Shinsuke Nakamura shined in the number one contender's gauntlet match on last night's SmackDown, but it was an unlikely opponent who emerged as Roman Reigns' Royal Rumble challenger.
Authority figure Adam Pearce won the gauntlet match after being forced into it by Reigns. Reigns was upset with Pearce for making last week's Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso main event and this week's gauntlet. It was said that Reigns had Paul Heyman pull some strings to get Pearce added to the match.
Pearce reluctantly came down to the ring with Reigns, Uso, and Heyman as the last person to enter the gauntlet match. Reigns and Uso laid out Nakamura, then Reigns threw Pearce into the ring. Uso gave Pearce a superkick and Reigns called for the bell to ring to start Nakamura and Pearce's match. Uso then put Pearce on top of Nakamura and the referee counted the pin.
Nakamura had defeated Daniel Bryan, Baron Corbin, and Rey Mysterio during the gauntlet match. Sami Zayn also took part in the gauntlet.
Last night's show also featured a title change as Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defeated The Street Profits to win the SmackDown Tag Team titles. In storyline, Montez Ford's leg was injured going into the match after Ziggler and Roode attacked it with a steel chair last week.
More coverage from last night --
- WOR: SmackDown, Vince countersuit, ratings 1/9
- Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton set for WWE Raw
- WWE announces three new Royal Rumble entrants
- Vince McMahon countersues ex-XFL commissioner for $573,000
- WWE 205 Live results: Stallion & Grey vs. The Bollywood Boyz
- WWE crowns new SmackDown Tag Team Champions
- Adam Pearce wins title shot gauntlet match on WWE SmackDown
- WWE SmackDown live results: Number one contender's gauntlet
WWE SmackDown video highlights --
A video package looks back at Roman Reigns laying out Kevin Owens last week
Roman Reigns takes issue with Adam Pearce's actions
Big E vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental title
Carmella says Sasha Banks can't touch her in terms of raw talent
The Street Profits vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode for the SmackDown Tag Team titles
Paul Heyman pulled some strings to get Adam Pearce added to the gauntlet match
Gauntlet match: Rey Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn
Gauntlet match: Rey Mysterio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Gauntlet match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
Gauntlet match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Daniel Bryan
Gauntlet match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Adam Pearce
SmackDown fallout: Ziggler & Roode are feeling absolutely glorious after their win
SmackDown fallout: Ziggler & Roode take part in their Tag Team title photoshoot
SmackDown fallout: Apollo Crews is demanding an IC title rematch against Big E
SmackDown fallout: Chad Gable trains Otis for the Royal Rumble