– The WWE Royal Rumble go-home edition of SmackDown on FOX opens up with Michael Cole welcoming us to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. He’s joined by Corey Graves at ringside.
– Daniel Bryan is already in the ring leading a loud “yes!” chant with the ThunderDome crowd. Greg Hamilton does the introduction. Bryan welcomes everyone to Friday Night SmackDown and Royal Rumble Weekend for another loud pop.
Bryan talks about being excited for the Royal Rumble Match. He’s accomplished a lot in his career, but he’s never won the Men’s Rumble. He goes on about being able to challenge for the WWE Title or the WWE Universal Title at WrestleMania 37 if you win the Rumble. He says no one knows about the main event of WrestleMania being life changing like he does. He goes on about winning the Rumble Match and another “yes!” chant starts up.
Bryan says this is the honest truth – he doesn’t know how many more WrestleMania Moments he has left, but he knows if he wants to accomplish his dream one more time, it involves going to the WrestleMania main event and winning the Royal Rumble Match. Bryan says thanks to Chad Gable and Otis, he’s ready for Sunday. His cardio can go for days and his hips are loose & strong. Bryan says he’s ready for anything and in the Rumble you have to be. Bryan goes on about the unpredictability of the Rumble until the music interrupts and out comes RAW Superstar AJ Styles with Omos.
AJ says we’ll also see him throw 29 other Superstars over the top rope to earn his spot in the WrestleMania main event. Bryan knows both brands are competing in the Rumble but this is SmackDown, AJ is a RAW Superstar and while Bryan is glad to see him, what are you doing here? AJ says this is the house he built. Omos says AJ is here for the quarterly Brand-To-Brand Invitational. AJ reminds us of the rules and says he didn’t make them. AJ says he’s the gatekeeper of RAW and everyone is trying to follow in his footsteps since he declared his spot. AJ says that didn’t work because they had to go through him first but he crushed their hopes and dreams.
AJ says Bryan doesn’t look ready, pointing to his sports coat and attire. AJ wonders if Bryan is a General Manager again. AJ says it’s almost like Bryan already has one foot out the door of WWE. Bryan says he doesn’t have one foot out the door of anything, especially something he loves as much as WWE. Bryan says he will prove that tonight. He challenges AJ to a match. AJ says he’d love to get one more Rumble warm-up tonight against Bryan on SmackDown… AJ charges and Bryan goes down. Bryan goes to get back up but Omos is in his way, shaking his head. Bryan stands back up as AJ smiles. Bryan says if AJ was a real man and had any guts, he’d come out for their match tonight with Omos. AJ and Omos go to leave. Bryan says with or without Omos, he’s still going to kick AJ’s ass. Bryan drops the mic and gets a “yes!” chant going as Bryan and Omos head to the ramp.
– Still to come, “The Final Showdown” between Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns. Cole and Graves hype tonight’s show.
– Tonight’s Progressive Match Flo replay from last week shows us how Bianca Belair defeated Bayley in her own Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge, and then how Bayley attacked her after. Kayla Braxton is backstage with Bayley now. Braxton brings up Belair’s win last week and Bayley cuts her off, saying she’s better than that. Bayley reminds us how the segment ended. Bayley watched Belair’s WWE Chronicle episode and goes on about being proud of her for that. Bayley says what stuck out the most is how Belair has run away from all her problems throughout her life, but she’s not running from this, she’s not winning at the Rumble, and she’s not winning tonight. Bayley says Belair can crawl back into the dark-EST hole of her life after Bayley beats her again tonight.
Bianca Belair vs. Bayley
We go back to the ring and out comes Bianca Belair swinging her hair. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Bayley is in the ring staring Belair down. Belair taunts her. The bell rings and they lock up, then break as Belair taunts Bayley. Bayley kicks Belair and goes to work on her arm now. Belair slams Bayley. They have some words as Bayley regroups. Bayley goes behind and takes Belair back down, working on her arm and punching away.
Belair counters with a suplex in the middle of the ring. Bayley kicks out at 2. The referee backs Belair off Bayley from the corner as Bayley talks some trash. They go to lock up again but Bayley kicks her leg and unloads while she’s down. Bayley slams Belair back to the mat. Bayley with a sliding clothesline for a close 2 count. Bayley kicks Belair in the face and drops her wit an arm bar for another pin attempt. Bayley grabs Belair’s hair and taunts her with it. Belair drops Bayley with a right hand. Belair unloads on Bayley while she’s down now, punching and stomping away.
Belair counters out of the corner and drives Bayley back into the turnbuckles. Belair keeps control and beats Bayley to the apron. Belair charges but Bayley pulls her into a kick to the injured arm. Belair charges with a dropkick and a kip up for a pop. Belair with a standing moonsault to the back for a close 2 count as Bayley gets her foot on the bottom rope. Bayley rolls to the floor in pain as the referee counts. Belair taunts her from the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Belair catches Bayley in mid-air, driving her into the corner. Belair goes for a powerbomb but drops Bayley back on her face for another 2 count. Belair with a running thrust in the corner and more thrusts. Belair runs into knees in the corner. Bayley drops Belair by her arm from the second rope for a 2 count.
Belair counters with a roll-up but Bayley drives a knee to the jaw for a close 2 count. Bayley keeps Belair down and works on the arm some more. More back and forth between the two for a few minutes.. Belair gets the pin to win with the KOD.
Winner: Bianca Belair
– After the match, Belair celebrates as her music hits. We go to replays. Belair joins Kayla on the ramp for an interview as Bayley recovers in the ring. Belair talks about proving herself and beating Bayley after everything that has happened. Bayley seethes in the ring. Belair calls this the biggest win of her career as the crowd pops. Belair says the only thing that will top Bayley is her winning the Women’s Rumble Match and then challenging for the title at WrestleMania 37. The music starts back up as Belair celebrates.
– Still to come, Owens and Reigns will meet for a war of words. Also, Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles.
– We see Omos and AJ Styles backstage. Cesaro walks up and they have a friendly chat it looks like.
King Baron Corbin vs. Dominik Mysterio
We go back to the ring and out comes King Baron Corbin. Dominik Mysterio suddenly attacks from behind on the ramp, beating Corbin down to the ringside area. The fight continues as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and the bell rings as Corbin rams Domini into the corner. Corbin unloads but Dominik turns it around. Rey Mysterio is on commentary. Corbin slams Dominik back into the corner. Corbin chases Dominik out and then back in. Dominik ends up splashing Corbin over the top to the floor after knocking Corbin back out.
Corbin fights back and has some words for Rey at the announce table. Corbin follows Dominik back in and drives him into the mat. Corbin with another big slam as he taunts Rey. Corbin levels Dominik with a big right hand after yelling at Rey again. Fans boo as Corbin stands over Dominik and keeps him down. Corbin runs into Dominik’s boots in the corner. Corbin comes right back with a splash in the corner. Corbin charges but runs into the ring post with his shoulder as Dominik moves.
Dominik with a missile dropkick as Rey coaches him with hand signals from the announce table. Dominik launches himself over the top rope from the apron with a senton for a 2 count. Corbin fights back from his knees but Dominik kicks him. Corbin catches Dominik but gets dropped into position for the 619. Corbin intercepts 619 but Dominik counters that. More back and forth and counters now. Dominik sends Corbin face-first into the turnbuckles. Dominik charges but Corbin back-drops him into the corner and he lands awkwardly.
Corbin goes for a big tilt-a-whirl sideslam but Dominik turns it into a DDT for a 2 count. Rey is anxious at the announce table now. Dominik comes off the second rope but Corbin moves. Corbin slams Dominik and hangs him up over the top rope. Corbin comes right back with End of Days in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.
Winner: King Corbin
– After the match, Corbin stands tall as his music hits. He rolls to ringside as Rey takes off his headset. Corbin taunts Rey. Rey enters the ring but Corbin grabs him off the apron. Corbin scoops Rey but Rey counters and drives Corbin face-first into the ring post. Rey with a senton off the apron. Rey goes over and checks on Dominik while Corbin lays flat on his back in front of the announcers.
– Big E is backstage with Sonya Deville, asking what his Royal Rumble number is. The Miz and John Morrison interrupt an they ask where Adam Pearce is. Deville indicates that Pearce pulled some strings and got the night off after what happened with Paul Heyman last week. Big E tells the RAW Superstars to keep their stench off his show. There’s a back & forth that includes a reference to the GameStop stocks situation. Deville walks off as she has other things to do. Big E ends up getting in Miz’s face and telling him he has no chance at winning the Rumble. Morrison attacks Big E. A brawl breaks out as Big E fights them off. The 2-on-1 fight continues until officials and others try to break it up. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya is announced for Saturday’s special airing of WWE Backstage on FS1. The winner will earn the #30 spot in the Women’s Rumble.
– We see SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks’ match with Carmella’s sommelier Reginald last week. Banks is walking backstage now. Kalisto greets her and compliments her, then keeps walking. Reginald appears next and says he comes in peace. He gives her a bottle of wine and says this is from Carmella, who asked him to pick the best bottle of wine for Banks. Banks starts flirting with Reginald, complimenting him on his French accent. She asks what’s the best bottle of wine she can get for Carmella… that she can sip with a broken jaw. Banks changes her tune and is still gunning for Reginald and Carmella. She gives the bottle back to Reginald and tells him to keep it because it looks like he could use a drink. Carmella vs. Banks is official for the pay-per-view.
– Cole leads us to a video package for Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns. We see Reigns and Owens getting ready for their war of words. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Cole plugs rapper Bad Bunny performing his “Booker T” single on Sunday at Royal Rumble, a song named after the WWE Hall of Famer.
– Shinsuke Nakamura is walking backstage when Sami Zayn calls him over. Sami has his film crew with him, working on the documentary and documenting conspiracies against him. Sami briefly touches on RAW Superstars coming to SmackDown tonight, and Cesaro working on his own without Nakamura. Sami says he was once the liberator for Nakamura but now it’s time for Nakamura to return the favor. Sami wants Nakamura to help him get the WWE Intercontinental Title back. He goes on ranting about how everyone is against him and how this will also benefit Nakamura. Sami says it looks like Cesaro is off on his own and doing great at it. Sami goes on about how Nakamura has only done good in WWE because of Sami. Sami asks if he can count on Nakamura to watch his back. Nakamura appreciates everything but… go to hell. Nakamura walks off as fans in the arena pop.
– Michael Cole welcomes Kevin Owens and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns now. They’re both joining him on a split screen, apparently from backstage. Owens talks about Sunday’s Last Man Standing match and he doesn’t care if Reigns has family members or what at the Royal Rumble, nothing will stop him from getting up time and time again until he wins the title, defeating Reigns again. Paul Heyman speaks up and says Owens will not address The Tribal Chief that way again, he will not address The Head of The Table that way again. Heyman goes on about Reigns commanding respect. Owens asks Reigns if he’s going to let Heyman rehash the same crap he’s used for other people in the past.
Reigns asks Owens if he keeps wanting to make excuses and talk about his family. Reigns has some questions now. He asks what kind of man Owens’ father was. Owens says his father is a great man, and Reigns better watch where he’s going there. Reigns asks if he’s a smart man. Owens says his father is smart. He warns Reigns about speaking on his father again. Reigns can’t understand why Owens doesn’t see his own limitations, and it has to be because Owens’ dad didn’t teach him. Reigns says Owens doesn’t belong here, he’s not made for this, he’s not a king, he’s just a pawn. Reigns says he is the king on this board, everything revolves around him. Reigns tells Owens to blame his family for what happens on Sunday. Reigns goes on and calls Owens and his family fools, his father and grandfather. Owens knows Reigns heard his recent comments about his grandfathers, so he’s going to warn Reigns again – think about it and watch what you say next. Owens says they’re not going to be in separate rooms on Sunday, they will be in the same ring.
Reigns tells Heyman that Owens still doesn’t understand, but maybe he will one day when he sees his grandfather. Reigns says Owens is a big disgrace to his family. He keeps talking trash, wondering why Owens hasn’t acknowledged him as the Tribal Chief, and Owens gets upset. Owens says the only thing his father and grandfathers would want him to acknowledge Reigns as is what he is – a delusional jackass. Owens goes on about how Reigns tries to act cool like he has it all together, but he’s just an insecure bully. Owens starts yelling loudly now, about how he is someone his family can be proud of. Owens gets so mad he can’t finish his promo but says he will become the Universal Champion on Sunday. Owens walks off.
– Cole and Graves hype Sunday’s Royal Rumble card.
– We see some Special Olympics athletes in the virtual crowd.
Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles
We go back to the ring and out first comes Daniel Bryan to a “yes!” chant. Out next comes AJ Styles with Omos. They stop on the stage and have a few words as AJ actually sends Omos to the back. Bryan applauds AJ for coming to the ring by himself. AJ marches down the ramp as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a video preview for WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg vs. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre at the Royal Rumble. We go back to the ring and they lock up trading holds. Cesaro is on commentary now. AJ takes Bryan to the mat and they trade counters and holds.
Bryan applies an arm bar but AJ breaks and gets free. Bryan goes right back to work on AJ’s arm. Bryan drops AJ and nails a running kick to his hand. Bryan grounds AJ and focuses on the arm again. Cesaro says there is no division between he and Shinsuke Nakamura, just a lot of respect and a healthy sense of competition. Bryan ends up leveling AJ with a big kick for a 2 count.
AJ misses in the corner and Bryan chops him down. AJ comes back and drives a knee to the gut to drop Bryan. Bryan blocks a suplex attempt with knees. Bryan with a snap suplex. Fans cheer Bryan on as he goes to the top but the music interrupts and out comes Sami Zayn with his signs and documentary crew. AJ takes advantage of the distraction and knocks Bryan from the top to the floor.
AJ follows and launches Bryan into the steel ring steps. Sami rants about being silenced as he walks down the ramp. We go to commercial.
More back and forth after the break as Sami films with his crew at ringside. Bryan takes control and counters in the corner, then delivers the running kick. Bryan goes to the top and launches AJ across the ring for a 2 count. Sami runs his mouth to the announcers now, saying he will not be kicked off the show and silenced. AJ catches a kick and nails a Dragon leg sweep to Bryan. AJ works Bryan over in the corner, nailing an enziguri kick to the head. AJ drops Bryan and wastes some time but then applies the Calf Crusher submission.
Bryan drags himself to the bottom rope and breaks the hold as AJ tries to tighten it. Sami talks trash to the referee. AJ grabs Bryan’s leg in the corner but Bryan drops him with another enziguri. AJ charges but gets sent to the apron. AJ with a big right hand from the apron. AJ flies in with the Phenomenal Forearm but Bryan dodges it. Bryan with a Butterfly suplex into the arm bar. AJ rolls through and Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock now as fans cheer. AJ finally makes it to the bottom rope to break the hold.
The music interrupts and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E. Sami is not thrilled. Big E takes his jacket off, then his title as Sami runs his mouth. Big E levels Sami in front of the announcers with a big clothesline. Big E then tosses Sami over the announce table. Cesaro gets up and shoves Big E. Big E shoves him back. Cesaro drops Big E and tosses him over the announce table. Sami gets up and barks orders at Cesaro now.
Bryan runs the ropes and hits Sami and Cesaro with a suicide dive. AJ brings Bryan back into the ring but they end up in the corner with Bryan in control. Sami runs in and attacks Bryan from behind for the disqualification.
Winner by DQ: Daniel Bryan
– After the bell, the chaos continues as Cesaro brings Big E in the ring and works him over in the corner. The music interrupts and out comes Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura hits the ring and takes out Sami, then AJ. Cesaro approaches but Nakamura puts the brakes on as they are still on the same page apparently, for now. The big brawl keeps going as Big E, Bryan and Nakamura clear the ring and are standing tall. We see Cesaro, AJ and Zayn at ringside. Back to commercial.
Cesaro, Big E and Daniel Bryan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayn and AJ Styles
Back from the break and Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are going at it as the six-man kicks off. Nakamura misses a shot and Cesaro rocks him. Back and forth now. Nakamura takes Cesaro to the corner and works him over. Nakamura with the snap German suplex under the bottom rope for a 2 count. WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E tags in and takes over on Cesaro.
Cesaro turns it around with a big uppercut. Cesaro beats Big E down and tags in Sami Zayn to takeover. Sami works Big E over while he’s down and talks some trash. They run the ropes and Big E levels Sami with a big back elbow for a 2 count. Daniel Bryan tags in and drops Sami. Big E tags back in and double teams Sami with Bryan. Big E covers Sami for a 2 count. Big E keeps control and in comes Bryan again. Bryan comes off the top with a double ax handle as Big E holds Sami.
Sami ends up turning it around on Bryan, then taking out his knee with a chop block. AJ Styles tags in and pulls Bryan over, slamming his leg into the ring post a few times. Bryan clutches his knee as AJ stands tall and fans boo. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cesaro hits the Cesaro Swing on Bryan, into the half Crab submission. Cesaro drags Bryan over and tags in AJ, who stomps Bryan in the hold. AJ drops an elbow, focusing on Bryan’s hurt left leg. AJ keeps working on the leg while Bryan is down. Sami tags back in and mounts Bryan with punches to the face. Sami mocks Big E and Nakamura now as fans boo. Sami sends Bryan face-first into the top turnbuckle.
Sami takes Bryan to the top but stops to argue with the referee. Sami climbs up for a superplex but Bryan resists. Bryan fights back and headbutts Sami to the mat. Bryan stands up and nails the missile dropkick from the top. Bryan goes to the mat selling his hurt leg as the referee counts. Cesaro tags in as does Big E. Big E with a big throw. AJ flies in but Big E catches him with another big throw. Big E nails the belly-to-belly suplex on Cesaro. Big E goes for the splash but Cesaro gets up and hits the corkscrew uppercut from the middle rope. Big E kicks out at 2.
Big E blocks the Neutralizer but Cesaro lands on his feet. He charges and Big E hits the Uranage for a close 2 count. Big E tries to rally the crowd now. The music interrupts and out comes The Miz and John Morrison. Big E stares them down and invites them into the ring for a fight. Nakamura meets them at ringside and they attack him, taking him out. Miz and Morrison enter the ring and attack Big E for the disqualification as Sami helps them.
Winners by DQ: Big E, Daniel Bryan and Cesaro
– After the bell, Big E briefly fights but Miz and Morrison take him out with a double team. The music hits and out comes Otis. He hits the ring and levels both Miz and Morrison with clotheslines. Otis tosses Miz over his head, then does the same to Morrison. Otis with another big clothesline to Morrison. Otis hits a double splash in the corner now. Otis with the Caterpillar to Miz and Morrison at the same time as we go back to commercial.
Otis, Cesaro, Big E and Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz, John Morrison, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayn and AJ Styles
Back from the break and the nine-man match is underway as Daniel Bryan and The Miz go at it. The teams are not even for some reason, which is acknowledged by Graves and Cole. Cole says Sonya Deville just made the match. Bryan unloads but they end up on the floor. Miz drives Bryan’s bad knee into the announce table for boos.
Miz brings it back into the ring and applies the Figure Four. Sami Zayn comes back in and ends up hitting the Blue Thunderbomb to Bryan for a close 2 count. Cesaro tags in and levels Bryan for a 2 count. Cesaro with a long vertical suplex to Bryan for another 2 count.
John Morrison tags in and kicks away at Bryan while he’s down. Morrison mounts Bryan with elbow strikes now. Morrison with the running kick. Miz tags back in and kicks Bryan while Morrison holds him. AJ Styles tags back in and takes over on Bryan from Miz. Bryan fights back from his knees but AJ takes him to the corner. Bryan runs the ropes and ducks a clothesline but they both leap for crossbody attempts and collide in mid-air. They both go down and the referee counts.
The heels run over and pull the babyfaces off the apron. Cesaro drives WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E into the barrier. Miz and Morrison take out Otis and Shinsuke Nakamura. Bryan has no one to tag. Sami comes in and stalks Bryan to put him away. The music interrupts and out comes Sheamus from RAW. Sheamus hits the apron and waits on the tag, making it a ten-man.
Sheamus quickly tags in and unloads. Sheamus runs wild on Sami as the crowd pops. Sheamus with a big knee and a clothesline to send Miz back to the floor. Sheamus with the 10 Beats of The Bodhrán to Morrison. Sami rolls Sheamus from behind for a close 2 count. Sheamus with the Irish Curse backbreaker to Sami in the middle of the ring. Sheamus applies the Cloverleaf submission to Sami but Morrison makes the save from behind.
Otis comes in and nails a big slam to Morrison. Cesaro runs in with a big double stomp to Otis. Big E with the Big Ending to Cesaro. Miz with a Skull Crushing Finale to Big E. Nakamura takes Miz out with a Kinshasa. Sami with a Blue Thunderbomb to Nakamura.
Sami waits on Sheamus to get up for a Helluva Kick now. Sheamus charges and levels him with a Brogue Kick instead for the pin to win.
Winners: Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Otis, Shinsuke Nakamura and Big E
– After the bell, Miz and Morrison immediately beat Sheamus down. AJ joins in from the floor. The music interrupts and out comes Braun Strowman making his return from the post-Survivor Series suspension. Braun levels bodies at ringside, then hits the ring and takes out Sami and Cesaro. Braun with the running powerslam to Sami, then to Cesaro. Braun yells out as the crowd pops. A shocked Miz and Morrison watch from the stage now. Braun tosses Cesaro across the ring and then hits him with another powerslam. Braun’s music hits again as he stands tall in the middle of the ring, yelling out to the crowd. We see other Superstars recovering at ringside now. Braun stands tall as the final SmackDown before the Royal Rumble goes off the air.