WWE Smackdown plays to a crowd of thousands in Greenville

WWE Champion Roman Reigns and advocate Paul Heyman at Smackdown in Greenville Photo credit Rob Jones

Greenville has a long and storied history as a tremendous city for professional wrestling. That was again the case on Friday night when WWE Smackdown rolled into town. The first episode of the show since the company held on of its biggest premium events, Royal Rumble last weekend. Wrestletix reports that Smackdown in Greenville out drew Raw this past Monday in Tulsa and AEW Dynamite this past Wednesday in Dayton.

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The Well in Greenville was very close to max capacity and there were not many empty seats in the house at all. On top of that, the Greenville crowd was into it which helped the atmosphere completely.

The show was televised nationally on Fox from 8-10 PM eastern, however there were two more major matches just in front of the live crowd after the show went off the air.

Former world level strong man competitor Braun Strowman (real name Adam Scherr), a Western North Carolina native teamed with Richochet in the opening match of the televised portion of the show. They took the team of Kaiser and Vinci known collectively as Imperium. The match was a future match against Smackdown Tag Champs, the Usos.

Strowman and Imperium leader, Intercontinental Champ, Gunther had a face off outside the ring during the match. Imperium was very sharp in taking bumps for Strowman and the match was a nice way to open the TV broadcast. Strowman and Richochet did some nice "big man/little man tag spots" that played to Strowman's strength and size and showcased Richochet's athleticism on aerial maneuvers. They won it and will face the Usos on next week's Smackdown.

WWE Intercontinental Champ Gunther faces off with Braun Strowman outside the ring during a match Friday night Photo credit Rob Jones

The event then featured Women's Champ Charlotte Flair, daughter of legendary former 16 time World Champ , Ric Flair. Charlotte took on Sonya Deville and controlled most of the match. Deville was pretty good in the antagonist or as wrestling fans would call it "the heel" role. Charlotte is one of the great in ring performers in women's wrestling history. That was on display Friday, she was able to beat Deville when she locked in Ric's singature move the Figure Four, Charlotte then bridged her body turning into the Figure Eight. Deville would tap out.

Another highlight of the show was when , WWE Champion Roman Reigns, his advocate Paul Heyman came out to the ring. Reigns cut a promo on Sami Zayn and the fallout from the Royal Rumble.

A man in a black hoodie eventually came out and jumped Reigns, it was revealed to be Sami Zayn. Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa, members of the "Bloodline Stable" and real-life cousins to Reigns came out and helped him beat up on Zayn. The TV episode went off the air with Reigns taunting Sami, while Zayn laid in the corner after being beatdown.

The two "dark matches" after the TV broadcast ended, were two of the night's highlights. Uso and Sikoa from the Bloodline, took on Gallows and Anderson, two well accomplished and respected journeyman veterans. Those two were original members of the once globally recognized wrestling faction, The Bullet Club. Uso and Sikoa got the win in a relatively short match.

The grand finale was a "No DQ" match between LA Knight and Bray Wyatt. These two have been in a running feud in recent months on Smackdown. The match featured the use of Kendo Sticks and tables, as Knight took a bump through a table. Wyatt was wildly popular with the crowd and got huge pops both on his entrance and when he got the pin on Knight.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Rob Jones