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WWE SmackDown results, live blog (Jan. 8, 2021): Two title matches

WWE SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 8, 2021) with a show from the ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Advertised for tonight: Street Profits defend tag team gold against Dirty Dawgs, Big E defends the Intercontinental championship against Apollo Crews, 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.)


In the event that this fantastic voyage should turn to erosion and we never get old, remember it’s true, dignity is valuable, but our lives are valuable too. We’re learning to live with somebody’s depression, but me, I’m just here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show, folks.

The show opens into the ThunderDome.

Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, and Jey Uso make their entrance.

Roman gets on the mic and says there’s been a lot of discussion about Kevin Owens. Owens is a pain in his ass, but he likes him and he respects him and his ambition. He keeps getting up, like a cockroach, and he never wanted anything bad to happen to him. He put him in a tough spot, backed him against the wall, and he had to do what he had to do.

He loves the whole roster, and that’s the thing about being the leader, you actually have to care about these people and their wellbeing. And now KO can’t come to work anymore, and it’s all five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce’s fault. He calls Pearce down to the ring.

Enter five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce.

He asks Reigns what he wants, and Roman has a nice package for him.

A video package, of course, covering the match against Jey Uso that Kev got Adam to grant last week. Roman asks Pearce what he has to say for himself, and the former NWA champ asks what he wants him to say. Reigns demands that he take responsibility, because he said he was done with Owens and then KO went to his buddy Adam and got a match.

You’d think a friend would know better, would make the right choice, but instead he threw Kev right back into the shark tank and now he’s not here and he can’t provide for his family. And now he goes and books a gauntlet match like Roman can’t pick his opponent, like he hasn’t carried this company for years, like he’s inadequate at his job.

Adam begs off and says he’s just trying to put the best challenger in front of Roman, and the Big Dog mockingly asks for a round of applause for his great effort. He asks Pearce why he doesn’t just put himself in the match, and he says it’d be a conflict of interest. This leads Roman to say it sounds like Adam thinks he’s stupid, like he’s a fool.

Pearce begs off and Reigns says it must be that Adam’s stupid. When that doesn’t land, he asks if it’s that Vince McMahon is stupid. When he says he didn’t say that, Roman says he most certainly has to be saying that he, in fact, is stupid, and that’s where the problem lies. If he thinks he’s stupid, then he’s insulting him, he doesn’t respect him, or his family, and when people around here don’t respect his family, there’s consequences.

He grabs Adam by the lapels and backs him into the corner, but stops himself and fixes his blazer before taking a step back. Roman smiles and says it must be his mistake, maybe nobody in this ring is stupid and maybe right now, Pearce is perfectly safe. He slaps Adam on the shoulder and takes his leave to send us to break.

Apollo Crews vs. Big E (c) (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Crews in with a dropkick, a pump kick... NOPE! Up top, nobody home, E with a back elbow! To the apron, Big Splash connects! Back inside, back suplex, Apollo lands on his feet and lands a roundhouse kick. Charging forearms, shoulder thrusts in the corner, Stinger Splash, rolling German suplexes, the full trifecta... SO CLOSE! Out and back in, another cover for two, headed up top and jockeying for position... CREWS HITS A SUPERPLEX BUT E COUNTERS. DOUBLE PIN?! I THINK IT’S A DOUBLE PIN!

Big E chats with referee Dan Engler while Crews celebrates and we go to break awaiting a decision.

Back from commercial, we see a replay and referee Dan Engler makes his announcement...

The match goes to a double pinfall draw and Big E retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Crews refuses to accept the result and jaws at E, eventually slapping him. Big calls for the bell and we get another match!

Apollo Crews vs. Big E (c) (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Big lays him out, big splash, but E runs into a knee! Crews off the top... FROG SPLASH CAN’T PUT BIG E AWAY! Jockeying for position, Irish Whip, Apollo with a schoolboy for two. Pump kick into a spinebuster, standing moonsault... STILL NO! Big transitions a schoolboy into the Stretch Muffler but Crews kicks him away! Big Ending denied, enzuigiri connects, back suplex lift countered into a flying mare!

Corner Rock Bottom from the champion, he hoists Crews up...

Big E wins by pinfall with the Big Ending to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce is backstage talking to someone on the phone about his Roman Reigns problem when Sonya Deville rolls up.

Adam asks why she took the job assisting him and she says she’s not proud of what she’s done or said and she wants to put the past behind her. She’s not bitter about losing a match to her best friend who then went to Raw and joined a random new tag team, but she wants to learn and to help Pearce. Especially, she says, because he’s in a match tonight.

Pearce hits the brakes and says he hasn’t had a match in over six years and he’s not coming back tonight, but we go to break on commentary speculating whether or not he’ll be in the match.

Back from commercial, Bianca Belair is interviewed, having declared herself for the Royal Rumble.

Before she can answer any questions, Bayley rolls up to taunt her about not eliminating her last year, since she was too busy adding to her historic championship reign. But this year she’s going to be in the match and she’s going to win it. She tells Belair that even if she somehow wins, she’ll squander it, and Bianca tells her that she just squandered her reign, so...

Street Profits make their entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial we get some hype for Sasha Banks being named the #1 superstar of 2020 by Sports Illustrated.

Backstage, Carmella and her sommelier Reginald are hanging out and drinking.

She cuts a promo about beating Sasha and commending her on her hustle, but mostly about beating her.

Dirty Dawgs (Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode) vs. Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (c) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

Dawkins and Ziggler to start, champion in control as they feel each other out. Tag to Ford, but his injured leg allows Dolph to get away and the heels have control now. They end up knocked to the floor, Montez with a tope con giro but his knee gives out on him! He can’t stand, Dawkins and referee Jessika Carr check on him and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Dawkins is legal and stomping away on Roode while Ford stands awkwardly at ringside. Straight suplex, exploder suplex, spinning Stinger Splash sets up the one-handed bulldog, only two! Tag to Ziggler, off the ropes, dropkick, cover for two, tearing at Angelo’s eyes, Robert with a cheap shot while referee Jessika Carr is busy!

Heat segment rolls on, working Dawkins over as Ford gets back up on the apron, but he’s hurting too bad to get in and make the save. Whip, sidestep, Ziggler crotched, he throws Roode through the ropes, the path is clear and Dawkins is crawling, reaching, but Robert pulls Montez off the apron! Ford fired up, he hops up the steps, Ziggler tries to block the tag but Angelo kicks him off and makes the tag!

Montez in hot, lariats, a series of kicks with the good leg, big chop, back body drop to Roode! Duck a lariat, back suplex, Dolph lands on his feet but Ford drops him with a discus lariat... NOPE! Jockeying for position in the corner, Ziggler drops him with an avalanche X-Factor... NOT ENOUGH! The match breaks down, Dawkins sends Roode to the floor, Ford crawls, sunset flip, no dice!

Dolph with a shot to the bad leg, tag made, Perfect-Plex from Roo... MONTEZ FORD FOUND THE WILL TO KICK OUT! Double-team...

The Dirty Dawgs win by pinfall with a spinebuster / Zig Zag combination on Montez Ford, winning the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.

Five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce is backstage chatting with Sonya Deville as to where the tag title scene goes from here when Paul Heyman rolls up and Deville leaves.

Adam asks him to save it if this is about the gauntlet match, and Heyman says he likes him and he doesn’t want to be hostile, shaking his hand. He says he holds Pearce in the greatest respect and admiration and asks how many people understand how they both got here, and who understands the legend of “Scrap Daddy” Adam Pearce, and wonders what it would have been like if he had been managed by Paul E. Dangerously.

But he didn’t work to get to this job, he wanted to be THE Champion in WWE, and Reigns asked him to pull the right strings, and he’ll cut to the chase— Pearce is in the gauntlet match! He’s happy for and proud of him, and we go to break.

Backstage, the Riott Squad are hanging out when Billie Kay rolls up to ask to join.

They turn her down and she sobs about how 2021 was supposed to be better but it’s not, and she leaves them with a copy of her resume.

Five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce vs. King Baron Corbin vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Gauntlet Match)

Rey Mysterio and Sami Zayn to start the match.

Sami demands a moment on mic to speak his peace, and he has a camera crew of his own with him. He rambles about a conspiracy arrayed against him before proclaiming that he remains the champion of the people.

He gets in the ring, we get a bell, dropkick puts him on the second, 619, Mysterio up top...

Rey Mysterio eliminates Sami Zayn by pinfall with a frog splash.

Shinsuke Nakamura is out third, but we go to break before the match resumes.

Back from commercial, Nakamura and Mysterio circling, collar and elbow, side headlock from the King of Strong Style. Shot off, drop down, shoulder block, drawing him up, scoop, slip out, O’Connor roll blocked, sunset flip, roll through, buzzsaw roundhouse from Rey for two! Knees, whip across, Frankensteiner sends Shinsuke to the floor where he traps Mysterio on the apron for a knee lift!

Roll out from under the guillotine knee drop, low suicide dive into a sunset flip but Nakamura rolls through... KINSHASA ON THE FLOOR! Back inside, Rey kicks out! Choking Mysterio in the corner, running single leg drop kick, another cover for two. Knee drop, another nearfall, chest kicks, setting Rey up top, climbing after him, jockeying for position and Mysterio hits the diving seated senton!

Wheelbarrow victory roll, only two, back body drop puts Rey on the apron and Nakamura staggers him with a kick. To the corner, blocked, headbutt, slingshot, Shinsuke catches him and goes for a powerbomb but it gets reversed to a Frankensteiner! 619 connects, Mysterio goes up top, knees up on the frog splash! Armbar applied, breaking Rey’s grip...

Shinsuke Nakamura eliminates Rey Mysterio by submission with a cross armbar.

King Baron Corbin is out next, immediately attacking Nakamura and chokeslamming Rey to boot as we go to break.

Back from commercial, Corbin in control with overhead elbows, trading shots, punches in the corner from Baron. Corner to corner, more body blows, but Nakamura sidesteps and Corbin takes the post hard! To the floor, diving axehandle, Baron catches him and rams him into the post! Back inside, cover for two, pressing the attack, Shinsuke floats over a suplex and lands the single-leg dropkick!

Leg and chest kicks, enzuigiri connects, lying in wait but Baron catches him with Deep Six... SO CLOSE! Triangle choke applied, deadlift counter... POWERBOMB! Out and back in, Nakamura catches him...

Shinsuke Nakamura eliminates Baron Corbin by pinfall with Kinshasa.

Daniel Bryan is up next and we go to break.

Bryan right in, dropkicks, uppercuts, leg kicks, whip across, back body drop scouted! Dan sends Nakamura through the ropes, suicide dive lands true and he throws Shinsuke back inside! Headed up top, Nakamura cuts him off with a single leg dropkick and hits the inverted exploder suplex! Half crab applied, shifting gears to an ankle lock, a high-angle bridging German suplex... NOPE!

Chest kicks, duck the buzzsaw, cross armbar but Bryan keeps his hands clasped and rolls into an armbar of his own! Shifting gears, LeBell Lock applied, then into a Rings of Saturn! Nakamura gets a foot on the ropes! Clubbing blows, shoulder armbreakers in the corner, up top and jockeying for position, Bryan slips and Shinsuke hits a kick for two!

Falling knees from the King of Strong Style, both men back up and trading kicks, the American Dragon punching his way into the corner, chest kicks, the buzzsaw connects! Running corner dropkicks, Nakamura comes out of nowhere...

Shinsuke Nakamura eliminates Daniel Bryan by pinfall with Kinshasa.

Bryan pulls Nakamura up and offers a handshake to his old roommate.

Roman Reigns makes his entrance, flanked by Jey Uso and Paul Heyman as usual, and we go to break before five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce makes his entrance as the final competitor in the gauntlet match.

Back from commercial, not much has changed since we left, with Roman still staring at Shinsuke.

Five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce makes his entrance, wearing a WWE tracksuit in lieu of gear. Always bring your gear, kids! You never know.

Before he enters the ring and the bell sounds, Jey Uso gets in the ring and jaws at Shinsuke before hammering him with elbows! Reigns joins the fun, superkick into a Superman Punch into a diving splash, Roman orders Pearce into the ring and Jey superkicks him as well! Reigns calls for the bell and orders Jey to drag Adam over for the cover.

Referee Ryan Tran is reluctant to count the pin but gives in to Roman’s demand...

Five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce wins, last eliminating Shinsuke Nakamura with a lateral press to become #1 contender to the WWE Universal Championship.

Reigns holds the title high as Pearce wakes up and realizes what’s happened.

That’s the show, folks.

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