– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a graphic in memory of Jon Huber (aka Brodie Lee, Luke Harper), who passed away at the age of 41 last Saturday.
– The New Year’s edition of WWE SmackDown begins with a video package showing highlights from last week’s Steel Cage match that saw Roman Reigns retain the WWE Universal Title over Kevin Owens. We’re live from the ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves.
– We go right to the ring and out first comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. They stop on the stage and the pyro goes off as Reigns raises the title. Greg Hamilton does the introductions and they march to the ring.
Reigns takes the mic and as the face of WWE, he wishes everyone a Happy New Year. Reigns says 2020 has been rough but when you’re the head of the table, the Tribal Chief, you make it work. Fans boo him some more. Reigns says everything he touches turns to greatness, just look at who he surrounds himself with. He mentions saving Heyman after he was just tossed out. He goes on praising Heyman as the most genuine, honest man he’s ever done business with. Heyman bows and fans boo some more. Reigns says his cousin Jey is a prime example of what he can do. He said just listen to him and what’s happened? It’s been the best yer of Jey’s career. Reigns goes on praising Jey and the success he’s had, all because he acknowledged Reigns as his Tribal Chief. Reigns turns to Jey and says he did this because he knows who Jey is, he’s understood since day one. Everyone else was wondering which Uso he was, but Reigns says he’s always known Jey as Main Event Uso. Reigns says he would never have put all this on Jey but he knew he would knock it out of the park each time, and that’s why Reigns loves Jey.
Reigns goes on talking to Jey but the music interrupts and out comes Kevin Owens. Reigns yells for the music to be cut and says no one wants to hear it. He yells at Owens about how no one wants to see him, he’s irrelevant now and it’s embarrassing to see him. Owens was a social media sweetheart for a few weeks but that’s done now. Reigns continues with the insults and says he gave Owens’ family a good payday, so he hopes Owens gave them a good Christmas. Reigns says tonight is all about he and his family. Now is Jey’s time so Owens should quit being selfish. Owens says it is embarrassing to Reigns to see him out here because this all means Reigns and his family failed. They tried to take Owens out but here he is. He goes on about what it took for Reigns and Uso to guarantee Reigns kept the title. Owens keeps talking trash and says The Big Dog is gone and he’s been replaced by a giant bitch. Fans pop. Owens says Reigns is right, it’s not about a fight between them tonight, and it is about cousin Jey tonight, that’s fine, because he’s here to fight, not Reigns, but Jey. Owens says Uso will pay tonight for what his cousin has done. Owens says he’s going to the back and he doesn’t care who he has to talk to, he’s telling them, not asking, that he will fight Jey tonight. Owens says when he’s done with Jey, Reigns’ family will have nothing to celebrate. Owens drops the mic and heads to the back as his music starts up. Reigns, Uso and Heyman look on.
– Cole and Graves show us Progressive-sponsored highlights from last week’s Lumberjack Match main event on Christmas, which saw Big E capture the WWE Intercontinental Title from Sami Zayn.
Big E vs. King Baron Corbin
We go back to the ring and out first comes new WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E for this non-title match. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes King Baron Corbin with The Knights of The Lone Wolf – Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler. Sami Zayn has joined Cole and Graves for commentary. The bell rings and they lock up. They go to the ropes and then the corner, and back out as Corbin applies a headlock. They collide with shoulders and Big E is still up, taunting Corbin. They run the ropes again and Big E drops Corbin with an elbow for a quick pin attempt.
Big E takes Corbin down and into a Gator Roll. Big E with a 2 count. Corbin rocks Big E and drops him with a clothesline for a 2 count. Big E is wearing a “BRODIE” armband for Brodie Lee. Corbin works Big E over and drops him, then elbows him. Corbin grounds Big E and drives elbows into him. Big E looks to mount offense but Corbin sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Corbin unloads in the corner again. Corbin keeps control and drops Big E for another 2 count.
Big E sends Corbin to the apron but then runs into a knee as he charges. Corbin comes back in but misses, then runs right back in. Big E scoops him for a Big Ending out of nowhere and hits it. Big E goes for the pin but Sami rushes the ring and breaks it up for the disqualification.
Winner by DQ: Big E
– After the bell, Blake and Cutler hit the ring and attack Big E while he’s down. Big E fights them off but Sami attacks from behind. Big E is triple teamed now. Apollo Crews makes the save to a pop now. Cutler and Blake get sent to the floor. Crews dodges a Helluva Kick and then presses Sami high in the air, tossing him out of the ring onto Blake and Cutler. Crews and Big E stand tall together in the ring as we go to commercial.
Big E and Apollo Crews vs. Sami Zayn and King Corbin
Back from the break and WWE official Adam Pearce has made this tag team match. Apollo Crews drops Sami Zayn for a 2 count in the middle of the ring. King Baron Corbin tags in and talks some trash to WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E, who is on the apron. Corbin drops Crews and tags in Sami to take back over.
Sami unloads and keeps Crews down. Corbin tags back in and fights off Crews into the corner. Corbin tosses Crews to the floor. Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler end up dropping Crews at ringside after a cheap shot while Big E is furious on the apron. Sami tags himself back in and tosses Crews right back to the floor in front of the announcers. The referee counts as Sami slams Crews’ face into the apron. Sami argues with Cutler and Blake, making it back in at the 8 count. Sami comes back in but Crews nails a big powerslam in the middle of the ring.
Big E waits for the tag, as does Corbin. They both get it and Big E immediately hits a big belly-to-belly throw, and another. Corbin charges but misses. Big E with a belly-to-belly suplex. Big E runs the ropes and hits a splash in the middle of the ring. Corbin avoid the Big Ending. Big E ducks a clothesline but Corbin comes right back with Deep Six for a close 2 count. Corbin shows some frustration.
Sami is arguing with Cutler and Blake at ringside again. Corbin yells at them. Corbin turns around to a legal Crews, who attacks. Corbin drops Crews with a right. Sami tags in as Crews backs Corbin into the corner. Sami almost hits a Helluva Kick to Corbin but puts the brakes on. Sami beats Crews down and argues with Corbin now. Blake and Cutler jump on the apron as Sami tries to calm everyone down.
Corbin exits the ring and leaves with his muscle. Sami yells at them and says he doesn’t need Corbin. Crews catches Sami with a step-up enziguri, then the sitdown powerbomb in the middle of the ring while Big E was still on the outside. Big E runs back in the ring but right as the 3 count is being made.
Winners: Big E and Apollo Crews
– After the match, Big E celebrates with Crews as we see Sami recovering at ringside.
– Still to come, Bayley and Carmella vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. Also, Otis and Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura.
– Adam Pearce is backstage on the phone when Kevin Owens walks up. Owens says he’s here to fight Jey Uso and he’s going to do it either way but it would be great if Pearce makes the match. Pearce goes on about everything he has going on tonight. Owens begs him and he says he can’t do it, but he will give Owens anyone else on the roster tonight. Owens says he’ll take Roman Reigns. Pearce asks Owens why he’s doing this. They continue the back & forth until Pearce gives in and gives him the match with Uso. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see Apollo Crews and Big E walking, talking about their win. Kayla Braxton congratulates them and asks Big E what to expect from him as champion in 2021. Big E says he will be a fighting champion and will be issuing an open challenge next week. Crews says consider that challenge already accepted. Big E looks annoyed. Crews says it will be an honor to fight Big E next week. He goes on and says Big E might not be so lucky when Crews won’t have his back next week. They laugh together but there’s some tension there.
The Riott Squad vs. Natalya and Tamina Snuka
We go back to the ring and The Riott Squad is waiting – Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott. Billie Kay is out first for her team. She waits on the stage and out comes Tamina Snuka. However, Natalya’s music then hits and she comes out to join Snuka. Snuka and Natalya march to the ring together, annoyed by Kay, who follows them to ringside.
Natalya starts off with Liv and drops her with a shoulder. They run the ropes and trade counters. Liv counters Natalya and rolls her for a 2 count. Natalya drops Liv but is distracted by Billie yelling at ringside. This allows Ruby to tag in for a big dropkick. Tamina tags in and faces off with Riott. Riott ducks strikes and nails some of her own as she faces off with Snuka. Riott charges but gets dropped with an uppercut.
Riott fights out of a corner, taking shots at Snuka and Natalya. Natalya gets knocked to the floor. Riott escapes the corner and tags Liv. Liv goes right for Natalya and knocks her off the apron. Liv unloads on Snuka now. Kay is apparently cheering on the other team now. Liv goes on and tags in Riott for the double team on Snuka for a close 2 count.
Ruby yells at Kay to get away from their corner because she can’t hear. Liv tags back in but Tamina fights off the double team, superkicking Riott to the floor after shoving Liv away. Liv blocks a slam attempt by Snuka and rolls her up for the pin to win.
Winners: The Riott Squad
– After the match, Morgan joins Riott at ringside as their music hits. Billie also starts celebrating as The Riott Squad looks on. They head to the back without her because she’s busy ranting and cheering on the ramp.
– We see how Charlotte Flair and RAW Women’s Champion Asuka retained the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles last week over Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair, and Carmella and Bayley.
Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair vs. Bayley and Carmella
We go back to the ring and out first comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks. She poses on the apron as the pyro goes off. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out next comes Bianca Belair to join Banks. Carmella is out next with her personal sommelier, Reginald. Bayley is out last, posing on the ramp as the pyro goes off. Belair starts off with Carmella. Carmella ducks a clothesline and goes behind but Belair drops her. They trade strikes and Belair overpowers, lifting Carmella by her arm. Carmella fights free and tags out. Bayley runs in but gets dropkicked by Belair.
Belair dodges an attack and dumps Bayley to the floor. Carmella runs in but gets sent to the apron. Belair kicks Carmella to the floor. Banks is legal now as she and Belair double team their opponents back to the floor. Banks brings Bayley back into the ring for a close 2 count. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Bayley drops Belair for a 2 count. Banks swings at Bayley from the apron and they have words. Bayley ties Belair up in the ropes and works her over as the referee warns her. Carmella tags in and takes over as they keep focusing on Belair’s arm. Bayley tags back in and rolls Belair for a 2 count. Bayley grounds Belair now as she tries to crawl for a tag. Fans try to rally for Belair now. Bayley goes for a suplex but Belair counters with a vertical suplex of her own.
Carmella immediately tags and stops Belair from tagging. Carmella then knocks Banks off the apron. Belair counters Carmella with a roll-up for 2. Carmella comes right back and superkicks Belair, then talks some trash in her face. Carmella grounds Belair again. Belair powers up from a slam but Carmella fights out. Banks still tags in and has words with Carmella. They go at it and Banks gets sent to the apron. She fights back with a knee to the face and runs Carmella’s face into the ring post. Banks mounts offense and hits the kick to the face in the corner. Banks with a running knee for a 2 count as Bayley breaks it up.
Belair runs in and tosses Bayley to the floor. Belair tosses her hair under the bottom rope to help Banks make the tag but Bayley stops her. Bayley gets sent into the ring post by Belair. Belair with a snap suplex on the floor. Carmella rolls Banks from behind for a 2 count. Carmella with a kick to the gut and then a superkick to the mouth. Banks dodges the Bronco Buster and rolls Carmella up, then applies the Bank Statement. Reginald grabs Carmella’s leg and pulls her to safety as fans boo.
Reginald enters the ring and has a staredown with Banks. He backs up and launches himself through the ropes to the floor, taunting Banks. He goes back to the apron and back-flips off as Banks reaches for him. Carmella comes from behind with a kick attempt but Banks catches it and drops her for a 2 count. Reginald comes back to the apron but gets punched off the apron by Banks. Carmella comes back and decks Banks, then drops her with a Mellabuster for the pin to win.
Winners: Carmella and Bayley
– After the match, Carmella celebrates as the music hits. We go to replays. Carmella, Reginald and Bayley celebrate as Banks and Belair recover.
– The announcers confirm Jey Uso vs. Kevin Owens for tonight. We go backstage to Uso, Roman Reigns, and Paul Heyman. They see the Uso vs. Owens graphic on the TV. Reigns isn’t happy the match was made because of all he’s done for the company, and says this means they don’t appreciate him. He tells Heyman to go and find out who doesn’t appreciate him. Heyman bows to Reigns and walks off.
– We go back to the ring and out come SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits – Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Sonya Deville is backstage walking, her return since losing the Loser Leaves WWE match to Mandy Rose at SummerSlam. Other Superstars are surprised to see Deville walking. Graves confirms that she has been reinstated to SmackDown. We go back to the ring and The Street Profits are out for their New Year’s Day Smoke-Tacular. They dance around some and say goodbye to 2020, but say the year wasn’t all bad because they won gold.
They go on and have a big reveal to do. They remove a black covering and reveal a set of drums. Dawkins plays some as Ford starts making some of his predictions for 2021. He predicts their Intercontinental Title t-shirt will be a top seller on WWE Shop. We see a replay of last week’s segment where they taunted Sami Zayn with the “I Was Intercontinental Champion” t-shirt due to his title loss to Big E. Ford has more predictions and this one has to do with making fun of Dolph Ziggler. The champs are suddenly attacked by Ziggler and Robert Roode.
Dawkins ends up on the floor crawling. Roode goes out to grab a steel chair but stops and smacks Dawkins over the back with it. Roode tosses Dawkins over the barrier. Roode and Ziggler double team Ford now, wrapping his leg around the ring post. Roode holds Ford’s leg against the post and Ziggler smacks it with a chair, putting it into the steps. Ziggler and Roode taunt Ford some more at ringside as Roode delivers another chair shot and fans boo. Dawkins is crawling back over the barrier now to check on Ford. Roode and Ziggler mock them and wish them a Happy New Year. Dawkins tends to Ford as Ziggler and Roode back away, still laughing. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see what Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode just did to The Street Profits. Kayla Braxton catches up with Roode and Ziggler in the back, and asks the reason for the vicious and unprovoked attack. Ziggler says this was not unprovoked as The Profits have been provoking them for months. Roode says it’s all about fun and games, but he wonders if The Profits are having fun now. He goes on about how The Profits have something they want and deserve. They go on and Ziggler demands a rematch for the titles, and says they won’t stop the attacks until they get what they want.
Otis and Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
We go back to the ring and out first comes Daniel Bryan and Otis with Chad Gable as fans do the “yes!” chant. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are out next. We see footage from earlier today of Bryan, Gable and Otis training for the Royal Rumble. They were interrupted by Cesaro and Nakamura. They all had words and Cesaro and Nakamura mocked the idea of Bryan winning the Royal Rumble. The bell rings as Cesaro starts off with Bryan, taking him down with a headlock.
They run the ropes and Cesaro drops Bryan with a shoulder for a quick pin attempt. Bryan turns it around and drops Cesaro. Cesaro takes it to the corner and in comes Nakamura. Bryan gets dropped as Nakamura works him over. Bryan tangles with Nakamura and slams him on the mat. More back and forth between Bryan and Nakamura. Bryan ends up sent out to the floor but Cesaro catches him in mid-air, then levels him with a big uppercut. Bryan hits the ground and Otis runs over chasing Cesaro as SmackDown cuts to commercial.
Back from the break and Bryan is still being dominated by Cesaro and Nakamura. Cesaro brings Bryan back in from getting sent over the top, drops an elbow and covers for a 2 count. Cesaro grounds Bryan now as Otis and Gable rally. Cesaro catches Bryan with a big sideslam for another 2 count. Cesaro tosses Bryan over the top rope once again. Nakamura tags in and kicks Bryan at ringside. Nakamura brings it back in and nails a running knee to the face for a close 2 count.
Nakamura takes Bryan to the top and nails a big kick. Bryan ends up countering and sending Nakamura over the top to the floor. Cesaro rolls his partner back in. Bryan tags Otis in. Cesaro tags in and Otis clotheslines him, then runs over him with a shoulder. Otis launches Cesaro with a big throw. Otis then hits the Luke Harper clothesline. Gable cheers Otis on as he splashes Cesaro in the corner.
Otis goes for The Caterpillar, yells out “2021!” and drops an elbow on Cesaro for 2 as Nakamura breaks it up. Otis goes back for the second rope Vader Bomb but Cesaro moves. Nakamura tags in and waits for Otis. Otis blocks the Kinshasa and lifts Nakamura in the air, pancaking him into the mat on the way down. Bryan tags in and goes to the top and leaps with a sunset flip to Nakamura for 2. Bryan with an uppercut. Bryan counters from the corner, runs the ropes but gets caught with a kick to the jaw. Bryan counters again but Nakamura wraps him up with scissors, takes him to the mat for an armbar but Otis breaks it up.
Cesaro runs in and uppercuts Otis. Otis gets double superkicked to the floor. Bryan with a running knee to Cesaro to send him to the floor. Nakamura rolls Bryan for a 2 count. Bryan goes right into the Yes Lock and Nakamura taps out.
Winners: Daniel Bryan and Otis
– After the match, Bryan celebrates and calls for a loud “yes!” chant as Gable and Otis join in.
– Paul Heyman approaches Roman Reigns and Jey Uso in the back, and blames the match with Kevin Owens on Adam Pearce. Reigns says they just won’t learn and everyone is trying to take what they have worked for. He tells Jey not to let them, and go out there, show them why he’s the main event. Uso walks off.
Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as Kevin Owens makes his way out. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and announced for Talking Smack is Robert Roode, Dolph Ziggler, Billie Kay and Jey Uso. The announcers also hype Apollo Crews vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E for next week with the title on the line. We go back to the ring and out next comes Uso to the ring. They stare each other down and immediately go at it, brawling around. Owens gets the upperhand and stomps away. They end up on the floor and Owens nails a clothesline, then a senton as the referee counts. Owens brings it back in and hits another senton in the middle of the ring for a 2 count. Owens stomp some more and focuses on Uso’s hurt leg.
Uso tries to mount some offense but Owens stays on him, taking out the leg again. Owens continues beating Uso around the ring and back into the corner as the referee warns him. Owens talks some trash and goes for a move but Uso rocks him with a right hand, and another. Owens kicks the leg again. Uso blocks the Stunner and then levels him with a kick. Owens rolls to the floor for a breather.
Uso rolls out and leaps off the steel steps but Owens kicks him in mid-move. Owens launches Uso over the announce table and he lands hard. Owens goes back in the ring and yells out, asking where Roman Reigns is at. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re trading strikes up high. Uso sends Owens to the mat and then leaps but lands bad on his hurt leg. Owens capitalizes with a Stunner for the pin to win.
Winner: Kevin Owens
– After the match, Owens stands tall as his music hits. Owens calls Roman Reigns out and starts beating Uso up some more, dropping him with another Stunner. Owens keeps looking at the stage, trying to bait Reigns out here. Owens goes out and grabs Graves’ headset, telling Reigns to come take care of his family, and calling him a bitch. Owens grabs a pair of handcuffs from under the ring and brings them in, cuffing Uso to the top rope. Uso throws a fit and tries to get free but Owens superkicks him to the mat. Owens keeps stomping away on Uso, focusing on his hurt leg. Referee Charles Robinson tries to get him to stop but Owens only wants Reigns. Owens cuffs both of Uso’s arms now and brings him out of the ring, to the production area next to the stage.
Owens beats Uso up some more and then superkicks him. Owens is about to run and jump off a platform to put Uso through a table while cuffed, but Reigns meets him on the platform and cuts him off. Fans boo as Reigns beats Owens down. Owens fights back but Reigns keeps control. Uso joins Reigns now, up on a platform behind the first row of virtual fans. They send Owens up another level and unload on him with steel chairs while he’s down on the platform. Reigns and Uso continue trash talking Owens while he’s down. Usu holds Owens as Reigns delivers more chair shots. A “you suck!” chant starts up now. Owens keeps trying to fight back but now Uso is superkicking him. Reigns sends Owens into the LED boards, slamming his head into it a few times. Reigns pounds Owens with right hands now, continuing to destroy him.
Reigns grabs Owens from up high on the platform and launches him off, down below through the table that Owens was originally going to splash Uso through. Reigns stands tall and Uso looks down at Owens as a referee runs over to check on him. Owens is laid out in the debris down below as we go to a replay. The first SmackDown of 2021 goes off the air with Reigns looking down below at Owens, who is laid out.