WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Roman Reigns puts his SmackDown career on ...

Ahead of Survivor Series on Nov. 21, WWE SmackDown returned to the air on Friday night with universal champion Roman Reigns taking on Xavier Woods. The match had plenty of heat not only because Woods is the current King of the Ring, but also because Woods was representing New Day ahead of Big E facing Reigns at the upcoming pay-per-view.

Reigns was willing to put his title on the line (in unique fashion) as well as his career on SmackDown against Woods, but as is the universal champion's way, he found a shortcut to an unsatisfying finish to the match. The Usos interfered to ultimately cost Reigns the match via disqualification but also to allow "The Tribal Chief" to score a vicious moral victory over Woods.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.

Roman Reigns avoids bending the knee to Xavier Woods

Xavier Woods def. Roman Reigns via disqualification after interference from Jimmy and Jey Uso. Paul Heyman announced early in the show that if Reigns couldn't force Woods to "bend the knee," and if he refused to bend the knee in defeat, Reigns could be stripped of the title and kicked off SmackDown. After a competitive match, Woods hit a rope-walk elbow and seemed to have the match won before the Usos pulled him from the ring and attacked to draw the disqualification. After the Usos drove the ring steps into Woods, they brought Woods' King of the Ring crown into the ring and placed it on Reigns' head as the show went off the air.

There weren't a lot of ways to have the match end that would be satisfying. Reigns winning clean would have been a downer for the new King of the Ring and Woods couldn't win clean over the universal champion. So, ultimately, this was a sensible finish. It just wasn't particularly satisfying in the moment. That said, Big E looking to avenge what Reigns has done to his New Day teammates at least adds a little steam to Survivor Series, which as been built to with WWE doing, well, absolutely nothing. Grade: B

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Aliyah, Naomi & Sasha Banks def. Shotzi Blackheart, Shayna Baszler & Natalya via pinfall when Aliyah rolled up Natalya. The match came about when Naomi interrupted Sonya Deville introducing the women's SmackDown squad. After a brawl broke out, an impromptu six-woman tag match started.
  • Sonya Deville removed Aliyah from the women's Survivor Series team. After congratulating Aliyah for winning her first match on SmackDown, Deville informed Aliyah that she'd "been informed" Aliyah had been removed from the team.
  • Los Lotharios def. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs via pinfall after hitting a variation of a Total Elimination.
  • Charlotte Flair refused to defend the SmackDown women's championship against Toni Storm. Storm interrupted a Flair promo to ask for a title shot only to be blown off as Flair said she was focusing on Survivor Series opponent Becky Lynch.
  • Jeff Hardy def. Sami Zayn via pinfall after a swanton bomb. Adam Pearce announced the loser of this match would be removed from the SmackDown men's Survivor Series team.

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