– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a video package on what happened last week with WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and The Bloodline (WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos). We’re now live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Pat McAfee. They hype Lesnar vs. Reigns at WrestleMania 38.
– We go backstage and WWE Champion Brock Lesnar is just standing outside of the locker room suite door of WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Kayla Braxton walks up and asks Lesnar about what happened last week.
Brock says he’s had a little time to think about it – he’s paid some fines, bought a few vehicles, and he even bought a new SUV for Reigns, and it’s Brock’s favorite color – blood red. Brock says upper management had a little talk with him and said he’s not supposed to have any contact with Reigns unless he’s provoked. Brock says so tonight he’s just going to hang out in Reigns’ locker room and wait for a little provoking. Lesnar excuses himself and the camera follows him into Reigns’ locker room suite. Lesnar is impressed with the suite, and says it’s not as good as his but not bad. He snacks on the catering and takes a seat on the couch, kicking his boots up and waiting for Reigns to arrive.
– We go back to the ring as Cole and McAfee hype tonight’s line-up. They send us to the ring for tonight’s opener.
SmackDown Tag Team Champion Jimmy Uso vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Rick Boogs is out on the stage with his guitar now. He begins to shred and do the grand introduction for Shinsuke Nakamura. They head to the ring together as Samantha Irvin does the introductions. McAfee goes wild at ringside as Nakamura dances in the ring. Cole sends us to the Progressive Match Flo video, which shows events that led to the SmackDown Tag Team Titles match at WrestleMania 38. We go back to the ring and here come SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos – Jimmy Uso with Jey Uso.
The Usos enter the ring and a brawl immediately breaks out. Boogs presses Jey high in the air over his head, and launches him onto Jimmy. The Usos head to the floor to retreat while Boogs and Nakamura stand tall in the ring. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and the bell rings as Nakamura and Jimmy go at it. Jimmy drops Nakamura first. The Usos raise their fingers in the air but fans boo. They go to lock up again but Nakamura grabs Uso from behind. Uso takes control and works on Nakamura’s arm. Nakamura goes to counter but Uso keeps control. Uso drops Nakamura with a shoulder and then poses. Nakamura looks to capitalize but he misses a kick. Nakamura mocks Uso with the finger in the air now, then tells him to bring it.
Uso charges but Nakamura knees him to the mat, then drops a big knee. Nakamura takes Uso head-first into the turnbuckles, then the opposite corner, then another corner. Nakamura keeps Uso down with Good Vibrations now. Nakamura keeps control and positions Uso on the edge of the apron, then runs with a high knee strike from the floor. Nakamura comes back in at the 7 count but Uso levels him. Uso with a back suplex for a 2 count now. Uso grounds Nakamura with a headlock in the middle of the ring.
Boogs and Jey look on as Jimmy slams Nakamura again and applies another headlock. Jimmy wastes some time and shows off to boos. Nakamura slides off Jimmy’s shoulders and goes to the apron. They tangle and Jimmy kicks Nakamura in the jaw, sending him to the floor. Jimmy runs the ring and goes to fly but Nakamura meets him at the ropes with a big kick. Jimmy falls out to the floor and Nakamura stands tall at ringside, yelling out as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Nakamura is going at it, unloading with punches and kicks. Cole says Brock Lesnar is still in Roman Reigns’ office. Nakamura with more offense for a 2 count. Nakamura keeps Uso down and drives knees into him now. Uso fights out of a hold with elbow strikes now, but then runs into a boot in the corner. Nakamura with a flying kick from the second rope.
Nakamura readies in the corner now for Kinshasa. Jey drops Boogs at ringside. Jey talks trash to Nakamura now, distracting him. This allows Jimmy to superkick Nakamura for a close 2 count. The Usos are frustrated now. Jimmy calls on Jey to grab Boogs’ guitar and bring it to him. Boogs stops Jey and they struggle for the guitar. Boogs sends Jey face-first into the ring post. Nakamura takes advantage of the distraction and levels Jimmy with a big kick, then follows up with Kinshasa for the pin to win.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
– After the match, Nakamura stands tall as his music hits. Boogs joins him and they celebrate and point at the WrestleMania 38 sign as The Usos recover at ringside.
– Cole sends us to the RAW Rebound video, which shows how Kevin Owens dressed as WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin, fooled fans with his theme song, and mocked Stone Cold with his promo.
– We see Brock Lesnar making a mess of Roman Reigns’ locker room suite. He takes a gulp of champagne but doesn’t like the taste, and spits it all over the room. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers hype The Undertaker going into the WWE Hall of Fame next Friday. They also show us a video on Shad Gaspard receiving the 2022 Warrior Award.
– Kayla Braxton is backstage with Drew McIntyre now. Kayla asks Drew how Happy Baron Corbin compares with his previous WrestleMania opponents and Drew interrupts, saying you can’t compare because this match is personal. He goes on about how he’s enjoyed making Corbin’s life pure hell. He says he could’ve taken Corbin out at any time, even tonight, but he wanted to do it on The Grandest Stage of Them All, in front of all those people. Drew can’t wait to wipe that stupid, pathetic smile off Corbin’s face at WrestleMania 38. Cole sends us to a video package that shows us how Corbin went from being down & out last year, to winning money in Las Vegas and turning his life around, then becoming Happy Corbin with Madcap Moss at his side. His favorite moment of the year was the beatdown they gave to McIntyre at WWE Day 1.
We see Corbin and Moss watching the video backstage now. Corbin touts being undefeated since turning into Happy Corbin and says his life is an inspiration to others. They go on and Moss cracks a joke about Corbin being bald, but Corbin isn’t impressed. Corbin says no, looks at Moss and walks off by himself. Cole reminds us that’s bad jokes from Moss to Corbin two weeks in a row now.
Ridge Holland vs. King Xavier Woods
We go back to the ring and out comes Ridge Holland with Butch and Sheamus. They hit the ring and Holland poses in the corner to boos as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cole says we are still waiting for Roman Reigns to arrive. We go back to the ring and Holland is standing with Butch and Sheamus. We see how Holland defeated Kofi Kingston last week with a distraction by Butch, a week after Big E suffered the broken neck at the hands of Holland. Kingston makes his way out now, and Samantha says he’s accompanied by King Xavier Woods, but Kofi comes out by himself. Kofi takes the mic and announces that when they said Holland would be facing The New Day, it’s not against Kofi, it’s against… the music hits and out comes Woods for his first appearance since the calf injury in January. Fans pop big for Woods’ return. Kofi and Woods hit the ring and celebrate.
The bell rings and Woods starts off with Holland instead of Kofi. Woods starts off kicking Holland and going to work. Holland rocks Woods to take control. Woods runs the ring and slides under Holland, then kicks him again. Holland with a big tackle to knock Woods off his feet. Sheamus celebrates at ringside to boos. Woods takes advantage of Holland being distracted, and rolls him up for the quick win.
Winner: Xavier Woods
– After the bell, Woods and Kingston celebrate on the ramp as Sheamus, Butch and Holland seethe in the ring.
– Cole says he’s just received a message from WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. The video plays and we see Reigns and Paul Heyman in the back of their limousine. Heyman begins his introduction but stops and the camera turns to Reigns. Reigns says he knows everyone at the arena is dying to acknowledge their Tribal Chief, but it will have to wait a little while. Reigns talks about how he and Heyman have been all over the city today, including a meal that cost more than $5,000 at Del Frisco’s steakhouse. Reigns says they also stopped by Madison Square Garden, where he recently made WWE Champion Brock Lesnar bleed. Reigns warns Lesnar that he better get out of Reigns’ locker room suite, because if he’s still there when Reigns arrives, then he’s going to crack Lesnar’s head open and make him bleed again. This ends the promo.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Ronda Rousey to a pop. Back to commercial.
Back from the ring and Rousey waits with a mic while Cole sends us to a video package showing highlights from the recent brawls between Rousey and SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, from the past few weeks of SmackDown. Rousey’s music stops and she says just for what she just saw on the screen, she’s not going to take Flair’s title… no, next weekend at WrestleMania 38, she’s going to make Flair tap out and then Flair can hand her the title, and call her the SmackDown Women’s Champion. Rousey botched the last part of that line and said she doesn’t even have to put “Women” in it, you can just call her the SmackDown Champion.
Rousey doesn’t want to hear any excuses, she tells Flair to leave the high heels backstage and bring her Barbie-ass out here to fight. Flair appears on the big screen and says she’s not in Brooklyn tonight, there was no way she’d step foot in this low-rent city before WrestleMania. Flair says she doesn’t come when Rousey calls because Rousey is the contender, and she’s the champion. Rousey knows exactly who she is – Ronda Rousey. She says she broke her first arm at 14 and she liked it, and she started keeping count until she eventually lost count of all the arms of other people that she broke.
Flair mocks her and laughs at her. Rousey says if Flair beats her at WrestleMania, it will hands-down be the biggest win of Flair’s career, but when Rousey beats her, Flair will just be another of the lost count. Rousey drops the mic and exits the ring as Flair looks on from the big screen. Rousey greets fans at ringside on her way to the back as McAfee and Cole hype Rousey vs. Flair at WrestleMania.
– Kayla Braxton enters Roman Reigns’ locker room suite and sits down on the couch next to Brock Lesnar. She asks Brock if he thinks he should leave now because Reigns is on the way here. Lesnar says he’s having so much fun, why would he leave now? Lesnar suggests Kayla go find Reigns and tell him to get here as soon as possible because he’s running out of things to smash. Lesnar grabs a lamp and throws it across the room, smashing it to end the segment.
Championship Contender’s Match: WWE Intercontinental Champion Ricochet vs. Angel
We go back to the ring for this non-title Championship Contender’s match as WWE Intercontinental Champion Ricochet makes his way out. Los Lotharios are out next – Angel with Humberto. The Los Lotharios Kiss Cam is announced but they almost give up because it’s taking too long to find someone that looks good enough for the kiss. A woman at ringside finally steps up and they kiss her on each cheek. Ricochet gets ready to fight in the ring as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and the bell rings as Angel charges Ricochet with his pants ripping away. Ricochet avoids it and they go at it. Angel unloads on Ricochet in the corner now. Angel drops Ricochet on the back of his head, then works him over on the mat with quick punches as Humberto cheers him on from ringside. Angel with a big uppercut in the corner for a nonchalant pin attempt.
Angel grounds Ricochet again but he fights u[ and out. Ricochet with a running dropkick into the corner, then a kip-up and more running offense into the corner. Ricochet with a high knee. Ricochet flies off the top with an elbow to take Angel down. Ricochet goes back up but has to change plans as Humberto distracts him from the apron. This leads to Angel rolling Ricochet up for the non-title win to earn a future title shot.
– After the match, Los Lotharios celebrate together as the music hits. They head up the ramp but Ricochet takes the mic and says we’re not going to do it like that tonight. He likes to see cousins sticking together but this family reunion won’t happen at his expense. Ricochet calls Humberto to the ring to come take the L like his cousin was going to get. Los Lotharios head back to the ring and Humberto enters. The bell rings.
Championship Contender’s Match: WWE Intercontinental Champion Ricochet vs. Humberto
WWE Intercontinental Champion Ricochet charges with a kick but it’s blocked. Humberto works Ricochet over with strikes now. Ricochet with a scissors takedown and a dropkick to send Humberto to the floor for a breather. Fans boo Humberto as Angel looks on from ringside. Humberto returns to the ring but Ricochet unloads.
Humberto looks to mount offense but Ricochet dropkicks him out of the ring. Ricochet runs the ropes and leaps out, taking Humberto down on the floor. Fans pop big for Ricochet as he stands tall and we go back to a break.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. McAfee confirms that this is also a Championship Contender’s match for Humberto. Humberto takes control but Ricochet hits a huge hurricanrana from the top, bringing them both to the mat for a pop. Ricochet with a running uppercut in the corner now, then another across the ring. Ricochet with a big second rope springboard moonsault in the middle of the ring now.
Angel ends up distracting Ricochet and Humberto rolls him up but he still kicks out. Ricochet counters Humberto and lands a big vertical suplex for a close 2 count. Ricochet goes back to the top but Angel pulls Humberto to the floor to safety. Ricochet turns his attention to the floor, walks the top rope and leaps down to take Angel down on the floor.
Humberto comes over but Ricochet uses the announce table for a tornado DDT. Ricochet brings Humberto back in at the 8 count. Ricochet goes to roll in next but Angel is hiding under the ring, and he holds Ricochet’s leg to prevent him from beating the 10 count.
Winner by Count Out: Humberto
– After the match, Los Lotharios stand tall as the music hits and we go to replays. Ricochet seethes as Los Lotharios head to the back, taunting him.
– Megan Morant is backstage with Sami Zayn. She brings up the Anything Goes match at WrestleMania against Johnny Knoxville. Sami can’t believe people actually think Knoxville has a chance against him, adding that Knoxville wouldn’t stand a chance in a regular match, but this is Anything Goes and Sami can do whatever he wants. Sami says Knoxville has no idea what he’s in store for. Sami says yeah Knoxville will have all his tricks and stunts that work on his brain-dead friends, but they won’t work on him. Sami goes on ranting and says Knoxville will experience punishment in a way that has never, ever, ever been seen in a WWE ring before.
– Michael Cole starts talking about Pat McAfee making his WrestleMania debut against Austin Theory, when Theory runs over out of nowhere and quickly jabs at McAfee. McAfee gets up and chases Theory to the backstage area. Theory escapes into the office of WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. McAfee seethes and says something about Theory running to his daddy. McAfee beats on the door and yells some more to end the segment.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Queen Zelina Vega vs. Sasha Banks vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler
We go back to the ring for tonight’s Fatal 4 Way and out first comes Sasha Banks with Naomi. They dance and pose on the apron as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and McAfee has re-joined Cole at ringside. They talk about how WWE Hall of Famer Triple H announced his in-ring retirement on ESPN First Take this morning. They both say they wouldn’t be where they are today in WWE if it weren’t for Triple H. Banks waits in the ring while staring down Shayna Baszler, who came out with Natalya. The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions are also out already – Queen Zelina Vega with Carmella. The music hits next and out comes Rhea Ripley with Liv Morgan as Cole hypes the Fatal 4 Way title match at WrestleMania.
The bell rings and Ripley runs Vega out of the ring, where she re-groups with Carmella. Baszler also goes to the ring to talk with Natalya. Banks and Ripley are left alone in the ring and they go at it now. They run the ropes and counter each other, but Banks lands a big right hand. Banks with a deep arm drag out of the corner. Baszler comes in but Banks whips her into Ripley in the corner, and again. Baszler goes back to the floor to stand with Natalya.
Banks counters Ripley and drops her with a Bulldog for a 2 count. Vega pulls Banks to the floor and slams her face-first into the announce table. Natalya and Naomi get involved at ringside. A big brawl with almost everyone then breaks out in the ring. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Baszler and Ripley are going at it. Natalya, Carmella, Morgan and Naomi were all sent to the back by the referee during the break. Vega drops them and covers Ripley for 2. Vega covers Baszler for 2. Vega covers Banks for 2. Vega screams out in frustration now.
Vega with double knees to Baszler, but she misses when going for Banks. Banks goes for the Bank Statement on Vega but Baszler comes in and tries to break Vega’s hand while she’s in Banks’ hold. Banks applies a double Bank Statement to Baszler and Vega now as fans pop. Ripley comes in and breaks the double submission with a big dropkick. Ripley goes for the Riptide but Baszler applies the Kirifuda Clutch. Banks drops them with the Backstabber but she clutches her knee. Vega comes in with a Code Red on Banks for a 2 count as Baszler breaks it up. Baszler drags Vega to the floor.
Banks is alone in the middle of the ring now as the referee checks on her. Vega and Baszler fight at ringside now. Ripley leaps off the apron and takes Baszler down as Vega moves. Vega leaps off the apron and takes Ripley down, sending her into the barrier with a hurricanrana. Vega enters the ring and shows off now as fans boo her. She approaches Banks but Banks suckered her in, pulling her down into the Bank Statement for the submission win.
Winner: Sasha Banks
– After the match, Banks stands tall in the middle of the ring as her music hits. Naomi joins her and raises her arm as fans cheer them on. We go to replays. The others try to recover while Banks and Naomi celebrate.
– We see a black SUV pull up in the backstage area. Paul Heyman gets out, holding the WWE Universal Title belt. Heyman walks around and opens Roman Reigns’ door, and out hops the champion. Heyman says he doesn’t feel good, apparently because Brock Lesnar is here. Reigns says they’ll be fine, but Lesnar will not. Reigns and Heyman walk off as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see how 2022 WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker attended the National Medal of Honor Museum Groundbreaking ceremony this week with WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon and others. It’s announced that Taker will drive the Pace Car at Sunday’s NASCAR race.
– Cole and McAfee announce the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal for next Friday’s SmackDown. It’s also announced that WWE Intercontinental Champion Ricochet went to Adam Pearce to get a match made and next week’s show will feature Ricochet defending in a Triple Threat against Angel and Humberto.
– We go back to the ring and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman. They stop on the stage and Heyman hands Reigns the title. H e raises it in the air to cheers and boos as the pyro goes off. Reigns hands the strap back to Heyman and they march to the ring with Heyman raising the title high in the air. McAfee and Cole finish going over the WrestleMania 38 line-ups as Reigns stands tall in the middle of the ring. He raises the title in the air again as more pyro goes off.
The music stops and the boos get louder now as Reigns and Heyman look around the Barclays Center. Reigns calls on Brooklyn to acknowledge him and he receives a mixed reaction. Reigns asks Heyman if WWE Champion Brock Lesnar is still in his locker room. Heyman doesn’t know where he is, but he knows Lesnar is here in Brooklyn, like Reigns is. Heyman says he’s afraid. Reigns tells Heyman don’t be afraid because it’s a bad thing for Lesnar, not them. Reigns says if Brock is still in his locker room, he’s going to come back there and put Brock’s head in the wall.
We see Reigns’ locker room suite on the big screen now. Lesnar is not there but the room has been destroyed. Fans chant “Suplex City!” now. Reigns lashes out at the crowd – this isn’t Suplex City, this is The Island of Relevancy. Reigns says it doesn’t look like Lesnar is in the locker room now, so where is he? Lesnar appears on the big screen and he’s got a big axe pick. He starts smashing the windows of Reigns’ SUV. Lesnar laughs but Reigns says that’s nothing, he’s got like 4 Suburbans. Reigns says this proves Lesnar is scared of him. Reigns calls Lesnar a dummy and says weapons won’t be allowed at WrestleMania. Lesnar says that’s right, then he smashes the hood of the SUV a few more times with the axe. Lesnar is all business now as he drops the axe and marches through the backstage area.
Reigns looks a bit worried now. Lesnar’s music hits in the arena as fans go wild. Lesnar is all smiles as he comes walking through the crowd. Reigns is still watching the entrance-way. Lesnar stands on top of the announce table and Reigns turns around to see him now. Security rushes over but Lesnar grabs a steel chair and stands back on top of the table. Lesnar raises the chair while Reigns talks trash from the ring. Lesnar leaps off the table with a kick into the group of security guards, then starts beating them all with chair shots. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos join Reigns in the ring now, but The Bloodline quickly retreats up the ramp as fans boo and Lesnar looks on from the ring. Lesnar exits the ring and delivers chair shots to one security guard.
The Bloodline has disappeared to the back now. Lesnar goes to the timekeeper’s area and grabs another chair, then delivers another chair shot to another security guard that is down. Lesnar stands back on the announce table and raises the WWE Title in the air with a chair as fans cheer him on. Reigns suddenly appears on the big screen and declares that Lesnar will acknowledge him as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at WrestleMania. Reigns’ music starts back up as we get a graphic for the Winner Takes All match at WrestleMania 38. They show another shot of Lesnar laughing while raising the WWE Title in the air as SmackDown goes off the air.
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