Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of WWE Friday Night SmackDown on FOX. Please keep refreshing throughout the show for constant updates once it kicks off at 8:00 PM EST!
Roman Reigns is set to address the WWE Universe tonight. He’s fresh off of a Universal Championship victory on Sunday over former champ “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman. With a new-found edge thanks to the controversial Paul Heyman, there’s no telling what The Big Dog will have on his mind.
Tonight’s show also features a number one contenders fatal-four-way. Big E, Matt Riddle, King Corbin and Sheamus will all face off to see who earns the right to battle Reigns at Clash of Champions later this month. Both Corbin and Sheamus have been in the title hunt before, while Big E and Riddle are looking to cement themselves as main event players on the blue brand. This should be a great contest.
Additionally, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax will take on Bayley and Sasha Banks in a rematch for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. “The Golden Role Models” have been in disarray as of late. Can they get back on the same page and reclaim their gold? We’ll find out tonight.
All this and more on an action packed edition of Friday Night SmackDown!
Cold open recapping Roman winning the Universal Championship
We kick things off with Roman, who has Heyman in tow. He’s rocking a new shirt that says “show up and win” and double the pyro. It’s full blown-heel status here.
Heyman is on the mic, saying Roman “pulled him in” and “corrupted him.” Heyman says he was tossed aside, just like Roman was, playing on the fact that the former was removed from his duties as RAW Executive Director. He notes that there were no thank you’s for Roman after he came back from illness. Heyman continues, saying that “The Fiend” wasn’t fit to be champion. Adds that Roman’s title reign is based on accountability and owning one’s actions.
Heyman talks down the RAW triple threat main event, and says SmackDown is “bigger and better” with a fatal-four-way, putting it over big for later tonight. Heyman finishes off by saying he serves as special council for “the tribal chief,” the “reigning, defending, undisputed, Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns.”
Roman takes the mic and says he did what he said he would do on Sunday. Notes that he doesn’t care who he faces, because this is “his island,” and all he has to do is “show up and win.” Great promos from both men.
Heavy Machinery out now. It’s the working men against The Miz and John Morrison after the break.
Back from commercial where Roman is getting congratulated backstage by cousin Jey Uso, who says he’s been trying to contact Reigns. Heyman leaves, and Roman has a private discussion with Jey, who says he has his back as The Tribal Chief leaves.
Heavy Machinery vs The Miz and John Morrison
Miz and Morrison out now as we get set to go with our first match of the night. Otis and the Miz lock up to start. Otis gets waist control but Miz hits an elbow. Otis comes back with a shoulder tackle and tags Tucker. They double team Miz. Miz hits a jawbreaker and gets the tag to Morrison.
Morrison gets stymied by the power of Tucker. Tucker with a hip toss and tags Otis. They double team Morrison now with a shoulder tackle. Big back body drop now from Otis. Tucker lifts up Morrison as well for another tandem move. Heavy Machinery in full control as we head to commercial.
Back from commercial, Miz and Morrison are now working over Tucker. Tucker trying to fight back now, but it’s the heels with the sustained momentum. Tucker bulldozes both and tags Otis. He hits another shoulder tackle on Morrison and a pancake slam.
Miz pushes Morrison out of the way as Otis hits the corner hard. Miz takes over and tags Morrison. A few quick tags now as Otis is stuck in the opposite corner.
Otis takes out both men, but Morrison fights back with a swinging neck breaker on Tucker on the outside. Back in the ring, Otis nails a suplex, fights off Morrison and gets Miz with the caterpillar. He hits a splash on Miz from the second rope for the victory. Looks like Heavy Machinery are up next for a title shot. After the match, Morrison steals Otis’ Money in the Bank briefcase and runs off.
Winners: Heavy Machinery
Backstage with Big E, who hypes up Xavier Woods’ return. He says it’s also Woods’ birthday. He says he will “cash in his golden ticket” by winning the fatal-four-way. Big E is informed that Woods has arrived, and he goes looking for him. It’s a trap though, as Sheamus attacks Big E backstage, slamming him off of a car with white noise as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and medics are attending to Big E. The question being asked on commentary is whether or not Sheamus’s attack was a set-up. Kayla Braxton reports that Big E has major lacerations and is being taken to a local medical facility.
Braxton is with Sheamus now, who is asked if he did this in response to losing to Big E at Payback. Sheamus says if you want to compete in the main event, you have to “stay focused.” Notes that he’s studying his opponents and puts over Matt Riddle. He’s ducking the question. The Celtic Warrior leaves to get ready for the match, which is the main event. Before he goes, he notes that it’s probably going to be a triple threat tonight.. Looks like we might be getting a sustained program with Sheamus and E.
We get a quick recap of the Women’s Tag Team Title match from Payback, where Baszler and Jax won the straps from The Golden Role Models.
Bayley and Banks backstage now. Bayley says they didn’t know how to prepare for Baszler and Jax the first time and will win tonight. Bayley is reminded that she’s been tapped out three times by Baszler already, and is asked if she’s concerned. Banks butts in and puts over her partner huge, listing all of her accolades. She says Bayley is her best friend, and that no matter the highs and lows, they’ve changed the game together. Both women go off now and we head to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Adam Pearce is backstage, announcing that Big E will not be able to compete tonight. It will still be a fatal-four-way though. Further intrigue now surrounds the main event, as fans are left to guess who will replace Big E.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs The Golden Role Models for the Women’s Tag Team Titles
Bayley and Banks are out first, followed by the champs. Michael Cole puts over the fact that Bayley and Banks are defined as being champions, and emphasizes the importance of this contest for both women. Camera cut now as Cesaro praises Jax and Baszler, as well as Sheamus. He’s in the champions lounge with Nakamura.
Back to full screen, there’s an arguement in the champs’ corner, as Bayley and Banks take control. Jax and Baszler go to the outside, but Bayley and Banks land baseball slides right after. The champs catch them however, and slam both into the barricade as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial where Baszler has control over Bayley. She tags in Jax who hits a splash on Bayley in the corner. Baszler then hits a running knee on Bayley. Jax continues to work over Bayley, whipping her into the corner as she tries to get away. Nia gets a two count.
Bayley remains isolated in the corner, as Baszler is tagged in. She shows her technical skill with multiple submissions. Cole notes that Baszler is now going to target the injured shoulder of Bayley.
Bayley finally gets to Banks, who stays out of Jax’s grip, hitting multiple head kicks and a running knee in the corner. Banks hits double knees for a two.
Banks and Bayley double team Jax now, hitting a power bomb on the powerhouse who falls to the outside. Baszler back in the ring now — she’s legal. Banks and Bayley keep her in their corner with frequent tags. They try a double team slam, but Baszler gets away. Banks from behind with a back stabber on Baszler.
Bayley up top, hits the flying elbow on Baszler for a two. Graves emphasizing that the former champs are started to get frustrated in not being able to finish. Banks goes for the running knees in the corner, but misses. She gets back in the ring, but Baszler immediately attacks the back of both of her knees. Baszler looking impressive here.
Banks gets a roll-up two, but Baszler is back in control now. Bayley is in the ring now and gets a Bayley-to-belly to Baszler. Banks is the legal woman, and hits the Banks statement on Baszler. Jax attacks Bayley though, and works over Bayley in the ring. Banks counters into another pin for two.
Double team to Baszler now, but Jax comes off the top rope for an impressive cross-body on both women for the three. Awesome match.
Winners and still champs: Jax and Baszler
Medics are in the ring now to look at Banks’s knee. Bayley is seen looking on in the corner as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial as Banks is still being looked at. She pushes the medics away and tries to stand. Out of nowhere, Bayley attacks Banks, slamming her into the steel steps! Bayley attacks the injured left leg of The Boss now, who looks to be turning face. Bayley continues to beat down her former partner, and asks Cole if it’s “boss time now.” She says Banks deserved this.
Bayley takes a chair to Banks’s left leg. Banks fights back with a kick, but Bayley over takes her again. She has completely snapped. Bayley goes to the middle rope and stomps on Banks, who has a chair around her neck. We head to commercial.
Back from the break with a quick RAW preview for Monday. Orton is being featured here. We get another replay of Bayley’s assault on Banks. She’s getting carted out now, the second wrestler tonight who’s headed to a local medical facility. The question now is how long Banks will be out for.
IC Title segment
Sami Zayn is out now. Cole sets up Zayn’s motivations, noting how he feels he’s the rightful champion, despite being stripped of the title during the pandemic.
Zayn, who’s holding his Intercontinental title, gets mad about not being announced as the IC champ. He starts speaking to production about it. Zayn says he wants his entrance re-done, but the current champ Jeff Hardy cuts him off. He says if he wanted an IC title shot, he should’ve just asked.
Styles enters, saying he’s the un-crowned IC champ. All three men are in the ring now, as Styles and Zayn attack Hardy. Everyone gets their stuff in, withg Zayn scrambling away after hitting a helluva kick.
It’s announced that Jey will take Big E’s spot in the main event tonight as we head to the intros. Nice foreshadowing from earlier. Matt Riddle is out first. The fatal-four-way appears to be getting a lot of time to close the show. Commercial break.
Back from commercial where we get a video package of a mystery woman in heels and part of a fur coat. It could be Vanessa Bourne or Chelsea Green, or maybe Peyton Royce switching brands.
To the locker room now, where Otis reminds Tucker that he keeps the Money in the Bank contract in his lunchbox, and not the briefcase. Morrison opens the briefcase and it’s a sandwich. Very funny.
To Roman’s locker room now, where he tells Jey that he needs to “get it on his own” tonight.
Corbin’s music hits and he complains about “blatant nepotism” in allowing Jey in the match. Riddle attacks Corbin, but Sheamus comes out and attacks Riddle. Sheamus slams Riddle as we head to commercial. Jey still hasn’t entered this contest.
Back from commercial, Bray Wyatt teases that he has a brand new friend coming to the funhouse next week. We go to Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross now backstage. Bliss asks Cross to forgive her, and she does, but has a weird look on her face. We might see Bliss in the funhouse next week!
Universal Championship Number One Contenders match: Matt Riddle vs Sheamus vs King Corbin vs Jey Uso
We’re back to the ring now, including Jey. He gets the edge on Riddle with his speed, but Corbin attacks him from behind. We get a replay of the start of the match, where Jey hit a super kick to Corbin.
Corbin and Sheamus double team Riddle now. Commentary puts over the sway Heyman had in Jey being in this match. Corbin hits a mean spine buster on Jey. Sheamus slams Jey’s head into the bottom turnbuckle. Corbin swings and misses on Riddle as he takes out the heels.
Faces double team the heels now, but Corbin hits a deep six, while Sheamus hits an Irish curse backbreaker. Corbin gets a two and complains about the near fall. Sheamus takes advantage and clotheslines Corbin as we head to commercial. Very fasted-paced contest.
Back from commercial, Sheamus is still in control. He hits a suplex on Jey. Sheamus drives Corbin to the floor on the outside and goes back to target Jey. The Celtic Warrior uses his power, but Riddle unloads strikes on him and also hits a running knee on Corbin. Suplex now to Sheamus and a bro-ton . Riddle has Sheamus in a triangle, but he uses his power to slam the Original Bro.
Sheamus locks in a cloverleaf, but Corbin and Jey both interrupt. Jey lands superkicks on everyone. He goes for a dive on Corbin, but is denied. Sheamus and Riddle team up on Corbin now, but Jey goes over the top onto all three men.
Corbin gets up and counters Jey, who tried a dive over the barricade but got sent flying. He’s out of commission on the outside.
Back in the ring, Corbin goes for end of days on Riddle, but Sheamus hits him with a brogue kick. Riddle then hits Sheamus with a bro-to-sleep and goes for a floating bro from the top rope. Out of nowhere, Jey lands a top rope splash on Riddle for the three! It’s going to be cousin against cousin at Clash of Champions.
Winner: Jey Uso
Jey is interviewed post-match. He has a message for Roman, saying he “made the family proud too.” He adds that for Reigns, it’s “lockdown.”
That’s all for tonight. Solid show. The surprise main event result is sure to get people talking.