A gutsy performance by Kofi Kingston was the highlight of last night’s Gauntlet match on Smackdown Live. It was the main event match of the night that started with breaking news. Mustafa Ali could not compete in this match since he is dealing with an injury. He will not be competing at Elimination Chamber WWE Championship match, either. So Kofi Kingston received the chance to fill up his spot.
He and Daniel Bryan started the match that was a back-and-forth contest. Kofi Kingston came back even after taking Running Knee by the champion. Rowan tried to interfere into the match but ultimately got knocked down. Kofi landed the Trouble in Paradise on the champion to pick up a big win. He eliminated Daniel Bryan to move on to the next match against Jeff Hardy.
The younger Hardy gave his best into the match but fell victim to an SOS from Kofi Kingston. The Gauntlet continued with Samoa Joe coming up and delivering a beatdown on Kofi who was already battered down. The punishment continued with Coquina Clutch which Kofi countered for another win. Joe seemed irate and attacked his opponent after the match.
AJ Styles appeared on Smackdown to break things between the two. He wanted to give some time to Kofi Kingston who wrestled on the show for almost an hour. But the high-flyer was willing to go. Soon AJ trapped him into the Calf Crusher to eliminate from the Gauntlet, finally. Randy Orton was the last man to appear from the back and connect with the RKO on AJ to come up as the winner. He was the one to stand tall who will now enter the Elimination Chamber in the last spot.
There’s no better way to hype up an Elimination Chamber match than to host a Gauntlet match. Last year, WWE took the same strategy with Seth Rollins setting new records in this type of match. Last night’s Smackdown witnessed the return of the same Gauntlet match. Six superstars of Elimination Chamber title match competed in it.
WWE raised the stakes high for this one contest on Smackdown adding a big stipulation. They declared that whoever wins this match will get to enter the Elimination Chamber match at the very last. This gives him the ultimate advantage to come up as the winner and the WWE Champion on this Sunday night.
With that being said, the Gauntlet match was a solid one on Smackdown Live. The six participants Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, Mustafa Ali and Jeff Hardy gave it all to win the Gauntlet. Ultimately, Randy Orton became the winner to gain the needed momentums for Elimination Chamber. Hopefully, he uses the advantage earned by this win.