It's time for Friday Night Smackdown and our live play-by-play coverage here on Rajah.com! Your host is the most electrifying name in sports entertainment live results today, and I don't say that just because I've accidentally electrocuted myself (a few times), the Friday Night Mikessiah; your brother by another mother, brother; the one and only ego-inflating, Eggo-eating smack-talking jabroni, Mike "Hulk" Hogan and I'm here to show you
The Way the way for the greater good! I'm grateful for all of you joining me tonight during the live broadcast and, as always, thanks for choosing us for your live (and after show!) play-by-play results coverage!
Our official preview is slim pickings tonight, as all that has been announced is the Intercontinental Champion Big E defending his title against Apollo Crews. Our veteran reporter Jeff came through for us with news of a Gauntlet Match! The winner will receive a title opportunity against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble. It's competitors will be Daniel Bryan, King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, Rey Mysterio and Sami Zayn. This is gonna be fun!
So with all that said, let's get things started! For those of you who want just the results and not the novella, click here!
WWE Friday Night Smackdown Live Results (1/08/2020) - ThunderDome II (Tropicana Field), St. Petersburg, FL
Show Opener: the WWE ThunderDome
Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcome us to the ThunderDome and inform us of the Intercontinental title match, and the gauntlet, to come up tonight.
In the Ring: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman & Jey Uso
To a cacophony of boo's from the digital crowd, the WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns makes his way slowly....slowly....slowly....to the ring with his entourage in tow. Graves calls Roman Reigns a "franchise quarterback" and both men make small talk to buy Roman time as we're entering his sixth minute spent slowly baby-stepping down to the ring. Finally, all three are in the ring and our digital crowd starts a loud "you suck" chant to welcome the Universal champion to the ThunderDome. Heyman hands Roman a mic.
"I'll talk about last week. A lot of discussion about what we did to KO. Let me just start by saying, I like Kevin Owens. He's a pain in my ass, yes he is, but I respect someone as ambitious as Kevin Owens. Someone who won't lay down, someone who keeps getting up, like a cockroach that guy is. But I never wanted anything bad to happen to him but he put me in a tough spot...and I had to do what I had to do." He goes on to say that as the top of the food chain, the head of the table, he's gotta care for the other Superstars. He helps put food on their tables. He says that people are calling Roman the bad guy for what happened to KO, and he tells us that if you want to blame someone you should blame WWE Official Adam Pearce. He then says "Adam, bring your ass out here." Heyman screams out of the ring, telling the person to tell Adam that Roman Reigns is calling him and he needs to get out here. Heyman then threatens it'll make for some lousy television if they don't bring him out here. The crowd boo's loudly and finally Adam Pearce comes out, wearing a sharp gray and black ensemble. Pearce climbs up into the ring, hesitating before stepping in, and pulls up his mic. "Gentleman. Roman. What can I do for you?" Roman smiles and parrots Pearce, then says that he want Pearce to watch a clip right here--a nice package he wants Pearce to get eyes on. We then get a well-produced package that starts with showing the cage fight two weeks ago on Smackdown between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens. Up next is from last week on Smackdown, when Kevin Owens talked Adam Pearce into letting him have a match with Jey Uso since he couldn't get one against Roman Reigns. We then see Heyman discovering that it was Adam Pearce who made the match, and Roman's calm yet angry reaction. After Owens won the match against Uso, he handcuffed Jey to the the top rope, superkicked him, beat him some, uncuffed him and beat him up the ramp then set Jey up on a table. Kevin Owens then climbed up the side stage area, ready to Frog Splash Uso through the table. Roman Reigns attacked Owens from behind and proceeded to beat Owens with a steel chair, and some assistance from Jey Uso. Roman then bombed Owens off the side area, down about twelve feet-ish and through a table. After the video, we return to the ring.
Roman asks Pearce what he has to say for himself. Adam asks about what exactly Roman or any of them want him to say. Roman says he wants Pearce to take responsibility. He goes on to tell us how he'd defeated Owens already, it was time for KO to move on. But he knows KO and Adam Pearce go way back, and he thinks perhaps Pearce pulled a favor for Owens. Roman continues, saying that he and Paul do their jobs whereas Adam Pearce's job is to look out for the talent but he threw KO out into the shark tank and now, Owens can't provide for his family. He blames Adam Pearce. Roman says that because he's a good guy and a gentleman, he's brought Pearce back to redeem himself this week. He says that Pearce messed up last week and he wanted to see what he could do this week. Roman then says Pearce messed up by announcing a gauntlet, like Roman can't pick his own opponent. He equates not being able to choose his opponent as Adam saying Roman's inadequate at his job. Pearce defends himself, telling Roman he's trying to do a good job and give Roman the best opponent possible for him to face. Roman mocks him and asks if Pearce is going to book himself in the match, and Pearce of course denies it, stating that would be a conflict of interest. Roman then equates the phrase "conflict of interest" to Adam calling Roman stupid. Pearce tells him he's not stupid. Roman asks if Adam's stupid; Adam says he's not, and that he never said Roman is stupid. Roman then equates it to Adam calling Vince McMahon stupid, the Universe stupid, and Pearce of course denies this, too. Roman then circles back to Pearce is calling him stupid. He then tells Pearce that he's disrespecting Roman, and his family. Roman grabs Pearce's collar as he shoves him back. Pearce begs him off and Paul gently tries to calm the Big Dog. Roman takes a moment to calm and says "My mistake. Maybe nobody in this (arena) is stupid. And maybe now, right now, you're perfectly safe." He taps Pearce on the chest, smirks, and walks off with his Entourage in tow and Adam Pearce glaring questioningly at him from the ring. Roman's entrance + promo was the first twenty minutes.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E(c) vs Apollo Crews
When we return from the break, Apollo Crews and Big E are already in the ring. We're starting right away. Apollo immediately takes it to Big E, taking the big man down and rolling the champ up for a very close two! Crews runs up top and dives off, but Big E moves. Crews rolls through and attempts to catch Big E off guard, but the champ senses it and drops Crews. Big E catches Crews on the apron and hits a big splash on the apron! Big E and Crews in the ring; Crews fires up again, driving his shoulder into the midsection of the champ before back up. Crews streaks across and hits a splash, grabs Big E and hits a trio of German Suplexes! Crews covers the champ and gets another close two. Big E rolls outside to catch his breath. Crews climbs out on the apron, his back to Big E and possibly looking for a springboard senton, but Big E knocks the challenger's legs out from under him and both men crash to the floor. The ref begins the count-out. Both men get back in the ring before the count-out. Apollo Crew and Big E reposition, with Big E sitting on the top rope. Crews grabs his waist band and, in a truly Herculean effort, Crews superplexes Big E off the top and rolls up, hooking a leg to cover as the ref counts one, two...three? Crews hops up on the top rope and rejoices as we're unsure for some reason if he won the Intercontinental title, and go to commercial.
When we return from break we see the superplex and it appears both men had their shoulders down (I called it!!!). The ref informs the men both both had their shoulders down and therefore the match is a draw and per rules, the champion retains on a draw. Big E apologizes, telling Crews that he doesn't make the ropes. Crews snaps, getting onto the champ as Big E says over and over that he doesn't make the rules. Crews demands a rematch then slaps Big E and calls him a name. Big E's eyes go huge and the big man calls for the restarting of the match, then immediately takes Crews down hard! Big E with a big standing senton. Big E goes for the Big Ending but Crews escapes. Crews drops the big man and hits the Frog Splash off the top. Crews gets a close two. Crews with a suplex, and manages to keep the championg rounded. He hits his impressive Standing Moonsault (and get a great slo-mo of it, too). Crews tries to cover but only gets a two. Big E recovers and looks to slap a Stretch Muffler submission but Crews grabs the rope. Big E goes for the Big Ending again but Crews stops him with a jumping kick to the head. Crews attempts to pick up Big E for a bomb but the champ escapes. The champ with a big strike on Crews, then finally hits the Big Ending for the pin and win!
Your Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion, Big E!
Backstage w/ Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville
Adam is on the phone with someone when Sonya Deville walks up. He tells her that he's glad to work with her. She's excited and says that despite being betrayed, destroyed, and such by her former best friend, she's eager to learn from Pearce. She comments he should add himself to the gauntlet. Pearce comments he doesn't think he could beat the ref, let alone Roman, and hasn't had a match in six years. We go to break.
Backstage w/ Bianca Belair and Baylee
Bianca is about to start an interview, which means its time for an interrupt! Bayley comes in and asks Belair how many she eliminated last year in the Women's Royal Rumble. Bianca gleefully replies with "eight!" Bayley then mocks Belair and brags about herself. She then says that Belair would squander the title shot if she even did win. Belair makes a joke about Bayley having nothing to worry about as she's not the champion.
Progressive Match Flo: the Street Profits New Years Event
We get a short video package that shows us the attack last week, where Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler assaulted the Street Profits during their New Years event, during which they also mocked Ziggler and Roode.
Backstage: Banks Honored + Carmella
When we return from break, we learn that Sasha Banks was named the #1 superstar of 2020 which they deceptively try to make sound like she was named the top athlete. We then get to see Carmella and her Sommelier. She sips a little bit of the bubbly, and tries to imply that the period in which Sports Illustrated praised Sasha Banks was the period when Carmella wasn't active wrestling. She insults the champ and says that when it comes to talent, Sasha can't touch her.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: the Street Profits vs Dolph ZIggler & Robert Roode
The Street Profits come out first, followed by their challengers Ziggler & Roode. Michael Cole and Corey Graves discuss Montez Ford, who's been injured as of late. The match starts slow. Dawkins gets an early upper hand over Ziggler. Dawkins tags in Ford, then hits a double-team move in which he back suplex drops Ford onto Ziggler. Ford instinctively rolls to the side due to his injured knee. Ziggler recovers first and fights Ford into a corner, using every bit of the ref's count to beat on him before breaking and tagging in Roode. Roode fails to contain Ford, who fires up and flings a flurry of fists into Roode. Roode and Ziggler both congregate outside the ring, Roode desperate for a breather, but the defending champ Ford gives them not a moment of respite as he flies over the rope and lands on top of the challengers! We go to break.
Back from the break and Roode is locked up with Dawkins. Roode tries to suplex Dawkins, but Dawkins blocks it twice. Dawkins with a back releasing suplex. Dawkins hits a Bulldog on Roode. Dawkins covers and gets only a two. Ford is finally climbing up onto the apron and Corey Graves points out that Dawkins has to buy Ford time to recover, and Cole mentions that Dawkins acted like he wanted to make a tag but hesitated. Roode tags in Ziggler, who takes Dawkins down with a dropkick. Ziggler then works the larger athlete over, using the ropes and rakes to the face. The ref warns Ziggler off, who backs up and allows Roode to run over and punch Dawkins while the ref is distracted. Ziggler locks in a submission then Gator Rolls their bodies towards his own corner as the digital crowd loudly chants "we want the smoke." Ziggler tags in Roode, and Roode prevents Dawkins from reaching his partner as they continue to successfully cut the ring in half. Roode attempts a cover but only gets a two. Again we're reminded how badly banged up Ford is and how he can barely seem to stand on the apron. Roode takes Dawkins into the corner and tags in Ziggler.
Ziggler whips Roode into Ford then runs afterwards, looking for a Bronco Buster but Dawkins moves and Ziggler crotches himself on the turnbuckle! Dawkins tries to crawl across the ring. Zigger tries to stop it but he barely tags Ford in! Ford comes in, hopping on his one good leg. Ford drops Ziggler; Roode comes in and Ford takes him out, sending him back out of the ring. Dolph comes off the ropes and Ford hits the discus lariat that lays out Ziggler! Ford crawls slowly up the turnbuckles from the outside. Roode comes over to distract him, and Ziggler runs up the ropes, grabs Ford and leaps back, pancaking Ford's face into the mat! Ziggler covers but only gets a two. Ziggler sets him up and hops in for a superkick--as does Ford, and both men superkick each other! Ford tries to cover but Roode comes in to make the save. Dawkins send Roode outside. Dawkins and Roode brawl briefly on the apron. Dawkins knocks Roode off. From in the ring, Ziggler bumps Dawkins off the apron. Roode gets to his corner and Ziggler tries to put away Ford. Ziggler tags in Roode. Roode with a suplex and a pin for a two. Roode calls for the Glorious DDT but Ford escapes it. Roode tags in Ziggler and they hit a double-team Zig Zag combination and cover Ford for the win!
Your Winners and NEW Smackdown Tag Team Champions, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode!
After the Match
Dawkins checks on Ford, and Ford struggles to get to his feet. Finally he does...just in time for Ziggler and Roode attack them from behind yet again, adding insult to injury.
Backstage w/ Paul Heyman and Adam Pearce & Sonya Deville
Pearce & Deville are discussing possible ideas for Smackdown, including a legends night, when Paul Heyman walks up. Pearce tells Heyman he doesn't want to hear it. Heyman gives a speech and tells Pearce he understands him, and that not many people can imagine their history. He tells Adam Pearce to imagine if he'd been coached and represented by Paul E. Dangerously. He tells Pearce that despite his career, Pearce didn't envision this--being a producer. He envisioned himself being a WWE champion. Heyman mentions he has connections then decides to cut to the chase. Adam Pearce is now in the gauntlet match and gets a shot he always wanted, courtesy of Roman Reigns. Heyman tells Pearce he's very happy and proud of him, forces Pearce to shake his hand and tell him its been a pleasure. We head to break but our now-six-man gauntlet is up next!
Previously on Smackdown: Billie Kay
We see clips from last week when Billie Kay thought Tamina would be her tag team partner against the Riott Squad. Instead, Tamina teamed up with Natalya so Billie Kay served as their cheerleader/manager...sort of. During the match, Kay switched sides and began to cheer-on and coach the Riott Squad.
Backstage w/ the Riott Squad and Billie Kay
Billie Kay tells the Riott Squad that they used to be a trio, and she could be their third member. They politely decline her offer. Kay begins to cry, and Liv Morgan starts to try to console her but Kay takes it as an invitation to join them. She excitedly exclaims that she's been learning moshpitting, and been listening to music "like Blink 1-8-2." She then goes off hopping excitedly, leaving Ruby Riott with her glossy resume. Riott points out that "Moshpitting" is even on it and sighs as Liv apologizes.
Number One Contender Gauntlet Match: Daniel Bryan v King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, Rey Mysterio & Sami Zayn...and Adam Pearce
Out first is Rey Mysterio, accompanied by his son Dominick. I have a feeling he's gonna burn it down tonight. Out next is Sami Zayn who stays at the top of the rant and goes on a rant about how all of this is a conspiracy against him. He has a camera crew with him, and points out that they're not the same corporate stooges who work for WWE--and point at our camera man--and tells us that they're unbiased documentarians (his word, not mine). They're wearing Sami's "I am the Intercontinental Champion" shirt. He claims that they're going to document of Sami Zayn fighting injustice. He gets in the ring and tells Rey that he's going to defeat Rey, then the next guy, and every competitor who comes out because "Sami Zayn is undeniable!" Finially the bell rings.
Rey immediately dropkicks Zayn, who falls onto the middle rope. Rey hits the 6-1-9, runs up top and hits the Frog Splash and pins Zayn in maybe 15 seconds.
Sami Zayn has been eliminated. Shinsuke Nakamura is out next.
After a commercial break, we return to find that they were awaiting us! The bell rings and Shinsuke starts things off by slapping on a side headlock. Rey escapes and runs off the ropes, only to take a stiff shoulder from Shinsuke. Cole mentions both men have won a Royal Rumble. Dominick looks on from ringside. Rey with a quick kick. Nakamura counters with fist and palm strikes. Nakamura goes off ropes as does Mysterio; Nakamura hits the brakes but Mysterio sends him out the ring. Mysterio attempts a suicide dive or slide but Nakamura catches him and smacks him down on the apron. Rey takes down Nakamura and goes back inside, then comes sliding out again, this time attempting a Sunset Powerbomb. Again, Nakamura blocks Rey, and kicks him hard across the face while he's seated, then takes him inside and covers for two. Nakamura sets Rey up in the corner, hitting a running basement dropkick and covers for two.
Nakamura with strong strikes as the King of Strong Style is frustrated with Mysterio's kickouts. Nakamura locks the head of Mysterio and guides him back to the corner. He hoists Rey up suplex-style and sits Rey on the top. Nakamura climbs to the middle rope and is lookign for hte Superplex. Mysterio counters it with strikes that sends Nakamura down. Rey leaps in hitting a half senton on Nakamura. Mysterio with his comeback, and gets a two. Mysterio goes to the apron, attempting a springboard but Nakamura catches him with a kick. Both men exchange control for a few moments, with Nakamura shutting down Mysterio's offense by slapping in an arm bar submission with the leg locked. Mysterio taps!
Rey Mysterio has been eliminated. King Corbin is out next.
After the elimination, King Corbin attacked both Mysterio men, destroying them. Corbin turns his attentions to Nakamura. When we return from break, Corbin is punishing Nakamura. The former Golden Gloves champion pummels Nakamura with powerful fists in two different corners. Corbin charges in and goes shoulder-first into the ring post as Nakamura dodges! Corbin goes outside to compose himself. Nakamura comes out onto the apron, looking to follow up, but Corbin rams Nakamura into the ring post. Corbin sends Nakamura into the ring and covers for only two. Corbin spends some time arguing with the ref. Corbin plants Nakamura hard into the mat again, and covers for only two yet again. Corbin, again, argues with the ref. Corbin wastes more time. Corbin picks up Nakamura but Shinsuke escapes and fires off his trademark kicks and fists. Nakamura, exhausted, fights Corbin across the ring. Nakamura goes up top and waits for Corbin to rise, then leaps off for a missile dropkick and a two count cover! Shinsuke sets up in the corner and calls for the Kinshasa! Nakamura streaks across but Corbin grabs Shinsuke and uses his own momentum to hit a Deep Six! Nakamura kicks out just before three! Corbin rises and tries to pick up Nakamura, but Nakamura catches him in a Triangle Hold! Corbin breaks it by one-armed powerbombing Nakamura. Corbin goes for his Misdirection Clothesline, but Nakamura has it scouted and as Corbin runs around the ring and slides back in, Nakamura rises and hits him with a Kinshasa! Nakamura covers and eliminates the King!
King Corbin has been eliminated. Daniel Bryan is out next.
Daniel Bryan comes out, leading the digital crowd in a lengthy "Yes!" chant as we go to break! Both men have the break to ready-up. Upon returning, the bell rings and Bryan starts off aggressive. Bryan takes down Shinsuke, and sends Nakamura out of the ring. Bryan with a Suicide Dive through the middle ropes! Bryan takes it back isnide and heads up top. Bryan leads off, looking for a Double Axe Handle but Nakamura catches him with a kick. Bryan is quick to take control, locking in an ankle lock. Nakamura manages to get to one foot, so Bryan converts it into a bridging German Suplex and nearly picks up the elimination. We get replays of the nearly perfectly-executed German Suplex. Bryan composes himself then takes it to Nakamura with the Yes Kicks. As usual, Bryan's final kick is ducked, and Nakamura catches Bryan in an arm bar. Bryan reverses it into an arm bar of his own, then converts that into the Yes Lock! Nakamura tries to separate Bryan's hands as he's in the middle of the ring. Nakamura tries to shift his hips and extends a hand for the ropes, then a foot. Bryan notices and transitions it into an arm wrench submission. Nakamura manages to quickly shuffle his hips over and get a foot on the rope, forcing the break!
Bryan takes Nakamura up top and attempts a Frankensteiner but Nakamura shoves him off! Nakamura flies off the top onto Bryan and covers, getting a close two. Nakamura looks exhausted. He rises and drops a knee into Bryan's ribs, then does it twice more. Nakamura measures Daniel Bryan and goes for a roundhouse, but Bryan ducks under it! Bryan goes for one of his own and Nakamura ducks under, locking on an arm bar! Bryan rolls his body to push Nakamura's shoulders down, forcing Shinsuke to break the hold to prevent himself from being pinned. Bryan and Nakamura get to their feet at the same time. Both men begin kicking each other. Daniel starts with fists now, boxing Nakamura back into the corner. Bryan with two big strikes. Bryan hops back two steps, sizes up Nakamura and kicks him in the back of the head! Daniel Bryan runs to the opposite corner and charges in with a jumping dropkick. Again, Bryan hits it! Bryan goes it for a third time but Nakamura flies out the corner and nails Daniel Bryan with the Kinshasa! Nakamura covers for the elimination!
Daniel Bryan has been eliminated. Adam Pearce is the final competitor.
Roman Reigns, Jey Uso & Paul Heyman come out to the ramp. We go to break! When we return, Jey Uso and Roman Reigns attack Shinsuke Nakamura! They beat him down together, and stomp on his head. The bell hasn't rung yet, so this is all legal. Shinsuke gets to his feet, but Jey Uso hits a superkick and Roman Reigns immediately follows it up with a Superman Punch. Uso continues to work over Shinsuke as Roman exits the ring. Adam Pearce asks Roman what Roman wants him to do. Roman smiles and tosses Pearce into the ring, clearly wanting Pearce to pin Nakamura. Pearce gets in the ring and is surrounded by Reigns and Uso. Uso superkicks Pearce! Roman calls for the bell and this is now officially under way. Roman has Uso drag Adam Pearce on top of Nakamura...and Pearce picks up the pin.
Your Gauntlet Winner and #1 Competitor, Adam Pearce (yes, really).
Reigns and Uso stand over both downed men as Cole and Graves are dumbfounded at Roman Reigns fighting Adam Pearce at the Royal Rumble. Our show ends cold.
There you have it, folks, a solid Smackdown with an unexpected title-change and Adam Pearce's first match in six years. Didn't see that coming, did you? I hope you all have a GREAT weekend! See y'all Monday for Raw and hit me up on Twitter (link below, and in at the top)! Stay warm, stay frosty, and stay safe out there!
(For those wondering and who read this far--yes, I'm doing that Huber opening again, as I will all year--and every week I will continue to use it to link to AEW Merch, photos that I enjoy and wanted to share, or anything that benefits the Huber family, so just skip the first paragraph if it bothers you!)
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