It’s Friday night and once again which means a brand new episode of WWE SmackDown and Ringside News has you covered with live play-by-play results coverage.
Start time for WWE SmackDown is at 8:00 PM EST. Match-by-match highlights and results from the show will take place on this very page. Feel free to leave any reactions in the comment section below.
Tonight’s show aims to set the stage for the upcoming Elimination Chamber PPV, and we may get the announcement of a second men’s Chamber match.
Speaking of announcements, WWE has said that Roman Reigns will make a “blockbuster” one tonight. We assume that means a second men’s Elimination Chamber match with the winner getting a title shot against Reigns at Fastlane, but perhaps it will be something else. What do you think?
Tonight will mark the return of the Friday Night Saviour, Seth Rollins. Since returning at the Royal Rumble, Rollins was schedule for last week’s SmackDown but never appeared, so we assume we’ll see him tonight to kick-start a new feud. Unfortunately this is one of those week’s where WWE hasn’t announced much ahead of time, but we can expect more from Sami Zayn, Big E, Kevin Owens, and possibly even Edge. So let us know what you’re excited to see and enjoy the show!
This week’s SmackDown opens with thunder and lightning inside the ThunderDome, and out comes the WWE Tribal Chief, the Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.
Adam Pearce is in the ring, waiting for Reigns, Heyman and Uso, and we see a replay of last week on RAW when Edge said he wouldn’t make a decision on his WrestleMania opponent until after Elimination Chamber. Roman smiles and tells Pearce not to be scared of him, then proceeds to tell him he has no authority and his job is to wait on the Chief.
Reigns turns his attention to Edge and he says he saw fear in his eyes last week. Because Edge knows what he’d do to him. He’d beat him so bad they’d need to give him a Legends contract. Roman says Edge waiting is just a ploy, hoping someone will take the belt from him but that isn’t going to happen. He’s going to hold onto that belt as long as he wants to. And as for why Pearce is out here, they need to talk about Elimination Chamber.
Pearce says he has a contract that states Roman will defend the Universal Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, just the same as Drew McIntyre. Reigns laughs and says Paul can handle this one. Heyman introduces himself and says Roman’s agreement with WWE states he will defend the Universal Championship on big shows like Elimination Chamber, but nowhere does it say Roman has to defend the title inside the Chamber. Heyman suggests whoever wins the SmackDown Chamber match can face Roman right after the match instead.
Heyman says he knows Pearce doesn’t like it but what’s he going to do about it? He’s not going to fire the Universal Championship. Especially this close to WrestleMania. Heyman says last year’s WrestleMania didn’t feature Roman Reigns and it was the least attended in WWE history. He tells Pearce to book the match as he stated and Pearce says he clearly has some work to do, including qualification matches. However two men he doesn’t believe need to qualify are Jey Uso….and Kevin Owens.
Pearce leaves the ring and stands by the barricade as he finishes his promo. Roman goes out of the ring and gets in Pearce’s face and berates him, saying he just doesn’t get it. Heyman makes Roman back off but he stares a hole through Pearce as he does so. We have our first two entrants inside the SmackDown Chamber, with more to come.
Sonya Deville stops Adam Pearce backstage and he says he needs to populate the Chamber in less than two hours. Sonya says she’s way ahead of him; why don’t they do a tag team match where the winning team both qualify for the match. Pearce likes the idea and Deville says she’s already booked it.
The Mysterio’s are out first, followed by their opponents. Sami Zayn cuts a promo on the way to the ring about all the injustices that WWE management are inflicting upon him. Zayn says management would much prefer Rey and Dominik get into the Elimination Chamber but he’s not going to let that happen. Rey and Dominik dropkick Sami off the apron and Corbin is alone.
The bell rings and Rey beats Baron and even knocks him onto the middle rope but as he runs for the 619 he gets tripped by Zayn. Dominik then wipes out Sami with a suicide dive and literally smashes his own face on the announce table. Inside the ring Rey jumps onto Corbin and hurricanranas him over the ropes to the floor. Rey gets Dominik back in the ring as we head to the break.
We’re back live and Rey drop toe-holds Corbin onto the middle turnbuckle, then Zayn and Dominik get tags. Dominik catches Zayn with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, then kicks him back and lands a tornado DDT from the middle rope. Dominik gets Sami in the corner and drills him with shoulder tackles. Sami throws him over the ropes to the apron but Dominik slams his face into the buckle and hits a tope over the ropes.
Corbin tries to get involved but Dominik drops him and hits a tope as well. Dominik gets distracted and Zayn rolls him up for two, then hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near-fall. Dominik reverses Sami to land a neckbreaker but Corbin breaks the pin attempt. Rey runs in and knocks Corbin onto the middle rope, then he and Dominik hit a double 619. Rey and Baron roll outside but Zayn catches Dominik with an exploder suplex in the corner and a Helluva kick for the win!
Zayn and Corbin have qualified for the SmackDown Elimination Chamber. Two spots are left in the match.
Roode and Ziggler walk in on Deville and Pearce and tell them the only real option for the last two Chamber spots are them. Roode says they’re two pro’s, dirty dogs, and fan favourites. Deville jokes that they want to be in the same pod but they correct her. Deville says they can earn their spot if they can beat Cesaro and Daniel Bryan later tonight.
Sasha Banks is talking to Kalisto backstage but Reginald appears and offers her a glass of champagne. Reggie apologises to Banks and says he is confident she could beat Bianca Belair. Banks flirts with him.
We see a replay of last week when Big E defeated Apollo Crews and Sami Zayn. Big E is in the ring and he says last week he defended his Intercontinental Championship against the odds. And just like Tom Brady on a celebratory boat ride, he’s still standing somehow. Big E says he has put that chapter behind him but Apollo interrupts and says he knows why Big E is out here. He’s about to do an open challenge for the Intercontinental Championship but nobody is better suited than him, so he accepts.
Big E says he’s half right, he’s willing to give anyone a shot, anyone but Crews. Apollo tells him he’s supposed to be a fighting Champion but Big E says he’s beat him and he needs to go to the back of the line. They argue without a microphone and it gets tense. Big E tells him to get out of the ring because they are done, then asks for his next challenger. Shinsuke Nakamura answers the call and he makes his way to the ring.
The title match gets underway and Nakamura drops Big E right away, then chokes him with a boot in the corner. Nakamura goes to the corner and runs at Big E but gets completely clobbered with a body attack. Big E drags Nakamura under the bottom rope and pounds him with forearms, then hits a big splash on the apron. Apollo Crews is still at ringside and he gets on the apron to encourage Nakamura and Big E walks over to talk him down.
Nakamura catches Big E with an enziguiri, then a knee to the gut and lays him across the top rope. Nakamura hits a running knee and goes to the middle rope for a leaping knee to the jaw for a near-fall. Shinsuke delivers vicious knees to the shoulders of Big E, then looks for the Kinshasa but Big E avoids it. Nakamura hits a spinning heel kick, then runs at him but gets caught with a urinage for a near-fall. Big E claps for Nakamura to get up and looks for the Big Ending but Shinsuke slides off and Apollo Crews appears out of nowhere with a dropkick to Big E!
Apollo leaves up the ramp smiling and talking trash to an irate Big E. This one is far from over.
We see a promo for the return of Seth Rollins. The entire SmackDown roster makes its way down to the ring where Seth Rollins will address them after the break.
Seth Rollins comes out to his old music and the announcers are only calling him “the architect” but he’s wearing a black leather suit and smiling as the other Superstars clap for him. Rollins says it feels good to be back in the ThunderDome, it just feels right. He says a lot has changed since he sacrificed himself at Survivor Series. But the thing that has changed the most is himself. He says he recently became a parent for the first time, and he is the proud father of a perfect baby girl. She has changed his life in ways he could never have imagined.
And that change has given him a new perception, a new vision. When he looks around the ring he sees some of the most talented people in the entire industry and he wonders where he fits in. But after a lot of introspection he realised he is in fact the great leader SmackDown has always needed to get to the next level. All the Superstars start leaving ringside and Seth gets frustrated. He says he can be their father, their mentor but they ignore him. Rollins continues alone, saying all we have to do for a better tomorrow, is embrace the vision.
Rollins smiles but the lights come up and he sees he is alone, all but for Cesaro. Rollins points at Cesaro and says he knew he would understand. Cesaro shrugs and walks off but Seth gets out of the ring and attacks him on the ramp! Rollins beats Cesaro and a half dozen referees come down but they can’t stop him. Daniel Bryan runs down and punches Seth, sending him retreating. How will Cesaro fare in the Elimination Chamber qualifying match tonight?
Bayley makes her way to the ring after a promo for the Elimination Chamber PPV. She’ll be taking on Liv Morgan after the break.
The bell rings as Bayley is taunting but Liv runs and attacks her. Bayley manages to back Liv into the corner and beat on her but Morgan jumps over Bayley and knocks her onto the middle rope. Liv hits a dropkick to the back, then a dropkick from the middle rope and Bayley rolls from the ring to regroup. Natalya and Tamina are shown watching backstage.
Liv runs and jumps off the steel steps at Bayley but nobody’s home and she takes a gnarly bump on the barricade. Bayley laughs and gets Liv back in the ring for a two-count. Bayley stomps Liv before choking her on the middle rope in front of Ruby. Bayley takes too much time and Liv catches her with a facebuster. Bayley trips Liv on the ropes, then hits an armbreaker for a two-count.
Morgan catches Bayley with an enziguiri followed by ObLIVion for a near-fall. Billie Kay comes down to the ring and tries to apologise to Ruby Riott and they start arguing. The referee gets distracted with what’s happening on the floor, allowing Bayley to rake the eyes of Liv and hit the Rose Plant for the win!
Cesaro and Daniel Bryan are interviewed backstage and Cesaro says they are still competing tonight. He says Seth wasted their time earlier tonight so he’s going to make up for it by qualifying for the Elimination Chamber.
The Street Profits were at the Daytona 500 racetrack yesterday and talked to one of the best Nascar drivers right now. Sasha Banks will be the honorary starter for the 500 this Sunady. The Profits make their way to the ring.
The match gets underway with Gable and Dawkins and they wrestle for control with some amateur holds and lots of counters. Gable arm-drags Dawkins, then gets caught with one himself and they go back and forth with it while Montez Ford applauds. Montez tag in and wants Otis but Gable doesn’t make the tag. Gable whips Ford to the ropes but Montez does an incredible backflip to avoid him.
Ford gets tripped and caught with an arm-drag and Gable holds him down with an armlock. Dawkings tags in and catches Gable with a shoulder tackle, then throws Ford overhead to moonsault Gable. Dawkins applies a headlock and holds Gable down, but Chad breaks free and catches him with an overhead belly-to-belly before tagging Otis.
The working man runs in hot against Dawkins and Ford runs in but gets caught with a flapjack. Otis hits an exploder to Dawkins, then a splash in the corner. Otis hits the Caterpillar and tags Gable. They look for a double-team but Montez pulls the top rope down and Otis falls outside. Dawkins avoids a roll-up and Ford tags himself in, then Dawkins hits a German suplex and Ford lands From The Heavens for the win!
Sasha Banks comes out while The Street Profits are retreating up the ramp. Dawkins and Ford dance with The Boss on the stage.
Sasha Banks gets some pyro as she dances in the ring. Banks addresses Bianca Belair and says she’s like a little sister to her. Banks says Bianca knows there is only once choice for her at WrestleMania. Bianca Belair comes down to the ring and says Sasha doesn’t need to worry, she sees her. Belair says she likes Banks but… “uh uh”. Bianca says Banks is not the boss of her but then they’re interrupted by the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Nia Jax says Banks and Belair are insufferable. Their ego’s are so big they barely fit in the ring together. Baszler says nobody care’s about who Belair chooses, and people should be talking about them as the only 2X Women’s Tag Team Champions. Jax says they’re on a roll but Banks laughs and says she has footage to suggest otherwise. We see a replay of last Monday night where Naomi and Lana beat them. Banks says that wasn’t the footage she intended to see, and then we’re shown Lana beating Nia Jax in a tables match.
Nia attacks Bianca but Banks takes down Baszler. Bianca knocks Jax onto the apron and Banks trips her so she lands on her…you guessed it. Baszler swings a punch for Belair but gets caught and lifted into the air. Belair drops Baszler into a knee from Banks. Belair and Banks pose in the ring while Shayna and Nia regroup at ringside.
Our main event is coming up next as Cesaro and Daniel Bryan face Roode and Ziggler to find out the final two competitors in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match.
The match begins with Ziggler and Bryan and Dolph takes a headlock. Bryan shoots him off but gets hit with a shoulder and Dolph goes right back to the headlock. They do the same sequence again but this time Bryan catches him with a kick to the chest and tags Cesaro for a body slam. Ziggler stomps Cesaro’s foot and dropkicks him for a one-count, then takes a headlock and tags Roode.
Bobby punches Cesaro a few times, then looks for a back body drop but gets caught with a European uppercut. Bryan tags in and kicks Roode in the chest and back, then swings for the head but Roode dodges and rolls him up and into the LeBell Lock but Roode reaches the ropes. Roode knocks Cesaro off the ropes and runs at Bryan but gets tossed over the ropes onto Cesaro. Bryan then runs for a suicide dive but ends-up hitting Cesaro by accident. Roode and Ziggler toss Bryan and Cesaro into the steel steps and out come Zayn and Corbin.
Back live and Daniel Bryan is in a sleeper hold and can’t reach Cesaro. Dolph slams Bryan into the corner and tags Roode, who comes in with stomps to Bryan and Ziggler takes a cheapshot. Roode hits a suplex for a two-count and we see Roman Reigns watching backstage. Ziggler tags in again and hits a leaping elbow drop for a two-count before putting Bryan in the corner and raking his eyes.
Ziggler puts Bryan up top and climbs up with him but gets punched off and Bryan hits a front dropkick to create some separation. Tag to Roode and he immediately knocks Cesaro off the apron but Bryan rolls him up for two. Bryan lands some stiff forearms and hits the ropes but Roode catches him with a spinebuster. Ziggler tags in but Bryan slams him into the corner before tagging the Swiss Superman. Cesaro knocks Roode off the apron before hammering Ziggler with uppercuts in the corner. Cesaro whips Dolph from buckle to buckle hitting repeated running uppercuts.
Roode jumps on the apron but eats a punch from Cesaro, then Ziggler gets caught with a flapjack uppercut. Cesaro looks for The Swing but Roode chop blocks the same leg Rollins did earlier. Bryan runs in and hits Roode with a running knee but Ziggler catches Cesaro with a Fame-Asser for a near-fall. Ziggler runs at Cesaro but gets caught with a huge backbreaker into The Swing and into a Sharpshooter and Dolph taps!
Corbin and Zayn talk trash to Bryan and Cesaro from the floor and suddenly Jey Uso hits Cesaro with a chair in the back! Bryan is dragged from the ring by Corbin and Zayn and they beat him down. They then get in the ring and help Jey beat on Cesaro. Sami turns on Corbin and throws him shoulder-first into the ring post, then Bryan catches Zayn with the running knee. Everyone is brawling but out comes Kevin Owens and he hits everyone with Stunners! Roman is shown watching backstage and Owens sits on a chair and shouts that they’re not done yet.
That’s it for this week’s SmackDown. Let us know what you thought of the show and how Elimination Chamber is shaping up. We’ll have live results coverage of NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day on Sunday night, so we’ll see you then!