With just one week to go for the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view, SmackDown had some big matches and segments planned for this episode. Big E was scheduled to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews during the show.
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions arrived for a tag team match against The Riott Squad on SmackDown. SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks, on the other hand, had a good intergender match against Carmella’s associate, Reginald.
Roman Reigns was expected to show up during the show and express his displeasure at what had happened last week. One of the best segments of the night saw Sami Zayn handcuffing himself to the barricade in protest, only to then interfere in the Intercontinental Championship match to remain a part of the title scene.
Let's take a look at the five things WWE SmackDown got right on this week’s show.
#5 Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman opened up WWE SmackDown
WWE SmackDown opened with a video package recapping what had happened on last week’s show. The video showcased how Adam Pearce outsmarted the WWE Universal Champion and inserted Kevin Owens into the Royal Rumble match in his place.
Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman made their way out to the ring and spoke about how Owens and Pearce may have gone over The Tribal Chief for once. Reigns then revealed that he did not believe in the mentality of the 'Card subject to change' trick that Pearce pulled-off against him.
The Tribal Chief claimed that his back was starting to hurt from carrying WWE for all these years. Pearce came out and claimed that things were getting out of control and something had to be done about it.
Reigns, on the other hand, claimed that the only thing that was out of control was Owens being in the title match at Royal Rumble. The Universal Champion felt disrespected and unleashed Heyman on Pearce.
Heyman used his great mic-work to build the situation and then challenged Pearce to a match later on SmackDown. The WWE official gladly accepted the challenge.
The segment helped continue the great storyline between Reigns, KO, and Pearce. Pearce is transforming into an excellent on-screen authority figure who is using his knowledge to great effect. The Tribal Chief also got more time on the microphone to express his displeasure, and the absence of Jey Uso helped Reigns stand out this week.