After last week’s introduction of a new era on Smackdown, WWE’s flagship show is set to make a triumphant return this week, promising a plethora of remarkable events. Among the highlights are the in-Ring debut of Pretty Deadly, an epic clash between the LWO and The Bloodline, and the highly anticipated Smackdown premiere of The Grayson Waller Effect!
With so much to look forward to, what went down and did Smackdown live up to the hype? Here are our full WWE Friday Night Smackdown results and review live from Columbia, South Carolina.
Line in the sand
Following his return last week, Roman Reigns opened up Friday’s show accompanied by his special council Paul Heyman and his enforcer Solo Sikoa; and his request was a simple one, “Acknowledge Me.” However, before Reigns could go on for too long, he was interrupted by the spiteful Undisputed Tag Team Champions Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.
This marks the first time that we have seen Zayn and Owens and Reigns and Sikoa cross paths since the announcement that the two factions will go head-to-head for the gold at WWE Night of Champions. In this segment, Zayn spoke with passion, delivering a telling message to Reigns that emphasized Reigns has always gotten what he’s wanted. But at Night of Champions, that changes.
Reigns didn’t even have time to respond before a vengeful Jimmy and Jey Uso attacked Zayn and Owens from behind. You’d think this would please Reigns, but after the tense backstage segment following the attack, he was still angry. This continues to show the cracks in The Bloodline starting to cause a flood in their ranks.
A pretty deadly debut
After last week’s heated backstage confrontation, we see Pretty Deadly make their in-ring Smackdown debut to take on Ridge Holland and Butch of the Brawling Brutes. This was, as Wade Barrett said, a full-on “scrap.” Despite moments of great strength from Holland and extreme wit from Butch, the shady tactics of Pretty Deadly secured them a win in their debut.
Pretty Deadly was a force to be reckoned with in NXT and now after their debut, I am confident that HHH still sees their potential and will set them up for success going forward. Hopefully, like in NXT, this means a run in with the tag champs is down the line!
Empress of déjà vu?
In a showcase of aggression, Asuka defeated the former number-one contender for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, Zelina Vega. Vega had a few moments to show that she could hang with Asuka, but it didn’t take long before Asuka forced Vega to tap. The RAW Women’s Champion kept the submission on, sending a message to the number-one contender.
The message was swiftly delivered when Bianca Belair sprinted down to the ring, causing Asuka to scatter. In response to Asuka’s previous week’s assault using the poison mist, Bianca was filled with rage and made a desperate effort to apprehend Asuka before she could unleash the mist once more on Belair. However, this time, Bianca was prepared and skillfully evaded the full impact of the mist.
The two are set to face off for the RAW Women’s Championship at Night of Champions, and we can assume this mist will play a factor in that decision.
A phenomenal Grayson Waller Effect
After advancing to the finals of the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, AJ Styles received a warm welcome on the Smackdown premiere of The Grayson Waller Effect by Grayson Waller himself! Waller, making his debut live appearance on Smackdown, wasted no time in making a grand entrance and confidently declared his expectation that Seth Rollins will emerge as the titleholder at Night of Champions.
As a result, Styles and Waller engaged in a tense stare-down before the segment transitioned to a commercial break. This particular segment appeared to rekindle a feud between the two that would extend beyond Night of Champions. However, Waller wasn’t the sole individual seeking a confrontation with Styles. Later in the evening, Karrion Kross and Scarlett emerged, targeting Styles and announcing a match scheduled for the following week.
‘Smackdown‘ tag team chaos
The subsequent segments of the show delved deeply into the tag team divisions, commencing with a match between the Street Profits and the duo of LA Knight and Rick Boogs. LA Knight has consistently proven to be one of the most over performers in the entire company, and his entrance alone is a testament to that.
However, the way they are utilizing him is not ideal, as this particular segment demonstrates. The match was relatively brief, resulting in a victory for the Street Profits as they pinned Boogs. Subsequently, Knight launched an attack on Boogs, abruptly ending their short-lived team.
Exploring LA Knight’s involvement in the tag team division isn’t inherently a bad idea, but it would be more effective if they were able to find a stable partner for him to form a lasting team. LA Knight is way too popular to be in a flavor of the week tag team.
Continuing the journey through Smackdown’s tag team wrestling, the focus shifted to the women’s division. In a notable development, the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions, Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre, made their highly anticipated in-ring debut on Smackdown.
Their encounter was swift as they deftly dispatched the enhancement talent, leaving no doubt about their standing in the division. With an intimidating presence, these two individuals embody nightmares dressed as daydreams and have arrived to dominate the tag team landscape. Their message is clear—they are here to establish their authority and reign over this division.
In this segment, we also learn that due to injury, Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez were forced to relinquish the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship due to Liv Morgan suffering an injury. New Women’s Tag Team Champions will be crowned on the May 29 episode of Monday Night RAW in a Fatal 4-Way!
Austin Theory came to Smackdown as arrogant as ever and was ready to talk smack about his opponents from last week, Bobby Lashley and Sheamus. However, after calling out Sheamus, Sheamus came to the ring to confront Theory, leading to a confrontation between the two.
Without a word, Sheamus hit Theory with a Broughe Kick, knocking him off his feet and making his intentions known. Sheamus, a three-time United States Champion, looks to make it four, as after this segment it was announced that Theory will defend his title next week against Sheamus.
Tonight’s main event was a massive one, featuring The Bloodline’s Usos vs. the LWO! Two of the most popular teams in the entire wrestling world went head-to-head in this pay-per-view-worthy match.
The fast-paced and exhilarating match provided a multitude of thrilling moments to appreciate, including an impressive 619 spot and an exceptional display of cohesive and fluid wrestling throughout the night. Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar’s collaboration within the LWO has undoubtedly been one of the standout highlights in wrestling this year.
Their undeniable popularity is beyond question, and it is of utmost significance that they continue to secure victories like this. True to form, they seized the opportunity after a momentary interference by Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, using the distraction to their advantage and emerging victorious.
This is great as it furthers The Bloodline storyline of the Usos continuing to fail Roman Reigns, as well as the Zayn and Owens story. But the biggest takeaway from this is that the LWO is making moves on Smackdown and looking prime for a Tag Team Championship opportunity.
Full ‘Smackdown‘ results
While tonight’s Smackdown had its flaws, there were certainly notable highlights that shone through. The debut performances showcased a promising future and will undoubtedly enhance the roster with much-needed depth. Additionally, the unfolding storylines are converging in intriguing and exhilarating ways, building anticipation for what promises to be a momentous Night of Champions.