WWE SmackDown results: Adam Pearce wins title shot at Roman Reigns

WWE ThunderDome
WWE ThunderDome /

The Royal Rumble is weeks away and Roman Reigns is looking for a new contender. That question was answered during Friday’s edition of SmackDown.

WrestleMania season is upon us and that kicks off with the Royal Rumble. As we learn more about the 30 men and women to participate, each week reveals more about the group. WWE SmackDown on Friday not only shed like on that, but also who is next for Roman Reigns as a gauntlet match to determine a number-one contender was held.

The first match of the night was a big opportunity for Apollo Crews as he was set to compete against new WWE Intercontinental champion, Big E. Crews came out of the gate quick, landing two huge kicks and nearly finishing off Big E. The champion came back for a moment, but it was Crews that had much of the early advantage.

Crews would even land a massive Superplex, pinning Big E’s shoulders to the mat but confusion immediately broke out. Instant replay showed that both men were down and pinned, causing a draw. But Crews slapped Big E, kicking off the match again and enraging Big E. Crews kept Big E on the ropes for much of the match, going for multiple pin attempts. That would not stop Big E from landing a big Uranage and immediately following it up with the Big Ending for the win.

The tag team titles were also in the line. The Street Profits were up against Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode. Last week Ziggler and Roode attacked Montez Ford’s leg, badly injuring him which was the story heading into this match. Ziggler and Roode focused on that leg and even after Ford hit some big offense, he was unable to get back to his feet. As Ford tried to nurse his injury, Angelo Dawkins tried to carry the weight for his team.

Dawkins did the best he could but was at the mercy of both of their opponents. Injurie aside Ford was able to make the tag to Dawkins and came in to get a wealth of offense on both men. Ford did the best he could on one leg, but Roode and Ziggler went in for the kill. They hit the combination Spinebuster to ZigZag and pinned Ford for the victory and to become the new tag team champions.

The Gauntlet Match was the main event to figure out who is next for Reigns at the Royal Rumble. Rey Mysterio was the first man out and he was joined by Sami Zayn as the second name to compete. Zayn had a lot to say but at the end that did not help as he was put out of the match in less than 10 seconds thanks to a 619 and Frog Splash by Mysterio.

Shinsuke Nakamura would next and Mysterio was still fresh to greet him. Nakamura was in control for much of this portion of the match. Mysterio was still able to counter a powerbomb attempt into the 619 but Nakamura countered the Frog Splash, turning it into an arm bar to submit Mysterio. That brought out Baron Corbin immediately to attack both men.

Corbin was the fresher man, but Nakamura would not go away without a fight. Nakamura kept knocking Corbin off balance with a variety of strikes but could not get the pinfall. However, Corbin was rolling, and that momentum ran him head long into Kinshasha from Nakamura, allowing Nakamura to move on to face Daniel Bryan.

Bryan and Nakamura did not slow down one moment in this match. They exchanged grappling techniques, but the violence intensified when Bryan started laying into Nakamura with kicks to the body. Nakamura countered a clothesline into a flying armbar that was countered into an armbar by Bryan. They continued to exchange techniques until things broke down to an all-out fist fight. Bryan got too excited and was caught running across the ring with a knee strike, sending him to the ground and allowing Nakamura to get the win.

Adam Pearce was supposed to the final man in the match, but Roman Reigns and crew came out to the ring. They assaulted Nakamura, beating him until he was motionless, forcing Pearce to go into the ring and pin Nakamura to get the win. Now he will have to face Reigns in a singles match at the Royal Rumble.

WWE SmackDown Results

  • Big E defeated Apollo Crews via pinfall
  • Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode defeated the Street Profits to become new tag team champions
  • Adam Pearce wins the main event Gauntlet Match to face Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble