Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, and Paul Heyman made their way to the ring to start SmackDown. As they slowly walked to the ring, Michael Cole and Corey Graves discussed the gauntlet match later tonight.
Reigns praised Kevin Owens and claimed he never wanted to hurt him. He blamed Owens for making him attack him last week. Reigns said he loves the entire roster and their families. He was furious that people are blaming him for injuring Owens. Reigns said the blame should be put on Adam Pearce for making the match.
Reigns then demanded Pearce come to the ring. Heyman went ballistic trying to get Pearce to come out. Pearce slowly entered the ring, and Reigns got in his face. They recapped Owens begging Pearce to give him a match with Uso. The recap included Reigns viciously attacking Owens and throwing him out of the stands.
After the recap, Reigns wanted Pearce to taking responsibility and be a man. He pointed out that he was done with Owens and wanted to move forward. Instead, Owens went to his friend, Pearce, to get the match.
Uso stood behind Pearce and glared at him. Reigns noted Pearce gave Owens the match, and now Owens isn't here. He was furious that Pearce made the gauntlet match for a shot at his title. Reigns brought up everything he does for the company. He felt betrayed that Pearce would make the match.
Pearce said he's just trying to make the best match possible. Reigns wondered if Pearce is going to put himself in the match. Pearce said that would be a conflict of interest.
Reigns became upset and wondered if Pearce thinks he's stupid. He handed the title to Heyman and grabbed Pearce. Reigns backed him into the corner. He noted Pearce doesn't respect him, which means he doesn't respect his family. Pearce was terrified and begged Reigns to stop.
Heyman advised Reigns not to hurt Pearce. Reigns calmed down. He said that maybe nobody called each other stupid. Reigns tapped Pearce on the shoulder and walked off with Heyman and Uso.
This was a good opening segment.
Intercontinental Champion Big E vs. Apollo Crews
This was a good match with lots of hard-hitting fast-paced action. The angle in the middle did slow the momentum a bit at one point.
Crews hit a dropkick and big boot for a near fall at the ring of the bell. Big E fought back and hit a big splash on the apron. Crews regained control and hit a big splash in the corner. He followed up with three rolling German suplexes for a near fall.
Big E rolled to the floor, but Crews caught him with a moonsault off the apron. Crews backed Big E into the corner and set him up for a superplex. The referee was standing in the ring with the belt and declared the match a draw because of a double pin. The belt was to the champion because of the draw. Big E tried to shake Crews' hand but Crews wanted the match to continue. Crews got in Big E's face and slapped him hard across the face.
Big E ran wild and hit a series of belly to belly suplexes. Crews hit a huge frog splash for a close near fall. He followed up with a standing moonsault for another near fall. Big E went for the Big Ending but Crews hit an enziguri.
Crews charged at Big E but he caught him with an uranage. He followed up with the Big Ending for the win.
These 2 work well together and should feud for the IC Belt every week until the end of time.
In the back, Pearce was on the phone when Sonya Deville entered the room. He's happy to have her back. Deville noted she's not bitter even though her former best friend beat her in a loser leaves town match, went to Raw, and formed a new tag team.
Deville pointed out that Pearce is very busy running SmackDown and even has a match later. Pearce quickly noted that he's not in the match later. She wondered why he's not in the match. He said that he hasn't competed in years. They've mentioned Pearce wrestling twice tonight so far.
Alyse Ashton tried to interview Bianca Belair about entering the Royal Rumble match. Bayley interrupted and wondered if Belair eliminated Bayley from the match. Belair pointed out Bayley wasn't in the match.
Bayley bragged about being champion last year. Belair promised to eliminate her this year.
You know?........one of the charms of the Royal Rumble is seeing who comes out. That charm is easily lost when everyone announces themselves. Also there was a time when you'd have to qualify. Now the entrants just declare "IM IN!!!"
Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defeated The Street Profits to win the SmackDown Tag Team Titles
Ford used a sunset flip on Ziggler for a near fall. Ziggler attacked the injured leg to regain control. Roode used the Perfect Plex for a near fall. Roode attempted the Glorious DDT but Ford fought out. The heels took back over. The finish came when Roode and Ziggler hit a spine buster into the Zig Zag to win the titles.
In the back, Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville discussed the title match. Paul Heyman entered the office and praised Pearce. He brought up Pearce's past as Scrap Daddy Adam Peace. Heyman noted Pearce is great at his job but his dream was to be a wrestler.
Heyman pulled some strings and Pearce is not competing in the gauntlet match. Now how the fuck is Heyman able to pull strings and add an authority figure to a match is beyond me.
WWE obviously has ideas and endgames, but they often don't have a means to their end. They're like the Underpants Gnomes from South Park. Step 1: collect underwear..........Step 3: profit. My point is everything WWE does seems riddled in folicy and makes no sense. This is why people think your show so fucking stupid and why ratings stay at declining to new lows, and why fandom is at all time (constantly declining) low.
I had three ideas so far. Took me minutes. Vince/WWE save your fucking money. Fire your writing staff and put me on.
Ima skip to the end. This was an excellent show. An easy and emphatic Thumbs Up show. Just ignore the 2 logic holes: Pearce coming out of retirement and Baron Corbin attacking Rey Mysterio after he had already lost. Why couldn't Baron attack Nakamura for the DQ and then have his geeks attack Rey. That would have atleast made sense.
Paced very well except when Boring Corbin was working over fellow heel Nakamura clean. And he still lost. Surely this is an effort for him to procure the honor of this week's Geek Of The Week. We'll you efforts have not fallen on blind eyes nor deaf ears. You sir surely are a front runner.
So to repeat myself, watch this show without thinking, and you'll think it's great. Or........perhaps watch it every other week. This way when shit doesn't make sense, you can be like "hmm....I didn't see last week's episode, must have missed something."
I think Nakamura turned babyface....no complaints
Gauntlet Match: Adam Pearce defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to earn a title shot at the Royal Rumble
This wasn't a match and was more of an angle.
Pearce reluctantly walked to the ring with the heels behind him. Graves praised Pearce's past career, but Cole said Pearce wasn't good enough to make it in the WWE.
STFU Cole you dick head. What a stupid thing to say.
Uso and Reigns jumped in the ring and viciously beat down Nakamura. Reigns hit the superman punch, and Uso followed up with a splash off the top rope. There was no mention of Nakamura's tag team partner Cesaro and no explanation for his absence.
Reigns threw Peace into the ring. Uso knocked out Pearce with a superkick. Reigns then ordered the referee to ring the bell. They dragged Pearce on top of Nakamura, and the referee counted three. Adam Pearce is the number one contender and gets a title shot against Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
Reigns music played as he posed in the ring.
Thumbs Up Show