Welcome to eWrestling.com's LIVE results coverage as the WWE blue brand returns for their third episode of the New Year as the January 15, 2021 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown airs this evening on FOX Network starting at 8/7C!
Advertised for this week's edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown which follows the controversial finish of last week's Gauntlet Match, Roman Reigns and Adam Pearce are set to make their Universal Championship Match at Royal Rumble official. Plus, Jey Uso to battle Shinsuke Nakamura and Rey Mysterio to take on King Corbin. Don't miss SmackDown, tonight at 8/7 C on FOX.
Featured below are complete results of the January 15, 2021 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown which airs live at 8/7C on FOX Network! The following report was written by eWrestling.com's longest running female reporter, Jamie Rush. Follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieRush312.
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN RESULTS (1/8/2021)
WWE Forever plays as the clock strikes 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time signaling the start of tonight's WWE Friday Night SmackDown airing on the FOX Network!
"Are you ready??" The familiar question sounds, leading us into the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL where we are welcomed by the commentary team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves!
Video Clip - "Last Week"
To start off tonight's show, we head into a video clip from WWE SmackDown "Last Week" with Roman Reigns delivering a speech to that highlights the events with Adam Pearce allowing a match between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens, then Pearce inside the ring with Reigns where he states he brought him back to redeem himself, and what does he do? He makes a Gauntlet Match! Reigns grabs Pearce but quickly releases him, ending the segment. Next we see the Gauntlet Match where Shinsuke Nakamura takes on Adam Pearce (who is an official, not a current WWE Superstar). Jey Uso then proceeds to attack, Superkick and Super Punch Nakamura as Roman Reigns says "This is my show, I do... what I want to do," then adds, "This is my show!"
Reigns then tells Pearce to "Do your job" as he rolls Pearce into the ring from ringside. Jey Uso then proceeds to take down Pearce and drag him over to Nakamura where he covers Pearce onto Nakamura for the three count pin and win (Pearce wins the Gauntlet Match to proceed on to take on Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship).
Roman Reigns' Dressing Room
As the video package ends, we head backstage where Paul Heyman is standing with the WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, who is seated at a desk inside his dressing room. Reigns is currently going over the contract for the Royal Rumble match with Adam Pearce.
Heyman states as Reigns' special advisor, he doesn't like what he sees insider the contract as it currently stands. Heyman then adds that he thinks the match needs a stipulation, (one where Reigns can be Reigns and teach Pearce about fear and respect). Heyman offers to take the contract to Pearce for some adjustment.
Without a word, Reigns looks on as he hands it over to Heyman and Heyman says Reigns can consider this handled. Heyman walks off and thanks Reigns to end the segment.
In-Ring - Jey Uso
As we return to the inside of the ThunderDome in St. Petersburg, Florida, we see Jey Uso makes his way to the stage as his entrance theme sounds. Uso then makes his way down to the ring for tonight's first official match. Before the match is started, Uso takes the mic and boasts about how he and Reigns run SmackDown. Not Adam Pearce... or Kevin Owens. Not anybody else in the WWE Universe stands where Uso and Reigns stand right now.
Jey goes on to state that the Uso family calls the shots in WWE, not Pearce. He then adds that Pearce will soon find out, the hard way, when he meets with Reigns at The Rumble. Uso goes on to state if we thought that the Uso/Reigns family was satisfied with just SmackDown... think again. Uso says everyone should thank Reigns for fresh towels and hot food in the locker room, and for millions of fans tuning in each week.
The audience disagrees as the boos get louder. Uso then hypes himself up as "Main Event Uso", and then announces his spot in the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match. Uso says he's going to win the match, then go to RAW to win the WWE Title from Drew McIntyre or WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg at WrestleMania 37 because it's his bloodline who owns all of WWE.
Uso then switches topics, sharing that before they get to The Rumble, he still has some unfinished business with Shinsuke Nakamura. He goes on about how everyone bragged on Nakamura's Gauntlet Match performance last week but it was nothing special, especially when he and Reigns shut Nakamura down.
Shinsuke Nakamura Enters
Uso goes on talking trash about Nakamura until the music interrupts and out he comes to a pop. Nakamura takes the mic and says Uso is Reigns' little puppet. Uso goes to charge but Nakamura drops him with a kick to the head. Nakamura celebrates to a pop as his music hits and we head to commercial break!
Jey Uso vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
As we return from the first commercial break of the evening, we return to the ring where Jey Uso and Shinsuke Nakamura are standing at either side of the ring. The referee signals for the bell and our first official match of the evening is underway! The bell rings and the two superstars immediately begin brawling. Nakamura charges and drops Uso with a clothesline. Nakamura drops knees to Uso for a 2 count. Uso turns it around and rocks Nakamura, then slams him in the middle of the ring.
Uso grabs his arm and proceeds to sell an arm injury as he takes his time covering Nakamura for the pin attempt. They trade right hands now. Uso gets knocked into the corner but fights out. Uso whips Nakamura hard into the opposite corner and he goes down. Nakamura misses one kick but levels Uso with the next. Nakamura drives knees to Uso's shoulder while he's down. Nakamura takes it to the corner and then slams Uso on his face. Nakamura drives more knees into Uso while he's back down.
Uso unable to get away from Nakamura, so the referee steps in and forces Nakamura to back off of Uso in the corner. Nakamura steps back momentarily, but then proceeds to stomp Uso some more! Next, Nakamura grounds Uso to the mat with a Chinlock now.
Nakamura takes Uso back to the corner and works him over but the music interrupts and out comes Cesaro. Nakamura kicks Uso to the floor and into the announce table. Nakamura then launches Uso into the ring post. Cesaro walks around the ringside area and points to his partner as he rolls back into the ring.
We go to commercial with Uso down on the outside as Cesaro walks past him.
Once again, we return from the commercial break and as we head back to the ring, we see Nakamura on the apron. Nakamura looks to take a shot at Uso who is able to block and then counters with a shot of his own, taking Nakamura to the floor at ringside. Uso then proceeds to slam Nakamura face-first into the apron. Uso then brings the match back into the ring, stopping to stare at Cesaro who is now sitting at the Announcer's Table on commentary.
Turning his attention back to his current opponent, Uso proceeds to beat down Nakamura while looking to Cesaro every once in a while to make sure he sees what's happening. At this point, Cesaro announces his Royal Rumble spot while on commentary. Uso stays on Nakamura in another corner and stomps away while he's down. The referee backs him off. Uso with the running back splash in the corner, and more stomps.
The referee checks on Nakamura. Uso charges again but Nakamura jumps up and meets him with a big kick. Nakamura with another kick to level Uso. Nakamura with more kicks and a knee to the gut Nakamura with a sliding knee while Uso is down. Nakamura runs into a boot in the corner. Nakamura turns it back around and hits sliding snap German suplex for another 2 count. More back and forth between the two.
Uso catches Nakamura with a Samoan Drop in the middle of the ring for another 2 count. Nakamura delivers strikes but Uso kicks him down and uppercuts him. Uso lifts Nakamura and drops him into a Neckbreaker for another close 2 count. Uso goes to the top but Nakamura rolls to the corner. Uso charges but hits the turnbuckle when Nakamura misses. Nakamura with a knee from the second turnbuckle for another close 2 count. Nakamura waits for the Kinshasa now as fans cheer him on. He charges but Uso meets him with a Superkick.
Finally, we see Uso head up to the top turnbuckle, pausing momentarily then flying through the air to land the Uso Splash... which is blocked as Nakamura gets his knees up! Nakamura charges into the corner but hits the ring post shoulder-first as Uso moves. Uso rolls Nakamura up for the pin to win but the referee caught him using the tights for leverage. Uso and the referee argue now. Nakamura rolls him from behind and goes right into the Kinshasa for the pin to win.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
After the Match
Immediately following the match, we see Nakamura celebrating his victory as he stands tall with his music playing through the speakers of the arena. Cesaro hits the ring and celebrates with Nakamura as we see Uso down on the outside.
As we pan away from the ring where Cesaro and Nakamura are celebrating together for Nakamura's victory, on commentary at the Announcer's Table, we hear Corey Graves reveal that there will be a match later tonight with Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan.
The premiere of the new "Ding Dong, Hello!" talk show segment from Bayley is still to come later tonight with her special guest being the EST of SmackDown, the one and only, Bianca Belair.
Backstage - Sonya Deville
We head backstage where Sonya Deville is talking to Adam Pearce. Deville wants to talk strategy for Pearce again but Paul Heyman walks in. He shakes hands with Deville. Heyman hands Pearce the contract for the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble. Heyman says Pearce has the opportunity of a lifetime in his hands.
Heyman goes on with his sales pitch and reveals that the new contract will make Pearce vs. Roman Reigns a No DQ match. Heyman interrupts his own promo to tell Deville how good her perfume is working, creeping Deville and Pearce out. Pearce is annoyed by Heyman and his pitch. He ends up signing the contract and saying this will mean that he gets injured, which is what Heyman and Reigns want to see. He hands the contract back to Heyman after signing it. With that, we head to commercial break!
Backstage - Jey Uso
As we return from the commercial break, we see Jey Uso standing with referee Charles Robinson in the back where he is STILL arguing about Robinson's call during Uso's match just minutes ago! The decision clearly stands which infuriates Uso. Uso then states that Robinson is about to lose his job if he doesn't do it right. Uso storms off.
Video Clip - "Last Week w/ Ziggler & Roode vs. The Street Profits"
We head into a video clip from last week where we see the match up of Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode defeated The Street Profits to win the SmackDown Tag Team Titles last week.
Backstage Interview - The Street Profits
Kayla Braxton is backstage with The Profits now. They dismiss the idea that they might be scared of the champs, and go on about how they're going to run it back. Montez Ford isn't happy with what Roode and Ziggler did to Montez Ford. They say when the rematch happens, bodies will drop. Ford says they're up and they want the smoke.
Backstage - Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns, and Apollo Crews
We head backstage where we happen upon Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns and Apollo Crews who are standing backstage having a conversation. Heyman walks in with the contract for the match with Adam Pearce and Reigns tells Crews to stay so he can watch and learn from this. Reigns asks Heyman if the contract was signed.
Reigns ends up saying he's not going to sign the contract. He doesn't want No DQ, he wants Last Man Standing. Heyman doesn't believe Pearce will agree to that stipulation. Reigns says he will because Crews is going to make him. Reigns wants Pearce to sign the contract in the ring later tonight. Reigns hands the contract back to Heyman and tells him to consider it signed. Reigns goes back to chatting with Crews to end the segment.
We are reminded that still to come is the match-up of Rey Mysterio vs. King Corbin. Also, Bayley's new talk show, "Ding-Dong, Hello?" premieres, and with that, we head to commercial break!
Natalya vs. Liv Morgan
We go back to the ring and Natalya is in the ring waiting. Out next comes Liv Morgan with Ruby Riott and Billie Kay. Kay steps out in front of The Riott Squad on the stage, sporting a new punk look, and awkwardly rocks out. They hit the ring together and Kay joins the announcers.
Natalya locks up with Morgan and takes it to the ropes. She backs off and delivers a stiff shove. They go at it and Morgan nails a big takedown. Morgan with a running back elbow in the corner. Natalya gets the upperhand on a test of strength but Morgan counters and launches Natalya to the mat. More back and forth between the two with counters. Natalya slams Liv's neck over the top rope to boos. Natalya unloads in the corner with lefts and rights as fans boo and the referee warns her. Natalya with some trash talking.
The referee warns her again. Natalya with a snap suplex to Liv, then a kick to the back. Liv ends up countering with a roll up for 2. Natalya comes right back with a clothesline for a 2 count. Natalya hoists Liv into a backbreaker submission on her shoulder as Tamina Snuka also looks on from ringside, supporting Natalya.
Liv fights in from the apron and rolls Natalya up for 2. Liv with big kicks and an enziguri to drop Natalya. Liv with a running knee to the jaw in the corner. Liv stands on Natalya and the bottom rope to stomp away in the corner now. Natalya counters a move and drives Liv into the middle turnbuckle. Natalya with the discus clothesline for a close 2 count. Billie goes over and yells at Ruby, apparently for not helping Liv. Liv kicks out of Natalya's pin attempt again. Liv ends up dropping Natalya into knees for a close 2 count.
Billie is still yelling at ringside. She goes over and yells at the referee now, but gets in front of Tamina. Tamina asks her what is wrong with her. Kay shrieks some more and backs away, but stumbles into the ring and then back out of the ring. This leads to Natalya rolling Liv up off the distraction for the pin to win.
After the Match
Natalya's music hits as she heads up the ramp with Tamina, celebrating. Kay realizes The Riott Squad isn't happy with her. We go to replays. Billie stands with Liv and Riott in the ring but they're annoyed.
Video Clip Recap - ("Last Week")
We get a highlight video showing King Corbin's continued assault on the Mysterio family as well as what Corbin did to Rey Mysterio last week. Their match is coming up tonight.
Rey Mysterio vs. King Baron Corbin
As the commentary team concludes their recap of the events leading up to tonight's match between King Corbin and Rey Mysterio, we turn to the stage as Rey Mysterio's entrance theme sounds. The biggest little man in WWE history, Rey Mysterio who is accompanied by his son, Dominik Mysterio. The Mysterios make their way down the ramp and enter the ring. Rey climbs the turnbuckle to pose as we head to commercial break.
As we return from the commercial break, we see that Dominik Mysterio is a guest on commentary as he sits alongside Corey Graves and Michael Cole. The referee signals for the bell, the bell rings and this match-up is officially underway! Bulldog to King Corbin by Mysterio inside the ring. An Explosive Clothesline by King Corbin that takes Rey out as the referee begins to count. The referee gets to the count of seven!
Mysterio looks for the 619 and is hit with the Deep Six as Corbin is able to get the counter! King Corbin with a cheap shot to the back of Mysterio. Dominik takes what Graves says to heart as he goes to help his father. Corbin gets The End of Days as Rey is distracted by the commotion on the outside. Corbin able to get the three count pin and win!
Winner: King Corbin
After the Match
We head to replays and highlights from the match. Commentary states tonight was a "learning experience" for Dominik who needs to learn to keep his emotions under wraps during matches or he'll lose control.
Switching topics, we are again reminded that Daniel Bryan will take on Cesaro later tonight!
Backstage - Adam Pearce
Paul Heyman walks up to Adam Pearce backstage where Pearce asks matter-of-factly, "Did he sign the contract?" Heyman looks visibly upset as he responds that no, Reigns did NOT sign the contract yet as he agrees with Pearce about his concerns for the match. Heyman then babbles on, ending with a suggestion of the stipulation being a "Last Man Standing" match. Peace clearly doesn't agree with the idea.
Dominik and Rey Mysterio
Once again, we return from the break and Dominik Mysterio is with Rey Mysterio. Dominik says his dad has been fighting giants his entire career and now he's backing down? Rey says he's not backing down, he's just being smart about battling King Corbin and Dominik should do the same.
Oddly, goes off on a tangent and goes on about how impressive Corbin has been. A little confused, Dominik states he doesn't care what he's done... Rey interrupts and says if Dominik wants to take care of Corbin, he knows just the guy to talk to.
Bayley Hosts - "Ding Dong, Hello?!" Talk Show
We head to the "set" of the *brand new* talk show... "Ding-Dong, Hello?!" which is the latest hot new segment for Friday Night SmackDown hosted by the one and only FORMER WWE SmackDown Women's Champ, The "Role Model"... Bayley! Bayley steps through a front door prop in the middle of the ring as fans boo her. She has a chair and end table, and a stool for her guest. Bayley welcomes us and brags about how her show already has more views than the rest of the division.
Bayley goes on and introduces her guest, Bianca Belair. Belair is directed to go to the other side of the door. Bayley tells her to ring the bell and the loud door bell rings once again. Belair comes in and takes a seat in Bayley's chair. Bayley points out how that's her chair but Belair won't give it up, complimenting her on how comfortable it is. Cole mentions how both Superstars will be in the Royal Rumble. Bayley plugs Belair's upcoming WWE Chronicle documentary on the WWE Network. She has a sneak peek and yells for the footage to be rolled but instead we see a clip of Bayley pinning Belair last month. Bayley apologizes and says it's time to get to the hard hitting questions.
Bayley asks about the "EST" nickname. Belair explains and Bayley says it sounds like the nickname is based on everything Belair did before she got to WWE. Belair can't believe Bayley is getting upset over her confidence and nickname. Bayley says based on what Belair is saying, Bayley should be called the best because she recently pinned Belair. Belair isn't happy. She says Bayley can take her show, go put on her dusty gear and they can have a rematch now. Bayley proposes an obstacle course competition for next week, the Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course. Belair laugh and accepts the challenge. Belair says Bayley has some "EST" in herself too, but there's no way she can beat Belair. Now "Ding Dong" that, Belair says. Belair dances and taunts Bayley as her music starts up.
Alpha Training Academy
Cole sends us to an Alpha Training Academy segment from earlier today, showing Chad Gable getting Otis ready for the Royal Rumble. Daniel Bryan is training backstage with them. Kayla Braxton walks up and Bryan talks about how the Alpha training way boosts his confidence and he's glad to prepare for the Rumble with them. Braxton asks if his confidence was hurt last week with the Gauntlet Match and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Bryan has nothing bad to say about Nakamura. Bryan mentions how he and Nakamura shook hands after the match last week. Here comes Cesaro interrupting. Cesaro says Bryan doesn't speak for his partner, adding that Nakamura only shook Bryan's hand out of pity last week. He ends up taking a shot at the training methods of Otis, Gable and Bryan. Bryan offers to show Cesaro how good their training methods work.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro
As we return to the ring, we hear the entrance theme for Daniel Bryan blare through the speakers of the Tropicana Field Arena in St. Petersburg, Florida as Bryan makes his way to the stage starting the "Yes!" chant with both index fingers pointing high in the air. We can see the WWE Universe on the monitors mimicking the movements of Bryan as they too do the "Yes" chant! Bryan makes his way down the ramp and enters the ring where he awaits his opponent as we head to commercial break!
As we return from the commercial break, we must have missed the entrance for Bryan's opponent as Cesaro is already standing inside the ring. The referee signals for the bell, the bell rings and the match is officially underway! Immediately both competitors lock up. Cesaro drops Bryan with a shoulder and covers for a 1 count. Cesaro with a headlock now. They run the ropes but Bryan nails an arm drag and starts working on the arm now. Cesaro tries to fight free but backs Bryan in the corner. The referee counts and Cesaro nails a back elbow to the jaw.
A running uppercut into the opposite corner by Cesaro as he begins to talk trash to Bryan. Cesaro whips Bryan across the ring but misses when charging in. Bryan with kicks now. Bryan with the running dropkick into the corner. Bryan takes Cesaro down by his arm and works on the arm and shoulder again. Bryan drives a knee into the spine twice, keeping Cesaro down. Cesaro scoops Bryan and slams him in the middle of the ring. Cesaro keeps control until Bryan rocks him with forearms. Cesaro with another quick takedown for a quick pin attempt. Bryan ends up dropping Cesaro awkwardly on the back of his neck. Cesaro rolls to the floor clutching his neck. Bryan goes to the top and flies, taking Cesaro down on the floor.
The referee counts as Bryan kicks away. Cesaro ducks and Bryan kicks the ring post. Bryan goes down clutching his leg as we once again head back to commercial break.
As we return from the commercial break and re-enter the ring, we see that Cesaro is in control as Bryan injured his leg after accidentally kicking the ring post right before we went to commercial break moments ago. Bryan is back to his feet and they begin to trade big Uppercuts now. Bryan unloads but gets cut off. Bryan lands bad on his leg but nails a drop toe hold. Bryan goes right back to the arm. Bryan counters and takes Cesaro down with a bulldog. Bryan goes into the Yes Lock now. Cesaro powers up from it and stomps on the hurt legs now.
A Cesaro Swing by Cesaro followed up with a Sharpshooter in the center of the ring takes Bryan down, though Cesaro tightens his hold as Bryan inches closer and closer to the edge of the ring to grab the bottom rope. Cesaro tightens the hold but Bryan inches to the bottom rope. Cesaro transitions into a new submission to stop Bryan from going for the rope. Bryan counters and goes for the arm again, locking in another Yes Lock now as Cesaro screams out. Cesaro finally gets his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold.
With both men unable to submit the other, they both get back to their feet to try something different as Bryan yanks the arm of Cesaro. Bryan takes it to the top rope and goes for a big Hurricanrana but Cesaro stops him in mid-move. Cesaro overpowers and turns it into a big Superplex to the mat. Cesaro can't believe it but he makes the 2 count as Bryan kicks out. Cesaro clubs Bryan with strikes while they're both on the mat. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer but its blocked.
Next, Cesaro runs into a boot in the corner. Cesaro attempts to hit an Uppercut, however Bryan blocks and falls into a Backslide for Cesaro and gets the cover for a two count. Bryan then hypes up as he starts with the "Yes" Kicks now. Cesaro blocks the first but the second knocks him to the mat. Cesaro is bleeding from his head now as they both struggle to recover. Bryan starts a "yes!" chant in the corner.
Finally, as Bryan sets to charge, Cesaro catches him with one final Uppercut followed by the Neutralizer out of nowhere for the three count pin for the win.
After the Match
Immediately following the match, Cesaro stands tall to several boos from the audience as his music hits the speakers in the arena. We see Bryan down on the mat as Cole calls this a career-defining win for the veteran, Cesaro.
We head backstage where Kayla Braxton is standing with the sultry diva, Carmella and her sommelier, Reginald. Carmella starts off by saying that she told the truth about SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks last week. Carmella says when it comes to natural talent, Banks can't touch her. Carmella says she's here again tonight but she doesn't see Banks anywhere. She goes on and says Banks is hiding because she knows...
Banks suddenly attacks but Reginald quickly gets in the way to make the save. Banks tells Reginald to tell Carmella that she can have her title shot, as long as Banks can have Reginald in a match first. Banks walks off and laughs. A worried Reginald turns to Carmella but she's all smiles.
Apollo Crews vs. Sami Zayn
As we return to the ThunderDome, we head to the ring and the entrance theme for Apollo Crews sounds over the speakers as Crews makes his way down the ramp towards the ring. With that, we head back to commercial.
We return from the commercial break and Cole shows us last week's "Talking Smack" when co-host Paul Heyman gave a pep talk to Crews over his loss to WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E. Crews waits in the ring now as Sami Zayn makes his way out, who Cole calls Mr. Conspiracy Theory. Sami has his documentary crew right behind him filming, capturing all the conspiracies against him.
We return to the arena and we see Big E laying on a couch all kinds of comfortable at ringside, with a cup of fruit (healthy choice!). Cole says the winner of this match may receive the next title shot from Big E. With that, the referee signals for the bell, the bell rings and this match-up is officially underway! Crews immediately nails a big dropkick. They trade shots and Sami kicks Crews but runs into a big overhead throw. Sami ends up clotheslining Crews over the top rope. He lands right next to Big E's couch.
Sami exits the ring and heads towards Big E where he begins to taunt him, calling him "brother" ta-boot. Big E's face turns from a smile as he states, "never that, don't call me brother. Never that." Big E says Sami can't call him brother. Sami works Crews over but Crews fights back and slams his face into the announce table. Crews with a standing moonsault from the table. Crews brings it back in and goes to the top but Sami cuts him off and sends him to the mat. Sami works Crews over in the corner while he's down.
Sami leaps of the second rope with an elbow to the face for a 2 count, and another, and a third pin attempt put of frustration. Crews comes back and catches Sami as he comes off the second rope again, hitting a big German suplex. More back and forth now. Crews with an enziguri. Sami with two more roll-ups but on the second the referee catches him using the tights for leverage. Sami and the referee have words. Crews charges but Sami catches him with a big Exploder suplex into the turnbuckles. Sami stops to tell his film crew to make sure they get this. He charges in the corner but Crews rolls him up, using the tights just as Sami did moments before for leverage and the referee doesn't see it as he counts the three for the victory!
Winner: Apollo Crews
After the Match
Following the match, the music for Apollo sounds in the arena as Crews heads to ringside as he celebrates his victory, walking towards Big E who is still maxin' and relaxin' at ringside with his feet propped on the couch.
Sami leans his head through the middle ropes as he screams at the referee about the tights as Big E looks on laughing. Sami wants to know why he got called for the tights but Crews didn't, that was unfair! Sami is busy arguing causing big belly laughs from Big E until Crews gets close enough to to the couch to grab the Intercontinental Title belt off Big E's couch. Big E grows serious as he see Crews just staring at it.
Big E quickly sits up and tells Crews to "keep playing and see what happens". Crews tosses the title back to Big E and they keep yelling semi-friendly fighting words at each other.
Backstage - Adam Pearce
We see Adam Pearce backstage shaking his head at the contract for his Universal Title shot. Pearce starts walking to the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and announced for next Friday is Apollo Crews vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns with the title on the line, plus Bayley vs. Bianca Belair in Bayley's Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge.
Royal Rumble "Last Man Standing" Contract Signing
As we return to the arena once again, we head out to the stage as the entrance music for Roman Reigns sounds over the speakers in the Tropicana Field Arena speakers in St. Petersburg, Florida for the main event of tonight's SmackDown, the contract signing between The WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and WWE Official, Adam Pearce. Out first is the Universal Champion, Roman Reigns along with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso all step out to the stage and then make their way down the ramp as they are each announced officially over the speakers.
The ring is set up for a contract signing for Reigns' title defense against Adam Pearce at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Reigns enters the ring and raises the title as the boos get louder. Pearce comes walking out next, with no music, and the contract in his hand. Cole reminds us that Pearce vs. Reigns will now be a Last Man Standing match. Pearce nervously enters the ring and Reigns tells him to have a seat. Pearce is the only one sitting.
Heyman offers to put Reigns' seat at the head of the table, because he is The Head of the Table, but Reigns wants to stand. Heyman starts talking about the contract to Pearce, but Uso grabs Pearce and yells at him to get his ass up because he's taking too long. Pearce sits back down on the other side of the table as Reigns also takes a seat at the head of the table. Pearce signs the contract. Reigns smiles now, then smiles at Pearce and says that will be the last contract he'll sign.
Pearce closes the contract and says he's waited all night for Reigns to do that. Pearce stands up and exits the ring with the contract. Reigns is confused. Pearce marches up the ramp but starts limping. Uso, Heyman and Reigns look on from the ring, confused. Pearce stops and says his knee has been hurting all day long. It must be one of those old injuries that creep up on you at the worst possible time, but don't worry... standard WWE contracts all the same thing... Pearce's mic is having some technical difficulties.
Pearce starts talking about being able to find a suitable replacement for the Rumble match with Reigns, and a suitable replacement is just what he has in mind.
Kevin Owens Interrupts
The music of Kevin Owens hits and out he comes. Owens immediately signs the contract as Pearce holds it for him. Reigns looks on from the ring and he's not happy. Owens stares down at the ring, smiling at Reigns and taunting him. Pearce is also in a better mood now. SmackDown goes off the air with fans cheering Owens on.
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