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Could KO make a splash at the Royal Rumble?

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Kevin Owens and Matt Hardy Return on WWE SmackDown Live!

Two big returns helped spice up the Road to WrestleMania.

KO and The Broken yet Woken One made surprise returns on tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live!.

Kevin Owens has been out of action the past several months due to injury and, after weeks of handheld footage of him bowling and going to the movies with his family, made a triumphant return to the blue brand and was immediately inserted into the WWE Championship picture. Vinnie Mac himself came out to announce Owen’s returns, remove Kofi Kingston from the WWE Championship match at Fastlane, and insert KO.

Later in the night, Owens teamed with Kingston against the duo of Daniel Bryan and Rowan. Kingston and Owens won the match after Owens pinned D-Bry with Stone Cold Stunner. It’s certainly an interesting, albeit uninspired turn of events. Kofi is clearly riding a wave of momentum and fans are being vocal about their desire to see him in a top spot. Obviously, the creative powers that be are trying to stoke those flames by placing more adversity in front of him, which will likely work, but they are doing this same exact storyline with Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey. It’s likely that Kingston will either be added to the Fastlane match or at WrestleMania itself — I just would have preferred a more creative way to capitalize on Kingston’s momentum.

Matt Hardy also made a surprise return in a winning effort with his brother Jeff over The Bar. The previously Broken performer was suffering low back pain secondary to sacralization of his L5 vertebra (fancy way of saying his two of his vertebra were partially fused) that, as per a Twitter post from his account, threatened his career. Since then has been serving as a backstage producer and transitioning into more of a teaching role beyond the ring. Hardy, fortunately, revealed that had been cleared for an in-ring return and appears to still be able to perform. Matt was NOT utilizing his previously used Woken gimmick and it remains to be seen what role his character will be playing forward.

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