The build to Elimination Chamber continues on tonight's SmackDown.
Seth Rollins makes his SmackDown return tonight. Rollins returned to WWE two weeks ago as an entrant in the men's Royal Rumble match. In his last appearance on SmackDown in November, Rollins lost to his former disciple Murphy.
Men's Royal Rumble winner Edge confronted Universal Champion Roman Reigns last week. Reigns was furious that Edge interacted with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and NXT Champion Finn Balor before showing up on SmackDown. Reigns demanded Edge choose him as his opponent at WrestleMania 37.
Later that night, Edge and Reigns met face-to-face in the ring. Reigns ordered Edge to say his name and to choose him as his opponent. Before Edge could answer, Kevin Owens jumped Reigns from behind and hit a stunner.
For tonight's show, WWE is hyping that Reigns will make a "blockbuster announcement" regarding the Universal Championship.
Women's Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair has also yet to choose her WrestleMania opponent. Belair and SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks teased a match for Mania last week. Carmella and her sommelier Reginald also appeared in that segment. Reginald mocked Belair and claimed she couldn't defeat Banks. Belair and Banks then teamed up to beat down Reginald.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, and Paul Heyman made their way to the ring. On commentary, Michael Cole pushed the idea that Reigns is angry and embarrassed because of last week. Reigns expected that Edge would choose him to be his Wrestlemania 37 opponent.
They recapped Edge announcing on Raw that he's waiting until after The Elimination Chamber to pick his opponent. Cole speculated that Reigns isn't happy to hear Edge's announcement.
Adam Pearce was already standing in the ring. Reigns mocked Pearce for being scared and noted he's got no authority over him. He doesn't wait on anyone, especially Edge. Reigns claimed Edge is afraid of him. He promised that he's going to beat Edge so bad that they'll have to put him on a Legend's contract, and he can be a WWE ambassador.
Reigns noted Edge is waiting for him to lose the title, but that won't happen. He changed the subject to Pearce and the contract in his hands.
Pearce noted he has a contract for Reigns to defend the Universal Championship in the Elimination Chamber at the pay-per-view. Reigns let Heyman take the mic.
Heyman pointed out that Reigns' contract states he has to defend the title at Elimination Chamber but not be in the Chamber match. Heyman declared that the Chamber winner receive's an immediate title shot that night.
Pearce noted there would be qualifying matches for the Chamber match tonight. However, he decided that two superstars don't need to qualify. The first that doesn't need to qualify is Jey Uso.
Pearce stepped out of the ring and announced the second superstar is Kevin Owens. Reigns became furious and got in Pearce's face. Heyman convinced Reigns to back off.
In the back, Adam Pearce ran into Sonya Deville. Deville couldn't believe that Pearce stood up to Reigns. Pearce noted they need to fill the Chamber match up. Deville's decided that the winners of the next tag team match both qualify for the Chamber.
Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Sami Zayn & King Corbin defeated Rey & Dominik Mysterio to qualify for the Elimination Chamber
This was a good tag match.
Before the match, Zayn promised they're going to win and qualify for the Chamber. Zayn noted that management wants the Mysterio's to win because they're crucial to the Latin market.
The faces were on fire early. Rey attempted a dive on Corbin, but Zayn grabbed his legs from outside. Dominik then hit a suicide dive on Zayn.
Corbin attempted a powerbomb on Rey, but he countered into a hurricanrana.
Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control. Corbin attempted a chokeslam, but Rey countered with another hurricanrana. Dominik and Zayn both got the tag. Dominik ran wild on Zayn. He hit a tornado DDT on Zayn for near fall.
Zayn fought back and hit a blue thunder bomb on Dominik for a close two count. Dominik recovered and hit a neck breaker for a near fall, but Corbin broke up the pin.
Rey and Dominik hit a double 619 on Corbin to take him out of the match. Zayn recovered and hit the helluva kick on Dominik for the win.
Zayn and Corbin qualify for the Elimination Chamber match at the PPV. Dominik could have been a good fit for the Chamber match.
In the back, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode walked into Pearce and Deville's office. They demanded to be in the Elimination Chamber match. Deville announced that they'd take on Cesaro and Daniel Bryan later. The winning team qualifies for the Chamber.
They recapped Bianca Belair whipping Reginald with her ponytail last week.
Reginald approached Sasha Banks and Kalisto in the hallway. He gave her a glass of champagne and apologized for last week. Banks asked Reginald if he really believes that Belair can't be her. He confirmed that he thinks Belair can't beat Banks.
Banks took the glass. Reginald walked off but stopped and looked back.
Intercontinental Champion Big E made his way to the ring. They recapped Big E defeating Apollo Crews and Sami Zayn last week. Big E was about to talk about his next challenger.
Crews interrupted and walked down to the ring. Crews knows that Big E's about to issue an open challenge, and he accepts. Big E agreed that he's about to issue an open challenge but not to him. He said it could be Michael Cole, Security Guard Jim Kelly, or the janitor, but it won't be him.
Big E got in Crews' face and told him to go back to catering. Crews was offended and wouldn't back down. Big E demanded his next opponent come out to accept his challenge. Shinsuke Nakamura's music hit, and he made his way to the ring.
Crews was unhappy that he's not getting another title shot.
Intercontinental Champion Big E vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Big E and Nakamura had a good match until the weak finish.
Crews stayed at ringside during the match.
Big E took over and hit the running splash on the apron for a near fall. Crews jumped on the apron and cheered on Nakamura.
Nakamura took advantage and rocked Big E with a kick to the head. He followed up with a running knee in the corner. Nakamura rocked Big E with a knee off the second turnbuckle for a near fall.
Nakamura set up for the Kinshasa, but Big E avoided the move. Nakamura attempted the Kinshasha a second time, but Big E countered with a uranage.
Big E attempted the Big Ending, but Crews jumped in for the disqualification.
Seth Rollins Returns
Before the commercial break, Michael Cole and Corey Graves discussed Rollin's return. Members of the SmackDown roster walked to the ring for Rollin's return.
Back from the break, Rollins made his way to the ring. Most of the roster is around ringside, including Rey Mysterio, Dominik, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Daniel Bryan, King Corbin, Bianca Belair, and more.
Rollins is happy to be back where he belongs in the ThunderDome. He noted a lot has changed since he sacrificed himself at Survivor Series. He said the thing that changed the most is himself.
Rollins noted he's a father now, and that change gave him a new vision. He talked about being a father and what it means to him. The roster applauded Rollins. He was coming across as a face, but that quickly changed.
Rollins has a vision that he's the great leader SmackDown needs. He can push SmackDown to make it greater.
Rollins talked about being their father, mentor, and leader to the roster. The entire roster walked away as Rollins was speaking. He said all they have to do is embrace his vision.
The lights came on, and Rollins realized nobody was at ringside except for Cesaro. Rollins was thrilled that Cesaro's going to embrace his vision. However, Cesaro turned him down and walked away.
Rollins was furious, so he attacked Cesaro from behind and chop blocked his knee. Daniel Bryan then ran out for the save and Rollins ran off.
Bayley defeated Liv Morgan (w/Ruby Riott)
This was a fine match.
They recapped Bayley defeating Riott last week after Billie Kay interfered.
Bayley rocked Morgan with a back elbow. Morgan avoided a clothesline with the matrix and followed up with a missile dropkick.
They showed Natalya and Tamina watching in the back.
Mogan attempted to leap off the steps, but Bayley moved, and Morgan crashed hard into the barricade. Bayley took over and worked over the shoulder. Morgan fought back and hit an enziguri. She followed up with the codebreaker for a close near fall.
Billie Kay came down to ringside to apologize to Riott. Riott became upset and threw Kay's resumes into the ring. The referee cleared the resumes from the ring. Bayley took advantage and raked Morgan in the eyes. She then hit the face plant for the win.
In the back, Kayla Braxton interviewed Cesaro and Daniel Bryan. Cesaro noted he's still participating in his match later tonight despite Rollins attacking him.
They showed clips of The Street Profits at the Daytona 500.
The Street Profits defeated Otis & Chad Gable.
This was a good and fun match while it lasted.
They showed clips of Gable and Otis preparing for the match earlier. Otis did squats as Gable sprayed him with smoke.
Gable and Dawkins started with some mat wrestling. The pace quickened, and they traded arm drag takedowns. Ford got the tag and avoided Gable with a series of flips.
Dawkins slowed the pace down with a chin lock. Otis got the hot tag and ran wild. He sent Ford to the floor with a suplex.
Otis then hit the splash in the corner and the caterpillar on Dawkins.
Gable and Otis attempted one of the moves they were practicing earlier, but Ford took Otis out of the match. Dawkins then hit a spinebuster on Gable, and Ford hit the frog splash for the win.
SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks made her way to the ring. She noted that everyone is talking about Bianca Belair and her decision.
Banks likes Belair and thinks of her as a big little sister. Banks wants Belair to pick her for WrestleMania.
Belair made her way to the ring. She praised Banks as well but noted this is her time. Before she could continue, WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler interrupted and made their way to the ring.
Jax mocked Banks and Belair for having huge egos. Baszler noted they won the tag titles the same night that Belair won the Rumble. Banks knew that Jax & Baszler would show up tonight, so she has some footage ready.
They showed clips from Raw of Naomi pinning Baszler. Banks noted that wasn't the footage she was talking about. Jax became upset and warned Banks not to show the footage.
They showed clips of the Jax and Lana tables match from Raw. They highlighted Jax screaming about her hole and Lana putting her through a table.
The heels jumped Banks and Belair. Banks and Belair worked together to drop Jax on her tailbone on the apron. Jax fought the urge to yell out about her hole again. The faces then worked together against Baszler.
Non-title Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Daniel Bryan & Cesaro defeated SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
This was a really good tag team match. All four worked hard and told a good story.
The faces had the early advantage. The heels briefly took over, but Bryan fought back. Roode knocked Cesaro off the apron, but Bryan applied the Lebell Lock. Roode made it to the ropes to break the hold.
Bryan attempted a suicide dive but missed and hit Cesaro instead. The heels took over and beat down the faces at ringside.
Sami Zayn and King Corbin came down to ringside to watch the match.
Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control as they isolated Bryan in their corner. They showed Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman watching the match in the back.
Ziggler attempted a superplex, but Bryan knocked him off and hit a missile dropkick. Bryan tried to make a tag, but Roode knocked Cesaro off the apron.
Bryan tried to fight back, but Roode hit a spine buster for a close near fall. Ziggler missed a charge in the corner, and Cesaro got the hot tag. Cesaro rocked Ziggler with a series of uppercuts. He knocked Roode off the apron and rocked Ziggler with another uppercut.
Cesaro set up for the giant swing, but Roode attacked the injured knee. Bryan took out Roode with a dropkick. Ziggler took advantage and hit the famouser on Cesaro for a near fall.
Cesaro recovered and caught Ziggler in the torture rack into the backbreaker. Cesaro then did the giant swing into the sharpshooter for the win. Bryan and Cesaro qualify for the Elimination Chamber.
After the match, Jey Uso attacked Cesaro with a chair from behind. Zayn and Corbin dragged Bryan to the floor. A brawl broke out, and Zayn turned on Corbin. Everyone started hitting big moves on each other.
Kevin Owens' music hit, and he ran to the ring. He ran wild and hit stunners on everyone. Reigns watched from the back as Owens posed in the ring.