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WWE SmackDown live results: First episode of 2021

A graphic for the late Jon Huber "Luke Harper" appeared at the start of the show.

They recapped Roman Reigns defeating Kevin Owens in the TLC and cage matches from last week. 

Micheal Cole noted it's the first SmackDown of the year from the critically acclaimed ThunderDome. 

Reigns, Jey Uso and Paul Heyman, made their way to the ring. They took their time walking to the ring.

Reigns took the mic and wished everyone a Happy New Year. He noted that 2020 was a rough year for everyone. Of course, he's the head of the table and made it work. 

Reigns pointed out that everything he touches turns to greatness. Reigns praised Heyman for all of his accomplishments and noted he saved him. He turned his attention to his cousin Uso. Reigns always knew that Jey could be main event Uso. He praised Uso when Kevin Owens's music hit. 

Reigns was annoyed that Owens came out and demanded they turn his music off. A furious Reigns told Owens to go to the back and leave. He claimed this is about Uso and not Owens.

Owens pointed out that Uso helped Reigns beat him twice last week. However, he's not here for Reigns. Owens is here for Uso and promised to make the match happen later. He's going to go to the back and speak to Adam Pearce.

This was a fine opening segment.

They recapped Big E defeating Sami Zayn to win the Intercontinental Championship. 

Non-title match: Intercontinental Champion Big E defeated King Corbin (w/The Knights Of The Lone Wolf)

Sami Zayn joined Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary. 

This was an okay match. They didn't have a lot of time before it turned into a tag team match. 

Big E was wearing an armband with Brodie's name written on it. Corbin took over after sending Big E shoulder-first into the ring post. Big E fought back and sent Corbin over the top rope onto the apron. Big E attempted the spear through the ropes, but Corbin countered with a knee to the face. 

Corbin attempted the around the ring post clotheslines, but Big E countered with the Big Ending. Big E had the match won when Zayn jumped in for the DQ. 

Zayn and the Knights of the Lone Wolf jumped Big E and beat him down. Suddenly, Apollo Crews music hit, and he ran down for the save. He cleared the ring and press slammed Zayn onto the heels at ringside. 

Big E & Apollo Crews defeated King Corbin & Sami Zayn

Back from the break, the match was already in progress. Cole noted Adam Pearce made the match official during the commercial break. This was a fine match. 

The heels took over after the Knights of the Lone Wolf interfered. Zayn argued with the Knights at ringside. Crews recovered and nailed a huge spine buster on Zayn.

Big E got the hot tag and ran wild. He hit a belly-to-belly suplex and a big splash on Corbin. He set up for the Big Ending, but Corbin fought back and hit the Deep Six for a near fall. 

Zayn argued with the Knights again, which distracted Cobin. Crews took over and ran wild on Corbin. Zayn tagged himself in and almost hit the helluva kick on Corbin. 

Zayn and Corbin argued again. Eventually, Corbin had enough and walked off with the Knights. Crews recovered and rocked Zayn with an enziguri. He followed up with the powerbomb for the win. 

In the back, Kevin Owens approached Adam Pearce and demanded a match with Jey Uso. Pearce didn't want to give him the match. Owens brought up their past and convinced Pearce to give him the match with Uso later. 

Kayla Braxton approached Big E and Apollo Crews in the back. She asked Big E what his plans are for the new year. He referenced the Toronto Maple Leafs and promised to issue an open challenge next week.

Crews interrupted and accepted the open challenge. He pointed out that he helped Big E win the title, but he won't be watching his back next week. They both had a good laugh.

The Riott Squad defeated Natalya & Tamina (w/Billie Kay)

The focus of the match was on Billie Kay at ringside. At first, Kay thought she was in the match, but it was Natalya and Tamina. She tried giving them advice, but it distracted them. The Riott Squad hit Tamina with a double clothesline. 

The Riott Squad took over, and Kay moved into their corner. Kay cheered on the faces as they were in control. The Riot Squad were confused as Kay tried to give them advice. 

Tamina jumped the Riott Squad and regained control. She placed Morgan on her shoulders for the Samoan drop, but Kay tried giving her advice again. Morgan recovered and rolled up Tamina for the win.

Kay celebrated the win, but the Riott Squad walked off. 

They recapped the Women's Tag Team Elimination match from last week.

Carmella (w/Reginald) & Bayley defeated SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair 

This was a good tag team match. 

Bayley was wearing a Brodie armband as well. 

Belair rocked Bayley with a dropkick and sent her to the floor. Belair then knocked Carmella off the apron to the floor.

Banks followed up with a crossbody off the apron with Belair's help on Bayley.

Banks scored a near fall on Bayley as they cut to a commercial. 

Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control. Cole claimed that Bayley and Carmella are veterans with the experience advantage. The heels isolated Belair and cut her off from Banks. 

Bayley slowed the pace down and worked over Belair's injured arm. Belair fought back and hit a vertical suplex. Belair attempted to make a tag, but Carmella cut off and knocked Banks off the apron. 

Banks got the tag and ran wild on Carmella. She hit the double knees for a near fall, but Bayley broke up the pin. 

Belair tried to help Banks, but Bayley cut her off. Belair and Bayley fought around ringside. Belair hit a vertical suplex on the floor on Bayley. 

Reginald jumped in the ring and got in Banks' face. Reginald then did a rolling backflip out of the ring. He then did a backflip off the apron. Carmella tried to take advantage, but Banks rocked Carmella with a knee. 

Reginald jumped back on the apron, but Banks knocked him off. Carmella then hit the X-factor for the win. 

In the back, Roman Reigns was furious that Jey Uso has to take on Kevin Owens later. He demanded Paul Heyman find out who made the match official. 

Sonya Devilla made her surprise return as she walked backstage. The roster members in the back were shocked to see her as she walked by.

SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits hosted the New Year's Day Smoke-tecular special. They talked about their accomplishments in 2020.

Angelo Dawkins then revealed a drum set. 

Montez Ford then made 2021 predictions. First, he predicted that Sam Zayn's I was the Intercontinental Champion would be the number one seller on WWE Shop. Ford then made his second prediction. He pointed out that Ziggler stole a lot from Shawn Michaels, so in 2021 Ziggler will become the Heart Ache Kid. 

Suddenly, Ziggler and Bobby Roode jumped The Street Profits. Roode beat down Dawkins with a chair and tossed him over the barricade. 

Ziggler and Roode then attacked Ford's leg. They slammed his leg against the ring post and then hit it with a chair. 

Back from the break, Kayla Braxton approached Roode and Ziggler in the back. They demanded a rematch against the SmackDown tag team champions. 

Daniel Bryan & Otis (w/Chad Gable) defeated Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura 

This was a good tag team match.

Earlier today, Gable and Otis helped Bryan train for the Royal Rumble. They were working on their hips, which was funny. Cesaro and Nakamura approached and mocked them, setting up the match for later. 

Bryan and Cesaro were both wearing Brodie armbands during the match. 

The heels had the early advantage and isolated Bryan in their corner. Bryan fought back and attempted a suicide dive, but Cesaro caught him and hit an uppercut. 

Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control. Cesaro slowed the pace down with a chin lock. Bryan fought back and made the tag to Otis. He ran wild on Cesaro and hit a huge suplex. He followed up with a splash in the corner and the caterpillar. 

Nakamura broke up the pin attempt. Otis attempted the Vader Bomb, but Cesaro moved out of the way. Nakamura went for the Kinshasa, but Otis avoided the move. 

Bryan got the tag and used a sunset flip for a near fall. Nakamura locked on an armbar, but Otis made the save. Bryan hit the running knee on Cesaro, which took him out of the match. 

Nakamura rolled up Bryan for a near fall, but Bryan countered into the Yes Lock for the win. 

In the back, Paul Heyman informed Roman Reigns that Adam Pearce made the Owens and Uso match. Reigns told Uso to end Ownes.

Kevin Owens defeated Jey Uso

This was a good match but the post-match angle felt like it went a bit long. 

Owens jumped Uso at the ring of the bell. He hit a clothesline and senton on the floor.

Owens followed up with a senton in the ring for a near fall. 

Owens targeted Uso's injured leg. Owens continued to attack the knee and slammed it against the ring apron several times. 

Owens yelled at Uso that it's all Reigns' fault. Uso tried fighting back, but Owens recovered. Owens went for the stunner, but Uso countered with a superkick. 

Owens rolled to the floor, so Uso went after him. Uso jumped off the ring steps, but Owens rocked him with a superkick. He then threw Uso over the announce table. 

Back from the break, Uso and Owens fought on the top rope. Uso pushed Owens to the mat and attempted a splash. Owens moved, and Uso landed on his injured leg. Owens then hit the stunner for the win.

After the match, Owens beat down Uso and demanded Reigns take care of his family. Michael Cole and Corey Graves noted Reigns wouldn't take the bait.

Owens handcuffed Uso to the top rope and hit a superkick. He continued to beat down Uso and call out Reigns. 

Owens tried taking Uso to the back, but Uso broke free. Owens regained control, and they brawled into the stands. Suddenly, Roman Reigns jumped Owens from behind. Reigns and Uso then gave Owens a vicious beat down. They beat him down for several minutes before Reigns threw him off the stands through a table.

Next Week: Intercontinental Champion Big E defends against Apollo Crews.