With a big night of championship matches ahead, we will also find out who will face Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
We began the show with Roman Reigns’ entrance. Of course joining him as always, Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. As the trio made their way to the ring, we got a look at who would be involved in the gauntlet match later tonight.
When Reigns got a mic and said he wanted to talk about last week and how everyone is discussing what they did to Kevin Owens. Reigns said that while KO is a pain in his ass, he respects the ambition. He said he never wanted anything bad to happen to KO, but Reigns said he was backed up into a hard spot.
Reigns went on to say that as a leader you have to care about the locker room, which he said he does. Everything he does is for the well being of the locker room. Then Reigns went on to place the blame for what he and Jey Uso did to KO last week on to WWE official, Adam Pearce.
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After a few attempts, Adam Pearce responded to Reigns’ call out. When Pearce made it to the ring, he asked Reigns what this was all about. Reigns then had a video played of what went down last week (and how KO got the match with Uso).
After the video package, Reigns asked what Pearce had to say for himself. Pearce seemed pretty unsure of what he was supposed to say. According to Reigns, he wanted Pearce to take responsibility as Reigns was done with KO.
Then Reigns accused Pearce of being a bad friend to KO because he didn’t look out for his well being. After throwing KO back into the shark tank, KO now isn’t there and can’t provide for his family. Reigns then said he brought Pearce back this week to redeem himself, but instead Pearce booked a gauntlet match! He was furious about not being able to pick his own opponent after running the company for years. Reigns believed Pearce looked at him as inadequate and stupid.
Pearce tried to tell Reigns that that was the furthest from the truth, as Pearce never said he was stupid. Reigns then continued to list of people that Pearce must be saying is stupid, including Vince McMahon. If Pearce thinks Reigns is stupid, then that means he is insulting him which means he doesn’t respect him. See the problem?
Reigns then got in Pearce’s face, but before he could do anything Heyman got him to back off. Maybe no one in the ring was stupid. Reigns said that for now Pearce is safe. Then we went to commercial break.
Big E versus Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship ended in a double pinfall
Crews took a thunderous start…immediately catching E with a drop kick. After a two count, Crews went to the top rope, but E was able to move and hit Crews with an elbow. Even though E hit the Big Splash on the apron, Crews was able to make a comeback. After a superplex it looked like Crews had the pin! New Champion? Maybe?!
After returning from a commercial break, we found out the referee’s decision was actually a double pin! In this case the referee’s ruling meant that E retained his championship.
Crews was irate! He truly believed that the victory should have gone to him and that he was the Intercontinental Champion. E tried to show good sportsmanship, but Crews wasn’t having it. After getting slapped in the face, E looked at the referee and had the match restarted.
Big E defeated Apollo Crews via Pinfall (Big Ending)
Right after the bell, E hit Crews with multiple belly to belly suplexes. Crews was able to hit E with a frog splash, but E kicked out at 2! Even after a standing moonsault, Crews couldn’t put the champion away! E was finally able to put Crews away with The Big Ending to retain his championship.
Backstage Adam Pearce was discussing the issues with Roman Reigns to someone on his phone. He cut the conversation short when Sonya Deville entered the room. Pearce welcomed Deville back and said he understood they would be working together.
Although Pearce was thrilled to have the help, he told Deville he was shocked she wanted the job. Deville said the last year had been crazy and while not proud of the things she did or said, it is now a new year. She said she is grateful and happy for the opportunity to help Pearce, especially if Pearce is going to put himself in a match tonight….which Pearce said certainly isn’t going to happen.
Then we took another commercial break.
Upon returning from break, we found out that Bianca Belair is the latest woman to declare her entry into the Royal Rumble. Belair was trying to give an interview when Bayley interrupted.
Bayley asked Belair how many people she eliminated last year (8), but reminded Belair she didn’t eliminate her. Of course Bayley wasn’t in the match because she was too busy adding to her historic championship reign. Then Bayley said she would be entering the Rumble and winning it, no matter how many people Belair eliminates.
Back at ringside we got the Progressive Match Flo, showing what happened between The Street Profits, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode last week. Then we got the entrance of The Street Profits before once again heading to commercial break.
When we returned from break we got to celebrate Sasha Banks being named Sports Illustrated’s #1 Superstar of the Year.
Then backstage Carmella was with Reginald enjoying some champagne. Mella celebrated the fact that she pinned Banks last week. Then she congratulated Banks on her Sports Illustrated honor, but did say she found it funny that it came during a year where Mella took some time off. According to her, when it comes to talent….Banks can’t touch her.
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode defeated The Street Profits via Pinfall (Spinebuster/ Zig Zag combo)
The match began with Ziggler and Dawkins. Commentary thought it wise strategy considering what happened to Ford’s leg last week. When Ford did get tagged in the match, it only took one move for Ford to tend to his injured leg. The Challengers immediately took note and went right on the attack to the leg. Even with some adrenaline, one kick to Ford’s leg and he couldn’t do too much.
Ford was able to do a dive to the outside, but immediately had issues with his leg. While the Street Profits fought hard, in the end Ziggler and Roode got the victory and the tag team championships.
Backstage, Pearce and Deville were discussing possible challengers for Roode and Ziggler when Paul Heyman interrupted. Heyman shook Pearce’s hand and said he didn’t want things to be hostile.
Heyman brought up their history and how he was sure being a WWE official wasn’t how Pearce thought his career was going to go. According to Heyman, after pulling some strings PEARCE IS IN THE GAUNTLET MATCH! Then we went to another commercial break.
After break Billie Kay caught up with the Riott Squad. Kay said she had been thinking about their victory all week, yes she included herself in getting the victory. She believed it was time to turn the Riott duo back into a trio!
Ruby and Liv apologized and said they weren’t interested. Cue the tears from Kay! Kay said no one wanted her and that 2021 was supposed to be a better year, but so far it isn’t. This caused Liv to try and calm her down. Kay immediately perked up and left the Squad with her resume, which now includes mosh pitting because Kay is edgy now.
We began with the entrance of Rey Mysterio. His opponent? Sami Zayn. Zayn came out with a camera crew of his own and wanted a moment to speak his peace. He said that he made a demand to WWE management to be put in this gauntlet match, but of course was given the worst possible chance to win. Conspiracy!
Zayn brought his own camera crew to document and expose the conspiracy theory that is against him.
Rey Mysterio defeated Sami Zayn via Pinfall (Frog Splash)
Zayn didn’t get much of a chance to prove how undeniable he is. The bell rung and Mysterio hit Zayn with a drop kick, which landed Zayn in the ropes. 619 and a Frog Splash spelled Zayn’s quick elimination.
Shinsuke Nakamura was the next opponent to enter the gauntlet.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rey Mysterio via Submission (Armbar)
Absolutely brilliant stuff here. The two former Royal Rumble winners showed off their respective greatness. Nakamura caught Mysterio with a Kinshasa on the outside! For the short amount of time they had, Mysterio and Nakamura used it well.
King Corbin was the next competitor to enter the gauntlet and he immediately attacked Dominik and Rey Mysterio before focusing on Nakamura.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated King Corbin via Pinfall (Kinshasa)
Corbin began the match in control, but Nakamura was able to sidestep Corbin. This saw Corbin run right into the ring post. A trade off of control then occurred. Even though Corbin was able to hit Deep Six, it just wasn’t enough.
Our next competitor joining the gauntlet? Daniel Bryan!
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Daniel Bryan via Pinfall (Kinshasa)
Bryan began the match up immediately with kicks and punches. Although Nakamura had already been through two matches, he showed no signs of letting up. The two amazing competitors put on a hell of a match. It looked like Bryan was on the verge of victory after the Yes Kicks in the corner, but Nakamura hit him with the Kinshasa out of nowhere!
After the match, the two men shook hands.
Then Roman Reigns, of course followed by Jey Uso and Paul Heyman, made their way to the ring. We went to commercial break before seeing the entrance of Adam Pearce.
When we returned from break, Adam Pearce was finally at ringside. Pearce had yet to enter the ring, which meant the bell had not rung yet either. Jey Uso entered the ring before Pearce and got in Nakamura’s face.
Uso then hit Nakamura with elbows before the Universal Champion got in on the fun. Of course this was all technically legal as the bell had not rung. After a Superkick, a Superman Punch, and an Uso Splash, Reigns finally told Pearce to get in the ring.
Pearce was then super kicked by Uso! Then Reigns called for the bell. Uso dragged Pearce over to cover Nakamura per Reigns’ request.
Adam Pearce defeated Shinsuke Nakamura via Pinfall
Although the referee was a tad reluctant to make the count, he did so over Reigns’ watchful eye. Adam Pearce will now be facing Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.
That’s the show y’all!