Adam Pearce Tricks Roman Reigns, Bayley's Talk Show, More WWE SmackDown Fallout
For several months, SmackDown has been a more entertaining show than Raw. While that was still true this week, Friday's show was hit-and-miss.
Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott gave Billie Kay a chance to be their friend when they allowed her to be at ringside for Morgan's match with Natalya. Predictably, Kay screwed things up.
Bayley introduced a new talk-show segment titled Ding Dong, Hello after her catchphrase from the past couple of months. She welcomed Bianca Belair as her first guest, and things quickly went downhill.
We also saw Cesaro and Daniel Bryan put on what could be the Match of the Week, while Adam Pearce found a way to get one over on Roman Reigns while getting himself out of their match at The Royal Rumble.
Let's take a look at some of the biggest segments from Friday's show and what could be next for those involved.
Billie Kay Cost Her New Friend a Match
The Riott Squad used to be a trio when Sarah Logan was still with WWE, but ever since Morgan and Riott reunited in 2020, they have been a duo. A former IIconic looked to change that Friday.
Kay inadvertently helped Morgan and Riott defeat Natalya and Tamina in a tag match on New Year's Day and used the mistake as a way to try to get into their good graces.
Both women seemed apprehensive but gave her a shot. Kay tried to get into the spirit by wearing some clothing that looked like she Googled "What do punks wear?" and bought the first thing she saw.
Unfortunately for the Australian, she accidentally cost Morgan the match when she climbed into the ring to avoid Tamina. The distraction allowed Natalya to roll Morgan up for the pin.
While they did not attack or insult Kay for her mistake, Morgan and Riott did not look happy—and for good reason. The odds are we will see more of this over the next few weeks.
Kay is going to keep trying to find some new friends after she and Peyton Royce were forced to split up last year, so she is going to attempt to help Morgan or Riott again in the future.
She will probably screw things up at least one more time, but seeing as she seems genuine in her effort to be accepted by somebody else, there will come a time when she does something right and earns some respect from The Riott Squad. If she were able to get them a match for the women's tag titles, it would go a long way toward erasing any mistakes.
Kay has embraced her role as a comedic character, and if she continues to put all of her effort into it, she could quickly become one of the most entertaining stars on the roster.
'Ding Dong, Hello'
A lot of WWE Superstars already have talk shows that appear sporadically, and Friday saw another added to the list when Bayley introduced us to her show, Ding Dong, Hello.
The name of the show comes from her most recent catchphrase, and she had a special door made so her guest would have to ring the doorbell before being interviewed.
Bayley looked like she was having a blast with this role and provided some of the best laughs of the night. The giggling stopped when Bianca Belair came to the ring. The EST and Bayley argued a bit about who was the best, but they did not get physical. It looks like they are saving their anger for the Royal Rumble on January 31.
It feels like WWE is setting it up so these are the final two competitors in the ring during the women's Royal Rumble match, meaning one of them will win the whole thing.
As deserved as the win would be for Bayley, it would do so much more for Belair. After having a rocky start on the main roster, this could be what elevates her to the level she deserves to be at. They may have another singles match before the pay-per-view to keep the feud going, but it might be better if they don't have any contact before the Rumble. It will make their eventual clash that much more exciting.
Daniel Bryan and Cesaro Steal the Show
The WWE roster is overflowing with great performers, but when it comes to the most technically proficient wrestlers in the company, few can come close to Cesaro and Daniel Bryan.
They are the kind of wrestlers who make everything they do look effortless. Putting them in the ring together was a recipe for a great match, and that is exactly what we got on SmackDown.
While it appears Shinsuke Nakamura may have turned babyface again, The Swiss Cyborg looks like he will remain a heel for the time being, which could lead to the former tag team partners facing each other down the line.
Bryan and Cesaro not only had the best match of the night, but they may have also outperformed everything else from this week. What made it even better was seeing Cesaro score the win.
The Swiss beating The Yes Man clean in the middle of the ring could be the first signs of a renewed push. How he performs in the men's Royal Rumble match will be a good indicator of what his future holds.
If he scores a record number of eliminations, lasts longer than anyone or makes it all the way to the end, it will tell us that management is going to take another swing at pushing him as a singles star.
Adam Pearce Tricks Roman Reigns
Ever since he won the Universal Championship in August, Reigns has ruled over SmackDown like a tyrant. He even started bossing around authority figures recently.
On the previous episode of SmackDown, The Tribal Chief set it up so Adam Pearce won a Gauntlet match to earn a shot at the universal title. Friday was supposed to be when they signed the contract to make their title clash official.
Reigns had Paul Heyman change the stipulation to a Last Man Standing bout at the Royal Rumble, but Pearce had a trick up his sleeve. After Reigns signed the contract, a wry smile crossed Pearce's face.
As he made his way up the ramp, he began to limp. He talked about an old knee injury and how if he is unable to compete, he can name his own replacement. That is when Kevin Owens arrived.
This was all a ploy by Pearce to get Reigns' signature so he could pass the contract to Owens instead of signing it himself. He may be an authority figure, but he still had to resort to conning The Big Dog to get out of a match.
The Universal Championship match for the PPV is now official. There are only two episodes of SmackDown left before the event, so we should expect to see Reigns and Jey Uso attempt to soften up KO before January 31.
Whether Pearce has to keep watching his back is the big question. Reigns will be focused on Owens, but he is not going to let the five-time NWA champion get away with this. If anything, the target on Pearce's back just increased in size.