Once again, we’ve reached the barrier to the weekend that is Friday Night SmackDown. Jordan Huie aka the One Zeel One of 1Z1ProWrestling.com here. As always, I’ll be writing a live play-by-play for the show as it airs, for anyone that wants to follow along but is unable or unwilling to watch! Watch this space for the WWE SmackDown Recap.
Before the show begins, we see a graphic for the passing of Butch Reed.
Roman Reigns opens the show. Jey Uso is back in tow! As usual, at the 7:06 mark, Roman speaks. Says he’s not a fan of recapping – screw you too – but if you saw the Rumble, he beat Kevin Owens like he said he would. Says he’s a man of his word but enough about the past, let’s talk about the future. Apparently the future is Edge. Because if you win the Royal Rumble match, you’ve got a first class ticket to the main event of WrestleMania. And the main event around here is Roman Reigns.
Roman says he has two issues here.
You have the Tribal Chief, the WWE Champion, the Main Event… why visit Monday Night Raw? Why waste time on NXT? Says this is SmackDown, Roman Reigns’ show, he should come here and beg him, sell him on why he should allow him on the Island of Relevance! His second issue: why the hell is he out here first? Where is Edge at? Says he’s been disrespecting him all week long and he was gonna be a gentleman and let that slide. But now he makes him wait? If he’s here, get his ass out here.
Heyman demands Edge’s music and pyro. Nothing. Reigns says Edge isn’t here. Must think he’s a fool, does he look like a fool? Does he look like he wants to wait, wants to play games? Gets angry and asks why he’d play games with him. The last man that played games with him, his name was Kevin Owens and he’s no longer here anymore because he whooped his ass. He’s history, he’s gone, you’ll never see him again.
Tells Edge this is his only chance. He’ll give him his decision by the end of the night. Says it again. Heels make their leave as the WWE SmackDown Recap continues.
Dominik Mysterio vs. King Corbin
As the Mysterios make their way out, Corbin attacks Dominik from behind. Throws Rey Mysterio off the stage! This match is next. Bell rings after the commercial. Dominik avoids some Corbin charges, Ring-Around-The-Ringpost clothesline ducked, Dominik with a low dropkick but is sent to the floor. Goes to the apron, shoulder thrust, sunset flip into a Basement Dropkick. Corbin catches a kick, Spinebuster and mounted forearms. Medics are still tending to Rey as Corbin power whips Dominik to the corner, big lariat drops him for 2.
Pulls him up with an armbar and facelock. Dominik fights up, back elbows, hits the ropes – Corbin with an axe handle takes him down. Corbin yelling at Dominik as he pulls him to a seated position and punches him. Grinds knee into his jaw and wrenches at his arm. Mysterio fights up, low bridges him to the floor. Rey Mysterio limps down the ramp. Crossbody tope! Commercial break, WWE SmackDown Recap will continue. As we come back, Dominik reverses a suplex into a Spinning Neckbreaker! Standing Moonsault for a nearfall!
Corbin with a goozle but Dominik rolls through the chokeslam, roll up for 2! Dominik takes him to the ropes for the 619 but Corbin reverses with Deep Six! Nearfall. Dominik sidestpes a corner charge but gets taken to the top rope, however Mysterio manages to wrap his legs around his torso to take him to the floor! Tope suicida as Rey for some reason dips under the ring. Dominik back into the ring, as Corbin tries to get back, Rey grabs his ankle! This stops him to set him up for the 619 from Dominik Mysterio! And from there it’s academic…
Winner: Dominik Mysterio
Sound match. They keep protecting Corbin at the cost of letting Dominik prove he can do anything on his own though.
Big E interview backstage. Says all his life he had to fight and that’s what he signed up for when he won the IC Championship. Much like Lady Liberty, bring me your hungry, your tired, your poor, your bearded and bald! Says tonight they’ll do just that, tonight they’re gonna fight! Big E’s excited, says they ain’t ready.
As the WWE SmackDown Recap rolls on, out comes Daniel Bryan just before the commercial break.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro
Lock-up. Cesaro takes him to the corner, but Bryan fights right out with round kicks. Uppercuts exchanged, Bryan with a drop toe hold. Kick to the arm! Shoulder wrench, whip reversed, boot up on a back body drop attempt. Bryan with a back body drop to the floor! Goes up top, crossbody to the floor! Takes him into the ring, Missile Dropkick! Yes Kick, avoids an eye rake by attacking the arm. Lands on his feet off a Back Suplex attempt, Pop-Up Uppercut blocked, backslide from Bryan for a nearfall!
But a European Uppercut drops Bryan as Shinsuke Nakamura watches from backstage. Cesaro with hammering uppercuts, Bryan rolls him to the mat for the Yes Lock! Cesaro seems to be bleeding from the ear I think. Now Cesaro rips his way free, wants the Springboard Uppercut but a kick to the ribs out of the air stops him! Buzzsaw Kick lands for a nearfall! Bryan is aggressive this match, stomps Cesaro’s face. Stalks for the Buisaku Knee! Charges but Cesaro counters, Argentine Backbreaker – holds him like that but then tosses him up in the air, drops him backfirst on his knee! Giant Swing into the Sharpshooter!
Short but very good obviously. Gritty fight, Cesaro gets the duke over Bryan yet again. Afterwards Cesaro, still with quite a bit of blood on the side of his head, goes over to Bryan and gives him a fist bump out of respect.
As the WWE SmackDown Recap continues, we’ve got Bianca Belair with a backstage promo now. Before she can speak, we’re shown Bianca’s parents freaking out watching her win the Rumble. It’s a pretty hilarious video. Bianca says it’s hard to put into words how much her family means to her, they’ll be with her at Mania even if they can’t walk down the aisle with them. She’s asked who she’ll challenge.
Belair says it’s the biggest choice of her career and everyone thinks she should take her time with this choice. But this is WrestleMania and if she were listening to people tell her what she should do, she’d never have made it this far in the first place. She’ll have her decision soon. Soon isn’t now, so she’s still waiting, kind of a moot point.
Anyway out comes Bayley next. We see a Seth Rollins vignette following his return at the Rumble, he’s advertised for next week.
Bayley vs. Ruby Riott
Bayley throws her to the corner. Taunts her until Riott just punches her in the face, Snap Enziguri for a 2 count! Mounted shots, pulls her up, whip reversed to the buckle. Riott with a back elbow, tries a headscissor but Bayley powers her to her shoulders – Lawndart to the top buckle! Nearfall! Ruby fights to her feet off a hammerlock, takes her to the corner. Headscissor drives Riott to the buckle! Bayley up top but Riott stops her with an arm drag to the mat! Cover for a nearfall.
Bayley rips her to the apron, slides between her legs to attempt a Powerbomb to the floor but Riott breaks the grip, kick to the head! But Bayley back to the apron for a Hot Shot Stunner! Takes her into a Double Wristlock in the ring, Billie on the apron for the distraction. Riott rolls through for a 2 count, Bayley with her Headlock Driver for the win.
Afterwards, the ever flip-flopping Billie Kay offers her resume to Bayley.
As the WWE SmackDown Recap rolls on, Edge is WALKING! Fist bumps Sonya Deville.
Now out comes Bianca Belair. By ‘soon’ she meant ‘in like twenty minutes’ it seems, maybe they could’ve been more clear about that one. Says when she the Rumble her life changed overnight. Ever since Sunday she’s done appearances non-stop, phone blowing up, numbers she didn’t recognize giving her props. Says Asuka isn’t just the Empress of Tomorrow, she’s the Empress all day, every day! SmackDown Women’s Champion, her girl Sasha Banks. She’s whooping bounty hunters in a world far, far away!
As she’s about to make her choice, Reginald makes his way out. Says he thinks she could defeat Asuka but if she says Sasha Banks, well… he slides into the ring. Says she knows damn well she can’t beat Sasha. Can’t even beat Carmella! Carmella’s music plays. She says her sommelier is a wise man even when he gets a little over-excited. Says let’s not forget about the fact that she beat Sasha in her very first match against her which means she’s done it twice! In spite all of her hype, she’s certain she can do the same thing to Bianca.
Sasha Banks strolls down the ramp now.
Says with all due respect to Carmella she wants to stop looking in the rear view and start looking at what’s ahead. Mentions Bianca has been in two Rumbles and she’s set records each time. She’s been watching her, saw her pick up Otis so she knows she’s the strongest. She saw her chase down and beat Bayley, so she knows she’s the fastest. Sasha asks, “But the best…? I don’t think so.” Tells her if she’ll choose her than choose her because she has it all, but she doesn’t got this. Holds up the SmackDown Women’s title.
Reginald steps between them and repeats that if she chooses Sasha, she’ll lose like he told her. Belair proceeds to use the rare hair whip on him until he flees! In Roman’s office, Heyman lets him know that Edge is finally here.
Sounds like we’ll be hearing from him next on the WWE SmackDown Recap.
Not RIGHT up next of course, as Sami Zayn is backstage, once again claiming to be a victim. He vows that tonight he regains his status as Intercontinental Champion.
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. Chad Gable & Otis (Non-Title)
I never thought they’d care enough to change their music but the champions seem to have something like a mash-up of their previous themes. Ziggler and Gable with a nice mat wrestling exchange while the Street Profits have an inset with their own commentary. Dolph with a snap dropkick, cover for 2. Tag to Roode, Dolph drives Gable’s head into his knees. Roode takes him to the ropes, knee to the gut, suplex for a 2 count. Chinlock cinched in.
Tag to Otis, house of fire as he Pancakes Roode, big charging discus clothesline to Ziggler! Crushes Roode in the corner, and there is the Caterpillar! Tag to Gable, Dolph posts Otis and rushes into the ring, but Gable catches a Superkick and rolls him into the Chaos Theory German Suplex! Roode clips him from behind, plants him with the Glorious DDT for the victory.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Quick but sound match. Profits talking for that long wears a bit thin but it’s still a step-up from hearing Cole.
WWE SmackDown Recap continues! 33 Years Ago Hulk Hogan faced Andre the Giant on the Main Event in a very famous match. We see a video showing us the highlights. I imagine it’s basically every spot in that match that we see here. It’s of course the infamous double Hebner finish.
Hulk Hogan with a promo afterwards. Says it somehow makes him think of his old friend Edge right now and the decision he has to take. Asks whatcha gonna do when Edge runs wild on you, what a totally worthless thing to advertise.
Edge conversing with Shinsuke Nakamura backstage. Up next on the WWE SmackDown Recap…
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Apollo Crews
Sami immediately powders. Crews with a roll-up for 1, headlock. E shoots him off, leapfrogs, back elbow to face. Sami into the ring to chop E. Shot to the ropes, E with a back body drop! Blocks the first attempt at a German Suplex from Crews but the second attempt gets him! Rolls around for two more Germans, nearfall! Sami clobbers Crews. Zayn with a whip, Crews with a back elbow to cut him off.
Stinger Splashes from Crews to both men, E side-steps and clotheslines each man in the corner! Thrust kick from Apollo to stop the next one, E sends Apollo to the apron. He hits the ropes for his wild spear but Sami trips him up from the outside and drags him to the floor. E takes over though, slams his face into the apron repeatedly. Crews with a Tope Con Hilo to Big E, beautiful! Standing Moonsault off the apron to the floor, damn! Sami with a lariat to Crews, commercial break.
WWE SmackDown Recap will continue when we come back.
As we return, Sami is grinding E against the middle rope. Sami with a drop toe hold takes him to the buckle. Crews into the ring, Sami keeps him down but E fights up, Overhead Belly to Bellies to them both, lines them up for a wild Running Splash! Looking for the Big Ending but Crews reverses with an enziguri! Crews taken to the floor, E counters a Helluva Kick with a Uranage! Stomps Sami on the apron. Aaaand here’s the big apron Splash! Crews catches him with a Shotgun Dropkick! Rolls Sami into the ring, goes up top – Frog Splash for a clooose nearfall!
Crews blocks a high kick from Sami and tries for an Exploder, but Big E grabs him in that position for a crazy German Suplex that sends both men flying! Sami fighting up on the apron, E goes for his wild spear but Sami with a knee to the face stops him. Helluva Kick lands! Cover! Crews pulls Zayn to the floor to break it up! Sami yells at the ref that it was three, pummels Crews against the steps.
Crews grabs him and nails him repeatedly in the face with forearms, Press Slam sends him flying WAY over the barricade, he hits hard against a dasherboard! Damn! Now rushes into the ring, runs right into a Big Ending for the win!
Winner: Big E
Strong match! Really feels like he should be about done with both of these guys at this stage, wonder if perhaps Cesaro is next in line? Apollo looks pissed as he watches E celebrate on the turnbuckles, I almost though he was gonna jump him but eventually he leaves the ring in a huff.
Now the WWE SmackDown Recap will conclude as out comes Edge!
He says you can’t accomplish something you never dreamed of. Says every day as he worked to get back, he was dreaming. Says he was dreaming of winning the Royal Rumble, main eventing WrestleMania and taking back something he never lost, something that he feels is his. He came in at #1 and outlasted 29 of the best Superstars in the world today. Now he’s on the precipice of the main event of WrestleMania. Who does he choose? It’s an embarrassment of riches. Does he choose Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, or Roman Reigns? He asks his family he gets one answer, asks his friends he gets another, asked some dude on the street and he gives a different answer! But at the end of the day-
Roman Reigns of course interrupts.
A minute later, he’s in the ring, eye to eye with Edge. Jey looking very much ready to pounce as he enters too. Edge says he had to bring backup! Claims Roman’s out here sweating him, he’s out here alone. Reigns says he gives him his word. Without his blessing, Paul will not make a move on him. Amazing line. Edge says he’s got space in Roman’s head already, that’s why Jey’s out here. To that, Roman sends Jey to the back.
Steps up to Edge and says he disrespected him and therefore his family. He will say this once; acknowledge him as the champion of choice. Say his name. Go. Edge says nothing, Kevin Owens appears in the ring and hits Roman with a Stunner. The show-closing logo comes up a fair bit early as Edge just drops the mic. That’s all she wrote, I guess.