2/18 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Roman Reigns and Goldberg meeting face to face, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship, the contract signing for Ronda Rousey and Naomi vs. Charlotte Flair and Sonya Deville at Elimination Chamber

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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,174)
Taped February 11, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana at Smoothie King Center
Aired February 18, 2022 on Fox

[Hour One] The AC/DC opening aired… Michael Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary. Cole said Pat McAfee was off this week…

Powell’s POV: This episode was taped last Friday night after the live Smackdown due to WWE traveling to Saudi Arabia this week. McAfee missed Smackdown due to the Super Bowl. I thought they might go with overdubbed commentary to include him on this show, but obviously that’s not the case.

Adam Pearce stood in the ring and hosted the contract singing for Ronda Rousey and Naomi vs. Charlotte Flair and Sonya Deville at the Elimination Chamber. Deville came out with her left arm in a sling and was followed by Flair. Graves wondered if Deville could miraculously heal in 24 hours. Naomi made her entrance and waited on the stage. Ronda Rousey made her entrance and smiled as she and Naomi headed to the ring together.

Deville told Pearce that she knows how contract signings work. She was about to sign the contract, but then she complained about Rousey and Naomi not following the rules. Rousey said Deville spells her name “Bitc…” and was cut off before she could finish.

Deville signed the contract, then passed it to Flair, who did the same. Deville told Rousey and Naomi that it was their last chance to back out of the match. Naomi told Deville to stop stalling. Flair brought up the match stipulation.

Deville recalled Rousey stating in an interview that she could beat her with one arm tied behind her back. Deville said the contract now calls for Rousey to wrestle with one arm tied behind her back. Rousey showed no hesitation and signed the contract, then Naomi did the same.

Rousey said the match is tomorrow and she has two hands tonight. Rousey and Naomi took shots at Flair and Deville and then dumped the contract signing table on them. Flair and Deville headed to ringside while Rousey and Naomi celebrated inside the ring…

Powell’s POV: I don’t know that the match needed the new stipulation because Rousey’s first non-Rumble match back is enough of a hook. But it probably doesn’t hurt that it lowers expectations for what Rousey does in the ring.

Footage aired of Ricochet beating Ridge Holland two weeks ago…

Backstage, Sheamus lectured Holland about losing to Ricochet. Sheamus told him to get his head in the ring and told him to watch what he does to Ricochet. Sheamus and Holland made their entrance heading into a commercial break… [C]

Ricochet made his entrance and then a brief Ricochet promo aired…

1. Sheamus (w/Ridge Holland) vs. Ricochet. Ricochet dropkicked Sheamus when the bell rang. Ricochet sent Sheamus to ringside and then performed a cannonball dive through the ropes. Back in the ring, Sheamus came back with a backbreaker. Ricochet rallied and went for a moonsault off the apron, but Sheamus caught him and gave him a fallaway slam over the broadcast table. [C]

Ricochet performed a springboard cross body block on Sheamus, then went to the rope and hit a flying elbow. Ricochet performed a standing shooting star press and covered Sheamus for a two count. Ricochet followed up with a springboard moonsault for another two count.

Ricochet hoisted up Sheamus, who hit him with an elbow to the head to free himself. Sheamus put Ricochet down with an Alabama Slam for a near fall. Sheamus went to the ropes and was cut off by Ricochet, who ended up performing a top rope Spanish Fly for a near fall.

Ricochet went up top, but he dropped down when Holland climbed onto the apron. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick that Ricochet avoided a Brogue Kick that nearly hit Holland. Sheamus barked at Holland for being on the apron. Ricochet hit the Recoil on Sheamus and pinned him.

Ricochet beat Sheamus in 10:55.

After the match, Holland tried to speak to Sheamus, who shoved him to the mat…

Powell’s POV: Even with Sheamus’s over the top heel bravado prior to the match, I was still surprised to see Ricochet beat him. It was nice to see them get a good amount of time by television match standards. Sheamus came off more heelish than Holland, but I continue to wonder if the plan is for Sheamus to turn babyface for a feud with Holland. Looking at it long term, Smackdown needs credible babyfaces to go against Reigns, and Sheamus is a better fit for that role than Holland is at this point in his career.

Kayla Braxton interviewed Sami Zayn on the backstage interview set. Zayn complained about the powers that keeping him away from the Intercontinental Championship and blocking the release of his documentary. Zayn said it’s been a terrible year, but it would turn out to be the best night of his life when he regains the Intercontinental Championship… [C]

Cole touted Undertaker as the first member of the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022. A video package aired on Undertaker’s career. The video included older comments from a number of his peers along with highlights set to Metallica’s “Sad But True”…

Powell’s POV: WWE production remains the gold standard in pro wrestling. I’m honestly not trying to take a jab at other companies, but no other company has come close in the past nor does any company currently come close to WWE from a production standpoint.

Roman Reigns was shown seated backstage with Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Paul Heyman… Graves hyped Reigns vs. Goldberg for Elimination Chamber, and then a video package recapped their recent story…

Powell’s POV: See above.

Jey Uso made his entrance along with Jimmy Uso for a singles match against Ivar of the Viking Raiders… [C] The Viking Raiders made their entrance coming out of the break…

2. Ivar (w/Erik) vs. Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso). Jey caught Ivar with an enzuigiri, but Ivar came right back with a clothesline. Ivar performed a split legged splash in the corner, then followed up with a top rope splash. Ivar had the pin, but Jimmy ran in and broke it up for the DQ before the referee could make the three count…

Ivar defeated Jey Uso by DQ in 2:35.

Powell’s POV: You had to figure that Ivar was going to win this match given that Jimmy beat Erik in a recent television match. I wish the build to the Smackdown Tag Title match at Elimination Chamber had been stronger. Then again, I also wish that Erik and Ivar weren’t cartoon viking characters. All of that said, these teams could deliver a hell of a match on Saturday if they are given enough time.

Highlights aired from last week of Drew McIntyre informing Madcap Moss that they will have a falls count anywhere match at Elimination Chamber…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance dressed in non-wrestling attire. Yes, he brought his giant f’n sword… [C] Graves hyped the Reigns and Goldberg face-to-face meeting for later in the show…

[Hour Two] McIntyre stood in the ring and spoke about how he lived near New Orleans in 2010. He recalled the Saints winning the Super Bowl and how Bourbon Street was that night. He said he realized that the only people who can drink like the Scots are people from New Orleans. He said he ended up in the back of a cop car, but a cop recognized him and let him go because it was a celebration.

McIntyre had the footage play of Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss attacking him. He said last year was about the WWE Championship and this year it’s damn personal. He said the falls count anywhere stipulation allows him to do anything he wants to Moss. He asked the fans to start a #madcapmauling and give him ideas for what he can do to Moss.

Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their entrance. Corbin said he had to put a stop to things because the things he spoke about doing to Moss were ridiculous. Corbin asked what kind of a role model he was for Scottish kids. Moss told some bad jokes, and then he and Corbin laughed like hyenas.

McIntyre said Moss has all the talent in the world despite his bad jokes. McIntyre said that going after him was the biggest mistake Moss made next to aligning himself with Corbin. McIntyre said he would end Moss at Elimination Chamber, adding that it would be the night the laughter dies…

Powell’s POV: I just can’t get excited about anything involving Corbin or Moss when they’re still working these terrible gimmicks. It’s a shame because they are talented and it’s obvious that McIntyre is high on Moss’s in-ring ability.

Backstage, Kayla Braxton noted that Rick Boogs would not be in Shinsuke Nakamura’s corner. She asked what his plan was for Sami Zayn. Nakamura said he would kick him in the face. He added that if Zayn thinks he can beat him for the title, then he must really be insane. Nakamura made his entrance while Cole said Boogs was at home recovering from nerve damage caused by last week’s angle… [C]

Cole announced that Big E will be driving the pace car at the Daytona 500… Sami Zayn made his entrance…

Powell’s POV: NASCAR seems to see more upside in Big E than WWE does based on his booking lately. Seriously, why he is back on Smackdown working tag team matches?

3. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship. Ring announcer Samantha Irvin stood at ringside and delivered the introductions while both wrestlers were in the ring. With Zayn’s head hanging off the apron, Nakamura drilled him with a knee from the floor. Nakamura moved to the apron and went for a kneedrop, but Zayn moved. Nakamura sold knee pain. [C]

Zayn was on the offensive coming out of the break. Zayn performed a Michinoku Driver for a good near fall. Nakamura rolled to ringside. Zayn followed and did his dive through the first and second rope, but Nakamura caught him with a kick. Nakamura went for a running knee, but Zayn moved and shoved Nakamura, who slammed his knee into the ring steps. [C]

Nakamura rallied and picked up a near fall, then dropped Zayn with a kick. Nakamura set up for his finisher, but Zayn kicked his bad knee. Zayn put Nakamura down with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Zayn showed frustration over not getting the pin.

Zayn mocked Nakamura’s “come on” pose. Nakamura got pissed and then worked over Zayn with kicks. Nakamura struck the pose himself, then blasted Zayn with a kick to the head.

Nakamura set up for the Kinshasa, but Zayn rolled to the floor. Nakamura tried to pull Zayn back inside the ring, but Zayn ended up slamming his bad knee into the ring post repeatedly. Zayn returned to the ring and stuffed a kick, then kicked the bad knee and pinned Nakamura…

Sami Zayn defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in 18:15 to win the Intercontinental Championship.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match and a televised title change. I’d love to say that it was a great IC Title reign for Nakamura, but he spent most of his time working tag team matches. And now it looks like Zayn won the title so that he can defend it against Johnny Knoxville. Zayn vs. Knoxville might be fun, but these are far from the glory days of the Intercontinental Title.

As Zayn celebrated, a Cole overdub set up a Black History Month video. It spotlighted Booker T speaking to students in a community center in Dallas, and also focused on the center’s founders…

A shot aired of Goldberg’s locker room door. Graves hyped his face to face meeting with Roman Reigns… [C]

Backstage, a giddy Aliyah told Ricochet that his win over Shemaus was amazing. Ricochet spoke about Sheamus’s accomplishments and said he realized that Sheamus’s past could be his own future. Ricochet ducked out of the picture. Sami Zayn showed up and gloated, then told Aliyah that they would talk later. He walked away from her and started gloating about his win to two other people who were nearby…

A video package focused on the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship…

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance along with Paul Heyman. Cole said this was the 536th day of Reigns’ run as champion, and said it’s the longest reign of any champion in WWE in over 35 years… [C]

The broadcast team ran through the Elimination Chamber lineup…

Reigns stood in the ring while Heyman adoringly watched on. Reigns held out his hand and then Heyman handed him the mic. Reigns told the New Orleans crowd to acknowledge him, which led to more cheers than boos. “Now celebrate me, wise man,” Reigns said.

Heyman took the mic and said it was the best part of his day. He said he knows the fans don’t understand what it’s like to stand so close to true greatness, but he finds it spiritually orgasmic. He spoke about never getting to see Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, or Drew Brees in their primes. He said no one missed a thing if they missed Brees because he played for the Saints.

The crowd responded with the “Who Dat” chant. Heyman said the eleventh commandment on the island of relevancy is thou shalt not interrupt the wise man’s promo. Heyman spoke about how fans were just hours away from getting to see Reigns do his thing at the Elimination Chamber event. Heyman was going to say more, but he was interrupted by Goldberg’s music.

A security guard knocked on Goldberg’s door. Goldberg emerged and made his walk through the back with security guards at each side. The usual pyro shot off on the stage while Goldberg made his entrance.

Once in the ring, Goldberg looked at the mic in his hand and opted to drop it. Reigns said he was going to give Goldberg once last chance to acknowledge him. Goldberg took a step forward. Reigns asked if he was going to walk up on him, then proclaimed the ring as his own. Reigns asked if Goldberg was there to fight or talk.

Goldberg said tomorrow at noon. Goldberg apologized to the people, saying that Reigns isn’t next. “When it comes to the Universal Championship, I’m next.” Goldberg dropped the mic and had a staredown with Reigns while Cole closed the show with final hype for their match…

Powell’s POV: There wasn’t much to the face to face segment, but there really didn’t need to be. This was fine for what it was. And I am looking forward to Reigns vs. Goldberg more than most. Goldberg previously stated that this is the last year on his deal. Of course, he could re-sign, but it takes on added meaning knowing that the end of his in-ring career could be near.

Overall, Smackdown was an entertaining show that delivered good hype for Elimination Chamber along with a rare title change on WWE television. 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 the show by grading it below.

Join me for my live review of WWE Elimination Chamber on Saturday at 11CT/12ET.

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. Just when it feels like WWE is getting back to what works, they start pushing a 33 year old midget with zero personality and 4,000 flippy low impact moves with wins over actual grown men. How the hell has Ricochet survived the firings?

  2. Taker should be the only HOF inductee this year. Make it all about him. It would make it that much more unique and he deserves it

  3. Even if Taker isn’t the only one, this is the year to make sure the rest are posthumous or fringe inductees so that the entire selling point is Taker.

  4. The McIntyre murder rap for a Saudi event is really tasteless. I know no one cares but…wow

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