WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (2/2): Barnett’s review of Roman Reigns responds to Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes, appearances by Royal Rumble winners Cody and Bayley


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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,276)
Birmingham, Alabama at Legacy Arena
Aired live February 2, 2024 on Fox

The Bloodline was shown backstage arriving and entering their locker room backstage. Highlights were shown of the Royal Rumble PLE, including all the night’s winners. Cody Rhodes was then shown backstage walking his dog Pharoah, as well as Damage Ctrl scoping out the arena earlier in the day. 

Logan Paul made his entrance to kick off the show in the arena. Corey Graves welcomed Wade Barrett as his new broadcast partner. Paul got loud boos, and then told the crowd that Alabama sucks. He said he underestimated Kevin Owens, because at first glance he looked like a pissed off donut. Paul said Owens hurt him more than Floyd Mayweather, made him bleed and nearly knocked him out, but he still lost. He said he’s still the champ, and he’s one of the toughest people on this brittle roster. 

He mocked CM Punk’s tricep and Seth Rollins knee injury, and ran down why he believes he’s the greatest US Champion of all time. Kevin Owens interrupted and told the crowd that Birmingham is a pretty great place to be. Paul tried to interrupt, but Owens said nobody wanted to hear from him anymore. He said he left intolerable idiot off his list of descriptions. Owens said he got a moral victory on Sunday, and now that he was done knocking him out, he was ready to take the US Title off of him and sanitize it immediately. 

Paul told Owens that he took the bait, the brass knucks were a scheme and he fell right for it. Owens said people know he’s not afraid to take a shortcut and gave credit to the referee for catching him in the act. He then told Paul that he didn’t need brass knucks to beat his ass. Paul said there would be no next time because there would be no rematch, and that he would go find a real challenger. Paul then said he would go talk trash about him at the commentary table while he has his match with Austin Theory. 

Paul left the ring and Theory made his ring entrance for the first match…

My Take: It was fairly obvious they were going for the rematch after the PPV, and it seems like Owens will need to go through a gauntlet to get it. 

Cody Rhodes was advertised for later. He will make his decision for WrestleMania. 

1. Austin Theory vs. Kevin Owens: There was some mat wrestling to start, but Owens got the better of the exchange. He then landed a chop, but used his injured hand, which allowed Theory to take over on offense. Theory pressed the advantage and landed a series of kicks, and then choked Owens on the bottom rope. The action spilled out to the apron. Owens attempted a powerbomb, but Theory reversed into a back body drop that sent Owens to the floor…[c]

Owens attempted a Swanton during the break, but Theory got the knees up. Theory tried to capitalize, but ate a lariat for his trouble. Owens then landed some strikes in the corner and talked trash to Paul. He then followed up with a tornado DDT and a Swanton for a close near fall. Theory turned things around by tossing Owens into the corner shoulder first. He then performed a somersault blockbuster and covered for a near fall of his own. 

Theory foolishly attempted a superplex, but Owens was unable to capitalize because of his injured hand. Theory managed to pull Owens into position for a spin out powerbomb for another close near. Logan Paul tried to introduce brass knuckles again, but Owens was smarter this time. He knocked out both Waller and Theory with the knuckles and hid them before the referee could see what happened. He covered Theory and got the win. 

Kevin Owens defeated Austin Theory at 12:16

After the match, Iyo Sky was shown walking backstage. Graves said Bayley would make her decision later tonight. A video package then highlighted the return of Naomi at the Royal Rumble. Earlier, Naomi walked out of Nick Aldis’ locker room with a contract. Bianca, Shotzi, and Mia Yim celebrated. She was followed soon after by Tiffany Stratton, who told the women she was the center of the universe and she wanted her applause. They mocked her, and she smacked Mia in the face and ran away. Nick Aldis made a match between Tiffany Stratton and Mia Yim later tonight. 

Pretty Deadly made their entrance in the arena. They will face The LWO, Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate, and Angel and Humberto is a tag title qualifier up next…[c]

My Take: Owens and Theory had some fun moments. I’m already kind of burnt out on the Paul vs. Owens feud. Hopefully they can change my mind about it with some inspired work.

Bianca Belair spoke to Nick Aldis backstage. She wanted to know what she would have to do to face Iyo if Bayley decided to face Rhea later. Logan Paul walked up and blew off Bianca, who repeatedly told him they were already having a conversation. He demanded a new challenger and told Bianca he was a huge fan of her husband, and told Nick Aldis to get control of his show when he’s talking to big stars. Aldis told Bianca he was talking to a big star. 

Earlier today, Legado Del Fantasma was shown gathered around a dinner table. Santos told them they were tasked with carrying the legacy of their ancestors and lucha libre itself, and to do that they needed to eliminate Rey Mysterio’s LWO. He also welcomed back La Madrina Elektra Lopez, and she said she had never left. Lopez was then shown on the apron accompanying Angel and Humberto to the ring. Dunne and Bate, along with the LWO were already in the ring. 

2. Angel and Humberto (w/Elektra Lopez) vs. Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate vs. Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince and Kit Wilson) vs. The LWO (Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro): It was chaos early on. Pretty Deadly and Angel and Humberto were cleared to ringside, and then Bate and Dunne assisted Wilde with launching himself from the ropes a long distance up the aisle onto them similar to his big NXT launch spot…[c]

Pete Dunne tagged in when the show returned and took out Pretty Deadly with enziguris. He then landed kicks to Cruz Del Toro and swatted Joaquin Wilde out of the air. Bate placed Elton Prince in an airplane spin, and then landed a suplex on Wilson, but Angel and Humberto broke up the fall. The LWO got it together and cleared them from the ring. They attempted to dive on them at ringside, but Zelina Vega took her out to make a path. 

Back in the ring, Dunne and Bate cleaned up on Pretty Deadly and put away Kit Wilson with a double team underhook suplex.

Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate pinned Kit Wilson to win a Tag Title Qualifier Match at 9:26

After the match, the announce team hyped up Mia Yim vs. Tiffany Stratton, and then introduce a video recap of the Raw segment that featured Damage Ctrl, Nia Jax, and Rhea Ripley. Backstage Iyo Sky spoke to Asuka and Kairi Sane. Iyo told them Bayley’s done tonight, and they walked away laughing. Bayley was then shown forlorn (great word KO) in the background having eavesdropped on their conversation.

My Take: Ah there it is. Bayley going babyface should be a lot of fun. Fans want to cheer her anyways. The Tag Match was so rapid that it was difficult to keep up, but it was entertaining while it lasted.

A video was shown that framed the choice in front of Cody Rhodes later in the show. Back in the arena, Mike Rome introduced Bayley with Damage Ctrl. Dakota Kai was not present.

Bayley said when she thinks about WrestleMania, she’s done it all. She’s defended the Raw Women’s Title, the Smackdown Women’s Title, The Tag Titles, and even hosted the show. Rhea Ripley was shown watching on the monitor backstage. Bayley gave Damage Ctrl credit for helping her through her ups and downs, and called them family and the greatest women’s faction of all time. Iyo, Asuka, and Kairi started cackling, and stopped when Bayley looked back and there. 

She said when she thinks about WrestleMania she thinks about beating one of the best, and that brings her to Rhea Ripley. Bayley continued and said sometimes WrestleMania is about proving people wrong, and sometimes the people who you thought were a support system were working against you all along. She then called out Iyo and asked her what happened. She spoke a few words in Japanese and said that she’s been here a long time and she sees everything around her, including them talking behind her back. 

Bayley said all she wanted was the best for them, and she wanted to go to WrestleMania to be the best together. Asuka and Kairi jumped Bayley from behind and Iyo jumped in. Bayley grabbed a metal pipe that she must have smuggled to ringside ahead of time and tucked it under herself. She got up and took out Kairi and Asuka, and then had a standoff with Iyo. After Iyo bailed from the ring, Bayley said that her announcement was that she’d see her at WrestleMania.

Bobby and the Profits will face The Final Testament up next…[c]

My Take: A well executed segment for the most part, although it was a bit odd that Iyo, Asuka, and Kairi suddenly became so overt and obvious about their subterfuge to the point they couldn’t contain themselves in Bayley’s presence. Iyo and Bayley should be a lot of fun at Mania.

Iyo Sky vs. Bayley was announced for WrestleMania. In the arena Karrion Kross made his entrance with Akam and Rezar. They were accompanied by Paul Ellering and Scarlett. They were followed by Bobby Lashley and The Street Profits. 

3. Bobby Lashey, Montez Ford, and Angelo Dawkins vs. Karrion Kross, Akam, and Rezar (w/Scarlett and Paul Ellering): The bell rang and this appears to be some kind of tornado match. Everyone is in the ring and brawling. The action spilled outside and Dawkins and Ford took out AOP with spears. In the ring, Bobby hit a spinebuster and setup for the Hurt Lock, but Scarlett got involved. B-Fab then showed up and pulled Scarlett away from Bobby and kicked her in the face. Bobby then landed a spear on Kross, and everything just kind of ended?

The match was a no contest at 1:02

Bron Breakker was shown backstage speaking to Nick Aldis and holding a contract. Adam Pearce appeared and told Breakker not to sign anything until he talks to him on Monday, and Breakker agreed. Jade Cargill then walked up and said Aldis wanted to speak to her. Aldis dismissed Pearce and told him to leave immediately. Pearce told Cargill to watch out for him, as he has an attitude. In the arena, Tiffany Stratton made her entrance for the next match…[c]

My Take: I assume Breakker ends up on Raw. Cargill seems like a better fit on Smackdown if Bianca is her first feud, but after that maybe the draft takes her in a different direction?

Michin made her entrance for the next match. 

4. Michin vs. Tiffany Stratton: Yim got the early advantage and slammed Stratton into the top turnbuckle several times. She then landed a kick and some mounted punches. Yim landed a gutwrench suplex, followed by a vertical suplex for a two count. Stratton rolled to the outside and Michin pursued. Stratton grabbed her foot and yanked it out from under her, and she slammed into the apron and fell to the floor. Stratton said it was Tiffy Time and taunted the crowd…[c]

Stratton landed a running double stomp and covered for a two count. Michin landed a right hand slap in revenge for earlier and then a big lariat. She followed up with a dropkick and a neckbreaker. She then landed a double knee facebuster in the corner and covered, but Stratton got her foot on the ropes. Stratton then followed up with a cartwheel pickup into an Alabama Slam for a near fall. 

Yim landed a few strikes in response, but Stratton picked her up for a forward roll slam followed by Prettiest Moonsault Ever for the win. 

Tiffany Stratton defeated Michin at 7:28

After the match, Cody Rhodes was shown walking backstage. He makes his decision up next…[c]

My Take: A solid start for Tiffany Stratton. It’s crazy how quickly she’s improved and she could reach that elite category in record time at this pace.

There will be another match next week in the Tag Team Qualifier, and the winner of that match will face Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate for a shot at Judgement Day at Elimination Chamber. It was also announced that Logan Paul’s challenge will be determined next week. Nick Aldis and Adam Pearce stood in the ring. Roman Reigns then made his entrance with The Bloodline.

Roman said he would get to Cody Rhodes, but first Birmingham had to acknowledge him. Roman then decided to diss Seth Rollins, and noted that there was no pop when he said his name. He said he’s already beaten everyone who competes for that title, so they are his seconds. Roman then said Seth called himself a workhorse, but workhorses walk with a limp. After that, Roman said Seth can’t walk around for two years in his wife’s clothes and call himself The Man. 

He then addressed his schedule and said he works 1/10th as much as Seth for 10x the money, and asked if the crowd wanted Seth Rollins money or Tribal Chief Money. Roman concluded by saying that Cody has values so he’s not sure if he’s about the money, but he needs to ask himself if he wants a shot at number two or if he wants another crack at number one.

Cody’s music hit and he approached the ring…[c]

My Take: Roman went scorched earth on Rollins. I’m sure they’ll have a feud about that eventually.

Cody was in the ring and told Roman he wanted to have the ring to themselves. Roman waived off his crew. Cody told Roman that he cheated him, and he thinks he knows he had him. He said he disagreed with Rollins that Roman’s title was the Hollywood title, because it’s still the title that Bruno Sammartino held and the one that was placed in his father’s hands. Cody questioned what it meant to finish the story, and asked whether it meant taking Roman’s title, or taking everything from him. 

He then told Roman he was coming for him, but not at WrestleMania. Roman looked confused. Cody said one of the men he counseled with knows him very well. Suddenly, The Rock’s music hit and he headed to the ring. Cody and Rock shared a look and then shared an embrace. The Rock said something into Cody’s ear, he smiled, and then left the ring. 

A Rocky chant broke out and they had a staredown from across the ring. The show went off the air with Roman and Rock going face to face…[c]

My Take: Roman called Roman his little brother before the final commercial break, and then The Rock made Cody his little buddy after the break. The Rock vs. Roman is the biggest match WWE could put on, and it’ll be great for business short term, but the message they are sending is that Cody vs. Seth is basically for the Little Brother title. Hopefully they do a better job of framing Seth and Cody as bigger stars once they are out of the orbit of Roman and The Rock.


Readers Comments (17)

  1. I’m calling it now. Damien Priest cashes in on the rock or reigns at wrestlemania.

  2. What the hell was that match between Lashley and co v Kross and co? Who wrote that crap?

  3. I don’t think Rock v Roman at Mania was the original plan, but their hand was forced when CM Punk got injured.

  4. It’s become clear after the way they dissed that title and made Seth look weak w the major injury,that Cody came back as Vince guy, and triple h doesn’t see him as that

  5. I can’t fathom two things: First: that they actually did this. The main event is going to be against a boring part-timer and a basically retired one who hasn’t been in the ring in years – to overlook a story fans are vested in AND burying Rollins (with no feud in the foreseeable future).

    Secondly – the anti-AEW crowed surely are quiet on here tonight in the comments section. Hypocrisy is insane. Imagine Tony Khan did this – TheUselessOne and a few others would have this board lit up whining.

    I’ll add a positive: while I agree the mannerisms were over the top, I like how they just repositioned Bayley here tonight.

    • Once you stop sucking the coke off Tiny Con’s taint, do it again you fucking worthless twat.

      Rollins isn’t a real champ. The two titles was because USA and Fox both wanted a world champion and Vince complied.

      The “boring” part-time you reference routinely adds 300-400k viewers when he’s on TV, so the only people that think he’s boring are the neckbeard fucktards that think a drunk plumber, some feckless twat with his hands in his pockets, a bunch of worthless flippy midgets, and 50 year old karaoke star whose waistline is only smaller than the number of NDAs he’s forced people to sign are actually entertaining.

  6. People are livid about Cody “losing his spot,” but when it comes to Vince raping a woman in the WWE HQ it’s not even mentioned. For example, Busted Open Radio barely touched the story. Very sad and disturbing to me.

    • I can give you a simple answer to why this is: lawyers. All the wrestling media are afraid to voice their actual opinions on the matter because of potential slander lawsuits. So they are literally just reporting the stated facts as they have been given so far. It’s a little frustrating to see, but honestly I don’t blame them. They are just protecting themselves.

      • There’s no fear on this end. I guess I tend to say a lot more in audio, but it’s really obvious. If he did what he’s accused of, then he’s a disgusting pig of a man who should rot in hell. Pretty simple and there’s only so many ways to state the obvious.

        • Absolutely agree with you, he is an awful human being who should be rotting in jail for the rest of his days before heading to hell. I was just trying to, probably badly, convey that I understand why a lot of people are being careful with their choice of wording when talking about the situation.

      • Illiterate Twat Dave Meltzer has been routinely been posting anonymous “sources” making claims that HHH knew everything and was involved. Hopefully the lawsuits that come from that will finally put that piece of dog shit out of business.

  7. As a long time WWE hater, I thought the Rollins video where they absolutely took a colossal dump on their history was tremendous. Those of us who have been around for awhile know how inferior WWE/F wrestling was compared to the NWA, but I have to hand it to Vince in how he convinced the non-wrestling fan media that he had the better product and then the sheep fell into place because they will believe whatever that media tells them. You can sure tell Vince is gone because he never would have taken a dump on his own product to get a match over, and those that did have been waiting for a long time to take that dump.

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