Bengaluru, January 28: Royal Rumble weekend kicks off with tonight's episode of WWE Friday Night Smackdown that airs just a day prior to the premium live event scheduled for this Saturday (January 29).
A confrontation between two former Shield brethren is likely to be the headliner of the show for the third consecutive week, while a tag team match will also be there on the card where we expect the return of a former champion.
Plus, Naomi will have the opportunity to seek redemption against Sonya Deville as they are set to compete in a match when Smackdown takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Bloodline threw a celebration for the record-breaking reign of Roman Reigns who is now the longest-reigning Universal Champion in WWE history.
Seth Rollins interrupted and pointed out how The Usos have become the 'unappreciated’ longest-reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions in history as their cousin is stealing all the spotlight.
Then during the main event last week, Seth teamed with Kevin Owens to defeat The Usos in a non-title match via DQ after Reigns hit laid out Rollins with a Superman Punch. Per the stipulation, The Usos will be now banned from ringside during the Royal Rumble title match between Rollins and Reigns.
Reigns originally wanted Rollins to forfeit his title shot at The Rumble if the latter would have lost during that tag bout. But that’s not the case and it’ll be a big blow for the champion who won’t be having his insurance policies by his side, this Saturday.
The Visionary has now volunteered himself to make another appearance on Smackdown and he also promised to make a statement to The Tribal Chief before their forever battle resumes just a few hours later.
Madcap Moss scored the biggest victory of his career, clinching a win over the former WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, on the January 14 edition of SmackDown.
During the rematch from last week, Big E journeyed from Raw to neutralize the ringside shenanigans by Happy Corbin and thereby stop the interferences. Kofi ultimately picked up the win with the Trouble in Paradise Kick while E also planted Moss with a Big Ending, afterward.
Following the above happenings, E will be there on Smackdown for a second straight week to team up with Kofi as the duo takes on Moss and Corbin. Reports from PWInsider suggest that the remaining New Day member, Xavier Woods is likely to return during this match.
The Usos defeated The New Day (Woods and Kofi Kingston) in a Street Fight to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship on the January 7 episode. Woods admittedly tore the Plantaris muscle under his calf and was expected to be out of action for 4/6 weeks.
The source stated that the 2021 King of the Ring winner might not be cleared to wrestle yet (he’s out of the Royal Rumble match, too) but he could be there on Smackdown to keep the numbers-game in favor of The New Day.
Sonya Deville’s vendetta against Naomi continued last week as the WWE Official opted to make herself the Special Guest Referee in Naomi’s Championship Contender rematch against SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair.
As expected, Deville was least bothered to call the action, right down the middle. After delaying the pin-fall counts in favor of Naomi, she entered the ring quickly and called for the match bell without Naomi ever tapping out to Flair’s Figure-Four submission.
Later, WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff gave a visit to WWE Official Adam Pearce and proposed that Deville has her issues with Naomi but this has to end. As a result, The Glowing Superstar would have a chance to go one-on-one against the former Absolution member.
Will the highly athletic Naomi be able to seek revenge against Deville for holding her back for weeks? Or will the ever-cunning WWE Official again upstage her current rival by pulling off some heinous antics? We’ll find out answers when the Royal Rumble go-home edition of Smackdown airs on FOX.