12/17 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of the return of Roman Reigns, Ridge Holland vs. Cesaro, Sasha Banks and Toni Storm vs. Charlotte Flair and Shotzi

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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,164)
Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena
Aired December 17, 2021 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of last week’s segments involving Brock Lesnar, Sami Zayn, and Paul Heyman… Heyman was shown standing backstage holding the WWE Universal Championship. The broadcast team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked. Cole said Heyman had been waiting in the same spot backstage for Roman Reigns all day. McAfee said he was told that Reigns and Heyman had not communicated all week…

Sasha Banks made her entrance and joined Toni Storm, who was already in the ring. Shotzi and Charlotte Flair made separate entrances…

1. Sasha Banks and Toni Storm vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and Shotzi. The broadcast team recapped footage of Flair getting herself disqualified during last week’s singles match with Storm. Shotzi broke up Storm covering Flair, then tossed Storm to ringside where Banks was already down going into the first break. [C]

Banks was isolated and eventually tagged out. Storm worked over Shotzi. Flair eventually tagged in and performed a suplex that sent Storm to ringside. Banks and Storm were both down on the floor heading into a break (just like the first time they went to break). [C]

Banks went up top and Storm tagged into the match. Banks leapt over Flair, then hit a Backstabber on Shotzi. Flair tossed Banks to ringside. Storm performed a top rope cross body block on Flair for a good near fall. Flair shoved Storm’s face into the middle turnbuckle.

Flair went for a top rope moonsault. Storm rolled out of the way, but Flair landed on her feet and went for a standing moonsault only to have Storm put her knees up. Storm rolled Flair into a pin and bridged over her to get the three count.

Sasha Banks and Toni Storm defeated Charlotte Flair and Shotzi in 18:55.

After the match, Storm acted shocked that she won. Banks and Storm hugged and then jumped up and down simultaneously…

Powell’s POV: Did anyone think there would be nearly 19 minutes of in-ring action on the entire Smackdown show? The match was entertaining and I like the call to give Storm a win over Flair. WWE isn’t running the gimmick of having their champions lose in non-title or tag team matches into the ground like they once did, so it felt like a big deal that Storm pinned Flair.

Backstage, King Woods sat on a white throne while Kofi Kingston, Rick Boogs, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ricochet, Drew Gulak, and Mansoor chanted “hail King Woods.” Woods had a less than enthusiastic Boogs kiss his hand. The Usos showed up and mocked Woods’ crown while also saying that he likes cosplay and likes to pretend a lot. Kingston and Woods said they would beat them at WWE Day. The Usos said they would beat them tonight and at Day 1…

The Viking Raiders made their entrance for a match against Jinder Mahal and Shanky… [C]

Backstage, Megan Morant interviewed Natalya, who took offense to being asked about Xia Li. Natalya boasted about having the most television and pay-per-view matches of any woman in WWE history. She said Li is a nobody in WWE and would need her own protector if she ever stepped up to her again… The Raw recap video aired…

Jinder Mahal and Shanky made their entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: An entrance, a commercial, a backstage interview, a Raw recap video, and another entrance. If you hear clicking sounds, it might be thousands of remotes being used to turn the channel.

2. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. Jinder Mahal and Shanky. The match, which Cole referred to as a very important tag team match, was joined in progress. Late in the match, Erik picked up Ivar and tossed him ass first onto Shanky, who was seated in the corner. Erik suplexed Mahal, then Ivar performed a top rope splash on Shanky and pinned him…

“The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar beat Jinder Mahal and Shanky in 4:55 of television time.

Powell’s POV: The right team went over and the crowd was up for Erik and Ivar.

Highlights aired from last week of Drew McIntyre stabbing the desk of Adam Pearce with his sword, followed by Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss stealing the desk and sword…

Backstage, Corbin and Moss were shown pushing the desk with the sword still stuck in it… [C]

Powell’s POV: Transporting the desk and sword from Los Angeles to Chicago? Say what you will about their comedy stylings, Corbin and Moss are really committed to the joke. Or something.

A smiling Heyman greeted a car as it arrived backstage. Heyman was surprised when Brock Lesnar exited the vehicle. Lesnar asked if Heyman was expecting Reigns. “Good luck with that,” Lesnar said while patting Heyman on the chest. A nervous Heyman thanked him…

Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their entrance for a Happy Talk segment. Corbin pointed out that the desk with the sword stuck in it had joined the talkshow set. Moss told a cornball joke about Drew McIntyre. Corbin liked the joke enough that he gifted him the sword. Moss tried and failed to remove the sword from the desk. Corbin also tried.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance and asked if they were having performance issues.

[Hour Two] Moss took as swing at McIntyre, who blocked it. McIntyre disposed of Moss, then knocked Corbin down with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. McIntyre removed the sword from the desk and then took a swing at Corbin with it, but Moss pulled Corbin to ringside…

Powell’s POV: Someone needs to take a sword to the Corbin and Moss act. Everything that led up to Happy Corbin was fun. The actual Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss characters are terrible.

Backstage, Sami Zayn wished Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville happy holidays, then complained that he was robbed in his match against Roman Reigns. He said he was also robbed of the Intercontinental Championship over a year ago. Pearce and Deville informed him that they would have a 12 Days of Christmas gauntlet match next week for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship…

Sheamus made his entrance and was joined by Ridge Holland. The duo headed to the ring. Cesaro made his entrance. While Cesaro was caught up with Sheamus, Holland jabbed him with his billy club. Cesaro sold at ringside. [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m shocked that Terry Taylor never named a wrestler Billy Club. Or did he?

3. Ridge Holland (w/Sheamus) vs. Cesaro. Cesaro’s ribs were wrapped coming out of the break. Cesaro sold the injury throughout the match. He eventually clotheslined Holland to ringside and followed him to the floor. Cesaro hit Holland with a running uppercut and then threw him back inside the ring. Cesaro was distracted by Sheamus, allowing Holland to hit him with a shot to the ribs. Holland power slammed Cesaro and pinned him…

Ridge Holland beat Cesaro in 3:00.

Powell’s POV: Cesaro was protected in defeat, which is rare for him. I guess he moved up a spot on the babyface depth chart when Jeff Hardy was fired.

McIntyre walked through the backstage area with a sword while searching for Corbin… Naomi made her entrance… [C]

Naomi delivered a promo in the ring. She said she makes herself a Christmas list every year. She said this year, the only thing on her list was a one-on-one match with Sonya Deville. Naomi said Deville has done everything to her aside from facing her in a singles match. Naomi called for Deville to come out and face her.

Sonya Deville walked out and explained that she had her suit on, meaning Naomi couldn’t fight her. Deville introduced Shayna Baszler as someone who is better than Naomi. Deville entered the ring at the urging of Naomi, who was attacked from behind by Baszler. Deville called for the bell…

4. Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler. Naomi applied a leg hold. Naomi ended up on top of Baszler and scored the pin.

Naomi beat Shayna Baszler in 0:30.

Afterward, Naomi and Deville bickered at ringside…

Corbin and Moss were hiding backstage. Morant showed up and asked for more light. Corbin said McIntyre would lose to Moss at WWE Day 1. Moss acted surprised by Corbin putting him in the match…

King Woods and Kofi Kingston made their entrance on Woods’ mobile throne… [C] The Usos made their entrance…

5. Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. King Woods and Kofi Kingston in a non-title match. The Usos had the advantage heading into an early break. [C] Late in the match, the Usos made a tag that the referee missed. While Jimmy was bickering with the referee, Kingston hit him with Trouble in Paradise and pinned him…

King Woods and Kofi Kingston beat Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in 8:30 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: I’m not a fan of the story that the New Day have the number of the Usos. These teams have been positioned as evenly matched for a long time and it should have stayed that way. Their matches should feel special. Rather, they are suddenly starting to feel like weekly television fodder.

Roman Reigns arrived at the building wearing a new “Needle Mover” t-shirt. Heyman was there to meet Reigns, who didn’t look pleased… [C] An ad for Raw focused on Bobby Lashley being added to the WWE Championship match at WWE Day One, and listed Edge hosting the Cutting Edge talkshow with Maryse as his guest… [C]

The broadcast team hyped Charlotte Flair vs. Toni Storm for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, and Sami Zayn vs. Sheamus vs. Erik vs. Ivar vs. Angel vs. Humberto vs. Drew Gulak vs. Mansoor vs. Cesaro vs. Ricochet vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Shanky in the 12 Days of Christmas gauntlet match for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship for next week’s Smackdown (which is being taped tonight in Chicago)…

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance with Paul Heyman. The Usos stood in the ring with Reigns and Heyman. “Chicago, acknowledge me,” Reigns started. Reigns said he thought he made it clear that he doesn’t like it when his cousins lose. He told Jey Uso that they are family and they can get through anything because they are blood.

“But you,” Reigns said while looking at a smiling Heyman. “You’re not my blood.” Heyman stopped smiling. Reigns said Heyman should know better than anyone that he can’t have people disrespecting him. Reigns said he had a few questions for Heyman that he already asked and thought he already had the answers to.

“Can I trust you, wise man?” Reigns asked. He said he took a week off and Heyman seemed a little shady to him. Reigns asked Heyman if he knew Brock Lesnar was going to be at SummerSlam, if he knew he was going to be at Madison Square Garden, and if he knew that Lesnar’s suspension was going to be lifted. A “you screwed up” chant broke out. Reigns acknowledged it and said, “Oh, you’re damn right he screwed up.”

Reigns said the most important question for Heyman was whether he was special counsel or an advocate. Heyman got a second mic and rubbed his face and eyes before turning back to face Reigns, who asked why he was protecting Lesnar from him.

“My Tribal Chief, I’m not protecting Brock Lesnar from you,” Heyman said. Heyman looked to the heavens before delivering his next line. “I’m protecting you from Brock Lesnar.” Reigns hugged Heyman. “I love you, wise man, and I appreciate your honesty,” Reigns said. He thanked him for forty years of service to his family.

“And you’re fired,” Reigns told Heyman. Reigns turned away from Heyman, then turned back and dropped him with a Superman Punch. Reigns had one of the Usos get him two chairs. Reigns placed Heyman’s head on one of the chairs and set up for a Conchairto.

Brock Lesnar made his entrance wearing bibs. The Usos tried to cut him off, but Lesnar charged to ringside and destroyed them both with F5’s while Reigns stood in the ring with a chair in his hand. Lesnar entered the ring and Reigns hit him with the chair. Lesnar shrugged off the chair shots and then hoisted up Reigns and put him down with an F5. Lesnar looked to the crowd, then picked up Reigns and gave him another F5…

Powell’s POV: Another hot week for Reigns and Lesnar. The firing of Heyman was unexpected and it will be interesting to see what that means from a storyline perspective. I was just a storyline firing, right? I guess nothing would surprise me with Heyman and WWE after all these years. Anyway, Lesnar has major momentum as a babyface and his match with Reigns at WWE Day 1 feels big time. I will have more to say about Smackdown in my same night review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

Join Colin McGuire for his live review of AEW Rampage.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. He might not have wrestled Billy Club (no record on cagefight) but surely he wrestled Blackjack and that’s close enough.

  2. The clicking to change channels would be more likely during the opening match snorefest than during the intros to the next match.

    It’s amazing how much better the Reigns and Lesnar stuff is than anything else in wrestling right now.

  3. Reigns lesnar heyman storyline is the best thing in wrestling right now. It’s unpredictable and it’s awesome. That shirt in Chicago was priceless.

  4. 4. Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler. Naomi applied a leg hold. Naomi ended up on top of Baszler and scored the pin.

    Naomi beat Shayna Baszler in 0:30.

    This was incredibly confusing writing.


    Naomi says she will face Baszler, but she wants Deville to get in the ring and fight her. Deville says that’s no problem. She enters the ring but stalls, allowing Baszler to attack Naomi from behind.

    Baszler beats Naomi while she’s down, focusing on her knee. Deville tells the referee to ring the bell now to begin. Baszler with a leg submission in the middle of the ring. Naomi crawls for the rope but Baszler pulls her back. Naomi counters and rolls Baszler up for the quick pin to win out of nowhere.

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