Tonight’s SmackDown is the Royal Rumble Go Home show at the Sames Auto Arena in Laredo, Texas.
On the eve of his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match against Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens takes on The Bloodline’s Solo Sikoa tonight. Owens jumped over Sikoa last week and bombed Reigns through a table before a contract signing.
Reigns blamed Sami Zayn for the incident, which led to Sami Zayn’s trial on Monday’s Raw, where Reigns found Zayn not guilty for the time being. Reigns told Zayn he didn’t want to see him until Saturday for his final test to join The Bloodline.
The SmackDown Tag Team Championship contender’s tournament continues with the semifinals featuring Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. Hit Row and Imperium vs. Legado del Fantasma.
Karrion Kross meets Rey Mysterio tonight. Kross mocked Rey for his issues with Dominik Mysterio and put him in the Kross Jacket a few weeks ago.
Our live coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
– A fantastic video package summarized the tribal court of the trial of Sami Zayn.
– The Usos and Solo Sikoa arrived at the parking lot. As Jey was packing his bags, Sami approached Zayn in a hoodie. Jey told him he couldn’t be there. Zayn knows it and just wanted to thank Jey for defending him. He promised to help Jey in any way he could. Zayn put the hood back on and left. Zayn got a massive bang for his brief appearance.
Rey Mysterio def. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlet) (7:16)
Mysterio and Kross had a solid start. Mysterio looked great and this was Kross’ best match since joining SMackDown
Mysterio burned with a hurricanrana and headscissors. Kross absorbed the offense and rocked Mysterio with a clothesline. He continued to knock down Mysterio at ringside. However, Mysterio fought back and sent Kross into the ring post. He then hit a sliding sunset flip as they transitioned to a break.
Kross took over at the break and hit a backbreaker for a near fall. During the break, Mysterio attempted a suicide dive, but Kross caught him and slammed him onto the apron. Mysterio recovered and avoided Scarlet’s interference. Mysterio hit the 619 on his second try and a splash for a near fall.
Kross took over again and hit a northern light suplex. Kross rolled through, but Mysterio transformed into a crucifix for the win.
– They summed up Austin Theory by beating Bobby Lashley on Raw when Brock Lesnar returned.
Austin theory segment
Typical WWE segment with a bunch of wrestlers interrupting each other. The big news was the appearances of Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley. The surprise appearances made the segment much better than it was. Lesnar is taking part in tomorrow’s Royal Rumble match.
The theory announced “the champion is here” to begin the segment. He boasted about retaining the US title and now turns his attention to the Royal Rumble. New Day cut him off and noted that Theory is from a three-hour show, so he usually has time to fill in. SmackDown is an efficient show and they don’t waste time. Kingston and Woods promised to win the Rumble.
The music of The Miz started and he entered the ring. Miz taunted Theory and promised to win the rumble as well. Miz and Theory suddenly attacked New Day as Bobby Lashley’s music hit with a huge pop. Lashley ran down and cleared the ring.
Lashley noted that since Lesnar isn’t there, he takes it out on everyone in the rumble. Suddenly Brock Lesnar jumped over Lashley and hit the F-5. Lesnar then announced that he will be attending the Rumble tomorrow night. Michael Cole speculated that Lesnar could tie Steve Austin’s record.
Lacey Evans defeats Jazmin Allure (2:14)
The crowd was dead for Evan’s big return and the match. It was a squash match that dragged on.
Evans dominated Allure and knocked her out across the ring. The sole of her shoe fell, but Evans didn’t let that stop her. Allure hit a lucky break just before the fall. Evans recovered and met women’s rights. Even then, the Cobra clutch closed for victory.
After the match, Evans vowed to win the rumble and urged the fans to salute her.
– Kayla Braxton talked to Drew McIntyre and Sheamus. They praised each other and chose each other to win the Rumble match. They did the part where they hit each other, but it was starting to get serious. They later turned their attention to the semifinals.
– A video package summarized Cody Rhodes’ return to WWE, his injury and his forthcoming return to the Royal Rumble.
SmackDown Tag Team Tournament Semifinals: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. Hit Row (with B-Fab)
The Viking Raiders jumped at McIntyre and Sheamus as they moved in. The raiders brutally hit the man as officers ran outside to check on them.
McIntyre and Sheamus ran to the back during the break looking for the Viking Raiders.
Hit Row came to the ring expecting a win. Pearce announced that McIntyre and Sheamus had given up their places in the tournament. Pearce noted they had to earn their way to the final. Instead, Hit Row takes on a backup team, Braun Strowman and Ricochet.
SmackDown Tag Team Tournament Semifinals: Ricochet & Braun Strowman def. Hit Row (w/B-Fab) (5:54)
Not a bad game, but so much didn’t make sense. Curiously, McIntyre and Sheamus easily gave up their place in the tournament in search of The Viking Raiders.
Wade Barrett correctly pointed out that Pearce wouldn’t let Hit Row advance to the finals, but Strowman and Ricochet would get a semifinal berth. Cole told him to stop using logic and just have fun.
Cole kept mentioning Top Dolla’s botch from weeks ago. He’s obsessed.
Ricochet brings down Ashante “your” Adonis with a headscissor. He sent him to the ring and prepared a dive. However, Top Dolla intervened. Hit Row took over when B-Fab caused a distraction.
Hit Row took over and isolated Ricochet on their side of the ring. Ricochet fought back and Strowman got the hot tag. Strowman ran through and hit a splash in the corner. He sent Top Dolla to the ring. Ricochet dived and obliterated Top Dolla. Strowman then hit the monster bomb for the win.
Kayla Braxton spoke to Kevin Owens. Owens promises to right a wrong he did two years ago. He’ll take out as many members of the Bloodline as possible by tomorrow.
The Usos approached and they argued. Adam Pearce kicked the Usos out of the arena.
Back from the break, the Usos left the arena, but Jey presumably called Sami Zayn and asked a favor.
LA Knight-Bray Wyatt segment
The Wyatt Family’s music took off with a bang. Instead of Bray Wyatt, LA Knight came out dressed as Wyatt. There was a soft “LA Knight” chant. He got some cheers that got stronger. Fans chanted “Yeah” with him. Knight taunted Wyatt and told him to heed any advice Undertaker whispered to him on Monday.
Bray Wyatt appeared on the ramp with a loud bang. He told Knight to enjoy himself. He promised to beat Knight in Match Black tomorrow.
Uncle Howdy appeared in the crowd and waved his hands.
SmackDown Tag Team Tournament Semifinals: Imperium def. Legado Del Fantasma (w/Zelina Vega) (12:12)
So far this is the best match of the night. Imperium was great as always, but this was the best Legado Del Fantsama looked like since arriving on SmackDown. Both teams worked hard and in the end the fans were blown away.
Ludwig Kaiser worked over Joaquin Wilde’s arm. Wilde botched the escape but was able to free himself. Imperium took over by isolating Cruz Del Toro on their side of the ring. Ledago Del Fantasma recovered and started a comeback. They set up a double dive, but Imperium countered with a clothesline.
Back off the break, Kaiser caught Wilde with a suplex. Imperium cut Wilde off his corner. Wilde fought back with a DDT. Del Toro got the hot day and ran wild on his heels.
Del Toro dodged Kaiser and hit a rocket dropkick. Fantasma did a double suicide dive with a big bang. Del Torn then hit a hurricanrana off the top of the Giovanni Vinici. Wilde followed up with a splash for a near fall, but Kaiser canceled the pin attempt. Kaiser knocked out Del Toro.
The finish came when Vinci Wilde missed a press slam from the front. Vinici appeared to have seriously injured his knee but struggled through the pain. They hit the Empire Bomb for victory.
They showed a Royal Rumble video package.
– Charlotte Flair approached Adam Pearce in his office. She demanded a match with Deville and was ready to jeopardize the title. Pearce agreed.
Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa
Next week: Ricochet & Braun Strowman take on Imperium in the finals of the SmackDown Tag Team Tournament. Also, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair will defend her title against Sonya Deville.