January 8, 2021
St. Petersburg, Florida (Tropicana Field)
Commentary: Michael Cole and Corey Graves
Results by: Roy Nemer of Wrestleview.com
Quick Match Results
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) defeated Apollo Crews via the Big Ending
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defeated The Street Profits (c) to become the NEW champions via spinebuster into a Zig Zag on Ford
- #1 Contender Gauntlet Match: Adam Pearce won, last eliminating Shinsuke Nakamura after Roman Reigns and Jey Uso attacked Nakamura and had Pearce pin him
- Rey Mysterio eliminated Sami Zayn via frog splash
- Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated Rey Mysterio via arm bar
- Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated King Corbin via Kinshasa
- Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated Daniel Bryan via Kinshasa
- Adam Pearce eliminated Shinsuke Nakamura when Roman Reigns and Jey Uso attacked Nakamura and had Pearce pin him
In-Ring: Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, Jey Uso, Adam Pearce
WWE SmackDown kicks off with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and Jey Uso making their way down to the ring. Roman says a lot of discussion to what they did to Kevin Owens last week. Roman says he likes Kevin Owens, he’s a pain in his ass but he respects someone as ambitious as Kevin. Someone who won’t lay down, keeps getting up, like a cockroach. But he never wanted anything bad to happen to him. He put him in a tough spot and he did what he had to do. Roman says he loves the whole roster, that’s the thing about being the leader, being on top.
Roman says he cares about everyone, their families. It’s why he does what he does. He’s putting food on everyone’s table and now Kevin doesn’t have that opportunity anymore. He doesn’t have a chance to go to work and that’s not because of him. People are blaming him, saying he is the bad guy. There is someone to blame and it’s Adam Pearce. Reigns asks Adam to come down to the ring. Pearce is not coming down to the ring as Heyman is asking where he is.
Pearce finally shows up and walks down to the ring. Pearce asks Roman what he can do for him. Reigns tells him to watch this video clip. They air a clip of SmackDown from two weeks ago where Reigns beat Owens in a steel cage match. We cut to last week where Pearce told Kevin Owens he could have his match against Jey Uso.
Back in the ring, Roman asks him what he has to say for himself. Pearce asks what he wants him to say. Roman tells him to be a man and take responsibility, he has witnesses. He said last week they were done with Owens, they were moving on, they had done enough. But what happened? Who did Owens go to? He went to his friend Adam Pearce and asked for a favor. You would think someone who knew a friend for that long, they would care about their well being. Roman says they do their job, check the stats, the information, the analytics. What does Pearce do? He’s supposed to be making the right decision and he threw Owens back into the deep end. And what happened? Now Owens isn’t here, he can’t provide for his family.
Reigns tells Pearce he did that. He is to blame. And because he is a good guy, because he is a gentleman, he brings him back to redeem himself this week. He made a terrible decision last week. And this week, he books a gauntlet match. Pearce will make the decision for the tribal chief. Like Roman hasn’t carried this company for years and he can’t make the choice for himself. Pearce says he is just trying to put the best challenges in front of him. Roman says it’s starting to sound like he thinks Roman is stupid. Pearce said he never said that. Pearce asks what is this. Roman asks if they’re not stupid, is Vince McMahon stupid? Pearce asks Heyman what they are doing out here. Is Pearce going to challenge for the WWE Universal Championship?
Roman says he is being insulted. And if you don’t respect him, you don’t respect his family. And when people don’t respect his bloodline, there are consequences. He grabs Pearce as Heyman tries to calm him down. Roman backs off and says his mistake. No one in this ring is stupid and maybe right now, Pearce is perfectly safe. Roman leaves the ring.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
The bell rings and a drop kick followed by a big boot by Apollo. He goes for the cover but Big E kicks out. Crews jumps off the top rope but Big E moves out of the way. An elbow by Big E takes Crews down. Big E places Crews on the ring apron and Big E with a big splash. Big E lifts Crews up but Crews lands on his feet, a kick by Crews followed by a double forearm. Crews gets Big E in the corner and a splash by Crews followed by a German suplex.
Crews with another German suplex followed by a third. He goes for the cover but Big E kicks out. Big E rolls to the outside of the ring. Crews with a moonsault off the ring apron. He throws Big E back into the ring. He goes for the cover but Big E kicks out. He places Big E on the top rope. Crews goes for the superplex and lands it. Both men with the roll up cover as the referee counts the pin.
We come back from commercial and see the replay of the pin. The referee is in the ring and says it’s a draw. And because it’s a draw, Big E wins. Both men argue in the ring Big E tells him good work and tries to fist pump him, Crews slaps him away. Big E tells him to ring the bell.
The match continues and belly to belly suplexes by Big E. He runs to the ropes and a big splash. He goes for the Big Ending but Crews gets out and goes to the outside. Big E goes for a suicide dive but a knee to the face. Crews climbs the top rope and lands a frog splash. He goes for the cover but Big E kicks out. Apollo goes goes for the slide pin but Big E kicks out. A kick by Crews followed by another. Crews with a spinebuster.
Crews with a standing moonsault. He goes for the cover but Big E kicks out. Crews grabs Big E but Big E rolls him up and goes for the stretch but Crews kicks him away. A kick to the head by Crews. He lifts Big E up but Big E gets out of it. Big E slams Crews onto the mat and lands the Big Ending. He goes for the cover and gets the pin.
Winner: Still WWE Intercontinental Champion, Big E
Backstage: Adam Pearce, Sonya Deville
Adam Pearce is on the phone backstage and in comes Sonya Deville. He welcomes her back. Sonya says the last year was crazy and she’s not proud of the things she said or did and she wants to put the past behind her. She’s grateful for the opportunity, she wants to learn and help him. And maybe he needs it, he’s working on Raw, SmackDown, he’s putting himself in the match tonight. Pearce says he is not in the match, he can’t even beat the referee.
Backstage: Bianca Belair, Bayley
— WWE (@WWE) January 9, 2021
Alyse is backstage with Bianca Belair. In comes Bayley who asks Bianca how many people she eliminated last year at the Royal Rumble? Bianca says 8 as Bayley tells her that she wasn’t in the match and she wasn’t eliminated. But this year she is entering. And Bianca can throw out as many people as she wants and she won’t win. But even if she were to win, she would waste the opportunity.
Bianca said last year she would have been honored to face a champion like her but this year she’s not a champion.
Carmella is backstage drinking champagne. She says it’s too sweet, just as sweet as when she pinned Sasha Banks last week. Being named Sports Illustrated top wrestler of 2020, a year in which she took a vacation. She tells Sasha to keep hustling but for some of us, it comes more naturally. All the hard work and determination in the world doesn’t make a difference if the talent is outmatched in the first place. And when it comes to talent, Sasha can’t touch her.
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Street Profits (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
The bell rings and we are under way. Angelo and Ziggler are in the ring. A head lock by Ziggler that’s reversed by Dawkins. A shoulder block by Dawkins takes Ziggler down. Dawkins with a dropkick. He goes for the cover but Ziggler kicks out. An arm bar by Dawkins as Ford is tagged in. They double team Ziggler. Ford goes for the cover but Ziggler kicks out. Ford holds onto his injured left leg.
Ziggler attacks Ford as Roode is tagged in. Roode stomps on Ford n the corner. Roode goes for a right hand but Ford fights back. Roode with a kick to the injured leg slows Ford down. Roode on the ring apron but a right hand by Ford. In comes Ziggler as he’s throws to the outside. Ford runs to the ropes and a senton over the top rope onto Roode and Ziggler. Ford can’t get up as his leg buckles up on him.
Back from commercial, Dawkins with a suplex on Roode. Dawkins with a spinning splash. He goes for the cover but Roode kicks out. Dawkins wants to tag Ford in but says forget it because of Ford’s injury. Ziggler is tagged in and a drop kick on Dawkins. He goes for the cover but Dawkins kicks out. A right hand by Roode as the referee was distracted by Ziggler. Dawkins down and Ziggler with a headlock. Roode is tagged in.
Roode with a spinning neckbreaker. He goes for the cover but Dawkins kicks out. Ziggler is tagged back in. They try to double team Dawkins but Dawkins throws Roode to the outside as Ziggler misses a big splash. Roode drags Ford off the ring apron but Ford throws him in the barricade. Ford is tagged in. He clothesline Ziggler and right hand and kicks by Ford. A chop takes Ziggler down. In comes Roode but a back body drop.
A spinning clothesline by Ford. He goes for the cover but Ziggler kicks out. Ford climbs the top rope as he kicks Roode down. Ziggler climbs the top rope and drops Ford face first onto the mat. He goes for the cover but Ford kicks out. Ziggler goes for the super kick but Ford with a superkick of his own. He goes for the cover but Roode breaks it up. In comes Dawkins who throws Roode to the outside. Roode on the ring apron as Dawkins knocks him down. Zigler knocks Dawkins off the ring apron. Ford with the roll up on Ziggler but Ziggler kicks out.
Ziggler attacks Ford’s bad leg. Roode is tagged in and the fisherman’s suplex cover but Ford kicks out. Roode goes for the DDT but an enzuigiri by Ford. Ziggler is tagged in. They double team Ford with a spinebuster into a Zig Zag. Ziggler goes for the cover and gets the pin.
Winners: New WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler
Backstage: Adam Pearce, Paul Heyman
Pearce and Sonya are backstage and in comes Heyman. He tells Pearce he likes him. He shakes Pearce’s hand and says he was the reasonable one in the ring. He says he was concerned for Pearce because he holds Pearce in the greatest respect and admiration. He asks Pearce how many people truly understand them, how they got to where they are. Heyman asks Pearce how his career would have been had he been managed by Paul E Dangerously. He says he didn’t dream of this job, this wasn’t the career Pearce envisioned. He wanted to be the Champion in WWE.
Heyman says that’s why when his boss Roman Reigns asked him to pull some strings… He says the gauntlet match tonight, he pulled a few strings and Adam Pearce is in the gauntlet match. He has an opportunity tonight to fulfill his life long dream. Heyman says he is proud of him as they shake hands.
Backstage: Billie Kay, The Riott Squad
— WWE (@WWE) January 9, 2021
Billie Kay is backstage with the Riott Squad. She tells them to turn the Riott duo into the Riott Squad with her joining them. They refuse as she starts to cry. She says 2021 was supposed to be a better year but it’s not. Liv tries to comfort her as Billie Kay says she knew they would change their minds. She’s happy and walks away.
#1 Contender Gauntlet Match
Gauntlet Match #1
Rey Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn
Sami cuts a promo before the match saying there is a conspiracy against him. And he has his cameramen with him. He says his cameramen are there to uncover the conspiracy against him. The one that cost him his Intercontinental Championship. He says when the documentary comes out, it will show that he is still the Intercontinental Champion. He’s not one to complain, he fights justice. He says he will win the gauntlet match because Sami Zayn is undeniable.
The bell rings and we are under way. A drop kick by Mysterio followed by the 619. He lands the frog splash off the top rope. He goes for the cover and gets the pin.
Sami Zayn is eliminated
Gauntlet Match #2
Rey Mysterio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The bell rings and we are under way. A shoulder block by Nakamura takes Mysterio down. Both men back up and a kick to the side of the face by Mysterio. He goes for the cover but Nakamura kicks out. Right hands by Nakamura followed by a kick. Mysterio runs to the ropes and a hurricanrana takes Nakamura to the outside. Rey goes for the a baseball slide but Nakamura catches him. A kick to the face by Nakamura. he goes for the flying knee but Rey moves out of the way. Rey gets back in the ring and a sunset flip onto Nakamura but Nakamura with a sliding knee. He throws Rey back in the ring. Nakamura goes for the cover but Rey kicks out.
Nakamura with a jumping kick to the face. He goes for the cover but Rey kicks out. A snap mare take down by Nakamura followed by a jumping knee. He goes for the cover but Rey kicks out. Nakamura places Rey on the top rope and a right hand by Nakamura. He climbs the second rope as he goes for a suplex but Rey with right hands. Rey drops Nakamura down. Rey jumps onto Nakamura taking him down. Rey with a cover but Nakamura kicks out.
Rey on the ring apron and right hands by Rey as he jumps into the ring but Nakamura catches him. Nakamura goes for the power bomb but Rey reverses it taking Nakamura down. Rey with the 619. He climbs the top rope but Nakamura gets his knees up on the frog splash. Nakamura with an arm bar and Rey taps out.
Rey Mysterio is eliminated
Gauntlet Match #3
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. King Corbin
King Corbin attacks Dominik on the outside. He goes inside the ring and throws Nakamura into the ring post. A chokeslam by Corbin onto Rey.
Back from commercial and Corbin with elbows onto Nakamura in the middle of the ring. Right hands by Corbin. He goes for the cover but Nakamura kicks out. He gets Nakamura in the corner and right hands by Corbin as the referee breaks it up. Corbin goes for a spear but Nakamura moves and Corbin hits shoulder first onto the post. Nakamura with a kick takes Corbin down and Corbin to the outside.
Nakamura jumps off the ring apron but Corbin catches him and slams him into the ring post. He throws Nakamura into the ring. He goes for the cover but Nakamura kicks out. A back drop by Corbin. He goes for the cover but Nakamura kicks out.Corbin goes for a suplex but Nakamura lands on his feet. A jump kick by Nakamura takes Corbin down. Nakamura with kicks onto Corbin. Nakamura gets Corbin in the corner and a big kick. Nakamura off the second rope with a flying kick. He goes for the cover but Corbin kicks out. Nakamura goes for the Kinshasa but Corbin reverses it into the Deep Six. He goes for the cover but Nakamura kicks out.
Both men down as Nakamura gets Corbin in the triangle but Corbin lifts Nakamura up and slams him down. Corbin slides to the outside and back in the ring. He goes for the clothesline but Nakamura with the Kinshasa. He goes for the cover and gets the pin.
King Corbin is eliminated
Gauntlet Match #4
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Daniel Bryan
Back from commercial, Bryan with kicks onto Nakamura but Nakamura with a kick of his own. He runs towards Bryan but Bryan throws him to the outside. Bryan with a suicide dive. He throws Nakamura back into the ring. Bryan on the top rope but Nakamura with a kick takes Bryan down. A reverse suplex by Nakamura. He goes for the Kinshasa but Bryan reverses it into a half crab in the middle of the ring. Bryan reverses it into an ankle lock. Nakamura on his feet as Bryan still has Nakamura and he lands a German suplex cover but Nakamura kicks out.
Bryan with the Yes kicks. He goes for one last one but Nakamura ducks and he lands a kick. Nakamura with an arm bar in the middle of the ring. Bryan reverses the arm bar into an arm bar of his own. Bryan reverses it into the Yes lock but Nakamura reaches the ropes. Bryan with the Yes kicks. He places Nakamura on the top rope as he goes for the hurricanrana but Nakamura blocks it. Nakamura with a kick. He goes for the cover but Bryan kicks out.
Nakamura with knees to the ribs. Nakamura goes for the kick but Bryan ducks. Bryan goes for a kick but Nakamura ducks and an arm bar by Nakamura. Bryan reverses it into a cover but Nakamura kicks out. Both men back up and kicks by both of them. Right hands by Bryan gets Nakamura in the corner. Bryan with the Yes kicks. Bryan with the double knees. He goes for the double knees again but Nakamura lands the Kinshasa. He goes for the cover and gets the pin.
Daniel Bryan is eliminated
Bryan gets up as both men shake hands. Roman’s music hits and he comes down with Jey Uso and Paul Heyman.
Adam Pearce makes his way to the ring as Roman and Jey attack Nakamura. A Superman punch by Roman onto Nakamura followed by a frog splash by Jey. Pearce gets in the ring and Jey hits him with the super kick. Roman asks for the bell to ring. Jey places Pearce on top of Nakamura and he tells the referee to make the count. The referee makes the pin.
Winner: New number one contender, Adam Pearce