WWE SmackDown Report – 3/18/2022

Mar 18, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a graphic in memory of WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall, who passed away at the age of 63 on Monday. We cut to the standard WWE intro video. We see how The Bloodline destroyed WWE Champion Brock Lesnar at Madison Square Garden earlier this month. We also see how Lesnar chased Paul Heyman to a waiting SUV last week.

– We’re live from the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina as Michael Cole welcomes us to SmackDown. He’s joined at ringside by Pat McAfee. The WrestleMania 38 sign hangs high above the crowd as Cole reminds us we’re two weeks away from The Grandest Stage of Them All.

– We go right to the ring and out comes The Bloodline – WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos and Paul Heyman. They stop on the stage and Reigns takes his title from Heyman, then raises it in the air. The Usos do the same with their titles and the pyro goes off behind them. Reigns hands the belt back to Heyman and they march to the ring together. Cole says Austin Theory is here tonight, but McAfee has been advised to stay away from him, and it was suggested McAfee apologize to Theory. McAfee is risking his WrestleMania 38 match and his job is he gets physical with Theory before then.

The Bloodline hits the ring and more pyro goes off. Reigns looks out at the crowd to a mixed reaction. Some fans chant his name, others chant for WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Heyman hands the mic to Reigns and the boos pick up. Reigns calls on Charlotte to acknowledge him. Reigns says he gets to see Lesnar tonight for the first time since he smashed him at MSG and made him bleed all over New York City. Reigns threatens to make Lesnar bleed all over Charlotte tonight. Heyman apologizes for interrupting Reigns, and reveals that Lesnar’s plane ran into bad weather in Saskatchewan, and the flight was grounded. Heyman says Lesnar will not be here tonight. Fans boo. Heyman goes on praising Reigns and hyping him up as Reigns takes the mic back.

Fans chant “we want Lesnar!” louder this time. Reigns says he understands, he fulfills his obligations and wants Lesnar here as well because he was about to smash Lesnar. Reigns says let’s not blame the weather and the private jets, that’s a business decision and Lesnar is just scared, as he should be. Reigns points to his shirt and says he’s in God Mode, and there’s not a man who can touch him.

Heyman is trying to say something but Reigns tells him enough, don’t interrupt. Reigns says the fans paid to see him and want to hear what he has to say. Some fans boo and some cheer. Heyman shows Reigns his phone and it shows Lesnar has landed in Charlotte, and he’s on his way to the arena. Reigns and Heyman briefly argue. Heyman is throwing a fit, asking what he’s going to do. Reigns says he knows what he is going to do, but Heyman can wrap this segment up by himself. Reigns hands the mic over to Heyman and quickly leaves the ring with The Usos.

– Cole and McAfee go over tonight’s show. The camera cuts backstage and we see The Bloodline quickly walking to their black SUV. Paul Heyman is with them. They quickly get in the truck with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns sitting in the back seat. We suddenly hear the horn of a forklift in the distance. Heyman screams out as we see a smiling WWE Champion Brock Lesnar drive the forks through the windows of the SUV. SmackDown goes right to a commercial break.

Back from the break and we see how Lesnar continued to honk the horn while trapping The Bloodline in the SUV with the forks. Lesnar enjoys himself as he tips the SUV over on its die. We also see how SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos and Reigns escaped to get into a pick-up. They went to drive away but Lesnar hopped off the forklift, and ran over to the truck. Lesnar opened the passenger doors to try and grab The Usos but Reigns sped away. Lesnar ripped the door off the truck instead of the door running him over. A furious Lesnar yelled out as Reigns drove away with The Usos in the truck. He then picked up his cowboy hat and smiled, and picked up the truck door. Lesnar marches to the ring now.

Lesnar comes out to the stage as his music hits and the pyro goes off. He’s carrying the truck door. Lesnar drops the door to finish his entrance, but then he picks it back up and marches to the ring. Lesnar brings the door into the ring and he’s ready to fight as fans cheer him on. Lesnar stomps on the truck door a few times. Lesnar asks the crowd to excuse him because he’s a little riled up. Lesnar says Reigns has done unleashed a bi-polar beast, son. Lesnar says Reigns can run and hide but in two weeks at WrestleMania 38, Lesnar is going to do more than blow the doors off him. Lesnar yells out and says he’s coming for blood, and Reigns best be prepared. Lesnar says he will see Reigns in two weeks, buddy. Lesnar drops the mic and puts his cowboy hat back on. He marches out of the ring but stops to smile at the crowd, raising his hat to them.

– We see what happened last week between SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos and the team of Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura. Boogs defeated Jey Uso to earn the title shot at WrestleMania 38, but they were hit with the guitar after the match.

Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs vs. Los Lotharios

We go back to the ring and Rick Boogs is out on the stage with his guitar. He begins the grand introduction for he and his partner, and out comes Shinsuke Nakamura. They head to the ring together while Boogs shreds and McAfee goes wild at the announce table with his air guitar. Boogs and Nakamura hit the ring and we go back to commercial as the pyro explodes.

Back from the break and out comes Los Lotharios – Angel and Humberto. Samantha Irvin does the introductions and then shows us the Los Lotharios Kiss Cam as they both kiss a lucky lady at ringside. The bell rings an Nakamura starts off with Humberto, showing off but then taking him down and dropping a big knee. Nakamura keeps Humberto down with a boot in the corner, then sends him good vibrations. Nakamura places Humberto on the top turnbuckle and delivers a high knee. Humberto kicks out at 2.

Nakamura with a headlock now. Humberto turns it around and in comes Angel. Nakamura with a knee to Humberto, but he turns around to Angel rushing him with a big strike. They double team Nakamura and Angel rips his pants off, then throws them in Boogs’ face. Angel works over Nakamura in their corner now. Humberto tags back in for another double team. They hit a double basement dropkick to the back of the neck and Humberto covers for 2. Humberto grounds Nakamura again now. Nakamura fights up and out with kicks. Humberto catches a kick, then ducks a roundhouse, and drops an elbow to Nakamura’s back.

Angel tags back in and grounds Nakamura. Angel with big forearms and punches as Boogs tries to rally from the apron. Angel shows off to boos, then delivers a running punt kick. Angel with a splash in the corner and another tag to Humberto. Boogs gets knocked off the apron by a cheap shot double team. Humberto goes on and levels Nakamura with a big strike for another close 2 count. Humberto shows some frustration now.

Nakamura with a hip toss to get an opening. Boogs tags in and unloads as Angel also comes in. Boogs presses Humberto high in the air over his head, and pumps him over and over. Boogs tosses Humberto onto Angel. Boogs blocks an attack by Angel, then picks him up and curls him with the abdominal stretch. Boogs then drops Angel with the Boogs Cruise slam for the pin to win.

Winners: Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura

– After the match, Boogs and Nakamura celebrate as the music hits.

– We see how Jinder Mahal, Shanky, Madcap Moss and Happy Baron Corbin attacked Drew McIntyre last week. McIntyre eventually fought out and cleared the ring while Corbin looked on from the ramp.

Drew McIntyre and The Viking Raiders vs. Happy Baron Corbin, Jinder Mahal and Shanky

We go back to the ring and out first comes The Viking Raiders – Erik and Ivar. They wait on the stage and out next comes Drew McIntyre to a big pop. Drew carries his sword, Angela, out as the flames shoot up and they head to the ring. Drew poses in the corner while Erik and Ivar stand guard behind him. The flames shoot up from the ring posts as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Drew waits in the ring with The Vikings while Megan Morant is backstage with Happy Baron Corbin, Madcap Moss, Jinder Mahal and Shanky. Corbin goes on about how WrestleMania 38 will be the greatest weekend of his life because he will dominate McIntyre. Corbin asks Moss to crack a joke and he does but it doesn’t go over well with everyone. The joke was that an episode of “Happy Talk” that puts everyone to sleep is called “Nappy Talk” but no one laughed. We go back to the ring and out comes Corbin, Mahal and Shanky with Moss. The bell rings and Erik starts with Shanky. They brawl but Shanky levels Erik and poses for the crowd.

Jinder tags in and Erik drops him with a Spinebuster. Ivar tags in and they double team Jinder in the corner now. The Vikings plant Jinder and Ivar stands tall. Jinder turns it around and tags in Corbin for a quick double team on Ivar. Corbin with a shoulder but Ivar is still up. Ivar knocks Corbin out of the ring with a shoulder now. A frustrated Corbin comes back in and unloads with strikes. Ivar fights back but Corbin hits a Spinebuster on him. Corbin with a cheap shot to McIntyre on the apron. McIntyre seethes as the referee holds him back. We go to commercial.

Back from the break and Corbin holds Ivar while Jinder decks him for a 2 count. Jinder grounds Ivar now. Corbin ends up coming back in and stopping Erik from tagging in, knocking him off the apron and dropping Ivar in the corner. McIntyre levels Jinder at ringside with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. McIntyre and Corbin stare each other down now.

Ivar ducks Corbin and tags in McIntyre but Corbin quickly tags out. Shanky comes in but Drew unloads on him. Jinder also comes in but Drew launches him overhead, then sends him to the floor. Drew with a big Michinoku Driver to Shanky, then a kip-up for a big pop. Drew taunts Corbin before waiting for Shanky to get up, then leveling him with a Claymore Kick for the pin to win.

Winners: Drew McIntyre and The Viking Raiders

– After the match, Drew stares out at Corbin as his music hits. Corbin looks worried as he stands with Moss. Drew and The Vikings pose in the middle of the ring as fans cheer them on. Drew then climbs the turnbuckles and looks down at Corbin.

– We see how Ricochet retained the WWE Intercontinental Title over Sami Zayn last week. Sami is backstage now. He says he should be standing there with his title but he’s not because of one person – Johnny Knoxville. He goes on about how Knoxville has gotten under his skin and ruined his life with juvenile tricks. Sami says he will now show Knoxville what it truly means to step into his world. Sami says if Knoxville has the balls, let’s make the WrestleMania match Anything Goes.

Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley

We go back to the ring and out comes Sasha Banks and Naomi. They hit the ring and pose on the apron as pyro goes off. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and we get a clip of last week’s show-closing brawl with SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey. Flair will have a challenge for Rousey later tonight. We go back to the ring and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Carmella and Queen Zelina Vega are sitting next to the announce table. Out comes RAW Superstars Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan to the ring for the next match. Cole says they are now called Liv 4 Brutality.

The bell rings and Liv starts off with Banks. They lock up and Banks twists her arm up, then tags out to Naomi. Naomi ties the arm up and tags in Banks for a quick double team. Banks taunts Morgan and they lock back up, trading more holds. They run the ropes and Liv counters a hip toss. They then face off and have words in the middle of the ring. Banks takes control and launches Liv out of the corner. They tangle some more and Liv rolls Banks for a 2 count, and again.

Liv and Banks collide with dropkick attempts. Liv kips-up and Banks nods at her. Banks offers her hand for a shake and Liv shakes. Banks pulls Liv into a headlock. Naomi tags in and takes Liv down with a head-scissors. Naomi goes on and hits the split-legged moonsault for a 2 count.

We see Vega and Carmella having words at ringside. Liv takes Naomi down and in comes Ripley with a basement dropkick to the face for a 2 count. Naomi counters Ripley as they tangle in the middle of the ring now. Naomi ducks a clothesline and tags out. Banks stuns Ripley and fights her way in. Banks goes to work on Ripley now. Ripley blocks a suplex attempt and hits one of her own, holding Banks in the air for a minute or so, then dropping her to the mat. Banks kicks out at 2. Liv tags back in and they double team Banks in the corner. Liv covers for a 2 count.

Naomi tags back in and drops Liv face-first into the mat. Liv sends Banks to the floor as she runs in. Liv also sends Naomi to the floor as she charges. Ripley tags in and leaps off the apron with a cannonball, taking Naomi and Banks down in front of Vega and Carmella. Liv and Ripley stand tall for a pop as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Ripley covers Naomi for 2. Vega and Carmella are still having words at ringside. Naomi and Ripley tangle now. Naomi with a big springboard kick. Banks and Morgan rally from the apron now. They both tag in and unload on each other. Banks with the double knees in the corner, then the second rope Meteora for a close 2 count. Banks can’t believe it. Banks looks to put Liv away but Liv nails a step-up enziguri to drop her.

Ripley tags in and nails a missile dropkick to Banks for a close 2 count. Ripley can’t believe it now. Banks blocks the Riptide and drops Ripley with a Backstabber. Banks tags out and nails a splash from the top. Naomi follows up with a split-legged moonsault from the top but Liv breaks the pin up just in time. Banks and Naomi toss Liv to the floor.

Fans chant “this is awesome!” as Banks and Naomi take Ripley to the top for a double team. They go for the double superplex but Liv comes back in and brings them all to the mat. Vega and Carmella are shocked. Natalya and Shayna Baszler suddenly hit the ring and attack the other four Superstars as the referee calls the bell.

No Contest

– After the bell, Natalya and Baszler destroy the others. They send Ripley into the ring post and then drop Liv as she tries to make the save. Vega and Carmella hit the ring to join the brawl. It comes down to Natalya and Baszler standing tall, while the champs also stand tall and raise their titles in the air. The crowd boos everyone. Natalya points up at the WrestleMania sign as she and Baszler taunt the champs.

– We get a video message from Johnny Knoxville. He accepts Sami Zayn’s challenge to add the “Anything Goes” stipulation to their WrestleMania match.

– We go back to Cole and McAfee at ringside. Cole says McAfee is being summoned to Mr. McMahon’s office, perhaps to apologize. McAfee doesn’t believe it at first but Cole tells him Mr. McMahon wants to see him now. McAfee gets up from the table as we go back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Sonya Deville stops Natalya and Shayna Baszler backstage. She tells them they did a good job with attacking the other tag teams because some of those women deserved it. Deville adds Baszler and Natalya to the title match at WrestleMania 38, making it a Fatal 4 Way.

– We go back to Michael Cole, who is alone at the announce table. This week’s Progressive Match Flo replay looks at what happened last Friday between Pat McAfee and Austin Theory. The camera cuts backstage to McAfee walking out of the office of WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. An angry McAfee marches through the backstage area and heads to the ring.

McAfee hits the ring and recalls how when he was younger, he turned to some no-name network, the USA Network, and he saw something that changed his life. Pro wrestling changed his life immediately. It was special, magical, it shook him forever. On that Monday night when all hell was breaking loose, he found a thing he thought he was put on Earth to do. Some fans are giving McAfee the “What!?” treatment here. Other professions got in the way but finally after retiring from the NFL, McAfee said he got a call from the greatest of all-time, Michael Cole, who invited him to come work on SmackDown. He gave Cole a hell yeah in response. McAfee goes on about how he dreamed about getting to WWE but the music interrupts and out comes Theory to some boos.

McAfee says in the office he just left, it was suggested that he apologize to Theory or lose his dream job and his WrestleMania 38 match. Theory mocks McAfee in his face. McAfee begins to apologize but he keeps stopping. Theory tells him to finish. McAfee finally says he is sorry… sorry for beating Theory’s ass last week, sorry Theory’s parents raised a douche-bag, sorry he made Theory’s filter-face ass relevant, sorry that Theory is a punk bitch. Fans pop as Theory and McAfee face off in the middle of the ring now. Theory stops seething, raises his phone in the air and smiles as he takes a selfie with McAfee. Theory shoves McAfee away and quickly retreats from the ring. Theory heads up the ramp as the two stare each other down and talk some trash.

– We see what happened earlier tonight with Brock Lesnar and The Bloodline. Cole hypes the Winner Takes All match at WrestleMania 38 as McAfee returns to the commentary table.

Kofi Kingston vs. Ridge Holland

We go back to the ring and out comes Kofi Kingston by himself. Cole mentions the broken neck suffered by Big E last week. Cole sends us to a commercial break that includes the final part of the Toyota Tundra commercial series with Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs.

Back from the break and Cole talks about Big E’s broken neck from last Friday. We go back to the ring and Kofi looks on as we see footage and the selfie videos that Big E has posted in the last week. Out next comes Ridge Holland with Butch and Sheamus. The bell rings and Kofi unloads to start, sending Holland back into the corner with a big dropkick.

Cole says Holland apologized to Big E earlier today, saying he has immense respect for Big E. This is interesting as it was reported last week how Holland visited Big E in the hospital and apologized then. Holland turns it around on Kofi and sends him to the apron as Butch and Sheamus look on. Kofi fights back from the apron and sends Holland to the floor. Kofi leaps off the apron with a big right hand to send Holland into the announce table. Kofi returns to the ring and stands tall as the referee counts. Sheamus and Butch check on Holland as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Holland beats Kofi down in the middle of the ring. We see how Sheamus clotheslined Kofi at ringside during the match, and Holland then delivered a big tackle in the ring. Holland grounds Kofi in the ring now but then uppercuts him. Kofi fights back with kicks and a chop to the chest. Kofi dropkicks Holland but he gets right back up. Kofi ducks a swing and nails a big clothesline. Kofi with the Boom Drop in the middle of the ring now.

Kofi rallies the crowd as Holland slowly recovers. Kofi goes for Trouble In Paradise but it’s blocked. Holland sends him to the corner but Kofi drops him. Kofi goes to the top but Butch shoves him off while Sheamus distracts the referee. Fans boo. The referee ejects Sheamus and Butch for a pop from the crowd. Holland yells at the referee. Kofi takes advantage and rolls Holland for a close 2 count. Kofi comes back with a big double stomp.

Kofi throws the shillelagh at Sheamus and Butch as they are walking to the back. Butch rushes back to the ringside area, ready to fight. Holland takes advantage of this distraction and slams Kofi with Northern Grit for the pin to win.

Winner: Ridge Holland

– After the match, Holland stands tall as the music hits. He joins Sheamus and Butch while Kingston recovers.

– Cole sends us to a video package on recent happenings between Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair.

– We go back to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair as the pyro goes off. Flair heads to the ring and enters as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Flair is in the ring as Cole hypes the title match at WrestleMania 38. Flair says when you are her, you always have a plan. She talks about how she taught Ronda Rousey a lesson last Friday, and says no one has caused Rousey more pain than she has. Flair jokes about putting a dent in the car with Rousey’s head. Flair says she was seconds from making Rousey tap last week but the officials and referees saved Rousey, pulling Flair off her. Flair says they saved Rousey and that was just a taste of what’s to come at WrestleMania. Rousey is watching backstage. Fans chant “you tapped out!” and Flair briefly lashes out at them. Flair says Rousey has to overcome her to make a name here in WWE, and Flair’s own legacy is bigger than Rousey. Flair mentions how Rousey will go back and pop out another baby once she fails to win this time. Flair says Rousey doesn’t have the spine, the passion or anything else it takes to be champion. Flair says she doesn’t want to wait until WrestleMania to eviscerate Rousey again. She calls Rousey to the ring so she can embarrass her in her hometown, the Queen City.

The camera cuts backstage to Rousey quickly walking through the backstage area. Kayla Braxton tries to ask her about this being a trap but Rousey ignores her and keeps marching to the ring. The music hits and out comes Rousey. Flair drops the mic and grabs a kendo stick. Flair stands with the stick as Rousey enters the ring. Rousey ducks the kendo stick and unloads on Flair, kicking her away. Rousey blocks a move and takes Flair down. Rousey scrambles for the armbar but Flair escapes. They go to the floor and Rousey gets dropped on her head from the apron. Rousey grabs Flair and sends her face-first into the ring post twice. Flair tries to fight back but Rousey catches a kick and applies the ankle lock at ringside.

Flair grabs another conveniently placed kendo stick from the timekeeper’s area and smacks Rousey with it to break the hold. Flair grabs Rousey from behind with the kendo stick and pulls back like she did last week. Rousey is refusing to tap as Flair pulls back while they’re both down on the floor. Flair gets back up and puts Rousey through the announce table with a powerbomb. Rousey is flat on he back now, laying on the table debris. Flair puts one boot on her and poses while looking up at the WrestleMania sign. Flair receives mostly boos as she stands tall over Rousey, keeping her down with one boot. Rousey sells the powerbomb and writhes in pain as SmackDown goes off the air.

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