WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Ronda Rousey taps out Sonya Deville and ... - CBS Sports

Ronda Rousey is in total control heading into her WrestleMania 38 SmackDown women's championship clash against Charlotte Flair. Rousey got her hands on authority figure Sonya Deville on Friday's episode of WWE SmackDown, Rousey's first televised singles match in three years.

Rousey, the former UFC women's bantamweight champion and Raw women's champion, returned from a three-year hiatus at January's Royal Rumble event. Prior to Friday, Rousey had not competed in a televised one-on-one match since a "Beat the Clock" challenge against Sarah Logan on the March 25, 2019 episode of WWE Raw. Following a successful outing alongside Naomi against Flair and Deville at Elimination Chamber, Rousey stepped into the WWE ring solo on Friday.

SmackDown also featured two championship bouts: Sami Zayn vs. Ricochet for the Intercontinental crown and SmackDown Tag Team champions The Usos defending their keep against The Viking Raiders.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.

Ronda Rousey def. Sonya Deville via submission, sends Charlotte Flair packing

Rousey took the fight to Deville from the get-go. She tossed the authority figure around with all manners of monkey flips, takedown to armbar set-ups and various arm throws. Deville mounted a brief flurry of offense courtesy of a distraction by Flair. Once Rousey regained the lead, it was game over. The UFC veteran pieced together some nice slams and corner strikes before planting Deville with the Piper's Pit. The match came to an end courtesy of Rousey's trademark armbar.

Flair, who served as a guest commentator, was dismissive of Rousey's armbar, describing the MMA star as a one-trick pony. Rousey egged on Flair, luring her into the ring. Rousey slid into a nice jumping sweep, flooring Flair and chaining into an ankle lock. Flair tapped to Rousey's new submission hold before scurrying out of the ring.

The match was rather straight forward and the finish was never really in doubt. Those concerned with Rousey's fitness and ring rust following a three-year absence should be relieved. The former Raw women's champion performed solidly in her first televised singles match in three years. This was a much better barometer to measure what Rousey vs. Flair will look like than their tag team match at the Elimination Chamber. Rousey had one arm tied behind her back at the Elimination Chamber event, severely limiting the offense she could deliver. SmackDown's main event moved forward the Rousey vs. Flair feud in a reasonable way. Simple booking, but it worked. Grade: B

What else happened on WWE SmackDown

  • SmackDown opened with snappy individual backstage promos by Paul Heyman, Ronda Rousey, Sonya Deville, The Viking Raiders, The Usos, Ricochet and Sami Zayn.
  • Ricochet def. Sami Zayn via pinfall to become the new WWE Intercontinental champion. Ricochet had plenty of jaw-dropping offense during the match. The finish came via a hurricanrana pinfall combination while Zayn was distracted by Jackass Forever star Johnny Knoxville.
  • Austin Theory said he would be Pat McAfee's WrestleMania 38 opponent. Vince McMahon offered McAfee a match at WrestleMania on his podcast last week.
  • Naomi (with Sasha Banks) def. Carmella (wwith Queen Zelina) via pinfall after landing a split-legged moonsault.
  • Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss played cards backstage with friends. The pair were scouting Drew McIntyre ahead of McIntyre vs. Corbin at WrestleMania.
  • Drew McIntyre def. Jinder Mahal via pinfall after clobbering him with the claymore. McIntyre subsequently took the mic and promised to beat Corbin at WWE's biggest annual event.
  • Roman Reigns promised to defeat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. He was flanked by Paul Heyman and The Usos during the promo. Prior to his speech, The Usos attacked Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura on the entrance ramp.
  • The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) def. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) via pinfall to retain the SmackDown Tag Team championships. The twin brothers struck Erik with the 1D to wrap up the match.
  • Sheamus and Ridge Holland ambushed Big E and Kofi Kingston before the planned Sheamus vs. Big E match. Holland and Sheamus drove off on New Day's ATV before destroying it with sledgehammers.

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