WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (4/19): Barnett’s review of Bayley vs. Naomi for the WWE Women’s Championship, LA Knight vs. AJ Styles for a shot at the WWE Championship at WWE Backlash


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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,287)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at PPG Paints Arena
Aired live April 19, 2024 on Fox

Corey Graves and Wade Barrett welcomed the TV audience to Pittsburgh. Bayley and Naomi were shown walking into the building earlier today for the main event. LA Knight then made his entrance for the opening #1 Contenders Match for the Undisputed WWE Championship. He was followed by AJ Styles. 

1. AJ Styles vs. LA Knight: They trash talked each other face to face to start the match, and then tied up. Knight took control by avoiding a dropkick. He then landed a lariat and dumped styles out to the floor. Knight then repeatedly smashed Styles into the announcers table. Styles landed a kick to the gut as Knight tried to re-enter the ring, but couldn’t take control. Knight reversed a Styles clash attempt into a back body drop that sent Styles back to the floor. He then landed a baseball slide that sent Styles crashing into the announce table. Knight stood on the ring steps and played to the crowd…[c]

Styles took over during the break with a sliding knee. Both men collided mid ring and were laid out. Once on their feet, they traded punches. Knight regained control and beat down Styles in the corner. He then landed a running knee once Styles was down on the ground. He then placed Styles on the top turnbuckle and delivered a superplex for a near fall. Styles managed to hit a reverse DDT a moment later for a near fall of his own. 

Knight avoided a Phenomenal Forearm and landed a powerslam for another near fall. He set up for a BFT, but Styles was able to roll away out to the apron. The referee was out of position and missed AJ gouging the eyes of LA Knight. He then landed a Phenomenal Forearm and got the win. 

AJ Styles defeated LA Knight at 10:58

After the match, Corey Graves introduced a video package that recapped the events of WrestleMania for the Bloodline and the subsequent power play by Solo Sikoa. Backstage, Solo Sikoa walked up in a suit and introduced Tama Tonga to Paul Heyman as the new member of The Bloodline. He called him his “MFT” but didn’t clarify what that meant. Solo demanded Paul Heyman take him to Kevin Owens…[c]

My Take: Another solid outing from Styles and Knight. They work well together. I assume we get a third match between them at some point. Perhaps a Triple Threat for Cody’s title? The Bloodline changes are interesting and unpredictable. It’s been a while since the Bloodline didn’t feel like they were stuck in a routine.

Nick Aldis was in the ring to unveil the next set of Tag Team Championships. He introduced Triple H, who made his entrance. During the entrance, an QR code appeared on screen and then disappeared. Triple H used 15 adjectives to put over WrestleMania and then welcomed the crowd to Smackdown. He complimented Nick Aldis and Adam Pearce on leading their brands into the future. He then asked Aldis to bring out the champions, and Aldis quickly introduced Grayson Waller and Austin Theory. 

Waller said it was their pleasure to introduce them with the new Championships after giving Awesome Truth their second place Championships on Monday. Theory then said he was curious what Triple H had to give them that would make them look better than they already do. They unveiled the new titles and Triple H offered them a handshake, and they blew him off and shook each other’s hands instead. Aldis got in their face and said if they disrespect Triple H like that again he’d make them disappear permanently. He then said the Fatal Four Way for the next challenger for the Tag Team Championships was happening now, and if they wanted to focus on comedy their titles would disappear very soon. 

The Street Profits and New Catch Republic made their entrance. They will face AOP and Legado Del Fantasma next…[c]

My Take: Aldis is fired up to defend Triple H, apparently. Waller and Theory got a decent reaction for blowing off Triple H at least. The new titles are fine. Nothing controversial about them.

Naomi was interviewed backstage. She said she would make the most of her opportunity against Bayley and wouldn’t let friendship derail her chances. Naomi reminded us that it’s been over 2 years since her last Singles Title match and she would bring the same energy she did last week when she defeated Tiffany Stratton. Legado Del Fantasma finished their entrance, and then Final Testament walked AOP down to the ring. 

2. AOP (Akam and Rezar) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. New Catch Republic (Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne) vs. Legado Del Fantasma (Angel and Berto) in a #1 Contenders Match: Bate and Ford started the match. They performed some mat wrestling and counters until Angel tagged himself into the match. He landed a double team knee strike with Berto on Ford. AOP bullied their way into the match and destroyed everyone. Ford jumped into a Uranage as everyone else was cleared from the ring…[c]

Rezar applied an Argentine Backbreaker to Montez Ford. Dunne tagged in after Ford freed himself from the hold. Things broke down into a brawl until everybody slowly made their way into a corner for a tower of doom spot. Legado then tossed Tyler Bate onto anyone that was left standing. They then followed up with a double team powerbomb on Bate, and Dunne had to break up the pinfall. Bate and Dunne then applied dueling Ankle Locks on Legado, but Berto broke free and kicked Bate across the ring into Dunne…[c]

AOP took control during the break. Rezar picked up Angelo Dawkins and delivered a powerbomb. Akam powerslammed Dunne on top of Dawkins and then a cover a was made for a near fall. Another brawl broke out and AOP was eliminated from the ring by the other teams. Berto landed a springboard kick to Dawkins and covered for a two count. Dawkins pounced Berto in return, and then set up for a doomsday blockbuster, but Pete Dunne broke up the fall once again. 

Dunne pulled off Dawkins’ glove and bent up his fingers. Bate tagged into the match, and there was a three man dive to the floor from Bate, Dunne, and Ford. Legado isolated Tyler Bate and landed their NTY finisher. Berto dove onto Pete Dunne on the floor. Angel attempted a pin after a moonsault, but Ford broke it up with a splash. Ford and Dawkins landed their Revelator Finisher on Angel and got the win. 

The Street Profits defeated AOP, New Catch Republic, and Legado Del Fantasma at 16:53 to become #1 Contenders to A-Town Down Under

After the match, we got a recap video package for Rhea Ripley’s speech relinquishing her title on Raw. Bayley was then interviewed backstage. She said she’s trying to soak everything in and enjoy things after watching Rhea relinquish her title on Monday. Bayley acknowledged things will change after the draft, but said she was focused and determined to make the most of things on Smackdown right now. Elsewhere, Paul Heyman apologized to Solo Sikoa about not being able to find Kevin Owens. He then reminded him that he was making decisions that should only be made by the Tribal Chief, and that it’s not his time. Solo asked Heyman if he was done yet, and he replied with a frightened yes. They then made their ring entrance.

A Battle Royal for the Women’s World Championship was advertised for Raw…[c]

My Take: A solid tag match. It might have been better as a tornado tag match, as the teams seemed to have long sections of the match that were chaotic without much referee enforcement. Solo is doing a great job in his new role. 

Heyman introduced himself and recalled legendary managers in WWE. He said he’s not going to call himself the best but he’s in the top…something. Paul said he wanted to discuss the politics of what’s going on with The Bloodline, and “We want Roman” chants broke out. Heyman got choked up and solo took the microphone from him. He attempted to speak but was shut down by the crowd. Solo eventually realized that he had to lose a brother to gain a new one. He introduced his “MFT” Tama Tonga, who brought a bloody Kevin Owens to the ring. 

Owens was checked on by officials and taken to the back, but eventually dragged himself to the ring. He got a few shots in on Tama Tonga, but was quickly overwhelmed and beaten down. Solo tossed him into the ring steps and put him down with a Samoan Spike. Both Tama Tonga and Solo were covered in the blood from Owens head as the segment ended and they celebrated…[c]

My Take: More good stuff from The Bloodline this week. I’m curious if Owens gets some help and if they plan on adding Jacob Fatu as a third member to this new Bloodline Crew.

In the parking lot, Nick Aldis revealed to Paul Heyman that Tama Tonga had hit Kevin Owens rental car with his own. He told Heyman that he won’t accept this savage behavior, and that Heyman needs to make the bloodline aware of that. Aldis mentioned the draft coming up and that top brass had their eyes on things, and reminded him that losing wasn’t the only thing that had consequences. 

Carlito made his entrance in the arena with Zelina Vega. He was followed by Santos Escobar with Elektra Lopez. An interview with Legado was shown from earlier today. Santos said if he attacked Dragon Lee, he would take credit for it, and he would prove the LWO wrong. 

3. Santos Escobar vs. Carlito: In the early going, Carlito used his power to take control. He landed some strikes and a spinebuster for a near fall. Escobar landed a kick, but Carlito landed a dropkick to return the favor and sent Escobar to the floor. Carlito then splashed Escobar at ringside and placed Zelina Vega on his shoulders to celebrate…[c]

Escobar landed a double knee strike in the corner, and then placed Carlito on the top rope. He then leapt up and pulled him back into the ring with a hurracarrana and covered for a two count. Carlito regained control with a series of strikes. He headed to the top rope, and Elektra Lopez jumped up on the apron. Vega attacked Lopez, but got slammed into the barricade for his trouble. Santos kicked the ropes into the groin of Carlito, followed up by a Phantom Driver for the win. 

Santos Escobar defeated Carlito at 7:37

After the match, Damage CTRL was interviewed in a luxury box. Dakota Kai was insulted that Iyo was referred to as a former champion, and said she would take her title back when they were good and ready. She then said that Damage control was still dominant, and the Kabuki Warriors were still the Tag Team Champions, and that wouldn’t change. Jade Cargill and Bianca Belair then joined them on the other side of the luxury box and stared them down. Naomi made her entrance for the main event…[c]

My Take: Solid win for Escobar. Curious where they go with Carlito and the LWO with the fallout of the Dragon Lee attack. Maybe they get split up in the draft?

Cody Rhodes delivered a promo from the UK Tour earlier tonight. He said he was in undiscovered country now that’s gotten the big belt from the big place. He commented on AJ Styles winning an opportunity at his title, and said two Georgia Boys going at it in France for the first time was history. Cody then said AJ Styles rarely misses and neither does he. A contract signing was announced for Smackdown next week between Styles and Rhodes. Bayley then made her entrance in the arena for the main event. Damage Ctrl was shown pouting up in the luxury box. Mike Rome then made ring introductions. 

4. Bayley vs. Naomi for the WWE Women’s Championship: They traded holds early on. Bayley grabbed an arm drag and applied an arm bar. Naomi broke free and they traded pinning combinations for a series of two count. Both women then collided with a double cross body and were down for a moment. Naomi landed a Bulldog and a Rear View for a near fall…[c]

Naomi remained in control during the break. Bayley started a comeback, but was shut down when Naomi got the knees up for a top rope elbow. She then followed up with a springboard facebuster and covered for a close near fall. She then went for a split legged moonsault, but Bayley got her knees up and sold being in pain from it. Bayley landed a knee strike, but continued to sell knee pain. She then went up to the top for an elbow drop. She landed it this time and got a near fall. Bayley went for a Roseplant, but Naomi blocked it and applied a submission. 

Both women ended up on their feet and traded strikes. Naomi sent Bayley to the floor with a knee strike and then landed a springboard splash. Bayley returned fire with a Bayley to Belly onto the announce table. Tiffany Stratton showed up and punched Bayley, and then sent her into the ring steps causing a no contest decision. Bayley then placed Bayley and Naomi in the ring and lined them up. She then landed a Prettiest Moonsault Ever onto both women. 

Naomi vs. Bayley ended in a No Contest at 10:33

After the match, Damage Ctrl was shown in their luxury box and looked pleased. Bianca and Jade looked upset and ready to fight. 

My Take: I assumed Tiffany would get involved here. It was a decent match prior to her arrival, but paced deliberately. Perhaps we end up with a Triple Threat in France after all. Overall, this was a solid show, but I think a slight step backward from last week’s effort. It’ll be interesting to see if next week’s show is loaded up before the PPV or if people have already started heading over to France. 


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