Welcome one and all to Friday Night SmackDown! Your host tonight is your Friday Night Friar, Hogan. Go ahead and bookmark this page as it'll transition to our live results later tonight.
Our official preview only listed one match--a rematch from the Elimination Chamber as McIntyre once again battles Moss. We'll have an Intercontinental Celebration as Sami Zayn will celebrate his win last week over Nakamura. Also is a huge contract signing between Lesnar & Reigns. What antics will happen this time?
Update, 7:39pm EST:
The official WWE preview has changed over the course of the afternoon. Currently, the Moss/McIntyre match has been removed but is expected to be changed to McIntyre vs Happy Corbin. That's all I've got for ya, folks.
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 (February 25, 2022): Giant Center - Hershey, PA
VIDEO PACKAGE: Elimination Chamber & the Royal Rumble
As Michael Cole and the returning Pat McAfee welcome us to the Giant Center, we're greeted with a video package highlighting some of the narrative points from last week's Elimination Chamber event. A narrator discusses Brock's road to the Chamber and touches on the loss of his title due to the betrayal of Paul Heyman and interference of Roman Reigns. The narrator also touches on Brock's initial reactions after being betrayed--declaring he wanted to come after both titles. We then get a quick recap of the events of the Royal Rumble that saw Brock win and earn a title shot against Roman Reigns. Later, the video recaps Brock's winning of the WWE Heavyweight Championship in the Elimination Chamber. It included footage of his breaking out of the cage before he completely decimated all other competitors to win the title. We cut to the legitimately sold out Giant Arena and its Hershey crowd. Pat runs down the bit announced for tonight, starting with the Lesnar/Reigns match that we're going to have hyped 832 times between now and WrestleMania.
IN-RING INTERVIEW: Michael Cole w/ "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey
Cole introduces the former Raw Women's Champion and she comes out to a pleasant welcome. The crowd chants for her and she soaks it in with a huge smile. Cole asks Ronda why she decided to return after not having stepped in a WWE ring in three years. Rousey pointed out that she had to rehab two broken hands, had a daughter, and had to prepare to return just four months after giving birth. And she did it! Rousey credits her mom--the first American woman to win a Judo championship while as a single mother--for Rousey's next run. Ronda wants to set that same bad-ass example for her daughter, the way her mother did for her.
Cole mentions that Ronda was the first American woman to medal in the Olympics, the first UFC women's champion, the first woman to be inducted into the UFC hall of fame, and one of the first women to main event WrestleMania. He asks her how that feels and what's next. She tells him she wants to be the first person in years to tap out Charlotte Flair. Cole recaps the women's tag match, which saw Rousey with an arm restrained at her waist, and focused on the savage beating Flair gave Rousey. And, right on cue, insert the woos because here comes SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair! She heads halfway down the ramp in a cute black and white print outfit then hops on the mic.
Flair tells Rousey that she's going to put her in the Figure 8 and "for the first time in your life, you're going to scream for mercy and tap out. Which means I remain the SmackDown Women's Champion! And Ronda, the silver lining for you is you get to go home and work on baby number two!"
Without warning, Sonya Deville attacks Rousey from behind! Ronda puts on her angry face but Flair uses the distraction to drag Rousey to the ring post. Once she does, Flair slams Ronda's surgically-repaired knee into the steel post multiple times. Sonya Deville leans over Rousey and talks smack until Rousey flips her across the ring. Deville flees the ring and heads up the ramp, talking smack the entire way.
BACKSTAGE: WWE Officials Adam Pearce & Sonya Deville
Back in the gorilla position, Pearce reviews footage of what transpired prior to the commercial. After viewing Deville's inappropriate actions--and lack of her, uh, official jacket?--he announced that Ronda Rousey vs Sonya Deville will take place next week.
TAG TEAM MATCH: the New Day vs Los Lotharios
We see Kofi & Big E on a golf cart in the back, decorated as you'd expect. They head out to the ring as we head out to a break. Los Lotharios make their way out with their new entrance, including the kiss cam. The New Day finally make their entrance with a new, Mario-themed 3D screen-overlay (Orton's Viper, Roman's fist, etc). They ride out on an ATV and Pat wishes Big E a happy birthday. Cole officially welcomes Pat back after a two-week hiatus. McAfee is excited to be back. Finally our competitors ready-up and we're at it. Big E works over Humberto in the ring, using a lengthy abdominal stretch to wear down Humberto. Humberto attempts to fight back and Big E goes after the weakened ribs. Kofi comes in off the tag and gets the ally-oop assist from Big E, covering for two. Kofi charges Humberto in the corner but is popped over to the apron. Angel distracts Kofi, allowing Humberto to charge and attack Kofi. Los Lotharios work together to double-team Kofi as we head to break!
Back from the break. Cole recaps the events of the break, which saw Los Lotharios completely dominate Kofi Kingston. He points out how impressed they've been when Los Lotharios as Humberto works the neck, attempting to lock in a sleeper. The crowd cheers on the New Day and Kofi powers to his fee, desperately reaching for Big E. McAfee reminds us he's excited for WrestleMania as it'll be his first WrestleMania since "you tried to get me fired for wearing shorts." Oh, Pat, we forgot all about that. Garza comes in and uses a slingshot to drop Kofi before looking for an ankle lock. Kofi kicks him off and sacrifices his body to drop Angel as well. Both men are down and Big E leads the hot crowd in a New Day chant. Kofi dives and slaps Big E's hand just as Angel tags in Humberto! Both men hit the ring hurriedly but Big E immediately punishes Humberto with multiple belly-to-belly suplex tosses, followed by a Big Splash. Big E looks for the Big Ending but Angel causes a distraction that allows Humberto to hit a Superkick! Big E stumbles to the New Day corner.
Big E counters an Humberto charge with a Urinage! Kofi tags in and the duo work together. Midnight Hour! Cover for two but Angel makes the save. Kofi and Angel battle in the ring. Kofi looks for the SOS but Angel sends him outside of the ring, then drops Kingston with a suicide dive! Angel checks out the New Day's four wheeler. Kofi attacks Angel, sending him into the ring. Big E catches Humberto attempting to attack Kofi and executes a belly-to-belly on the ringside floor! IN the ring, Angel gets a close cover on Kofi. Angel climbs up top and we cut to ringside. Big E is on the four wheeler and threatens to run Humberto over. The distraction allows Kofi to attack Angel, tag in Big E, and both men execute the Midnight Hour! (Big Ending + Kofi diving off the top to strike the opponent as the BE is executed.)
Your Winners, the New Day!
BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW: Sam Roberts w/ SmackDown Tag Team Champions the Usos
Sam starts off by mentioning that they've got a contract signing. The Usos cut him off, calling him Toucan Sam, and call the winner takes all "championship unification" match the greatest in WrestleMania history. The Viking Raiders attack, demanding their title shot.
BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW: "the Protector" Xia Li
Li is excited to have her first match on SmackDown. She says she may be nervous, but she's confident and it's Natalya--her opponent--who'll need protecting.
SINGLES MATCH: Xia Li vs Natalya
Li and Nattie make their way out, with a commercial break in-between. Cole gives high praise for Xia Li, relating a message from Beth Phoenix who trained with Xia Li (and observed her matches for two years on NXT). Natalya and Xia battle back and forth, with no clear leader early on. Xia shrugs off a Discus Clothesline and kicks out at one. McAfee informs us that Nattie wants to have the record for having the most records. Nattie engages with the fans, yelling for them to shut up as she slows the pace. Nattie uses clubbing blows to Xia's back before slapping on an abdominal stretch. Nattie smacks the exposed ribs then uses her right hand to stretch Xia's right foot back, behind Nattie's body, in a very unique variation!
IN THE RING: Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn's Victory Celebration
Sami makes his way out to boos. He wears a snazzy gold metallic with black trim smoking jacket and the ring is decorated, with the Intercontinental title on a pedestal. Sami states he'll give Nakamura a rematch, once Shin's done putting his knee back together. He states he'll take on any comers, and no one comes out. He's ready to get back to the celebration when Johnny Knoxville makes his way out! The two exchange words, with Johnny pointing out that Sami crashed Knoxville's premiere so he felt it was justifiable to crash Sami's celebration. He tells Zayn that he'll accept his open challenge for the title. Zayn tells Johnny "you don't belong here."
He knows Knoxville is trying to get under his skin and in his head but "I see through you. It's not going to work." Johnny taunts Sami, asking if he wants to be a fighting champion "or don'tcha have enough balls?" The crowd greets this with a "no balls" chant. Knoxville removes the shades, drops the mic, and has words with Sami off-mic. Sami starts to leave and the crowd loudly chants for Johnny Knoxville. Sami hits the ring and suckers Johnny with a right. Sami mounts Johnny and beats the hell out of him. Zayn positions Johnny in the corner and hits his Helluva Kick. He yelled in Johnny's face as refs separated them and attended to Knoxville--but not before Sami broke free and hit another Helluva Kick for good measure! The crowd really hated this and gave him ample boos for it.
SINGLES MATCH: Sasha Banks vs Shotzi Blackheart
Sasha makes her way out in pretty red, white and blue ring gear. Shotzi's already in the ring. Naomi makes her way out to watch the match up and dances with Pat at the commentary desk. Shotzi screams "welcome back, Sasha" but Sasha rudely slaps a Crossface on Shotzi. Shotzi escapes and looks for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Instead, Sasha pays homage to Eddie and looks for the Three Amigos. Shotzi blocks the third and drops Banks across the top rope, then stomps at her on the apron. Shotzi looks for an early pin but barely gets a two. Shotzi executes a hip attack on a rope-strung Banks, covering for two. Naomi comments on finally getting her hands on Sonya Deville last week and how good it felt. In the ring, Banks sends Shotzi's face into the turnbuckle and hits a middle-rope Meteora right to Shotzi's face. Go watch it! Ouch! Banks with a running, sliding inverted backstabber. Sasha hits the backstabber, rolls it into the Bank Statement, and Shotzi taps.
Your Winner, Sasha Banks!
MAIN EVENT SINGLES MATCH: Drew McIntyre vs Madcap Moss w/Happy Corbin
Drew makes his way out with Angela the Sword and we head to break. This should be our final match, and the contract signing will serve as our true "main event." After some back and forth, it looks like we are getting Moss/McIntyre. The match starts slow and we head to a break early on into it. Moss, who Cole explains has an injured neck and was forced into this match by Corbin, gets a bit of offense in but McIntyre generally dominates the entirety of the match. McIntyre uses multiple overhead suplex tosses as well as belly-to-belly's, then finishes off Moss mercifully with a Claymore after a Corbin distraction bought Moss a few more moments of offense. McIntyre lays back on Moss and stares Corbin down as he picks up the W.
Your Winner, Drew McIntyre!
MAIN EVENT SEGMENT: WrestleMania
Title-Versus-Title Title Unification Contract Signing
Universal Champion Roman Reigns, SmackDown Tag Team Champions the Usos, and Special Counsel Paul Heyman all make their way down to the ring, draped in gold. Heyman carries Reign's title and holds it up, presenting it to the champ about every three feet they move. We head to a break. After eight minutes of entrance, Roman demands acknowledgement and the Hershey crowd heckles Roman. Heyman goes on about this being a huge match and a huge point in history. He tries to downplay big WrestleMania moments such as the breaking of Taker's Streak, Hogan/Andre, Rock/Austin. Blah blah. He points out the security team filing the ring, whom he claim are there to protect Brock from Roman. Heyman states "ladies and gentlemen, that's what they call a cliffhanger" and we cut to commercial! WrestleMania Sunday will feature Reigns v Lesnar.
After the break, Cowboy Brock Lesnar makes his way out to a great pop from the local crowd. He waves his cowboy hat at the crowd and marches on down to the ring. Brock calls Heyman a dick and talks about becoming the new champ. Brock tells Roman "if you think for one second that these skid-mark security guards are going to stop me from jumping across this table and kicking your ass (Roman) and your ass (Heyman), you've got another thing coming." He states he'll sign the contract "because at WrestleMania I'm going to kick your ass (Reigns) and your ass (Heyman) and I'm gonna get paid for it!" Roman signs the contract and the crowd cheer Brock on with a Suplex City chant as he signs it, too. Lesnar throws the contract at Roman.
Heyman snaps back about having had enough of Lesnar's disrespect. He then claims the WrestleMania match will not be a Unification match, stating Lesnar's going to lose next Saturday at Madison Square Garden and won't even make it to WrestleMania as the WWE Champion. That's going to be a huge house show. Roman finally speaks. "You must be confused, farm boy. That title? That's my title and you don't even realize it because I'm gonna smash you at WrestleMania. And it's not even your fault, Brock, you ain't go ta chance. This is my show, this is my cameraman...these people are all my people because they acknowledge me!" Roman exits the ring and tells us that the commentary team works for him, and "that sign right there" (the WrestleMania sign) is his, too, because he is WrestleMania.
He states everyone works for him..."including the security in the room with ya." Lesnar grins as the eight or so men encroach. Lesnar flips the table set up to knock down half the guards then begins fighting them off! Lesnar with an F5 after shoving the table as a ram into more guards. Lesnar with a Suplex City-style German Suplex to another guard and we end our segment with Lesnar grinning in the ring, bodies everywhere, and Roman looking on in disbelief up the ramp.
And that concludes it for tonight's episode! Have a great weekend, stay warm, stay frosty and stay safe out there, Rajahmaniacs. See you all Monday Night for Raw.
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