WWE SmackDown Ratings Up with Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, Bayley, Bianca Belair

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Friday night's episode of WWE SmackDown, headlined by a brawl involving universal champion Roman Reigns, Adam Pearce and Kevin Owens, saw its ratings improve compared to last week. 

According to Showbuzz Daily, SmackDown averaged 2.282 million viewers in the overnight ratings during its two-hour broadcast on Fox. That is up from last week's 2.153 million. SmackDown also did a 0.6 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, which was tied for No. 2 on the night.

SmackDown opened with a confrontation between Reigns and Pearce, who got out of his scheduled Royal Rumble match against Reigns last week by saying he wasn't medically cleared and subsequently replacing himself with Kevin Owens.

After Pearce disrespected Paul Heyman, Reigns implored Heyman to do something about it. Heyman obliged by challenging Pearce to a match in the main event of SmackDown, and Pearce accepted.

It all turned out to be a ruse, as Heyman pretended to trip on the steps while entering the ring for the match, which led to Reigns stepping in and brutally attacking Pearce. Owens eventually made the save, however, and SmackDown went off the air with KO powerbombing The Tribal Chief through the announce table.

SmackDown also featured a surprisingly entertaining match between SmackDown women's champion Sasha Banks and Carmella's sommelier, Reginald. While Banks won the match by submission, Reginald drew on his background as a Cirque du Soleil performer and did some impressive acrobatics.

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There was also an Intercontinental Championship match on SmackDown pitting Big E against Apollo Crews, but there was not a definitive finish.

In the middle of the match, Sami Zayn ran in and hit Crews with a Helluva Kick. He then hit Big E with a Helluva Kick after the bell as well.

Zayn had handcuffed himself to the barricade and was sitting on the ramp throughout the show before getting involved in the match and getting some revenge on the man who beat him for the IC title, Big E, and the man who helped make it happen, Crews.

Also on SmackDown, Asuka and Charlotte Flair beat The Riott Squad, Cesaro defeated Dolph Ziggler, King Corbin beat Dominik Mysterio and Bianca Belair defeated Bayley in an entertaining obstacle course challenge, only for Bayley to attack her afterward.

                  

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