Sasha Banks made a surprise return to officially enter the Royal Rumble Match
Although SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, Shayna Baszler, Aliyah, Natalya and Shotzi all emerged to position themselves heading into Saturday’s Royal Rumble, it was the surprise return of Sasha Banks that truly shook things up. Moments after The Boss declared her intention to enter the Rumble, she slapped The Queen and kicked off all-out bedlam between all the competitors in the ring. This culminated with Sasha tossing Flair over the top rope to send a strong message to the titleholder and entire field!
Sheamus & Ridge Holland def. Ricochet & Cesaro
Returning to action weeks after suffering a devastating kick to the face in a WWE Day 1 tag team rematch against the high-powered duo Ricochet & Cesaro, Ridge Holland wore a protective mask gifted to him by Sheamus. In the final moments of the contest, Holland tagged himself into the action and used his mask as a weapon to take down The Swiss Superman before finishing him off with Northern Grit for the victory.
Naomi def. Sonya Deville
After abusing her power at the expense of Naomi week after week, WWE Official Sonya Deville competed for the first time in about a year-and-a-half when she finally battled The Glow in a one-on-one matchup.
Despite the dangerous Deville attempting to intimidate referee Dan Engler both before and during the contest, raking her opponent’s eye and using the tights in an attempt to defeat her prey, Naomi ultimately emerged victorious with the Rearview and an earth-shattering split-legged moonsault.
When Naomi celebrated after the bell, however, an irate Deville reemerged with her jacket on. once her her authority was back in place, she announced that she herself would be a special guest entry in Saturday’s Royal Rumble Match!
Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs def. Jinder Mahal & Shanky
Sami Zayn opted to transform his show “In-Zayn” from a stunt and prank show into a live podcast. There he welcomed special guests Jinder Mahal & Shanky. When Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs interrupted, however, the time for words transformed into action. Zayn disputed their disruption and prompted the reigning titleholder to kick the host clear out of the ring to bring the podcast to a premature end.
In a subsequent scheduled matchup en route to Saturday’s Royal Rumble Match, Nakamura & Boogs took on Mahal & Shanky. In a key moment of the action, Zayn left his spot on commentary to pull The King of Strong Style off the apron. Despite this disruption, Boogs was able to power through the opposition, neutralize The Modern Day Maharaja and use his incredible strength to overcome the gigantic Shanky with Boogs Cruise!
The New Day def. Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss
One night before the high-stakes Royal Rumble Match, Big E joined his New Day brethren Kofi Kingston for the first time in 18 months on a quest to turn the clowns upside down in a battle against the laughing duo of Madcap Moss & Happy Corbin. In the final moments of the hard-fought matchup, Big E hurled Corbin into the steel steps and paved the way for The New Day to work together and reign supreme over Moss with the Midnight Hour in heroic fashion.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins gets inside Roman Reigns’ head before Royal Rumble
Just one night before their one-on-one Universal Title showdown at Royal Rumble, Seth “Freakin” Rollins journeyed to SmackDown to once again stand face-to-face with The Head of the Table for an intense war of words.
With The Usos now barred from their Universal Title showdown at Royal Rumble, Reigns denied that Rollins’ past victories over him meant anything now that he had reached “god status.”The Head of the Table’s expression changed suddenly, though, when Rollins brought up the infamous moment when he hit him in the back with a chair and ended The Shield.
Reigns admitted that he never forgave his one-time brother-in-arms for that actions and that he hated him. A laughing Rollins knew he had the titleholder where he wanted him and took things to the personal place by bringing up his family. In response, Reigns shoved The Visionary and attempted to hit him with a Superman Punch. As Rollins took his leave, it was clear that one day before their Royal Rumble title match, the challenger was, in fact, inside Reigns head.