On the eve of the Royal Rumble, SmackDown takes place at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri tonight.
Roman Reigns is set to defend his Universal Championship against Seth Rollins at Saturday's pay-per-view. Tonight, Rollins will deliver a message to Reigns ahead of that title match.
Naomi goes one-on-one with Sonya Deville tonight. Last week, Deville caused Naomi to lose to Charlotte Flair in a non-title match. Later that night, Adam Pearce told Deville that her issues with Naomi need to stop. Pearce said he was going to suggest to upper management that Deville and Naomi have a match.
The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) take on Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss tonight. Big E showed up on SmackDown last week to help Kingston in his feud with Corbin and Moss.
Plus, Ridge Holland returns to the ring to team with Sheamus against Cesaro & Ricochet. It will be the first time Holland has wrestled since suffering a broken nose at Day 1.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Michael Cole and Pat McAfee ran down tonight's line-up, including Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins' face-to-face segment.
Charlotte Flair Segment
This was a typical WWE segment were a bunch of people promise to win the Rumble tomorrow. The highlight of the segment was Sasha Banks' return.
SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair made her way to the ring to start SmackDown. Flair promised to win the women's Royal Rumble match tomorrow night. She noted it's impossible to prepare for the surprises, returns, and betrayals. Flair claimed she could have waited until WrestleMania, but she takes control and doesn't depend on fate.
Flair promised to change the game tomorrow night when she wins the Rumble and chooses her opponent at WrestleMania. Suddenly, Shayna Baszler's music hit, and she walked to the ring. On commentary, McAfee admitted that Baszler scares the hell out of him.
Baszler promised if it came down to the two of them, she vowed to snap Flair like a twig. Baszler promised to win the Rumble and challenge Flair for the title.
Aliyah's music interrupted, and she walked out wearing an Aliyah 3:17 t-shirt. She's excited to be in her first Rumble and possibly WrestleMania. Flair acted like she didn't know her. Aliyah bragged about setting the record for the fastest match.
Natalya then interrupted and mocked Aliyah. She noted she's a three-time Guinness Record holder and promised to throw out Aliyah tomorrow.
Shotzi then interrupted and said she would steal the spotlight tomorrow night when she wins the Rumble. Flair became frustrated that they all thought they could win. Flair claimed nobody could beat her.
Sasha Banks's music hit to a big reaction from the fans. She noted she was back and ready to rumble. The fans popped again and broke into a loud "Sasha" chant. Banks slapped Flair in the face and backed out of the ring onto the apron.
Suddenly, everyone in the ring started brawling as Banks watched from the apron with Flair in the corner. Aliyah sent Natalya and Baszler out of the ring. Flair then rocked Aliyah with a boot and threw her out.
Banks and Flair had a brief stare down. Flair tried to boot Banks, but Banks fought back and threw her out of the ring. Banks celebrated in the ring to end the segment.
The recapped Ricochet breaking Ridge Holland's nose at Day 1.
In the back, Megan Morant interviewed Ridge Holland and Sheamus. Holland and Sheamus promised to defeat Ricochet and Cesaro tonight. Sheamus gave Holland a mask to protect his face.
Sheamus & Ridge Holland defeated Cesaro & Ricochet (10:44)
This was a good opening tag team match.
Sheamus went for a side headlock, but Cesaro escaped twice. A frustrated Sheamus jumped out of the ring to get away from him.
On commentary, Michael Cole mentioned it's Sheamus' birthday. McAfee tried wishing Sheamus a happy birthday as he walked by the commentators. Sheamus hit the table, so McAfee apologized.
Cesaro got a headlock on Sheamus, but he broke free. Ricochet and Holland went back and forth. Holland's mask didn't seem to fit and he had a hard time keeping it on.
Ricochet sent Holland to the floor and hit a huge flip dive. Holland was a bit out of place, so Ricochet crashed hard on the floor.
Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control. Holland took over during the commercial break with a shoulder tackle. Holland continued to beat down Ricochet, but Ricochet fought back with a moonsault off the middle rope.
Cesaro and Sheamus both got the tag at the same time. Cesaro rocked Sheamus with a middle rope springboard uppercut. He then hit a running uppercut against the barricade at ringside. Cesaro hit a flying crossbody on Shamus for a near fall.
Sheamus went for the Irish Curse backbreaker, but Cesaro countered into a small package for a near fall. Sheamus rocked Ricochet with a jumping knee. Cesaro went for the giant swing, but Holland made the blind tag. Holland rocked Cesaro with a head butt wearing the mask. He then hit the Northern Grit for the win.
They recapped Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens beating The Usos. The Usos are banned from ringside tomorrow night.
Michael Cole and Pat McAfee discussed the Royal Rumble match tomorrow night. They showed the yearly "it's all about the numbers" Royal Rumble video. They noted Bianca Belair could be the first superstar to win back-to-back Rumbles since "Stone Cold" Steve Austin 24 years ago.
Naomi defeated Sonya Deville (11:43)
Deville and Naomi started out slow and it dragged at times, but picked up towards the end.
In the back, Sonya Deville ordered the referee Dan Engler to help her win. Engler told Deville he would call the match down the middle. Deville was furious as he walked away. She then looked worried as they went to a break.
Naomi and Deville went face-to-face in the ring. Engler went over the instructions and promised to call the match down the middle again. Deville still didn't like hearing that.
Deville had the early advantage after stalling several times. She slowed the pace down with a chin lock, but Naomi fought back with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors.
Deville briefly regained control and scored a near fall. Deville yelled at Engler to count faster. Naomi fought back with a standing dropkick. She attempted a sliding dropkick, but Deville caught her and hit an inverted draping DDT.
Back from the break, Deville hit a spine buster for a near fall. Naomi jumped and rocked Deville with a kick to the head. Naomi ran wild and drove Deville into the middle turnbuckle. Naomi kicked Devile again and hit a flying crossbody for a two-count. The fans broke into a brief "Naomi" chant.
Deville drove Naomi into the corner to take over. She then gave Naomi a suplex but slammed her on her back for a near fall. McAfee had to explain the move to Cole.
Naomi fought back and hit a sit-out full nelson bomb for a near fall. Deville then poked Naomi in the eyes and rolled her up with the tights for another near fall.
The finish came when Namoi hit the rearview and the split-legged moonsault for the win.
Deville slowly walked to the back as Naomi celebrated. Naomi noted she finally overcame Deville and promised to win the Rumble tomorrow night. Naomi told Deville to leave and mocked her.
Deville left but came back out. She was furious that she lost and announced that she'll be a surprise entrant in the Rumble match.
In the back, Kayla Braxton interviewed the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, The Usos. They promised that Roman Reigns would beat Seth Rollins without their help.
The Viking Raiders approached the champions. Jimmy mocked them for having feasts and smelling bad. The Raiders then pulled out axes and indirectly threatened them until The Usos walked off.
This was a fine segment.
Sami Zayn interviewed Jinder Mahal and Shanky. Zayn noted he had to change the format from the stunts and pranks to a podcast. Zayn pointed out that Mahal and Shanky take on Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs.
Zayn noted he deserves a title shot against Nakamura. Mahal tried to speak, but Zayn cut him off and felt the show improved with the changes. He claimed Johnny Knoxville ruined his previous show.
The fans broke into a brief "Johnny" chant. Zayn assumed Shanky had never heard of Jackass before. Mahal disagreed, and Shanky said he loves the bungee porta-potty stunt.
Rick Boogs appeared on the stage and introduced Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn got in his face, so Nakamura kicked him in the face.
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs defeated Jinder Mahal & Shanky (3:05)
This was a fine match, but it dragged at times despite being short. Boogs worked most of the match for his team.
The match started during the break. Zayn joined the commentators and was mad at McAfee for cheerleading for Nakamura and Boogs.
Boogs and Shanky fought in the middle of the ring. Boogs overpowered Shanky and gave him a suplex. Boogs tried to tag Nakamura, but Zayn pulled him off the apron. Mahal jumped Boogs, but Boogs fired up. He ran wild and knocked Mahal out of the ring.
The finish came when Boogs knocked Shanky down with a shoulder tackle. He then gave Shanky the Boogs Cruise for the win. McAfee compared it to Hogan-Andre.
In the back, Kayla Braxton interviewed Kofi Kingston and Big E. They promised to win the Rumble tomorrow night. They noted if one of them wins, they all win.
They recapped Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss injuring Drew McIntyre.
The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) defeated Happy Corbin & Madcapp Moss (7:10)
This was a fine match that picked up towards the end.
The heels had the early advantage after Corbin hit a splash in the corner. Kingston fought back and hit a standing dropkick. He climbed to the top rope and hit the trust fall dive, but the heels caught him. They then threw Kingston into the ring post.
Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control as they beat down Kingston. Big E got the hot tag and ran wild. He gave Corbin two belly-to-belly suplexes. He followed up with an uranage on Moss. Corbin went for the around the ring post clothesline, but Big E hit a belly-to-belly suplex instead.
The heels recovered, and Corbin hit Deep Six for a near fall. They set up for another move, but Big E pulled Corbin out of the ring and threw him into the steps. New Day then hit the Midnight Hour on Moss for the win.
Face-to-Face: Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins
This was a good closing segment heading into the Royal Rumble tomorrow night. Reigns and Rollins were good in their roles.
As Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance, Cole noted only four people had held the world title longer than Reigns including, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, and Bruno Sammartino. Cole added that Reigns came out without The Usos. The Usos won't be in his corner at the Royal Rumble either.
Rollins and Reigns got a big reaction when they came out. Reigns demanded that Kanas City acknowledge him. Rollins thanked Reigns for interfering last week in his match. He mocked Reigns and noted he wanted him to interfere.
Reigns admitted he caused the DQ because he knew Rollins and Kevin Owens would beat The Usos. He didn't want to bring more shame to his family. However, Reigns isn't worried because he's in god mode.
Rollins discussed their past and brought up cashing in his Money in the Bank at WrestleMania 31, beating Reigns for the title, and breaking up The Shield. Rollins noted Reigns achieved many accomplishments but could never beat him.
Reigns was speechless, and Rollins laughed at him. Reigns admitted that he never forgave Rollins for breaking up The Shield. He never forgave Rollins for what he did to them.
Rollins said Reigns is a joke, and so is his bloodline, cousins, father, uncle, and family. Reigns lost his cool and became angry. He pushed Rollins. Reigns then tried to hit the superman punch on Rollins, but he escaped. Rollins walked off laughing as a frustrated Reigns watched to end SmackDown.