3/18 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of the WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and WWE Champion Brock Lesnar confrontation, Naomi and Sasha Banks vs. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley, Kofi Kingston vs. Ridge Holland, Drew McIntyre and The Viking Raiders vs. Happy Corbin, Jinder Mahal, and Shanky


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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,178)
Live from Charlotte, North Carolina at Spectrum Center
Aired March 18, 2022 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of the recent developments involving Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar… The broadcast team was Michael Cole and Pat McAfee…

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso, and Paul Heyman made their entrance. Cole noted that Reigns had held the title for 564 days.

Cole spoke at ringside and said that McAfee is not allowed to get physical with Austin Theory and it’s been suggested that he apologize or he could lose his WrestleMania match. McAfee said he didn’t want to focus on that, then turned the attention back to Reigns.

Reigns told the Charlotte crowd to acknowledge him. He was excited that it was the first time he would see Brock Lesnar since leaving him bloody at Madison Square Garden. Heyman interrupted Reigns and read from his phone, saying that Lesnar’s plane was grounded in Saskatchewan due to weather. The fans booed and chanted “we cant Lesnar.”

Reigns said he wanted Lesnar to be there too and claimed he planned to smash him. Reigns said Lesnar wasn’t there because he was scared of him. Reigns boasted that he’s in God Mode and said there’s not a man who can touch him. Heyman tried to interrupt again, but Reigns told him not to interrupt him. Heyman tried again, but Reigns said the fans paid to see him.

Reigns finally gave in and asked Heyman what the problem was. Heyman said Lesnar plane landed and he was on his way to the building. Reigns told Heyman to wrap it up. Reigns and the Usos left the ring quickly. “Wait for me,” Heyman yelled before leaving the ring and racing after the rest of the Bloodline…

The broadcast team hyped Charlotte Flair’s challenge, and some previously advertised matches…

The Bloodline was shown walking quickly through the backstage area. They climbed into their SUV. Suddenly, Brock Lesnar drove a forklift into the area and drove its forks through the windshield of the SUV… [C]

Powell’s POV: Damn, I think Brock just killed a guy. Reigns and Heyman were really good in teasing that Lesnar wouldn’t appear, and then Heyman had the prefect petrified delivery when he announced that Lesnar was actually on his way to the building. Great stuff.

The footage of Lesnar driving the forklift into the car was replayed. They cut to a shot of the Bloodline members still inside the SUV while a laughing Lesnar used the forklift to raise the vehicle and turn it on its side. They showed additional footage of the Bloodline climbing into a truck. Lesnar ran after them and shouldered the truck door off its hinges. The Bloodline sped away.

Lesnar picked up the door and made his entrance. Lesnar stopped on the stage and tipped his cowboy hat to the crowd. Lesnar slammed the truck door down, then picked it up and brought it to the ring with him. Cole said he’s covered Lesnar’s career for twenty years as of today, and said he’d never seen him so upset.

Lesnar entered the ring and paced around the truck door that he placed in the middle of the ring. Lesnar stomped the truck door a couple of times before grabbing a mic. Lesnar set the door up and leaned on it while delivering his promo. Lesnar said Reigns unleashed “The Bipolar Beast.” He said Reigns can run and hide, but he’ll do more than blow the doors off at WrestleMania.

“Roman Reigns, I’m coming for blood,” Lesnar declared. “I’m coming for blood. You best be prepared. I’ll see you in two, buddy.” Lesnar left the ring and then tipped his hat to the crowd again before heading to the back…

Highlights aired from last week of Rick Boogs defeating Jey Uso to earn a Smackdown Tag Title shot at WrestleMania for him and Shinsuke Nakamura… Boogs played his guitar on the stage and ended up playing Nakamura to the ring for a tag match against Los Lotharios… [C] Angel and Humberto did their kiss cam entrance and kissed a woman on her cheeks at ringside…

1. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs vs. “Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto. Angel brought back the tearaway pants spot while he and Humberto isolated Nakamura. At 4:00, Boogs took the hot tag and roughed up both opponents. He pressed Humberto over his head ten times and then threw him at Angel. Boogs curled Angel before hitting his Boogs Cruise finisher for the win…

Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs beat “Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto in 4:55.

Powell’s POV: I was open to the possibility that the heels would win and they would add teams to the Smackdown Tag Title match at WrestleMania. Rather, they kept it simple by having Nakamura and Boogs go over. While Angel and Humberto might be smaller guys, watching Boogs press and curl them was pretty damn impressive.

Drew McIntyre and The Viking Raiders made their entrance for the six-man tag match while Cole pimped the WWE 2K22 game… [C]

Backstage, Megan Morant interviewed Happy Corbin, Madcap Moss, Jinder Mahal, and Shanky. Corbin spoke about how WrestleMania would be the greatest day of his life. Moss told a joke. He asked what an episode of Happy Talk is called when it puts everyone to sleep. Moss said “Nappy Talk” and laughed, but Corbin and the other heels were stone-faced. The heels made their entrance…

2. Drew McIntyre and “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. Happy Corbin, Jinder Mahal, and Shanky (w/Madcap Moss). Corbin got the better of Ivar and then threw a cheap shot punch at McIntyre, who was held back by the referee. [C] McIntyre tagged in. Corbin darted to ringside and stayed there while McIntyre hit Shanky with a Claymore Kick and pinned him…

Drew McIntyre and “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar beat Happy Corbin, Jinder Mahal, and Shanky in 7:10.

Powell’s POV: The match followed the simple formula of Corbin getting a cheap shot, yet avoiding McIntyre in a fair fight situation. Here’s hoping that Corbin being annoyed by Moss’s joke at his talkshow’s expense means that Moss might escape the Madcap gimmick.

Sami Zayn delivered a backstage promo and accused Johnny Knoxville of ruining his life. Zayn said Knoxville was bringing his world to him, and now he wants to return the favor. Zayn challenged Knoxville to make their WrestleMania match an anything goes match…

Sasha Banks and Naomi made their entrance for their tag team match… [C] A WrestleMania ad focused on Steve Austin appearing on the Kevin Owens Show… Cole hyped Austin’s Broken Skull Lager that was released on Austin 3:16 Day… Cole hyped Charlotte Flair’s challenge…

[Hour Two] Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan made their entrance…

3. Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Queen Zelina and Carmella were seated at ringside. Cole said Ripley and Morgan are going by the name of Liv For Brutality. After some back and forth action, Ripley held up Banks for a vertical suplex and then covered her for a two count. Morgan tagged in and and dumped both opponents to the floor, then Ripley took a tag and performed and cannonball onto Banks and Naomi from the apron. [C]

Banks hit double knees on Morgan in the corner, then followed up with a meteora from the second rope for a near fall. Morgan came back with a step-up enzuigiri. Ripley tagged in and missile dropkicked Banks, which led to a near fall. Ripley set up for her finisher, but Banks countered into a Backstabber. Naomi tagged in and hit a split-leg moonsault on Ripley and had her beat, but Morgan broke it up. Morgan was tossed to ringside.

Banks and Naomi placed Ripley on the middle rope and set up for double superplex, but Morgan returned and turned it into a tower of doom spot. Suddenly, Shayna Baszler and Natalya attacked all four wrestlers to end the match.

Sasha Banks and Naomi fought Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan to an apparent no-contest in 12:00.

Queen Zelina and Carmella joined in on the post match attack of the babyfaces. They held up their title belts to celebrate. Baszler and Natalya eyed up the titles, and then Natalya pointed to the WrestleMania sign…

Powell’s POV: And the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match is about to become a four-way. This tag match was really fun. You had to know there wouldn’t be a clean finish, so the interference was expected.

A Johnny Knoxville selfie-video aired. He said he’s made a career out of disregarding common sense. He spoke about some of the stunts he’s done and said he’s still standing. Knoxville said he can take whatever Sami Zayn can dish out and accepted his anything goes match challenge. Knoxville laughed and said Zayn is toast…

The broadcast team spoke at ringside. Cole said he was just told through his headset that McAfee was being summoned to Mr. McMahon’s office. McAfee got up and removed his headset… [C] The WrestleMania video aired. We are 15 days away from the two-night event…

Powell’s POV: It’s interesting that they are still showing Bobby Lashley in the WrestleMania video. They’ve clearly had plenty of time to remove him.

Backstage, Sonya Deville told Baszler and Natalya that they proved themselves to be a dominant force and then added them to the WWE Women’s Tag Title match at WrestleMania…

Cole set up a sponsored recap of last week’s angle involving Pat McAfee and Austin Theory….

McAfee was shown walking backstage and then he returned to the ring to the AC/DC song used for the Smackdown opening. Once in the ring, McAfee recalled seeing pro wrestling for the first time on a Monday night on a “no-named network” which he then said was USA Network.

McAfee said he thought it’s what he was put on earth to do. He said other professions got in the way. He said after retiring (from the NFL), he got a call from Michael Cole, who asked him if he wanted to work on Friday Night Smackdown. McAfee said he gave him a hell yeah. He said he dreamed of being in front of fans in cities such as Charlotte. He started to do The Rock’s “millions” schtick before he was interrupted.

Austin Theory made his entrance and joined McAfee inside the ring. McAfee said it was suggested to him in the office he just left that he should apologize to Theory or lose his WrestleMania match. McAfee teased apologizing, but he stopped short twice, then said he was sorry for beating his ass and he’s sorry that Theory’s parents raised a douchebag.

McAfee apologized that Theory is “a punk bitch.” Theory smiled and took a selfie. “You apologized,” Theory said. Theory shoved McAfee before leaving the ring…

Powell’s POV: The crowd got behind McAfee aside from a few “what” taunts, so it was effective. It just had a couple of strange moments such as referring to USA Network as a no-name network, and apparently we all imagined the time that he spent in NXT. I wonder if he’ll get called right back to Vince’s office for saying the words “professional wrestling.”

Cole recapped footage of Lesnar and Reigns from earlier in the show, then hyped their match for WrestleMania…

Kofi Kingston made his entrance for his match against Ridge Holland. Cole said Big E suffered a devastating injury last week at the hands of Holland. Cole said Kingston would be outnumbered. Cole set up the final edition of Nakamura and Boogs’s video advertisement series for a truck… [C]

Cole set up a video package that recapped Big E suffering a broken neck on last week’s Smackdown. They showed the spot where Ridge Holland dropped him on his head with a suplex at ringside and then showed Big E giving a thumbs up as he was stretched to the back. They also replayed Big E’s hospital videos that he posted on social media…

4. Kofi Kingston vs. Ridge Holland (w/Sheamus, Butch). Cole said Holland apologized for what he did to Big E and also wished him well in his recovery. Kingston went on the offensive early. He sent Holland to ringside and then dove at him and knocked him into the broadcast table. [C]

Highlights aired of Sheamus pulling Kingston to ringside and clotheslining him during the break. Kingston rallied, but Holland stuffed his Trouble in Paradise attempt. Kingston went to the ropes. Sheamus distracted the referee while Butch pushed Kingston off the ropes. The referee ejected Sheamus and Butch. Kingston rolled up Holland for a two count, then hit him with a standing double stomp.

Kingston threw a weapon that the heels brought to the ring at Sheamus and Butch, who were at the stage area. Butch ran back to the ring, but Sheamus pulled him out before he could make contact. Holland used the distraction to hit Kingston and then put him away with a power slam.

Ridge Holland beat Kofi Kingston in 6:00.

Butch ran in again after the match, but the referee stopped him…

Powell’s POV: So Butch is Euro Crash Holly? Anyway, I thought it was a mistake for WWE not to address the Big E situation during Monday’s Raw regardless of the stupid brand split. I was happy to see them address it tonight. It’s a story that made mainstream news headlines, so it made WWE look silly for not providing updates on their own website or during Raw.

Highlights aired from last week’s parking lot brawl between Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey… Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair made her entrance… [C] Cole hyped Flair vs. Rousey for the Smackdown Women’s Championship for WrestleMania Saturday…

Flair stood in the ring and said she always has a plan. She said she showed “that one trick pony” Rousey why she’s the most decorated woman in “sports entertainment history.” Flair claimed that Rousey was a second away from tapping out in the parking garage before she was saved by the referees and producers.

Ronda Rousey was shown watching Flair on a backstage monitor. Flair continued to rant and said that her legacy is bigger than Rousey. She said Rousey will pop out another babyface after she loses. Flair said Rousey doesn’t have the spine, passion, or grace to become the 13-time women’s champion. Flair said she didn’t want to wait and invited Rousey out so that she could embarrass her “in my home town.”

Rousey blew off Kayla Braxton when she tried to ask about Flair luring her into a trap. Rousey made her entrance. Once Rousey entered the ring, she ducked Flair swinging a kendo stick. Rousey got the better of Flair. They ended up at ringside. Rousey shoved Flair’s shoulder into the ring post twice, then put her in a standing ankle lock.

Flair got the kendo stick and hit Rousey with it to break free from the ankle lock. Flair used the kendo stick to choke Rousey. Flair powerbombed Rousey through the broadcast table. Flair put her foot on Rousey, who had a little blood in her mouth…

Powell’s POV: A good angle to put more heat on Flair. Rousey is well established as a legit badass, so I like the idea of making Flair look as strong as possible between now and WrestleMania. Overall, this was a good show with strong bookend segments. I will have more to say in our weekly same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

Join me for my live review of AEW Rampage later tonight.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Patrick Peralta March 18, 2022 @ 10:57 pm

    YAWN ZZZZZZZZZ Flair getting heat on Rousey..

    so boring so sick of Flair..Thanks WWE I’ll just skip watching this match during the Replay I have no interest in the match what so ever.

  2. Read the reports about them planning a women’s battle royale at WWE Wrestlemania 38 and I’ve got no idea how they’ve got enough wrestlers now that Nattie and Shayna have been officially added to the tag title match. The only people not on the card are Alexa, Shotzi, Doudrop, Nikki, Xia Li and Aliyah. Sonya might be doing GM stuff, and I guess Dana/Tamina will be involved in 24/7 shenanigans. I wouldn’t bring Bayley and Asuka back for a battle royale even if they’re ready. I guess they can pad it out with legends but if they didn’t want to use NXT people for the Rumble, I can’t see them being used for WM either.

    Honestly, this is a better time to do the gauntlet tag match. Alexa and Nikki can easily be paired up again, Xia’s already Aliyah’s protector so pair them up too. And I dunno, Shotzi can give Doudrop her resume or something. Just make Carmella and Zelina drop the tag titles on Raw to Liv and Rhea somehow, so we can get a Sasha/Naomi vs Liv/Rhea match again on Night 2.

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