Kevin Owens doesn’t need a helping hand. Owens laid out The Bloodline en masse on WWE SmackDown prior to his undisputed WWE Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
Friday’s episode of SmackDown addressed both the strained relationship between Sami Zayn and Reigns and Reigns vs. Owens. The turbulent chemistry between the members of The Bloodline continues to distract the faction from the very real threat posed by Owens.
SmackDown also started and ended the opening round of a tournament to crown the #1 contender for the undisputed tag team championships currently being held by the Usos. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus, Imperium, Brawling Brutes, Legado Del Fantasma and Viking Raiders were among the tandems involved.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of the action from Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.
Owens stuns The Bloodline, Zayn and Reigns feel tense
SmackDown opened when The Bloodline arrived in the arena parking lot. Zayn was in a good mood and messed around with the Usos before Reigns fended off a fist bump.
Zayn requested an audience with Reigns later that evening. Reigns asked for honesty and Zayn expressed how he felt offended by The Bloodline last week. Zayn had been tasked with defeating Owens and was about to do so when the Usos and Solo Sikoa intervened. For a split second, Zayn wondered if Owens was right about The Bloodline using him. This set reigns supreme. The undisputed champion was upset that Zayn was executing his game plan. Reigns told Zayn to leave the dressing room and suggested that it was time for Zayn to stop using The Bloodline and go back to Owens.
In the second half of the program, Heyman calmed down a seething Reigns. The Special Counsel asked Reigns to check Zayn’s worth on The Bloodline before a match against Zayn’s estranged best friend. Heyman later approached Zayn and informed him that Reigns wanted to speak to the Honorary Uce.
Reigns apologized to Zayn for his outburst and credited Heyman with catching up to him. Reigns understood that Zayn just wanted a clear line of communication. Reigns pointed out that they are both perfectionists. Reigns said it was his mistake to expect the same love from The Bloodline that he has for the family. Zayn assured him that The Bloodline loves Reigns and that Zayn will always put the group first. Reigns has asked Zayn to finalize all the details of The Bloodline’s departure so they can leave once Owens is signed to wrestle.
Reigns sat comfortably at the negotiating table on the closing segment of SmackDown. Owens sneaked up on The Bloodline, dropped Solo Sikoa and placed Reigns with a stunner. Owens sidelined the Usos and blasted Reigns through the table with a pop-up powerbomb. Owens signed the contract and confronted Zayn before fleeing into the crowd.
The Bloodline, Zayn and Owens continue to deliver some of the most compelling pro wrestling television shows in quite some time. Initially, members of The Bloodline feared that Zayn would sneak into the group. It is now becoming apparent that while Zayn is fully committed to his adoptive family, Reigns is manipulating his pawn. Owens – for his part – was presented as a tough challenger to Reigns and this week brought out the best of everyone in “Stone Cold” Steve Austin fashion. Rating: A+
What else happened on WWE SmackDown?
- Drew McIntyre and Sheamus defeated. Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) via pinfall after Sheamus delivered a brogue kick to Ivar. McIntyre and Sheamus advance to the second round of a tournament to crown the #1 contender for the tag team titles.
- LA Knight defeated. Greg Jones on Pinfall after landing a Snapmare driver.
- Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Funhouse returned when he provoked Knight before their match in Pitch Black at the Royal Rumble. Uncle Howdy was also featured.
- Hit Row (Top Dolla and Ashante Adonis) def. Los Lotharios (Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo) via pinfall after Adonis rolled up Carrillo with the help of B-Fab. Hit Row reached Round 2 of the Tag Team Tournament.
- Braun Strowman announced his participation in the Men’s Royal Rumble Game.
- Sonya Deville caught Charlotte Flair by surprise in a verbal confrontation.
- Lacey Evans showed off the Cobra Clutch in a military-themed vignette.
- Empire (Emperor Ludwig and Giovanni Vinci) def. Brawling Brutes (Butch and Ridge Holland) via Pinfall after hitting the empire bomb to Holland. Kaiser also hit Butch with a brainbuster to the outside. Imperium continues in Round 2 of the Tag Tournament.
- Legado Del Fantasma (Cruz del Toro and Joaquin Model) def. Maximum male models (Mace and Mansoor) via pinfall after hitting an enzuigiri and lateral Russian leg sweep combination against Mansoor.