SMACKDOWN Update 01/01/21

Mark Freitas
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Friday, January 1, 2021

SmackDown Opening


We get a graphic tribute to Jon Huber before the show as we head into a recap of last Friday’s Main Event Steel Cage Match between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens.


We kick off our first SmackDown/WWE show in 2021 at the Thunderdome. The show kicks off with the Universal Champion Roman Reigns coming to the ring alongside Jey Uso and Paul Heyman.


Reigns starts off his promo by saying “as the face-off WWE happy new year”. He goes onto say that 2020 has been rough but when you’re the head of the table you make it work. He wears his gold glove because everything he touches turns to greatness. 


Reigns say Paul Heyman saved him. He then turns focus to Jey Uso and says that he is a prime example of what he can do. Reigns adds that this has been the best year in the career of Jey’s.


Reigns gives us a shoutout by saying he has had barnburner matches after barnburner matches because Jey has acknowledged him as his Tribal Chief.


As Roman continued to talk he would get interrupted by Kevin Owens. Roman says to cut Owen’s music. Roman says Owens is like a roach that won’t go away. Reigns said that he hopes Owens gave his kids and wife a good Christmas Reigns says that it is Jey Uso’s time now. Owens responds, by saying Reigns should be embarrassed because the fact that he’s standing here means that Reigns and his family failed to end his career.


Owens says the big dog is gone and has been replaced by the big b****. Owens says for tonight he doesn’t want anything to do with Roman, because he wants to fight Jey Uso.


Owens says he’s going to go to the back to get the match made for tonight and talk to whoever he needs to.


Big E vs. King Corbin 


Our first match of the night is the new Intercontinental Champion Big E taking on King Corbin. Big E had an armband on that said “Brodie” in honour of his friend.


King Corbin makes his entrance, and we are shown that Sami Zayn is on commentary for this match.


The match starts and both men tie each other up. Big E hits an elbow that takes Corbin down. Corbin finally gets an attack in by hitting a clothesline. He then delivers big elbow shots to the shoulder of Big E. He follows up with another elbow and big right-hand shots.


The match ended a couple of minutes after as Big E hit the big ending on Corbin and as he went for the pin, Sami Zayn broke it up. Zayn, Corbin and his knights Cutler and Wesley beatdown Big E but Apollo Crews came down to the ring and made the save, he took everyone out and we see Apollo getting hyped as we head to commercial.


Apollo Crews & Big E vs. King Corbin & Sami Zayn


We return from the break with a tag team match now going on. Corbin and Zayn get the advantage early on Crews using teamwork to takedown Crews. Zayn slowed the pace down on Crews for a bit, but Crews hit a big power slam. Crews and Zayn made tags to their partners, Big E came out flying and hit an impressive splash on Corbin.


Corbin would reverse Big E’s attack by hitting a deep-six. Zayn was arguing with Corbin’s Knight’s. Zayn and Corbin began to then argue with each other, and Corbin told his Knights to let’s go and they left Zayn alone. Crews took advantage and hit his spinout powerbomb and picked up the win for him and Big E.


Kevin Owens & Adam Pearce promo


We got backstage to KO asking Adam Pearce for a match against Jey Uso. Pearce says Owens can’t fight Uso, but he can pick anyone, Owens chooses Roman and Pearce says he can’t have that. Owens continues to pressure Pearce to get his match with Jey and Pearce finally agrees for the match to happen.


Apollo Crews & Big E backstage segment


Apollo Crews and Big E are walking backstage chatting about their victory. They then get interviewed and Big E says he’s going to be a fighting champion just like the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs giving a tribute there to Brodie Lee who was a big Leafs fan. Big E says next week he’ll be issuing an open challenge. Crews gets in a word and tells Big E he should consider him and reminds Big E that he helped him win the belt last week. 


It would be confirmed later on in the night that this match will happen next week.


Natalya & Tamina vs. The Riot Squad


Bille Kay came out and it looked like Tamina was going to be her partner again to take on The Riot Squad, but Natalya came out and it was announced that it was Tamina and Natalya taking on The Riot Squad.


This match was back and forth early with both teams. But in the Riot Squad got most of the offence in. Tamina and Liv Morgan were the legal women in the ring, and it looked like Tamina was going to hit a Samoan Drop on Morgan, but Billie Kay distracted Tamina and Liv took advantage and rolled up Tamina picking up the win. Not much happened in this match as it was just a filler match and we will most likely get the same match again next week.




Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair vs. Carmella & Bayley


Our match begins with Belair and Carmella starting the match. Belair got to work early, but Mella tagged in Bayley. Belair and Banks used teamwork on the outside taking out both ladies we head back into the ring where Banks who is now the legal woman goes for the pin, Bayley kicks out and we head to break.


We come back from break with Bayley in control on Belair now. Carmella gets tagged in and picks up were Bayley left off. Mella would tag back in Bayley. As Bayley got Belair in a headlock Belair countered and hit a suplex. Bayley tagged in Mella and she went back to the offence on Bianca as she was unable to tag in Banks. Carmella hit Banks off the apron and shortly after Banks got back up and Belair made the tag. 


Banks was on a roll as she hit a running knee on Mella. Belair was calling for a tag with her hair and Bayley grabbed it but Belair threw Bayley into the ring post and hit a suplex on the outside. But back in the ring Banks locked in the Bank statement, but Carmella’s Somalia grabbed Banks by the legs and dragged her off. The Somalia distracted Banks and Mella hit the Mella buster and got the win for her team.


Roman Reigns backstage segment


We go backstage to see Reigns, Uso and Heyman seeing that Jey Uso vs. Kevin Owens is official. An upset Reigns, that Adam Pearce made the match happen after what Roman has for the company. Romans tells Jey to go find him


SmackDown Superstar Return


Sonya Deville is seen walking backstage as she is attracting attention from other wrestlers as she is making her return.


Street Profits New Year’s Day Smoke-Tacular 


The Street Profits came out and Angelo Dawkins sends 2020 off, but Montez Ford says it wasn’t too bad as they won the SmackDown and Raw Tag Titles, plus winning two Slammy awards. They pull a blanket off with drums and they play a quick solo making fun of Dolph Ziggler saying that in 2021 he will be known as the heartache kid.


Ziggler and Robert Roode attack Dawkins and Ford, both men smash Ford’s leg in with a chair and we head too commercial.


Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode Promo


We come back from break Ziggler and Roode say they’re tired of all the jokes and that the fun and games are over. Ziggler and Roode are demanding another shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.


Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Daniel Bryan & Otis


We get our fourth tag team match this time Daniel Bryan and Otis taking on Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro. Bryan and Cesaro start the match and Bryan hit a nice suplex on Cesaro and this would cause Cesaro to tag in Shinsuke. Bryan worked on Nakamura for a bit but he tagged back in Cesaro Bryan knocked him to the outside and Bryan went for a dive, but Cesaro caught him and hit a flying uppercut as we head to break.


Back from the break and Nakamura was in control, he tags in Cesaro and slows the match down. I also wanted to point out that Cesaro and Bryan both wore armbands with “Brodie” written on them. 


Nakamura was tagged in again and delivered a hard kick to Bryan. Bryan tagged in Otis for the first time in this match and the big was on fire he took Cesaro out as Shinsuke also made a tag. Otis hit the caterpillar on Cesaro, but Nakamura broke the pin.


Cesaro was able to tag in Shinsuke as Otis missed a splash. Shortly after Otis tagged in Bryan and he and Nakamura went back and forth. Chaos ensued as all four men were in the ring. Nakamura went for a roll-up on Bryan after he hit Cesaro with the running knee. Bryan was able to counter the pin into the yes lock and get the victory via submission. 


Roman Reigns backstage promo


Paul Heyman tells Reigns that Adam Pearce made the match for tonight. Roman says Pearce doesn’t get it. Reigns tells Uso to go out there and show everyone why he is the main event Uso.


Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso


It’s now time for our first SmackDown main event of 2021. KO makes his entrance first followed by Jey Uso.


The bell rings and both men start to brawl at one another. KO begins to stomp away on Jey. KO then delivers a clothesline to Jey on the outside followed by a senton. Back in the ring, Owens hit another senton and then went to work on the left leg of Jey.


Jey tried to fight back, but Kevin took him down with a punch and went back to work on the knee of Jey. Jey got in with some punches and was able to hit a superkick on KO. Owens rolled out of the ring, and Uso tried to hit a diving attack, but Owens responded with a superkick of his own and tossed Jey over the announce desk as we go into our last commercial break.


Back from the break, both men were battling on the top rope, but nothing occurred from it as Jey went for a splash but missed and landed on his knee. Owens hit a stunner and surprisingly this was the end of the match and Owens got the win. After the match, Owens hit another stunner. He called Roman out to come to protect his family. Owens then got handcuffs and cuffed Uso to the ropes and beat him down. 


Owens kept calling out Roman as he continued to assault Jey. Owens then uncuffed Jey from the ropes only to handcuff both hands of Jey and beat him up the stage area and said he’ll bring Jey to him. Owens placed Jey on a table and climbed the setup where the LED screens are only for Roman to come and beatdown Owens. Jey got back in the mix and they attacked him with a chair. Owens tried to fight back Roman continued his attack and he threw KO off the set and through the tables. Reigns looked on as the show came to an end.


This was another good episode of SmackDown. As it started strong tonight, my one complaint was that there were too many tag team matches, but besides that, it was a good show. Roman and KO continue their feud going strong and it will be exciting to see what will happen next.