With the Royal Rumble now merely weeks away, two Championship matches took center stage this week on SmackDown as The Street Profits defended the Tag Team Championships against Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler while Big E put the Intercontinental Championship on the line against Apollo Crews.
1. Opening Segment: Roman Reigns Blames Adam Pearce
Universal Champion Roman Reigns kicked off this week’s show and blamed WWE producer Adam Pearce for the events that transpired last week on SmackDown. Reigns called out Pearce and made it clear who the real authority figure was on SmackDown.
2. Intercontinental Championship: Big E(c) def. Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews made quick work of Big E and after a suplex off the top rope, Crews believed that he had won the match but both men’s shoulders were down and the match was called a draw.
After the match, when Big E was announced as the Champion, Apollo Crews slapped him and the match was re-started.
This time around, Big E was able to send quite the message in quick fashion with the Big Ending and he easily retained his Championship.
Backstage: Bianca Belair and Bayley declared their places in the Women’s Royal Rumble match.
Adam Pearce was informed that he would be part of the main event gauntlet match by Paul Heyman.
3. SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler def. The Street Profits(c)
The Street Profits have had issues with Roode and Ziggler for several weeks, and finally, the titles were put on the line. This was easily the match of the night and could have gone either way, but in the end, it was Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode who delivered the Spinebuster into the ZigZag on Ford to pick up the victory and the Championships.
The new Champions attacked The Street Profits after the match to continue their feud.
4. Gauntlet Match for a Shot at Universal Championship: Adam Pearce def. Rey Mysterio, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan, Baron Corbin
Rey Mysterio made quick work of Sami Zayn and pinned him following a 619 and top rope splash. Shinsuke Nakamura was the third man out and he was able to make Mysterio tap to an armbar.
King Corbin was out next and forced Nakamura to put on a show before he ran into a Kinshasa and Daniel Bryan came out to take on The Artist. The Japanese star once again pulled out The Kinshasa to take out Daniel Bryan and face Adam Pearce in the final match of the gauntlet.
Roman Reigns headed to the ring with Jey Uso and the two men attacked Nakamura ahead of Adam Pearce’s inclusion in the match.
Pearce was then super-kicked before the bell rang and was dragged on top of Nakamura to secure the pin.