– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a look back at last week’s show when Adam Pearce pulled a serve on WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman to bring back Kevin Owens to face Reigns in the Last Man Standing match at the WWE Royal Rumble.
– 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 comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman. Reigns stops on the stage and raises the title as the pyro goes off. Greg Hamilton does the introductions.
Cole and Graves hype the Last Man Standing match between Reigns and Kevin Owens at the Royal Rumble. Reigns takes his time entering the ring and finally makes it in, stopping to raise the title in the middle of the ring as fans boo him. A “you suck!” chant breaks out before Reigns can begin his promo. Reigns asks if Owens said he had a message to deliver tonight. Reigns says no he won’t, we’re not going to see Owens tonight, because Reigns said so. The boos get louder.
Reigns wants to talk about last week and how the card is subject to change. Reigns says that was real clever last week. Lots of people are saying they got one past he and Heyman, that they outsmarted them. Reigns says that way of thinking is beneath him, and people who think card subject to change are losers who can’t get the job done. Reigns doesn’t miss appearances, he shows up and puts in work. Reigns says it took his health being at risk and a pandemic for him to be out of the ring. Reigns goes on about Adam Pearce and excuses. Reigns could have excuses of his own as he has various aches and injuries, including his back hurting from carrying WWE all these years. Pearce comes down with a mic to interrupt, saying this is too much and has gone too far.
Pearce enters the ring and Reigns says what’s really out of control is Pearce going against him, and Pearce putting Owens back in the main event, back in the title picture. Pearce favoring Owens is out of control. Reigns says Pearce is Owens’ bitch and if he’s Owens’ bitch, then he’s most certainly Reigns’ bitch. Pearce coming out and complaining about how his body hurts makes Reigns sick because he hasn’t wrestled in years. Reigns gets louder and yells about busting his ass for WWE and being who he is. Reigns says no wonder Pearce never made it to WWE. Fans boo louder. Heyman laughs at Pearce. Pearce says that’s funny to Heyman, isn’t it? Pearce says he can stand here and take the physical intimidation from Reigns but he’s sure as hell not going to take it from Heyman.
Heyman taunts Pearce. Reigns tells Heyman that Pearce is disrespecting him, and that means he’s disrespecting Reigns. Reigns says Heyman better handle Pearce. Heyman addresses Pearce and rants about his history with Reigns’ family, which makes him a man. Heyman says Pearce thinks he’s impotent as a man, and can’t handle himself. Heyman steps into Pearce’s face and says he will whip Pearce’s ass if he disrespects his Tribal Chief. Heyman says he may not be a warrior but he comes from a synagogue full of them. Heyman goes on and mentions how a verbal agreement is binding in the state of Florida. Heyman proposes Pearce vs. Heyman tonight, one-on-one. Fans cheer and Heyman offers his hand for a shake. Pearce shakes and says Heyman’s verbal agreement is official. Heyman tosses the mic and stares Pearce down. Reigns steps in Pearce’s face and says he’s going to get his ass kicked at the end of the night. The music hits as Reigns exits the ring. Heyman stares Pearce down and then follows Reigns out.
– The announcers can’t believe what just happened. They plug Big E vs. Apollo Crews for the WWE Intercontinental Title later tonight.
– Sami Zayn appears at the bottom of the ramp with his documentary film crew. He’s holding some sort of sign, likely about the conspiracies against him in WWE. Sami chains himself to the barrier on the ramp and says he’s not going anywhere. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Sami Zayn is cuffed to the barrier. His sign has the “#JusticeForSami” hashtag on it. Sami rants about last week’s loss and not making the Royal Rumble Match. Sami is interrupted by the music hitting.
Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs. The Riott Squad
The music interrupts and out come the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions – RAW Women’s Champion Asuka is out first, followed by Charlotte Flair. The Riott Squad waits in the ring – Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott. Billie Kay is with them for this non-title match. We also see Tamina Snuka and Natalya watching from backstage.
Flair and Riott start off, locking up. Flair with a headlock and then a takedown in the middle of the ring. Flair brings Riott back to their feet and Asuka tag sin. Flair with a snap mare as Asuka levels Riott with a shoulder. Asuka with a headlock now. Flair tags in and sends Riott face-first into the turnbuckle. Flair puts the boot to Riott in the corner and she goes down. Flair taunts Liv as Riott tries to fight back but gets beat back down. Tamina and Natalya are shown backstage again.
Flair drops Riott again and then swings at Kay as she gets on the apron with a distraction. Liv tags in as Flair keeps fighting Riott off, sending her to the floor through the ropes. Flair grabs Kay by the hair as she tries to interfere again. Liv takes advantage and rocks Flair. Liv goes to the top and hits a crossbody on Flair for a 2 count. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Liv controls Flair but Flair turns it around in the corner and stomps away. Flair keeps control and in comes Riott off the tag. More back and forth now. Riott drives Flair face-first into the top turnbuckle and drops her for a 2 count. Liv tags back in and they double team Flair for a quick pin attempt.
We see Sami still chained to the barrier, ranting to his film crew. Riott with more offense on Flair in the corner. Liv tags back in for another double team attempt but Flair blocks it and fights them both off with chops. Flair kicks Liv and launches her with a big fall-away slam. Flair kips up for a pop. Flair with a backbreaker to Liv, then sends her face-first into the corner. Asuka tags in with a running sliding knee to Liv for a 2 count as Riott makes the save. Flair levels Riott with a running big boot. Asuka and Liv tangle some more as Asuka applies an ankle lock. Flair and Riott tumble to the floor.
Asuka with a release German suplex. Asuka goes for the Asuka Lock but Liv backs her into the ropes and in comes Riott off a tag. Kay gets on the apron and distracts the referee as Riott rolls Asuka up for more than a 3 count. Asuka goes for a Hip Attack but Riot moves, and Asuka knocks Liv off the apron onto Billie instead. Asuka and Riott go at it some more. Asuka with a Codebreaker to Riott to stun her. Flair tags in and charges at Riott with Natural Selection for the pin to win.
Winners: Asuka and Charlotte Flair
– After the match, the music hits as the champs stand tall in the middle of the ring. The Riott Squad regroups at ringside.
– The announcers confirm Carmella’s sommelier Reginald vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks for later tonight.
– Back from the break and Billie Kay is backstage apologizing to The Riott Squad for what happened. Ruby Riott says she cost them a shot at the titles. Billie believes they can work this out. She says she spoke with Sonya Deville and got them both spots in the Royal Rumble Match. Riott ends up saying the Squad was much better when it was just the two of them. They apologize and walk off.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Daniel Bryan to a big pop and a “yes!” chant.
Bryan takes the mic and comments on the Royal Rumble Match taking place later this month. He goes on and is interrupted by Cesaro. They end up having words and Bryan suggests they have a match now. Cesaro says no because he’s sick and tired of proving himself week after week. Cesaro ends up issuing an open challenge since Bryan is not dressed to wrestle. SmackDown Tag Team Champion Dolph Ziggler interrupts and cuts a promo on the Rumble. Ziggler tells Cesaro to consider the challenge accepted. Ziggler vs. Cesaro is next. We go to commercial.
Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler
Back from the break and the match is underway as Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro go at it. Cesaro hits a big uppercut early on and then the Cesaro Swing. Daniel Bryan is on commentary. Cesaro keeps swinging and swinging, then drops Ziggler for a 2 count.
They trade roll-ups and more counters now. Ziggler nails a Zig Zag in the middle of the ring for a close 2 count. Ziggler blocks a suplex but Cesaro comes back with a big Neutralizer in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
– After the match, Cesaro stands tall as his music hits. He taunts Bryan.
Reginald vs. Sasha Banks
We go back to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Carmella with her sommelier, Reginald. Banks takes a rose from Reginald and he tells her to kiss him on the cheek. She rocks him instead. Banks comes off the top with Reginald’s arm and tries to send him flying but he lands on his feet. Carmella talks trash from ringside. Reginald with a waistlock but Banks tries to fight free. Banks escapes and grabs him from behind now. Reginald escapes and goes to the floor. Banks charges but he leaps off the apron with a back flip, frustrating Banks. Banks with a baseball slide to kick him into the barrier. Reginald runs and leaps over the steel steps, putting on the brakes so he doesn’t collide with Carmella, who is sipping champagne. They both run back in the ring and run the ropes.
Reginald avoids disaster once again. They tangle some more until Banks nails a big bulldog. Banks talks some trash to Carmella. Banks missing running knees in the corner as Reginald moves. Banks avoids an elbow drop. Banks rolls Reginald but he kicks out. Banks counters a powerbomb with an arm drag. Banks fights in from the apron with a knee to the face. Banks goes for a top rope crossbody but he catches her. Banks sends Reginald back to the floor with an arm drag.
Banks leaps off the apron with a Meteora on the floor, right in front of Carmella. Banks knocks her glass from her hand. Banks and Reginald go back in the ring and Banks hits a Backstabber but Reginald rolls through. Banks keeps kicking him away. Banks counters and nails a Meteora. Banks. These horrible counters continue until Banks drops Reginald into the Bank Statement and he taps out for the win.
Winner: Sasha Banks
– After the match, Banks stands tall as her music hits. She tosses Reginald to the floor in front of Carmella. Banks and Carmella yell at each other as Banks stands tall in the ring.
– Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman are backstage. Heyman says Reign was so good in the ring, he knows what Reigns wanted him to do, and Pearce fell into it. Reigns says he handed Heyman the mic so he could rip Pearce to shreds verbally, not challenge him to a match, but now Heyman has to go do this because Reigns didn’t hire a punk to represent him, he hired a man. Reigns asks what people are going to think of him if Heyman doesn’t handle his business. Heyman looks shocked that he has to wrestle Pearce. Reigns tells Heyman to go handle his business. He picks up the title and walks out as we go to commercial.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Apollo Crews vs. Big E
Back from the break and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E. Apollo Crews is already in the ring waiting.
The bell rings and Crews charges but Big E tosses him with a big belly-to-belly suplex for a pop. Big E with the splash on the apron now for another pop. Big E runs into boots in the corner, and again. Crews counters a slam and stuns Big E with an enziguri, then drops him with a kick. Crews with a standing moonsault for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring.
Crews with more offense but Big E elbows him away. Big E catches Crews with a Uranage for a close 2 count. Big E follows Crews to ringside and talks some trash. Crews ducks a clothesline and hits a moonsault off the apron, right in front of the announce table. Crews brings it in the ring and goes to the top. Big E cuts him off with forearms and climbs up. Crews blocks a superplex. Crews with headbutts now but Big E fights back. Crews headbutts Big E to the mat.
We see Sami Zayn un-cuffing himself from the barrier. Crews leaps from the top at Big E. Sami runs in the ring and drops Crews with a Helluva Kick. The referee calls the match.
Winner by DQ: Apollo Crews
– After the bell, the referee yells at Sami but he turns and nails a Helluva Kick to Big E. Fans boo as Sami yells down at Big E and Crews while they’re laid out, saying he is what a champion looks like. Sami goes to his film crew and rants about how that is justice served, and he didn’t ask for this.
– Still to come, Heyman vs. Pearce. Cole and Graves reveal that Roman Reigns has left the arena. They say Kevin Owens is also not here. We go to a pre-recorded video from Owens. He says he came to work but couldn’t enter the building because Reigns pulled some strings to keep him out. Owens says that’s fine but there will be no more strings to pull at the Royal Rumble as they will settle this once and for all. Owens goes on and declares that he will be the Last Man Standing at the Royal Rumble. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers are hyping the Royal Rumble.
– The Street Profits are backstage walking with a fruit basket. They stop at Dolph Ziggler and Sonya Deville, who finish their chat as Ziggler walks off. The Profits have the fruit basket to congratulate Deville on her new office job next to Adam Pearce. The Profits point to how it’s been two weeks since they lost the SmackDown Tag Team Titles to Ziggler and Robert Roode, and they’re ready for the rematch. Deville says Montez Ford is still recovering from his injury, and tells them to keep doing their funny segments backstage, let some other teams get a chance, and then when they’re 100%, they’ll get put back in the game. They hesitate but agree, then hand the fruit basket to her. Deville walks off.
– We see crew members setting up for Bayley’s Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge.
– Back from the break and Michael Cole is on the stage with a large tire. He’s here to host Bayley’s Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge. Cole introduces Bianca Belair first, and out she comes. Bayley is out next. Cole is dismissed as Bayley takes over the mic.
Bayley goes over the course. The 400 pound tire is first, then hurdles, then military walls around ringside, with a rope on the last wall. Then she got some expert advice from Alpha Academy. Chad Gable is at ringside to put them through a fireman’s carry. After that, they must grab a basketball to put it through the hoop positioned back near the bottom of the ramp, and that will stop the timer.
Bayley is up first. The referee oversees things as Bayley starts off by flipping the tire. She then hops over the mini-hurdles at ringside. Bayley takes her time with the different-sized military walls but runs around them instead, cheating. She then scoops Gable on her shoulders after some guidance from Gable. She walks a few feet and drops him. Bayley then shoots the basketball and the timer stops at 1:12.
Belair is ready. Bayley stops her and calls on the crew to “EST” the course up. Crew members switch out some of the obstacles for harder versions and Bayley says this was all for Belair. She flips the tire and then leaps over normal-sized hurdles that were brought in. Belair leaps over the walls and then stops at Gable. Gable tells her to meet her next challenge. Otis appears from under the ring. Belair must carry Otis on her shoulders instead of Gable. Belair scoops him off the steel steps and runs with him, with ease. Belair grabs the basketball. Bayley tries to play defense but Belair shakes her and dunks the ball for a pop with 17 seconds to go. Belair is announced as the winner and Bayley isn’t happy. Belair’s music hits but Bayley turns back around and throws the ball at her. Bayley unloads at ringside now, beating Belair back down as fans boo her. Bayley sends Belair into the hoop and it falls over. Bayley walks up the ramp as the boos get louder. The referee checks on Belair.
– Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio are backstage. Dominik is promising his dad that he knows what to do in the match with King Corbin tonight. Rey finally gives in and says they will do things Dominik’s way but if something goes wrong, then Dominik has to do it Rey’s way next time. Dominik promises he’s got this. He walks off and we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Cesaro, Bayley and Sami Zayn are announced for tomorrow’s Talking Smack episode on the WWE Network.
King Baron Corbin vs. Dominik Mysterio
We go back to the ring and King Baron Corbin is wrapping up his entrance as fans boo him. Out next comes Dominik Mysterio by himself.
The bell rings and they lock up. Corbin sends it to the corner but Dominik ducks a big right hand. Dominik with a dropkick as Corbin charges. They tangle and Dominik sends Corbin to the floor with a takedown. Dominik comes over the top rope but Corbin side-steps and levels him with a big clothesline. Corbin brings it back in the ring for a close 2 count.
Corbin stands on Dominik on the bottom rope as the referee warns him and fans boo. Corbin unloads with strikes to the gut in the corner as the referee counts again. Corbin launches Dominik into the corner and he hits the turnbuckles hard, going back to the mat. Dominik counters End of Days and knocks Corbin into position for the 619.
Corbin catches the 619. Dominik with a counter to land on his feet, but Corbin immediately drops him with a right hand. Corbin nails End of Days for the pin to win.
Winner: King Baron Corbin
– After the match, Corbin stands tall as the music hits. Corbin looks down at Dominik and laughs, then makes his exit up the ramp.
– We see Paul Heyman walking backstage, still wearing his suit. Back to commercial.
Paul Heyman vs. Adam Pearce
Back from the break and it’s time for the main event as Adam Pearce waits in the ring. We see recent
Out next comes Paul Heyman, taping his fists and still wearing his suit. Heyman falls down at ringside and the referee checks on him. Heyman, still down on the ground, yells about card being subject to change. Pearce looks on from the ring. The music hits and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, with no title.
Reigns enters the ring and immediately drops Pearce with a Superman Punch as fans boo. Pearce is down on the floor now as Heyman yells at him. Reigns follows and goes for the steel steps but Pearce rocks him, angering Reigns. Pearce approaches but Reigns kicks him low, then tosses him over the barrier. Reigns sends Pearce face-first into the crowd LED boards now. Reigns beats Pearce through the LED crowd area now, like he and Jey Uso did with Kevin Owens a few weeks back.
Reigns grabs Pearce and throws him up another level into the crowd. A hooded man attacks Reigns from behind and it’s Owens. Fans cheer as Owens beats Reigns back to the barrier. Reigns sends Owens into a LED board. Reigns fights Owens back to the ramp area and launches him into the barrier. Reigns rolls Owens back into the ring but Owens superkicks him. Owens blocks a Superman Punch and levels Reigns with a big Stunner for a pop. Reigns is down as Owens yells at him and fans cheer him on.
Reigns rolls to the floor but Owens follows and sends him into the barrier again. Officials are trying to break the brawl up. Reigns ends up stumbling back to his feet but Owens nails another Stunner on the floor. Owens yells at Heyman and taunts him as Heyman watches. Owens then puts Reigns through the announce table with a big Pop-Up Powerbomb. Officials back Owens away as we see Reign flat on his back on what’s left of the announce table. Owens tries to grab half of the steel steps but officials stop him. Owens comes back to Reigns and stands over him, yelling at him about how he’s lucky he has the officials on his side, but they won’t be there for him at the pay-per-view. SmackDown goes off the air with Owens standing over Reigns, yelling at him.