WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Roman Reigns fires Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar lays waste

Brock Lesnar Roman Reigns WWE SmackDown

Lines have been drawn in the sand on Friday night's SmackDown and it appears both Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar will have support in their corners at WWE Day 1. The seeds of distrust between Reigns and Heyman boiled over, leaving the door wide open between Lesnar and his (former?) advocate.

Buoyed by some nuanced storytelling, the love and respect between Reigns and Heyman reminded intact despite their violent split. Tied into the Universal Championship picture are The Usos continued struggles against The New Day. Between Lesnar's reign of terror and New Day's rolling momentum, The Bloodline is backed against a wall.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.

Roman Reigns sheds Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar stands tall

Paul Heyman opened the limousine door for Roman Reigns halfway through the show, only to be greeted by his former client Brock Lesnar. "The Beast Incarnate" sported overalls rivalled only by his rarely seen happy-go-lucky demeanor. Heyman experienced deja vu later in the night as a second limousine pulled up. Reigns built on seeds of dissent by exiting the vehicle on the opposite side from his special counsel. 

Reigns, flanked in-ring by The Bloodline, later addressed the crowd in SmackDown's closing segment. 

"I don't like it when my cousins lose," Reigns told The Usos, referring to their main event defeat to The New Day. "But we can get through anything because we're blood." 

The WWE Universal champion turned his attention to Heyman, who Reigns' reminded was not family, before questioning his allegiance. Reigns pressed Heyman on how much Lesnar's former advocate knew about Lesnar's stretch of WWE appearances this year.

"I'm not protecting Brock Lesnar from you. I'm protecting you from Brock Lesnar," Heyman answered when asked why he was protecting the former universal champion.

Reigns thanked Heyman for his decades of service to his family, before firing his special counsel and delivering a superman punch to the former ECW boss. Reigns picked up a steel chair, looking like he was setting up Heyman for a con-chair-to, when Lesnar's music hit.

Lesnar sprinted down the ramp and delivered a clothesline to Jimmy and a nasty low suplex to Jey on the outside before pasting both brothers with F-5s ringside. He entered the ring and was greeted by several chair shots to the back by Reigns. Lesnar powered through the shots and delivered two big F5s to Reigns to close out the show.

Some meaningful development in the Reigns-Lesnar-Heyman saga. Heyman's trepidation around Lesnar made enough sense and this was a logical way to shed Reigns of his counsel, who is arguably better served as Lesnar's mouthpiece. Heyman is obviously not The Usos when it comes to physicality, but the odds are now a little more even heading into WWE Day 1. Grade: A

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Sasha Banks and Toni Storm def. Charlotte Flair and Shotzi via pinfall after Storm surprised Flair with a roll-up into a bridge. Storm, nearly put away the SmackDown Women's champion minutes prior with a diving crossbody and a near three count.

  • The Viking Raiders def. Jinder Mahal and Shanky via pinfall after Erik hurled Ivar butt first into Shanky's face. A gargantuan Ivar-sized 747 Splash from the top rope preceded the match-winning pin.

  • Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss prance around Drew McIntyre's claymore. Moss rattled off terrible jokes before he and Corbin tried to pull the sword from Adam Pearce's table, a la Excalibur, with no luck. McIntyre interrupted the segment, threw both men out of the ring and retrieved Angela. Corbin later threw Moss under the bus by booking him in a match against McIntyre at WWE Day 1.

  • Sami Zayn met with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville wheelchair-free. Zayn expressed his dissatisfaction with the commercialization of the holiday season but appreciated the sentiment of cheer and giving. Pearce and Deville entered Zayn in a 12-man gauntlet to crown a number one contender for Nakamura's Intercontinental title next week.

  • Ridge Holland (w/ Sheamus) def. Cesaro via pinfall after a big powerslam targeting Cesaro's already injured ribs. The match was delayed after Holland hit the Cesaro with a shillelagh. A trainer wrapped up Cesaro's ribs during a commercial break before the match officially started. 

  • Naomi def. Shayna Bazler via pinfall with a quick rollup reversal after Bazler tried to isolate Naomi's leg for a submission. Before the match, the authority figure once again rejected a challenge from Naomi, but paired up her rival against Bazler. Deville served as a distraction for Bazler's attack from behind before ordering the referee to ring the bell. 

  • New Day def. The Usos via pinfall after a Trouble in Paradise lands for Kofi Kingston on Jimmy. This was by far the evening's best match between two teams who know each other as well. The two teams will face off for the SmackDown tag team titles at Day 1.

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December 18, 2021, 2:41 AM
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