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SmackDown Results – January 15th 2021

SmackDown results

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 two 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:

  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jey Uso via Pinfall (12:20)
  • Natalya defeated Liv Morgan via Pinfall (4:35)
  • King Corbin defeated Rey Mysterio via Pinfall (5:00)
  • Cesaro defeated Daniel Bryan via Pinfall (12:05)
  • Apollo Crews defeated Sami Zayn via Pinfall (3:20)

Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jey Uso via Pinfall in 12:20, Adam Pearce Signs For A No DQ Match

  • We see a recap of Pearce becoming #1 contender last week before we see Roman and Heyman looking at the match contract. Heyman says the match should have a stipulation that should put fear and respect into Pearce. Heyman suggests he’ll handle it and hand the contract to Pearce later.
  • After his entrance, Uso says Pearce better be careful before he says he isn’t just satisfied with SmackDown. He announces himself for the Royal Rumble and says he’ll win the match and challenge Drew McIntyre. Uso mocks Nakamura before he makes his entrance with his face theme. Nakamura taunts Jey by calling him “a little puppy” and takes him down with a forearm before we cut to commercial.
  • Nakamura gets an early 2-count with a knee drop before striking Jey in the head with various grounded knee strikes. Nakamura throws Jey to the outside as Cesaro makes his way ringside, seemingly to support his tag partner as we cut to commercial.
  • We cut back to Cesaro joining commentary as commentary reveal he’s facing Daniel Bryan later in the night. Cesaro announces his entry in the Men’s Royal Rumble as Nakamura builds momentum against Uso before hitting a sliding snap german suplex for a near-fall.
  • Uso regains control with a series of strikes before hitting a belly-to-back suplex into a neckbreaker for a 2-count. Uso tries to hit a splash in the corner but Nakamura dodges before hitting a middle-rope knee strike. Nakamura attempts the Kinshasa but Jey counters with a superkick.
  • Jey tries for the Uso Splash but Nakamura gets his knees up. Jey gets a 3-count with a pin whilst his feet are on the ropes but the ref waves it off. Nakamura rolls Jey through with a schoolboy before hitting the Kinshasa for the win.
  • After the match, we see Heyman confront Pearce and Deville backstage. Heyman explains that the match is now no disqualification which only benefits Pearce whilst also hitting on Sonya. Pearce sees through Heyman’s pitch but ultimately signs the contract regardless.
  • After a commercial break, we see Uso complaining to Charles Robinson backstage about his 3-count being reversed and threatens that Roman’ll get him fired before telling him to fix the decision.

Analysis: A great opening match to hook us in! The return of Nakamura’s original theme is a very welcome move and only solidifies my theory that Nakamura’s set for a big confrontation with Reigns down the line, maybe even at WrestleMania. Uso continues his streak of fantastic matches all the while teasing several confrontations within the Royal Rumble. I doubt this is the last we’ll see of Uso tonight, seeing as Cesaro has a match with Bryan.

Street Profits Set Their Sights On A Title Rematch, Natalya defeats Liv Morgan via Pinfall in 4:35

  • Kayla Braxton asks The Street Profits if it was wise for the two to put their titles on the line against Roode/Ziggler last week. Ford says they aren’t scared because they held the belts for over 300 days and to not defend the belts would be disrespectful to the legacy of the belts. The two announced their intention to challenge for the belts in the future.
  • Billie Kay accompanies Riott Squad to the ring with a new Punk-inspired look and joins commentary. Natalya maintains control over Liv early on before she eventually escapes via a sunset flip roll-up for a 2-count.
  • Morgan hits an enziguri and continual stomps in the corner before Natalya drives her into the bottom turnbuckle. Billie runs off commentary and tries to help Liv, but ends up distracting her after running into the ring to escape Tamina. This allowed Natalya to roll-up Liv for the win and the Riott Squad scowl at Billie afterwards.

Analysis: I’m glad The Street Profits are getting a title rematch and aren’t gonna simply be forgotten after their lengthy reign but, as much as I’m not a huge fan of Roode/Ziggler, I do feel like the champions should retain to freshen up the tag division a little bit. Billie, as always, was an absolute joy and I genuinely couldn’t stop laughing at her antics. Sure, this probably won’t lead to anything significant but I’m not too concerned when these segments are so fun.

King Corbin defeats Rey Mysterio via Pinfall in 5:00

  • Dominik is shown on commentary as the match gets underway. Rey takes control early after launching Corbin into the turnbuckle with a hurricanrana but Corbin retaliates with an irish whip into the opposite corner. Corbin hits a back suplex and gets a 1-count before taking Rey to the outside and hitting a clothesline on him in front of Dominik.
  • Corbin taunts Dominik before dragging Rey back into the ring for a near-fall. Corbin continues to taunt Dominik as Dominik says Rey asked him to stay out of the match. Rey attempts a 619 but Corbin counters into the Deep Six for a near-fall.
  • Corbin brings Rey to the outside again before punching Dominik which allows Rey to dropkick Corbin on the outside. Dominik rolls in the ring to try to retaliate but Rey tries to stop him. Corbin knocks both down before hitting the End of Days to pick up the win.
  • After the match, Dominik accuses Rey of backing down to Corbin and Rey retorts with Corbin’s accomplishments. Dominik wants to take care of Corbin and Rey says he knows just the person to talk to.

Analysis: I’m glad the focus of this feud seems to be on Dominik and Corbin rather than the full Mysterio family. Corbin could be a great first opponent for Dominik as he could take the lead in promos whilst also making Dominik look great in the ring, a strong suit of Corbin in the past. I am slightly concerned this’ll lead into Rey and Dominik vs Corbin and someone else but having Dominik on the show in any capacity is a good move regardless.

‘Ding, Dong, Hello!’ With Bianca Belair

  • Bayley introduces Belair and forces her to ring the doorbell of her giant door. Bayley slyly mocks Belair by reminding us she pinned her last month and Belair retorts that she’s the superior athlete. Bayley challenges her to put that to the test with an obstacle course.

Analysis: A pretty quick segment that didn’t really have much in substance but was really entertaining for what it did have. One of the concerns I had when Bayley broke up with Sasha is that she might lose her newfound confidence on the mic but this segment completely disproved that: Bayley lead this with ease. I’m not entirely sure about the obstacle course challenge but I think these two can certainly pull it off if it’s done in a similar style to this segment.

Cesaro defeats Daniel Bryan via Pinfall in 12:05

  • Before the match, we see Bryan working out with Otis and Chad Gable before Cesaro interrupts. Cesaro mocks Bryan’s workout and Bryan responds with a match challenge.
  • Both men start off aggressive with Cesaro locking in a headlock before Bryan retaliates with an arm wrench. Bryan continues working on Cesaro’s arm as the Swiss Superman takes him down with a slam before stomping on his back.
  • Bryan regains control via a monkey flip into the ropes before hitting a diving splash to the outside from the top. Bryan hits the Yes Kicks but ends up hitting the corner post after Cesaro dodges eventually dodges him as we cut to commercial.
  • We cut back to Cesaro stomping on Bryan’s weakened left leg but Bryan still manages to get some offence in via a few stiff strikes. Bryan hits a tilt-a-whirl slam before transitioning into the LeBell Lock but Cesaro overpowers Bryan before swinging him and locking in the Sharpshooter.
  • Bryan manages to counter back into the LeBell Lock, which Cesaro breaks via rope break, before taking Cesaro to the top rope. Cesaro manages to overpower Bryan and hit a twisting superplex for a near-fall.
  • Bryan manages to hit a stiff kick and goes for the running high knee but Cesaro counters with a European Uppercut before hitting the Neutralizer to pick up the win.

Analysis: A fantastic match that, interestingly, saw Bryan lose once again following his loss to Nakamura in the Gauntlet match last week. I could see Bryan feuding with Cesaro over the next few weeks or even taking a few losses to some more Rumble entrants before finally getting his comeuppance in the match on January 31st. I’m all for these pay-per-view-quality matches from Bryan every week!

Carmella Interview, Sasha Challenges Reginald

  • Kayla tries to ask a question but Carmella interrupts and says she hasn’t seen Sasha since TLC because she proved she’s better than her. Sasha appears to push Carmella over and Reginald gets between the two. Sasha says Carmella can get a title rematch so long as she can have a match with Reginald first.

Analysis: I’m glad Sasha and Carmella are getting representation on the show but I do wish they’d get slightly longer segments as all their appearances on TV over the last few weeks have been relatively minor backstage promos. Thankfully, it looks like that’ll change soon as Sasha will be facing Reginald prior to Carmella’s rematch at Royal Rumble. Judging by Reginald’s athleticism that he showed off a few weeks back, the two could potentially have a good back-and-forth but I imagine the match’ll be fairly similar to Becky Lynch’s encounters with James Ellsworth a few weeks ago: Sasha will easily dispatch Reginald before going on to do the same with Carmella at Royal Rumble.

Apollo Crews defeats Sami Zayn via Pinfall in 3:20

  • Big E is on commentary on a sofa whilst eating fruit. Apollo starts off strong but Zayn knocks him out the ring early. Apollo hits a moonsault off the announce table before throwing Sami back into the ring and heading to the top rope, which Zayn knocks him off.
  • Sami climbs to the top himself and hits an elbow drop on Crews’ head before getting three near-falls in a row. Zayn attempts another dive from the top but Crews counters with a german suplex before following up with an enziguri.
  • Crews attempts his standing moonsault but Zayn gets his knees up before transitioning into a roll-up which the referee waves off as he grabs Apollo’s tights. Crews rolls-up Zayn and grabs the tights himself behind the referee’s back to pick up the win.
  • Zayn complains to commentary that Crews had his tights held as Apollo stares down Big E over the Intercontinental Championship.

Analysis: Crews has been steadily improving over the last few weeks and his association with Reigns might will be the spark that can turn him into the fully-fledged endearing performer that he’s been on the cusp of being for so long now. Crews beat Zayn with a roll-up with assistance from grabbing the tights, a move seemingly inspired by his chat with Roman Reigns earlier in the night. Crews takes on Big E for the Intercontinental Championship again next week in what I imagine will be an unsuccessful challenge that leads to Crews’ complete heel turn and I, for one, am all for this fresh coat of paint character-wise for Crews.

Adam Pearce & Roman Reigns Sign Their Royal Rumble Contract, Kevin Owens Replaces Pearce

  • Earlier in the night, we see Apollo Crews taking advice from Roman Reigns backstage as Heyman gives Reigns the contract. Roman says he doesn’t want to do a No DQ and instead wants a Last Man Standing match and tells Paul to handle it in the ring.
  • Later, we see Heyman present the contract to Pearce again – citing that Roman agreed with Pearce’s concerns about the match being no DQ. Heyman pitches the Last Man Standing match and says Pearce can voice any concerns with Reigns face-to-face in the ring later.
  • Roman makes his entrance alongside Heyman and Uso before Pearce makes his own entrance and sits in the nicer chair, but Reigns takes it before taking the spot at the head of the signing table.
  • Pearce dejectedly signs the contract for a Last Man Standing match at Royal Rumble before Reigns does the same. Pearce says “I’ve waited all night for you to do that” before going to leave. As he walks up the ramp, he starts to limp and says that as per the contract, the card is subject to change if an injury occurs.
  • He introduces his replacement as Kevin Owens, who signs the contract to Reigns’ shock as the show goes off the air.

Analysis: A great twist to end the show that was expertly built up through the night. Pearce’s almost nonchalant attitude at Reigns and Heyman’s manipulation of the stipulation suggested that something was up and Owens returning to replace him was a good surprise. I am slightly disappointed we won’t get to see Reigns completely run through Pearce but he and Owens’ll have a great match instead. I’d like to see Roman and Owens’ feud end after the Rumble though so that Roman can start building up to his big WrestleMania match with there being so many options at the moment.


And that was the January 16th 2021 edition of SmackDown!

Another great show from the blue brand with loads of story progression and some killer matches. What more can you ask for? Cesaro vs Daniel Bryan has to be one of my favourite TV matches in a while, Billie Kay was endearing as always in her one-way alliance with The Riott Squad and Adam Pearce delivered a brilliant twist to get himself out of Roman Reigns’ trap at Royal Rumble.

My only gripes were that ‘Ding, Dong, Hello!’ could have been fleshed out a little more to make it a more substantial segment beyond reminding us that Bayley beat Bianca and that most of the matches had roll-up finishes but those aside, SmackDown this week was very entertaining once again!

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