SmackDown results, Jan. 29, 2021: Braun Strowman reemerges as SmackDown descends into chaos en route to Royal Rumble
Two nights before Royal Rumble, a one-on-one showdown between Daniel Bryan and Raw’s AJ Styles transformed into a chaotic 10-Man Tag Team Match and featured the wrath of the returning Monster Among Men. Plus, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens face off in a tense interview en route to their Universal Title Last Man Standing Match at Royal Rumble.
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Daniel Bryan challenged AJ Styles to a match ahead of Royal Rumble
Daniel Bryan opened SmackDown by reflecting on his great career and his quest to go through 29 other Superstars to win Sunday’s Royal Rumble Match for the first time and challenge a World Champion in the main event of WrestleMania.
As he spoke about his recent Alpha Academy training and how difficult the Royal Rumble can be, however, he was soon interrupted by AJ Styles and Omos, who came from Raw by means of the “Quarterly Brand-to-Brand Invitational" that gives a Superstar the right to visit the opposing brand.
When The Phenomenal One tried to belittle Bryan and questioned whether he actually had one foot out the door, The Leader of the "Yes!" Movement decided to challenge Styles to a one-on-one match. Feeling he had beaten everybody on Raw, "The Face that Runs the Place" accepted and called a contest against Bryan a “warmup.” After being knocked to the floor and almost running into Omos when he started to get up, Bryan question if his opponent was man enough to face him without his colossal sidekick. Bryan made it clear he would come out victorious.
Bianca Belair def. Bayley
After Bayley attacked Bianca Belair for showing her up in the “Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course Challenge” last week, The EST of WWE went one on one with The Role Model in an effort to knock her adversary off her high horse. Bayley took full advantage of the arm injury that Belair suffered during last week's assault, but the resilient Superstar fought though the pain.
Belair caught a charging Bayley and dropped her face-first into the top turnbuckle. She then picked up her opponent to execute the K.O.D. to score the biggest win of her career. After the match, Belair rejoiced over her huge victory and pledged to will the Royal Rumble Match en route to WrestleMania.
King Corbin def. Dominik Mysterio
After coming up short against the King Corbin last week, Dominik once again took on the sadistic monarch. Dominik attacked his opponent before the bell and sent a clear signal that he was determined to prove he has what it takes to face larger opponents like Corbin. Despite an aggression and determination that nearly overcame his royal opponent, Corbin dropped him on the top rope before finishing him with End of Days.
When King Corbin attempted to put his hands on Rey Mysterio after the bell, The Master of the 619 hurled him into the ring post and dropped him with the senton off the ring apron.
Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens geared up to destroy each other at Royal Rumble
From all-encompassing brawls of pure brutality through the WWE ThunderDome to Tables, Ladders and Chairs and Steel Cage Matches, the volatile rivalry between Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens has only grown more intense with each passing week.
With their Last Man Standing Match for the Universal Title set for Sunday’s Royal Rumble, The Head of the Table and his resilient challenger sat down with Michael Cole. When Reigns made things personal by continuously bringing Owens' family into the discussion, Owens eventually snapped and told off the Universal Champion until Reigns and Heyman turned off their monitor.
Daniel Bryan def. AJ Styles by disqualification
Before entering Sunday’s Royal Rumble backed with his newfound Alpha Academy training, Daniel Bryan engaged in a one-on-one matchup against AJ Styles, with Cesero joining SmackDown commentary to scout the Royal Rumble Match competition . Eventually, Sami Zayn and his documentary crew emerged to protest his recent “treatment” by WWE.
Soon, Zayn changed the protest sign he was holding to an anti-Big E protest sign. This eventually inspired the Intercontinental Champion to take down Zayn with a clothesline. He then launched The Master Strategist over the announce table and nearly hit Cesaro on commentary. Before long, Cesaro, Bryan and Styles had all gotten involved as well as an emerging Shinsuke Nakamura. Bryan technically won the match ending in disqualification, but the contest was restarted as a Six-Man Tag Team Match.
Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura & Big E def. AJ Styles, Cesaro & Sami Zayn by disqualification
In the final moments of an impromptu Six-Man Tag Team Match, Miz & Morrison suddenly slid in and jumped Big E when everybody else was down and brought an end to the match by disqualification. Their disruption soon brought Otis to the ring to target the Dirt Sheet pair. Before long, all nine Superstars were brawling, and the match was once again restarted to include all of them.
Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sheamus Big E & Otis def. AJ Styles, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, The Miz & John Morrison
Following a pattern of continued turmoil, nine Superstars competed in what began as a Handicap Match until Sheamus eventually joined Bryan's team to make it a 10-Man Tag Team Match.
The bout once again descended into madness with Superstar after Superstar executing their finishing maneuvers. The last to do so was Sheamus, who hit Zayn with a Brogue Kick for the pinfall.
But when Miz & Morrison continued their assault after bell, Braun Strowman suddenly emerged! Returning from suspension following Survivor Series, The Monster Among Men quickly unleashed his wrath on anyone in sight and signaled his entrance into Sunday's Royal Rumble Match.