WWE is taping next week’s Friday Night SmackDown tonight in New Orleans due to the crew traveling to Saudi Arabia next Friday for Elimination Chamber 2022 pay-per-view.

As announced, the #1 contender Sami Zayn challenged Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship. Sami Zayn had been the #1 contender since winning the 12 Days of Christmas Gauntlet match on the December 24th, 2021 epsiode of SmackDown.
During the match, Sami Zayn successfully defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to become the new Intercontinental Champion. This is Sami Zayn’s third reign as Intercontinental Champion. Nakamura won the title back on the August 13th episode of SmackDown by defeating Apollo Crews.

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