WWE SmackDown results: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn hug it out, plant seeds for WrestleMania showdown with Usos


You have to give the people what they want. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn did just that by giving into the WWE universe's demands for them to make up. As WrestleMania 39 approaches, the puzzle pieces started coming together on WWE SmackDown. 

Cody Rhodes' attempts to mend fences between estranged best friends Owens and Zayn appeared obsolete early Friday night. By the end of SmackDown, however, the friendship was persevered. A heated, emotional confrontation between enemies-turned-friends-turned-enemies Jey Uso and Zayn closed out SmackDown and served as a catalyst for the Owens-Zayn reunion.

Friday's episode also further fleshed out the WrestleMania match card. GUNTHER finally learned who he will defend his intercontinental championship at on the grand stage and an entirely new match was added to the lineup.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from T-Mobile Center in Kanas City, Missouri. 

Rhodes plays counselor, The Usos serve as foil for Owens-Zayn reunion

Rhodes kicked off SmackDown and, after briefly addressing WrestleMania opponent Roman Reigns, politely called Owens to the ring. Rhodes subsequently invited Owen's estranged friend Zayn to the ring. Rhodes pulled back the current and, without naming people, acknowledged Owens for helping him make contacts on the independent wrestling scene following Rhodes' WWE release in 2016. Chants of "hug it out" broke out in the crowd. 

Zayn expressed his desire to hash things out with Owens. Zayn wanted Owens to stop shying away from the issues between them. He invited Owens to talk or punch his way to a healthier place. Owens was dismissive, asking Rhodes if he can leave now that he heard out both parties. Zayn implored Owens to work with him to take down The Bloodline, if not as friends than as parties with mutual enemies. Owens pondered why he would unite with someone who didn't want to be his friend and exited the ring.

Zayn chased down Owens in the parking lot as the latter was entering his car. Zayn told Owens to forget everything that he said about The Bloodline. Zayn told Owens that they are more than friends, they are brothers. Owens remained silent, entered his vehicle and drove off.

Later in the evening, Zayn confessed to backstage interviewer Kayla Braxton that it was a heavy evening for him. He confessed that maybe he's the problem after both Owens and The Usos accused him of being the problem.

SmackDown closed with Uso and Zayn meeting in the ring. Uso said that ever since he was a child, his mission was to protect his family. Uso said the one time he let his guard down, he was betrayed by Zayn. Uso said he had no choice but to side with The Bloodline. Zayn cut off Uso, telling him that he did have a choice. Zayn said that Uso chose to take Reigns' abuse week after week. Zayn said he loved the members of The Bloodline but wasn't willing to take Reigns' dictatorship any longer. Zayn insisted that deep down Uso wanted to crack Reigns with a steel chair as Zayn did at the Royal Rumble. Jey Uso kicked off a brawl between the two parties that went south for Zayn once Jimmy Uso intervened. The Usos laid out Zayn with steel steps, but Owens' music hit before more damage could be done. Owens snuck up behind The Usos and took out the undisputed WWE tag team champions. Jimmy Uso received a stunner and Jey Uso was planted with a pop-up powerbomb. 

SmackDown closed with Owens and Zayn giving in to the crowds' "hug it out" chant while Rhodes watched with a smile on his face from a backstage monitor.

Really great work from everyone involved. I cannot recall the last time a storyline had so many great speakers involved. Rhodes, Zayn, Owens and Jey Uso all have great emotional range and speak with conviction on the microphone. The same goes for those who were not as directly involved this week: Reigns, Jimmy Uso and Paul Heyman. Even Solo Sikoa plays his quiet enforcer role to a tee. WWE's patience with the Owens-Zayn reunion paid off and the WrestleMania roadmap to The Usos vs. Owens and Zayn has been made. Pro-wrestling is at its best when the crowd is involved and being rewarded for their "hug it out" chants was the cherry on top. Grade: A+

What else happened on WWE SmackDown

  • Judgement Day (Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio) def. Legado del Fantasma (Zelina Vega and Santos Escobar) via pinfall after Ripley hit the Riptide on Vega. 
  • Rey Mysterio confronted Dominik Mysterio post-match. Rey Mysterio confessed that he wasn't the most present father, but that it did not deter his love for his son, and that the quality of life his children were afforded is because of that absence. Rey Mysterio wished for his son to stand by his side at his Hall of Fame ceremony and said he would whoop Dominik Mysterio at WrestleMania if he were anyone but his son. 
  • Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez def. Emma and Tegan Knox via pinfall after Morgan and Rodriguez landed Oblivion and a Texana Bomb, respectively, on Emma. They qualify for a fatal four-way tag team match at WrestleMania 39.
  • Charlotte Flair got the upper hand in a brawl with Ripley that kicked off following a cheapshot by Ripley.
  • Xavier Woods def. LA Knight via pinfall after rolling up Woods with a small package.
  • The Great Muta was announced for the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2023.
  • Rey Mysterio clocked Knight backstage for calling Mysterio "a deadbeat dad." 
  • Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus ended in a draw after Imperium attacked both men. Authority figure Adam Pearce announced post-match that GUNTHER would defend the intercontinental title against both McIntyre and Sheamus at WrestleMania 39.
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