WWE SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 1, 2021) with a show from the ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Advertised for tonight: Roman Reigns makes a special request, Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks vs. Bayley & Carmella, Big E vs. King Corbin (non-title), and more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on FOX. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 1
Funny how secrets travel, I’d start to believe if I were to bleed. Thin skies, the man chains his hands held high, but me, I’m just here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with a memorial graphic for the late, great Brodie Lee.
A recap of last week’s steel cage match for the Universal Championship follows.
Roman Reigns makes his entrance, flanked by Paul Heyman and Jey Uso as always.
They get in the ring and Reigns gets on the mic. He wishes us a happy new year and says 2020 was a rough year, but when you’re the Head of the Table and the Tribal Chief, you make it work. He must have a golden glove, because everything he touches turns to greatness. Look at who he surrounds himself with— Paul Heyman, discarded into the deep end, he saved him.
He doesn’t understand it, Paul is the most genuine, honest man he’s ever done business with. Take Jey Uso, a prime example of what he can do— just listen to him and understand how his brain works, and it’s been the best year of Uso’s career. Main event after main event, barnburner match after barnburner match, the man can’t miss now, and it’s all because he acknowledged Roman as his Tribal Chief.
Reigns says he did this because he knows who Uso is, and he’s understood since day one. To everybody else it was “Which one are you?”, but to him, he was always Main Event Uso, and he wouldn’t have put the pressure on him if he couldn’t handle it. He knocks it out of the park every time, and that’s why he loves him.
Enter Kevin Owens.
Roman says he’s like a roach that won’t go away, begging for more crumbs despite having had his title shots and coming up empty. He hopes KO gave his kids and his wife a good Christmas, but they’re done now and he’s embarrassing him and his show. He says this is Jey’s time and Kev should stop being selfish.
But Owens responds, saying it should be embarrassing, because the fact that he’s standing here means that Reigns and his family failed to end his career. It’s 100% clear that the Big Dog is long gone and he’s been replaced by a giant bitch, but KO is glad he’s celebrating and for tonight he doesn’t want anything to do with him, because he’s here to fight Jey Uso.
He’s gonna go to the back and tell whoever he needs to tell (at a guess, that’s probably five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce, Kev) that he’s fighting Jey tonight.
A recap of Big E’s Intercontinental Championship victory over Sami Zayn from last week follows.
Big E makes his entrance to send us to break.
King Baron Corbin vs. Big E
Sami Zayn is on commentary for this match.
Circling, collar and elbow, struggling all over the ring, side headlock, shot off, shoulder block but E dodesn’t budge! Hip swivel, off the ropes, drop down, leapfrog, big back elbow knocks Corbin down for a one count! Gator roll, cover for one, “Yeah yeah yeah yeah”, whip across but Baron sees the back body drop coming and knocks him down for a one-count!
Big throwing lariats, Corbin blocks, throws him shoulder-first into the post and rains punches down on the back of his head while referee John Cone warns him. Off the ropes, back elbow, cover for one! Right hand, pass to the floor, E off the ropes but the suicide spear is countered by a knee! Pass to the floor and back in, E catches him with the Big Ending but Sami hits the ring to beat him down mid-cover...
Big E wins by disqualification presumably, although no finish is announced.
Post-match, the Knights of the Lone Wolf hit the ring to help Sami beat E down... APOLLO CREWS MAKES THE SAVE! He clears the ring of the Knights and press slams Zayn over the ropes and into them on the floor!
And so we go to break.
Apollo Crews & Big E vs. King Baron Corbin & Sami Zayn
Back from commercial, the match is in progress with the heels in control on Crews and working him over. Baron’s Knights get involved as the heat segment rolls on, Apollo gets a powerslam in for some separation and the path is clear! Tags made, E comes in hot, hitting the trifecta of belly-to-belly suplexes on Corbin! Off the ropes, big splash, Baron slips out of the Big Ending, off the ropes, Deep Six connects... NOPE!
Baron distracted yelling at his Knights for bickering with Sami, Apollo tags in and comes in hot but Corbin is able to tag out. Back elbows from Crews, sidestep the Helluva Kick but Zayn puts boots to him. He and Baron bicker and Corbin and his Knights walk out! Apollo hits an enzuigiri and lifts him up...
Apollo Crews & Big E win by pinfall with the Blue Thunder Driver from Crews on Zayn.
Commentary hypes tonight’s show up.
Five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce is on the phone when Kevin Owens rolls up.
KO informs him of his desire to fight Jey Uso (See? Told you.), and Pearce demures, leaving Owens to appeal to their friendship of fifteen years. Adam offers a match against anybody else on the roster and Kev says fine, he wants Roman then. Of course he can’t have that, either, and Owens reminds him that when Adam was his boss in Ring of Honor, he said the only thing that mattered was what the people watching felt, and finally Pearce relents and makes the match.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Apollo Crews and Big E are walking backstage chatting about their victory when an interview rolls up.
E says he’s going to be a fighting champion, and next week he’ll be issuing an open challenge. Crews butts in and says he should consider the challenge accepted and good-naturedly reminds him that he helped him win it in the first place.
Billie Kay’s got another tag partner... and it’s Tamina!
Except Natalya comes out and it’s actually her and Tamina tagging tonight, leaving Kay confused.
Natalya & Tamina vs. Riott Squad (Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott)
Natalya and Morgan to start, off the ropes, drop down, leapfrog, hip tosses denied, Liv with a wheelbarrow victory roll for a nearfall! Nattie shoves her down and tags are made. Riott and Tamina getting into it, Snuka cuts her down with a right hand while Kay settles into a role as one-woman cheering section. Ruby up in the turnbuckles, leap over, tag to Morgan!
Liv ducks a lariat, clears the apron, right hands for Tamina! Forearms and kicks, Riott tags in, double-team STO takes Snuka down! Billie seamlessly switched to cheering for the Riotts sometime in the last minute, Tamina blocks the Riott Kick / lungblower combo, fireman’s carry, Liv counters...
Riott Squad win by pinfall with a folding press from Liv Morgan on Tamina.
A recap of last week’s Women’s Tag Team Championship match follows.
Sasha Banks makes her entrance to send us to break.
Bayley & Carmella vs. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks
Belair and Carmella to start, Bianca using her strength to send the Princess of Staten Island running. Bayley tags in, gets nailed by a dropkick and passed to the floor! Belair puts Carmella on the apron and knocks her down with a handspring kick! Meteora misses but Bianca passes Sasha to the floor for a crossbody that gets two and sends us to break!
Back from commercial, Bayley is in control, getting a nearfall off a backfist. Pressing the attack, targeting Belair’s arm, tags, we’re in real heat segment territory here. Inside cradle for two, no comeback, but she does get the tag! Banks in, jawing at Carmella, to the apron, shoulder thrust and a knee strike, ramming Mella into the turnbuckle, choking her, double knees in the corner!
Back inside, sliding knee, cover for two! Bayley cuts Belair off from intervening and gets whipped into the post with her hair! Suplex on the floor, Carmella with a schoolboy for two! Superkicks, Bronco Buster countered into the Bank Statement crossface! Reginald the Sommelier pulls his pal out of the fire and gets in the ring over referee Jessika Carr’s admonishments!
He backrolls out of there before Sasha can attack and then moonsaults off the apron for good measure! Banks with a knee to Carmella, right hand to Reginald but Mella catches her...
Bayley & Carmella win by pinfall with an X-Factor from Carmella on Sasha Banks.
We see Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, and Paul Heyman backstage looking at the match graphic for Uso vs. Kevin Owens.
Roman is mystified that five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce would make that match after everything he’s done for this company and sets Jey on finding him.
Street Profits make their entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Sonya Deville is walking backstage and attracting attention for her return.
In the ring, Street Profits welcome us to their New Year’s Smoke-Tacular, with graphics and everything.
Angelo Dawkins sends 2020 packing but Montez Ford points out it wasn’t all bad, given that they won both the SmackDown and Raw Team Team Championships and two Slammy Awards. They pull a blanket off a drum kit in the ring and Dawkins plays a quick solo to introduce their 2021 predictions. One such prediction is that Dolph Ziggler will get the nickname he deserves, the Heartache Kid.
This leads to Ziggler and Robert Roode attacking the Profits and laying them out with superkicks! They post Ford’s leg and smash it with a chair repeatedly!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial we get a recap of what we just saw. It’s New Year’s, I’ll allow it.
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode (wearing Dirty Dawgs t-shirts with their likeness on it, so that’s a tag name, I guess) are interviewed backstage. They criticize the Street Profits for their fun and games and say what happened out there is on their hands and they want the tag titles. Indeed, they call themselves the Dirty Dawgs and they won’t stop until they get a rematch for the tag titles.
We get footage of Chad Gable and Otis helping Daniel Bryan train his hips for the Royal Rumble, mostly by dry humping Otis in a waistlock for... resistance? Anyway, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura roll up and make fun of them and that set up this next match.
Artist Collective (Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura) vs. Daniel Bryan & Otis Dozovic
Cesaro and Bryan to start, side headlock, shot off, shoulder block, Dan bridges out of a cover and monkey flips him! Arm wringer, Cesaro pushes him into the corner and tags Nakamura in. American Dragon with waistlock takedowns, back elbow to escape and the Swiss Superman tags in. Bryan dives on him and Cesaro pops him up into a Swiss Death to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Cesaro is in control of Bryan and locks him down with a rear chinlock. Truck Stop for two, dumping Dan over the ropes and tagging Nakamura in. Putting him on the apron, running knee for a two count, setting Bryan up top, enzuigiri but Dan turns him around and dumps him to the floor! The path clear, crawling, reaching, Cesaro throws his partner back inside... TAGS MADE!
Otis in hot with lariats and a fallaway slam, another lariat, Stinger Splash, Cesaro is down and out in the corner... CATERPILLAR! Cover made but Shinsuke breaks it up! Dozer gives chase and goes back to Cesaro to hit the Vader Bomb but he dodges! Tag to Nakamura, Otis pops him up and drops him to coutner Kinshasa! Tag to the American Dragon, diving sunset flip for two!
Uppercuts, whip reversed, backflip up and over, off the ropes, duck a lariat but he runs into a knee strike! Float over a slam, Nakamura with a flying armbar but Otis breaks it up with headbutt! Swiss Superman in, running Dozer off together, Bryan with the Busaiku Knee to Cesaro! Nakamura rolls him up, only two, Dan counters...
Daniel Bryan & Otis Dozovic win by submission with the LeBell Lock from Bryan on Shinsuke Nakamura.
In an office backstage, Roman Reigns is fuming as Paul Heyman informs him that five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce made the match between Jey Uso and Kevin Owens tonight. Reigns tells Uso to not let Pearce take away from what they’ve made and to go show him that he’s the main event Uso.
Kevin Owens makes his entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, we get some hype for tomorrow morning’s edition of Talking Smack.
Jey Uso vs. Kevin Owens
Owens right in with a double leg into grounded punches! Overhead elbows, Uso turns him around, clubs of his own as they brawl on the mat! KO breaks away and stomps him repeatedly, smashing his face into the turnbuckles and stomping a proverbial mudhole! Senton for two, targeting the previously injured leg, kicking and wrenching, trading forearms, back to the leg work with a seated senton!
Kev jawing, telling Uso that his cousin brought this down on him, Jey fires back with right hands and blocks a Stunner! Superkick connects, Owens rolls to the floor and Uso follows, KO knocks him across the table and we go to break.
Back from commercial, jockeying for position in the turnbuckles, Uso goes for a splash but Owens dodges and he comes up lame! Kick to the gut...
Kevin Owens wins by pinfall with the Stunner.
Post-match, he beats Jey Uso down to try and get Roman Reigns’ attention, at one point getting on the mic and calling him down to save his family. He cuffs Uso to the ropes... SUPERKICK! Stomps, punches, begging Roman to have some pride, he uncuffs Uso from the ropes and applies the cuffs properly, telling Roman he’ll come to him.
He takes Jey into the ThunderDome “crowd” and sets him up but Reigns blindsides him! He and Uso work together to take Owens up the stands and hammer him with chairs repeatedly! Hammering him into the LED boards over and over... ROMAN THROWS OWENS OFF THE STAGE AND THROUGH THE EQUIPMENT BELOW!
That’s the show, folks.