WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Sami Zayn wins No. 1 contender battle royal ahead of Brock Lesnar return – CBS Sports

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WWE spent much of Friday night’s SmackDown teasing the return of Brock Lesnar while also hyping up a main event battle royal to crown a No. 1 contender to Roman Reigns’ universal title. Those two things clashed to end the show, with Sami Zayn’s battle royal win seemingly rendered meaningless with the announcement that Lesnar would return next week.
Zayn was able to skillfully slide out of the ring and avoid participation in much of the match before returning to steal a triumphant moment from Jeff Hardy. After Zayn’s celebration, he was shocked to hear that Lesnar would return next week on SmackDown. While Zayn vs. Reigns certainly won’t be headlining WWE Day One on Jan. 1, Lesnar’s return could prove to be the match that main events WWE’s 2022 kickoff.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Kayla Braxton opened the show in the ring, saying there were rumors of Brock Lesnar’s return, a statement that drew Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman out. Heyman brushed off the Lesnar talk as just rumors, while Reigns ran through the locker room — and Raw’s Big E — as “losers.” That sentiment, Reigns said, carried to Lesnar, also including him in the list of “losers.” Reigns then suggested that they could let three or four men win the battle royal to determine his next challenger and he’d run through them all. Throughout the night, Lesnar continued to be hinted at while others on the roster made their case to be involved in the battle royal.
Sami Zayn won the No. 1 contender battle royal. After introductions for everyone in the match, Drew McIntyre, who was not officially in the match, slid into the ring and swung his sword at everyone, clearing it out and daring WWE official Adam Pearce to make him leave. After a commercial break, McIntyre was gone from the ring and the match went ahead. Madcap Moss eliminated several men before playfully suggesting he was trying to eliminate Happy Corbin. After sharing a laugh with Corbin, Corbin eliminated him and the two laughed together. The final four in the match were Sheamus, Ricochet, Jeff Hardy and Corbin. Sheamus eliminated Ricochet. As Corbin and Sheamus agreed to eliminate Hardy, Corbin turned on Sheamus and eliminated him before Hardy tossed Corbin over the top rope. Sami Zayn then slid into the ring and eliminated Hardy, who had not yet been officially eliminated. Heyman, Reigns and The Usos were shown in the locker room laughing at Zayn becoming the official contender for Reigns’ title. It was then announced that Lesnar’s suspension had been lifted and he would appear at next week’s SmackDown, quickly bringing down the mood in the Reigns locker room as the show went off the air.
The match took up the final quarter of SmackDown, with the pre-match nonsense really feeling like it was dragging out the entire thing. To tease Lesnar all show, have him not appear and then announce he would appear next week after the battle royal felt a lot like there was no reason to have watched any of the show since nothing else of any meaning happened over two hours of the show. This was nothing more than a time-filler of an event. If you’re left feeling like you had no reason to watch, was anything worth it? Grade: D
There was no time for @SamiZayn to celebrate because @BrockLesnar returns NEXT FRIDAY on #SmackDown.

Believe THAT.@WWERomanReigns@HeymanHustle pic.twitter.com/LYKKJNFCnX
The indefinite suspension has been lifted and @BrockLesnar will be on #SmackDown next week?!?! pic.twitter.com/DFhe633SV3
WAIT A MINUTE!!!@SamiZayn was still in the match!!! @SamiZayn has earned a shot at @WWERomanReigns#UniversalTitle #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/z2viENHMXi
Can @JEFFHARDYBRAND earn himself an opportunity against @WWERomanReigns for the #UniversalTitle?!#SmackDown pic.twitter.com/yTNml6l2wN
#MadcapMoss looked to outsmart #HappyCorbin in the Black Friday Invitational Battle Royal on #SmackDown, but the winner of the 2016 Andre the Giant Memorial #BattleRoyal was ready for any trickery!@BaronCorbinWWE@riddickMoss pic.twitter.com/hz183lI2hT
#LosLotharios are outta here!#SmackDown #VikingRaiders @Erik_WWE @Ivar_WWE pic.twitter.com/g6r0Q4IPNm
SICK PRANK, MADCAP!#SmackDown @BaronCorbinWWE @riddickMoss pic.twitter.com/j3PX4y3ie5
Who will it be?#SmackDown #UniversalTitle @WWERomanReigns @HeymanHustle @WWEUsos pic.twitter.com/ESkxJlE55B
Who brings a SWORD to a #BattleRoyal?!@DMcIntyreWWE, that’s who!#SmackDown pic.twitter.com/boufwRhLQQ
LOOK OUT!@DMcIntyreWWE is NOT happy about not being included in the #BlackFriday #BattleRoyal! pic.twitter.com/PNpHMpfwkd
Who will earn the right to challenge @WWERomanReigns?

The #BlackFriday Invitational #BattleRoyal is NEXT on #SmackDown!

📺 @FOXTV pic.twitter.com/qBJ7Csrs5G
The team of @SashaBanksWWE & @NaomiWWE look to brush off the negativity from @SonyaDevilleWWE at ringside on #SmackDown! pic.twitter.com/Mybyw5RnXL
.@NaomiWWE & @SashaBanksWWE are victorious on #SmackDown! @SonyaDevilleWWE pic.twitter.com/wFa8YEjHlX
PLANTED.#SmackDown @NatbyNature pic.twitter.com/M3zVf83w4q
👏👏👏#SmackDown @NaomiWWE @NatbyNature pic.twitter.com/iiphIWvZLh
Learn the powerful story of #SmackDown’s newest Superstar, @XiaWWE. pic.twitter.com/aRIF6JDrsS
The Blueprint.#SmackDown @SashaBanksWWE pic.twitter.com/9MU2C0eAFg
GET ON THIS LEVEL.@NaomiWWE & @SashaBanksWWE take on @QoSBaszler & @NatbyNature NEXT on #SmackDown! @PatMcAfeeShow pic.twitter.com/sYnq147pzL
Will #SmackDown Women’s Champion @MsCharlotteWWE get her just desserts from #ToniStorm soon following this act of DISRESPECT?! pic.twitter.com/6ceTgOZspY

“I barely even know you exist.” – @MsCharlotteWWE#SmackDown #ToniStorm pic.twitter.com/JOWiK4oHSR
👀#SmackDown @MsCharlotteWWE #ToniStorm pic.twitter.com/vPOGcxUcWJ
.@ScrapDaddyAP says he’d be “shocked” if @BrockLesnar‘s indefinite suspension is lifted any time soon. #SmackDown @KaylaBraxtonWWE pic.twitter.com/D9xtc85kfV
As @rickboogswwe showed off his strength and pipes in the Thanksgiving Leftovers Throwdown on #SmackDown, his 👀 weren’t on his 🎸!!@AngelGarzaWwe#SmackDown pic.twitter.com/1fr6u6mvRq
We’ll hear from @MsCharlotteWWE NEXT on #SmackDown! pic.twitter.com/KCfvw8xmeN
Angel takes down @rickboogswwe on #SmackDown. 🥵#LosLotharios @AngelGarzaWwe pic.twitter.com/jF6UJ8U3lp
THAT’S WHAT YOU GET, HUMBERTO!#SmackDown @ShinsukeN @rickboogswwe @humberto_wwe pic.twitter.com/gvgfthzf21
🌪🎸🌪🎸🌪🎸🌪#SmackDown @rickboogswwe pic.twitter.com/W792B8b7SM
NEGOTIATING THE PRE-NUP?!?@WWE @KaylaBraxtonWWE @WWEonFOX @WWERomanReigns pic.twitter.com/IZPN67Wboe
We’ve got ourselves a #Thanksgiving Leftovers Throw Down on #SmackDown! pic.twitter.com/EERqpXZUxe
VOTE NOW! #WWENXT https://t.co/JUXRXRpc3M pic.twitter.com/J50ffSdlwp

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