WWE SmackDown Results, recap, notes: Brock Lesnar returns after Roman Reigns defeats Riddle in the title match

Friday night’s edition of WWE SmackDown certainly brought in unusual levels of attention. As Vince McMahon stepped down as WWE CEO and President amid allegations of misconduct involving a sexual relationship with an employee, WWE announced that McMahon would appear live on the show. Add in a match between Roman Reigns and the undisputed universal championship of Riddle for Reigns and you’ve got the recipe for a night that would have a larger-than-usual amount of tuned-in viewers.

While McMahon’s appearance was nothing significant other than some ego-filling, Reigns and Riddle put up a wonderful fight before Reigns got the win. Then, Brock Lesnar made his return, making it clear he still had his eye on Reigns after “The Tribal Chief” defeated Lesnar to unify WWE and the Universal Championships at WrestleMania.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights from all the action at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Reigns Survives Riddle’s Courageous Challenge Before Lesnar Returns

Undisputed Universal Championship – Roman Reigns (c) def. Puzzle via pinfall after a spear. After the opening segment of McMahon’s show (see below), Riddle came to the ring to show a video recapping his issues with Roman Reigns and The Bloodline. The match was the main event of the night, with plenty of drama throughout both men hitting signature moves. This included Riddle kicking from a punch from Superman and Reigns kicking from an RKO that was delivered as a counterattack to Reigns’ spear. Riddle went for another RKO which was nullified before Reigns handed over the spear to keep his championship undisputed.

After the match, Reigns announced that there was no one left to challenge his place on top of the WWE mountain. Before he could leave the ring, Brock Lesnar’s music and “The Beast” arrived. Lesnar offered to shake hands with Reigns before handing an F-5 to the champion and then do the same move on both Usos when the show went off the air.

Unlike the McMahon segment, Reigns vs. Riddle was everything you could wish for. Riddle has really shown that he can go play-by-play with the champion and the match had the live crowd biting every pin attempt. Professional wrestling is not complicated when you have two men performing at this level. Lesnar’s return, however, seems more of the same as WWE struggles to truly find its way into Reigns’ title reign, dulling the momentum a bit. Note: B+

Vince McMahon makes an appearance amid accusations

McMahon walked to the ring to his theme song “No Chance in Hell” to kick off the show, drawing a mostly positive reaction before using some cheap heat praising Minneapolis to blow the crowd away. McMahon then reiterated WWE’s motto of “then, now, forever” before saying the most important word is “together”. After repeatedly applauding the brief promo, McMahon threw the mic and left the ring, greeting fans on his way back down the entrance ramp.

It’s hard to have anything positive to say here. Every bit of this completely unnecessary opening segment felt like an excuse for McMahon to appear live and receive cheers from fans as he faces misconduct charges for giving an employee he had an affair with and then paying her millions of dollars a raise. sign a confidentiality agreement and leave. McMahon temporarily stepped down as CEO and chairman of the board earlier in the day, but it felt like a chance to step out and send a message that he wasn’t going anywhere and was still in control despite the news earlier in the day. Note: F

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Madcap Moss def. Happy Corbin via pinfall in a “last laugh game”. After the match, Corbin interrupted the announce table and confronted Pat McAfee for making jokes about him. Corbin said that if he didn’t stop, he would throw McAfee in the ring and make him wish he was dead. McAfee then had the crowd “laugh at Corbin outside the arena”.
  • Natalya does a Ronda Rousey promo promising to be the first woman to make Rousey quit when she challenges Rousey for the SmackDown women’s championship at Money in the Bank.
  • The New Day def. Jinder Mahal and Shanky by pinfall when Kofi Kingston hit Mahal with Trouble in Paradise. Shanky was in control before Xavier Woods played the trombone, forcing Shanky to dance and setting up the finale.
  • Adam Pearce announced that Drew McIntyre and Sheamus would be in the Money in the Bank match. McIntyre attacked Sheamus when Pearce announced he was in the match before finding out he would also be included in the match.
  • Money in the Bank qualifying game – Raquel Rodriguez Shayna Baszler by pinfall with a spoon powerbomb.
  • Max Dupri did not announce Maximum Male Models’ first client after claiming the arena lighting wasn’t good enough.

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