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Daily Update: WWE SmackDown notes, Lita, Mustafa Ali

Notes from last night's SmackDown, Lita discusses why she didn't sign with AEW, and more.

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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE

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WWE

  • Pat McAfee missed last night’s SmackDown due to being in Los Angeles for Super Bowl week. With McAfee not being at the show, Corey Graves filled in for him on commentary. Next week’s Elimination Chamber go-home episode of SmackDown was also taped last night.
  • Last night’s SmackDown averaged 2.075 million viewers in the fast national ratings, up from the 2.00 million viewers that last week’s episode drew in the fast nationals. The rating in the 18-49 demo was a 0.5.
  • On last night’s SmackDown, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson narrated a video celebrating his father Rocky Johnson. The video was in celebration of Black History Month.
  • Johnson tweeted about the video: “This one makes me emotional, but man I’m smiling with goosebumps of gratitude, mana and pride. My dad, Rocky ‘Soulman’ Johnson was a trailblazer and became the first black @wwe tag team champions w/Tony Atlas. Thank you dad. I will forever be proud of who and what I am. I love u.”
  • In an interview with Esquire Middle East, Lita explained why she decided to return to WWE instead of signing with AEW: “AEW is doing exciting stuff. It’s brought new life in the industry. Any time there’s competition, it’s good. It revives the industry. When they reached out to me, I did consider it. I said, we can talk, I’m interested, you guys are doing some interesting stuff. But ultimately, upon talking to them, it just made me say to myself, ‘but I have all of these things already!’ I have those things with my home that I’ve known for 20 years, with the people that I’ve worked with for 20 years. Basically, I gave them my blessing. I said, I will watch you and I support you. And I want you guys to do great, but this just doesn’t feel like the right fit for me right now.”
  • WWE touted Becky Lynch and Lita being their first female wrestlers to appear on a billboard in Saudi Arabia. Several wrestlers promoted the billboard on social media by tweeting the phrase “WWE continues to influence the world.”
  • With WWE refusing to release him from his contract, Mustafa Ali tweeted today: “i’ll see ya all in like 2 1/2 years”
  • Charlotte Flair, Los Lotharios, and Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss were interviewed on Talking Smack this week.
  • A WWE 2K22 ratings reveal will air on G4 and UpUpDownDown at 4 p.m. Eastern this Tuesday.
  • Sasha Banks was a guest on Mark Andrews’ My Love Letter to Wrestling podcast.
  • Chad Gable & Otis appeared on this week’s episode of WWE After the Bell.
  • WWE’s YouTube channel uploaded Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero for the Cruiserweight title from No Way Out 2004, Bayley vs. Sasha Banks from the February 12, 2018 episode of Raw, and John Cena vs. Finn Balor from the January 29, 2018 episode of Raw.

Other Wrestling

  • Impact Wrestling commentator Tom Hannifan announced that he’ll be calling tonight’s Ohio State vs. Michigan college basketball game on ESPN Radio.
  • Dean Muhtadi (formerly known as Mojo Rawley) got engaged to his girlfriend Grace.
  • AEW’s Anthony Bowens and WWE’s Sonya Deville took a picture together at GLAAD’s “A Night of Pride with GLAAD and the NFL” Super Bowl week event. Bowens tweeted: “Who knew the forbidden door led to the GLAAD red carpet…we look [fire]”
  • During an appearance on the Wrestling for the Faith podcast, Chad Lail (the former Jaxson Ryker) discussed his June 2020 tweet in support of Donald Trump and the reaction he got for it.
  • Cody Rhodes and Amanda Huber discussed AEW’s Community Outreach team on this week’s edition of AEW Unrestricted.
  • Kylie Rae tweeted that she won’t be cleared to perform for the NWA and Zelo Pro Wrestling this weekend due to suffering a concussion: “Thank you for the kind messages. Took a pretty nasty bump last night and suffered a concussion. Unfortunately, I won’t be cleared to perform at @nwa & @ZeloWrestling this weekend. Wishing you all a great show. I’ll be there in spirit. Have fun & Be safe.”
  • Puma King will return to MLW at SuperFight in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, February 26. The tapings are being held at the Grady Cole Center.