Friday Night SmackDown took place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Florida with virtual fans in attendance. Two championship matches were scheduled for the show such as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship between The Street Profits facing off against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode and Big E defending the Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews.
The show kicked off with Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and Jey Uso making their way to the ring. He talks about how much of a cockroach Kevin Owens is and how he always gets back up. Roman claimed he cares about everyone in the locker room. He puts the blame on Adam Pearce for Kevin Owens not coming to work anymore. He calls Pearce to the ring and he comes down. Roman shows him a video package from last week. Roman demands Pearce explain himself. Pearce asks Roman what he wants him to say. Roman said he wants Pearce to take responsibility because him and Kevin were done until Pearce gave Kevin the match with Jey. Roman makes note about how Kevin and Pearce are good friends. He asks what Pearce does around here but answers for him that he is supposed to be managing the talent. Pearce asked what is this. Roman assumed that Pearce thinks Roman is stupid. He said Adam doesn’t respect his family and there are consequences. Roman grabbed him but Pearce tells him he has respect for his family. He tells Pearce that for right now, Adam is perfectly safe. He wishes Adam a good night and they leave the ring.
Both Big E and Apollo Crews got pinned, Big E retains the Intercontinental title on a draw
Big E offered to show respect to Apollo but Apollo slapped him. Big E tells the referee to restart the match and he does.
Big E Defeated Apollo Crews To Retain The Intercontinental Championship
Sonya Deville confronted Adam Pearce. Pearce welcomes Sonya in the position to help him out. She said she wants to move on from the year she had last year and wants to help out. Pearce said he is done with matches after Sonya mentioned him probably wrestling again. He welcomes her back.
Ashton interviewed Bianca Belair until Bayley interrupted saying Bayley is entering the Rumble as well as Bianca and if Bianca wins the Rumble, she will blow the opportunity. Bianca said she would’ve been honored to face a champion like her but Bayley is not the champ anymore so it’s too bad for Bayley. Bianca walks off.
Carmella appeared backstage gloating about pinning Sasha last week. She mentioned Sasha being the #1 for Sports Illustrated and she doesn’t mind it since she was on a much needed vacation for most of the year. She claimed that Sasha can’t touch her when it comes to talent.
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode Defeated The Street Profits To Become The NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions
Pearce and Sonya talk about the possible tag team title matches in the future until Paul Heyman came in. Paul said he doesn’t want any hostility between them and is concerned for him. He talks about Pearce’s in ring career and says that Pearce wanted to be a champion in WWE not an official. He tells Pearce that he is in the gauntlet match to pursue the dream that he has had. Paul says he is happy and proud of Pearce and shakes his hand. Pearce looked stunned.
The Riot Squad were talking backstage until Billie Kay interrupted to try to be a part of their squad. They rejected her but Billie started crying. Liv tried to console her but Billie immediately tells them she is excited to be with them this year and hands her resume to them.
Rey Mysterio and Sami Zayn started off the gauntlet match. Sami was on the mic before the match saying he demanded WWE put him in the match but is pissed that he is starting off the match. He talks about a conspiracy that WWE is plotting against him. He points out the camera crew he has with him and they are unbiased filmmakers that are documenting his conspiracy. He said he is fighting injustices and it is starting with Rey Mysterio.
Rey Mysterio Eliminated Sami Zayn
Shinsuke Nakamura comes out next to face Mysterio.
Shinsuke Nakamura Eliminated Rey Mysterio
Corbin immediately came in, attacking Dominick, Rey and Shinsuke as he came in to face Shinsuke next.
Shinsuke Nakamura Eliminated King Corbin
Daniel Bryan came in next to face Shinsuke.
Shinsuke Nakamura Eliminated Daniel Bryan
Adam Pearce came out as the final competitor in the match. Roman and Jey Uso beat down Nakamura in the ring so that Pearce can get a easy chance at winning. Jey kicked Adam in the face. The bell rang and Jey put Adam on top of Nakamura to get the pin.
Adam Pearce Eliminated Shinsuke Nakamura To Win The Gauntlet Match
After being placed over @ShinsukeN by @WWERomanReigns and @WWEUsos, @ScrapDaddyAP has WON the #GauntletMatch on #SmackDown. 👀@WWERomanReigns vs. @ScrapDaddyAP for the #UniversalTitle at #RoyalRumble!?!? pic.twitter.com/xk4uQjjZvz— WWE (@WWE) January 9, 2021
The show ends with Roman standing tall holding the title in the air.
Overall Review: This was an interesting show. I wouldn’t say it was bad or good but it was just interesting. The two title matches on the show were pretty good. I didn’t expect the tag titles to change hands. I’m not big on that but something tells me that title reign won’t last long and they’ll give it back to the Profits. I’m surprised they’re giving Sonya a managerial role rather than a competitor. In theory, I’m not too big of a fan on that but I’m willing to give that chance. Nakamura getting the shine he did in this gauntlet match was really refreshing to see. I doubt they actually have Adam Pearce challenge Roman for the title at the Rumble so they’ll probably do a thing where Nakamura finds a way to challenge Roman at the event, that’s just how i see it going.