WWE SmackDown results, grades: Sami Zayn earns Universal Title match

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WWE superstar Sami Zayn wins Black Friday Battle Royal on SmackDown to earn Universal Championship Match against Roman Reigns

Sami earned a title shot on SmackDown (Picture: WWE)

Universal Champion Roman Reigns has an unexpected challenger after Sami Zayn won a Black Friday Battle Royal on WWE SmackDown.

The conspiracy theorist found himself in a high stakes main event and screwed Jeff Hardy out of a special hometown victory to book himself a shot against the Tribal Chief with the gold on the line, but Brock Lesnar could mess up his plans.

Friday night’s show started wtih Kayla Braxton in the ring trying to get to the bottom of rumours the Beast’s suspension is set to expire.

Reigns and his special counsel Paul Heyman came down with the Wise Man criticising her journalistic skills before kicking her own of the ring.

The Head of the Table insisted he didn’t care about the rumours after already beating Lesnar, and he went onto laud his own victory over Big E before claiming he could beat up to four men at once to retain his title.

In a fascinating moment, he said: ‘When my days are done around here, which could be sooner than later, the whole world will acknowledge me.’

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WWE superstar Roman Reigns on SmackDown

The Tribal Chief dropped something of a pipepomb (Picture: WWE)

It’s unclear what the meaning behind this statement was, but it’s sure to get people talking as Reigns seemed to heavily suggest he could leave WWE.

Drew McIntyre – who teamed up with Jeff Hardy to beat Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin in an entertaining tag match in the first bout of the night – tried to get himself in the main event Battle Royal.

However, Adam Pearce ordered him out of the ring and revealed he wasn’t part of the lineup, which featured the likes of Ricochet, The Viking Raiders, Mace, Los Lotharios, Ridge Holand, Mansoor and more.

There isn’t much to say about the Battle Royal itself as it came across as a throwaway match, and the ending came as Hardy thought he’d won, only for Zayn to slip back in the ring and throw him over the top rope for the win.

He didn’t get much time to celebrate though, as Kayla Braxton’s interview was cut short when she received news that Lesnar’s suspension has been lifted and he’ll return on next week’s episode of SmackDown.

Charlotte Flair embarrasses Toni Storm

In the second match of the night, Cesaro scored a roll-up win over rookie Ridge Holland, who had Sheamus with him at ringside.

There was a decent story here, with the former rugby player’s confidence costing him, but his very real lack of experience shone through here.

With the show taking place one night after Thanksgiving, WWE held its typical gimmick bout – a Thanksgiving Leftovers Match – between Angel and Rick Boogs.

The latter won, with Shinsuke Nakamura dumping Humberto through a table of food, and this was what it was.

Humberto gets sent crashing through a table after a kick from Shinsuke Nakamura during Angel and Rick Boogs' Thanksgiving Leftovers Match on SmackDown

Humberto crashed through the table (Picture: WWE)

Charlotte Flair joined Michael Cole for a chat following her loss to Becky Lynch at Survivor Series, which she blamed on the referee.

She was interrupted by Toni Storm, who had a fun back and forth with the Queen but ultimately ended up with two pies to the face in a baffling end to the segment.

During the evening, we also got another video teasing the arrival of Xia Li, who is already standing out with the unique presentation.

Elsewhere, after a confrontation between Sonya Deville and Sasha Banks, the latter joined forces with Naomi against Natalya and Shayna Baszler.

It was a fun bout – although Shotzi not making an appearance was a strange one – with Naomi getting the win for her team.

Sonya wasn’t impressed, but put on a brave face and applauded her rival’s victory as things continue to simmer.

*WWE SmackDown airs Friday nights at 1am on BT Sport 1.



WWE SmackDown results and grades

  • Jeff Hardy and Drew McIntyre beat Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss (B-)
  • Cesaro pinned Ridge Holland (C)
  • Thanksgiving Leftovers Match: Angel defeated Rick Boogs (C)
  • Naomi and Sasha Banks beat Shayna Baszler and Natalya (B-)
  • Black Friday Number One Contender Battle Royal: Sami Zayn won after eliminating Jeff Hardy (D+)

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