Running slightly late here but the WWE SmackDown Recap is still at hand folks! We’ve got ourselves a big gauntlet match tonight to determine the No. 1 Contender to the WWE Universal Championship, and two title matches to boot. Jordan Huie aka The One Zeel One here, you’re at 1Z1ProWrestling.com and as always I’ll be with you throughout the night to give you the live play-by-play on the show as it airs! So watch this space for the WWE SmackDown Recap!
The show begins, as usual, with Roman Reigns and company slowly making their way out.
About four minutes later they’re in the ring with a piped in “You Suck” chant. Roman on the mic says there’s a lot of discussion about what they did to KO last week. Says he likes Kevin Owens. He’s a pain in the ass but he respects someone as ambitious as him. He’s so hard to keep down, like a cockroach. But he never wanted anything to happen to him.
Roman says he put him in a bad spot and he had to do what he had to do. Says he cares about him and everyone in the locker room, he’s putting food on everybodies’ table around here. Says now Owens doesn’t have the chance to work anymore. People call him the bad guy but if you want to point the finger, point it in the right direction; Adam Pearce. Tells Adam to get out here.
After much demanding from Heyman to officials, out Pearce comes. He asks Roman what he can do for him. Reigns asks him to watch a clip they’ve prepared. We see the end of Roman’s Cage match with Owens. This leads into the events of last week.
When it ends – 12 minutes into the show now by the way – Reigns asks what Pearce has to say for himself.
Adam asks what he wants him to say. Roman says he was done with Owens, they were moving on. But what happened? He came to a friend, Adam Pearce. Says you would think he’d care for his well-being and make the right choice. Tells him to check the stats and analytics, they do their job, what does Pearce do? He’s supposed to be managing the talent and making the right decisions and he threw Owens right back out into the deep end. And now he’s not here, now he can’t provide for his family. Says Pearce did this. He’s to blame.
Says Roman brought Adam back all the same, because he’s a good guy, to let him redeem himself. And what does he do, he books a gauntlet match? Says he should’ve let him pick his opponent after all these years. Pearce says he’s just trying to put forth the best challenger possible. Reigns suggests he’s gonna put himself in the gauntlet next. Asks if Pearce thinks he’s stupid. Maybe Pearce is stupid, is Vince McMahon stupid? Adam asks what he’s doing right now, never said anything of the sort.
Roman is doing some real mental gymnastics, if he’s not calling himself stupid or Vince stupid then he has to be saying Roman Reigns is stupid. Says he’s insulting him, which means he doesn’t respect him, which means he doesn’t respect his family. And that has consequences. Roman grabs Pearce by the collar. Pearce says he has total respect.
Reigns backs off and says “My mistake”. Maybe nobody in this ring is stupid. And maybe right now… right now, Pearce is perfectly safe. He gives him a pat on the shoulder and walks off.
After a break we now have an IC Title match where both entrances are skipped, cool.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Crews with an immediate dropkick, enziguri for a 2 count. Goes up top, E avoids his attack and hits a back elbow to drop him. Takes him out for the apron splash! Crews with an enziguri back in the ring, series of elbows. Shoulder thrusts in the corner. Stinger Splash, into a German Suplex and he holds on, second German Suplex aaaaaand… there’s the third! Nearfall. E rolls to the floor, Apollo leaps to the apron, Asai Moonsault!
Takes him into the ring, cover for 1. Crews takes Big E up top. Wants a Superplex. Nails it! But they do the patented post-Superplex leg curl that only ever results in a double pin and whaddya know, it’s a double pin. Crews thinks he’s won and E’s arguing with the official as we fade to commercial break.
WWE SmackDown Recap will resume when this match is inevitably restarted.
We come back and Crews is mad that Big E dares retain this way, E tries to explain he doesn’t make the rules. Slaps him across the face, E gives the ref the title and the bell rings. Big E with a big belly to belly, there’s the high running splash! Looks for the Big Ending, Crews escapes to the apron. Knee on the PPV Spear attempt – it ain’t a PPV so it’s chances weren’t great – Crews with a Springboard Splash for a nearfall! E tries to fight back but Crews counters a charge with a Spinebuster, Standing Moonsault for a nearfall!
E with the Stretch Muffler, Crews kicks him away. Big E tilt-a-whirls him into a Big Ending attempt but Apollo slips free, enziguri. Trying for his Spin-Out Powerbomb but E arm drags him away, Uranage out of the corner leads to the Big Ending for the win!
Winner: Big E
Good match. Dunno how much the booking achieved though it did atleast give them something different to lead into commercial with for once.
Adam Pearce meets Sonya Deville backstage. Apparently she’s like an assistant to him now. Pearce admits he’s surprised that she wanted the job. Sonya says she’s not bitter that her former best friend beat her in a loser leaves town match and left her career in shambles. She too suggests Pearce is going to put himself into the Gauntlet match but he says no, he hasn’t had a match in six years and doesn’t think he could beat a referee right now let alone Roman Reigns.
The next woman declaring for the Royal Rumble is Bianca Belair. Bayley rushes in and Bianca quickly reminds her that she eliminated eight people last year. Bayley says she wasn’t in because she was defending the championship.
Next up on the WWE SmackDown Recap…
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits (c) vs. Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
…After the tag champs have their entrance we instead come back from commercial with a Carmella promo. Yannow that really messes with my format here WWE, I wish you wouldn’t. ‘Mella continues framing the feud with Sasha as hard work vs raw talent. Says Sasha can’t touch her.
Anyway match starts, Dawkins and Ziggler begin. Ziggler with a side headlock. Dawkins reverses, Dolph shoots him off, Dawkins with a shoulder block. Dropkick for a 2 count. Tag to Ford. Double whip into a double shoulder tackle, Assisted Flip Splash for a 2 count. Ford favoring his knee. Dolph takes him to the heel corner as Roode tags in and they double team him. Roode takes him to the opposite corner but Ford fights back, battering him with rapid hammerfists.
Roode with a kick to the injured leg and he reels. Ford takes him to the apron on a charge, right hand drops him to the floor. Dolph gets taken to the apron too and knocked off. Ford with a Tope, tries to spring up but he falls flat.
Commercial break as the WWE SmackDown Recap continues.
We come back to see Dawkins with a comeback in progress, Overhead Belly To Bellies. Spinning Corner Clothesline into a Bulldog to Roode for a nearfall. Ford struggles his way to the apron. Dawkins contemplates a tag but thinks better of it. Heels take advantage, Dolph with a dropkick for a nearfall. Holds Dawkins down with a front facelock. Pulling him towards his corner to prevent a tag. Roode tags in and stomps his gut. Roode mocks Ford’s inured knee.
Dawkins avoids a charge from Dolph, deposits Roode to the floor. Tag to Ford! He’s an injured house of fire, Discus Lariato to Ziggler for a nearfall! Ford up top, Dolph stops him with an Avalanche X-Factor for a nearfall! Montez with a desperation superkick, Roode breaks up the pin. Ford deposits Roode, Dawkins wants the tag bad. Roode intercepts Dawkins, he knocks him away but Dolph knocks Dawkins to the floor. Ziggler rolls Ford up for a nearfall, dropkick to the leg, Roode tags in – Fisherman’s Suplex for a close nearfall!
Glorious DDT attempted, Ford escapes for an enziguri. Dolph tags in – Spinebuster/Zig Zag combo for the win!
Winners: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
They’ve been champs for nearly a year so I guess that they were due but I still didn’t really think Dolph and Roode were gonna win. Good match though.
Paul Heyman confronts Adam Pearce and talks about what a big star he’d have been if Paul E were managing him. Says this isn’t Pearce’s dream job, his dream job is to wrestle in WWE! Says his boss can pull the right strings. Pearce is now in the Gauntlet match! Paul says he has a chance to pursue the dream he’s had since he was a baby, courtesy of Roman Reigns. Personally and professionally he is happy for him and proud of him. Shakes his hand and says it’s a pleasure doing business.
That gauntlet match is next, here on the WWE SmackDown Recap. BUT FIRST Billie Kay wants Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan to let her into the Riott Squad. They say no. Kay starts sobbing about how nobody wants her on their side. Liv says it’s not that they don’t want her- Billie immediately perks up and says she knew they’d come around. Hands her the resume, which apparently includes ‘Mosh-Pitting’.
Gauntlet Match for a shot at the WWE Universal Championship
Rey Mysterio is entrant #1. Joining him at #2 is Sami Zayn.
Sami comes out with a mic, no doubt upset about drawing #2. Says he demanded that WWE management put him in the match when he heard about the gauntlet but wouldn’t you know it, he happens to start it, giving him the least probability of winning. Says this is all part of a massive conspiracy targeting Sami Zayn. He’s been saying it for months and no one will listen. He has a camera crew with him tonight.
Not the corporate stooges that operate the camera in WWE, they are unbiased documentarians to expose the conspiracy that cost him his Intercontinental Championship. When it all comes to light everyone will see he is still the rightful champion. He remains the champion of the people! Says he’s still about fighting injustice and it starts with Rey, he will beat every single competitor that comes out there because Sami Zayn is undeniable.
Rey with a dropkick sets Sami up for the 619, frog splash for the pin. Sami Zayn has been eliminated. Entrant #3: Shinsuke Nakamura. Nak with a kick drops Rey. Looks for a bodyslam, Rey slips behind him for an O’Connor Roll but Nakamura kicks out, Sunset Flip, rolled through, Rey with a round kick. Nakamura wants a whip, Rey reverses, rana sends Nak to the floor. Baseball Slide but Shinsuke catches him, spins him around for a knee to the face. Up on the apron for a big knee drop to the head, Rey tries for his sliding Sunset Flip but Nakamura rolls through, charging knee! Takes him into the ring, cover for a narrow nearfall!
Charging dropkick for a 2 count. Snapmare, knee drop for a 2 count. Shinsuke takes Rey up top for a superplex. Mysterio fends him off, headbutt drops him to the mat. West Coast Pop, hits two ropes for a Seated Senton! Wheelbarrow Victory Roll for a close nearfall! Rey with a back elbow from the corner, headbutt, leaps onto his shoulders, there’s a bit of a miscue but Nak tries to turn this into a suplex attempt, Rey counters and puts him in position – 619, up top for the splash but Shinsuke with the knees up! Cross Armbreaker for the submission! Wow! Rey Mysterio has been eliminated. Entrant #4 is King Corbin.
The WWE SmackDown Recap continues after the break.
Corbin has control, nails Nak with a clothesline for a nearfall. Corbin batters Nak into the corner. Shinsuke avoids a corner charge, takes him to the apron, Dragon Whip drops him to the floor. Wants a baseball slide but Corbin catches him and takes him into the barricade, into the ring for a cover for 2. Corbin with a Back Suplex for a 2 count. Shinsuke avoids a suplex, running dropkick takes him down. High kicks, Corbin blocks a kick but eats an enziguri!
Shinsuke avoids a corner charge, another roundhouse kick. Goes to the second rope, poses – RVD style Flying Karate Kick for a nearfall! Stalks for the Kinshasa – Corbin counters into the Deep Six for a close nearfall! Nakamura with a Triangle Choke as Corbin grabs him! But he powers him up and drives him down with a Powerbomb. Charges, is deposited, Ring Around The Ringpost attempted – Corbin runs right into the Kinshasa! Nakamura covers and King Corbin is eliminated! Entrant #5 is Daniel Bryan!
The match Nakamura came here for is finally happening!
They’re both smiling ear-to-ear as Daniel comes out, big Yes Chant leading int othe commercial break! WWE SmackDown Recap will return!! Back from break, Bryan with an immediate charging dropkick! Round kicks to the leg, whip, Nak with a boot off a back body drop! Bryan deposits him to the floor, Suicide Dive sends Nakamura into the announce table! Tosses him into the ring. Bryan up top, comes flying but Nakamura with a roundhouse kick out of the air!
Hooks him, Reverse Exploder lands! Nak tries the Kinshasa again but Bryan counters into a Lance Storm-esque Rolling Single Leg Boston Crab! Transition into an Ankle Lock! Pulls him up for the German Suplex into a nearfall! Yes Kicks ensue! Nak ducks a shot, rolls him through into a Cross Armbreaker! Bryan rolls through and reverses it, Nak clasping the fingers to prevent the pressure. So Daniel transitions right into the Yes Lock! Shinsuke is struggling. Bryan isolates an arm to prevent him from going to the rope, tries to block the leg too but Nak gets the foot on the bottom rope for the break!
Daniel pulls him up, shoulderbreaker. Yes Kick, takes him up again and into the corner, more shoulderbreakers. Round kick to the chest. Takes him up top, Super Rana but Nakamura holds on! Flying Knee off the second rope!! Cover for a close nearfall! Driving knees to the ribs! Poses, Buzzsaw Kick barely ducked, roundhouse kick barely ducked for Nak as well, Cross Armbreaker attempted, Bryan stacks him up for a narrow nearfall!
Leg kicks fired back and forth, Bryan with straight punches, round kicks to the chest! Roundhouse kick lands right to the head and Nak drops! Charging Dropkick lands HARD! And a second one, wild ones here! Nakamura with a Kinshasa outta nowhere to counter the third!! Cover – Daniel Bryan has been eliminated! Afterwards Bryan helps Nakamura up and they shake hands. Roman Reigns’ music hits. He comes to the stage and stares Nakamura down. We have one man remaining in the gauntlet as we go to commercial.
WWE SmackDown Recap will conclude when we come back!
Now we finally have the last entrant, Adam Pearce. He comes out slowly, uncertain of himself, in the best gear he could manage which is a tracksuit essentially. Jey Uso steps into the ring before he can though and attacks Shinsuke! Roman and Jey double team him. Jey with a Superkick, Roman with a Superman Punch. Jey with an Uso Splash.
Roman slides out and tells Pearce he does what he wants, this is his show. Tells him he employs him, and demands he do his job. Throws him into the ring. Pearce is caught between Roman and Jey. Jey drops him with a Superkick and Roman demands the bell ring. Uce pulls Pearce onto Shinsuke. They demand the ref make the count and he does.
Winner: Adam Pearce
Well this one was nothing if not unpredictable. And a pretty cool surprise to see Shinsuke Nakamura get such a big showing and also suddenly be a babyface again. Seems Pearce’s first real match in WWE since 1997 will be against Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. Aight then. That’s the show.