– The final WWE SmackDown before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view opens up with the standard video package for the blue brand.
– We’re live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas as Michael Cole welcomes us. The pyro goes off inside the arena. Cole is joined by Corey Graves, and they hype tonight’s go-home episode.
The Usos and Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin, Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler
We go right to the ring for tonight’s opener and out comes The Usos – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. Roman Reigns is out next. We get a look back at how Reigns defeated Robert Roode in a Tables Match last week, then got to pick the Falls Count Anywhere match for Sunday’s singles match at the Rumble with King Baron Corbin. Out next comes King Corbin, riding to the ring on his caravan. Roode and Dolph Ziggler are with him.
The bell rings as Ziggler starts off with Jey. Ziggler takes it to the corner and backs off but then rocks Uso in the mouth. Uso with a headlock now. Uso with a shoulder to drop Ziggler. Uso with a big chop. Jimmy tags in and they double team Ziggler. They drop double elbows and Jimmy covers for a 2 count. Roode tags in and they lock up. Uso takes Jimmy to the corner and beats him down. Roode stomps away as fans rally for Uso.
Jimmy fights out of the corner and then delivers chops back into the corner. Roode counters and sends Uso to the apron. He slips and falls to the floor. Ziggler follows up and charges to send Uso into the steel ring steps and post. The referee checks on Jimmy as the other Superstars come over to face off. Jey and the referee check on Jimmy now. Trainers come over to assist while they talk about Jimmy landing on the back of his head. Officials help Jimmy to his feet as the crowd claps. Cole plays up the seriousness of the situation as Jimmy is helped to the back. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and this is now a 2-on-3 Handicap Match. Jey ends up going at it with Ziggler and taking control. Jey with a big headbutt for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. Ziggler takes Jey to the corner and in comes Corbin. Corbin drops Uso and plays to the crowd for boos. Jey rocks Corbin a few times as fans pop.
Corbin slides under the bottom rope and right back in but Jey elbows him. Jey goes to the top but rolls through as Corbin moves. Corbin immediately catches Jey with a Deep Six for a close 2 count. Reigns enters and has words with Corbin. Jey gets sent to the floor as Corbin continues to taunt Reigns. Ziggler takes advantage with cheap shots to Jey on the outside. Roode tags in and rams Jey back into the apron. Roode brings it back in the ring and works Jey over. Roode with a neckbreaker in the middle of the ring for a 2 count. Roode drags Jey back to the corner and in comes Ziggler with a tag. Ziggler drops a big elbow for another close pin attempt. Corbin tags in and stomps while Ziggler holds Uso down. Corbin unloads on Jey with elbows to the chest. Roode tags back in as fans chant “Corbin sucks!” now. Jey gets sent to the corner but he knocks Corbin off to the floor.
Uso goes at it with Roode now and drops him with an enziguri for a big pop. Reigns waits for the tag and reaches out as fans rally. Corbin comes from behind and pulls Reigns off the apron, then sends him into the steel steps, then into the barrier. Corbin tosses Reigns over the barrier to the feet of fans in the front row. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Corbin brings Jey back into the ring, playing to the crowd and wasting time as they boo him. Reigns is still down at ringside. Jey counters a whip and sends Corbin into the ring post shoulder-first. Reigns finally returns to the apron to reach for the tag as Uso crawls. Reigns tags in and unloads on Ziggler as Corbin quickly tags out. Roode gets knocked off the apron. Reigns levels Ziggler as fans cheer him on. Reigns with clotheslines in the corner as fans count along with him. Reigns levels Ziggler with a big boot to the face. Reigns takes in the support from the crowd and calls to put Ziggler away as he gets up.
Roode distracts the referee, allowing Corbin to come from behind and grabs Reigns by the hair. Reigns fights free but turns around to a big superkick from Ziggler in the middle of the ring. Reigns still kicks out at 2. Fans chant for Reigns as Ziggler stalks him and talks trash. Ziggler tosses Reigns out to the floor. Roode and Corbin stomp away on Reigns while Ziggler keeps the referee distracted. Ziggler goes back out, taunting Reigns and yelling at him in front of the announce table. The referee counts but Ziggler brings the fight back in. Ziggler drops a big elbow and Reigns kicks out at 2.
Corbin tags in as Ziggler rakes at Reigns’ face. Corbin with a kick to the gut. Corbin with a knee to the gut and a big right hand to the face. Corbin stands tall as the boos get louder. Corbin mounts Reigns and unloads with strikes. Roode tags back in and shows off while Reigns is down. Roode calls for the Glorious DDT and waits for Reigns to get up. Roode kicks Reigns but Reigns counters and rolls him up for a 2 count. Reigns turns that into a big powerbomb for a close 2 count. Jey returns to the apron and rallies the crowd while Reigns and Ziggler are both down. Ziggler yanks Jey off the apron as Reigns goes for the tag. Ziggler launches Jey into the barrier twice, then tosses him over the announce table.
Corbin goes back to work on Reigns in the ring, beating him into the corner. Ziggler tags back in and hits a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Ziggler talks trash and waits for Reigns to get back up. Ziggler starts cranking up for the superkick now, mocking Reigns while he’s down. Ziggler goes for the kick but Reigns jumps up with a big Superman Punch. Jey is still down at the announce table. Jimmy comes limping down the ramp as fans pop.
Reigns tags Jimmy in and he unloads on Roode as he also comes in. Jimmy with a big Samoan Drop for Roode in the middle of the ring. Jimmy drops Corbin off the apron and nails a suicide dive, sending him into the announce table. Jimmy drops Roode and then Ziggler from the apron. Jimmy goes to the top and hits a crossbody on Roode but Corbin breaks the pin just in time. Jimmy blocks End of Days and slides out. Reigns follows right up with a Superman Punch to Corbin. Reigns beats Corbin around ringside now. Reigns beats Corbin over the barrier and into the crowd. Reigns grabs a trash can and slams Corbin with it as they fight through the crowd. Reigns with another big trash can to the head. Reigns chases Corbin to the back.
Jimmy goes to the top but Ziggler comes to the apron to try and stop him. Jey comes up from the announce table out of nowhere and takes Ziggler down off the apron. Roode tries to stop Jimmy but Jimmy counters and nails the big Uso splash for the pin to win in the middle of the ring.
Winners: The Usos and Roman Reigns
– After the match, The Usos celebrate as their music hits. We go to replays. Jimmy and Jey re-group at ringside while Graves and Cole deal with the announce table debris.
– The announcers show us how Kane helped Daniel Bryan lure WWE Universal Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt into an attack last week. Still to come, Bryan and Wyatt will sign the contract for their Strap Match at the Royal Rumble.
– We see Lacey Evans backstage doing a photo shoot. Cole will interview her tonight. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Corey Graves announces Roman Reigns and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day for next Tuesday’s special Super Bowl week edition of WWE Backstage on FS1, live from Miami.
– Graves leads us to a video package on the feud between Lacey Evans and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley.
– We go to the stage and Michael Cole is there with a microphone. Cole introduces Lacey Evans and out she comes to cheers from the crowd. Cole asks why Evans first questioned the leadership of Bayley and Sasha Banks to start the feud.
Evans says because they are bullies. She got tired of watching them do what they do, so she called them out as bullies. Cole asks about Evans having a rough upbringing. She gets emotional as she talks about her father losing his battle with addiction and depression. She goes on talking about being a role model for fans and showing them that they can make it. Fans cheer and Evans continues getting emotional. Cole brings up how she went into the Marines and she says that led to her being here in WWE. Cole says Evans will have to be a leader herself if she beats Bayley. She says she will be a leader that shows you can accomplish anything if you keep pushing, no matter what’s happened or where you’ve been. She will continue to set that example because that’s what the world needs, and she will be that champion. Cole brings up Evans’ daughter being a fighter and shows us a replay of what happened last month when Banks and Bayley taunted her daughter at ringside.
Evans says watching that makes her angry but she’s glad her daughter stood up to bullies. She talks about how fans didn’t see her daughter crying backstage. She had to explain about this being her job. She says Banks and Bayley stood in between she and her daughter when her daughter was trying to support her. Evans says she put Banks on the shelf and come Sunday, she will put Bayley… Bayley suddenly attacks from behind and drops Evans. Bayley yells at Evans, asking where is her daughter now. Officials pull Bayley away from Evans as Evans recovers and gets back to her feet.
– Kayla Braxton is backstage with Carmella and Dana Brooke, asking about the 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match. Carmella goes on about why she’s the favorite to win on Sunday. Brooke says we’ve already seen Carmella’s Wikipedia page and know what she’s done. Brooke goes on about how everyone has a chance in the Rumble. We hear someone fighting in the back and the camera cuts to Evans brawling with Bayley. Brooke and Carmella run over to break the fight up as do officials. We go to commercial as the brawl continues.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
Back from the break and out comes Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. We see highlights from Bliss’ win over Sonya Deville last week, which involved Otis and Mandy Rose distracting at ringside. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose are out next as Greg Hamilton does the introductions. Cole shows us footage from earlier today with Rose apologizing to Deville for what happened last week. Deville says it’s nothing, it’s stupid and she should not have asked Rose to get Otis involved.
The match begins but the backstage women’s brawl from before immediately spills out into the ring. The referee calls the match as the big brawl continues with Lacey Evans and Bayley in the ring. Officials try to break things up as Cole hypes Evans vs. Bayley at the Royal Rumble for the title.
– We see Elias backstage playing his guitar. Braun Strowman walks up and tells Elias it’s time to go to work. They walk off together and we go to commercial.
Elias and Braun Strowman vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
We go to the ring and Elias is out with his guitar. Elias talks about the Royal Rumble and asks who wants to walk with him. He starts performing his latest song. Elias introduces his partner and out comes Braun Strowman for the next match. Elias surprises Braun with plans for a duet but they’re interrupted. Out next comes Cesaro and WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura with Sami Zayn.
Elias starts off with Cesaro. Cesaro rocks him but Elias scoops him and drops him into the top turnbuckle. Elias with a clothesline. Elias focuses on the arm now and walks the top rope, nailing double knees. Elias ends up getting sent to the floor by Cesaro. Nakamura nails Elias on the outside. Braun comes running over and flattens Nakamura at ringside. Braun yells out as fans pop and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Elias fights off Cesaro in the ring and Nakamura on the apron. Nakamura gets knocked off. Elias drops Cesaro with a big mule kick but he also goes down. More back and forth now. Elias levels Nakamura as Nakamura charges in at him. Sami rallies for Nakamura but Braun gets the hot tag and unloads on Nakamura as fans pop. Cesaro also goes down. Braun with a big splash in the corner. Braun tosses Nakamura through the air and then clubs him in the chest.
Nakamura makes a comeback and comes off the second rope with a kick to bring Nakamura down. Cesaro tags in and they double team Braun, launching him into the ring post shoulder-first. Cesaro and Nakamura with more double team moves to Braun. Cesaro covers for a 2 count. Sami distracts from the apron. Elias takes advantage and drops Nakamura into the ring post. The chaos continues but Braun nails a powerslam to Cesaro in the middle of the ring. Elias tags in and hits the flying elbow drop from the top, covering Cesaro for the pin to win.
Winners: Elias and Braun Strowman
– After the match, Strowman and Elias stand tall together in the ring as Sami regroups his troops. We go to replays.
– We see how Daniel Bryan issued the challenge for the Strap Match stipulation last week. Bryan is shown backstage
– SmackDown Tag Team Champion Big E is backstage being oiled up by a strange man when Kofi Kingston walks up. Big E makes some joke about staying oiled up and using that as an advantage in the Royal Rumble Match. Big E mentions Kofi being in a match tonight and says after he does his thing, they will take the drive to Houston for the Rumble Match. Kofi talks about how they’re going into the Rumble with the Power of Positivity, and it doesn’t matter what numbers they draw. Big E says this year they’re doing it for Xavier Woods. They get hyped up as we go to commercial with Cole mentioning Kofi will face John Morrison tonight.
– We see what happened earlier with Roman Reigns and The Usos vs. King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. Kayla Braxton is backstage with Corbin now. He goes on and on about how bad he will beat Reigns in their Falls Count Anywhere match on Sunday. Corbin says Reigns won’t make it to the Rumble Match on Sunday, but he will, and he will go on to WrestleMania 36 to win the WWE Universal Title.
– Cole leads us to the annual “By The Numbers” video for the Royal Rumble.
Kofi Kingston vs. John Morrison
We go to the ring and out comes SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day – Kofi Kingston with Big E. The New Day tosses pancakes to the crowd as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a pre-recorded promo from Sheamus backstage. He sends a warning to Shorty G ahead of their match at the Royal Rumble on Sunday. The Celtic Warrior says he will finish what he started with G, and like a rat outta hell, G will be gone by the morning. We go back to the ring and out comes John Morrison with The Miz. Morrison does his signature entrance and they stop on the ramp. Miz takes the mic and knocks the crowd for booing Morrison during his in-ring return last week. Miz asks why they booed Morrison and wonders if it’s because he’s associated with Miz. Miz says he is the same and hasn’t changed, and you can see that when the second season of Miz & Mrs. premieres next Wednesday on the USA Network at 10pm ET. Miz goes on and announces their two spots for the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, also bragging about how Morrison beat Big E last week. Miz says it will be awesome when he or Morrison wins and goes on to WrestleMania. The music resumes as Morrison hits the ring.
The bell rings and they lock up. Morrison takes it to the corner and shoves Kofi as he backs up. Kofi shoves Morrison back. They go at it and avoid moves with counters. Kofi counters coming out of the corner. Morrison gets dropped on his face. Morrison counters a move and sends Kofi to the floor through the ropes. Morrison runs the ropes but ends up on the floor as Kofi watches. Kofi launches himself from the ring to the floor, taking Morrison down. Morrison comes back and drops Kofi on the floor, right in front of Miz. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Morrison has Kofi down. Kofi kicks him away. Morrison runs into a kick to the nose in the corner. Kofi rolls Morrison through but Morrison fires back with a big running knee to the mouth. Kofi dodges Starship Pain and Morrison lands hard. Fans try to rally for Kofi as he comes off the top. Kofi starts to mount more offense now. Morrison cuts Kofi off with a kick to the chest. Kofi runs up to the top and nails a big head scissors takedown to send Morrison flying. Kofi keeps control for another close 2 count in the middle of the ring.
Kofi catches Morrison with another kick to the face as Miz looks concerned at ringside. Kofi with a Boom Drop in the middle of the ring as fans cheer him on. Fans cheer “New Day rocks!” as Kofi goes for Trouble In Paradise, but Morrison levels him with a huge kick out of nowhere. Morrison takes Kofi to the top and they trade strikes. Kofi knocked Morrison off the top, almost hitting the referee. We get a cheap thumb to the eye. Morrison goes back to the top and hits a big Spanish Fly for a close 2 count. More back and forth now. Kofi nails a SOS for another close pin attempt as Miz yells out at ringside. Morrison drops Kofi and uses the second rope for leverage but Big E stops him to break the pin up.
Miz runs over and rocks Big E from the side. Big e chases Miz around the ring and to the apron. Kofi knocks Miz off the apron with Trouble In Paradise. Morrison runs over and drops Kofi with a shot to the back of the neck. Morrison goes back to the top and hits Starship Pain on Kofi for the pin to win.
Winner: John Morrison
– After the match, Morrison stands tall as the music hits. We go to commercial. Morrison assists Miz and they celebrate as the music plays.
– We see Daniel Bryan walking backstage for the main event segment. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Michael Cole is in the ring for a contract signing. Cole talks about the Strap Match at Sunday’s WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view, then introduces the challenger. Out comes Daniel Bryan to a big pop and a “Yes!” chant from the crowd. Bryan stands up and doesn’t take a seat. Cole then introduces the WWE Universal Champion Bray Wyatt. The Firefly Fun House music hits and Bray appears on the big screen. No sign of The Fiend.
Wyatt has a fax machine and is trying to send the contract to Bryan, but can’t get this “fancy thing” to work. We see the leather strap laying on the table next to the contract. Wyatt says this fax issue may be a blessing in disguise because why would Bryan ever strap himself to “him” as that’s insane. Wyatt jokes about calling customer service. Bryan interrupts and says he knows Wyatt is a sick man, but he needs to come and sign the contract. Wyatt says that’s not a nice thing to say and he’s not sick, he’s better than ever. Wyatt says his attorney, Mercy The Buzzard, has advised him to stay right where he’s at.
Bryan says he’s seen through Wyatt enough. Bryan goes on about how all Wyatt does is run from his problems. Bryan says he will be tied to The Fiend on Sunday and he will make him pay for his mistakes. Wyatt interrupts and says mistake is the word of the day. The kids in the Fun House all say “yay!” as Wyatt goes on about this being all part of Bryan’s big mistake. Wyatt says by the way, Bryan won’t be facing me, Wyatt, on Sunday. So it’s only fitting that “he” signs the contract. The lights start going out in the arena. The red light comes back up and we see The Fiend standing in the ring, the strap in one hand. Bryan is holding the other end.
They start brawling and Bryan charges but The Fiend immediately brings him down in the corner with the Mandible Claw. The Fiend screams out, then drops Bryan with Sister Abigail. Wyatt stands tall over Bryan and leaves him laid out. Wyatt has Bryan’s shirt ripped, and then starts whipping him over the back and the side with the strap. Bryan yells out. The Fiend poses over Bryan and then goes to the table to sit down and sign the contract. The Fiend grabs the pen and just stabs himself in the hand with it. The Fiend digs the ink pen into his palm and brings it back out, apparently to sign the contract in his own blood. Fans chant “You got issues!” now. The Fiend stands back over Bryan and poses. The lights go back out.
The lights come on and The Fiend is gone. We see the strap marks all over Bryan’s bare back. The contract is now laying on the mat in front of Bryan. We see The Fiend’s blood all over the paper as Cole sends us to replays of what just happened. Bryan sits up on his knees and starts to nod his head as a “Yes!” chant breaks out in the crowd. The Royal Rumble go-home edition of SmackDown on FOX goes off the air with an angry Bryan getting back to his feet.