2/25 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of the contract signing for WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar in a title vs. title match at WrestleMania, Sami Zayn celebrates his Intercontinental Championship win, Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss


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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,175)
Live from Hershey, Pennsylvania at Giant Center
Aired February 25, 2022 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar video package… Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were on commentary. McAfee handled the opening and noted that the venue was sold out. He also ran through the lineup and then turned things over to Cole, who was in the ring…

Michael Cole introduced Ronda Rousey as the baddest woman on the planet. Rousey was all smiles and slapped hands on her way to the ring. Cole said it had been three years since Rousey was in a WWE ring and asked why she chose to return at WrestleMania.

Rousey said she broke her hand in her WrestleMania match, and then she broke her other hand. She also said she gave birth to her daughter, which drew cheers. She said she eventually knew she wanted to return at the Rumble to punch her ticket to WrestleMania.

Rousey spoke about how her mother was the first American to win a world championship in judo while she was a single mother who was working on her PHD. She said she wanted to set the same example of badass for her own daughter, and that’s why she came back.

Cole ran through Rousey’s credentials outside WWE, and added that she was also one of three women to main event WrestleMania for the first time. Cole asked how it felt for her to win the Royal Rumble. She said she doesn’t dwell on past accomplishments. She said she wants to tap out Charlotte Flair. Cole set up clips from Elimination Chamber that McAfee narrated.

Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair made her entrance. She said she would put Rousey in the Figure Eight, and that Rousey would scream for mercy for the first time in her life and tap out. Flair said the silver lining for Rousey is that she gets to go home and work on baby number two.

Sonya Deville attacked Rousey from behind and knocked her down. Rousey flashed her mean face and was standing up when Flair grabbed her from the floor. Flair slammed Rousey’s right knee into the ring post twice. Deville picked up Rousey, who then tossed her to the mat. Deville quickly left the ring. Rousey stood up and glared at Deville while Rousey’s entrance music played to close the segment…

Big E was shown driving a four-wheeler backstage with Kofi Kingston on the back. A graphic listed the New Day duo as facing Los Lotharios… [C]

Powell’s POV: Rousey essentially told the story that she’s been telling in mainstream media interviews regarding why she returned to the ring. I like that they let her go for realism rather than come up with a scripted story about her return. I originally thought they might go with the Rousey and Naomi vs. Flair and Deville match on Fox, but they ended up having it at the Elimination Chamber. I wonder if they’ll run it back on Fox or if perhaps we’ll get Rousey vs. Deville on Smackdown television at some point before WrestleMania.

An ad aired for the Corey Graves and Carmella reality show that premieres Monday on the WWE YouTube page…

Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were shown watching footage of the previous angle. Pearce announced that Deville would face Rousey in a singles match on next week’s show…

Powell’s POV: Hey, I’m one for two in my Rousey match predictions. It makes sense to try to pop a television rating by featuring Rousey in a Smackdown match.

Los Lotharios made their entrance. They did the kiss cam bit. They found a woman at ringside and kissed her on her cheeks before entering the ring. Big E and Kofi Kingston made their entrance on the four-wheeler. Cole said the ATV was an early birthday gift for Big E from Kingston…

1. Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. “Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto. Cole welcomed McAfee back to the show after he missed two weeks due to the Super Bowl (and last week’s show being taped while he was away). Angel and Humberto knocked Big E off the apron, then ran Kingston into the ring heading into a break. [C]

Los Lotharios isolated Kingston until he finally made a hot tag. Big E worked over Humberto with three of belly to belly suplexes. Big E stood over Humberto and gyrated, then ran the ropes and splashed him. Big E set up for his finisher, but he gave it up when he spotted Angel teasing that he was going to enter the ring.

Humberto superkicked Big E, who came right back with a uranage slam. Kingston tagged in and performed a bulldog while Big E held up Humberto. Angel an in and broke up the pin. Humberto went to ringside and looked at the ATV, but Kingston intervened. Back inside the ring, Angel picked up a near fall on Kingston.

Angel went up top, but he was distracted by Big E revving up the ATV engine while teasing that he was going to run over Humberto. Angel begged him not to. Kingston rolled up Angel, who rolled through. Kingston threw a knee to Angel’s head and then tagged in Big E. Kingston and Big E hit the Midnight Hour on Angel, and then Big E covered him for the win…

Big E and Kofi Kingston defeated “Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto in 10:30.

Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso were shown talking with Sam Roberts backstage. McAfee made a big fuss over Roberts and wondered what he was doing on Smackdown…

Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs were featured in a sponsored video for the truck company that sponsored Smackdown. They drove the truck to a bay to go kayaking. Boogs asked Nakamura if he was ready for another adventure…

Powell’s POV: I guess Boogs has recovered from “nerve damage” and Nakamura wasn’t exactly selling the agony of defeat following his Intercontinental Championship loss. Speaking of the IC Title, I’ll be disappointed if Sami Zayn doesn’t watch someone fall off the stage or the ring and run away. Anyway, the tag match was a crowd pleaser. New Day and Los Lotharios work really well together.

A WrestleMania video aired. We are 36 days away from the two-night event…

Sheamus and Ridge Holland harassed Big E and Kofi Kingston, then got flustered when they drove their ATV by them…

Sam Roberts interviewed Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso on the backstage ring set. They spoke about what Roman Reigns would do to Brock Lesnar, then said they would do the same to the Viking Raiders. Erik and Ivar attacked the Usos and barked about how they want their tag title shot…

The broadcast team explained that the Viking Raiders were attacked at Elimination Chamber and did not get their scheduled title match. They transitioned to recapping the Natalya vs. Aliyah feud, and Xia Li saving Aliyah from a Natalya attack…

Backstage, Megan Morant interviewed Xia Li while stating that she was about to compete in her first WWE match. Li said she had been waiting for his moment her entire life. She said she worked hard in NXT. She said she was nervous, yet confident because she is The Protector. Li made her entrance for a match against Natalya… [C]

2. Xia Li vs. Natalya. Natalya’s entrance was televised. Aliyah, Shayna Baszler, Drew Gulak, and Mansoor were shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Cole said Li was the first Chinese female to compete in a WWE ring. Natalya threw a discus clothesline and got a two count. She followed up with a suplex and then kicked Li while she was down.

Natalya put Li in an abdominal stretch and elbowed her ribs, then grabbed one of Li’s legs while maintaining the hold. Li broke out of the hold and got a two count, but Natalya came right back and went for a Sharpshooter, but Li kicked her off. Li struck a pose and then dropped Natalya with a spinning heel kick and covered her for the win…

Xia Li defeated Natalya in 4:00.

Powell’s POV: The crowd actually broke into a “Hershey’s Chocolate” chant during the match. McAfee comically claimed they were chanting “Xia’s got it.” The match was nothing special, but I like the way they made it seem like a meaningful debut by having some wrestlers gather around the monitor.

A sponsored ad recapped Sami Zayn beating Shinsuke Nakamura to win the Intercontinental Championship in a match that aired on last week’s show…

New Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn made his entrance. He was dressed up in a loud jacket and a bow-tie (and pants!)… [C] Zayn celebrated his title inside the ring, which had red carpeting and blue and white balloons tied to the ring posts. The title belt rested on a podium in the ring. Zayn said there was a conspiracy against him and “they” will persecute him every chance they get, but now he knows he can overcome all of it.

[Hour Two] Zayn said he would be happy to Shinsuke Nakamura a rematch, but he was still busy picking up pieces of his kneecap, so he was not available. Um, he was kayaking. Zayn said he would take on all comers and face anyone who was brave enough to enter the ring with him.

The “Jackass” theme played and then Johnny Knoxville came out to a favorable reaction and joined Zayn in the ring. A “Johnny” chant broke out. Zayn asked Knoxville what he was doing there. Knoxville said Zayn crashed his movie premiere, so he was returning the favor. Zayn “respectfully” asked him to get the hell out of the ring.

Knoxville recalled Zayn said he would face anyone brave enough to meet him or the title. “So let’s do it,” Knoxville said. Zayn said Knoxville doesn’t belong in the same right as him. He accused Knoxville of trying to get under his skin and inside his head, and conceded that he was pretty good at it. Zayn said it wasn’t going to work.

Knoxville questioned if Zayn wanted to be a fighting champion. “Or don’t you have enough balls?” Knoxville asked. A “no balls” chant broke out. Both men dropped their mics. The camera picked up Zayn telling Knoxville no because he wasn’t worth it. Zayn teased leaving while the fans chanted Johnny.

Zayn turned and clotheslined Knoxville, then threw repeated punches at him on the mat. Zayn stood up Knoxville in the corner and then hit him with a Helluva Kick. Two referees came out and tried to talk down Zayn, who opted to give Knoxville another Helluva Kick. Zayn grabbed some of the balloons and held them up along with his title belt…

Powell’s POV: A good and well received angle. They kept it simple with Knoxville goading Zayn, who then got some heat on the “Jackass” star by taking him out with a pair of Helluva Kicks. If this crowd was any indication, this will be a well received mid-card celebrity match. I guess you never know how the super fan WrestleMania crowd will react, but people seem to genuinely like Knoxville.

A Black History Month video aired. It focused on Titus O’Neil and his Bullard Family Foundation charity work…

The broadcast team recapped the angle and showed a good replay that showed Zayn’s foot making contact with Knoxville’s face on the second Helluva Kick…

Backstage, Zayn apologized to Pearce for overreacting. Ricochet showed up and said he heard Zayn say he wants to be a fighting champion. Ricochet said he was there to step up. Zayn told him to take a number and go to the back of the line. Pearce stepped in and booked Zayn vs. Ricochet for the Intercontinental Championship for next week…

Sasha Banks made her entrance for a match against Shotzi, who was already in the ring. Before they could start, Naomi made her entrance and joined the broadcast team…

3. Sasha Banks vs. Shotzi. Shotzi slapped Banks to start. Banks returned the favor. Naomi had mic issues, but they got the problem resolved and she spoke about how amazing it was to team with Ronda Rousey and beat Charlotte Flair and Sonya Deville at Elimination Chamber. In the ring, Banks performed a new variation of double knees, then performed a Backstabber and countered into the Bank Statement for the win.

Sasha Banks defeated Shotzi in 2:10.

After the match, Naomi entered the ring with a mic. She looked at Banks and then looked at the WrestleMania sign. Naomi said fans were looking at the next WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions…

Powell’s POV: I thought we might be getting a WrestleMania challenge. Instead, the crowd offered mild reaction to the news of Banks and Naomi going after the tag titles. That’s not on the wrestlers. Rather, the company just hasn’t done enough to make the women’s tag titles feel important. Oh, and poor Shotzi. Here’s hoping that things pick up for her after WrestleMania.

Morant interviewed Madcap Moss “and the undefeated Happy Corbin” on the backstage ring set. Footage aired from the Moss vs. McIntyre match at Elimination Chamber, which included footage of Moss’s head being driven into the mat. “Now that’s using your head,” Corbin told him. Moss sold neck pain.

Corbin said things could have ended up a disaster at Elimination Chamber. Corbin said that a match between him and McIntyre is a WrestleMania caliber match that would be happening on Smackdown. Corbin said he would show McIntyre who the real warrior is. Corbin said that’s no joke. He went for a high five, but Moss clutched his own neck…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance for the apparent match with Corbin… [C]

Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their entrance while Cole hyped the Corey & Carmella reality show. Once in the ring, Corbin asked McIntyre if he was sure that he wanted him to embarrass him in Hershey. Corbin put over Moss as being tough as nails and called him an inspiration.

Corbin had Moss step onto the apron, then told him to show the people who great he really is. Moss gave a thumbs up. Corbin told Moss to take the match because he deserves the rematch.. “It’s only Drew McIntyre, you can take him,” Corbin said. Moss looked surprised. Moss teased going after McIntyre, then Corbin hit McIntyre from behind. Moss sold neck pain…

4. Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss (w/Happy Corbin). McIntyre headbutted Moss and set up for the inverted Alabama Slam, but Moss grabbed the ropes and retreated to ringside. [C] McIntyre did the countdown for his finisher, but Corbin climbed onto the apron and distracted him and the referee.

Moss used the distraction to thumb McIntyre in the eye. Moss put McIntyre down with a DDT and covered him for a near fall. Moss yelled in frustration and threw punches at McIntyre, then ran the ropes and ate a Claymore Kick that led to the pin…

Drew McIntyre defeated Madcap Moss in 7:20.

Powell’s POV: No, Drew McIntyre vs. Baron Corbin is WrestleMania caliber. McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin is a WrestleMania letdown because Corbin’s gimmick is awful. More importantly, it’s great that Moss was medically able to work this match. The inverted Alabama Slam he took wrong at Elimination Chamber was frightening.

Rousey was interviewed by Morant on the backstage ring set. Rousey said she would show everyone what happens when authority figures step out of line when she faces Deville. The broadcast team hyped Rousey vs. Deville for next week…

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance along with Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso. Cole said Roman’s title reign was up to 544 days, then hyped Smackdown in Miami for next week. Cole said the contract signing was up next… [C]

An ad for Raw teased more on Edge’s WrestleMania challenge, and Damian Priest vs. Finn Balor for the U.S. Championship… Cole hyped The Usos vs. The Viking Raiders for the Smackdown Tag Titles, Sami Zayn vs. Ricochet for the Intercontinental Championship for next week’s Smackdown in Miami…

The Bloodline stood in the ring. Reigns held up his belt while a group of security guards watched, and Michael Cole stood behind the contract signing table. Reigns told Hershey to acknowledge him and he received more cheers than boos.

Heyman said there was no way to exaggerate the enormity of the WrestleMania main event. He said it was the biggest match of all-time. He claimed it was bigger than Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant. Fans booed. He said it was bigger than Steve Austin vs. The Rock. Fans booed.

Heyman said this year’s WrestleMania main event was bigger than “when I conquered The Undertaker’s Streak at WrestleMania.” Heyman said he would be fair and give Brock Lesnar half credit for that. Heyman said the security guards were there to protect Lesnar from his own impulsiveness and to protect him from Reigns. Heyman said that was what they call a cliffhanger. [C]

Pat McAfee announced that Vince McMahon will be his guest on The Pat McAfee Show podcast on Thursday…

WWE Champion Brock Lesnar made his entrance in western attire. Once in the ring, Lesnar gave a Heyman-style self introduction. He referred to Reigns as Mr. Acknowledgement and Heyman as Mr. Dick. He mocked the idea of the “shit stain” security guards stopping him. He said he would stop himself and get paid to face Reigns at WrestleMania. Lesnar signed the contract and tossed it at Reigns.

Heyman told Lesnar that he will lose the WWE Championship next Saturday at Madison Square Garden. Heyman handed Reigns the pen, and then he signed the contract. Reigns cut a brief promo about how everything from the people to the broadcast team to the cameramen to the WrestleMania belonged to him.

Reigns said everyone works for him, including the security guards in the ring. The security guards turned and faced Lesnar. He dumped the broadcast table on some of the security guards, then beat the hell out of the others, including ramming the table into some of them. Lesnar put one of the guards down with an F5, then gave another a German suplex. Reigns shook his head in frustration while watching it play out from the stage…

Powell’s POV: The segment was fine, but I’m surprised they didn’t give it more time given the star power involved. It wasn’t a good idea to have Heyman hype it as the biggest WrestleMania main event ever, which led to boos. It’s a big WrestleMania main event and all, but the fans clearly disagree that it’s bigger than Hogan vs. Andre or Rock vs. Austin, so why go there? Lesnar destruction is always fun, so the show ended on a high note.

Overall, this was a good episode of Smackdown. It felt like WrestleMania season with Lesnar, Reigns, Rousey, and even Johnny Knoxville all appearing on the show (oh, and you too, Sam Roberts). Perhaps the most notable aspect of the show was the news of Vince McMahon appearing on McAfee’s podcast, which is must see. I will be back with my Smackdown audio review and the AEW Rampage audio review later tonight for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (8)

  1. I am not a fan of Corbin and just skip his matches or interviews.

    interesting to see Jason not happy with Corbin kind of a suprise since you spent months beging he drop the King gimmick he does and you still don’t like him. LOL

    • King Corbin: A cliche sports entertainment gimmick that overstayed its welcome.

      Happy Corbin: A terrible sports entertainment gimmick that lost its appeal a few weeks after the fun down on his luck story.

      Baron Corbin: A talented heel who doesn’t need bad sports entertainment gimmicks.

  2. I like Corbin, but the “Happy” gimmick needs to make like a hockey player and puck off.

  3. I’m disappointed that after Brock demolished security he wasn’t given a mic to talk trash back at Roman. Sometimes a little less Heyman would be more, as well.

  4. Zayn/Knoxville doesn’t need the IC belt to be an attraction. In fact, it’s more likely to be an upset win if Zayn doesn’t have the title.

    So, in order to get to Z/K at WrestleMania, Knoxville will show up at ringside next week to distract Sammy. Ricochet wins the intercontinental title.

    Book it.

  5. >It wasn’t a good idea to have Heyman hype it as the biggest WrestleMania main event ever, which led to boos. It’s a big WrestleMania main event and all, but the fans clearly disagree that it’s bigger than Hogan vs. Andre or Rock vs. Austin, so why go there?<<

    Umm..maybe because he's a heel manager and that's what a cocky heel manager would say?

  6. What is this crap I’m hearing about unifying the belts? Raw and SmackDown both need a champion. Both shows are supposed to be separate from each other. If the belt is on SmackDown, then there’s not much to look forward to on Raw. Not fond of having 1 belt for the women’s tag title either but that’s a rant for another day.

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