Date and location

Sunday, Jan 27 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT


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When to watch

Sunday, Jan 27 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT

Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev to become the new United States Champion (Kickoff Match)

Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev to become the new United States Champion (Kickoff Match)

PHOENIX — After weeks of cruel mind games and calculated sneak attacks, Shinsuke Nakamura pressed his psychological advantage over Rusev on the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff, reclaiming the United States Championship following an unfortunate collision between The Super Athlete and his wife, Lana.

Desperate after a combination of MMA-inspired holds and jaw-rattling strikes failed to fell The Lion of Bulgaria, Nakamura went into desperation mode, removing one of the turnbuckle pads with nefarious intentions. Noticing what the challenger was attempting, Lana leapt to the apron and alerted the referee, prompting a face-to-face between The Ravishing Russian and The Artist.

Rusev batters Shinsuke Nakamura in U.S. Title Match: Royal Rumble 2019 Kickoff

Rusev uses his might to beat down Shinsuke Nakamura in a bid to retain his United States Championship.

As Rusev charged at The King of Strong Style, Nakamura moved out of the way, putting The Super Athlete on a collision course with his wife, who was knocked to the floor at ringside. The distracted champion was then blindsided by a Kinshasa that scored Nakamura the pinfall victory and his second United States Championship.

This wasn’t the first time that Nakamura used Rusev’s marriage to his advantage. While The King of Strong Style interrupted The Super Athlete’s New Year’s Day U.S. Title victory celebration — one week after Rusev defeated Nakamura to attain the star-spangled prize — Lana was injured amid the chaos of the ensuing brawl. Nakamura saw fit to blame Rusev for The Ravishing Russian’s condition, making this title rivalry intensely personal for Rusev as he fought not only for the championship, but for the honor of his wife.

Ultimately, it was that chaotic night that gave Nakamura insight into how to pry Rusev’s United States Championship from his hands and begin his second term as President of Nak-America at Chase Field in Phoenix.

What’s next for Rusev and Lana following this disappointing loss? Will Rusev Day ever be as joyous as it once was? And how will Nakamura mark his second U.S. Title victory? Don’t miss SmackDown LIVE, Tuesday nights at 8/7 C on USA Network.

PHOENIX — After weeks of cruel mind games and calculated sneak attacks, Shinsuke Nakamura pressed his psychological advantage over Rusev on the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff, reclaiming the United States Championship following an unfortunate collision between The Super Athlete and his wife, Lana.

Desperate after a combination of MMA-inspired holds and jaw-rattling strikes failed to fell The Lion of Bulgaria, Nakamura went into desperation mode, removing one of the turnbuckle pads with nefarious intentions. Noticing what the challenger was attempting, Lana leapt to the apron and alerted the referee, prompting a face-to-face between The Ravishing Russian and The Artist.

Rusev batters Shinsuke Nakamura in U.S. Title Match: Royal Rumble 2019 Kickoff

Rusev uses his might to beat down Shinsuke Nakamura in a bid to retain his United States Championship.

As Rusev charged at The King of Strong Style, Nakamura moved out of the way, putting The Super Athlete on a collision course with his wife, who was knocked to the floor at ringside. The distracted champion was then blindsided by a Kinshasa that scored Nakamura the pinfall victory and his second United States Championship.

This wasn’t the first time that Nakamura used Rusev’s marriage to his advantage. While The King of Strong Style interrupted The Super Athlete’s New Year’s Day U.S. Title victory celebration — one week after Rusev defeated Nakamura to attain the star-spangled prize — Lana was injured amid the chaos of the ensuing brawl. Nakamura saw fit to blame Rusev for The Ravishing Russian’s condition, making this title rivalry intensely personal for Rusev as he fought not only for the championship, but for the honor of his wife.

Ultimately, it was that chaotic night that gave Nakamura insight into how to pry Rusev’s United States Championship from his hands and begin his second term as President of Nak-America at Chase Field in Phoenix.

What’s next for Rusev and Lana following this disappointing loss? Will Rusev Day ever be as joyous as it once was? And how will Nakamura mark his second U.S. Title victory? Don’t miss SmackDown LIVE, Tuesday nights at 8/7 C on USA Network.