Ahead of Friday night’s episode of SmackDown, three matches were booked. After teaming up against Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews and Big E found themselves squaring off in an Intercontinental Championship Match. The Street Profits put their Tag Team Championships on the line against the team of Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler (The Dirty Dawgz – [Who knows if that name will stick.]) Finally, SmackDown announced a Gauntlet Match to determine who would face Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Title at Royal Rumble. The participants included Sami Zayn, Rey Mysterio, Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan, and Baron Corbin. The main narrative thread woven throughout the show was the growing feud between Adam Pierce and Roman Reigns, so lets dive right in!
Roman Reigns/ Adam Pierce Feud
I loved that I hated this so much. Roman Reigns’ arrogance is on another level. I can’t say it enough; this is the perfect role for him. The perception for years was that Roman Reigns was the anointed one. He was untouchable. And now, he can bring all of that to his character as he called out Adam Pierce and heckled him for making last week‘s match between Kevin Owens and Jey Uso. Reigns then insinuated that Pierce thinks he’s stupid. There was a very tense moment in which Roman said (and I am paraphrasing), “maybe you don’t think I am stupid. And maybe, right here in this ring. Right now. You’re safe.” Reigns, Uso, and Heyman exited the ring and left Pierce visiblable shaken and a bit confused.
Later in the night, Heyman approached Pierce and informed him that he’s been added to the Gauntlet Match night to determine who will face Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble. It’s an exciting and unique twist to the GM role. The match ended when Reigns and Uso mugged both Nakamura and Pierce before the bell had rung. They draped an unconscious Pierce over an incapacitated Nakamura to secure the victory.
Last week, Sonya Deville was an honorable mention for merely walking through the backstage area. This week I am going to put her firmly at number two. During a backstage segment, Deville approached Pierce and thanked him for the “opportunity.” She said that she wants to put everything that happened last year between her and Mandy Rose in the past. This is an exciting chance for Deville. As of now, they haven’t exactly explained what Deville’s role is going to be. Whether she’s Pierce’s assistant, an intern, or SmackDown women’s GM hasn’t been determined yet. Only time will tell. However, I expect that a certain resume-wielding superstar may be upset that she has been overlooked for the position.
Billie Kay Makes the Riott Duo a Riott Squad
The one disappointing thing about tonight’s SmackDown was the lack of women being featured. However, that didn’t stop Kay from making the most of a brief backstage encounter with Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan. After explaining that she had been spending the week celebrating their shared victory over Natalya and Tamina, Kay suggested that she join the Riott and Morgan to make the Riott Squad a proper … well, squad. She assured them both that she could fit right in to their ‘punk’ group. After all, she had been listening to “Blink one-eight-two” and even added mosh-pit expert to her resume. I don’t think WWE has anyone else quite like Billie Kay on their roster. She continues to shine every time she gets on TV. I am excited to see where this leads, but WWE is smart to group these three talented women.
The second WWE SmackDown of the year is in the books. What were some of your favorite moments?
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