Just two days after winning the United States Championship from Rusev on the Royal Rumble kickoff show, Shinsuke Nakamura dropped the belt on SmackDown Live to R-Truth.
Truth came out with Carmella to bemoan missing the Royal Rumble because of the Nia Jax attack, claiming he would have won the bout had he made it to the ring. Alas, Truth said that the McMahons agreed with him and thus he was receiving a US Title match against Nakamura right away.
In a bizarre finish that was designed to look like a botch (but was not, given what then happened) Truth caught Nakamura with a small package and the referee counted to three, despite Nakamura seemingly kicking out at two. The fans did not realise it was the finish, especially as they continued the bout for a few seconds afterwards.
— WWE (@WWE) January 30, 2019
However, the referee awarded the match and the title to a shocked Truth, marking his second run with the gold following a run in 2010.
Following that, Rusev hit the ring and talked his way into a title shot of his own against Truth, which he lost via a quick roll up.
Nakamura then returned and he and Rusev united to lay a beating on Truth, which appeared to be a Rusev heel turn and the formation of a new alliance. This may well be another move by WWE towards improving the tag division, if Rusev and Nakamura become a regular duo.