By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,163)
Live from Los Angeles, California at Staples Center
Aired December 10, 2021 on Fox
[Hour One] The show opened with Michael Cole and Pat McAfee on commentary. Sami Zayn made his entrance in a wheelchair, along with two rather jacked nurses alongside him. Footage was shown of last week’s saga between Zayn, Brock Lesnar, and Roman Reigns.
Sami started to rant after the video and called himself the toughest man in WWE, because it took two of the biggest men in WWE to put him in that state. He said it was weird that two men who hate each other worked to make sure Sami Zayn couldn’t become WWE Universal Champion. Sami called it a conspiracy, and that he was robbed. He said it wasn’t the Germans or the two F5s from Brock, it was the betrayal that worked the most.
Zayn threatened to sue Adam Pearce, Sonya Deville, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, and anybody else who robbed him of his opportunity at the Universal Championship.
Paul Heyman walked out, and Zayn sarcastically said this was good. Paul apologized to the crowd and said he was sorry they were subjected to this from of all people Sami Zayn. Heyman said it’s his people that do this, his people own entertainment, and told him Shabbat Shalom.
Heyman faced the camera, and Zayn expressed anger at Heyman blocking his shot. Zayn rose from his chair and told Heyman that he wasn’t finished talking. Zayn said Roman Reigns wasn’t there tonight. Heyman said he was on a sabbatical in Samoa. Zayn said that he was there, and no one was there to save him, and he was a world class athlete that will rip his head off. Zayn backed Heyman into the corner and repeated that no one was there to save him, and then Brock Lesnar’s music hit.
Brock Lesnar made his entrance and then Zayn stumbled into his chair as Lesnar approached. Brock grabbed a folding chair and set it down in the ring. He backed Heyman into the corner and mocked Sami’s situation with the chair and the neck brace. Sami said it wasn’t funny, and Brock said they got off on the wrong foot. He asked Sami how much it hurt on a scale from 1-10. Zayn said the physical pain he was a 10, but the mental pain was a 20.
Brock said they were both Canadian Alpha Males, and he thought they were friends. He asked Zayn if he thought he could single handedly beat Roman Reigns? Brock said he did him a favor, because he was never going to beat Roman Reigns on that given night. Zayn asked Brock if he injured him on purpose so Roman’s win wouldn’t really count. Brock said he was a smart guy, and then asked him what part of Canada he was from.
Sami said everyone knows he’s from Montreal. Brock said a few words in French, and then invited Sami to come back to him to go hunting and fishing in Saskatchewan. Sami was terrified, but Brock started to wheel him away. Heyman asked if he had hit the dispensary too hard and the edibles were kicking him. He fired up Lesnar by giving him his old hype speech about being the beast and the Universal Champion.
Brock snapped and absolutely mauled Zayn’s nurses, and then kicked Zayn out of his chair before hitting the F5. Heyman smiled at the carnage. The announce team said they would determine who was the best Tag Team in WWE in the main event. New Day will face both RK-Bro and The Usos. Kayla will have a word with Brock next…[c]
My Take: Brock and Zayn have a humorous rapport together. Heyman being able to trigger Lesnar’s violent tendencies is an interesting angle. I’m sure the relationship between Lesnar, Reigns, and Heyman will be the main fulcrum of their feud as it continues.
Kayla asked Brock what his purpose was coming to ringside. He said she should ask his advocate Paul Heyman…
Los Lotharios were in the ring for the first match of the night. Rick Boogs fired up his guitar and introduced Shinsuke Nakamura…
1. “Los Lotharios” Humberto and Angel vs. Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura: Boogs started the match with Humberto Carillo. He launched him across the ring with a body block. He then gave an overhead press slam to Angel Garza, and tossed him to ringside. Carillo tried to capitalize, but Boogs gave him a version of an airplane spin. Nakamura tagged in and landed a kick to the face and landed Kinshasa for the quick win.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs defeated Los Lotharios at 1:28
After the match, Kofi Kingston, Drew Gulak, and the Viking Raiders stood by a mystery object covered on a table backstage. Ivar tried to touch it, but Kofi slapped his hand…[c]
My Take: Thanks for coming, Los Lotharios.
The mystery object was a new crown for King Woods, who appeared from behind the table. It was larger and more ridiculous than the previous one. Woods said it was made from donated unicorn horns, and said he and Kofi would vanquish The Usos and RK-Bro later to show once again that they are the greatest tag team in WWE. He then commanded everyone to say huzzah…
Cole then introduced footage from a few weeks ago where Drew McIntyre was left out of the Smackdown Battle Royal, and the ensuing conflict with Adam Pearce…
Backstage, Drew McIntyre approached Pearce with his ridiculous bastard sword. Pearce deferred to Sonya Deville and said she made the list, and it was approved by a higher authority. He then said the higher authority told him that McIntyre couldn’t bring his sword to the ring tonight. McIntyre then drove his sword through the table Pearce was sitting at…
Sheamus made his entrance in the arena. Cesaro was shown backstage standing near a television at an awkward angle. McIntyre vs. Sheamus is up next…[c]
My Take: The new crown looks like something out of a video game, which is perfect for Woods. McIntyre should ditch the stupid sword permanently.
Backstage, Sasha Banks approached Toni Storm. She told Toni that she knows Charlotte said she’s not on her level, but she’s got this tonight. Sasha mentioned Toni training all over the world, and said she’s got all the tools she needs. She then said she’s never seen Charlotte as embarrassed as she was when she got pied last week. Toni delivered a pun and said “Pie-backs a bitch”. They laughed and Sasha said it would be Toni Time later…
Drew McIntyre made his entrance in the arena. Pearce tried and failed to remove the sword from his desk backstage…
2. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus: Sheamus got an early advantage and attempted 10 beats of the Bodhrán. McIntyre blocked them and delivered clubbing blows of his own. Sheamus fired back with more of his own and sent McIntyre to ringside…[c]
Sheamus landed an Irish Curse Backbreaker as the show returned. The announce team said these guys beat the hell out of each other during the break. Sheamus picked up McIntyre, but he elbowed out of it and landed a Future Shock DDT. He then set up for Claymore, but Sheamus landed a rising knee counter and covered for a close near fall. After a series of reversals, Drew managed to surprise Sheamus with a Claymore and pick up the win.
Drew McInytre defeated Sheamus at 7:31
McIntyre fired up the crowd after the match. Madcap Moss and Baron Corbin were shown stealing the desk with Drew McIntyre’s sword in it. Cole and McAfee then introduced a tribute video for Jack Lanza.
After the video tribute, Naomi made her ring entrance. Her match (maybe) with Sonya Deville is up next…[c]
My Take: A really nice tribute video for Jack Lanza. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus had a physical match as you’d expect, but it didn’t break any new ground from what you already saw on Raw in 2020.
The announce team plugged the tag team main event…
Kayla Braxton approached Paul Heyman backstage and asked about him being Brock Lesnar’s advocate. He told her to stop interrupting him and stop asking about that. She then asked about how Roman Reigns is going to react to what he did tonight. Paul looked around and then refused to answer.
A video package recapped the saga between Sonya Deville and Naomi…
[Hour Two] Sonya Deville made her entrance for the match, and had on ring gear. She asked for a microphone. She said they would get to the match, but she had a couple of surprises. She announced Natalya as the guest ring announcer, Shayna Baszler as the timekeeper. Naomi assaulted Baszler before the bell rang. Natalya jumped on the apron, and Naomi kicked her to the floor. Deville bailed to ringside and rallied her troops to jump Naomi.
Xia Li’s music hit and she made her way out to the ring. She had a CGI entrance with some lightning effects. Xia got in the ring and joined Naomi in taking down the three heels. Li cleared Natalya and Shayna from the ring. She gave Sonya a roundhouse kick. Naomi set up for a split leg moonsault on Deville, but Baszler pulled her out of the ring. Naomi and Xia Li shared a bow of respect with one another.
Backstage, RK-Bro was backstage and introduced Randy Orton to the crew from Jackass. Knoxville showed them a move called the “Hook and Ladder” by grabbing one of the other guy’s balls. Chris Pontius advised them to stay lubed up. Orton was disgusted and walked away…
In the arena, Charlotte Flair made her entrance. Her match with Toni Storm in next…[c]
My Take: Matt Riddle gets way too much TV Time for a guy that isn’t funny. It was good to see Xia Li debut. I’m still unsold on the protector aspect of the character, but I’ll give it some time before taking too strong of an opinion on it.
WWE announced Migos would make an appearance at WWE Day 1 in Atlanta. Toni Storm made her entrance for her match with Charlotte. Footage was shown of the various pies to the face from the past few weeks…
3. Toni Storm vs. Charlotte: Storm ran directly into a hard right hand from Flair to start. They went back and forth for a minute until Charlotte knocked Storm down with a big boot. Charlotte stepped on Storm on her way to the top rope for a moonsault. Charlotte tried her double moonsault, but whiffed because Toni rolled onto her stomach. She then goofed again by trying to cover Toni awkwardly when wasn’t on her back.
Toni recovered and sent Flair out to the floor. Charlotte met Storm on the apron and shoved her into the ring post. She then stomped on her repeatedly on the outside into the post until she was disqualified.
Toni Storm defeated Charlotte Flair via DQ at 3:50
After the match, Charlotte tossed Toni into the ring and landed a big boot. She then celebrated with her title. The announce team then aired some video footage of the opening segment. The Usos made their ring entrance for the main event after the video package for the main event. There are 40 minutes left in the show at this point. Cole and McAfee reiterated the question of who was the greatest tag team in WWE…[c]
My Take: I’m disappointed we didn’t get more time for Charlotte and Toni. I assume the actual match has to take place at Day 1?
Backstage, Brock Lesnar approached Adam Pearce. He looked terrified. Brock reminded him of the suspension and the fine he gave him, and said he never had a chance to thank him because that million dollars went to charity. He then said he also got some time off, and was able to do one of his favorite things in the world, hunting. Brock explained how he killed, gutted, and ate a moose. He tried to show Pearce a picture of it on his phone, but ended up snapping the phone in half after he couldn’t figure it out. He then said he mounted it on his wall and named it Pearce to remind him of the suspension. Pearce then walked away, still terrified. Brock was intense the entire time…
In the ring, The Usos cut a brief promo about how they don’t care about The Usos or RK-Bro, because they are the Bloodline, and they are The Ones. New Day made their entrance next…[c]
My Take: I guess they’re going to get around the time remaining on the show by doing three commercial breaks during the entrances. Brock continues to do good work with his promos recently. He seems like he’s having fun with it.
RK-Bro made their entrance for the main event…
4. Raw Tag Team Champions “RK-Bro” Randy Orton and Riddle vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. “New Day” Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods in a non-title Triple Threat tag match: Riddle and Kofi started the match. They worked some mat wrestling for a moment, but Kofi got to his feet and landed a springboard dropkick out of the corner. Woods tagged in and they doubled up on Riddle with a springboard splash and elbow drop for a two count. Riddle got to his feet and traded blows with Woods, but he was shutdown with a kick and a facebuster.
Jey Uso got a blind tag on King Woods. The Usos both got in the ring and cleared the other two teams to ringside. They then dove on them and took them out near the entrance ramp with dives through the ropes…[c]
Kofi tagged in and landed a splash on Jey Uso as the show returned. Riddle tagged himself in, and was quickly cut off and beat down by The Usos. Orton tried to get involved, but the ref sent him out of the ring. The Usos continued the beat down on Riddle, and the crowd chanted for Orton. The Usos landed an double team homage to the Demolition Decapitation, and taunted the crowd. Riddle tried to evade Jey Uso and reach Orton, but he got pulled back into the middle of the ring.
Riddle created some space to tag Orton, but Jimmy Uso pulled him from the apron and sent him into the ring steps. Jey landed a neckbreaker and covered Riddle, but Kofi broke it up…[c]
Riddle landed a ripcord knee on Jimmy Uso, and then a knee strike to Jey. Orton called for the hot tag, but Kofi knocked him from the apron. The New Day then set up a double team chest stomp from Kingston, but it wasn’t executed well. Woods was the legal man with Riddle. He landed a suplex for a two count. He then applied a rear chinlock. Woods landed strikes and chops on Riddle. He fought back with strikes of his own, but Woods kicked his knee out from under him.
Kofi tagged in, and Riddle managed to take them both out with knees and kicks. He made the hot tag to Orton, and the crowd lit up. He landed a powerslam on both Jimmy and Jey Uso. He then pulled Jey in for a DDT, but Jay escaped. The action spilled outside, where Orton dropped Jey Uso and both New Day members on the announce table. He then pulled Jey through the ropes and landed a DDT.
Orton set up for an RKO, but Jey avoided it and landed a superkick. He went up for a splash, but Orton moved. Woods tagged Orton to make himself the legal man. Jey Uso sent Orton into Jimmy for an RKO. Woods superkicked Jey Uso and tagged Kofi. They landed a double team backbreaker double stomp combo for the win.
“New Day” Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods defeated The Usos and RK-Bro at 19:53 in a non-title Triple Threat tag match
After the match, The New Day Celebrated as both Championship teams fumed on the outside. Roman Reigns was advertised for a return next week…
My Take: A good match that sets up a title match for New Day at WWE Day 1. Though, the way it was formatted with all the commercial breaks definitely took away from the enjoyment. Overall, this was an average show, and it continues to be light on in ring action. It was nice to see Xia Li debut, and Brock continues to be fun to watch, but for my taste I’d like to see a better mix between angles and ring action.