- Samoa Joe had been feuding with Jeff Hardy but it looks like his new feud could be with Mustafa Ali. Joe vs. Ali was set to take place on tonight's WWE SmackDown but Joe destroyed Ali before the bell and kept coming back to deliver more ringside punishment. Joe later said this was a statement and he would do the same to any man who entered the Royal Rumble. Above is video from the segment.
- The dark matches before tonight's SmackDown from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama saw EC3 defeat Aiden English and Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic) defeat The Colons (Primo & Epico).
- EC3 also appeared in a backstage segment on tonight's SmackDown. He was shown posing in front of a mirror as Joe walked to the ring for the angle with Ali. Nikki Cross also appeared in a backstage segment tonight, acting crazy behind a fence as Rey Mysterio walked to the ring for his loss to Andrade.
As noted, Lacey Evans and Heavy Machinery also appeared in backstage segments on tonight's SmackDown. Tucker and Otis did a backstage segment with Becky Lynch and The New Day, while Evans was shown watching Becky's win over Peyton Royce from backstage, with a drink in her hand.
The call-ups from WWE NXT are appearing on both RAW and SmackDown until they sign with one of the brands. Last night's RAW saw brief appearances by EC3, Heavy Machinery and Evans, while Cross teamed with Bayley and Natalya for a win over The Riott Squad. There's no word yet on Lars Sullivan's debut. WWE had teased him for a possible SmackDown appearance but that never happened.
Below are shots of EC3 and Cross backstage, along with the shots of Evans and Heavy Machinery for those who missed them earlier: