– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a graphic in memory of WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 75. We cut to the opening SmackDown video.
– We’re live from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina as the pyro goes off. Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Corey Graves. They hype tonight’s show.
– We go right to the ring and out comes Kane for his special appearance. Kane marches to the ring as Greg Hamilton does the introduction.
Kane takes the mic and says we’re just 9 days away from his favorite night of the year – the Royal Rumble. He talks about the match where 30 people put their souls on the line, the match where you go through Hell for a chance at immortality at WrestleMania. Kane brags about his Rumble Match eliminations record and says he realizes how important this match is. Kane says WrestleMania dreams have turned to nightmares all because of him, and he has to admit – it was a lot of fun. Kane laughs. The Firefly Fun House music interrupts and we see WWE Universal Champion Bray Wyatt on the big screen.
Wyatt acknowledges Kane and says it’s not nice to brag on other people’s bad times, and calls him a big red bully. Wyatt assures everyone Ramblin’ Rabbit is alive and well, and recovering nicely after what happened to him last week. We see Rabbit hooked up to an IV of some kind of carrot concoction. Wyatt says winning the Rumble is a great idea, especially if the winner challenges for this at WrestleMania – the WWE Universal Title. Wyatt points to a picture of Kane on the wall, with His eyes crossed out. Wyatt says if his picture is up there, that means he and The Fiend got it on. Kane acknowledges this. Wyatt gets serious and we see some flashes of their history together. Wyatt says he will never forget Kane, and neither will “he” forget.
The lights start going down in the arena as Kane looks all around. The arena goes black. The red lights comes on and we hear the familiar sounds echo over the arena. Kane is now standing on the outside of the ring now, looking up the ramp. The Fiend suddenly appears from a hole in the ring. The Fiend crawls out and crawls to the ropes. Kane turns around and stares at him. Kane asks what took him so long. The Fiend seems to pause and step back a bit. Daniel Bryan hits the ring out of nowhere and levels The Fiend with a running knee as he turns around. The Fiend tries to escape back through the hole in the ring but Bryan is still trying to fight him, crawling at him. Bryan comes back up from the hole with a handful of The Fiend’s dreadlocks, as The Fiend did with him several weeks ago.
Bryan stands tall under the red light as a “yes!” chant starts up. Bryan looks around and joins in on the chant as the lights come back up. Kane enters the ring and gets another “yes!” chant going. Team Hell No does the chant together as Bryan’s music hits.
– Still to come, John Morrison returns to the ring. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Kayla Braxton stops Daniel Bryan backstage. Bryan says a lot of people think The Fiend is good at mind games and getting the best of people, but he’s really the best at running away. Bryan asks how you beat someone who disappears every time they’re in trouble? He’s got an idea. It’s not a good idea and really not a smart idea, but he challenges The Fiend to a Strap Match at the Royal Rumble. Bryan says they will each have one end of the strap and will go to war until one man wins. Bryan talks about how he understands what could happen to him, but he’s done with the games and The Fiend escaping down the hole every time he gets in trouble. Bryan says The Fiend changed him but at the Rumble, he will change The Fiend and win the Universal Title.
Big E vs. John Morrison
We go back to the ring and out comes SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day – Big E with Kofi Kingston. Out next comes John Morrison for his WWE in-ring return, hiss first match in more than 8 years. The Miz accompanies Morrison to the ring.
Back from the break and they go at it. Fans chant for The New Day early on. Big E overpowers and knocks Morrison to the mat early in the match. Morrison turns it around and mounts Big E with aggressive strikes. Morrison keeps control and takes Big E to the apron, working him over. Morrison with a big neckbreaker from the apron to the floor. We go to commercial with Morrison in control on the outside.
Back from the break and Morrison has Big E grounded in the ring. Kofi tries to rally fans for Big E. We see how Morrison nailed a big kick during the break. Big E powers up and launches Morrison but he comes right back with another kick. Morrison poses for a mixed reaction but mostly boos. Miz isn’t happy. Morrison with a standing Shooting Star Press for a 2 count. Big E powers up and goes for the Big Ending but it’s blocked. More back and forth now. Morrison comes off the top but misses as Big E lands several belly-to-belly suplexes.
Morrison turns it around with a cheap shot to the eyes as the referee is unable to see. Fans boo. Big E drops Morrison and runs the ropes for a big splash in the middle of the ring. Fans chant “New Day rocks!” now. Morrison shuts the momentum down and kicks Big E again. Morrison nails another neckbreaker for a 2 count as Miz cheers him on.
Miz gets on the apron and distracts the referee but Kofi comes over and pulls him off. They argue and Kofi shoves Miz into the steel ring steps. Morrison goes to the top and leaps out, taking Kofi down on the floor with a big move. Morrison is all smiles as Big E recovers in the ring. Morrison poses on the apron but Miz pushes him out of the way into safety as Big E charges. Big E reaches for Miz but gets dropped with a kick from the side by Morrison. Morrison comes back in and drops Big E with a knee. Morrison goes up top in the corner and hits Starship Pain for the pin to win.
Winner: John Morrison
– After the match, Morrison’s music hits as Miz hits the ring to celebrate with him. We go to replays. Morrison and Miz celebrate.
– The announcers talk about how King Baron Corbin will pick the stipulation for his Rumble match with Roman Reigns if Robert Roode can win tonight’s Tables Match over Reigns. Reigns will pick the stipulation for Corbin if he wins tonight. Cole sends us to a video package on the Reigns vs. Corbin feud.
– The Usos are backstage with Roman Reigns. They ask what his stipulation for the Rumble will be but he says they will find out when everyone else does. Reigns says he’s been training in the yard but he wonders if The Usos are ready for what they have in store. They are hyped up for The Revival and walk off for a match it appears. The Usos and Reigns welcome The Revival to The Uso Penitentiary. We go to commercial.
The Usos vs. The Revival
Back from the break and the announcers plug NFL on FOX. We go back to the ring and out come The Usos – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. Out next comes The Revival – Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder.
The bell rings and Dawson starts off with Jimmy. Dawson beats him into the corner and then backs off. Jimmy charges and they go at it. They run the ropes and Jimmy drops Dawson with a big chop. More back and forth until Jimmy nails a big right hand to the mouth. Jey tags in for the double team on Dawson, into the corner for a 2 count.
Dawson turns it around on Jey and in comes Dash off the tag. The Revival with quick tags and Dawson hits a slingshot suplex for a 2 count as Dash launches himself in from the apron for the pin attempt. The Revival unloads on Jey in their corner now, beating him down as the referee warns them. The Revival plays to the crowd for some boos. Dawson beats Jey while he’s down and drops a leg, then an elbow, then a headbutt. Dawson covers for a 2 count. Dawson grounds Jey on the mat now, working him over and going into another hold. Jimmy waits for the tag and Dash taunts him from the opposite corner. Fans start rallying for Jey now.
Jey breaks free but Dawson kicks him. Jey counters a suplex and they tangle. Jey drops Dawson with a big jumping kick to the head. Jimmy and Dash tag in at the same time. Dunloads with shots to both opponents. Jimmy ducks a shot from Dash and catches him with a Samoan Drop. Fans pop for Jimmy as he charges but gets sent to the apron by Dash. Jimmy fights back and goes to the top for a big crossbody. Dash kicks out at 2 and Jimmy is surprised. Jimmy goes for a superkick but it’s blocked. The Revival with a double team counter, leading to Dash rolling Jimmy up for a 2 count. Jey tags back in and they hit a double superkick to Dash, then to Dawson as he runs in. Fans cheer for The Usos.
Jimmy tags back in. Jey runs the ropes and nails a suicide dive to Dawson on the floor. Jimmy stands up on the top rope and nails the big Uso splash on Dash for the pin to win.
Winners: The Usos
– After the match, The Usos stand tall as their music hits. The announcers comment on how The Revival continues to slide down the ladder. We go to replays. The Revival looks on from the stage as The Usos celebrate.
– Still to come, Reigns vs. Roode in a Tables Match with big Royal Rumble implications. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and WWE touts the social media milestone of 20 million Instagram followers.
– We see The Revival walking backstage when Kayla stops them and asks if they’re frustrated with another loss. Dawson says if the company won’t make a change, then The Revival will have to make some kind of change. Dash says something similar. We hear a fight happening in the backstage area and the camera jumps to Lacey Evans beating on Sasha Banks. Banks is down and looks to have a hurt leg. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley makes the save and tends to Banks while screaming at officials to get Evans away from them. The announcers also tease Banks possibly being injured.
– The announcers look at the recent happenings between Mandy Rose and Otis. We see Rose and Sonya Deville backstage. Rose is excited about Deville’s match tonight and says Rose was right last week, this is the year of Fire & Desire. Sonya asks if Rose thinks Otis might want to be at ringside for her match tonight. Rose asks why because Rose will be at ringside. Sonya says she didn’t get the Otis thing before but after seeing him out there helping Rose win last week, she gets it. Rose isn’t seeing “the Otis thing” how Deville is and seems confused. Deville just wants Rose to ask Otis if he will be at ringside.
– Bayley and Sasha Banks are in the trainer’s room. Banks has a hurt ankle. Bayley is furious and threatens to turn Lacey Evans into a stay-at-home mom. WWE Producer Adam Pearce shows up and comments on Banks failing to deliver on the match once again. He makes Bayley vs. Evans official and says it will be non-title, but it is happening. Bayley and Banks aren’t happy with the ruling. Pearce walks off and we go to commercial.
Bayley vs. Lacey Evans
Back from the break and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley for this non-title match. Bayley is furious and ready to fight. Lacey Evans is out next and she’s all smiles.
The bell rings and Evans charges but Bayley goes right to the floor for boos. Evans follows and talks trash. Evans chases her back in but Bayley stomps away and unloads. Evans ends up fighting back and sending Bayley to the floor after a head scissors. Evans leaps out and takes Bayley down on the floor. Evans works Bayley around the ringside area as the referee counts. Evans brings it back in and fights from the apron for a roll-up and a 2 count.
Evans with another roll-up for a quick pin attempt. Bayley takes Evans down and uses the second rope for the pin but the referee catches her. The referee has words with Bayley. Evans tries to capitalize but Bayley keeps her down and works her over. Bayley with several forearm shots now. Bayley with a handful of hair now. Bayley puts Evans back down for another quick pin attempt. Bayley grounds Evans by her arm now.
Evans looks to mount a comeback but Bayley drops her again. Bayley mounts Evans and keeps her down as fans try to rally with a chant for Lacey. Bayley plays to the crowd and gets rolled up for a 2 count. Bayley sends Evans to the apron and taunts the crowd some more. Evans fights back and sends Bayley into the turnbuckles. Evans with more offense now as fans start to cheer her on. Evans tosses Bayley across the ring and nails a big kick to send her into the corner. Evans charges in the corner with another big boot thrust. Evans goes back to the second rope, stands and salutes, then jumps to the top rope for the springboard moonsault. Bayley gets her knees up. Evans rolls to the floor in pain and Bayley follows. Bayley charges with a big running knee to the head against the barrier. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Bayley is dominating Evans in the corner. Bayley taunts the crowd but wastes time and gets dropped face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Evans blocks a shot from the floor and kicks Bayley back. Evans brings Bayley back in but Bayley drops her over the middle rope with a Stunner. Bayley covers for a 2 count. Bayley mounts Evans and unloads with a bunch of strikes now.
Bayley with another big suplex but Evans continues to kick out. Bayley with more of her signature offense int he corner. Bayley with the flying elbow from the second rope. Evans still kicks out at 2. Bayley shows more frustration now. Fans start chanting for Evans but Bayley nails a knee to the face. Bayley goes to the top but lands hard on a crossbody attempt as Evans moves. Evans charges in the corner but Bayley drops her face-first into the turnbuckle. Bayley looks to capitalize but Evans drops her out of nowhere with a big Woman’s Right for the pin to get the non-title win.
Winner: Lacey Evans
– After the match, Evans stands tall and has her arm raised. The music hits as we go to replays. Evans sells the match to end the segment.
– Alyse Ashton is backstage with Shorty G. She asked why Sheamus returned and singled him out last week. G says Sheamus’ games won’t work on him, and the same goes with attacking him while he’s down. G goes on about embracing yourself. He knows Sheamus is big and decorated, but… Sheamus walks in and acts like he can’t see G because of his height. Sheamus faces off with G now, talking more trash. Sheamus threatens to knock G’s head off again, and then pats him on the head, calling him “little fella.” G attacks and they start brawling. The brawl is broken up but Sheamus is fuming as he destroys some more stuff. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers plug WWE Backstage on FS1.
– Kayla is backstage with Braun Strowman. He declares himself for the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match. Braun says that is next week and now he wants to talk about WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Braun goes on about Nakamura and Sami Zayn, and says he just wants his shot. Braun doesn’t care if it’s this week or next, he wants his shot at Nakamura. Braun storms off.
– We go to the ring and Elias is out with his guitar.
Elias says he’s learned a lot about himself over the last year. He realizes he’s the full embodiment of WWE, but he can’t do it alone and the truth is – he needs the fans. Elias says for him to reach where he belongs, he needs voices to ring out all over the world with the truth that WWE stands for – Walk With Elias, says the fans. Elias goes on and starts performing his new “Walking In Greensboro” song.
The music interrupts and out comes Sami Zayn, Cesaro and WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn hates to interrupt Elias but he, The Great Liberator, has something more important to talk about. Sami knocks the fans and they boo him. Sami brings up how Braun Strowman is running around ranting about wanting to fight Nakamura. Sami says Nakamura doesn’t back down from fights and Braun won’t have to wait long for his answer because the answer is… absolutely not.
Sami rips Braun some more and says he’s in no position to demand anything because he, we, call the shots around here. Sami says nothing will be happening with the Rumble Match 9 days away. He brags on how Nakamura actually won the Rumble. Sami warns the entire roster that they are all now on notice. It sounds like Cesaro and Nakamura may be in the Rumble. Sami says he made his point and Elias can now continue. Elias says he was multi-tasking while Sami spoke, and now he has a new song he just wrote in his head. It’s called “Sami Needs to Shut His Mouth” and the chorus goes, “Shinsuke sucks!” Elias starts playing but Sami interrupts and starts yelling at everyone. Sami sends Cesaro to the ring to take care of Elias.
Cesaro rushes the ring and starts brawling with Elias. Nakamura hits the ring as Elias turns it around in the corner but Elias is no match. Sami joins in next for the triple team. The music hits and out comes Braun to make the save. Braun runs over Cesaro and Nakamura, then clotheslines Cesaro over the top. Sami has retreated. Braun sends Nakamura over the top next, then stands tall and plays to the crowd for a pop. Fans cheer for Strowman as Sami, Cesaro and Nakamura re-group on the ramp. Strowman tells them to bring it as his music starts back up.
– The announcers lead us to a tribute video on WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, who passed away at the age of 75 on Wednesday. Fans in Greensboro chant “Rocky!” when we come back.
– Back from the break and Cole plugs the NFL on FOX again.
Sonya Deville vs. Alexa Bliss
We go to the ring and Sonya Deville is already out with Mandy Rose. Out next comes Alexa Bliss with Nikki Cross.
The match is about to begin but the music interrupts and out comes Heavy Machinery – Otis and Tucker. They watch from the bottom of the ramp as the bell rings. Deville takes control early on and nails a big running kick for a 2 count in the middle of the ring. Deville grounds Bliss on the mat now.
Bliss fights out and arm drags Deville. Deville comes back but Bliss fights her off and slaps her, then drops her with another strike. Bliss with a basement dropkick and then kicks in the corner as the referee counts. Bliss with a big kick. Bliss goes to grab Deville but Rose comes to the top to interfere. Cross runs over and knocks Rose off the top but Otis catches her on the floor.
Deville and everyone looks at Otis holding Rose. They are all smiles. Bliss takes advantage of the distraction and rolls Deville up for the pin to win.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
– After the match, Bliss and Cross head to the stage as the music hits. Rose joins Deville in the ring to apologize for the distraction. Otis is on cloud nine.
– Robert Roode is backstage when King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler walk in. They hype him up and say they will get payback on Roman Reigns tonight for what he did to Roode several weeks ago. They go on about tonight’s match and Corbin talks about the stipulation he will choose for Reigns at the Royal Rumble, one where he will humiliate Reigns, take Reigns out of the Rumble Match, and make him bow down to the King. Corbin says none of that can happen unless Roode wins tonight, so when Roode puts Reigns through that table, it will be absolutely glorious. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the Strap Match stipulation is confirmed for Bryan vs. The Fiend at The Rumble. Shorty G vs. Sheamus and Lacey Evans vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley is also confirmed.
Tables Match: Robert Roode vs. Roman Reigns
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event and out comes Roman Reigns as the pyro goes off. Reigns will get to choose the stipulation for his match with King Baron Corbin at the Rumble, but Corbin will choose if Roode wins. Reigns is walking down the ramp when Robert Roode runs down and attacks him from behind to start the match.
They take it into the ring as the brawl continues. Reigns takes control and drops Roode on the floor again. Reigns goes to stand a table up on the floor but Roode cuts him off and sends him into the steel steps. Reigns turns it back around and the announce table is cleared off. Roode rocks Reigns and sends him into the steel steps shoulder-first to turn it back around. Roode slides a table in the ring but Reigns drops him with a Drive By. Fans chant for Reigns as he waits for Roode to get up.
Reigns plays to the crowd and then runs around the ring. Reigns goes for a big Spear into the barrier but Roode moves. Reigns crashes through into the timekeeper’s area. Reigns clutches his arm as the music hits and out comes King Baron Corbin, carried to the ring on his caravan by the servants. Back to commercial with Reigns down at ringside as Roode gets up.
Back from the break and Roode has a table standing in the ring. He also has Reigns up top for a superplex through that table. Corbin is at ringside. Reigns fights back and headbutts Roode. Reigns slides down and goes for a powerbomb through the table as fans pop. Roode fights out and rocks Reigns. Roode goes for the Glorious DDT through the table. It’s blocked. Roode blocks a Samoan Drop and knocks the table over.
Reigns counters and sends Roode out to the floor. Reign grabs a table and tries to lean it in the corner but he’s struggling with it. He finally props the table up and goes back out to Roode. Reigns charges and hits a Superman Punch on the floor. Reigns brings Roode back in and waits to deliver a Spear through the table in the corner when Roode stands up. Corbin hits the apron and Reigns swings but he jumps off. Dolph Ziggler hits the ring and Reigns turns around to a big superkick out of nowhere.
Corbin enters the ring and mounts Reigns now, pounding on him as the referee just watches. Ziggler goes out and clears off what’s still on the announce table. Reigns gets sent into the ring post. Corbin and Ziggler lay Reigns on the announce table as Roode goes to the top. The Usos run into the ring. Roode leaps at them but they nail a double superkick. The Usos take out Ziggler and Corbin, then nail double dives to them on the floor. Fans pop big for The Usos making the save. They help Reigns up and lay Ziggler on the announce table now.
The Usos walk the top of the barrier and hit a double Uso splash on Ziggler through the announce table for another big pop. Reigns powers up in the ring and then nails a big Spear on Roode, putting him through the table in the corner. The bell rings and Reigns gets the win for putting Roode through the table.
Winner: Roman Reigns
– After the bell, we see Corbin throwing a tantrum at ringside. We go to replays. The music stops and Reigns says the Royal Rumble is in a baseball stadium, Minute Maid Park, and he’s going to beat Corbin all over it. Reigns announces that their match will now be a Falls Count Anywhere match. Corbin continues to rant and complain at ringside as Reigns celebrates with The Usos in the ring. SmackDown on FOX goes off the air.
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