– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a look back at what happened last week with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. We also see how Adam Pearce picked Seth Rollins to challenge Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
– We’re live from the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska as Michael Cole welcomes us to SmackDown on FOX. He’s joined at ringside by Pat McAfee. They hype Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, and their face-off on tonight’s show. Cole says they are excited to welcome WWE Hall of Famer Lita to tonight’s show, her first blue brand appearance in almost 20 years.
– We go right to the ring and out come SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. WWE NXT’s Samantha Irvin does the introductions. Cole looks back at last week’s Street Fight win over The New Day and says King Xavier Woods is out of action indefinitely due to a calm muscle injury suffered during the bout.
The Usos take the mic and give props to The New Day, saying they’re the one team to always take The Usos to the limit, but they go on about letting everyone know that they are the best tag team, they are #1. The grind doesn’t stop and they bring up assisting WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns with Seth Rollins. They also say WWE officials are lining up their opponents and they’re ready to knock them down. A Fatal 4 Way has been booked to determine their next challengers. They introduce the participating tag teams with special introductions for each team. Out first is Los Lotharios – Angel and Humberto, followed by Cesaro and Mansoor, Jinder Mahal and Shanky, and out last is Erik and Ivar – The Viking Raiders. The Usos joke about the rules for the match and the most important rule is – The Usos are #1. They suddenly deliver superkicks to Mansoor and Erik to kick the action. A big brawl breaks out between the four teams to begin the match as we go to commercial.
#1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: The Viking Raiders vs. Los Lotharios vs. Cesaro and Mansoor vs. Jinder Mahal and Shanky
Back from the break and the Fatal 4 Way is underway. The winners will become the new #1 contenders to The Usos, who are on commentary now. Mansoor and Humberto go at it. Mansoor delivers two Atomic Drops and sends Humberto to the floor. He comes back in and leaps off the top but gets caught with a third inverted Atomic Drop. Cesaro tags in and they double team Humberto now.
Erik tags in and clears Cesaro and Mansoor, then faces off with Angle, who snatches his pants off but Erik stares him down. Shanky is legal now as Angel comes out. Shanky goes to work on Erik, taking him to the corner. Jinder tags in and they double team Erik as Jinder takes over. Shanky tags back in and delivers a big boot and elbows to Erik in the corner.
Jinder tags right back in to take over. Ivar and Shanky are legal now. Ivar knocks Los Lotharios off the apron and unloads on Shanky. Ivar knocks Cesaro and Mansoor off the apron but Shanky works him over in the corner. Ivar stuns Shanky and tags in Erik for the double team to Shanky. Erik lifts Ivar and slams him onto Shanky in the corner.
Ivar goes to the top but Jinder sends Erik to the floor and rocks Ivar while he’s up top. Jinder climbs up for a superplex to Ivar and Cesaro joins him. Jinder and Cesaro try for a double superplex but Ivar resists. Erik runs back in and turns it into a powerbomb, slamming Ivar, Cesaro and Jinder to the mat. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Humberto goes at it with Mansoor. Mansoor ducks a clothesline and tags in Cesaro, who knocks Jinder and Shanky off the apron, then goes to work on Humberto in the corner, mounting him with right hands. Angel gets knocked out by Cesaro, to the floor. Cesaro with a Samoan Drop to Mansoor. Ivar comes in but Cesaro fights him and calls for a Cesaro Swing to a big pop from fans and The Usos.
Jinder stops the Swing from happening and slams Cesaro with The Khallas to boos. Mansoor with a step-up enziguri to Jinder to send him out to the floor. Shanky rag-dolls Mansoor to the floor. Erik sends Shanky to the floor. Angel and Humberto double superkick Ivar, then nail double suicide dives to Jinder and Cesaro on the floor. Ivar is alone in the ring now. He runs the ring for a big dive but Los Lotharios cut him off with a double dropkick.
Ivar fights off a double team by Los Lotharios now, leveling Angel with a big senton in the corner. The Viking Raiders then catch Humberto with The Viking Experience in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winners and New #1 Contenders: The Viking Raiders
– After the match, The Vikings stand tall as their music hits but The Usos interrupt from the announce table. They talk some trash as Erik and Ivar stare them down from the ring. The two teams have words as The Usos’ music starts up now.
– Cole sends us to this week’s Progressive-sponsored Match Flo replay, looking back at last week’s match between Naomi and SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, and Sonya Deville’s involvement. Deville is backstage in her office now when Naomi walks in. Deville comments on it being cold in the office and Naomi says cold just like Deville’s heart. They have a few words and Naomi knocks her for being such a liar. Naomi says toying with her is one thing but she won’t let it slide when Deville interferes in her career and messes up her title shot. Naomi threatens Deville and Deville reminds her how she can’t touch her when she has this suit on, because that makes her Naomi’s boss. Deville threatens her job and says Naomi shows up with “main character vibes” when everyone knows she’s just an extra. Deville tells Naomi to keep her hands off her unless she wants to get fined or removed from the Royal Rumble or even fired. The choice is hers. Naomi says fine and walks off. Adam Pearce comes walking in and comments on how cold it is in the office. Apparently the heat isn’t working.
– Still to come is Sami Zayn’s In-Zayn stunt segment. Sami has vowed to “out-Jackass” Johnny Knoxville of Jackass. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a Road to Royal Rumble video on Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns, looking at history between the two. Tonight’s Face-To-Face segment will be sponsored by Jackson-Hewitt.
– We go back to the ring and Sami Zayn is making his way down. He says the conspiracy against him has gone on for too long, beginning with how he was robbed for the WWE Intercontinental Title, but finally he is getting back to where he retains the gold that belongs to him. Zayn brings up Jackass star Johnny Knoxville and shows us what happened between the two last week. Sami says Knoxville is actually great because he is also officially entering the Royal Rumble. Zayn says Knoxville thinks he can do anything Zayn can but he can’t. Zayn then says he can do whatever Knoxville can, and tonight he will show that to the world.
Zayn says everyone knows about Jackass, but get ready for the most spectacular stunt show on TV, the first episode of In-Zayn. An intro video plays for the show. We come back and Zayn is at the top of the ramp, sitting down in a shopping cart like Jackass stars used to do. Two assistants in all black are ready to push the cart down the ramp. Sami introduces himself and says he’s going to jump this wrestling ring. There’s a wooden ramp at ringside.
Sami hesitates and counts to 3 but then stalls. Zayn, wearing a bike helmet, gets ready to go again and now he tells them to go, full speed. They start pushing him down the entrance-way but tells them to stop before they get to the wooden ramp. Fans boo as Zayn gets out of the cart and says he just wants to make sure it’s safe. Sami says fans don’t want to see him get hurt, right? Sami is way tougher than Knoxville but he doesn’t want to get hurt for nothing. Rick Boogs suddenly appears on the apron and Sami is glad he’s here. Sami says Boogs can deliver a message to his friend, WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn goes on ranting until Nakamura appears behind him for a big pop from the crowd.
Sami turns around to Nakamura leveling him with a Kinshasa to a bigger pop. Boogs then presses Zayn high in the air as fans cheer him on. Boogs presses Zayn in the air and then launches him to the floor, into the crash pads that were on the other side of the ring for the shopping cart stunt. Nakamura’s music hits as he and Boogs celebrate to end the segment.
– Megan Morant is backstage with Aliyah. She asks if Aliyah is nervous to make her SmackDown singles debut tonight. Aliyah says she is all nerves. She has dreamed about getting into the WWE ring since she was a little girl, and now she gets to do that against Natalya, who is a Triple Crown winner. Aliyah hopes she puts on a good showing and doesn’t embarrass herself. Natalya shows up to boos from the arena, and she’s carrying a Guinness Book of World Records. Natalya says Aliyah will do awesome and there’s no shame in losing to Natalya in her singles debut on SmackDown because she is the winningest woman in WWE history, and that’s just one of her Guinness World Records. Aliyah seems a bit excited and says she didn’t know the Guinness Book was a real thing. Natalya isn’t impressed as Aliyah hurries off.
Aliyah vs. Natalya
We go back to the ring and out first comes Aliyah for her blue brand singles debut. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Aliyah is in the ring waiting for her opponent. Natalya is backstage with Morant again. She brags about her Guinness World Records and how important the book is. She says her three records symbolize the 14 years she’s dedicated to WWE, and that’s why she’s a clear favorite to win the Women’s Rumble. Natalya brags again about her three Guinness World Records – most matches of any woman in WWE history, the most pay-per-view matches of any woman in WWE history, and the most victories of any woman in WWE history. Natalya says tonight she will set another record by beating the record for the fastest match for a woman in WWE history, which is 3.8. Natalya walks off and makes her entrance to the ring now.
Natalya sets her Guinness Book down in the corner and immediately attacks Aliyah and beats her down before the bell. The referee warns her but she continues the assault. Natalya unloads with stomps in the corner as the referee warns her. Natalya beats Aliyah around the ring and the referee has no luck in restoring order. He finally gets Natalya off her and checks on Aliyah, telling her to let him know if she’s able to continue. The referee tells the ring announcer that Aliyah cannot compete, but Aliyah begs and pleads with him. The announcement is made, but then the referee changes his mind and Aliyah has convinced him she can go.
The bell rings and Aliyah immediately rolls Natalya up for the quick pin to win in seconds.
– After the match, Aliyah celebrates as her music hits. She heads to the stage as s shocked and disappointed Natalya looks on from the ring. Irvin announces that Aliyah set a new WWE record for the fastest victory ever with 3.17 seconds. We see Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville backstage watching. They comment on how it’s still so cold in their office and the thermostat isn’t working.
– Still to come, Lita is here. Back to commercial.
– We get another video package on the history between Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
– Michael Cole is in the ring now. He gives a grand introduction to WWE Hall of Famer Lita and out she comes to a big pop and standing ovation from the crowd.
Cole asks how it feels to be back in the WWE ring and Lita says she is home. Fans chant her name and she says it still gives her chills every time. Cole mentions how Lita inspired so many current WWE Superstars, and asks why she’s returning to the Women’s Royal Rumble this year. Lita talks about how she’s had a wild ride, and has so many career highlights.
Lita says most days she is fully satisfied with her career, until recently as she never got the chance to compete in the Royal Rumble because the Women’s Rumble wasn’t a thing when she was around. Lita feels like she still has one more run in her, so she has a plan – to mow through 29 other women, win the Royal Rumble and then main event WrestleMania 38. Fans pop but the music interrupts and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair to a mixed reaction.
Flair poses on the ramp as the pyro goes off. She enters the ring and takes the mic from Cole, saying she’s got this and will interview Lita. Cole exits the ring. Flair asks Lita how she’s doing, cuts her off as Lita looks to respond with saying she’s not interested in Flair. Flair says she didn’t know it was Flashback Friday. She goes on about how she will win The Rumble and pick her own opponent for WrestleMania. Flair says Lita’s little run will come to an end when Flair eliminates her at the Royal Rumble. Flair asks Lita how she will handle the humiliation when she ends Lita’s little comeback and crushes her WrestleMania dreams. Lita says she heard about this version of Flair, and says she looks like Tonya Harding. Flair poses. Lita wonders how Flair will eliminate anyone when she has this big head, which makes it looks like she’s about to tip over. Fans chant about Flair having a big head and Flair says she can’t hear them. Flair says it was funny how Lita brought up her best friend, WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.
Flair goes on to brag about how she broke Stratus at SummerSlam 2019, forcing her to retire. Flair says that’s exactly what she will do to Lita at The Rumble. Fans boo. Lita slaps Flair. Flair turns back to her but Lita kicks her and drops her with a Twist of Fate for a big pop. Lita’s music hits as she poses in the corner as fans cheer her on. Flair crawls to get back to her feet as Lita makes her exit.
– We see recent happenings in the Sheamus and Ridge Holland vs. Cesaro and Ricochet feud, and how Holland suffered a broken nose at WWE Day 1. Megan is backstage with Sheamus now. He says Holland should be here tonight with him, but he’s at home and that’s all Ricochet’s fault. Sheamus goes on about getting payback for Holland and says he will give Ricochet the beating of a lifetime tonight, and he will see how he likes it when he’s the one leaving the ring with a broken nose.
Sheamus vs. Ricochet
We go back to the ring and out comes Sheamus for the next match. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus waits while Ricochet makes his way out. We get a backstage promo with Ricochet talking about high risk and high reward, and how rewarding it will be to break the nose of Sheamus like he did to Ridge Holland.
The bell rings and they go at it, trading holds. Sheamus with a shoulder and more offense. They tangle again and Ricochet fights out of a powerbomb attempt, sending Sheamus over the top rope to the floor. Ricochet rocks Sheamus and runs the ropes, nailing a big dive over the top rope to the floor for a pop. More back and forth action now.
Sheamus ends up trying to pull Ricochet back to the floor but Ricochet fights from the apron. Sheamus takes Ricochet’s leg out, sending him to the floor from the apron. Sheamus has Ricochet down and under the bottom of the ring frame. He catapults Ricochet’s throat under the frame, then poses and stands tall at ringside to boos from the crowd. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus is dominating in the ring but Ricochet fights back and begins to mount offense. Ricochet with a big springboard crossbody and more offense. Ricochet side-steps a Brogue Kick and Sheamus is hung up on the top rope now. Ricochet runs into a big right hand. Ricochet leaves Sheamus draped over the middle rope, then nails a springboard Lionsault for a close 2 count.
Ricochet goes on and tries for the 450 Splash but Sheamus moves and he rolls through. Sheamus comes right back with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus delivers 10 Beats of The Bodhrán now, then knocks Ricochet back into the ring. Sheamus poses for some boos from the crowd. Sheamus scoops Ricochet to his shoulders and takes him up top for a super White Noise, but Ricochet slides out and kicks Sheamus several times in the face from the apron. Ricochet jumps back in from the apron and nails a big Sunset Flip powerbomb but Sheamus kicks out just in time.
Ricochet scoops Sheamus on his shoulders but Sheamus easily fights back off. Ricochet blocks an Alabama Slam and rolls him for a 2 count. They tangle again but Ricochet runs into a big Brogue Kick in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
– After the match, Sheamus stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. The Celtic Warrior stands tall and yells out to the crowd.
– We see what happened earlier between Aliyah and Natalya. Cole and McAfee announce that Aliyah has the fastest victory in WWE history with 3.17 seconds.
– Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville are backstage now. Now they’re complaining about how hot it is in their office, and the thermostat still is not working. Pearce is going to check with maintenance. Deville takes off her jacket and turns around to Naomi walking in. Naomi points out how Deville doesn’t have her jacket in, so no jacket means no boss, right? Pearce comes back in and stands in between them. Naomi asks Pearce to step aside because no one does anything about Deville abusing her power, and she deserves this beatdown. Pearce says Naomi is right about her complaint over Deville getting involved in last week’s match with SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. He says Naomi deserves another shot, and Flair vs. Naomi in a Championship Contender’s match is announced for next week. Naomi has a few more words for Deville as she leaves the office.
Kofi Kingston vs. Madcap Moss
We go back to the ring and out comes Kofi Kingston by himself as King Xavier Woods is injured. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get another Road to Royal Rumble video looking at the history between Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. We go back to the ring and Kofi is reading a royal scroll from King Xavier Woods, announcing his calf injury and confirming he will miss the Royal Rumble Match. It’s also announced that Kofi will enter the Men’s Rumble. Fans pop until the music interrupts and out comes Madcap Moss with Happy Baron Corbin. Corbin says he’s happy because he’s rich and good looking, and made so much money on NFTs this week that he bought a new $50,000 watch. The only thing that can make him happier is tossing Kofi at the Royal Rumble. Fans boo Corbin and Moss as they laugh and enter the ring. Corbin says they haven’t been this happy since they destroyed Drew McIntyre and injured his neck. They show us a replay from the attack at WWE Day 1. Moss cracks a “Poo Day” joke on The New Day. Kofi starts uncontrollably laughing but stops and says he planned to drop a royal deuce on Moss’ forehead in this match. They have words and the bell rings.
They go at it but Moss scoops Kofi and runs him into the ropes to dump him over the top rope, but Kofi counters and sends Moss flying to the floor. Kofi runs the ropes and leaps out, taking Moss and Corbin down at ringside. Kofi celebrates as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re still going at it as Corbin yells at ringside. Moss catches Kofi in a big fall-away slam. Moss unloads in the corner as the referee backs him off. Moss comes right back and stomps and punches on Kofi some more. Kofi finally fights back and mounts offense as fans rally for him. Kofi ducks a clothesline attempt and drops Moss with a big right hand.
Kofi taunts Moss by squatting over his face for that royal deuce, but Moss rolls him and Kofi comes back with a kick. Kofi with the Boom Drop in the middle of the ring now. Fans rally for Kofi. Corbin provides a distraction and Kofi misses Trouble In Paradise. Moss and Kofi tangle until Kofi kicks him in the face.
Kofi with a top rope crossbody but Moss catches him, rolls through and powers up but Kofi gets free. They tangle again but Moss blocks the SOS. Moss keeps going and drops Kofi with The Punchline for the pin to win.
Winner: Madcap Moss
– After the match, Moss and Corbin celebrate as the music hits.
– Cole sends us to a preview for next week’s RAW with more Royal Rumble build.
– We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event segment and out comes Seth Rollins to mostly boos. We go back to commercial as Rollins enters the ring and poses.
Back from the break and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns by himself. Reigns stops on the ramp and raises the strap in the air as the pyro goes off. Rollins watches from the ring as Reigns marches in, and raises the title to more pyro. Fans cheer as the former members of The Shield meet in the middle of the ring.
Reigns says before Rollins says anything, he calls on Omaha to acknowledge him. They respond with more mixed reactions. Rollins says let’s acknowledge that this is quite a moment and he was thinking… some fans chant for Rollins. Rollins offers his fist for a Shield fist bump, for old time’s sake. Reigns isn’t interested and some fans boo. Reigns says that is beneath him now. Rollins says well then let’s acknowledge the look on Reigns’ face when Rollins showed up in his office last week. Rollins laughs and says it seems he’s the last person on Earth Reigns wanted to see, and why not because their track record in singles matches for titles is one-sided. Rollins brags and says he won them all, so why would Reigns want to see him?
Reigns laughs at Rollins for coming out here and talking about the past. Reigns says Rollins must be sleeping under a rock because he’s in God-mode these days, the Head of your table, the Tribal Chief, the provider, the greatest of this generation no questions asked, the greatest Universal Champion of all-time, which makes him the greatest to ever do this. Rollins says he didn’t come out here to rain on Reigns’ parade, he came to acknowledge Reigns and everything he’s done. Rollins just has one question – can Reigns look himself in the mirror at night and say he’s accomplished all that by himself? Rollins says that’s the different between them.
Rollins goes on about how he was climbing to the top while Reigns was riding the pine in the CFL, and how Rollins still had to hold Reigns’ hand later on. Rollins asks if Reigns understands the difference yet. Cole says Rollins is making good points. Rollins says he created Reigns, and can destroy him. Rollins laughs. Reigns says Rollins is a waste of his time. Reigns says he looks and sounds like a clown because he is a clown, and clearly does not have the star power Reigns has, and won’t reach the levels he’s reached. Reigns says if he was looking for a megastar, he would not have chosen Rollins from RAW, or even chose Rollins from his own household. Reigns says if he wanted to headline the Royal Rumble with a megastar, he would’ve chosen Rollins’ wife. Some fans chant for RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch now as Reigns and Rollins face off in the middle of the ring.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos suddenly try to attack from behind but Rollins ducks and retreats to the floor, and is standing on top of the announce table now. The Usos come out to attack on the floor but Rollins sends one of them into the steel ring steps. He jumps back into the ring, briefly stares Reigns down, but quickly retreats back to the floor as The Usos run in after him. Rollins quickly heads up to the stage and laughs, ranting about how he created Reigns and will now destroy him. The Bloodline looks on from the ring as SmackDown goes off the air.