12/3 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Roman Reigns vs. Sami Zayn for the WWE Universal Championship, Brock Lesnar’s return, Sheamus vs. Cesaro, King Woods vs. Jey Uso, Sasha Banks vs. Shayna Baszler

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,162)
San Antonio, Texas at AT&T Center
Aired December 3, 2021 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of last week’s episode with Sami Zayn winning the Black Friday Battle Royal to earn a WWE Universal Championship match, and Kayla Braxton announcing that Brock Lesnar’s suspension had been lifted… Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were on commentary…

Brock Lesnar made his entrance. “The Beast is back,” Cole said. Cole added that Lesnar paid a $1 million fine and now his suspension has been lifted. Lesnar smiled once he was inside the ring and soaked up the crowd cheers. Lesnar said he was there for one reason only – the WWE Universal Championship.

Sami Zayn’s entrance music interrupted Lesnar. Zayn came out and spoke of how his and Lesnar’s careers have been so parallel minus WrestleMania main events and UFC Championships. Zayn entered the ring and said they are both Canadian alpha males.

Lesnar said he was confused and said he didn’t have the slightest idea who Zayn was. “Pardon my ignorance, you’re a fan?” Lesnar said. He intimidated Zayn by saying he hunts, kills, and eats things in Saskatchewan. Zayn referred to himself as the elder statesman of Smackdown and boasted that he’s the number one contender to the championship.

Lesnar laughed at the idea of Zayn becoming the number one contender while he was suspended. Zayn spoke of facing Roman Reigns at the WWE Day 1 pay-per-view and said he would roll out the red carpet for Lesnar afterward. Lesnar asked why Zayn would wait until Day 1 when he could have the match tonight.

Zayn said he didn’t want to do it in Texas and came up with other excuses. Lesnar pressured him to take the match. Zayn thanked Lesnar for the advice and said no thank you while putting his hand on Lesnar’s chest. Lesnar grabbed Zayn’s hand and squeezed until Zayn agreed to have his title match tonight. Lesnar told Zayn he would be right by his side. Zayn left the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: Playful, yet still massively intimidating babyface Brock is actually a lot of fun. I wouldn’t want Lesnar to act(?) like he doesn’t know a lot of the main roster wrestlers, but it was just fine here due to the nature of Zayn’s heel character. The broadcast team didn’t officially announce the title match for tonight, so we’ll see if they follow through with it or save it for next week when Smackdown is in Los Angeles.

Backstage, Zayn told Sonya Deville that he put his foot in his mouth when he said he wanted his title match tonight. Lesnar showed up and Zayn quickly changed his tune. Deville agreed to the match. Lesnar asked if that means he can face the winner at WWE Day 1. Deville approved. Lesnar high-fived a nervous Zayn…

Powell’s POV: Well, that solves that mystery. I wonder if we’ll get the Day 1 contract signing for next week? I’m sure they’ll want to do something involving Lesnar and Roman Reigns in Los Angeles.

1. Sasha Banks vs. Shayna Baszler. Banks leapt from the apron and performed an early meteora on Baszler at ringside. Banks rolled Baszler back inside the ring and covered her for a two count. [C] Baszler blasted Banks with a running knee in the corner and then suplexed her and covered her for a two count.

Baszler taunted Banks, who then went on the offensive and hit double knees while Baszler was hung up in the ropes, which led to a two count. Banks performed a tornado DDT for a near fall. Production seemed to pipe in some “Let’s Go Sasha” chants.

Baszler caught Banks in the Kirifuda Clutch. Banks rolled onto her and forced her to break the hold. Banks immediately applied a Bank Statement, which Baszler escaped. Baszler drilled Banks with another knee, then went for a gut-wrench suplex, but Banks rolled her into a pin for the win…

Sasha Banks beat Shayna Baszler in 9:00.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match, but this could be a WrestleMania worthy matchup if they would ever get it right creatively with Baszler.

Backstage, Deville informed Adam Pearce by FaceTime about her decision regarding the WWE Universal Championship matches. Pearce was tough to make out, but he said something about upper management not liking the show disrupted and told her to remember the Alamo.

Drew McIntyre entered the room after Deville hung up the phone. McIntyre wanted to know who was responsible for leaving him out of last week’s battle royal. Deviille blamed Pearce while saying he wasn’t there yet. McIntyre pulled out his sword and told Deville to let Pearce know that he was looking for him…

Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their entrance for a Happy Talk segment… [C] A graphic questioned who Lesnar will challenge for the WWE Universal Championship at WWE Day 1…

Corbin and Moss sat in the ring that was covered in the Happy Talk set. Corbin said it was a hilarious prank when he eliminated Moss last week. Moss looked upset for a moment, then laughed about it. Corbin said it wasn’t funny for everyone because Jeff Hardy has lost so many brain cells that he forgot Sami Zayn was not eliminated. Moss told cornball jokes about Hardy and Drew McIntyre.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance, which stopped the hyenas from laughing. Corbin directed Moss to cut off McIntyre, who then used his sword to point. Jeff Hardy attacked Corbin from behind and put him down with a Twist of Fate. Moss attacked Hardy. McIntyre entered the ring and hit a Claymore Kick on Moss. McIntyre and Hardy celebrated together…

Volume 3 of the Xia Li comic book style vignette aired. It focused on two men attempting to mug her, which led to her kicking their asses. Li was listed as appearing next week…

The Viking Raiders made their entrance for a match against Los Lotharios… [C] An ad for Raw listed Miz TV with Edge, Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan for the Raw Women’s Championship, and WWE Champion Big E vs. Kevin Owens in a cage match…

John Cena set up a long trailer for the “Peacemaker” series that was listed as streaming soon on HBO Max…

Powell’s POV: The series is listed as starting in January on HBO Max. I never got into comics as a kid, but I enjoy comic book movies and TV shows, so I am looking forward to watching it.

2. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar” vs. Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto. The heel entrance was also televised. Humberto took out Ivar with a suicide dive. Angel superkicked Erik inside the ring. Humberto applied a Last Chancery on Erik. The heels were distracted by Rick Boogs playing his guitar on the broadcast table while Shinsuke Nakamura rocked out. Erik knocked Humberto to ringside, but Angel rolled up Erik and pinned him.

“Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto beat “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar” in 1:35.

After the match, the Viking Raiders went to ringside. Erik said they got it, Nakamura and Boogs were trying to help. Boogs played his guitar and then Nakamura, Erik, and Ivar all pounded their chests and said “raid” while McAfee rocked out behind them…

Powell’s POV: That felt pointless. It seemed like Boogs was slow to start playing for some reason, as Angel had to stand there awkwardly while Humberto had the Last Chancery applied for way to long. Why is the Intercontinental Champion in a mid-card tag team feud?

A sponsored ad recapped Charlotte Flair slamming pies in the face of Toni Storm…

Backstage, Kayla Braxton interviewed Toni Storm, who said she knows she’s the girl who had two pies thrown in her face. She said Flair can try to embarrass her, but she’s not afraid of her and it won’t stop her from trying to get a title match. Storm said Flair may have more experience than her, but she’s in Flair’s head. She said that if Flair doesn’t think she’s on her level, then she will prove her wrong…

Powell’s POV: I like Storm and all, but this still didn’t explain why her character just stood there and let Flair slam two pies in her face.

The Usos made their entrance for Jey’s singles match… [C] The Usos delivered a brief promo about how Roman Reigns would smash Sami Zayn tonight and beat Brock Lesnar at WWE Day 1.

[Hour Two] King Woods made his entrance and spoke on the stage about how the Usos don’t like surprises. He said they really wouldn’t like the one he had for them. Woods said his crown is shattered for now, but he always brings a gift to the party. Woods did a big buildup and introduced Kofi Kingston…

3. King Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso). Jey performed a popup neckbreaker and covered Woods for a two count during the opening minute. Woods battled back and put Jey down with a forearm shot. Woods went to the ropes, but Jimmy pulled him down for the disqualification.

King Woods beat Jey Uso by DQ in 2:00.

After the match, Kingston got involved and joined Woods in clearing the Usos from the ring…

Powell’s POV: I assumed this was going to evolve into a tag match. Instead, we got back to back brief, throwaway matches.

Roman Reigns was shown watching the match in his dressing room while Paul Heyman sat behind him. Reigns noted that Kingston was back and Pearce wasn’t there. He said there were a lot of things he didn’t know about. Reigns asked if Heyman knew that Lesnar would be there. Heyman said he was just as surprised as Reigns when it was announced last week. Reigns asked if Heyman knew that Lesnar would be in Zayn’s corner. Heyman said he did not. Reigns said he would smash Zayn and would also smash Lesnar if he came anywhere near the ring…

Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair made her entrance. Cole said Flair would address Toni Storm’s challenge… [C]

Backstage, Aliyah spoke to Kingston and Woods and noted that the band was back together. She made her exit. Kayla Braxton showed up and Kingston told her that The Bloodline destroyed Woods’ crown, so they will destroy the Usos’ tag title reign at WWE Day 1…

Charlotte Flair delivered an in-ring promo. She said the only way to get noticed in the women’s division is by challenging her. “Number one doesn’t talk about number two, six, or ten,” Flair said. She said Toni Storm should be thanking her for smashing two pies in her face.

Flair said Storm could shower off the pie, but he couldn’t wash away the stink of embarrassment. Flair said everyone knows she’s all about uplifting the other women in the locker room. She said Storm demanding a title opportunity doesn’t add up, so she came out to show respect to Storm by showing that she considered her challenge. She said the answer is no.

Flair left the ring and played to the crowd. Toni Storm snuck up on her and slammed a pie in her face. Storm laughed while Flair threw a fit…

Powell’s POV: With WWE being in cost-cutting move, I can’t help but wonder if they saved that pie from the table of food that went untouched on last week’s Black Friday episode. I’m only half joking.

Sheamus made his entrance for his match against Cesaro… An ad aired for Sunday’s NXT WarGames… [C] A Ricochet video package aired and spotlighted his acrobatic style… Cesaro made his entrance…

4. Sheamus vs. Cesaro. Ridge Holland did not accompany Sheamus to ringside. Cole recalled the best of seven series that Sheamus and Cesaro had, and also spoke about their run as The Bar tag team. Holland was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor.

The match spilled over to ringside where Cesaro sent Sheamus into the timekeepers’ area. Back in the ring, Sheamus took control and told Cesaro that Holland is more of a man than Cesaro is. Sheamus accused Cesaro of holding him back. Cesaro went on the offensive after telling Sheamus that he was like a brother to him. Sheamus cut off Cesaro’s run with a Brogue Kick and pinned him…

Sheamus defeated Cesaro in 3:50.

Powell’s POV: I was really hoping that the two brief matches that preceded this match were going to lead to Sheamus and Cesaro getting a good amount of time. It was fun while it lasted.

Highlights aired of the Sami Zayn and Brock Lesnar segments from earlier in the show… Zayn made his entrance for the main event… [C] The broadcast team hyped Fox’s coverage of the Big 10 Championship Game…

Backstage, Naomi asked Sonya Deville to face her in a match and questioned whether she’s scared. Deville said she would take the match once she takes off the suit. She said that it would be one thing if she was wearing her ring gear, but when she wears the suit she is Naomi’s boss. Deville said that if Naomi lays a hand on her then she’ll make sure she doesn’t get her match or a paycheck. Naomi asked if she accepted the challenge. Deville slapped her across the face. Naomi restrained herself. “Yes, I will,” Deville casually said regarding the match challenge…

The Raw recap video aired… Zayn was still waiting inside the ring. The broadcast team hyped the main event… [C]

Cole hyped Jeff Hardy vs. Happy Corbin, and Naomi vs. Sonya Deville for next week’s Smackdown in Los Angeles…

Zayn stood in the ring with a mic and said this was the biggest match of his career and there was something he needed to say. Zayn said Texas is his least favorite state and he never dreamed of winning the championship there. He said sometimes an angel whispers in your ear about something you never would have thought of. He said Lesnar was that angel. Zayn got fired up while talking about how he would beat Reigns and walk out as the champion. Zayn told the fans that he would not have any of them to thank. He said the only person he would have to thank is Lesnar.

Brock Lesnar made his entrance and gave Zayn a thumbs up. “There he is, make some noise for Brock Lesnar,” Zayn said. Lesnar laughed and entered the ring. Zayn said he knew Lesnar wasn’t there to help him win and he wasn’t saying that he should, but Lesnar would probably have an easier time with him than Reigns at WWE Day 1. Zayn pointed out that Lesnar’s track record against Reigns hasn’t been great. Zayn said he wasn’t disrespecting Lesnar.

Lesnar grabbed Zayn and took him to Suplex City with three German Suplexes. Lesnar followed up with an F5. Lesnar stood over Zayn and smiled. Fans called for one more time. Lesnar obliged with another F5. Lesnar picked up Zayn and set him in the corner and used to ropes to keep him on his feet. Lesnar gave Zayn another thumbs up and then left the ring…

Powell’s POV: Man, and I thought this was Sami’s night. Kidding aside, I really liked the way they handled that in terms of having Zayn heel on the live crowd before Lesnar came out. It eliminated any chance of the fans siding with Zayn and feeling let down when Lesnar destroyed him. I am already looking forward to Zayn’s next promo.

Roman Reigns made his entrance along with Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso. Reigns held up his title belt on the stage while the Usos kept their eyes on the entrance area. They all headed to the ring and the Usos continued to keep a lookout…

5. Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso) vs. Sami Zayn for the WWE Universal Championship. Before the match, the Usos had to stand up Zayn in the corner. Reigns let out a war cry once the bell rang. Reigns speared Zayn, then put him in a guillotine choke and got the submission win…

Roman Reigns defeated Sami Zayn in 0:15 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.

The broadcast team hyped Reigns vs. Lesnar for the title at the WWE Day 1 event on January 1. The Bloodline celebrated Roman’s hard fought victory an then Reigns talked smack over the fallen Zayn to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A five star classic. This is one brief match that I won’t complain about. Sure, I would actually enjoy a babyface Sami facing Reigns in a competitive match, but this whole scenario was actually a lot of fun. Overall, I enjoyed the overall show thanks in large part to the Lesnar, Zayn, and Reigns drama. Everyone involved played their parts really well. It’s also encouraging to see WWE advertising matches for Raw and Smackdown in advance. Of course, there’s nothing stopping Vince McMahon from tearing up the scripts on show day, but in theory it’s a sign that they are doing less booking on the fly than usual. I will have more to say about the show in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by grading it below.

Join John Moore for his live review of NXT WarGames on Sunday night.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. There is no scenario where Sami Zayn should ever have a competitive match with Lesnar or Reigns. He’s a good midcarder and nothing more.

    WWE is getting back to what has always worked, short TV matches and character development, and ratings have been mostly going up for weeks now. Lets see if Smackdown posts another gain after this.

  2. The live crowd really couldn’t care less about Happy Talk. This gimmick is really fading and is has reached its expiration date

    • It’s really not working. The initial gimmick change seemed like it might, but adding Madcap just killed it.

      • Right? The bummed out Corbin was great and the intial heel-Happy showed Promise but the gimmick is really falling flat; although WHEN they break up it could be awesome.
        But the storyline? Feh…

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