WWE SmackDown aired live from the ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field. In addition to the takeaways below, Universal Champion Roman Reigns pulled some strings and barred Kevin Owens from the ThunderDome. During tonight’s show, Kevin Owens discussed his grandparents’ initials tattooed on his hand and why he will always just keep fighting. Owens vowed to win the Last Man Standing match and become Universal Champion at Royal Rumble.
SmackDown Results (1/22)
- Charlotte & Asuka def. Riott Squad
- Cesaro def. Dolph Ziggler
- Sasha Banks def. Reginald
- Apollo Crews def. Big E via DQ
- King Corbin def. Dominik
Here are the takeaways from this week’s show:
Paul Heyman Challenged Adam Pearce
Universal Champion Roman Reigns came down to the ring with Paul Heyman to begin this week’s episode. Reigns said Kevin Owens will not be on the show because he said so. Roman claimed “card subject to change” is how losers think and that he shows up and puts in work every day. Reigns noted that it took his health being at risk during a pandemic for him to miss time.
Reigns called Adam Pearce “a puss” and mocked him for faking an injury last week. Roman added that his back hurts from carrying the WWE for years now and that maybe he can’t make it to Royal Rumble because his back is in pain. Adam Pearce interrupted and said that this has gone too far.
Roman stated that it was out of control that Pearce would put Kevin Owens back in the title picture. Reigns called Pearce “Kevin Owens‘ bitch” and noted that Adam hasn’t been in a match for six years but had the audacity to complain that his body hurts. Roman said “no wonder you never made it to WWE” and Heyman laughed in Pearce’s face.
Pearce told Heyman that he can take the intimation from Reigns but sure as hell isn’t going to take it from Heyman. Paul claimed that Pearce just disrespected the Tribal Chief and suggested that they face each other later tonight in the main event. Pearce accepted the challenge to end the segment.
Reigns later told Heyman as he tried to weasel out of the match that he hired a man as his special counsel and handle his business tonight.
The Women’s Tag Team Champs Picked Up A Win
Women’s Tag Team Champions Charlotte Flair & Asuka faced Riott Squad in a non-title match. Sami Zayn handcuffed himself to the barricade for the conspiracy documentary he is filming. Billie Kay was ringside for the match. Riott and Flair locked up in the middle of the ring to begin the action. Flair applied a Headlock and brought Riott to the canvas. Asuka tagged in and leveled Ruby with a shoulder tackle.
Charlotte bounced Ruby’s face off the top turnbuckle but got distracted by Billie Kay. Liv Morgan tagged in and hit Flair with a Dropkick to the face. Morgan followed it up with a Crossbody for a near fall as SmackDown went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, the Riott Squad was in control and had Flair trapped in the corner.
Flair battled back and unloaded several chops. Charlotte planted Liv with a Fallaway Slam and Asuka tagged in. Asuka hit a knee to the face and went for the cover but Ruby Riott broke it up at two. Liv went for an Enziguri but Asuka countered into an Ankle Lock. Asuka hit Morgan with a German Suplex and then Ruby tagged in.
Riott rolled up Asuka but Billie Kay was arguing with the referee. Asuka hit Liv with a Hip Attack and Charlotte tagged herself in. Charlotte hit Natural Selection on Ruby for the pinfall victory. Billie Kay tried to apologize Ruby and Liv backstage but Riott wasn’t having it. Billie told Riott Squad that she talked to Sonya and she got them into the Women’s Royal Rumble match. Riott told Billie that the squad was much better when it was just two of them.
Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring and traded some words with Sami Zayn who was still handcuffed on the entrance ramp. Bryan said he was going to be in the Royal Rumble match and broke down why he loved it. Daniel said it is one of the most challenging things in the WWE and it makes him feel alive.
Bryan said he is proud of his career and has accomplished a lot but he has never won a Royal Rumble match. Cesaro interrupted and claimed that he was going to win this year’s Royal Rumble match. Cesaro boasted about winning the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Daniel challenged Cesaro to a rematch from last week and Cesaro responded “how about no”.
Cesaro said he beat Bryan last week and is tired of doing the same thing over and over. Cesaro issued an open challenge and Dolph Ziggler made his way to the ring. Ziggler stated that he has been in the 2nd most Royal Rumble matches of all time and that he wants to win so he can go to WrestleMania and get paid. Dolph then accepted Cesaro’s challenge as SmackDown went to a break.
Daniel Bryan joined commentary as Cesaro started off the match in control. Cesaro swung Ziggler around the ring several times for a two count. Ziggler rolled up Cesaro for a two count and then Cesaro did the same. Dolph hit the Zig Zag and went for the cover but Cesaro kicked out at two. Ziggler went for the Fameasser but Cesaro countered into the Neutralizer for the pinfall victory.
Sasha Banks Tapped Out Reginald
SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks squared off against Reginald tonight on SmackDown. Carmella was ringside for the match. Sasha went for an Arm Drag but Reginald landed on his feet. Reginald flipped off the ring apron and to the floor but Banks caught him with a Dropkick through the ropes. Banks planted Reginald with a Bulldog and went for Double Knees but Reginald got out of the way. Reginald went for a Powerbomb but Sasha countered with an Arm Drag.
Sasha climbed to the top rope and went for a Crossbody but Reginald caught her. Sasha sent Reginald out of the ring and hit him with a Meteora off the apron. Banks knocked the champagne out of Carmella’s hand and then the action returned to the ring. Sasha then locked in the Bank Statement for the submission victory.
Sami Zayn Interfered In The IC Title Match
Big E defended the Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews. Big E hit a Belly to Belly Suplex right away and then sent Crews to the corner. Crews hit Big E with a kick to the face and followed it up with a Moonsault for a two count. Big E hit Crews with a Uranage and went for the cover but Apollo was able to kick out at two. Crews hit Big E with a Moonsault off the apron and then made his way to the top rope.
The Intercontinental Champion connected with a punch to the face and went for a Superplex but Crews blocked it. Apollo hit a few headbutts and knocked Big E off the turnbuckle. Sami unlocked his handcuffs as Apollo hit Big E with a Drop Kick. Sami ran into the ring and hit Crews with the Helluva Kick. Sami then delivered a Helluva Kick to Big E as well. Sami shouted that this was justice as he exited the ring.
Bianca Belair Won The Obstacle Course Challenge
Street Profits approached Sonya Deville and said that they deserve a rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Sonya told Montez Ford that he was still injured and not ready to come back. Deville suggested that it was time to give some more teams a shot and when Ford is healthy the Street Profits will be right back in the title picture.
Michael Cole hosted the obstacle course challenge between Bianca Belair and Bayley tonight. After Michael Cole made the introductions, Bayley ripped the microphone away and told Michael Cole to leave. Bayley said that they were going to start with a 400 pound tire and then run through several obstacles ringside. Chad Gable assisted in the obstacle course as well.
Bayley flipped the tire and then just ran around the obstacles instead of climbing them. Bayley lifted Gable up in the Fireman’s Carry and then made a layup after dropping him. Bayley finished the course in 1:12. Bayley then added a few more obstacles to the course and Bianca got through them quickly. Belair then lifted Otis up in the Fireman’s Carry and then juked around Bayley. Bianca Belair dunked the basketball and won the obstacle course challenge. Bayley attacked Belair and beat her down before launching her into the basketball hoop.
King Corbin Easily Defeated Dominik
Dominik faced King Corbin tonight on SmackDown. Dominik hit Corbin with a Dropkick that knocked him out of the ring. Dominik went for a Crossbody but Corbin got out of the way and delivered a Clothesline. Back in the ring, Corbin went for the cover but Dominik was able to kick out at two. Corbin controlled the next few minutes and slowed the match down. Corbin went for End of Days but Dominik escaped. Dominik went for 619 but Corbin blocked it. Corbin hit Dominik with a punch to the face and followed it up with End of Days for the pinfall victory.
Kevin Owens Attacked Roman Reigns
Adam Pearce stood in the ring as Paul Heyman marched to the ring. Heyman was taping up his fists and stumbled on the steel steps. Heyman hobbled around saying his knee hurt and fell to the floor. Paul shouted “you know what they say, card subject to change” and stared at Pearce.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his way to the ring and hit Pearce with a Superman Punch. Roman tried to grab the steel steps but Adam shoved him away. Reigns hit Pearce with a low blow and then slammed him into the ThunderDome. Kevin Owens showed up and attacked Reigns.
Roman rolled Owens into the ring and went for a Superman Punch but Owens hit him with a kick to the midsection. Owens connected with a Stunner and Roman rolled out of the ring. Owens beat Reigns down against the barricade as WWE officials tried to break it up.
Owens stomped on Roman a few more times before officials pulled him away. Owens escaped and hit Roman with another Stunner. Owens shouted at Heyman and asked if he had anything to say. Kevin then put Roman through the announce table with a Pop-Up Powerbomb to close another solid edition of SmackDown.