5/27 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and a mystery partner vs. Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch, Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez in a non-title match, Kevin Owens hosts The KO Show, Drew McIntyre returns

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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,188)
Live from North Little Rock, Arkansas at Simmons Bank Arena
Aired May 27, 2022 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso defeating Randy Orton and Riddle to become the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions with help from Roman Reigns… Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were on commentary, and Samantha Irvin was the ring announcer…

Jimmy and Jey Uso made their entrance and carried the Raw and Smackdown Tag Titles with them. Cole said Randy Orton could barely stand up before last week’s match due to a back injury, but he gutted it out. Cole also said Orton and Riddle would have won the match had it not been for Roman Reigns. Cole also said Orton was undergoing consultations with neurosurgeons to determine the best course of action for his medical treatment.

The Usos welcomed viewers to Friday Night Smackdown. They instructed the fans to put their index fingers in the air and say thank you to Roman Reigns. The Usos noted that they have been in WWE for twelve years. They said the fans have cheered them, booed, them and have seen their ups and their downs. They said the fans have watched them grow up.

The Usos said that while they were on the road and away from their families, the fans were there for them. They thanked the fans. They were silent for a moment and then an Usos chant broke out. They turned on the fans by saying that for the past twelve years, they realized that they needed “absolutely nobody.” They boasted about how The Bloodline holds all the gold. They also mocked RK-Bro.

Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance music played. Nakamura walked out and said he and his partner challenge them to a tag title match. Nakamura said his partner wanted to face them by himself, but he asked to join the match. The Usos mocked the idea of Nakamura’s partner being Rick Boogs. Nakamura pointed to the stage and said, “Here he is.”

Riddle made his entrance. Cole pointed out that The Bloodline injured the partners of Riddle and Nakamura. The duo walked to the ring, climbed on the apron, and fought the Usos until they were knocked back to the floor. Riddle entered the ring and went after both Usos, who tossed him out of the ring. Nakamura entered the ring and was outnumbered until Riddle performed a Floating Bro onto both Usos. Riddle and Nakamura cleared the Usos from the ring…

Cole recapped Ronda Rousey beating Raquel Rodriguez in a competitive open challenge match two weeks ago. They showed the women shaking hands afterward, and McAfee said Rousey is honorable.

Raquel Rodriguez made her entrance. They cut backstage where Shotzi held court while Xia Li, Aliyah, Natalya, and Shayna Baszler stood by. Shotzi said Li was more deserving of a title shot than Rodriguez. Li stormed out of the room. Shotzi said Aliyah is annoying, but even she is more deserving than Rodriguez. Aliyah told her to shut up and left. Shotzi spoke about Natalya and Baszler being more deserving and asked what they were all going to do about it… [C]

Powell’s POV: I was wondering where the Usos were going with that promo. They turned the fans in their favor and then pulled the rug out from under them. I like the pairing of Riddle and Nakamura, though I wonder how long it will last with reports that Riddle will be challenging Roman Reigns soon. Finally, I’m not sure where the Shotzi thing is going, but she’s shown that she can talk and it looks like she’s being given an opportunity to do more. With Sasha Banks and Naomi on the outs with WWE, it is an opportunity for others to step up and help fill the void.

An ad for Monday’s Raw listed a Bobby Lashley vs. Omos and MVP in a contract signing segment for their handicap match, Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair vs. Asuka in a non-title match, and Cody Rhodes responding to being attacked by Seth Rollins…

Riddle and Nakamura were talking on the backstage ring set when Kayla Braxton approached them. Riddle said the pairing with Nakamura was Randy Orton’s idea…

Ronda Rousey made her entrance. Backstage, Natalya, Baszler, and Shotzi got fired up. Natalya and Baszler left the room. Shotzi tried to follow, but the door locked behind Natalya and Baszler. Aliyah was shown holding the key with Shotzi locked inside the room…

1. Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez in a non-title match. Rodriguez powered up Rousey, who ended up landing on top of her in a repeat of their previous match, but Rodriguez kicked out. Rodriguez put Rousey over her shoulder in a submission hold. Rousey was screaming in pain when Shayna Baszler and Natalya interfered to end the match.

Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey fought Raquel Rodriguez to a no-contest in 0:55 in a non-title match.

Rousey and Rodriguez quickly cleared Baszler and Natalya from the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: I guess we see now why they didn’t make a big fuss over the rematch while advertising the matches for this show.

2. Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Raquel Rodriguez vs. Shayna Baszler and Natalya. The match was joined in progress. Cole said the match was made by Adam Pearce during the commercial break. He also recapped footage of Baszler chop blocking Rodriguez to end her match with Rousey, and again during the post match brawl. Baszler targeted the bad knee early on.

Rodriguez was able to kick Baszler away. Natalya entered and went for a Sharpshooter, but Rodriguez avoided it and made the hot tag. Natalya ended up putting Rousey in the Sharpshooter, but Rousey crawled to the corner and tagged out. Rodriguez sold her knee while fighting with Baszler. Natalya pulled Rousey to ringside and was quickly roughed up. In the ring, Rodriguez hit the Chingona Bomb on Baszler and pinned her.

Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Raquel Rodriguez defeated Shayna Baszler and Natalya in 7:35.

Rousey and Rodriguez celebrated together after the match. Rodriguez limped to sell her knee injury…

The broadcast team hyped Money in the Bank being moved to “the intimate confines” of the MGM Grand Garden Arena…

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were shown playing rock, paper, scissors while Megan Morant stood by… [C]

Powell’s POV: You can’t blame them for putting a positive spin on Money in the Bank being moved from a stadium to an arena. The tag match was fine. They are doing a good job of building up Rodriguez. It will be interesting to see if she remains a babyface or if her overly nice character will eventually turn heel on Rousey.

Cole pimped WWE NFT’s and then Morant interviewed Kingston and Woods in the backstage area and asked them about their mystery partner. Kingston asked if they give away the ending of Stranger Things or if Bad Bunny releases all of his songs before his album drops. They played up some over the top possibilities and said the point is that their partner could be anyone. Woods said they have the element of surprise and would not go to the ring outnumbered when they face “The Brawling Brutes”…

Cole and McAfee spoke at ringside and pointed out that Big E would not be the mystery partner because he is still recovering from a broken neck. They shifted the focus to recapping Happy Corbin’s attack on Madcap Moss. Cole announced that Moss will return on next week’s Smackdown…

Powell’s POV: For the love of all that is good in the world, please let poor Moss return with a new name and normal ring gear.

The Los Lotharios duo of Angel and Humberto made their entrance and did their kiss cam routine with a woman in the front row. A graphic listed Los Lotharios as facing Jinder Mahal and Shanky… [C]

Jinder Mahal searched for Shanky in the backstage area. He found him rocking out to music in a room. Meanwhile, Los Lotharios were busy sexually harassing (or something) Samantha Irvin at ringside…

3. “Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto vs. Jinder Mahal and Shanky. Angel got the better of Mahal at one point and then rolled to ringside where he pulled off his tearaway pants and gyrated in front of Samantha Irvin. Shanky snuck up behind Angel and danced before conking him over the head and then superkicking him. Mahal was distracted by the ringside drama. Humberto hit Mahal with a springboard kick and pinned him.

“Los Lotharios” Angel and Humberto beat Jinder Mahal and Shanky in 2:15.

After the match, Mahal barked at Shanky until he stick his hand in his face. Mahal stormed away. Shanky turned his attention to Irvin and pointed at her. Shanky danced and Irvin smiled…

Powell’s POV: A horny dancing giant? It’s not for me, but we’ll see how the live crowds take to it.

Max Dupri entered Adam Pearce’s office. Pearce said he checked with legal, and Dupri’s contract is valid. Dupri corrected him on the proper way to say his name. Dupri said the recruiting process is on to find the first model for Maximum Male Models…

Kevin Owens made his entrance. The broadcast team hyped that Owens would be interviewing a member of The Bloodline. They excitedly pondered the possibilities (leaving out Sami Zayn)… [C]

A video package aired on WWE’s involvement with the Special Olympics. Members of the powerlifting team were shown in the crowd…

Kevin Owens stood in the ring, which was decked out with the KO Show set. The broadcast team hyped Owens vs. Ezekiel for the Hell in a Cell event.

[Hour Two] Owens welcomed viewers to a special Smackdown edition of his show. Owens said he would make Elias regret showing his “stupid beardless face” in WWE. Owens introduced Sami Zayn as The Locker Room Leader and a close personal confidant of The Bloodline.

Sami Zayn made his entrance wearing a Bloodline t-shirt. Owens and Zayn hugged while jumping up and down. They both said they were happy to see one another. Zayn said there was some bad blood the last time they saw one another. Owens said he doesn’t even remember what it was about. They gushed over one another.

Zayn said Ezekiel and Elias are clearly the same person. Owens hugged Zayn, who asked if Owens was crying. Owens claimed he was not crying, but he said it was good to hear someone say it. Owens said he’s always had Zayn’s back. Zayn said not always, but Owens shrugged it off and said he’s always had his back.

Owens said he wanted Zayn to forget what he was doing and come to Raw to help him prove that Ezekiel and Elias are the same person. Zayn said it wasn’t a good time and called Owens “uce” which Owens called him on. Owens said this was the part about Zayn that he forgot about.

Owens said Zayn isn’t in The Bloodline and he looks and sounds like a moron. Owens told him to listen to his real friend. Zayn said he was just being nice earlier. He said Elias and Ezekiel are clearly two different people and they look nothing alike. Zayn asked Owens who the moron is. Owens got worked up. Zayn called Owens a liar, and Owens called Zayn a moron.

“Liar, liar, pants on fire,” Zayn said. Owens claimed he went too far and said his pants were not on fire. Owens said that if he called out The Bloodline, they would not come out and join Zayn. Owens introduced The Bloodline once. Zayn said Owens need to give them a chance. Owens tried again.

Owens told a dejected Zayn that The Bloodline couldn’t care less about him. Zayn said Owens didn’t know what he was talking about. Zayn dropped his mic and left the ring. Owens followed and pleaded with Zayn to come to Raw with him. Zayn shoved Owens and told him to go back to Raw and stay there because he has a locker room to run on Smackdown.

Two crew members started taking down The KO Show set. Owens returned to the ring and gave them both Stunners. One of the signs fell onto one of the crew members. Owens laughed and then left the ring…

Powell’s POV: Owens telling Zayn that the “liar, liar, pants on fire” line went too far was laugh out loud hilarious. They are a riot together and they make everything they are given better than it should be.

Cole hyped the six-man tag match as the main event of the show and set up a sponsored video that recapped the issues between The Brawling Brutes and the New Day duo…

Ricochet and Drew Gulak made their entrance for a tag team match against Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser… [C] Cole gushed over WWE returning to Saudi Arabia for the Crown Jewel event on November 5… Ludwig Kaiser introduced Gunther, and they made their entrance…

4. Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser vs. Intercontinental Champion Ricochet and Drew Gulak. Cole noted that it was Kaiser’s debut on Smackdown and said he’s fluent in five languages. Early in the match, Gunther tossed Gulak over the top rope to ringside. [C]

Gunther blasted Gulak with a chop and then stared down Ricochet for a moment before tagging out. Ricochet tagged in and got some offense on Kaiser. Gunther entered the ring for a moment and distracted Ricochet, who was rolled up for a two count by Kaiser.

Gulak tagged in again. Kaiser slapped him and suplexed him. Kaiser held Gulak by the head while looking to the crowd. Kaiser ran the ropes and threw a kick at Gulak before pinning him to win the match.

Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser defeated Ricochet and Drew Gulak in 6:45.

After the match, Ricochet checked on Gulak. Gunther kicked Ricochet in the face and then Kaiser repeated his finishing kick on Gulak…

Powell’s POV: It’s good to see that Kaiser won’t be just a mouthpiece. He’s a talented guy and it seems like people overlook his upside potential because they are so enamored with Gunther. I get it, Gunther is great, but don’t sleep on Kaiser. For that matter, their old Imperium partner Fabian Aichner is very talented, but for some reason he was left behind and has yet to appear on NXT television since.

Backstage, Sami Zayn spoke with Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in the hallway. He said he doesn’t feel like he’s getting the same level of respect in return. Zayn said they didn’t need to keep doing this. He asked what they thought of him, then pitched the idea of being an honorary member of The Bloodline. “Sure, an honorary Uce,” one of the Usos said. The Usos entered the dressing room of Roman Reigns, leaving Zayn to celebrate in the hallway…

Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch made their entrance for the main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: They better print a special Bloodline t-shirt that includes Zayn in the background. Meanwhile, there’s been zero talk of Drew McIntyre returning tonight despite the fact that they mentioned that he would last week. So…

Cole and McAfee set up a Memorial Day video package…

Sheamus cut a promo in the ring and said it didn’t matter who Kingston and Woods brought out with them. Sheamus said no matter who it is, they’ll put them on bedrest right next to Big E. Sheamus said Holland and Butch are two of the toughest Brawling Brutes he’s ever seen. He tried to start a New Day sucks chant, but it was interrupted by New Day’s entrance music.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods walked out. Woods asked if Brawling Brutes are off-brand wrestling buddies. Woods said they found a real physical specimen. Kingston said they found a freak of nature. He said the man would steal Holland’s girlfriend and Butch’s auntie. Woods said once he was done with her. They fired up the crowd about their mystery partner and then Drew McIntyre made his entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: Why in the world did they tell us last week that McIntyre would return on this episode, and then set him up to be a mystery partner during the same show? Unfortunately, McIntyre didn’t leave his sword in Europe while he was away on the promotional tour. Woods is right about the weak Brawling Brutes name.

Cole and McAfee announced The Usos vs. Riddle and Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match for Monday’s Raw, and hyped the return of Madcap Moss for next week’s Smackdown in Columbus, Ohio…

Powell’s POV: If you live in the Columbus area, you better get your Smackdown tickets quickly. The return of the lame joke telling guy who dresses like the Mountain Climber on “The Price Is Right” is sure to lead to a massive surge in ticket sales. Sigh.

5. Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods vs. “The Brawling Brutes” Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch. Butch hit Kingston with a kick from the apron while Sheamus distracted the referee. Legal man Holland backdropped Kingston and then mugged for the camera. [C]

With the other wrestlers at ringside, McIntyre dropped Holland with a Glasgow Kiss. He did the countdown and then hit him with a Claymore Kick. McIntyre tagged in Woods, who went up top and hit an elbow drop on Holland before pinning him.

Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods defeated “The Brawling Brutes” Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch in 11:30.

After the match, Woods played his trombone while Kingston danced. Kingston and Woods encouraged McIntyre to dance. They played to the crowd a bit and then McIntyre strutted and danced while Woods played the trombone. The trio posed on the ropes to close the show…

Powell’s POV: I’m still baffled by the mistake they made last week by telling viewers that McIntyre would return this week only to then use him as a mystery partner. Anyway, the match was fine, but New Day feuding with Sheamus, Holland, and Butch has been run into the ground. To our U.S. readers, have a great holiday weekend.

Overall, it’s what one would expect from a holiday weekend show in that it was fairly missable with no Roman Reigns or big storyline developments, yet mostly entertaining for those who did watch. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).

Join me on Sunday night for my live review of AEW Double Or Nothing.

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. If Sasha and Naomi think their booking is bad, they should look at poor Shayna Baszler.

  2. Sami + KO = Platinum

  3. >>Why in the world did they tell us last week that McIntyre would return on this episode, and then set him up to be a mystery partner during the same show? <<

    Because WWE. That’s why.

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