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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
FEBRUARY 4, 2022
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK AT THE PAYCOM CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON FOX
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-A video package aired on Brock Lesnar happenings at the Rumble starting with clips of his match against Bobby Lashley and ending with him winning the Royal Rumble.
-Michael Cole introduced the show as a camera panned the crowd.
-Roman Reigns made his ring entrance, accompanied by Paul Heyman and the Usos. McAfee excitedly said, “It’s like like old times!” As they entered the ring, Cole threw to highlights of Reigns getting DQ’d against Seth Rollins at the Rumble. Cole then called Reigns the most dominant Universal Champion in history. Heyman said he wanted to address a couple of uncomfortable truths. He said there was no plot and no scenario and no conspiracy. “This was not done to make Brock Lesnar look foolish, although he looks like a damn fool now anyway,” he said. Reigns laughed. Heyman said the trajectory of the industry unfolded in front of their eyes. He said in Chicago, he acknowledges he made the biggest mistake of his career. He said it wasn’t that he didn’t tell Roman what was in his heart, but it’s what was in his heart that made him look foolish. He said he told Reigns that he needed to be protected from Brock, which is what he believed after spending 20 years of his life with Lesnar. He said as a result he got fired and Superman Punched. He said he deserved every bit of it.
He said there he was, “like an unemployed Oklahoman,” just out in the ocean of obscurity, languishing and miserable, thinking his entire career was over. Then he saw the moment when COVID picked the wrong human being to infect and Reigns couldn’t make Day 1, he got Lesnar into the unscheduled Fatal Five-way, and Lesnar pulled off what only Lesnar or Reigns could do. He said Lesnar became WWE Champion. He said everything was going to be fine, with Lesnar on Raw and Reigns on Smackdown. He said Lesnar then challenged Reigns to a title vs. title match at WrestleMania. “How freakin’ stupid is that?” Heyman said. “It’s as stupid as that damn smile on his face and the beard and his freakin’ pony tail. Brock Lesnar looks like a schmuck and he acts like a schmuck. He said Brock wants to challenge Reigns instead of accepting his place over on Raw. He said he knew he screwed up with Reigns, and he was stuck with a Saskatchewan farmer.
He said Lesnar took Lashley to Suplex City, and then Reigns showed his Conqueror that a GOAT can always slay a Beast. I thought I was going to spend my life introducing Lesnar. He went into the start of the routine. Heyman stopped and said, “You will never hear that again.” He said he realized he doesn’t need to protect Reigns from Lesnar, he needs to protect Lesnar from Reigns. Heyman said Reigns offered him the hand of love, the hand of family, and the hand of the Bloodline. He said Reigns offered him the hand of acknowledgment. “And I handed Roman Reigns the WWE Championship, and he smashed Brock Lesnar in the face with it. And because of Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley pinned Brock Lesnar, and Bobby Lashley is your new WWE Heavyweight Champion. He said that means there will be no winner take all match at WrestleMania “because Brock Lesnar does not get what Brock Lesnar wants; Brock Lesnar will do what Roman Reigns wants Brock Lesnar to do. And at WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar will acknowledge the champion, Roman Reigns. Heyman turned to Reigns and acknowledged Reigns as his Tribal Chief.
Heyman then said this is OKC’s chance to show a worldwide audience that they can acknowledge their Tribal Chief. Loud boos. Goldberg’s music then played. Cole and McAfee went nuts as Goldberg walked to the ring. Reigns stared at him. He said Reigns is his next victim at Elimination Chamber. Cole said it was supposed to happen two years ago at WrestleMania and it never took place, but it looks like it’ll happen in two weeks.
(Keller’s Analysis: Dumb ending. You have this great Heyman promo that ties up some loose ends and explains his journey, and then Goldberg marches out and just announces he’s getting a title shot that everyone else has to earn. Hopefully this will be the end of Goldberg presented in WWE as a main event special attraction, because it feels so played out.)
-Cole and McAfee hyped Ronda Rousey and Drew McIntyre segments later.
-Sheamus and Ridge Holland made their ring entrance. [c]
(1) RIDGE HOLLAND (w/Sheamus) vs. RICOCHET (w/Cesaro)
Holland overpowered Ricochet from the start. Holland dropped Ricochet over the edge of the ring apron. McAfee said Ricochet dropped faster than Facebook stock yesterday. Holland turned to watch a discussion between Cesaro and Sheamus at ringside, so Ricochet caught him with a knee to the skull and got a quick three count. Cole called it a big win for Ricochet.
WINNER: Ricochet in 2:00. [c]
(2) RICOCHET & CESARO vs. SHEAMUS & RIDGE HOLLAND
They restarted the match after the break. It didn’t last long, either. About three minutes aired after the break, ending after Holland blind-tagged in and powerslammed Cesaro for the win.
WINNERS: Holland & Sheamus in around 4:00.
-A commercial aired for WWE 2K22.
-The Usos made their ring entrance. [c]
(3) VIKING RAIDER ERIK (w/Ivar) vs. JIMMY USO (w/Jey Uso)
Jimmy landed a top rope frog splash for the win after Erik was distracted by Ivar and Jey getting into it at ringside. (Sound familiar?)
WINNER: Jimmy Uso in 2:00.
-Aliyah made her ring entrance. [c]
(4) NATALYA vs. ALIYAH
Back and forth action early. Natalya took control and threw Aliyah around ringside. When Natalya yelled at the ref as his count reached seven, Aliyah threw Natalya aside and then Aliyah beat the count.
WINNER: Aliyah via countout in 4:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Rapid-fire match night.)
-Drew McIntyre made his ring entrance. He spoke from mid-ring and said the headlines said he would be lucky to be ready by WrestleMania and he might need surgery. He said his doctor told him there was no way he’d be ready for the Royal Rumble. He said he told the doctor he could kiss his ass. He said he went straight into rehab three times a day, six days a week, worked himself to the bone, and now he’s back. He said the Rumble came down to himself and Lesnar. He said he and Lesnar will cross paths again some day, but now his attention is “fully on those idiots Corbin and Madcap who tried to end his career.”
Happy Corbin walked out and asked Drew if it was worth it to come back and be thrown out of the ring like a sack of garbage by Lesnar. He said he failed. Madcap Moss entered the ring from behind. Drew felt his presence and pointed his sword at him. He told Moss he wanted to hear a funny joke. Moss looked intimidated. “How do you know the toothbrush was invented in Oklahoma?” Moss said. Drew said he wants to hear a Drew joke. “Make me laugh, funny man?” Moss said: “What does a criminal found not guilty have in common with the main event of WrestleMania? They’re both going to get off Scot-free.” Corbin laughed. Drew then laughed uproariously. Moss felt Drew really approved, but Drew then gave Moss a Claymore. He said he’s going to make their lives hell every single week. He said this is just the beginning. Drew’s music played as Corbin mouthed off from half way up the ramp.
-They went to a clip of Sami Zayn at a “Jackass Forever” press event. Johnny Knoxville then interrupted Sami on the red carpet. He told Sami he told him not to come. Security dragged Sami away. Knoxville zapped him from behind a few times. Sami turned and yelled at him as security held him back.
-Backstage, Sami Zayn complained to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. He asked when he gets the Intercontinental Title match he earned. Deville offered next week. Sami said he needs more time after being zapped. Pearce offered Feb. 15, two weeks from now. Sami agreed. Pearce asked if they can invite Knoxville. Sami said that wasn’t funny and stormed off. Natalya then barged in and said Aliyah has never legitimately beat her, so she wants a rematch next week in a match that can only end via pinfall or submission, Dungeon Style. Deville said yes. Natalya left happy.
-Rick Boogs stood on the stage to introduced Shinsuke Nakamura. McAfee went bonkers for his entrance. [c]
(5) JINDER MAHAL (w/Shanky) vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/Rick Boogs)
The end of Jinder’s entrance aired. Just as the match was going to start, Sami came out to his music and joined in on commentary. Sami said nobody is better than him in the ring, and he’ll show Nakamura that when he gives him the fight of his life. He said he can’t wait. He said the best Nakamura has ever been is in the ring with him. He said people think being electrically shocked is all a joke. Nakamura won with his Kinshasa kick.
WINNER: Nakamura in 3:00.
-They replayed Goldberg declaring “Reigns is next.” [c]
-Clips aired of the Deville-Naomi interactions in the Rumble.
-They cut backstage to Pearce and Deville talking backstage when Naomi barged in and said she had to know she was coming for her after what happened at the Rumble. She challenged her to meet her in the ring in five minutes. Sonya said she had a meeting. Naomi asked about next week. Sonya said that won’t work because she’s going to have a match against Charlotte for the Smackdown Title. Naomi didn’t believe her. Pearce made it official. Naomi smiled and fist-bumped Pearce.
-They went to Cole and McAfee at ringside who threw to a Goldberg video.
-Kofi Kingston & Big E made their ring entrance. [c]
-Freeze-frames aired from the Royal Rumble.
-Cole said Drew vs. Moss one-on-one was officially added to the Elimination Chamber.
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Natalya. She asked her what a Dungeon style match is. Natalya said she was going to go tell Aliyah in person. When she opened the door to her locker room, Xia Li walked out. Natalya was intimidated and turned and walked away, saying “Next week.”
-They showed Big E and Kofi interrupting a Valentine’s Day photo shoot with Los Lotharios.
(6) LOS LOTHARIOS (Humberto Carrillo & Angel Garza) vs. NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Big E)
Nearly two minutes in, Kofi leaped toward Humberto at ringside when Garza kicked him out of mid-air. They cut to an early break. [c]
Humberto had control until Kofi lifted his knees on a moonsault attempt. Kofi then tagged in Big E, who tossed Garza around with a series of overhead tosses. He then landed his running splash. Garza came back with a back stabber. Big E came back with a uranage, then tagged in Kofi who landed an assisted top rope bulldog for a near fall. Humberto broke up the cover. Big E charged at Humberto on the ring apron, but Humberto moved. Big E flew through the ropes and crashed. Humberto landed a missile dropkick on Kofi off of Garza’s shoulders for a believable near fall. “What a tag team match!” said Cole. Garza went for a Wing Clipper on Kofi, but Kofi escaped and tagged in Big E. Big E landed an assisted Big Ending for the win.
WINNERS: New Day in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Easily the best match of the show. This show needed more good wrestling, and this helped get closer.)
-A highlight package aired on Rousey’s Rumble win.
-Charlotte made her ring entrance. Cole hyped that Rousey would make her first appearance on Smackdown on Fox ever. [c]
-Cole hyped Nakamura defending against Sami in two weeks and Charlotte defending against Naomi next week.
-Sonya entered the ring and told Charlotte that prior to going on air, she talked with Becky Lynch who informed her that Ronda Rousey has chosen Becky to be her opponent at WrestleMania. She said she expects a contract in her hand on Monday night. She said after Charlotte beats Naomi, she’ll need a WrestleMania opponent. She said she can choose her WrestleMania opponent. Charlotte said she has become the most dominant champion in WWE in recent years while Rousey has been playing video games, farming, and having a baby. She patronizingly congratulated her. She said she’d be worried for Ronda if she chose her. She said she’s never been faster, stronger, or more confident in herself. She pointed at the WrestleMania sign. “So if Ronda wants to choose the other champion, the undercard, be my guest because number one doesn’t talk about number two.” She asked the crowd who she should pick. She said she’ll pick someone who isn’t even there tonight – Sasha Banks. (Surprisingly small reaction from fans.) She told her if she’s listening, WM will be the best and worst day of her life, and she’ll have a contract waiting for her.
Rousey’s music played and she made her way to the ring. She smiled and pretended to be happy to see the fans. She even slapped some hands. Rousey said everyone loves to talk about her. She said last time she checked, she won the Rumble and she gets to pick who she headlines WrestleMania against. She said being a mom changed her so much. She said she didn’t fly halfway across the country in an ice storm to have a chat, she came to teach her family the business of kicking ass. She told Charlotte she’s one of many she owes an ass beating to. She told Charlotte, “You aren’t special, you are just first. I’ll see you at WrestleMania, bitch.” Charlotte smiled and held up her belt. “This title is my baby and she’s prettier than yours.” Rousey glared at Charlotte for that. She took off her jacket. Deville stood between her and Charlotte. Deville told Rousey she has a terrible temper. “I run the show, not you,” Deville said. “I tell you what to do, not the other way around, so back off.” Rousey shoved her aside and went after Charlotte. Deville leaped onto the back of Rousey with a sleeper. Charlotte bailed out as Rousey slammed Deville to the mat. She then put her in an armbar. Rousey’s music played as Cole excitedly asked if that could happen to Charlotte at WrestleMania.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was a bit of weird journey with the red herrings, but in the end, Rousey looked like she was at least willing to play nice and act like a babyface.)