WWE SmackDown results, recap, ratings: Brock Lesnar returns after Roman Reigns defeats Riddle in title match

Friday night’s edition of WWE SmackDown certainly got some unusual attention. As Vince McMahon stepped down as CEO and Chairman of WWE 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 Riddle for Reigns’ Undisputed Universal Championship and you have a recipe for a night that would have higher than normal viewership.

While McMahon’s appearance didn’t matter other than a bit of ego padding, Reigns and Riddle put on a wonderful match before Reigns took the win. Then Brock Lesnar made his return, making it clear he still had Reigns in his sights 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 of all the action from Target Center in Minneapolis.

Reigns survives Riddle’s brave challenge before Lesnar returns

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

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

Unlike the McMahon segment, Reigns vs Riddle was everything you could want. Riddle really showed he could go blow for blow with the champ and the match had the live crowd biting with every pin attempt. Pro wrestling isn’t complicated when you have two men performing at this level. Lesnar’s return, however, looks more of the same as WWE struggles to truly find a place for Reigns’ title reign, which dulls the moment somewhat. Grade: B+

Vince McMahon makes an appearance amid allegations

McMahon headed to the ring on his theme song “No Chance in Hell” to kick off the show, eliciting a mostly positive reaction before using some cheap heat by praising Minneapolis to get the crowd roaring. McMahon then reiterated WWE’s motto “then, now, forever” before saying the most important word is “together”. After repeatedly drawing cheers for the brief promo, McMahon threw down the microphone and left the ring, fans standing up to walk up the entrance ramp.

Hard to have anything positive to say here. Every part of this utterly pointless opening segment felt like an excuse for McMahon to appear live and bask in the applause of fans as he faces allegations of misconduct for giving an employee he was with a raise. had an affair and then paid her millions of dollars. sign a non-disclosure agreement and leave. McMahon temporarily stepped down as CEO and chairman earlier today, but it looked like a chance to come out and send a message that he was going nowhere and was still in control despite the news from earlier today. Rating: F

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Madcap Moss won. Merry Corbin via pinfall in a “last laugh match”. After the match, Corbin interrupted the announce desk 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 him dead. McAfee then made Corbin “laugh out of the arena”.
  • Natalya cut a promo on Ronda Rousey swearing to be the first woman to tap Rousey when she challenges Rousey for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank.
  • The new day def. Jinder Mahal & Shanky via pinfall when Kofi Kingston hit Mahal with Trouble in Paradise. Shanky was in charge before Xavier Woods played the trombone, forcing Shanky to dance and preparing for the finish.
  • Adam Pearce announced that Drew McIntyre and Sheamus will participate in the Money in the Bank match. McIntyre attacked Sheamus when Pearce announced he was in the match only to find out he would be included in the match as well.
  • Money in the Bank Qualifying Match – Raquel Rodriguez beats. Shayna Baszler via Pinfall with a scoop electric bomb.
  • Max Dupri hasn’t announced Maximum Male Models’ first client after claiming that the arena lighting was not good enough.


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