WWE SmackDown Results and Grades: WWE SmackDown was setting up their Royal Rumble storylines as WrestleMania season was getting under way.
Big E was to defend his Intercontinental title against Apollo Crews while there was a huge gauntlet match to determine who Roman Reigns’ next opponent would be.
However, we start off this WWE SmackDown results and grades piece with Reigns blaming someone for Owens’ injuries.
Reigns confronts Pearce
The Tribal Chief lauded Owens for his fighting spirit but blamed Adam Pearce for what happened to the Canadian star last week.
Reigns took Pearce to task and even threatened him as the Champion wasn’t allowed to pick his next rival, which he saw as a mark of disrespect.
Pearce didn’t really do much to protect himself and Reigns threatened him once more before leaving. Backstage it was revealed that Sonya Deville was Pearce’s assistant and she wondered if he was going to enter the Gauntlet match.
Whatever Reigns does is gold these days and this bit was just as good. Pearce looked scared and confused and it will be interesting to see what he does with the Reigns problem.
E vs Crews
Just a week after teaming up and getting a win, Big E and Crews battled it out with the IC title on the line.
The match started off with E and Crews getting a double pinfall and the clash ending in a draw. Crews wanted the title and slapped Big E in all this.
The champion was irate and restarted the match. After Crews dominated for a while it was E who got the win in the end.
Crews vs Big E ends in draw; E beats Crews in restarted match
The draw was a little weird but that could be a way for Crews to turn heel, especially with the slap. He has been underused by SmackDown over the past few months and this could be a way to kick-start his career.
Tag titles on the line
Bianca Belair and Carmella confirmed their entry into the Royal Rumble. Carmella also hit out at Sasha Banks before we got a huge tag match between The Street Profits and Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.
Montez Ford of the Profits, injured his leg in the match and that was enough for the challengers as they kept attacking him.
Angelo Dawkins tried his best to keep the tag titles but SmackDown had new champions on the show.
Roode and Ziggler beat Dawkins and Ford
This was an incredible match as both teams gave it their all to get the titles.
Ford selling his injury was one major talking point and it is to be seen what happens next when the rematch takes place.
Before the start of the match Paul Heyman confirmed that Pearce was indeed in the gauntlet match.
The first pairing was Sami Zayn and Rey Mysterio and it was Mysterio who got the win. Mysterio was then eliminated by Shinsuke Nakamura.
The Japanese star picked up another elimination after that as he got rid of Baron Corbin. Daniel Bryan entered the match next and the former WWE champion used a ton of different locks and holds on Nakamura.
The pair put on quite a battle but it was Nakamura who got the pin after a huge knee on Bryan.
There was a moment of respect between the pair as Reigns, Heyman and Jey Uso made their way to the ring.
A reluctant Pearce was almost forced into the ring by Reigns, Heyman and Uso. Reigns and Uso then destroyed Nakamura.
Reigns then laughed and told Pearce that he does what he wants to do and Pearce was kicked by Uso as well.
Pearce was then placed on top of Nakamura and made the new No.1 contender ahead of the Royal Rumble.
Pearce wins gauntlet match
This was another excellent showing by Reigns and the rest of his faction and it will be interesting to see how this match will go ahead.
Pearce is a WWE official and was reluctant to fight in all this, but this was Reigns’ way of showing him his place.
Pearce is still a quality wrestler but he has never really performed in WWE, and this is going to be a crazy run up to the Rumble.
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