We begin with a recap of how Adam Pearce became number 1 contended last week.
The camera pans to Roman and Paul backstage. Apparently, Roman just got the contract for his match against Adam two minutes just before SmackDown went on the air, which Roman is holding. Paul tells Roman to pay the contract no mind because it’s just typical WWE lawyer, cookie cutter BS that he need not concern himself with.
However, he recommends to Roman that he pick a stipulation that reached Adam about respect. Paul offers to handle this and take it off his hands. Roman hands Paul the contract and Paul says consider it done.
Out comes Jey Uso, and he issues a warning to Adam at the Royal Rumble and how he should be thanking Roman for making him relevant. Jey also says that the bloodline is going to continue to expand, because he officially declares for the Royal Rumble, and declares that when he wins, he’ll go to RAW and win the WWE Championship.
He also says that he has unfinished business with Shinsuke Nakamura. He applauds his performance in the gauntlet match last week, but he says Shinsuke should thank Jey and Roman because they allowed him to survive last week. Shinsuke may be the king of strong style, but let’s see how strong he really is. Cross the bloodline, and you’ll be leaving in a stretcher.
Out comes Nakamura. His theme song has changed back to his original music when he was a face. He then tells Jey that if Roman is the big dog, then that makes him a puppy, before striking him.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jey Uso
Nakamura wins with the Kinsasha. During the match, Cesaro came out and sat ringside to announce his entry into the Royal Rumble.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville are speaking backstage, and it appears Deville is giving a warning to Adam about facing Roman. Heyman comes with the contract, telling Adam that not only can he main event the Royal Rumble and win the Universal Championship, but to win it off of the biggest star in the business today.
As for the stipulation, they are also in his favor. Because this match is now under No Disqualification rules. Adam isn’t having it because a No DQ stipulation would mean Adam getting hurt, which is what he wants. He gives Paul the contract back.
Jey Uso argues with the referee about his pin because Jey had pinned Shinsuke, but his feet were on the ropes. Jey tells Charles to do his job or the tribal chief will deal with him.
We see how Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roodedefeated The Street Profits to win the SmackDown Tag Team Titles last week. Kayla Braxton is backstage with The Profits now. They dismiss the idea that they might be scared of the champs, and go on about how they’re going to run it back. Montez Ford isn’t happy with what Roode and Ziggler did to Montez Ford. They say when the rematch happens, bodies will drop. Ford says they’re up and they want the smoke.
Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns and Apollo Crews are backstage. Heyman walks in with the contract for the match with Adam Pearce and Reigns tells Crews to stay so he can watch and learn from this. Reigns asks Heyman if the contract was signed. Reigns ends up saying he’s not going to sign the contract. He doesn’t want No DQ, he wants Last Man Standing. Heyman doesn’t believe Pearce will agree to that stipulation. Reigns says he will because Crews is going to make him. Reigns wants Pearce to sign the contract in the ring later tonight. Reigns hands the contract back to Heyman and tells him to consider it signed. Reigns goes back to chatting with Crews to end the segment.
Natalya vs. Liv Morgan
After some commotion by Tamina and Billie Kay, Natayla rolls Liv up.
Rey Mysterio vs. King Corbin
Corbin attacks Dominik ringside and he tried to get revenge, but miscommunication between he and Rey cause a distraction and Corbin hits the End of Days from behind.
Winner: King Corbin
Adam Pearce is approached by Heyman again. Heyman informs Pearce Roman did not sign the contract because he agrees with his concerns about a No DQ match. He then tells Adam that it’s Last Man standing. Adam scoffs, but then Paul says he can inform Roman of his concerns to his face when he signs it tonight, and he considers that done.
Dominik is talking with Rey backstage, and he tells him he’s been fighting giants like Corbin his entire career and he chose to back down. Rey says that he’s not backing down from anyone, he is just being smart about it because you can’t fight someone like Corbin without a plan. Dominik wants to punish Corbin, and Rey says if he wants to, he knows just the guy to talk to.
We go back to the ring and the announcers introduce the newest talk show segment – “Ding Dong, Hello!” Bayley steps through a front door prop in the middle of the ring as fans boo her. She has a chair and end table, and a stool for her guest. Bayley welcomes us and brags about how her show already has more views than the rest of the division.
Bayley goes on and introduces her guest, Bianca Belair. Belair is directed to go to the other side of the door. Bayley tells her to ring the bell and the loud door bell rings once again. Belair comes in and takes a seat in Bayley’s chair. Bayley points out how that’s her chair but Belair won’t give it up, complimenting her on how comfortable it is. Cole mentions how both Superstars will be in the Royal Rumble. Bayley plugs Belair’s upcoming WWE Chronicle documentary on the WWE Network. She has a sneak peek and yells for the footage to be rolled but instead we see a clip of Bayley pinning Belair last month. Bayley apologizes and says it’s time to get to the hard hitting questions.
Bayley asks about the “EST” nickname. Belair explains and Bayley says it sounds like the nickname is based on everything Belair did before she got to WWE. Belair can’t believe Bayley is getting upset over her confidence and nickname. Bayley says based on what Belair is saying, Bayley should be called the best because she recently pinned Belair. Belair isn’t happy. She says Bayley can take her show, go put on her dusty gear and they can have a rematch now. Bayley proposes an obstacle course competition for next week, the Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course. Belair laugh and accepts the challenge. Belair says Bayley has some “EST” in herself too, but there’s no way she can beat Belair. Now “Ding Dong” that, Belair says. Belair dances and taunts Bayley as her music starts up.
– Cole sends us to an Alpha Training Academy segment from earlier today, showing Chad Gable getting Otis ready for the Royal Rumble. Daniel Bryan is training backstage with them. Kayla Braxton walks up and Bryan talks about how the Alpha training way boosts his confidence and he’s glad to prepare for the Rumble with them. She asks if his confidence was hurt last week with the Gauntlet Match and Shinsuke Nakamura. Bryan has nothing bad to say about Nakamura. Bryan mentions how he and Nakamura shook hands after the match last week. Here comes Cesaro interrupting. Cesaro says Bryan doesn’t speak for his partner, adding that Nakamura only shook Bryan’s hand out of pity last week. He ends up taking a shot at the training methods of Otis, Gable and Bryan. Bryan offers to show Cesaro how good their training methods work.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro
Cesaro wins with the Neutralizer.
Kayla Braxton is backstage with Carmella and her sommelier, Reginald. Carmella says she told the truth about SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks last week. Carmella says when it comes to natural talent, Banks can’t touch her. Carmella says she’s here again tonight but she doesn’t see Banks anywhere. She goes on and says Banks is hiding because she knows… Banks suddenly attacks but Reginald quickly gets in the way to make the save. Banks tells Reginald to tell Carmella that she can have her title shot, as long as Banks can have Reginald in a match first. Banks walks off and laughs. A worried Reginald turns to Carmella but she’s all smiles.
Apollo Crews vs. Sami Zayn
Crews wins by rolling up Zayn’s rights.
Winner: Apollo Crews
After the match, the music hits as Crews goes to ringside celebrating. Sami screams at the referee about the tights as Big E looks on laughing. Crews picks up the Intercontinental Title belt off Big E’s couch and stares at it. Big E gets up and tells him to keep playing and see what happens. Crews tosses the title back to Big E and they keep yelling semi-friendly fighting words at each other.
– We see Adam Pearce backstage shaking his head at the contract for his Universal Title shot. Pearce starts walking to the ring as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and announced for next Friday is Apollo Crews vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns with the title on the line, plus Bayley vs. Bianca Belair in Bayley’s Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge.
– We go back to the ring and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. The ring is set up for a contract signing for Reigns’ title defense against Adam Pearce at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Reigns enters the ring and raises the title as the boos get louder. Pearce comes walking out next, with no music, and the contract in his hand. Cole reminds us that Pearce vs. Reigns will now be a Last Man Standing match.
Pearce nervously enters the ring and Reigns tells him to have a seat. Pearce is the only one sitting. Heyman offers to put Reigns’ seat at the head of the table, because he is The Head of the Table, but Reigns wants to stand. Heyman starts talking about the contract to Pearce, but Uso grabs Pearce and yells at him to get his ass up because he’s taking too long. Pearce sits back down on the other side of the table as Reigns also takes a seat at the head of the table. Pearce signs the contract.
Reigns smiles now, then smiles at Pearce and says that will be the last contract he’ll sign. Pearce closes the contract and says he’s waited all night for Reigns to do that. Pearce stands up and exits the ring with the contract. Reigns is confused. Pearce marches up the ramp but starts limping. Uso, Heyman and Reigns look on from the ring, confused. Pearce stops and says his knee has been hurting all day long. It must be one of those old injuries that creep up on you at the worst possible time, but don’t worry… standard WWE contracts all the same thing… Pearce’s mic is having some technical difficulties. Pearce starts talking about being able to find a suitable replacement for the Rumble match with Reigns, and a suitable replacement is just what he has in mind.
The music of Kevin Owens hits and out he comes. Owens immediately signs the contract as Pearce holds it for him. Reigns looks on from the ring and he’s not happy. Owens stares down at the ring, smiling at Reigns and taunting him. Pearce is also in a better mood now. SmackDown goes off the air with fans cheering Owens on.