2/3 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Barnett’s review of Roman Reigns addressing the state of The Bloodline, Charlotte Flair vs. Sonya Deville for the Smackdown Women’s Title, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci vs. Braun Strowman and Ricochet for a Smackdown Tag Title shot, Shayna Baszler vs. Shotzi vs. Zelina Vega vs. Natalya in an Elimination Chamber qualifier

By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,224)
Greenville, South Carolina at Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Aired live February 3, 2023 on Fox

[Hour One] A video aired to start the show that showcased the dramatic scene at the conclusion of the Royal Rumble between The Bloodline, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens. It highlighted Sami Zayn hitting Roman with a chair, the subsequent beating of Zayn, and Jey Uso refusing to participate. 

Kayla Braxton was backstage waiting for the Bloodline SUV. Solo, Jimmy Uso, Roman Reigns, and Paul Heyman got out of an SUV. Roman refused to answer any questions, but Heyman said he could neither confirm nor deny the status of Jey Uso in The Bloodline, but thanked her for wearing their colors tonight. She wore a black jacket on top of a red sweater…

The Smackdown introductory video aired, and Michael Cole welcomed the audience to the show. Wade Barrett commented that Roman Reigns would address the arena later tonight…

Braun Strowman and Ricochet made their way to the ring for the finals of the Smackdown Tag Team Title Tournament. Footage was shown of Ricochet and Logan Paul’s mid-air collision at the Royal Rumble. Imperium made their way to the ring, with Kaiser and Vinci competing. Gunther joined them at ringside. Footage was shown of Gunther’s impressive run in the Royal Rumble.

1. Ricochet and Braun Strowman vs. “Imperium” Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci (w/Gunther) in the Tournament Final for a shot at the Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Strowman started the match with Kaiser. Vinci snuck up from behind Braun to trip him up, but he stuffed him and cleared both Vinci and Kaiser from the ring. After a strategy session with Gunther on the outside, Ricochet and Kaiser resumed the match in the ring. 

Vinci provided a distraction from the apron, and Kaiser landed a running European Uppercut on Ricochet. Strowman took out Vinci on the floor and stared down Gunther. Kaiser attempted to dive on Strowman from the ring, but got caught. Vinci then did the same and managed to take him out…[c]

My Take: Seems like Jey and Sami won’t be making appearances tonight. I think that’s a smart play.

Kaiser hitting a running seated dropkick in the corner on Strowman for a two count. Vinci tagged in and landed some clubbing blows, but Strowman used his power to lift and carry Vinci across the ring and then made a tag to Ricochet. Kaiser also entered the match, and Ricochet landed a flying head scissors and a flying clothesline. He followed up with a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Vinci tried to get involved again, but was sent to the floor. 

Strowman then launched Ricochet onto Kaiser and Vinci on the floor. Gunther then shoved Ricochet, which caused him to get ejected by the referee. While the referee was distracted by Gunther, Kaiser hit a huge lariat on Ricochet and covered, getting a close near fall…[c]

Kaiser hitting a running seated dropkick in the corner on Strowman for a two count. Vinci tagged in and landed some clubbing blows, but Strowman used his power to lift and carry Vinci across the ring and then made a tag to Ricochet. Kaiser also entered the match, and Ricochet landed a flying head scissors and a flying clothesline. He followed up with a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Vinci tried to get involved again, but was sent to the floor. 

Strowman then launched Ricochet onto Kaiser and Vinci on the floor. Gunther then shoved Ricochet, which caused him to get ejected by the referee. While the referee was distracted by Gunther, Kaiser hit a huge lariat on Ricochet and covered, getting a close near fall…[c]

Ricochet landed a knee strike on Kaiser and pummeled him in the corner. Vinci made a blind tag and took out Ricochet with a springboard forearm strike and covered for a near fall. Kaiser and Vinci made quick tags and Kaiser threw Vinci into a brainbuster, but Strowman made the save by pulling Kaiser to the floor. He then jumped up on the apron and asked Ricochet to make the tag.

Kaiser and Strowman tagged in and Braun tossed Kaiser all the way across the ring. He then sent Vinci to ringside and turned Kaiser inside out with a lariat. Strowman picked up Kaiser and landed a Monster Bomb, He then tagged Ricochet, who climbed on Braun’s shoulder and landed a Swanton for the win. 

Ricochet and Braun Strowman defeated Imperium to win the Smackdown Tag Team Title Tournament

Next week, The Usos will face Strowman and Ricochet for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles…

Cole then introduced a video package that recapped Rhea Ripley’s Iron Woman performance in the Royal Rumble last Saturday. It also included footage of Rhea’s challenge of Charlotte Flair on Monday’s episode of Raw…

Charlotte was interviewed backstage. She said WrestleMania will be epic, but then shifted focus to Sonya Deville, who immediately walked up. She said they were in Flair Country, a/k/a Hicksville where nobody wants to be. Deville said she would face Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania, because it’s in Hollywood and Sonya is a star. Charlotte nodded and grinned as Sonya walked away. Cole then said we’d see footage of Judgement Day confronting Rey Mysterio at a Nascar event…[c]

My Take: An enjoyable opening match, but nothing spectacular. Seems like we’re in for a bit of a video package heavy evening.

As promised, a video was shown of New Day and Rey Mysterio making a promotional appearance for Nascar when The Judgment Day appeared. Rey and Dominik Mysterio traded insults, and agreed to have a race. Michael Waltrip coached Rey, and Ross Chastain coached Dominik. Both NASCAR drivers feuded like they were part of the show. Dom and Rey raced around a track and traded insults. Eventually, Rey got the win and Judgment Day accused him of cheating. Dom threw his helmet at Rey. They traded insults as Cole promoted a NASCAR event coming up on Sunday. 

Sonya Deville made her entrance for the next match…[c]

Charlotte Flair made her entrance after the break. Samantha Taylor made ring introductions…

2. Charlotte Flair vs. Sonya Deville for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte landed a shoulder tackle and talked some trash to Sonya at the start of the match. Sonya applied an arm twist, and Charlotte cartwheeled out of it and flipped out to the apron. She then landed a flying forearm. Sonya got back into the match by pulling Charlotte’s hair and yanking her down to the mat…[c]

Deville controlled the action through the break and held onto a headlock. Charlotte fought to her feet and sent Sonya into the turnbuckle. Charlotte avoided a kick from Sonya and landed some chops. She then followed up with a back suplex and kipped up to fire up the crowd. Charlotte missed a big boot over the top rope and Sonya tripped her up. She then followed up with a big boot of her own and covered for a near fall. 

Charlotte crawled to the corner. Sonya charged in, but Charlotte caught her and landed a backbreaker. Deville brushed aside another big boot and landed a knee to the jaw. She then attempted a Figure Four, but Charlotte rolled her up for a near fall. She then landed a front handspring clothesline that looked a little awkward. Charlotte then went for a moonsault, but Deville got her feet up and rolled up Charlotte for a two count. 

Deville went for a Figure Four again, but Charlotte avoided it and applied one of her own. She then bridged up to the Figure Eight and Sonya was forced to tap out. 

Charlotte Flair defeated Sonya Deville at 9:59 to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship

After the match, Charlotte celebrated with her championship and Sonya was dejected on the apron…

[Hour Two] A video package aired for Cody Rhodes that focused on him winning the Royal Rumble and challenging for the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship. 

Backstage in the Bloodline locker room, Roman Reigns asked Jimmy Uso where his brother was. He asked if he talked to him, and he said he hadn’t heard from him. Roman called that disrespectful, and reminded Jimmy that they had a title match next week. Roman asked him again if he had spoken to him, and Jimmy replied it’s his brother and he just needed time to chill out.

Roman asked Solo Sikoa if he had heard from his brother, and Jimmy answered that if he hadn’t heard from him, then nobody had. Roman demanded that they find him, and said they wouldn’t do it from the couch… 

In the arena, Butch and Ridge made the entrance for the next match. They will face the Viking Raiders next. Cole then introduced a Black History Month video that focused on Kofi Kingston…[c]

My Take: An awkward match between Charlotte and Sonya. It seemed like Charlotte was calling it in the ring and Sonya was a little out of her element. Roman being fed up with Jey was expected, and it’ll be interesting to see how they pay that off next week.

The Viking Raiders made their entrance with Valhalla. Footage was shown of the Viking Raiders assault on Sheamus and McIntyre last Friday…

3. “The Brawling Brutes” Butch and Ridge Holland vs. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar (w/Valhalla): Butch got worked over by Ivar early on. Erik tagged in, and Butch got back in the match with some joint manipulation. Ridge tagged in and landed a shoulder tackle on Erik. He then cleared Ivar from the apron. Butch entered to join Ridge in clubbing Erik across the chest. Butch jumped toward Erik on the floor, but he moved. Valhalla confronted Butch, and then Erik approached from behind and chucked him into the ring barricade…[c]

Butch scrambled to make a tag to Ridge, and he entered the match to toss Ridge around the ring with throws and suplexes. Ridge fired up and charged Erik, who landed a kick and tagged out to Ivar. He entered and kicked Ridge to set up for a piledriver, but Ridge avoided it and landed an Alabama Slam for a near fall. Ivar recovered and landed some heavy punches in the corner. Butch tagged himself in and landed some strikes, but was overwhelmed by both Erik and Ivar. 

Erik placed Butch on the top rope with Ivar. Ridge pulled Erik out of the ring, and Butch pulled Ivar into the ring with a head scissors for a near fall. He then attempted a moonsault, but Ivar caught him and slammed him. Erik tagged in, and Ivar took out Ridge on the floor. They landed Ragnarok on Butch and got the win. 

The Viking Raiders defeated “The Brawling Brutes” Ridge Holland and Butch at 9:54

After the match, Sheamus and McIntyre walked out and took out The Viking Raiders on the stage. They played to the crowd, but didn’t seem overly concerned about Butch, who was motionless in the ring…

Cole introduced a video of the Pitch Black match from the Royal Rumble. They managed to edit together a very entertaining 30-second version of the match. In some new footage, Bray Wyatt was shown seated in a rocking chair. Uncle Howdy appeared in the same camera shot…

Shotzi then made her entrance for the Women’s Fatal Four-Way for a spot in the Women’s Elimination Chamber. That match is up next… [c] 

My Take: That felt like a house show tag match, for better or worse. Erik and Ivar are excellent brawlers in the ring, but these characters are just flat. 

Shayna Baszler and Zelina Vega were already in the ring. Natalya completed her entrance as the show returned.

4. Zelina Vega vs. Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Shotzi in a four-way for a spot in the Elimination Chamber match: Baszler and Shotzi were quickly cleared from the ring. Zelina Vega and Natalya went back and forth until Vega landed a Code Red on Natalya. Baszler returned to break it up. Baszler landed a lariat on Vega and a knee to the face of Natalya for a near fall…[c]

Shotzi landed a series of knees and kicks on Baszler, and then sent her to the outside. She followed up with a dive through the ropes. Vega then took them both out with a moonsault from the second rope. Natalya pulled Shotzi back into the ring for a Sharpshooter, but Vega broke it up. Shotzi recovered and suplexed Vega. Baszler did the same to Shotzi. She then applied the Kirifuda Clutch to Vega. Natalya broke it up and shoved Baszler out of the ring. She then placed Vega in the Sharpshooter and got the win. 

Natalya beat Zelina Vega, Shotzi, and Shayna Baszler at 6:41 to advance to the Elimination Chamber match

The final qualifier match for the Elimination Chamber will be on Raw…

Backstage, Paul Heyman told Roman that Jey’s phone goes straight to voicemail. Solo and Jimmy sat back down. Roman told them he’s under a lot of stress, and stretched too thin, and apologized for the way he spoke to them. He sent them to the bus where Paul had sent some catering, and said he would go to the ring where he would handle some business alone. Roman impressed upon them that he needed everybody back together so they can be as strong as ever, especially this time of year…[c]

My Take: I guess I should have suspected Natalya with the Elimination Chamber show being in Canada, but she’s been cold as ice for months. The show should end with a surprise with Roman being out in the ring alone. 

Roman made his entrance with Paul Heyman. He wore a shirt that featured himself with Paul Heyman, and not Bloodline merchandise. He addressed the crowd and told them to acknowledge him. A big Sami chant broke out, and Roman said it was pretty obvious who they wanted him to talk about. He said he would have rather talked about Cody Rhodes, since he won the Royal Rumble and actually deserves his attention. Fans booed. Roman called the crowd simple folks and said they wanted him to talk about the past. 

Roman addressed Sami and said he saw greed in his eyes a few weeks ago, and that was all he needed to see. Roman accused Sami of using him and his bloodline for his own benefit, just like everyone he meets in public or in a restaurant. They all want something from him, and never want to give back. Sami Zayn appeared from nowhere and attacked Reigns from behind. Roman turned the table quickly and had Paul to grab him a chair. 

Sami grabbed the chair and set up to hit Roman, but he rolled out of the ring. He then grabbed the microphone and said Roman was wrong about him. Sami said he never wanted anything from Reigns until now, and challenged him to a match for the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship. Jimmy Uso and Solo then hit the the ring and beat down Sami. Solo landed a Samoan Spike. They wrapped the chair around his head and placed him in the corner. Roman stopped Solo from smashing him in the corner. 

Roman knelt down next to Sami and told him he would get what he wants, but he wanted something from him. He told him he wanted him at the Elimination Chamber in Montreal because he broke up his family and he wanted to break him in front of his parents, his wife, his child, and all of his friends. Reigns told him he could have accepted his invitation to join the Bloodline and reach the promised land, but now he will find out what happens when you mess up the Bloodline and break up his family. 

Heyman brought Roman the titles and he held him in Sami’s face and told him that this was simple to him, not a dream, it was his reality. Roman reiterated that he should have stayed in The Bloodline but now it was over for him. Roman held up the titles to close the show… 

My Take: Another very compelling segment to close the show. The crowd went nuts for Sami, and they are invested in him emotionally, but Roman remains WWE’s star performer. His intensity and trash talk at the end of the show was excellent, and it’s just another piece of evidence as to why he’s the biggest star in wrestling. Jason Powell will be by later tonight with his weekly same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let us know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. Am I the only one who sees Ricochet as Braun’s “mini me?”

  2. I see it too with the bald heads and beards.

  3. Did the mention of Cody bring boos tonight?
    I guess if they keep Sami and Cody on separate shows until Roman squashes Sami at EC is the best way to go.

  4. Sami needs to go back to jerking the curtain where he belongs. This whole Bloodline gimmick stinks and is far past its expiration date.

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