In fitting fashion SmackDown's top draw the Tribal Chief and his associate, Paul Heyman opened up the show after a recap of last week's events involving Reigns, Heyman, Adam Pearce, and Kevin Owens. A chorus of piped in you suck chants accompanied by the virtual fans for the most part giving thumbs down welcomed the Tribal Chief and the Universal Champion Reigns. Reigns started things off saying Owens would not appear on SmackDown and when he said it I took that as Owens is definitely showing up. Pearce got of their match at the Rumble because of a faked injury so Reigns then said he had a bunch of injuries, but the most devastating one was that his back hurts from years of carrying the WWE. Heel Reigns is fantastic, I never won't him to be a face ever again. Pearce then came out to stop what Reigns was doing but it backfired because Reigns just called him Owens bitch and threw a bunch of other insults at Pearce. Pearce was fine taking abuse from Reigns for some reason but when Heyman starting verbally attacking him Pearce would not take it. Reigns then ordered Heyman to defend himself because disrespecting Heyman is disrespecting Reigns. Heyman then threw some words at Pearce and challenged Pearce to a match for the main event. You read that right Pearce versus Heyman was booked for later in the night...
Zayn then entered the arena with his film crew and a strike sign and handcuffed himself to a barricade. Zayn is my hero, give this man his title back! While Zayn was talking about the injustices against him Asuka's music dropped then Charlotte Flair's music. The WWE Women's tag team champions were on SmackDown to face the Riott Squad members of Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott who had Billie Kay at their side. It was not a title match though. Sadly once again Billie once again cost Riott Squad a match when she distracted the referee while Riott was pinning Asuka which led to Flair pinning Riott for the win. After the match Billie Kay tried to apologize but and even announced she got the pair in the Rumble match but that was not enough and Riott tossed her out of the squad. This was before Kay gave fantastic impressions of Carmella and Bianca Belair.
Daniel Bryan then addressed the fans about his upcoming Rumble performance before being interrupted by Cesaro. The two exchanged words leading to Bryan challenging Cesaro, but instead Cesaro offered to wrestle someone in the locker room instead. Dolph Ziggler then came out and accepted but not before a solid promo where he said only Cesaro and his tag team partner Robert Roode can match him in the ring. Ziggler and Cesaro then began their match which had Bryan join the commentary team for. Also update Zayn is still handcuffed to the barricade near the ring. Ok now back to the match, Cesaro kept his momentum by beating Ziggler clean.
Next up was Sasha Banks versus Carmella's sommelier Reginald. This came forth because last week Banks told Reginald Carmella could get another title match against Banks at the Royal Rumble if he fought her first. During the match Carmella watched ringside while drinking wine, maybe hers, and talking smack to Banks. Reginald is definitely an athletic flippy boy but he was still outmatched by the SmackDown Women's champion Banks who tapped him out with her infamous Banks Statement.
Reigns and Heyman were then shown in the dressing room of Reigns talking. Heyman said that he and Reigns were on the same page and that he new what Reigns wanted him to say. Reigns then chimed in and said he did not want Heyman to challenge him he just wanted him to talk at Pearce because talking is what Heyman does best. Reigns then made it clear to Heyman that in order not to disrespect Reigns and make Reigns look back Heyman must actually wrestle Pearce.
The Intercontinental Title match happened next where the champion Big E faced the challenger Apollo Crews. The match did not last long because during it Zayn finally unlocked his handcuffs and then attacked Crews then Big E causing the match to end in disqualification.
Owens then graced our screens and did a promo from his car which made me think he was in the parking lot of Tropicana Field where SmackDown is filmed now. He talked about a lot of things and made it clear that he would be the Last Man Standing after his Last Man Standing match with Reigns at the Rumble. If Owens somehow wins I think Reigns will then enter and win the Rumble and beat Owens at WrestleMania but I highly doubt Owens will beat Reigns at Royal Rumble.
Deville then was shown talking to Ziggler and after Ziggler left the Street Profits came up to her. They wanted a rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships that Ziggler and Roode beat them for. She said they deserve a rematch but with Ford having knee issues its best that they do backstage comedy segments until he is healed up. Maybe she is being genuine or maybe she is giving heels preferential treatment. Only the future can tell what kind of General Manager Deville is.
The long awaited segment of the night then occurred when Bayley and Belair battled in the obstacle course challenge. Alpha Academy's Chad Gable also helped out by supervising one of the obstacles. Bayley went first, and the obstacles were, tire flip, ladder drill, scaling wooden ramps, carrying Gable through the side of the ring from one line to another then ending the course with a basketball challenge. Surprisingly the former basketball standout Bayley missed her first layup. Belair then went up and breezed through the course until she got to Gable who said she had to carry someone else then Otis came from under the ring. She carried him though and then dunked the basketball beating Bayley's time! Bayley did not take it well and attacked Belair ending the segment standing tall despite losing the challenge.
King Corbin and Dominik Mysterio then battled next. Last week Rey Mysterio said he knew a guy that could help them deal with Corbin so that was something I remembered before the match occurred. Also it is important to note like last week Corbin entered without Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake his two bodyguards. Corbin did not need help though because yet again he beat down a Mysterio winning the match with ease. He did not attack Dominik after the match and Rey never came out with any help.
Pearce then entered the ring an waited for his opponent Heyman. While entering the ring in a suit not ring attire Heyman faked an injury an replied with card subject to change, the same excuse Pearce used to get out of the match at the Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns then entered to deliver on the promise he made earlier in the night that Pearce would get beat down before the night ended. Reigns then decimated Pearce until he tried to take him up to the upper screen area. Pearce was then saved by Owens! Sadly all Owens did was change the abuse of Reigns to him for a bit until they got in the ring and Owens turned the tables. Owens ended the show with a Pop-up Powerbomb on Reigns threw the announce table followed by an attempt to ram the steel steps through the downed Tribal Chief. I don't know how you guys feel but for me those two hours flew by.