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SmackDown Results – January 1st 2021

Match graphic for Big E vs King Corbin on SmackDown - SmackDown results thumb

Keep up with all of tonight’s WWE SmackDown results as the show emanates from the WWE ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida with four weeks to go till Royal Rumble!

Check out the results from last week’s SmackDown!

The results from this week’s show were as follows:

  • Big E defeated King Corbin via Disqualification (2:50)
  • Big E & Apollo Crews defeated King Corbin & Sami Zayn via Pinfall (5:10)
  • The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan) defeated Tamina & Natalya via Pinfall (2:25)
  • Bayley & Carmella defeated Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair via Pinfall (10:00)
  • Daniel Bryan & Otis defeated Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura via Submission (10:00)
  • Kevin Owens defeated Jey Uso via Pinfall

Roman Reigns Praises Jey Uso, Kevin Owens Interrupts & Challenges Jey Uso

  • We see a recap of last week’s Steel Cage match as well as Reigns & Owens’ encounter at TLC. Reigns makes his way to the ring with Heyman & Uso.
  • Roman sarcastically wishes us a happy new year. He calls Heyman “the most genuine, honest man he’s ever worked with” and praised Uso for finally listening and acknowledging him before Kevin Owens interrupted.
  • Reigns says Owens is like “a roach that won’t die” and that it isn’t Owens’ time anymore. Owens says that Roman should be embarrassed Uso’s had to help him so much and that he’s not here for Reigns, he’s here for a fight with Jey.
  • Owens says Reigns’ family will have nothing to celebrate tonight before leaving.

Analysis: A decent opening segment that did a good job revealing Owens vs Uso tonight. Of course Owens would want revenge against Uso as he’s the one who’s been interfering in his matches against Roman though I suspect we’ll get more build throughout the night. If we’re getting a full-on Uso vs Owens program, I’m all in as the one Jey had with Bryan was fantastic!

Big E defeats King Corbin via Disqualification in 2:50, Big E & Apollo Crews defeat King Corbin & Sami Zayn via Pinfall in 5:10

  • Before Big E’s entrance, we see a recap of him winning the Intercontinental Championship from Zayn last week.
  • Zayn joins commentary for the match and questions Big E’s victory last week throughout the match.
  • Big E matches power with Corbin before Corbin gains control by throwing the champion into the corner post.
  • Big E manages to hit the Big Ending very suddenly and almost gets the three count before Zayn interferes to cause a disqualification. Apollo Crews makes the save and throws Zayn out onto Corbin & Knights of the Lone Wolf before we cut to commercial.
  • We cut back to the tag match being made: Big E & Crews vs Corbin & Zayn. Corbin dominates over Crews whilst Zayn occasionally tags in, all the while keeping Crews isolated from Big E.
  • Corbin throws Crews to the outside, allowing Knights of the Lone Wolf to attack Crews behind the referee’s back. Zayn tags himself in and tries to get the Knights to attack, but they iterate they only listen to Corbin.
  • In the confusion, Crews hits a powerslam on Zayn and both men tag in. Big E delivers multiple belly to belly suplexes before hitting the Big Splash. Big E tries for the Big Ending but Corbin counters into the Deep Six but Big E kicks out.
  • Corbin attempts to tag out but Zayn is too busy arguing with the Knights. Crews does some damage and Zayn tags himself in again. He tries for a Helluva Kick and nearly hits Corbin and the two argue, eventually leading Corbin to walk out on Zayn.
  • Apollo hits a step-up enziguri before hitting the spin sit-out powerbomb to pick up the win!
  • Backstage, we see Big E and Apollo talking backstage before Kayley Braxton interrupts and asks Big E what to expect from him as champion this year.
  • Big E says he’s had “little Amandas and Nolans” coming up to him as champion before Apollo lays his claim to challenge for the title next week.

Analysis: Good little match that gave Apollo his first big win in a while. I kinda wish we’d just gotten the straight singles match to give Big E his first singles win as champion but he only just became champion so still plenty of time. Crews has never really had a proper story thanks to constant stop-start booking, so hopefully they actually keep with him this time. He’s great in-ring when given a proper shot and his match with Big E next week should be great.

The Riott Squad defeat Tamina & Natalya via Pinfall in 2:25

  • Billie Kay looked ready to face off against The Riott Squad for a third week in a row before introducing Tamina & Natalya, who she is instead managing against Riott & Morgan.
  • Tamina manages to overpower Liv & Ruby but Billie distracts her from ringside suddenly begins cheering Riott Squad.
  • Liv Morgan manages to counter a Samoan Drop attempt and picks up the win with an Alligator Roll. Kay celebrates, seemingly having switched allegiances but Riott Squad want NOTHING to do with her.

Analysis: If these segments were with anyone else, they’d flop but Kay makes these little segments and – despite how little time she gets weekly – is a constant highlight of the blue brand. I’m not a massive fan of how short these segments are and I hope they’re actually leading to something substantial rather than just a throwaway Women’s Rumble moment where Kay gets thrown out by Riott Squad or something similar. If this leads to Kay managing a thoroughly unconvinced Riott Squad though, I want ALL OF THAT.

Bayley & Carmella defeat Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair via Pinfall in 10:00, Sonya Deville Is Reinstated

  • Bayley & Belair start out and the two have a back and forth exchange before cutting to commercial.
  • We cut back to Banks finally getting her hands on Carmella, hitting a running knee for a near-fall.
  • In the closing moments, Carmella attempts the Bronco Buster but Banks counters into the Bank Statement before Reginald pulls Carmella out the ring. Sasha attempts to attack him but he dodges by backflipping off the apron onto his feet.
  • Carmella takes advantage of Sasha being stunned by Reginald’s athleticism, hitting a Floatover Facebuster to pick up the win for her team.
  • After the match, we see Sonya Deville walking through the backstage area as Cole announces she’s been reinstated.

Analysis: Great match and a super impressive showing from Reginald! Sasha & Carmella once again had a great exchange – It’s clear the two have great chemistry and I wouldn’t mind a SmackDown Women’s Title rematch at Royal Rumble if that’s the direction they’re going. I will say, I’m not a huge fan of Bianca Belair seemingly turning into just ‘Sasha’s babyface friend’ but there’s plenty of time for her to establish herself again prior to the Rumble. Very excited to see Sonya’s back, though I hope they give a proper explanation as to why she’s been reinstated next week.

The Street Profits Give Their 2021 Predictions, Roode & Ziggler Attack & Demand A Rematch

  • Montez introduces the Street Profits ‘New Year’s Smoke-Tacular’. He unveiling a drum set for Dawkins before predicting that the intercontinental champion shirt they gifted Sami Zayn last week will go on sale and become the best selling shirt on WWE Shop.
  • Ford also predicts that Dolph Ziggler will get the nickname ‘The Heartache Kid’ for being a Shawn Michaels rip-off before Ziggler & Roode assault the champions for their ridicule.
  • Afterwards, Kayla asks Ziggler what was the reason by their attack. Ziggler says that Street Profits have been mocking them for months and that HBK is not on his level.
  • The two demand a rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team titles this year and says they will not till they get it.

Analysis: Speaking of feuds that look like they’ll be continuing onto Royal Rumble, this is one I’m not so thrilled about. The Street Profits’ last encounter with Roode & Ziggler was perfectly fine though nothing particularly exciting and I can’t imagine this’ll be any more enthralling. I just hope Street Profits can move on to some more exciting opponents post-Royal Rumble.

Daniel Bryan & Otis defeat Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura via Submission in 10:00

  • We see Bryan, Otis & Gable practising hips in a ring before Cesaro & Shinsuke interrupt and mock the thought of Bryan winning the 2021 Men’s Rumble.
  • Bryan and Cesaro start out with some beautifully smooth technical wrestling before Nakamura tags in and focuses on Bryan’s back. Bryan attempts a Tope Suicida but Cesaro catches him and hits a Swiss Uppercut as we cut to commercial.
  • We cut back to Nakamura throwing Bryan to the outside before tagging in Cesaro who hits an elbow drop for a near-fall. The two continually tag in and out, isolating Bryan from his partner in their corner.
  • Bryan finally gets the hot tag to Otis after throwing Nakamura to the outside. Otis mounts a huge comeback before hitting the Caterpillar and Nakamura breaks up the subsequent pin attempt.
  • Otis misses the corner splash but counters Nakamura’s Kinshasa attempt before tagging in Bryan.
  • Bryan goes back and forth with Nakamura and Cesaro attempts to distract him. Bryan knocks him down before locking in the Lebell Lock on Nakamura to pick up the win.

Analysis: A pretty fun, if somewhat aimless match. I guess this is really to keep Bryan, Otis & Gable relevant for what I assume will be Rumble appearance for all three but I wish Bryan had more of a substantial story coming off his excellent feud with Jey Uso. Pairing him with Otis & Gable is a great idea though and will keep him fresh & entertaining over the next three weeks prior to Royal Rumble.

Kevin Owens defeats Jey Uso via Pinfall, Roman Reigns Throws Owens Off The ThunderDome

  • Earlier in the show, Owens begs Adam Pearce for a match with Uso who eventually concedes. Later, we see Roman, Jey & Heyman responding to the announcement of Jey vs Owens. Roman says the person who made that match doesn’t appreciate him and tells Heyman to find out who that was.
  • Before the main event, Heyman informs Roman that Adam Pearce made the match. Roman tells Jey that Pearce is trying to take everything they’ve worked for and to show him that he’s “main event Uso”.
  • Owens and Jey stare each other down as Jey makes his entrance before Owens taking down Uso to deliver some ground and pound. The two quickly move to ringside where Owens hits a clothesline into a senton.
  • Owens hits a second inside the ring for a near-fall. Owens focuses on Uso’s injured left leg with a series of stomps before shouting in Jey’s face that “the worst part is this isn’t even your fault”. Owens attempts the Stunner but Jey regains control with a Superkick.
  • Jey tries to launch himself into Owens on the outside but Owens hits a Superkick of his own before throwing Jey into the announce table as we cut to commercial.
  • We cut back to Uso attempting an Uso Splash, but Owens dodges before hitting a Stunner to pick up the win.
  • After the match, Owens handcuffs Uso to the top rope and beats up the Uso brother. Reigns no-shows and Owens drags a handcuffed Jey to some tables and tries for a Frog Splash, but Reigns finally appeared to attack his rival.
  • All three men brawled in the ThunderDome crowd before Roman threw Owens off the ThunderDome through the tables to close the show.

Analysis: Another excellent main event from Jey Uso and a great singles showing from Owens. Owens showed that he wasn’t afraid to get aggressive against Uso and if that’s what he’ll do to Reigns’ cousin, what’ll he do to the Universal Champion? The visual of the three men brawling between the ThunderDome screens was awesome and the show ended on a good cliffhanger of Roman taking out Owens by throwing him through the tables. I’ll probably be in the minority here, but I’d love to see Owens still show up next week – obviously hurt and injured from the fall – to show Reigns that no matter what he does, ‘The Prizefighter’ will keep getting back up.


And that was the January 1st 2021 episode of SmackDown!

Another really great episode from the blue brand! There was loads of set-up for stories heading into the Rumble, some good and some less good (*cough* Ziggler & Roode vs Street Profits *cough*) and a big return in the form of Sonya Deville!

My only critique is I wish they’d explained Sonya’s rather sudden reinstatement, given she did lose a Loser Leaves WWE match just over four months ago, though that I think that can understandably wait till next week.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest WWE news right here at Inside The Ropes.