Featuring some Raw Superstars, this January 29th episode of SmackDown is the last one before the Royal Rumble.
We start off the show with Daniel Bryan, which is a lovely change of pace from having to sit through a super-long Roman Reigns entrance as a way to hype us up. He hypes up the Royal Rumble, saying that the Rumble is the one mountain he’s never climbed. He says that nobody knows better than him what main-eventing WrestleMania can do for your career. He admits that he doesn’t think he has a lot of WrestleMania moments left in him, but one of them will be him winning the Rumble and winning a world championship.
AJ Styles, along with Omos, interrupts him. He says that he’ll be the one to win, and Bryan kindly reminds him that he’s on the wrong show. Styles reminds him that SmackDown is the house that he built. He says that Bryan has got one foot out the door, dressed up in the same stuff he wore as the General Manager of SmackDown. Bryan says he’d like to prove to him that that’s not the case, and challenges him to a match. With a shove, Styles accepts.
Kayla Braxton interviews Bayley, asking her about her actions last week. She says that no matter what happened, the last thing that happened was Belair lying on her back, writhing in pain. She says that after she beats Belair again, the EST will crawl back into the Dark-EST hole of her life.
Bayley VS Bianca Belair
Belair starts off using her power advantage to shove Bayley into the corner, and Bayley fights back with a kick to the gut. It doesn’t faze Belair much, as she strikes with a scoop slam. Bayley locks in a submission on the arm of Belair, but Bianca tosses her with a suplex for 2. Bayley stops taking Belair lightly and attacks viciously with forearms and a sliding clothesline for 2. She focuses on the injured arm of the EST of WWE, the one that was hurt by Bayley’s attack last week.
Bayley pulls on Belair’s hair, which infuriates her. She delivers a powerful right hand and then keeps the attack up until Bayley runs to the apron. She goes to bring her in, but Bayley hangs the injured arm of Belair on the ropes. The EST answers back with a dropkick and a standing moonsault for 2 as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Belair is delivering a slam for 2. She spears Bayley repeatedly in the corner, but when she goes for an avalanche, Bayley counters by slamming the injured arm of Belair to the ground for 2. She goes for her Faceplant finisher, but Belair rolls her away. Bayley strikes immediately with a knee strike for 2 before stomping down on the arm of Belair. She delivers a flying elbow to the arm of Belair for 2 before the two trade rollups, none of which get them the win. Belair looks to end the pinning sequence with a Glam Slam, but her arm gives out. Bayley looks to attack her in the corner, but Belair moves out of the way and delivers the K.O.D. for the 1-2-3.
Winner via pinfall: Bianca Belair
Match Rating: 3.5/5
King Corbin VS Dominik Mysterio
As King Corbin makes his entrance, Dominik jumps him from behind and beats him down as we go to commercial. When we come back, the match starts officially with Rey Mysterio on commentary. Corbin starts off aggressively, but Dominik matches his pace, and the two trade hard shots. Corbin chases his smaller opponent to the outside, and when they go back in, Dominik catches the King with a knee.
He looks for a bulldog, but Corbin reverses it and delivers a brutal suplex. The King uses his boxing background to punish Dominik, but when he goes for a spear in the corner, Dominik moves and Corbin goes into the ringpost. The younger Mysterio delivers a missile dropkick and a swanton bomb for 2. He gets Corbin in position for the 619, but when he goes for it, Corbin catches him. He looks for a powerbomb, but Dominik sends him into the turnbuckle.
When he goes for a splash, Corbin catches him and sends him hard into the ropes. Dominik fights back with a DDT for 2, but he quickly loses the advantage when Corbin hangs him up on the ropes. The King capitalizes with the End of Days to defeat Dominik for the second week in a row. After the match, Corbin attempts to attack Rey Mysterio, but he takes a flying seated senton for his trouble.
Winner via pinfall: King Corbin
Match Rating: 3/5
Backstage, Big E asks Sonya Deville if he can know his Royal Rumble number. Before she can even answer him, she is interrupted by Miz and Morrison. They belittle Big E’s dreams of winning the Rumble, and he tells them that they’re crazy if they think they even have a chance against him. Morrison attacks Big E, and referees have to get backstage and separate the three.
Backstage, Reginald offers Sasha Banks a bottle of wine that he says is perfect for pairing with losing a title at the Royal Rumble. Sasha asks if he could help her find a wine that’s good for drinking through a broken jaw, as Carmella will need one of those after the Rumble.
Backstage, Sami Zayn asks Shinsuke Nakamura to help him get his Intercontinental Championship back. He says that everything that Nakamura ever achieved in WWE has been because of him. Nakamura politely tells him to go to hell.
It’s time for Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens to have a polite Zoom meeting about their Last Man Standing match at the Royal Rumble and the events leading up to it. Kevin Owens says that there’s no way that he’ll ever stay down, no matter what Roman or his family does to him. Paul Heyman tells Owens to treat Roman with respect, and then Roman goes straight to asking Owens about his dad for some reason.
Owens says that his dad is a great and smart man, and Roman asks him if that’s really the case, because clearly his dad didn’t teach him well enough to realize when he’s outmatched. Owens tells him to watch what he says about his family, because they’ll be one on one on Sunday. He says that every time he looks in the mirror, he sees someone his family is proud of, and after the Royal Rumble, when he looks in the mirror, he’s going to see the Universal Champion.
Daniel Bryan VS AJ Styles
AJ Styles tells Omos to stay in the back, and the two go at it with Cesaro on commentary. The two trade wrestling holds, but Bryan gets the advantage by locking in an armbar. Styles gets to the bottom rope to force a break, but Bryan continues to focus on the left arm of Styles. He locks in a deep hammerlock, but Styles pushes him into the corner. He knocks Bryan to the ground with a shoulder tackle, but Bryan fights back with a massive kick for 2.
He pushes the Phenomenal One into the corner to deliver a chop, but Styles fights back with a knee to the midsection. They trade suplex attempts, with Bryan getting the better of the exchange. Bryan looks to go to the top rope, but Sami Zayn makes his entrance, and he distracts Bryan long enough for Styles to shove him off the top rope and whip him into the steel steps as we go to commercial. When we come back, Styles is looking for a suplex, but Bryan avoids it and delivers a running elbow.
He stacks him up on the top rope and delivers an avalanche hurricanrana for 2, and continues to work on the arm of Styles. The Phenomenal One answers back by focusing on a limb of Bryan as well, locking in the Calf Crusher on the left leg of the leader of the Yes! Movement. Bryan makes it to the ropes but Styles goes for Phenomenal Forearm, and Bryan counters and locks in an armbar before maneuvering into the Yes! Lock. Styles is able to make it to the bottom rope, and then Big E makes his entrance.
The Intercontinental Champ has had enough of Sami, who he takes out with a clothesline. Cesaro attacks Big E, and Sami goes into the ring and attacks Bryan, ending the match. The situation evolves into a brawl, and Shinsuke Nakamura comes out and takes out everyone except Cesaro, but he seriously debates attacking him as well as we go to commercial.
Daniel Bryan, Big E, and Shinsuke Nakamura VS AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, and Cesaro
When we come back, Cesaro is taking vicious kicks and a sliding German suplex from Nakamura for 2. He tags in Big E, who gets stunned by an uppercut from Cesaro, Sami is tagged in, and he beats down Big E, taunting him as he does. He gets some comeuppance in the form of a back elbow from Big E for 2.
The Intercontinental champ tags in Bryan, who beats down Sami. He tags Big E right back in, and the two deliver a double hip toss. Sami takes some more punishment, and Bryan is tagged back in to attack the arm of Sami. Sami fights back with a chop block, and he tags in Styles, who slams the leg of Bryan into the ringpost as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Cesaro is locking in a half crab on the injured leg of Bryan. He tags in Styles, who continues to focus on the left leg of Bryan. The Phenomenal One tags in Sami, who beats down Bryan and taunts his other two opponents. He stacks Bryan on the ropes and looks for a superplex, but the leader of the Yes! Movement shoves him away and delivers a missile dropkick.
Bryan tags in Big E and Sami tags in Cesaro, and the former tosses both Cesaro and Styles with a series of belly to belly suplexes. Cesaro fights back with a springboard uppercut, but when he looks for the Neutralizer, Big E counters with a uranage for 2.
Since this match isn’t crowded enough, The Miz and John Morrison make their entrance. They attack Big E to get revenge on him for embarrassing them backstage, ending this match via disqualification for a second time. Otis comes out to toss The Miz and Morrison with a series of suplexes, and he also delivers the Caterpillar to both of them.
Daniel Bryan, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura and Otis VS AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, The Miz and John Morrison
In a match that just keeps getting bigger, Daniel Bryan faces off against the Miz, using his mat wrestling skill to ground The Miz. The Miz takes control by attacking the injured leg of Bryan, delivering a DDT to his leg and locking in a Figure-Four Leglock. Bryan fights out, but Sami tags himself in to deliver a Blue Thunder Bomb for 2. He tags in Cesaro, who delivers an elbow drop and a massive suplex for a close 2.
Morrison tags himself in and takes his turn beating down Bryan. He tags in the Miz, and holds Bryan’s midsection open for The Miz to deliver a kick. He tags in Styles, and the two continue to punish Byran’s leg. Bryan and Styles have a collision in the middle of the ring, and they both look to tag someone in, but The Miz’s team goes and attacks Bryan’s team, leaving him unable to tag in anyone.
Sheamus makes his entrance and tags himself in, which I guess he could do since it’s 4-on-5? He takes everyone out and locks the Texas Cloverleaf on Sami, which Morrison breaks up with a kick. Otis slams Morrison, Cesaro dropkicks Otis, Big E delivers the Big Ending to Cesaro, Big E gets a Skull-Crushing Finale from The Miz, Nakamura kicks The Miz, and Sami ends the sequence by delivering a Blue Thunder Bomb.
He looks for the Helluva Kick, but Sheamus answers with a Brogue Kick that gets his team the win.
Winners via pinfall: Daniel Bryan, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura, Otis and Sheamus
Match Rating: 3/5
After the bell rings, The Miz and Morrison attack Sheamus, but they’re interrupted by a returning Braun Strowman, who comes in and powerslams everyone in sight. It seems like the Monster Among Men is back, and he’s ready to Rumble.
SmackDown January 29
Really fun go-home show for the Royal Rumble, and they used that 10-Man tag match give us a little taste of the chaos that we can expect to see this Sunday.