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!
In a shocking move last week, Bayley turned on her best friend Sasha Banks, brutally assaulting her leg after a tag title loss. The SmackDown Women’s Champion will address the WWE Universe tonight regarding her actions.
Elsewhere, Jeff Hardy will defend his Intercontinental Championship against AJ Styles. The former champion has been outspoken ever since losing the strap to Hardy a few weeks back, and will get a chance at revenge this evening. Both men will have to be wary about Sami Zayn though. The Great Liberator returned a few weeks back and feels he is the rightful owner of the workhorse belt. Will Hardy and Styles be able to focus on the task at hand, or will Zayn play a factor once again? We’ll have to wait and see.
A new member will also be added to Bray Wyatt’s “Firefly Fun House.” With the Universal Championship no longer in his grasp, there’s no telling what “The Pied Piper of Puppets” might reveal.
All this and more on an action-packed edition of SmackDown.
Cold open recapping last week’s show, including Jey Uso’s victory to become number one contender for the Universal Championship.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman out to start the show. Heyman takes the mic, reminding everyone that two weeks ago, Roman did what he said he would do, winning back the Universal title. Heyman puts over Jey Uso becoming number one contender last week. He then introduces Uso, noting that he’s Roman’s cousin, but also his “blood brother.”
Jey makes his way to the ring. Michael Cole noting he’s always been the underdog. Jey says thank you to Heyman for the opportunity to take on his cousin. Heyman butts in and says it was Roman’s idea to have Jey in the fatal-four-way after Big E was taken out, and that he just executed the order of the “tribal chief.”
Roman takes the mic. He says not to thank him, and that they’re blood. He says that Jey earned this, and that he’s about to take a huge pay day being in the main event. Roman says he’s going to whoop Jey’s ass, just like when they were kids, and “it’s all love.”
Jey says things are different now, but is then interrupted by King Corbin. He says that last week was a set-up. He notes that Roman pulled strings to get a hand-picked opponent for his first title defence. Once again says this is a case of nepotism, and an abuse of power.
Sheamus is out now, and he agrees with Corbin. He says that after taking out Big E, it should have been a triple threat match last week, adding that he didn’t have time to prepare for Jey. Jey proposes a tag match with him and Roman against Corbin and Sheamus, and then takes out both men. The offer has been made, we’ll likely see that match later tonight.
We get a summary of tonight’s matches. Included is a women’s championship fatal-four-way number one contenders match between Nikki Cross, Alexa Bliss, Lacey Evans and Tamina.
We then head to the back where Sami Zayn is complaining in the production room. He says he’s the rightful IC champ, and hits a few buttons, leading to a commercial break.
Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy vs AJ Styles
Back from commercial for the IC title match, with Hardy out first. We get a quick recap of Hardy winning the belt, thanks in part to using his knee brace. The challenger and former champ Styles is out next.
Zayn interrupts before the match can even start. He says the match isn’t for the IC title, because he’s the champ. Reminds everyone he won the title fair and square on March 8, 2020. He says he took time off for personal reasons, and the company decided to crown a “sham” champion. Adam Pearce is out now, escorting Zayn from the arena.
Styles takes advantage of the distraction with a cheap shot on Hardy. Match is on now. Styles goes for a dive into the corner, Hardy moves out of the way. He hits a twist of fate and heads to the top rope for a swanton bomb, but misses. Fast-paced start to this one as we head to commercial.
Back from commercial, Styles is in control, with Hardy down on the outside. Cole putting over the importance of the title to all three men who are involved in the current program.
Hardy back up and hits a dive on the steel steps. Both men are down. Hardy gets back in the ring with Styles. He goes for a double leg drop, but Styles counters. Hardy back in control, hitting whisper in the wind, Hardy then goes for a twist of fate, but Styles counters to regain control.
Styles goes for the Styles clash, but it’s countered. Plenty of counters in this one, story is that these two know each other very well. Zayn is back though, driving Styles into the steps. He wins by DQ, but doesn’t win the title. He then hits a helluva kick on Hardy. Commentary putting over that Zayn believes he’s still champ.
Winner by DQ: AJ Styles
The return of the Firefly Funhouse is teased, and we also get confirmation that Roman and Jey will team against Sheamus and Corbin tonight. Back to the ring, Hardy is selling the physicality of his bout against Styles and the attack by Zayn, falling to the ground. We head to commercial.
Back from commercial, Styles is backstage. He is furious about all the IC title antics. He says he can beat Jeff Hardy, no matter the match, and will prove that he is the one and only IC champ.
We get a recap of Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura challenging RAW tag champs The Street Profits for this coming week. Backstage now with both pairs of tag champs. The Street Profits say they’re just checking out the champions lounge. Cesaro says he and Nakamura have a match next, and need to be focused. Angelo Dawkins says they’ll handle the champions lounge, and that it will serve as a nice spot to scout Cesaro and Nak.
Lucha House Party against Cesaro and Nakamura is on tab. The LHP are out first. We go to a pre-record, where Kalisto says he will lead by example and bring the tag titles to the LHP. It’s Kalisto and Gran Metalik representing LHP in this match. Looks like the group has squashed their beef for now.
To the back, where Jeff Hardy is being looked at by the medics. Zayn comes in, and the two brawl as we head to commercial.
Back from commercial, where the LHP’s music is playing. We get Cesaro and Nakamura out after.
Lucha House Party vs Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
Cesaro and Metalik to start. Metalik shows his speed early, then goes to the middle rope for a hurricanrana. He tags in Kalisto, who gets a two count. He gets distracted by Nakamura, and Cesaro takes advantage. Cesaro tags in Nakamura, who cuts the ring in half. Quick tags now. Cesaro grounding Kalisto.
Nakamura tagged back in, he hits a running knee in the corner and tags Cesaro back in. He hits a gut wrench for a two. We go to the back, where The Street Profits are having a party in the champions lounge. Kalisto takes advantage of the distraction, rolling up Cesaro for the three.
Winners: Kalisto and Gran Metalik
Bayley is set to speak after the break. Cole notes that no one has been able to speak to her all week. She’s been silent on all fronts about why he attacked Sasha Banks.
Back from commercial where the LHP are popping bottles in the champions lounge.
We head to the ring now, as Bayley makes her entrance with the chair she used on Banks last week. Bayley sits on the chair and points to the jumbotron for a recap of last week’s tag title match and post-match attack.
Bayley says everyone is asking how Banks is, but no one is asking how she is. She says she loved every second of the attack. She says she knows Banks better than anyone. Notes that Banks needed her close. When she was on top of her game as SmackDown champ, Banks needed her right there. Bayley says that she was using Banks the whole time. Thanks to her, she’s the longest-reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion. Bayley adds that after last week, Banks is useless to her now. Great promo.
We have the fatal-four-way number one contender’s match for Bayley’s title next. Nikki Cross is out first, but Bayley smacks her in the back as she’s heading to the ring. Commercial break.
Back live, Alexa Bliss and the medics are looking at Cross. She says she’s ready to go as Lacey Evans enters. Tamina is already in the ring.
Nikki Cross vs Tamina vs Alexa Bliss vs Lacey Evans
Lacey and Tamina team up early. Lacey then takes control on Tamina with a choke on the rope. Tamina battles back with a head butt.
Alexa back in and drop-kicks both women. Tamina back with a clothesline on Bliss. She hits a suplex on Evans, but Bliss breaks it up. Tamina uses her power on Bliss. She’s in full control.
Lacey comes back, raking the eyes of Tamina, but once again Tamina uses her power. Cross in now with a sleeper hold on Tamina. She takes down Tamina with a clothesline for a two.
Bliss and Cross double team Evans and Tamina now. Bliss turns her attention to Cross, hitting sister Abigail on the outside on her former tag partner. Looks like she’s aligning with Bray Wyatt, which has been teased for a few weeks. Commercial break.
Back to action. Tamina and Evans are in the ring, with Tamina in control. Bliss has left the match in a trance.
Evans whips Tamina’s neck off the top rope. Elbow drop now for a two. Evans goes to the top, but Tamina is there. She runs at Evans and misses. Evans back to the top for the moonsault. Cross breaks it up just in time.
Cross is fired up, hitting both women with bulldogs. She pins Evans, kickout at two. Cross with a tornado DDT on Tamina and cross-body on Evans. Pin attempt is snuffed by Tamina.
Women’s right by Evans on Tamina after a failed samoan drop. Cross interrupts, hits a swinging neck-breaker on Evans. Tamina back in now, goes for a samoan drop, but Cross gets away and rolls up Tamina for the three.
Winner and number one contender at Clash of Champions: Nikki Cross
Cole hypes up Roman and Jey against Sheamus and Corbin. Back to the ring now, where Otis is making his entrance with Tucker. He’s in action after the break.
Back from commercial, we get another tease of a new women’s superstar to SmackDown. She has blonde hair and a fur coat, very bougie. Maybe Chelsea Green?
Back to the ring, where John Morrison is entering. We get a recap of Morrison stealing Otis’ Money in the Bank contract, only to find a sandwich inside.
Morrison vs Otis
Otis takes control early with a shoulder tackle. Morrison fights back with his parkour style, but Otis gets momentum back with a suplex. Miz is at ringside and steals Otis’ lunchbox, which contains the MITB contract, at least we think. Back in the ring, Otis hits a caterpillar on Morrison for the three. Squash match essentially.
We get a video recap of Big E getting attacked by Sheamus. Great way to get babyface sympathy for when he returns. Tomorrow on Talking Smack, we’ll get an update on Big E’s condition.
Cole hypes up the Firefly Funhouse segment now. He says the welcome mat is out as we go to commercial.
Back from the break with Otis and Tucker. Otis says Miz has a lunchbox, but not the right one. He grabs a second one from inside his MITB briefcase, which has the contract. Miz opens the lunchbox, and it’s an apple core. Miz is annoyed and says he’s calling in a favour.
Firefly Funhouse segment
Bray says something is missing, referencing the Universal Title. He says it’s okay, and that everyone deals with loss. How you handle loss defines the person you become. He adds that it’s time for some fun.
Wyatt reveals the newest member of the funhouse. It’s Pasquale the persevering parrot, but he’s not coming out. Wyatt looks in the box where Pasquale was supposed to be, and he’s dead. Oh well, he says.
Vince McMahon the puppet is shown now. He says Wyatt has lost his trust and can’t handle the responsibility of the funhouse. Vince brings out the new special advisor, the wobbly walrus, who is a play on Paul Heyman. Wyatt goes ‘yowy wowy’ and Vince says this is “good shit” to end the segment. Interesting, but not amazing.
Back to the ring now for the main event. Corbin and Sheamus out first as we head to commercial.
Back from commercial for Jey and Roman’s entrance. Sheamus attacks Jey before Roman can come out. Match is on two on one.
Roman & Jey vs Corbin & Sheamus
Jey fights off the heels, but Sheamus eventually gains control with power moves. He tags in Corbin. Corbin rakes the eyes of Jey on the ropes. He hits deep six for two. Corbin tags in Sheamus. Jey gets worked over as Corbin is tagged back in. Jey battles back with a samoan drop. He goes for a rear end in the corner, but Corbin gets out of the way, tagging in Sheamus who hits white noise for a two. Still no sign of Roman.
Roman comes out now, Sheamus is distracted and Jey takes over. He hits a super kick on Sheamus and takes out Corbin with a suicide dive. Jey with a top rope splash to Sheamus now. Roman made a tag though, so Jey can’t get the cover. Roman hits a spear on Sheamus for the win. Very amusing. Roman sticks to his slogan, by showing up and winning.
Winners: Jey Uso & Roman Reigns
Fun way to end the show. Solid program overall.