On Friday Night SmackDown, the show was promoted around a Gauntlet Match to determine the next challenger for Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
The match initially listed five participants – Sami Zayn, Rey Mysterio, Shinsuke Nakamura, King Corbin, and Daniel Bryan. However, during the show, Adam Pearce was added to the match as the final entrant. Pearce was left with Nakamura as the final two with Roman Reigns and Jey Uso attacking Nakamura before Uso super kicked Pearce and played him on top of Nakamura to win the match.
Going off the air, it was announced that Roman Reigns would defend the Universal title against Adam Pearce at the Royal Rumble on Sunday, January 31st.
Pearce, 42, last wrestled in December 2014 and would later become a trainer and then a producer at WWE.
The show also featured Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defeating The Street Profits to become the SmackDown tag champions. After injuring Montez Ford’s knee throughout the match, they double-teamed Ford and hit a spine buster into a Zig-Zag leading to the cover.
Big E. retained the Intercontinental title over Apollo Crews. After a double pin with both shoulders down, a second match occurred with Big. E hitting the uranage to set up the Big Ending and won the match.
Finally, it was announced that Bayley and Bianca Belair are the latest entrants added to the Royal Rumble match on January 31st.