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We’re in Memphis, Tennessee and we’ve got a hot open as Sami Zayn, Solo Sikoa, and Jimmy and Jey Uso come through the crowd and tear up the announce area. That sets up the music of our Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, and Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns. Paul Heyman is with Roman as he heads towards the ring while the rest of the Bloodline are at ringside. While Roman heads to the ring we get a recap of John Cena and Kevin Owens beating Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn last week when Owens pinned Sami. Everyone gets into the ring, as we’re reminded that last week was the first time in about 3 years Roman had been involved in a loss except his DQ loss against Seth Rollins last year at the Rumble. Roman gets a mic from Heyman, and provides the audience with the opportunity to acknowledge him. Now Roman says they’re going to start things off a little differently, he’s going to give the crowd what they want and let them hear from Sami. Sami has a mic, he says this is how the Bloodline gets things done this year, this year will belong to the Bloodline. On Monday they sent a message, they all won on that show and are prepared to further that message tonight. Roman doesn’t care to talk about this year, he wants to talk about last year, specifically last week. He and Sami had the biggest Smackdown match of the year, but what happened? Some say they lost, Roman laughs just a little maniacally at that, because the Tribal Chief doesn’t lose. He’s been thinking about that, and he didn’t lose, Sami lost. Sami looks a little nervous, but Roman says they’re moving forward from that. What’s truly stumping Roman is why Sami guaranteed a win. Roman is the one who calls his shots, and he always delivers. Now they’re all embarrassed because Sami called his shot, and failed to deliver. Roman asks if Sami wants to the Tribal Chief. Sami knows he’s on thin ice here. Roman says when you’re at the very top you have to be aware of everything, and he wants to know why Sami thinks he can do what the Tribal Chief does, he wants to know if Sami wants to be the man. Roman snaps briefly, scaring the pants off of poor Heyman, but Kevin Owens interrupts this with a mic. Owens stays on the entrance ramp, and says before things go any further he’d like Roman to calm down. He can’t remember the last time he saw Roman snap like that, it might have been the last time he and Owens squared up. He thinks Roman doesn’t have a problem with Sami, he’s got a problem with Owens and it’s time for Roman to take care of his KO problem. Owens wants a title shot at the Royal Rumble, Roman says “sure, whatever”, he just wants Owens to go away forever. Owens brings up being in a good mood after beating Roman last week, but he’ll leave tonight and see Roman at the Rumble and he’ll see Sami whenever Sami gets his balls back from Roman. Roman calls over Heyman and consults as we head to break. Pretty good opening promo, Roman overcompensating for the cracks starting to show in his rule by going after Sami, Owens taking his chance to get the title shot, it all worked well here. Roman’s acting and mannerisms are on point as always, and the way the entire group moved away from Sami when Roman snapped at him was some nice foreshadowing.
Santos Escobar defeats Kofi Kingston
Both men begin the bout with speed, rolling and flipping around the ring and one another. Kofi is tossed over the ring at one point but he does a hand stand and manages to avoid his feet touching the floor, much like his former Royal Rumble feats. Santos Escobar is not as lucky as Kofi send him over the top rope. As we return from commercial break we see Santos take the upper hand with a more aggressive mat-based attack. Kofi begins to make a comeback with a few roll through maneuvers that result in two counts. As Santos Escobar attempts a suplex from the top rope Kofi knocks him off the corner and goes for a high risk move but fails as Santos hits him with an elbow. Kofi Kingston hits a high double stomp for another close two count. The members of Legado Del Fantasma distract Kingston and Santos Escobar hits a driver and scores the pinfall.
Following the match we receive the official announcement for Roman Reigns versus Kevin Owens at the Royal Rumble.
Sami Zayn approaches Paul Heyman outside of the Bloodline locker room in hopes of explaining himself to Roman Reigns. Paul says it is not a good time and reminds him to try and stay three steps ahead of the Tribal Chief.
Returning from commercial we are greeted by Liv Morgan. She says if she had it her way she would enter the women’s Rumble match at number one just to prove how great she is.
We are given a recap of the events that took place between Bray Wyatt, LA Knight and Uncle Howdy. LA Knight is backstage. He says that come the Royal Rumble he will defeat Bray Wyatt in their Pitch Black Match.
Karrion Kross and Scarlet come to the ring as we are given a recap of Scarlets slap to Emma last week.
Karrion Kross and Scarlet defeat Madcap Moss and Emma
Returning from commercial we have Karrion Kross and Madcap Moss both on the mat reaching to tag their female partners. The women enter the match and Emma quickly takes to brutalizing Scarlet in the corner of the ring. Scarlet comes back with a modified Northern Lights Suplex for a close two count. Emma reverses Scarlet’s next move and gets a quick two count as Karrion Kross enters, cornering Emma. Madcap makes a blind tag to Emma and goes right for Kross. On the outside of the ring Emma is tossed over the barrier and into the crowd by Scarlet. In the ring Karrion locks in a sleeper and Madcap passes out. After the bell Scarlet puts Rey Mysterio’s mask over Madcap’s face.
We are given a recap of the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match last week between Rhonda Rousey and Raquel Rodriguez where, as the match ended and Rousey retained, Charlotte Flair returned and challenged for the title. Charlotte Flair won, becoming a 14 time WWE Women’s Champion. Charlotte makes her official WWE return after the commercial break.
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