WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Sami Zayn aligns with Roman Reigns and The Usos

RK-Bro and The Usos continue to put their feet on the gas as their tag team title unification match at WrestleMania Backlash closes in. Riddle and Jey Uso put on the match of the night and arguably one of the best blue brand matches in recent memory on WWE SmackDown.

Riddle and Randy Orton will wager their Raw tag team titles at WrestleMania Backlash. The Usos called their bet by putting the SmackDown tag team titles at stake. The elite tag teams are putting everything they have into the feud and that was made evident by the physical, back-and-forth match between Riddle and Jey on Friday night. Their ongoing friction intersected with Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn, a rivalry which headlined the most recent installation of SmackDown in a Lumberjack Match.

Elsewhere on the card, SmackDown women’s champion Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey put pen to paper for their ‘I Quit’ match at WrestleMania Backlash, and Ricochet agreed to put his Intercontinental championship on the line next week.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from MVP Arena in Albany, New York.

Riddle and Jey Use as alive, McIntyre and Zayn compete in slumber-jack match

Two separate feuds intertwined on SmackDown: RK-Bro vs. The Usos and McIntyre Vs. Zayn. Riddle informed Orton that he had signed them up to participate in the main Lumberjack Match event. McIntyre entered the scene, coming face to face with his former rival Orton. The two buried the hatchet over a mutual appreciation for their disdain towards The Bloodline. As they exited the shot, Zayn was spotted spying on the trio.

Riddle def. Jey Use via pinfall after landing a lateral press in a competitive match. Reigns, who was watching backstage, appears displeased. Riddle and Jey put on a blockbuster of a match that featured momentum swings, crisp action and plenty of callbacks to last week’s match between Riddle and Jimmy. Last week, Riddle sealed the deal with a pop-up RKO. WWE teased a similar conclusion to this week’s match; however, Jey scouted it and floored Riddle with a pop-up neck breaker. Ultimately, however, Riddle emerged victorious again.

Later in the evening, Zayn entered Reigns’ locker room to form an allegiance. Zayn accused McIntyre and RK-Bro of badmouthing the undisputed world champion. Reigns then enlisted Jimmy and Jey into the Lumberjack Match to set the roster straight.

McIntyre Vs. Zayn ends in a no-contest. During the Lumberjack Match, The Usos assaulted Riddle and Orton before walking off. Amidst the chaos, Zayn managed to escape the crowd. This marks the third consecutive week that McIntyre vs. Zayn ended without a pinfall or submission. Authority figure Adam Pearce was furious with Zayn’s cowardice. Pearce announced that McIntyre vs. Zayn would take place for a fourth consecutive time on next week’s SmackDown – this time in a steel cage.

Props to WWE for weaving two separate storylines together, but the execution was messy. The ongoing feud between Raw and SmackDown’s tag team champions continues to deliver some of the best content on either brand. Riddle Vs. Jey was a level up from last week’s very good match between Riddle and Jimmy. The second half of SmackDown was more unsteady. The Usos involvement in the Lumberjack Match was negligible and the finish was exhausting. By the end of next week, WWE will have presented McIntyre and Zayn four consecutive times. The steel cage stipulation should give their feud finality, one would hope. Should. Riddle Vs. Jey put on a stellar match. McIntyre Vs. Zayn was groan-inducing. It seems only fair to split the difference. Grade: C

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair signed their contract for an ‘I Quit’ match at WrestleMania Backlash. Flair planted a kendo stick under the table; however, Rousey overcame the SmackDown women’s champion. The segment closed with Rousey signing the contract while applying an armbar to Drew Gulak.
  • Xavier Woods (w / Kofi Kingston) def. Butch (w / Sheamus and Ridge Holland) via pinfall after rolling up Butch in the small package. Butch took his frustrations out on a security guard before disappearing into the crowd.
  • Ricochet accepted a challenge made by Shanky. Jinder Mahal and Shanky interrupted Ricochet’s hangout session with Aliyah. WWE confirmed the intercontinental championship match for next week.
  • Gunther def. Teddy Goodz via pinfall after folding him with the Tenryu Powerbomb. Ludwig Kaiser introduced Gunther prior to the match.
  • Sasha Banks and Naomi were confronted by Natalya and Shayna Baszler backstage.
  • Madcap Moss def. Angel via pinfall after smoking him with the Punchline. Prior to the match, Moss refused a self-absorbed olive branch extended by his old partner Happy Corbin. After the match, Corbin attacked Moss and hit him with End of Days.
  • Lacey Evans starred in another video package opening up about her early life struggles.

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