SmackDown Results – January 8th 2021

Graphic for Big E vs Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship 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 three weeks to go till Royal Rumble!

Check out the results from last week’s SmackDown!

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

  • Big E (c) vs Apollo Crews ended in a Draw (the match was restarted)
  • Big E (c) defeated Apollo Crews via Pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship
  • Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeated The Street Profits (c) via Pinfall to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
  • Adam Pearce defeated Sami Zayn, Rey Mysterio, King Corbin, Daniel Bryan & Shinsuke Nakamura via Pinfall to become #1 Contender to the Universal Championship

Roman Reigns Addresses Adam Pearce For Sanctioning Uso vs Owens Last Week, Pearce Clarifies Sonya Deville’s Position

  • Reigns says he likes Owens and respects him despite how much of a pain he is. He says that he had to do what he had to do and blames Adam Pearce. He invites Adam to the ring.
  • When Pearce (eventually) gets in the ring, Roman forces him to watch a recap of last week’s main event and how Pearce sanctioned it. Roman asks what he has to say for himself.
  • Roman asks if he’ll take responsibility for throwing Owens “right back into the shark tank”. Pearce says he’s trying to put the best challengers in front of Roman.
  • Roman says that Pearce is calling him stupid, he doesn’t respect him and grabs him in anger before Heyman suggests he calm down. Reigns ends by saying that maybe Pearce is safe with a smile on his face.
  • Later in the show, we see Sonya Deville confront Pearce who explains that she’ll be working with Pearce and seems confused as to why Pearce isn’t booking himself in the Gauntlet match.

Analysis: An incredibly endearing, chilling promo from Reigns where he basically berated Pearce without raising his voice once. Reigns took total control of the exchange with Pearce and, for nearly 20 minutes, toiled with the official and put the blame of Owens being out on him. Roman almost had a cold mob boss-esque vibe and it’s incredibly endearing. Sonya coming back to work with Pearce rather than as in-ring competitor is a great way to explain her reinstatement.

Big E vs Apollo Crews ends in a Draw, Match is Restarted, Big E defeats Apollo Crews via Pinfall to retain the Intercontinental Championship

  • Neither man get an entrance, but Crews starts off incredibly fast. Hitting a kick before attempting a splash, which Big E dodges and hits a back elbow to take down the challenger.
  • Big E hits the apron splash but Crews regains control with a splash in the corner before hitting a trifecta of german suplexes for a near-fall. Crews hits a moonsault off the apron to the outside before throwing the champion back into the ring and follows up with a superplex.
  • Big E rolls up Crew and we got a double pin where Crews thought he’d won before cutting to commercials.
  • We cut back to the referee deciding it
  • Big E hits multiple belly-to-belly suplexes before attempting the Big Ending which Crews escapes. Big E attempts the diving spear but Crews escapes before hitting a frog splash for a near-fall.
  • Crews hits a series of strikes before hitting a spinebuster into a moonsault for a second near-fall. Big E locks in the Stretch Muffler but Crews fights out. Crews tries for the Spin-Out Powerbomb bit Big E escapes before hitting the corner urange and the Big Ending for the win.

Analysis: Really REALLY great match. I was slightly worried when I saw both men never really got their entrances but Crews went all-out from the get-go and we even had a tease of him having won the title with a double roll-up spot. Crews inciting Big E to bring out his aggressive side was great and suggests that maybe we’ll be getting heel Crews soon? Wouldn’t be against it!

Bayley and Bianca Belair Are Announced For The 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble

  • Bianca is about to be interviewed backstage before Bayley interrupts. Bayley brings up how she wasn’t in the Rumble last year as she was champion but Bianca reminds her she isn’t champion anymore.
  • Both women stare each other down as we’re told both will enter the Women’s Royal Rumble!

Analysis: Very happy both are in the women’s rumble, especially Belair after her dominant performance last year. Both these two could make for some great Rumble moments and are certainly good enough in-ring to help some of the potentially weaker competitors look better.

Carmella ‘Congratulates’ Sasha Banks On Her Sports Illustrated Ranking

  • Carmella sarcastically congratulates Sasha on being Sports Illustrated’s #1 top wrestler in the world before reminding us that she pinned Sasha last week and that it’s just a coincidence that Sasha won the award in the same year she took a hiatus.

Analysis: I’m glad they at least mentioned did something with the Sasha/Carmella feud in what’s turning out to be a pretty busy show. I’d like to see Carmella in the ring against someone other than Sasha heading leading up to the Rumble, even if it’s just enhancement talent, as I want to see more of her after her great showing against Sasha at TLC.

Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defeat The Street Profits via Pinfall to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships

  • The match quickly breaks down, with Ford and Dawkins hitting a double team manoeuvre on Ziggler for a near-fall before Ford tweaked his knee, allowing the challengers to gain control.
  • Roode beats down Ford in his corner, Ford starts to build up some steam with a flurry of offence but Roode kicks him in the knee. Ford manages to throw Roode & Ziggler to the outside before hitting a Tope Con Hiro. His knee gives out and he gets checked on as we go to commercial.
  • We come back to Dawkins going back-and-forth with Roode as we see Ford limping on the outside. Dawkins hits a t-bone suplex into a spinning corner splash and a running bulldog for a near-fall. Dawkins goes for the tag but thinks better of it after seeing Ford’s condition.
  • Ziggler tags in and raking Dawkins’ face. Ziggler distracts the ref as Roode hits Dawkins with a strike before Ziggler locks a Gator Roll. Roode tags back in and beats up Dawkins as he goes to tag in Ford. Ziggler tags back in a goes for a tag team manoeuvre but Dawkins takes both down.
  • He goes to tag in Ford but Roode takes him down. Ford throws Roode into the barricade before getting back on the apron and finally getting the tag. Ford takes down Ziggler with a spinning clothesline for a near-fall. Ziggler retaliates with a top-rope facebuster for a near-fall of his own.
  • Ziggler goes for the superkick but Ford hits one of his own and goes for a cover, which Roode breaks up but Dawkins throws him back out. Ziggler takes down Dawkins from the apron before Roode tags in and hits a Fisherman’s Suplex for a 2-count.
  • Roode attempts the Glorious DDT but Ford kicks out again. Roode & Ziggler hit a Spinebuster/Zig-Zag combination on Ford to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship!

Analysis: A surprisingly great match with an even more surprising result! Roode & Ziggler pick up a shock win and dethroned Street Profits, who have been tag team champions since March! Ford injured his knee which ultimately cost his team, though despite that he still managed to absorb a huge amount of offence from the challengers before finally succumbing to a Spinebuster/Zig-Zag combination. I’m not a massive fan of Roode and Ziggler as champions but they are a fresh breath of air after we’ve had Street Profits as champions for so long.

Billie Kay Sides With The Riott Squad

  • We see The Riott Squad talking backstage before Billie Kay interrupts. Billie offers her services to the duo after her efforts last week and when Ruby rejects her, she starts fake wailing opening. Liv says that it’s not that they don’t want her in which Billie takes as acceptance.

Analysis: I was hoping they’d go this direction as this could be a really fun little trio. Billie has been nailing the character stuff since debuting this new resume gimmick and Riott Squad have needed a little character to make them more interesting. I imagine this’ll really only lead to a Women’s Royal Rumble confrontation between the three but it could be a fun new dynamic if it catches on!

Adam Pearce defeats Sami Zayn, Rey Mysterio, King Corbin, Daniel Bryan & Shinsuke Nakamura via Pinfall to become #1 Contender to the Universal Championship

  • Earlier in the show, we see Heyman confront Pearce and Deville backstage. Heyman says he likes Pearce which is why he pulled a few strings for him and got him a spot in the #1 Contender’s Gauntlet match in the main event.
  • Zayn comes out with a mic and says he demanded a spot in the Gauntlet match. He then complains about being #1 in the match and how this is all a massive conspiracy. Zayn introduces his unbiased documentary crew who’ll document the conspiracy against him.
  • Mysterio hits a dropkick immediately into the 619 and a Frog Splash to beat Zayn in seconds. Shinsuke Nakamura enters #3 as we cut to commercial. We cut back to the match starting. It starts fairly even, but Nakamura gains control after hitting a Kinshasa on the outside for a near-fall.
  • Nakamura maintains control over Mysterio and eventually causes him to tap out to an armbar. Corbin enters #4 and takes down Nakamura and both the Mysterios as we cut back to commercial.
  • We cut back to Corbin and Nakamura exchanging blows mid-match. Corbin delivers multiple body shots on Nakamura in the corner but Nakamura regains control after side-stepping Corbin, causing him to go shoulder first into the post.
  • Corbin rolls to the outside and retaliates by catching Nakamura on the outside and driving him into the corner post. Corbin tries for a suplex by Nakamura escapes before hitting a single leg dropkick to regain control.
  • Nakamura hits several lethal kicks before hitting a middle rope Kinshasa for a near-fall. Nakamura tries for a full-on Kinshasa but Corbin hits the Deep Six for a close near-fall. Corbin tries for his outside in clothesline but Nakamura counters with the Kinshasa to eliminate him. Daniel Bryan is #5.
  • Bryan hits a dropkick right off the bat before hitting a Tope Suicida. Bryan goes to the top and goes for a splash but Nakamura counters with a single leg dropkick. Nakamura hits the reverse suplex and goes for the Kinshasa again but Bryan counters into a single leg boston crab.
  • Bryan transitions into an ankle lock and then a german suplex for a near-fall. Nakamura locks in the armbar but Bryan counters into the Lebell Lock but Nakamura breaks the hold by getting his foot on the rope.
  • Bryan continues to focus on Nakamura’s arm with a series of kicks before taking Nakamura to the top rope. Bryan tries for a hurricanrana but Nakamura holds on before hitting a middle rope Kinshasa for a near-fall.
  • Nakamura hits several strikes and goes for the armbar again but Bryan rolls it into a pin attempt for a near-fall. The two get into a striking contest that Bryan gets the better of with the Yes Kicks into the corner.
  • Bryan hits multiple single leg dropkicks into the corner but Nakamura hits the Kinshasa on the third attempt to eliminate Bryan. The two shake hands afterwards as your 6th and final entrant is Adam Pearce. Roman Reigns makes his way onto the ramp to watch.
  • Jey and Roman beat down Nakamura before Pearce can enter the ring. Roman throws Pearce in the ring and Jey superkicks him. Roman has the bell rung and Jey dragged Pearce onto Nakamura to make him pick up the win.

Analysis: An incredible Gauntlet match that gave Shinsuke Nakamura his best showing in YEARS. Hard to believe that it was only three weeks that Nakamura got beaten by Otis in three minutes because Nakamura had a shockingly dominant performance here that I imagine will lead to a face turn. After outlasting Rey Mysterio, King Corbin AND Daniel Bryan, Nakamura gets a Universal Championship opportunity stolen from him after Reigns and Uso guaranteed that Pearce won. I really, really hope they give Nakamura another proper shot because he was absolutely phenomenal (no pun intended) here.

Pearce winning was a potentially divise choice that I personally loved. What better way for the ‘Tribal Chief’ to remind Pearce that he runs the show by not only forcing Pearce to compete but also causing him to win, meaning Roman’ll have easy pickings of the WWE official at the Rumble. Roman is petty and I LOVE it.

And that was the December 8th 2021 episode of SmackDown.

A fantastic episode that featured two great title matches; some fun backstage promos with Bayley, Bianca, Riott Squad and Billie; and an incredible Gauntlet match that single-handedly rebuilt Shinsuke Nakamura as a singles star from the ground up. I only hope that WWE take advantage of the potential they’ve built within Nakamura now as I could honestly see him as a legitimate contender for Reigns now at either Elimination Chamber or even WrestleMania.

Keep up-to-date with all the fallout from this week’s episode of SmackDown, as well as all the latest WWE news in general, right here at Inside The Ropes.