WWE SmackDown aired live from the ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field. It was the final episode of SmackDown before Royal Rumble this Sunday night. Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens had one more discussion before their title match at Royal Rumble.
SmackDown Results (1/29)
- Bianca Belair def. Bayley
- King Corbin def. Dominik
- Daniel Bryan def. AJ Styles via DQ
- Daniel Bryan, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura def. Cesaro, Sami Zayn, AJ Styles via DQ
- Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura, Otis def. The Miz, John Morrison, Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, AJ Styles
Here are the takeaways from this week’s show:
Daniel Bryan Will Face AJ Styles Tonight
Daniel Bryan kicked off SmackDown and said he had his sights set on the main event of WrestleMania. AJ Styles interrupted and commented on Bryan wearing a suit. Styles joked that Bryan looks like he is still GM and has one foot on the door. Bryan stated that he doesn’t have one foot out the door and challenged AJ to a match tonight. Styles said he’d love one more warm up match before Royal Rumble and shoved Daniel to the canvas. Bryan got up and Omos got in his way. Daniel told AJ that if he was a real man he would come to the ring later tonight without Omos. Bryan vowed to kick AJ’s ass either way to end the segment.
Bianca Belair def. Bayley
Bianca Belair faced Bayley in the first match of the night. Bayley kicked Belair in the midsection and went to work on her arm. Bianca connected with a massive Body Slam and followed it up with a Suplex for a two count. Bayley leveled Belair with a Clothesline and went for the cover but Bianca powered out at two. Bianca connected with a Dropkick and followed it up with a Moonsault. Belair went for the pin but Bayley was able to get her foot on the bottom rope. Bayley rolled out of the ring to regroup as SmackDown went to a commercial break.
When SmackDown returned, Bayley connected with a DDT for another near fall. Bayley went for the Rose Plant but Belair was able to escape. Bayley quickly hit a knee to the face for a two count and went back to work on Bianca’s arm. Bayley climbed to the top rope and hit Belair with an Elbow Drop to the back for a two count. Belair bounced Bayley‘s face off the turnbuckle and hit Bayley with the KOD for the pinfall victory. After the match, Bianca Belair vowed to win the women’s Royal Rumble match this Sunday.
King Corbin def. Dominik
Dominik faced King Corbin tonight on SmackDown. Dominik attacked King Corbin during his entrance as SmackDown went to a break. Rey Mysterio joined commentary for the match when SmackDown returned. Dominik sent Corbin out of the ring and hit him with a Crossbody. Corbin got back into the ring and planted Dominik with a Belly to Back Suplex. Corbin hit Dominik with another one and then stared at Rey Mysterio. Dominik sent Corbin into the ring post and hit him with a Dropkick off the middle turnbuckle.
Dominik hit a Senton and went for the cover but Corbin kicked out at two. Corbin went for a Powerbomb but Dominik escaped. Corbin then planted Dominik with End of Days for the pinfall victory. After the match, Corbin tried to attack Rey but he was ready for it. Mysterio launched Corbin into the ring post and hit him with a Senton to end the segment.
Owens & Reigns Traded Words
Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens were interviewed in different locations tonight on SmackDown. Reigns will defend the Universal Championship against Kevin Owens this Sunday night in a Last Man Standing match.
Kevin Owens claimed that as far as he is concerned, he has already beaten Roman twice but Reigns always has his family help him out. Paul Heyman said that after Reigns beats Owens on Sunday, he should show him some respect. Roman Reigns asked Owens about his father and if he was a smart man.
Roman wondered if Owens cannot see his own limitations because his father didn’t teach him that. Reigns called Owens “simple” and a pawn. Roman told Owens that he doesn’t belong here and will not be Universal Champion because he is inferior. Roman told Owens that he is a fool for thinking that he has a chance and that means that his father and his grandfather are fools.
Owens noted that he has his father and grandfather’s initials tattooed on his hand and warned Roman to stop. Roman told Kevin Owens that when he meets his grandparents once again they will tell him what a disgrace to the family he was because he didn’t acknowledge Reigns as the Tribal Chief. Owens mocked Reigns and called him a “community theater version of a mafia boss” before saying that his family would only want him to acknowledge Reigns as the jackass that he is. Roman shut off the screen as Owens was vowing to win the title at Royal Rumble.
Braun Strowman Returned
AJ Styles faced Daniel Bryan tonight and Omos was not ringside. Cesaro joined commentary for the match. Bryan controlled the action early and applied an Armbar. Styles reached the bottom rope to break the hold and Daniel connected with a kick to the arm. Sami Zayn‘s music hit and the former Intercontinental Champion made his way down the entrance ramp with his documentary crew. Styles sent Bryan into the steel steps as SmackDown went to a commercial break.
When SmackDown returned, Bryan hit Styles with a chop to the chest and followed it up with a Clothesline that sent AJ to the corner of the ring. Daniel hit Styles with a few kicks before perching him up on the top turnbuckle. Bryan sent AJ to the mat as Sami Zayn argued with Cesaro and Michael Cole. AJ Styles connected with a Dragon Screw and then a boot to the back of Bryan’s knee.
Styles applied the Calf Crusher but Bryan battled through the pain and reached the bottom rope to break the hold. Sami held up a sign that read “Big E is not my champion” as Bryan applied the Yes Lock in the center of the ring. AJ Styles was able to get his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold and then Intercontinental Champion Big E joined the party.
Big E leveled Sami with a Clothesline and then thew him over the announce table. Cesaro got pissed off and booted Big E in the face. Daniel Bryan then hit Cesaro and Sami with a Suicide Dive. Styles brought Bryan back into the ring but Sami attacked Daniel from behind to end the match in a DQ. A brawl then broke out and Shinsuke Nakamura made his way to the ring. Nakamura hit Sami and Styles with a kick to the face as SmackDown went to a break.
Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan, and Big E battled Cesaro, Sami Zayn, and AJ Styles in a 6-man tag match. Cesaro beat Big E down and tagged in Sami Zayn. Sami unloaded some punches to the face and but the Intercontinental Champion shrugged them off. Big E brought Sami to the corner and tagged in Daniel Bryan.
Sami then took control and brought Daniel Bryan to the corner. Styles tagged in and slammed Bryan’s knee on the ring post as SmackDown went to a break. When SmackDown returned, Cesaro had Bryan in a Half Crab in the middle of the ring. Bryan escaped but Cesaro beat him down and tagged in Sami Zayn.
Daniel caught Sami with a Dropkick and both superstars fell to the mat. Big E and Cesaro then tagged in and the IC Champion hit a few Belly to Belly Suplexes. Cesaro connected with a ridiculous springboard uppercut for a near fall. Cesaro went for the Neutralizer but Big E countered into a Back Body Drop. Cesaro landed on his feet but turned around into a Uranage for a two count.
The Miz and Morrison rushed the ring to end this match in a DQ as well. Otis joined the party and took Miz and Morrison out as SmackDown went to a break. When SmackDown returned, it was now Otis, Bryan, Nakamura, and Big E vs. The Miz, Morrison, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, and AJ Styles. The Miz got Bryan in the Figure Four in the middle of the ring.
Cesaro connected with a Suplex and tagged in Morrison. John booted Bryan in the face and then tagged in AJ Styles. Bryan and AJ hit Crossbodies at the same time and both superstars fell to the canvas. The heels dragged the babyfaces off the apron and beat them down before Daniel Bryan could tag out. Sami tagged in and then Sheamus’ music hit. Sheamus hopped on the ring apron and Daniel tagged him in. Sheamus knocked Miz off the apron and delivered a knee to the Zayn’s face.
Sheamus planted Sami with a Backbreaker and then locked in the Cloverleaf submission in the middle of the ring. Morrison broke it up with a kick to the face and then turned around into a slam from Otis. Cesaro booted Otis in the face but turned around into a Big Ending from Big E. The Miz hit Big E with the Skull Crushing Finale but turned around into a Kinshasa from Shinsuke. Sami hit the Blue Thunder Bomb on Nakamura but then Sheamus hit him with the Brogue Kick for the victory.
After the match, Miz and Morrison hit Sheamus with a couple cheap shots before Braun Strowman’s music hit. Braun hit Zayn with a Running Powerslam and delivered another one to Cesaro. Strowman hit Cesaro with another Running Powerslam to end the show.
Opinion: I would have rather just seen Strowman return as a surprise at the Royal Rumble. I don’t think too many people are going to sign up the network to watch the Royal Rumble because Braun Strowman is back, so I’m not sure what the point of the final 45 minutes of the show was. I thought the promo between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens was phenomenal tonight and I thought Owens calling Reigns a “community theater version of a mafia boss” was hilarious. Bianca Belair and Bayley had a solid match as well tonight but unfortunately the show went off the rails a bit in the 2nd hour. Overall, SmackDown wasn’t the best show this week but it is impossible not to be excited for the Royal Rumble anyways.