The announcement that Sami Zayn and AJ Styles would face off in SmackDown's main event built great anticipation for this week's show. They are, after all, two of the most gifted in-ring performers on the company's books, and a couple of guys who, under the right circumstances, could easily deliver a 'Match Of The Year' candidate. They weren't likely to hit those heights in a TV main event, but it was still difficult to look at 'Styles vs. Zayn' on the billing and not get excited.
Unfortunately, they didn't deliver.
AJ and Sami worked a technically sound but entirely unexciting bout, with both seemingly content to coast their way through SmackDown's closer. The pacing resembled a house show match. Neither showed their best work, and the initial novelty of seeing two internet darlings fight wore off when it became apparent they weren't going to break out of second gear.
It ended with shenanigans, too. Kevin Owens distracted the ref while Styles had Sami rolled up, leading to Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan both getting involved, and ultimately, Zayn scoring an opportunistic Helluva Kick in the confusion. Afterwards, Styles was placed in a Royal Rumble handicap with Kevin and Sami, while Bryan and McMahon watched on, gleefully unaware that their intrusive storyline had helped ruin yet another potentially great bout.