The main event of this week’s Friday Night SmackDown took on multiple forms. It began as a singles match between Daniel Bryan and Monday Night RAW‘s own AJ Styles, the latter of whom christened himself as a Royal Rumble “gatekeeper.” Given that the likes of Ricochet and Drew Gulak failed to beat Styles for entry in the men’s Rumble, this moniker wasn’t totally unwarranted. In any event, Bryan and Styles faced one another in the main event. However, the match would take on multiple tag team formats following interference from various WWE Superstars. The night would end with “The Monster Among Men,” Braun Strowman, making his first appearance on WWE programming since November.
The main event of SmackDown took the final form of Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, Intercontinental Champion Big E, Otis, and Sheamus taking on the team of Styles, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, John Morrison and Money in the Bank holder The Miz. The match ended when Sheamus hit Zayn with the Brogue Kick, getting the win for his team. Post-match, Sheamus was attacked by his opponents. Strowman made his entrance, mowing down Styles and Zayn before slamming Cesaro with authority. Strowman followed up by hitting his signature powerslam on Zayn before doing the same to Cesaro. In short order, “The Monster Among Men” made his intention clear: he was determined to win the 2021 Men’s Royal Rumble.
— WWE (@WWE) January 30, 2021
Braun Strowman was last seen on the episode of Monday Night RAW following last year’s Survivor Series pay-per-view. At the event in question, Strowman was part of Team RAW, which ended up defeating Team SmackDown via clean sweep. The following night on RAW, an irate Strowman headbutted WWE Official Adam Pearce following conflict between the members of Team RAW. Taking offense to Pearce’s “last but not least” remark, Strowman struck the WWE Official, who suspended him indefinitely.
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