Welcome one and all to Friday Night SmackDown! Your host tonight is your Friday Night Friar, Hogan. Refresh this page frequently as we'll have live coverage with updates every five to seven minutes.
Our official preview dropped earlier today, laying out the groundwork for tonight's program, coming to us live from the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. Our "Tribal Chief" has come to sit at the head of his table, as Undisputed WWE Champion Roman Reigns returns to SmackDown! Also in Bloodline action are the Usos, who'll defend their Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against the Brawling Brutes. And in his in-ring return, Braun Strowman looks to brawl with Otis of the Alpha Academy.
We'll have all this and much more, next on SmackDown! So with all that said, let's get things started! For those of you who want just the results and not the novella, click here!
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Live Results (Sept. 23, 2022): Vivint Arena - Salt Lake City, UT
Welcome to SmackDown
Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcome us to Salt Lake City, give a plug to Progressive, and we waste no more time before we get to our...acknowledgements.
Return of the Tribal Chief
At 8:01pm, the 754-day champion, Roman Reigns, makes his way out escorted by the Undisputed Tag Team Champions, mouthpiece Paul Heyman, Solo Sikoa and "Honorary Uce" Sami Zayn. The trio of champs hoist their gold in timing with the pyro as Sami Zayn holds up the Ones. At 8;07pm, its finally over and we get Roman on the mic. He demands Salt Lake City acknowledge him to a great mix of boos and cheers. Heyman hops on the mic next and he questions what you call people from Utah--Utopians? Utons? "Let's settle on this. Salt Lake Cit-iots..." He gets big boos at this and a a lot of cat calls. "You don't boo the Wiseman," he chastises the crowd, leading to more boos. He states they've got a lot of items to get through so he'll go through them rapid fire. Firstly, Roman Reigns is STILL the champ, yada yada. He tells us that Drew never had the home turf in Cardiff as "this entire planet, the universe, the multiverse, the metaverse belongs to the Island of Relevancy and sitting on the throne (is our) Tribal Chief." He addresses McIntyre having "another bridge to...Kross, let's talk about Solo. Oh, how I wish I could brag that this was the Wiseman's most brilliant coup."
He says the idea for Solo is that "Solo was sent by the Elders of the Samoan Dynasty. Solo was sent because Brock Lesnar took out the Wiseman, the Usos have enough on their plate, and someone has to stop these conspiracies against your Tribal Chief." He warns us that "if you thought the Bloodline were unstoppable before--and we were--now there's an Enforcer" to back up Roman, and that Enforcer is Solo. "Which opens up Jimmy and Jey Uso to concentrate on their pursuit of greatness, their pursuit of history" he goes on, praising the Uso's pursuit of immortality. Jimmy hops on the mic for a quick moment, hyping the "and STILL" nature of all their championships (except the North American one, that is). Roman asks for the mic back. The crowd loudly cheer for Roman--most of the boos are piped in. Roman speaks. "Solo? The Elders, they may have sent you but you answer to me now. Acknowledge me." Solo takes the mic and does that, acknowledging Roman as his Tribal Chief. They embrace and their theme plays up.
Sami Zayn interrupts them, however, getting on the mic and asking for the music to be cut. Roman takes extreme exception to this, and finally the Bloodline turn on Zayn in the ring. Roman questions what the hell Sami's even doing with them and demands Zayn take the shirt off (the Bloodline tee). Sami begs Roman not to do anything rash. Roman demands he take it off again. Sami doesn't, so Roman orders Jey to rip it off. Roman warns Zayn, telling him he's never going to wear that Bloodline shirt again, sternly staring Sami down as the crowd boos. Roman then smiles and states it's because they've got him a new one. Roman reveals an "Honorary Uce" Sami Zayn graphic tee to a good pop and Sami flips out with excitement. Roman asks him if he's got anything to say, and Zayn does--he acknowledges Roman and hugs him. Roman smiles and hugs the Honorary Uce. We see the Brawling Brutes watching backstage and we head to break at 8:19pm EST.
Singles Match: SmackDown Women's Champion Liv Morgan vs Lacey Evans
The SmackDown Women's Champ comes out to new music. Evans is already in the ring, wearing military-themed ring gear. We're getting started with our first match at 8:24! Evans starts off in control and spends as much time attacking with her mouth as she does with her fists and feet. Evans is also wearing some camo paint over her right eye and forehead. Evans takes Morgan down and uses a series of working holds to keep the champ contained. Graves on commentary berates Morgan, as Evans does in the ring, repeatedly yelling to Morgan that she's not extreme. Morgan chains together a pair of offensive moves but Evans quickly takes the control back, again slowing the pace with holds. The two spar briefly at the ropes, with Evans sending Morgan's face into the ring post. Morgan crashes to the floor in front of commentary and we go to our second break at 8:27! We return three minutes later, with Evans still in control. Evans continues the verbal and physical assault on the champ. At one point, Morgan screams up at her for more--so Evans does just that, using a Big Boot to the knelt Morgan for a close cover. Evans slams down Morgan, slaps a thigh headlock on Morgan, and does push-ups over the champ to boos. Morgan fights her way out, and throws boots to Evan's face. Evans rolls to the outside to compose herself then pulls back the apron, revealing the underside of the ring. Evans retrieves an old-fashioned broom, then a kendo stick, to massive digital boos (not as many in-house boos). Evans swings but Morgans ducks under and hits a Code Breaker, sending Evans reeling. Morgan with the ObLIVion and covers, picking up the win at 8:33!
Your Winner, Liv Morgan! (9 minutes)
After the Match: Liv Lives a Little
After the match, Liv Morgan used the kendo stick to beat Evans out of the ring, and around the ringside area. Morgan sets up a Side Russian Leg Sweep, kendo-assisted, that drives the back of Evans head and neck into the barricade. Morgan retrieves a table and sets it up before the commentary desk. Morgan lays Evans upon the table and enters the ring, climbing up the turnbuckles. Morgan perches on the top of the ring post, as high up as she can get, then hits a Senton onto Evans through the table! Cole praises Morgan's new-found "killer instinct." 8:34-8:37pm.
Backstage: Hit Row, the Street Profits, and a Former King
We cut to the back and find Hit Row celebrating their release party. The Street Profits show up and then the group discuss the Otis versus Braun match. Montez Ford asks everyone's opinion--including the returning Shinsuke Nakamura! They toast and we go to break at 8:38!
Backstage: Sami Zayn, Ricochet, and Madcap Moss
Zayn's shown backstage, barking orders as the Honorary Uce, to a rando when Ricochet and Moss walk up. They mock him; he warns him that "if you want to disrespect me, that's fine, but if you disrespect me now" then you're disrespecting the entire Bloodline. Ricochet tells Sami he's a joke and starts to insult more when Solo Sikoa attacks! The Enforcer leaves Moss and Ricochet laid out, protecting the honorary Uce. Zayn warns them not to mess with the Bloodline and then states he was "just about to do that" (beat them down).
Tag Team Match: the New Day vs Maximum Male Models
We return from break and find the MMM already in the ring as the New Day make their entrance. We get our bell at 8:51! ma.çé and mån.sôör start off strong, using quick tags to isolate Xavier Woods to their side of the ring. Commentary hype both ma.çé and mån.sôör and their gimmick as the duo continue to isolate Woods. Maxxine Dupri is shown ringside taking pictures of the action. ma.çé and mån.sôör pose for her despite Max Dupri's coaching, setting up a hot tag from Kingston leading to the quick win despite no offense until the ending. Afterwards, Max Dupri--LA Knight/Eli Drake--took off his blazer and, seemingly, quit the group.
Your Winners, the New Day! (2 minutes)
Singles Match: Braun Strowman vs Otis w/ Chad Gable
The "Monster of All Monsters" heads out to new music and a great pop from the live crowd. The Alpha Academy are out next, with Gable hyping Otis as they make their way down the ramp. Commentary's hyped that the "ring's been reinforced" and Michael Cole makes a Heavy Machinery name reference (which Graves picks up on). At 9:02pm, we get our bell--it's go time! The two big men circle each other as Cole reminds us that Otis has lifted Strowman before. The two powerhouses lock up and briefly shove back and forth. Strowman takes Otis into the corner and gives him the hands, then tosses Otis across the ring. Strowman with a running dropkick that sends Otis rolling to the outside! Strowman exits the ring on the opposite side and looks for a Strowman Express! Gable drops down and Braun stops, suddenly distracted by Gable. Otis attacks Braun from behind, sending him into the barricade and then the ring post as the ref continues her count. Otis takes it back into the ring, runs against the ropes, runs off the opposite, and hits a wicked Discus Clothesline--but only picks up a one on the cover! Gable gives advice to Otis on strategy.
Otis with a splash on Braun in the corner. A clubbing blow from Otis drops the Monster of All Monsters. Otis uses slow, powerful strikes to drop Braun from his knee to the mat every time he attempts to rise. Otis runs against the ropes and rebounds right into a "ring-rattling Spinebuster" by Strowman! Otis moves to the outside and takes a breather at commentary. Gable gives him encouragement and both men fail to notice Strowman exit the ring. Strowman uses the Strowman Express (run around the ring, shoulder charge them) to send the Alpha Academy flying! Strowman sends Otis into the ring. Gable attempts to grab Strowman's leg; Braun tosses Gable into the timekeepers area for his troubles. When Strowman enters the ring, Otis dives--and Strowman catches him mid-air! His knee gives out, however, setting up a pin attempt from Otis after executing the World's Strongest Slam. Otis now draws from the Vader playbook, hitting a middle-rope splash to Strowman! Otis covers and again, gets nothing more than a lengthy one. Otis climbs the middle ropes on the other side and dives for another splash, but Strowman moves! Strowman roars, hits a monstrous Powerbomb, and covers to pick up the win!
Your Winner, Braun Strowman! (6 minutes)
Drew McIntyre Announces Strap Match Against Karrion Kross at Extreme Rules; Kross Replies
McIntyre comes out in street clothe sand with a brown leather belt/strap in his hand. Drew gets the city to scream for him, then reminds us that he doesn't like playing games and "if you have issues with me, step in this ring and we'll" sort things out. He claims Kross didn't get the memo, and Drew's tired of being jumped from behind repeatedly. "I went straight to the tope, it appears there's good news for you (Kross). You're going to have your first big match. At Extreme Rules. Against Drew McIntyre." He goes on to announce it'll be a strap match. We hear the cryptic tunes and our screens cut to black-and-white as the buxom Scarlett makes her way out to the ring in a gorgeous low-cut, sequined dress. Karrion Kross suddenly appears, attacking McIntyre from behind again! The two slug it out briefly until McIntyre sends Kross into the ring post. McIntyre lashes his wrist to Kross' via the strap. Kross realizes this but not before McIntyre uses the strap to pull Kross into a Big Boot! Drew uses the strap to whip Kross, sending him to the outside. Drew drags him back inside and uses the strap to clothesline Kross. The crowd pops for Drew. In shades of Miss Elizabeth, Scarlett positions herself between Drew and Kross as Kross cowers in the corner. Drew comes too close and Scarlett blows a fireball in Drew's face. Hello, 80's! Kross and Drew briefly slug it out again, until Scarlett hits a low blow on Drew McIntyre to huge boos. Kross removes the strap from his wrist and pretends to leave as Drew rolls in pain, junk-clutching. Kross enters the ring, slaps the Kross-Jacket on Drew, taunting him as he "puts Drew to sleep." We go to commercial at 9:23...
Singles Match: Dakota Kai w/ Damage CTRL vs Raquel Rodriguez
One half of the Women's Tag Team Champions, Dakota Kai, makes her way out with Damage CTRL cohorts Iyo Kai and Bayley. Out next is her opponent, solo, as commentary hype their long history and we get this match started at 8:29pm! Both women go at it right away, with Raquel briefly taking control. Kai benefits from a distraction that sees Bayley attack Raquel when the ref is distracted. Shotzi Blackheart's music plays and out comes the emerald-haired rocker! This distracts Kai, allowing Raquel to pick up the win in a minute or less.
Your Winner, Raquel Rodriguez! (1 minute)
After the Match: Straight-Up Brawlers
Shotzi hits the ring, fighting Bayley outside of it and making her way in. Damage CTRL start to gang up on her until Raquel rallies, and Rodriguez & Blackheart are left standing tall in the ring as the heels back up the ramp. We head to break at 9:32.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Main Event Match: the Usos(c) vs the Brawling Brutes
The Brawling Brutes are out first, with Sheamus escorting his partners Butch & Ridge Holland. The Usos are out next, with Sami Zayn. We head to a break and when we return, we finally get our main event under way. The Brutes start off strong, brawling with the champs. Butch relies on his sadistic playbook, working the digits of both Usos, snapping the fingers in sickening manner. We head to break with the champs looking to rally, isolating Butch on their side of the ring. Butch looks to rally after eating a Samoan Drop, but fails to see a blind tag. Butch wipes out Jimmy with a standing moonsault off the apron. The Usos rally, taking it back into the ring. Butch handles the bulk of the offense of this match. The Usos hit a double-Superkick to Ridge on the apron when Butch comes close to making the hot tag. A big spot follows that sees Butch fire off a middle-rope moonsault and eat another Superkick for it. The Usos cover for a near fall but Butch stays resilient. Butch inches his way towards Holland and Jimmy Uso attempts to grab him. Butch manipulates the digits and escapes! Holland looks for an Alabama Slam on Jimmy but Jey makes a blind tag. They attempt to double-Superkick Holland, too, but he ducks under and double-Powerbombs them! Butch tags in and the two hit their tag-team finisher, as yet unnamed, covering for a near fall! Uce gets the shoulder up at the last possible moment. Sami Zayn rushes to the crowd and retrieves a steel chair but Sheamus snatches it from him. Solo Sikoa approaches Sheamus but he's ambushed by IMPERIUM! Kaiser, Vinci and Gunther attack Sheamus. Holland looks to help but in all the chaos, the Usos are able to steal the win by double-teaming Butch once again, covering for the win at 9:57pm! We fade to black a minute later. So much for all that White Bunny nonsense eh?
Your Winners AND STILL Undisputed Tag Team Champions, the Usos! (14 minutes)
Next Week on SmackDown's Season Premiere
Sheamus/Gunther II for the Intercontinental Championship. Bayley vs Shotzi Blackheart. Hit Row vs Los Lotharios. Ricochet & Madcap Moss vs Sami Zayn & Solo Sikoa.
And that concludes it for tonight's episode! Have a great weekend, stay frosty and stay safe out there, Rajahmaniacs. See you all Monday Night for Raw.
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