family member’s WrestleMania dreams were squashed as he was not able to advance to the Rumble competition and he looked devastated. This is an odd turn of events as he was involved in the whole firing storyline and it will be interesting to see how he features going forward.

The main event saw Bryan take on Kane in a No Disqualification match as last week’s match ended in a no contest. The former WWE Champion was all over Kane with a series of attacks with a Kendo stick all over the ring and the outside. The match however turned into three on one as J and J Security interrupted when Bryan locked in the Yes Lock. Bryan was however able to hold his own by kicking out of a Chokelsam before hitting a Drop Toe Hold onto a steel chair. The match was won when Bryan hit the Running Knee for the three count but he was unable to celebrate as Big Show ran down to attack. Havoc soon broke out as most of the locker room ran down to the ring and caused a Royal Rumble preview. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns however ran down last and cleared house to set up a stare down between The Authority and the rebellion. Alliances had been formed but on Sunday it will be every man for themselves as there will only be one man left standing as number one contender to the WWE Championship.