Welcome to eWrestling.com's latest edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown which airs January 22, 2021 starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, airing LIVE on the USA Network from the ThunderDome II at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida!
Advertised for January 22, 2021 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown, With a great deal of animosity already existing between Bayley and Bianca Belair, The Role Model welcomed The EST of WWE as her special guest on the premiere episode of her talk show, “Ding Dong, Hello!”
During a war of words, Bayley claimed all Bianca’s athletic accolades occurred before she journeyed to WWE and used her recent victory over her adversary to question Bianca’s claims that she is The EST of WWE. Then, when Belair challenged her to a rematch to settle the dispute, Bayley rejected it and instead challenged Belair to compete in an “Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge” to provide her athletic superiority. That was a challenge that was enthusiastically accepted.
Don’t miss when The Role Model and The EST of WWE compete in Bayley’s Ultimate Athletic Challenge, tonight at 8/7 C on SmackDown.. Don't miss Monday Night Raw, tonight at 8/7 C on USA.
Featured below are complete results of the January 22, 2021 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown which airs live at 8/7C on USA 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 (1/22/2021)
Are you ready?? We see the regular opening clip stating, "WWE Then... Now... FOREVER!"
To kick off tonight's WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN, we head immediately into a video package highlighting Last Friday's events between Adam Pearce and Roman Reigns. It starts with Paul Heyman asking Pearce for a "No Disqualification" match, then Reigns asks for a "Last Man Standing" Match. Heyman then tells Pearce he can handle any concerns INSIDE the ring when they sign the contract later in the evening.
Pearce again signs the contract and hands it over to Reigns who signs with a smile. "I've waited all night for you to do that." As you know, standard contracts say the same thing. Card subject to change, suitable replacement is just what he has in mind. Kevin Owens then comes out and signs the contract! Reigns no longer smiling and the show closes.
In-Ring WWE Universal Champion - Roman Reigns
We enter the ThunderDome as we are asked if we're ready to have a good time and are welcomed to Friday Night SmackDown sponsored by Progressive! We then kick things off with the WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns! Reigns makes his way to the ring accompanied by his "Special Counsel" Paul Heyman. The crowd "Boos" as the pyro goes off and Reigns holds his title high above his head.
Reigns makes his way down the ramp and enters the ring as the fans continue to "Boo!" the Universal Champion. We are reminded the Last Man Standing match at the Royal Rumble is to be Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens.
Reigns says that it was clever, but the “Card subject to change” mentality is for losers and people who do not show up.
Roman talks about how he doesn’t miss appearances and it took a global pandemic to sideline him. He starts talking about how he also hurts all over but doesn’t miss appearances. He says that his back hurts because he carries the company.
Pearce comes out and says that Roman and Heyman are taking things too far. He gets in the ring. Pearce says that things are getting out of control, but Roman says that Pearce’s favoritism towards Owens is what’s really out of control.
He says that what really makes him upset is the fact that Pearce complains about his health when he hasn’t wrestled in 5 or 6 years. Roman says that there’s a reason that Pearce never go to the WWE and Heyman starts to laugh.
Pearce tries to say that he won’t take things from Heyman, but Roman says that if Pearce is disrespecting Heyman, he’s disrespecting Roman. Roman gives Heyman the mic and Heyman rips into Pearce and says that he would “whoop your ass” to Pearce.
Heyman challenges Pearce to a one on one match between the two of them for the main event. Pearce shakes Heyman’s hand and seems to accept the challenge. Reigns steps up to Pearce and says, “At the end of the night, you’re going to get your ass kicked.”
Pearce shakes and says Heyman’s verbal agreement is official. Heyman tosses the mic and stares Pearce down. Reigns steps in Pearce’s face and says he’s going to get his ass kicked at the end of the night. The music hits as Reigns exits the ring. Heyman stares Pearce down and then follows Reigns out.
The announcers can’t believe what just happened. They plug Big E vs. Apollo Crews for the WWE Intercontinental Title later tonight.
Top Of Stage: Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn appears at the bottom of the ramp with his documentary film crew. He’s holding some sort of sign, likely about the conspiracies against him in WWE. Sami chains himself to the barrier on the ramp and says he’s not going anywhere. We go to commercial.
We come back from commercial break and Sami Zayn is cutting a promo from ringside saying how he will be entering the Royal Rumble. He complains about how he “accidentally” grabbed Apollo Crews’ tights last week and the ref stopped the count, but Crews got away with the very same thing and gets a title match for tonight.
Before he can say much more, Asuka’s music hits and the Women’s Tag Team Champions are making their way to the ring.
Women’s Tag Team Champions Asuka and Charlotte Flair vs. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott w/Billie Kay)
The music interrupts and out come the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions – RAW Women’s Champion Asuka is out first, followed by Charlotte Flair. The Riott Squad waits in the ring – Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott. Billie Kay is with them for this non-title match.
Natalya and Tamina are shown backstage watching the match.
Ruby Riott and Charlotte Flair start the match. Flair takes Riott down with a headlock. Riott gets to her feet and Asuka tags in, then takes Riott down with a shoulder tackle.
Flair tags back in and tosses Riott’s face into the top turnbuckle, then shoves her boot against Riott’s face into the turnbuckle. Riott reaches for her corner and Flair taunts her.
Billie Kay momentarily distracts Flair, allowing Liv Morgan to tag in and hit Flair with a surprise dropkick. Morgan hits a flying cross body onto Charlotte from the top rope and covers her for a two count as we head to commercial break once again.
As we return from the commercial break, we watch on as Flair stomps away at Morgan in the corner. Flair goes for a scoop slam, but Morgan escapes and hits a hurricanrana. Riott tags in and lays into Flair with left strikes, then drive Charlotte face first into the corner, pinning her for two.
Liv Morgan tags back in and and she and Riott hit a double slam on Flair. Morgan tags back in and they stomp away at Charlotte. Flair fights back and hits a fallaway slam on Morgan, then follows it up with a backbreaker.
Asuka tags in and hits a shining wizard on Morgan, pinning her. Riott breaks up the pin, but Charlotte takes out Riott. Morgan takes out Charlotte, then hits an enziguri on Asuka. Asuka goes for the Asuka lock, but Morgan maneuvers to her corner and tags out.
Asuka tries to roll Riott into a pin. Billie Kay gets on the apron and distract the ref. Riott rolls through and pins Asuka, likely for a three count, but the referee is distracted by Kay. Asuka escapes and fights back, then tags in Charlotte. Charlotte hits Riott with Natural Selection, pinning her for three.
Winners: Charlotte Flair and Asuka
After the Match
We see replays from the match as Asuka and Flair stand victorious and we head to commercial break!
Backstage - Riott Squad
We return from commercial break and Billie Kay walks up to Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan. Billie apologizes and says she didn't mean to... Ruby asks she didn't mean to what? Stop her from pinning Asuka for the second time? Liv says "Maybe you should add that to your resume. Ruby then states that she thinks maybe the Riott Squad was better when it was just her and Liv. Liv apologizes as the Riott Squad walks away.
In-Ring - Daniel Bryan
A "Yes" chant immediately breaks out as Daniel Bryan's music sounds in the ThunderDome. Bryan makes his way down the ramp, past Sami Zayn who is holding up a new sign. Bryan enters the ring and lifts the mic and begins to hype up the Royal Rumble and what it's like to not know what number you will draw, who comes out next, and how it's the most challenging things you can do in the WWE. Bryan says it makes him feel... alive.
Bryan says he's proud of a lot of things he has done, but he has yet to win the Royal Rumble. Bryan begins to point out Michael Cole may say...
Cesaro says he thought he beat some sense into Bryan last week but here he is talking about winning the Rumble again. Bryan takes his jacket off and offers him a match, but Cesaro’s sick of doing the same thing every week and since Dan clearly isn’t dressed, he’s offering an open challenge to anyone in the locker room, cleared for the Royal Rumble, and ready to face him right now.
Dolph Ziggler Enters
He says he’s been in the second most Royal Rumbles of any WWE superstar ever, and his stamina is unmatched, and no one besides his fellow Dirty Dawg Robert Roode can go toe to toe with him... except Cesaro. He apologizes to Bryan and says it’s not 2014 anymore, and he’s going to WrestleMania and getting paid. Consider that challenge accepted, brother. With that, we head to commercial break.
Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler
We return to the ThunderDome and we see Daniel Bryan is a guest commentator alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves as the match between Cesaro and Ziggler is already underway. Ziggler applies the Sleeper Hold to Cesaro inside the ring after a few take downs and cover attempts.
We see a back and forth roll and pinfall attempt from Ziggler then Cesaro then Ziggler then Cesaro. Ziggler goes for a superkick, but Cesaro blocks. Cesaro goes for an uppercut, but Ziggler blocks. Finally, Ziggler gets the Zig-Zag on Cesaro, pinning him for the two!
We flash to the ramp, "Sami Was Robbed - Change My Mind" sign in Zayn's hand as he looks into a documentary camera beside him.
Ziggler locks in a sleeper. Cesaro tries to escape with a suplex, but Dolph blocks. Dolph goes for a famouser, but Cesaro blocks and hits Dolph with a Neutralizer, pinning Dolph for three.
Video Clip - Carmella/Sasha Banks "Last Week"
Next we head into a video clip where we see the confrontation between Carmella and Sasha last week, which led to Sasha facing Reginald tonight on the condition that Carmella will get a title match later.
Sasha Banks vs. Reginald the Sommelier
Sasha Banks makes her way to the ring as her music sounds in the ThunderDome and we head to commercial break!
As we return from commercial break, out comes Reginald who is accompanied by Carmella (or is it the other way around?) Reginald assists Carmella down the ramp and two lackies follow behind one holding the ice the other holding the bottle of champagne for Carmella who makes her way to the Announcer's Table to sit in on guest commentary. Reginald enters the ring and the referee signals for the bell to begin the match.
Reginald pulls out a flower for Sasha. He says something in french and Banks attempts to slap Reginald who catches her wrist. Banks then with another slap from her opposite hand connects. Banks follows up with a lucha arm drag but Reginald lands on his feet! Out to the floor, Sasha in control but Reginald flips over the steel steps to get away from her! Back in, off the ropes, drop down, leapfrog, roll over, Sasha springboards, sunset flip blocked, la casadora... bulldog from the boss! Back and forth, knee from the Boss, diving crossbody caught, reversed into an arm drag and the sommelier goes to the floor!
METEORA ON THE FLOOR! Sasha slaps Carmella’s drink out of her hand and goes back inside, lungblower, Reginald handsprings out of it! Upkicks from Banks, monkey flip for some leverage and then she uses her momentum to hit a Meteora! Satellite into the crossface for the Bank Statement. Reginald taps out!
Winner: Sasha Banks
After the Match
Immediately following the match, Carmella gets up from ringside and enters into the ring and squares up with Sasha.
Backstage - Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman
We head backstage where Paul Heyman is talking to Roman Reigns, pleased with himself for doing the Big Dog’s bidding earlier.
Roman tells him he gave him the mic so he’d tear him to pieces verbally, like he does best, not challenge him to a match, but since he did, he better go out there, represent him like a man, and handle his business. Reigns reminds Heyman he didn't hire a punk as his Special Counsel, and Heyman better represent him as such! With that, we head to commercial break!
WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Apollo Crews vs. Big E
As we return from the commercial break, out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E as he makes his way down the ramp towards the ring where Apollo Crews is already in the ring waiting.
The referee signals for the bell, the bell rings and Crews charges but Big E tosses him with a big belly-to-belly suplex for a pop. Big E with the splash on the apron now for another pop. Big E runs into boots in the corner, and again. Crews counters a slam and stuns Big E with an enziguri, then drops him with a kick. Crews with a standing moonsault for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring.
Crews with more offense but Big E elbows him away. Big E catches Crews with a Uranage for a close 2 count. Big E follows Crews to ringside and talks some trash. Crews ducks a clothesline and hits a moonsault off the apron, right in front of the announce table. Crews brings it in the ring and goes to the top. Big E cuts him off with forearms and climbs up. Crews blocks a superplex. Crews with headbutts now but Big E fights back. Crews headbutts Big E to the mat.
We see Sami Zayn un-cuffing himself from the barrier. Crews leaps from the top at Big E. Sami runs in the ring and drops Crews with a Helluva Kick. The referee calls the match.
Winner by DQ: Apollo Crews
After the Match
After the match, we see the referee turn and yell at Sami but he turns and nails a Helluva Kick to Big E. Fans boo as Sami yells down at Big E and Crews while they’re laid out, saying he is what a champion looks like. Sami goes to his film crew and rants about how that is justice served, and he didn’t ask for this.
Still to come, Heyman vs. Pearce. Cole and Graves reveal that Roman Reigns has left the arena. They say Kevin Owens is also not here.
Pre-Recorded Video - Kevin Owens
We go to a pre-recorded video from Owens. He says he came to work but couldn’t enter the building because Reigns pulled some strings to keep him out. Owens says that’s fine but there will be no more strings to pull at the Royal Rumble as they will settle this once and for all. Owens goes on and declares that he will be the Last Man Standing at the Royal Rumble as we head back to commercial break!
As we return from the commercial, commentary team Cole and Graves both hype the Royal Rumble up once again before we head backstage.
Backstage - The Street Profits
The Street Profits members Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins are both walking backstage carrying a fruit basket when they run into Sonya Deville, who is chatting to Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler leaves and they give her the fruit basket as congratulations for her new job. They’re not just here for gifts, though, they’re here to talk about their rematch for the tag titles against Entertainment Dysfunction.
She agrees that they deserve a rematch but Montez Ford isn’t healed up all the way yet, so for the time being she wants them to chill out and play hype men while some new teams get opportunities. They hesitate briefly but agree, Montez thanking her for the concern.
We see the ring crew setting the obstacle course up for Bianca Belair and Bayley as we head to commercial break!
Bayley's Ultimate Athlete Obsticle Course Challenge
Michael Cole hosts the challenge as we return from commercial break. Cole introduces Bianca Belair first, and out she comes. Bayley is out next. Cole is dismissed as Bayley takes over the mic.
Bayley goes over the course. The 400 pound tire is first, then hurdles, then military walls around ringside, with a rope on the last wall. Then she got some expert advice from Alpha Academy. Chad Gable is at ringside to put them through a fireman’s carry. After that, they must grab a basketball to put it through the hoop positioned back near the bottom of the ramp, and that will stop the timer.
Bayley is up first. The referee oversees things as Bayley starts off by flipping the tire. She then hops over the mini-hurdles at ringside. Bayley takes her time with the different-sized military walls but runs around them instead, cheating. She then scoops Gable on her shoulders after some guidance from Gable. She walks a few feet and drops him. Bayley then shoots the basketball and the timer stops at 1:12.
Belair is ready. Bayley stops her and calls on the crew to “EST” the course up. Crew members switch out some of the obstacles for harder versions and Bayley says this was all for Belair. She flips the tire and then leaps over normal-sized hurdles that were brought in. Belair leaps over the walls and then stops at Gable. Gable tells her to meet her next challenge. Otis appears from under the ring. Belair must carry Otis on her shoulders instead of Gable. Belair scoops him off the steel steps and runs with him, with ease. Belair grabs the basketball. Bayley tries to play defense but Belair shakes her and dunks the ball for a pop with 17 seconds to go. Belair is announced as the winner and Bayley isn’t happy. Belair’s music hits but Bayley turns back around and throws the ball at her. Bayley unloads at ringside now, beating Belair back down as fans boo her. Bayley sends Belair into the hoop and it falls over. Bayley walks up the ramp as the boos get louder. The referee checks on Belair.
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio are backstage. Dominik is promising his dad that he knows what to do in the match with King Corbin tonight. Rey finally gives in and says they will do things Dominik’s way but if something goes wrong, then Dominik has to do it Rey’s way next time. Dominik promises he’s got this. He walks off and we go back to commercial.
Talking Smack Announcement
As we return from the commercial break and Cesaro, Bayley and Sami Zayn are announced for tomorrow’s Talking Smack episode on the WWE Network.
King Baron Corbin vs. Dominik Mysterio
We return to the ring and King Baron Corbin is wrapping up his entrance as fans continue to boo him. Out next comes Dominik Mysterio by himself.
The referee signals for the bell. The bell rings and they lock up. Corbin sends it to the corner but Dominik ducks a big right hand. Dominik with a dropkick as Corbin charges. They tangle and Dominik sends Corbin to the floor with a takedown. Dominik comes over the top rope but Corbin side-steps and levels him with a big clothesline. Corbin brings it back in the ring for a close 2 count.
Corbin stands on Dominik on the bottom rope as the referee warns him and fans boo. Corbin unloads with strikes to the gut in the corner as the referee counts again. Corbin launches Dominik into the corner and he hits the turnbuckles hard, going back to the mat. Dominik counters End of Days and knocks Corbin into position for the 619.
Corbin catches the 619. Dominik with a counter to land on his feet, but Corbin immediately drops him with a right hand. Corbin nails End of Days for the pin to win.
Winner: King Baron Corbin
After the Match
Corbin stands tall as the music hits. Corbin looks down at Dominik and laughs, then makes his exit up the ramp.
We see Paul Heyman walking backstage, still wearing his suit. Back to commercial.
Paul Heyman vs. Adam Pearce
As we return from the commercial break and it’s time for the main event as Adam Pearce waits in the ring.
Out next comes Paul Heyman, taping his fists and still wearing his suit. Heyman falls down at ringside and the referee checks on him. Heyman, still down on the ground, yells about card being subject to change. Pearce looks on from the ring. The music hits and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, with no title.
Reigns enters the ring and immediately drops Pearce with a Superman Punch as fans boo. Pearce is down on the floor now as Heyman yells at him. Reigns follows and goes for the steel steps but Pearce rocks him, angering Reigns. Pearce approaches but Reigns kicks him low, then tosses him over the barrier. Reigns sends Pearce face-first into the crowd LED boards now. Reigns beats Pearce through the LED crowd area now, like he and Jey Uso did with Kevin Owens a few weeks back.
Reigns grabs Pearce and throws him up another level into the crowd. A hooded man attacks Reigns from behind and it’s Owens. Fans cheer as Owens beats Reigns back to the barrier. Reigns sends Owens into a LED board. Reigns fights Owens back to the ramp area and launches him into the barrier. Reigns rolls Owens back into the ring but Owens superkicks him. Owens blocks a Superman Punch and levels Reigns with a big Stunner for a pop. Reigns is down as Owens yells at him and fans cheer him on.
Reigns rolls to the floor but Owens follows and sends him into the barrier again. Officials are trying to break the brawl up. Reigns ends up stumbling back to his feet but Owens nails another Stunner on the floor. Owens yells at Heyman and taunts him as Heyman watches. Owens then puts Reigns through the announce table with a big Pop-Up Powerbomb. Officials back Owens away as we see Reign flat on his back on what’s left of the announce table. Owens tries to grab half of the steel steps but officials stop him. Owens comes back to Reigns and stands over him, yelling at him about how he’s lucky he has the officials on his side, but they won’t be there for him at the pay-per-view. SmackDown goes off the air with Owens standing over Reigns, yelling at him.
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