2/11 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Charlotte Flair vs. Naomi for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, Goldberg’s latest appearance, Natalya vs. Aliyah in a Dungeon Style showdown match, Sami Zayn’s In Zayn with Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs

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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,173)
Live from New Orleans, Louisiana at Smoothie King Center
Aired February 11, 2022 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of last week’s segment involving Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey, and Sonya Deville… Michael Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary. Cole noted that his usual broadcast partner Pat McAfee was at the Super Bowl…

Sonya Deville stood in the ring with her left arm in a sling to sell Ronda Rousey’s attack from last week, which she called unprovoked and unprofessional. Deville said Rousey and Naomi have no respect for authority. She said there would be consequences for their actions and everyone else’s actions. Deville said she petitioned the office to have Ronda Rousey fined $100,000 and to be fined indefinitely.

Adam Pearce came out and said Deville didn’t check her email. Pearce read an email from Vince McMahon that said Deville had been abusing her power. Vince’s email rejected the petition to fine and suspend Rousey. It also said that Deville is not allowed to lay her hands on Naomi during the Smackdown Women’s Championship, and if she disobeys then her job would be in serious jeopardy.

Naomi made her entrance and joined Deville in the ring. She asked if Deville had never been ripped by her boss before. Naomi recalled the email saying that Deville couldn’t lay a hand on her. She pointed out that it didn’t say anything about her not being able to lay a hand on Deville. Naomi slapped Deville across the face and knocked her down in the process…

Powell’s POV: A good segment with Deville being put in her place by her boss. They did a good job of emphasizing that Naomi should get a fair shake in her match against Flair. Whether she does or not remains to be seen, but it’s a good hook for the match.

The broadcast team hyped the Smackdown Women’s Championship and then read a sponsored preview of the show with previously advertised segments…

Highlights aired of Big E and Kofi Kingston interrupting a Los Lotharios photo shoot followed by their match from last week. The New Day duo made their entrance for a rematch… [C]

Backstage, Kayla Braxton introduced Angel and Humberto as two of the most handsome wrestlers in WWE. Angel spoke about being great lovers and ferocious competitors, and then made their entrance. Smackdown ring announcer Samantha Irvin introduced up a kiss cam gimmick, and then Angel and Humberto kissed a planted fan on the cheeks at ringside…

1. Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. “Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto. The New Day duo were on the offensive heading into an early break. [C] Big E and Kingston set up for their finisher on Humberto, but Kingston spotted Angel coming at him and dove on him at ringside. Moments later, Kingston hit his double stomp and had the pin, but Angel returned to break it up.

Angel performed a moonsault from the top rope onto Big E at ringside. Humberto performed the same move on Kingston in the ring and got a close near fall. Angel tagged in. Humberto hoisted up Kingston, but he slipped away and shoved Humberto into the corner, which knocked Angel down. Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise on Humberto. Kingston went for a sunset flip style move from the ropes on Angel, who rolled through and ended up getting the pin…

“Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto defeated Big E and Kofi Kingston in 10:20.

Powell’s POV: Another good match from these teams. It’s nice to see Los Lotharios get the win to set up the need for a rubber match. That said, it’s still disappointing to see Big E back in the tag team division rather than working as a top singles wrestler. By the way, WWE is taping next week’s Smackdown tonight in New Orleans because the crew will be traveling to Saudi Arabia next week for the Elimination Chamber. First, it will be interesting to see if that means Pat McAfee is going to miss next week’s show or if they’ll go with overdubbed commentary. Second, we are looking for results from this taping from anyone who attended tonight’s show.

Megan Morant tried to interview The Viking Raiders backstage, but they were attacked by Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. The Usos stole their decorative headgear…

A production crew member mic’d up Roman Reigns for an interview while Paul Heyman watched intently… [C] A video package recapped Goldberg confronting Roman Reigns on last week’s show…

Michael Cole and Roman Reigns sat in chairs for an interview in the backstage area while Heyman knelt behind Roman’s chair. Cole brought up Goldberg’s winning streak in WCW. Reigns said WCW would still be in business if he worked there. Cole recalled Goldberg beating Brock Lesnar in 86 seconds (highlights were shown).

Reigns laughed and asked if we’re still talking about that. Reigns called Lesnar old news. Heyman said he doesn’t care about him, he loves his Tribal Chief. Reigns said he is the greatest WWE Universal Champion. Cole recalled that Reigns vs. Goldberg was supposed to take place two years ago and didn’t happen. He asked if there was added pressure on Reigns, who said not at all.

Reigns said Goldberg might have stood a chance two years ago, but the world is different and he’s the Tribal Chief now. Reigns said he would smash Goldberg. Heyman said that what people were about to hear was not a prediction, it was a spoiler. “I’m gonna Goldberg Goldberg,” Reigns said…

Graves sat at the broadcast table and recapped footage of Aliyah’s wins over Natalya… Aliyah made her entrance for another match with Natalya, which Graves said must be won by pinfall or submission… [C] Cole was back on commentary, and Natalya made her entrance…

2. Aliyah vs. Natalya in a match that could only be won by pinfall or submission. Late in the match, had a flurry of offense and got a near fall. She applied a single leg crab, which Natalya broke. Natalya put Aliyah in the Sharpshooter. Aliyah reached the ropes, but there were no rope breaks, so Aliyah ended up tapping out.

Natalya beat Aliyah in 2:40.

After the match, Natalya put the boots to Aliyah. She set up for another Sharpshooter, but she stopped when Xia Li’s entrance music played. Li ran out and attacked Natalya and cleared her from the ring with a few kicks…

Powell’s POV: I continue to enjoy Li’s protector gimmick. For whatever it’s worth, WWE didn’t play up the “Dungeon Style Showdown” slogan that this match was given on the company website today. They went with the same rules they listed for the match and simply dropped the slogan.

The broadcast team acknowledged Black History Month. They set up a Rocky Johnson video package that was narrated by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The crowd chanted “Rocky” after the video package concluded…

Sami Zayn made his entrance for the In Zayn segment… [C] Charlotte Flair stood backstage and said she’s the main event, as always, then held up her title belt…

Zayn sat in the ring for his “podcast” talkshow segment. Footage aired from earlier in the day of Johnny Knoxville writing “Loser” on a Sami Zayn photo at the WWE pop-up store in Los Angeles. Knoxville also grabbed a “Sami Zayn Forever” t-shirt and put it through a wood chipper. Knoxville said it’s not over between him and Zayn.

Zayn said he wasn’t even going to acknowledge what he just saw. Zayn insulted the locals and was interrupted by Rick Boogs.

[Hour Two] Boogs played his guitar for the entrance of Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn said he was surprised that Nakamura showed up. He said he’s been No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship and accused Nakamura of ducking him.

Zayn said they will finally meet for the championship on next week’s show. He said he can’t wait to see the look on Nakamura’s face when he takes the title from him. Zayn accused Nakamura of working with Knoxville to distract him before their match. Nakamura asked if he saw the movie. Zayn assumed he was talking about Jackass Forever, but Nakamura said it was Jackass Defeated.

Zayn said he once had great respect for Nakamura. Zayn started going off on Boogs, who told him to shut up. Boogs leaned in to speak into the microphone, but he hit his guitar on the mic and acted like he was electrocuted. Nakamura checked on him, and then Zayn blasted Nakamura with a Helluva Kick. Boogs clutched at his wrist and flexed his right hand…

Backstage, Madcap Moss told Happy Corbin that he’d have to take care of Cesaro by himself because he needed to have his black eye looked at by a doctor. Corbin made his entrance for his match against Cesaro… [C]

Cole hyped the Elimination Chamber being in Saudi Arabia, and touted the Becky Lynch vs. Lita match taking place in the country…

3. Cesaro vs. Happy Corbin. After some back and forth action, Corbin hit End of Days and scored the clean pin. Cole said Corbin is undefeated since he became Happy Corbin…

Happy Corbin beat Cesaro in 3:55.

Moss spoke with a WWE doctor about his black eye and asked him to cancel his match with Drew McIntyre at Elimination Chamber. The doctor had him close his eyes and then open his bad eye. McIntyre stuck a sword in front of his face. McIntyre told Moss to tell the doctor that he was healthy enough to face him at Elimination Chamber. Moss said his eye was miraculously better. McIntyre said he spoke with Adam Pearce and their match would now be a Falls Count Anywhere match. McIntyre held up the sword while telling Moss that anything goes in that type of match…

Goldberg was hyped as appearing after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Same story, different week. The creative forces need to get rid of the Happy and Madcap characters. Corbin is a good heel, and Moss has real upside, but these characters peaked about two weeks into their existence.

Charlotte Flair stood backstage and said she would snuff out Naomi’s glow… Graves hyped the match and recalled the Vince McMahon edict that Sonya Deville can’t lay a hand on Naomi…

Michael Cole interviewed Goldberg in the backstage area. Goldberg told him not to take things personally and said he loves him like a brother. Cole said people are whispering that this might be one comeback too many. Goldberg he’s listened to those people and it’s taken him out of his game, but he turned the page and he doesn’t give a damn what anybody thinks.

Goldberg said as far as comebacks are concerned, this one will be everlasting. Cole recalled that the match was originally scheduled to take place two years earlier. Goldberg said Reigns could call himself whatever he likes, but he is still the same Goldberg. He said Reigns will acknowledge him after he take his title. Goldberg said he would go on to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. He wished Reigns luck in his attempt to “Goldberg Goldberg.” He said there’s only one Goldberg and that’s not going to happen…

Graves recapped footage from the opening segment with Adam Pearce reading Vince McMahon’s email to Sonya Deville… Naomi made her entrance for the main event… [C]

Footage aired of Sheamus waving the flags at the NASCAR event that was held last weekend at the LA Coliseum… Imagery from New Orleans was shown…

The broadcast team hyped Reigns and Goldberg meeting face to face, and Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship for next week’s show… Charlotte Flair made her entrance and the introductions took place for the title match…

4. Charlotte Flair vs. Naomi for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Flair did the up and over in the corner and then Naomi knocked her off the apron with a kick. Naomi dove onto Flair at ringside roughly 90 seconds into the match. [C]

Naomi performed a top rope Blockbuster for a good near fall. Flair rolled to the apron while Graves praised her ring awareness. Naomi and Flair went to the floor where Flair ran Naomi into the ring steps. [C]

Naomi picked up a couple of near falls coming out of the break. Cole said Flair was being taken to the limit by Naomi. Flair caught Naomi going for a move and slammed her to the mat with a powerbomb that resulted in a near fall.

A short time later, Naomi avoided a moonsault and then hit Flair with the Rearview, which led to a great near fall. Naomi dragged Flair to the corner and went for a split-leg moonsault, but Flair put her knees up. Flair picked up a near fall and then Naomi picked up one of her own.

Naomi laid on the mat and used her legs to spike the head of Flair into the mat, which resulted in another near fall. Naomi hit the split-leg moonsault for another close near fall. Naomi showed frustration. Naomi covered Flair again. Flair put her foot on the ropes and then rolled onto the apron. Moments later, Naomi set up for a Rearview, but Flair chop blocked her leg. Flair hit the Natural Selection and scored the clean pin.

Charlotte Flair defeated Naomi in 19:55 to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

After the match, Sonya Deville entered the ring and taunted Naomi while Flair headed to ringside. Naomi got to her feet and threw punches at Deville. Flair returned and broke it up, then put Naomi down with a big boot. Deville put the boots to Naomi.

Ronda Rousey made her entrance. She ran to the ring and ended up working over Flair with some punches until Flair rolled to the floor. Deville got in Rousey’s face. Rousey took her down and was going to take out her good arm, but Flair pulled Deville to the floor. Rousey and Naomi stood together while Flair held up her title belt at ringside…

Powell’s POV: A really good main event that received more time than I expected it to. Naomi really gained something in defeat. It may seem like a little thing, but I love the way that Naomi really leaned into her pin attempts on those close near falls. As much as the person being picked kicking out at the last moment is big, the person going for the cover can also do their part in making near falls look convincing and she definitely did that in this match.

I like that they featured this match for a number of reasons, including that there’s no Smackdown Women’s Championship match on the Elimination Chamber card. Furthermore, it’s a strong possibility that Flair vs. Rousey is going to headline one night of WrestleMania, so they need to elevate the prestige of the Smackdown Women’s Championship between now and then. The post match angle with the unadvertised appearance of Rousey was fun.

Overall, this felt like a mostly missable show until the memorable main event. I wonder if WWE will actually have Rousey team with Naomi to face Flair and Deville in a television match. I’m sure Fox would love to get Rousey in the ring on one of their broadcasts. I will be back shortly with my same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below. Have a great Super Bowl weekend.

Join Colin McGuire for his live review of AEW Rampage every Friday night after Smackdown.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. The only miss is the continuation of the Moss and Corbin gimmicks, but the way Corbin worked seems to point to him getting back to a more serious heel persona.

    Everything else was good to very good.

  2. Naomi put the boots to Naomi.

    Nice.

  3. “Happy Corbin beat Cesaro in 3:55”

    I’m so glad I gave up on this rubbish. Although a famous tag team that went on to individual success as World Champions, then reformed to a tag team, and lost to a bunch of scrubs, is almost more egregious.

  4. As someone who regularly fast forwards through Corbin/Madcap segments, I gotta say I really enjoyed Madcap’s vibe +away+ from his partner

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