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3/4 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Ronda Rousey vs. Sonya Deville, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. The Viking Raiders for the Smackdown Tag Titles, Sami Zayn vs. Ricochet for the Intercontinental Championship

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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,176)
Live from Miami, Florida at FTX Arena
Aired March 4, 2022 on Fox

[Hour One] Paul Heyman opened the show in the backstage area and said Smackdown is blessed with the presence of Roman Reigns and an opportunity for the fans to acknowledge him… They cut to Ronda Rousey, who said Sonya Deville has been abusing her power for too long and she would reminder that Smackdown his more than just the name of the show…

Sonya Deville delivered a brief backstage promo while talking about the power of the party… The Viking Raiders delivered a brief backstage promo about challenging The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Titles… Jimmy and Jey Uso also had a brief promo… Ricochet said they would not call Sami Zayn the Intercontinental Champion after tonight’s show… Sami Zayn said Ricochet would find out why he’s called the master strategist and the greatest IC Champion in history…

Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in on commentary while entrances for the Intercontinental Title match took place…

1. Sami Zayn vs. Ricochet for the Intercontinental Championship. Ricochet immediately rolled Zayn into a pin and got a two count. They eventually fought on the apron where Zayn stuffed a superkick. Zayn performed a wicked suplex on the apron that sent Ricochet to the floor heading into a commercial break. [C]

Zayn caught Ricochet going for a springboard move and powerbombed him on the way down for a near fall. Ricochet rallied and picked up a near fall, then hit a standing moonsault and got another good near fall. Zayn rolled to ringside. Ricochet performed a handspring into a moonsault over the top rope onto Zayn on the floor. Zayn regained offensive control.

Johnny Knoxville’s entrance music played and he came out wearing t-shirt that listed Sami as the Intercontinental Chump. Ricochet hit a distracted Zayn with a Frankensteiner and scored the pin…

Ricochet defeated Sami Zayn in 8:20 to win the Intercontinental Championship.

Powell’s POV: A good match to open the show. I guess Knoxville’s WWE character has no interest in winning the Intercontinental Championship. Anyway, I like the title change, as the celebrity match doesn’t need the title, and now Ricochet’s WrestleMania match will have some meaning if he’s still the champion. On a side note, it was fun to listen to the broadcast team question what Ricochet’s finisher should be called. What did Scott Steiner do wrong that his nephew can’t use the family name and now the broadcast team can’t use his old finisher’s name?

Cole set up footage of Vince McMahon’s appearance on McAfee’s online show. They included clips with Vince announcing that he will induct Undertaker into the WWE Hall of Fame, and offering McAfee a WrestleMania match…

The Mr. McMahon logo was shown on his office door. Cole wondered if we would learn who McAfee will face at WrestleMania. McAfee said he’s nowhere near ready physically, but he said it’s a dream come true and he’s excited… [C]

Backstage, Sami Zayn threw a fit and barked into the camera about Knoxville following him around. Zayn challenged Knoxville to follow him to WrestleMania…

Cole asked McAfee who his opponent will be at WrestleMania. Austin Theory made his entrance. Theory said he competes on Raw and described himself as the protege of Vince McMahon. “Wherever Mr. McMahon goes, Austin Theory goes,” Theory said.

Once in the ring, Theory looked down to the broadcast table and asked why McMahon appeared on McAfee’s show. Theory said McMahon set up McAfee. He said McMahon knows that McAfee is a loudmouth and everyone wants him to shut up. Theory asked McAfee what he would do when his jaw is wired shut.

Theory went to the broadcast table. “I’m your opponent at WrestleMania, and I’m going to beat you to a pulp,” Theory said. Theory knocked McAfee’s headset off. McAfee stood on the broadcast table and said, “Get back here you little bitch.” Theory took selfie from the stage. “I don’t know who you are,” McAfee yelled.

Cole had McAfee drop down from the desk and said he would regain his composure. McAfee questioned who Theory was. McAfee said Cole is a horrible human being because Vince told him that that. He wondered if Cole knew about it and then said it was his fault. Cole assured him that he knows nothing about it.

Cole tried to calm him down while telling him that he’s a professional broadcaster who has the number one YouTube show in the entire world. Cole asked McAfee if what Theory did hurt. McAfee said maybe emotionally…

Powell’s POV: There are reports that Vince McMahon will face McAfee at WrestleMania, so it’s possible that this match changes, but I’m fine with the match if that’s what they go with. The angle was fine, but I’m not crazy about McAfee acting like he doesn’t know who Theory is. McAfee comes off as a super fan and a man of the people, so even if he doesn’t watch Raw, his WWE character should act like he does.

Sasha Banks and Naomi made their entrance. Cole said they will challenge for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles at WrestleMania, then hyped Naomi vs. Carmella for after the break… [C]

Carmella and Queen Zelina made their entrance. A pre-tape aired. Carmella made her wedding night seem more important than WrestleMania… The WWE Women’s Tag Title match was listed for WrestleMania Sunday…

2. Naomi (w/Sasha Banks) vs. Carmella (w/Queen Zelina). The bell rang and Carmella had her assistants put one of her masks on. Naomi caught her with a kick once she was on the apron. Naomi went up top, but Carmella cut her off. Later, Zelina tried to interfere, but Banks pulled her off the apron. Banks took her out with a meteora against the ring steps. In the ring, Naomi performed a split-leg moonsault on Carmella and pinned her.

Naomi defeated Carmella in 2:10.

After the match, Natalya was shown watching on a backstage monitor while Naomi and Banks celebrated…

Backstage, Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss were playing poker with a group of people. Corbin said Drew McIntyre is one hell of a WrestleMania opponent. However, Corbin pointed out that he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and beat Kurt Angle at past WrestleMania events. Corbin had Moss tell a cornball joke while using a Scottish accent. Everyone in the room laughed. They stopped when they saw McIntyre making his entrance on a television…

McIntyre made his entrance for a match against Jinder Mahal… [C] The broadcast team hyped the Smackdown Tag Title match for later in the show. They also said McIntyre vs. Corbin will be held on WrestleMania Saturday… Jinder Mahal and Shanky made their entrance while Corbin and the poker players watched on television…

3. Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Shanky). The broadcast team acknowledged the history between McIntyre and Mahal without getting into specifics. McIntyre did the countdown and hit his Claymore Kick to win the brief match…

Drew McIntyre beat Jinder Mahal in 2:05.

After the match, Kayla Braxton entered the ring and asked McIntyre if it bothered him that Corbin and Moss were having fun at his expense. McIntyre said he would cry himself to sleep. McIntyre then said he doesn’t care about them and nobody does. He said they have no respect in the locker room. McIntyre asked the crowd to show with their hands who wants to gouge Corbin’s eyes out when he’s shown on the screen. McIntyre got Braxton to raise her hand. McIntyre said Corbin might be undefeated as Happy Corbin, but he will take him out at WrestleMania…

Back in the poker room, Moss told another bad joke. Corbin was staring intently at the television screen…

Powell’s POV: I feel bad for McIntyre. He deserves better than working with the hyenas at WrestleMania. Then again, I also feel bad for Corbin and Moss being stuck with these bad gimmicks.

Cole said they would revisit the carnage of last week’s Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar contract signing… An ad for Raw hyped Edge addressing his beatdown of AJ Styles, and Chad Gable and Otis vs. Randy Orton and Riddle vs. Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens in a Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Titles… [C]

Ronda Rousey was shown warming up backstage while Cole hyped her first match on Smackdown for later in the show. Cole and McAfee set up a highlight package on last week’s Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar contract signing for their WrestleMania match…

[Hour Two] McAfee hyped the Reigns vs. Lesnar unification match for WrestleMania. “What a dream matchup this is,” McAfee said…

Rick Boogs introduced himself on the stage and then played Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance theme. McAfee climbed onto the broadcast table and rocked out while Nakamura jammed with Boogs. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso attacked Nakamura and Boogs from behind and left them lying with superkicks.

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance along with Paul Heyman. Cole noted that Reigns had been champion for 561 days. Cole said Reigns vs. Lesnar was the biggest WrestleMania match of all-time and questioned how WWE would change once there was only one unified champion. Once in the ring, Reigns and the Usos held up their title belts and then pyro shot off.

Reigns was cheered heavily. He told the Miami crowd to acknowledge him. He said that he and Brock Lesnar would both defend their titles at Madison Square Garden. He said he would smash whoever his opponent is just like he’s done for the last year and a half.

Reigns said the Lesnar title defense is where things get interesting. “Not all of us” want to see Lesnar defend his title or make it to WrestleMania. Reigns looked at Heyman, who said, “I hold a grudge.” Reigns told him that they are past that now. Reigns said he wants Lesnar to make it to WrestleMania and then hand deliver the WWE Championship to the Tribal Chief.

Reigns asked Heyman for the line he uses. Heyman said it’s not a prediction, it’s a spoiler. Reigns asked Heyman if they should give Miami and the whole world a spoiler. “I’m like Babe Ruth around here,” Reigns said. “I call my shot and I deliver every single time.” Reigns recalled stating a week out that he would stack and pin both opponents at last year’s WrestleMania.

Reigns said he would call his shot again. “At WrestleMania in the biggest main event of all time, Im going to smash Brock Lesnar. I’m going to pin Brock Lesnar. I’m going to stand over Brock Lesnar. He said that “with about five million dollars of fireworks going off” he would raise both titles over his head and then Lesnar would have to acknowledge him. “Brock Lesnar will acknowledge me,” Reigns closed. Reigns and Heyman left the ring while the Usos stuck around for their tag title match… [C]

Powell’s POV: For a second there, I thought they were going to use the Heyman spoiler line regarding Lesnar’s title match at MSG. I love the approach of having heel Reigns show ultra confidence heading into the WrestleMania match rather as opposed to showing signs of being intimidated. It makes the match feel like more of a showdown when both the babyface and heel are both exuding confidence heading into the match.

The Viking Raiders made their entrance for the tag title match…. Cole hyped the release of WWE 2K22…

4. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Cole noted that the Usos entered the match with a 229-day title reign. The Viking Raiders went on the offensive early. Ivar performed a top rope splash on Jimmy for a near fall. Erik tagged in.

The Raiders set up for their finisher, but Jey cut them off and ran Ivar into the ring post. The Usos hit a double team move on Erik. The Usos isolated Erik while Ivar remained down at ringside. Jey ran Erik’s head into the ring post. Jimmy tagged in and then the Usos tossed Erik over the barricade and into the timekeepers area. [C]

The Viking Raiders took offensive control coming out of the break. Ivar slammed Jimmy and had him pinned, but Jey made the save at the last moment. Ivar went for a springboard move, but Jimmy pulled him to ringside. Erik and Jey traded near falls. Jimmy tagged in and then the Usos hit One and Done (3D) on Erik and scored the pin…

Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso defeated “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar in 8:25 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: It was hard to believe that the Viking Raiders would win the tag titles given the way they’ve been booked, but it was still an entertaining match.

Footage aired from earlier in the night of Big E and Kofi Kingston driving Big E’s ATV in the backstage area. The duo then drove the ATV to the ring for their entrance for Big E’s match against Sheamus… [C] The WrestleMania video aired. We are 29 days away from the two-night event…

Sheamus and Ridge Holland made their entrance. Once Sheamus and Big E were in the ring, Kingston started clowning around on the ATV. Holland hit Kingston from behind with a chair. Holland hit the ATV with the chair. Sheamus worked over Big E inside the ring. Sheamus and Holland drove the ATV toward the back… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m not sure if stealing an ATV qualifies as grand theft auto, so let’s just say that Sheamus and Holland were doing the Lord’s work by stealing an ATV that’s already a turnoff.

Highlights aired from during the break of Sheamus and Holland taking sledgehammers to the ATV. McAfee said it was a message being sent to all of New Day… The broadcast team recapped the Intercontinental Title change, and Sami Zayn challenging Johnny Knoxville to a match at WrestleMania…

Johnny Knoxville was interviewed by Kayla Braxton in the backstage area. Knoxville said the only reason he showed up was to remind Zayn that he’s the Intercontinental Chump. Knoxville said he’s put his body through more insane things than Zayn can even imagine. He said that if Zayn thinks he’s afraid to face him at WrestleMania then he has another thing coming. Knoxville accepted the challenge…

Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss were playing darts in their poker room. Corbin went to pull the darts out when McIntyre stuck his sword in the dartboard, causing the heels to flee…

Highlights aired of Michael Cole interviewing Ronda Rousey on last week’s show, along with the angle involving Sonya Deville and Charlotte Flair… Sonya Deville made her entrance for the main event… [C]

Cole announced Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus and Ridge Holland, and Sasha Banks vs. Queen Zelina for next week’s Smackdown…

In the ring, Deville was giving instructions to referee Charles Robinson. Ronda Rousey made her entrance for the match…

5. Ronda Rousey vs. Sonya Deville. Rousey wore a knee brace. Just as the match was about to start, Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair made her entrance. It was all Rousey to start. She set up for her finisher, but Flair climbed onto the apron and distracted her. Deville chop-blocked Rousey’s back knee.

Flair joined the broadcast team and said that Rousey is a one trick pony who only has the armbar. Flair said she knows how to reverse the move. Rousey made her comeback and wrapped her legs around the head of Deville, who was in the ropes. Rousey broke the hold on the referee’s four count.

Rousey did a few judo tosses and then hoisted up Deville and hit the Piper’s Pit move. She followed up with the armbar for the submission win…

Ronda Rousey defeated Sonya Deville in 3:15.

After the match, Rousey called for Flair to enter the ring. Flair joined her. Rousey rolled her over and applied an ankle lock. Flair tapped. The referee asked Rousey to release the hold and she obliged…

Powell’s POV: The match was short and sweet. It was fine in terms of giving Rousey a quick win on Fox. The post match angle made her look dominant over Flair, so I assume Flair will be getting a lot of heat in the weeks ahead. Overall, this was a good show on the road to WrestleMania. It was newsworthy thanks to the Intercontinental Title change along with the WrestleMania developments. 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 Smackdown by grading it below.

Join me for my live review of AEW Revolution on Sunday night.

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Readers Comments (8)

  1. TheGreatestOne March 4, 2022 @ 7:36 pm

    You get rid of 50 interchangeable little guys that do tons of flips and dives and suddenly Ricochet stands out as someone unique on the roster. Funny how that works.

    The “reports” of McMahon vs McAfee and the Zayn vs Knoxville match being for the IC title turned out to be more IWC bullshit, just like they usually are.

  2. The Viking gimmick has never looked as ridiculous as it does now that the “Viking Raiders” have this stupid new entrance and music not to mention those embarrassing “raid” chants as they pound their chests like morons. And seriously, what is with these idiots changing people’s entrance music with boring, generic, uncreative and lame music. I think they’re having too much fun with it.

  3. I’m sick and tired of The New Day. I have absolutely zero interest in seeing those guys, particularly Kofi, on TV. I feel bad for Big E, who I feel is being downgraded.

  4. I thing Ricochet did a West Coast Pop, not the Frankensteiner. Am I right or wrong?

  5. Patrick Peralta March 4, 2022 @ 9:35 pm

    Rousey called for Flair to enter the ring. Flair joined her. Rousey rolled her over and applied an ankle lock. Flair tapped

    ohh look Rousey is not a one trick Pony she knows more then just the arm bar. they are makeing Flair look stupid LOL

  6. You would think “don’t stop wrestling your match when some music plays” would be a lesson learned by the WWE entertainers now after 20 years of it happening on WWE television.

  7. > ,,,but I’m not crazy about McAfee acting like he doesn’t know who Theory is. McAfee comes off as a super fan and a man of the people, so even if he doesn’t watch Raw, his WWE character should act like he does.<<

    Those of us who watched the show took McAcfee saying that as belittling Theory, not as though he ACTUALLY didn't know who he was….I'm sure a lot of people didn't take him literally.

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