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WWE SmackDown Tapings Sees New Champion Crowned (SPOILER)

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With WWE about to embark on a trip to Saudi Arabia, the company has taped the 18th of February episode of SmackDown where a new champion was crowned.

The tapings for the next episode of SmackDown took place after the live show on the 11th of February which emanated from New Orleans, Louisiana. On this week’s SmackDown, Los Lotharios scored a huge victory over The New Day in tag team action.

Former SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya exacted revenge on Aliyah by defeating her in what was originally advertised to be a “Dungeon style” match. Happy Corbin defeated Cesaro and in the show’s main event Charlotte Flair retained her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Naomi.

However, it was in the tapings for next week’s show that a major championship changed hands with Sami Zayn defeating Shinsuke Nakamura to become WWE Intercontinental Champion for the third time in his career.

Nakamura had been a guest on Zayn’s ‘In-Zayn’ live podcast alongside perennial guitar player Rick Boogs. During their exchange, a jolt went up Boogs’ arm from his guitar playing and while the Japanese star checked on his friend, Zayn attacked Nakamura with a Helluva Kick.

Interestingly, Sami Zayn’s first run as Intercontinental Champion in 2020 came in a match where he and Nakamura were on the same side. The trio of Zayn, Nakamura, and Cesaro defeated then-champion Braun Strowman with Sami Zayn picking up the fall to claim the title for himself.

Sami Zayn has recently embroiled in a war of words with Jackass star Johnny Knoxville after Knoxville competed in the 2022 men’s Royal Rumble match. Knoxville recently made an appearance at a WWE pop-up store in Los Angeles where he destroyed some of Zayn’s merchandise.