WWE Smackdown Report – 12/30

Dec 30, 2022 - by Staff

– The final WWE SmackDown on FOX of 2022 opens live from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida as Michael Cole welcomes us to a sold out show. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett. They hype John Cena’s return for later tonight.

– We go right to the ring and out comes Bray Wyatt to a pop.

Wyatt takes his time entering the ring with his lantern. We see how Wyatt attacked the camera man last Friday. Wyatt introduces himself an says honestly, he doesn’t really think of himself as a good person, but he tries really, really hard, man. When he looks back at all the horrible things he’s had to do to get where he’s at today, man, honestly he doesn’t regret much. However, last week he did something that he does regret, and he wants to apologize. Wyatt says he attacked the camera man in cold blood, and the camera man didn’t deserve that. Wyatt says if the man is watching, he wants him to know that… The music interrupts and out comes LA Knight to boos.

Knight speaks from the stage and says the Master of The Mind Games is getting gamed by the mega-star, LA Knight. Knight says Wyatt can’t even keep his composure, he can’t finish a sentence, he gets all embarrassed and then takes it out on a camera man. Knight isn’t concerned about all that, but he is concerned with Wyatt paying one of his goons to come out in the Uncle Howdy outfit. Knight says Wyatt thinks that takes the heat off him but no, Wyatt is still a responsible party.

Knight says it’s time to pay the check. He’s at ringside now as Wyatt looks on. Knight says Wyatt used to be something, a force. Fans chant “you suck!” as Knight stands on the apron now, telling them to quiet down. Knight says week after week all Wyatt has proven himself to be is a fraud, a broke down loser. Yeah. Knight says he has the medicine. He enters the ring and brings up his first Royal Rumble, so he wants to make it a special one. Fans begin the “What!?” treatment and Knight tells them to shut up. He plans to put Wyatt out of his misery and break him like dishes at The Rumble. Wyatt calls him a little idiot and fans pop. Wyatt asks Knight who the hell he thinks he’s talking to, son.

Wyatt says he’s been patient all this time but he knows in the back of his head that he can end this when he wants to. He says he thinks Knight is right, maybe it’s time that he needs to remind Knight and the rest of the world how cruel he can be when he feels like it. Fans pop. Wyatt accepts Knight’s challenge for The Rumble, tossing the mic at Knight.

The graphics flash and Uncle Howdy is now on the big screen. Howdy says to revel in what you are, embrace the dark. He repeats himself. Knight asks what this is and Wyatt tells him to shut up. The lights go low and here comes Uncle Howdy to the entrance-way. Howdy marches to the ring now, and enters, taking his top hat off. The lights are still low but we see Howdy standing next to Wyatt. Knight faces them. We see them move in the shadows now, and Howdy has dropped Wyatt with Sister Abigail. Knight retreats to the floor and asks what the hell is going on. Howdy’s music starts back up as he exits the ring and slowly marches to the back. A closer look shows that this may not have been Howdy after all, maybe some other character or just a different look at Howdy?

– Sami Zayn is walking backstage. He knocks on The Bloodline locker room suite door and out comes Paul Heyman. They embrace. Sami thought he and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns should talk things over before tonight’s main event. Heyman praises Sami for last week’s promos on John Cena and Kevin Owens, and says Reigns is so proud of him. Sami says they talked after and Reigns seemed so pleased with everything. Heyman says the whole concept of Reigns standing in the middle of the ring, with everyone chanting “Sami!” at him, it’s not the right optic. Sami asks if Reigns said something. Heyman says he didn’t have to. Heyman says to survive on The Island of Relevancy, you stay three steps ahead at all times. Heyman is implying people like Sami too much? Sami laughs it off and enters the room. Heyman sighs and looks a bit stressed. We go to commercial.

– Back from the break and Cole hypes tonight’s SmackDown Women’s Title match.

Solo Sikoa vs. Sheamus

We go back to the ring and out comes The Brawling Brutes – Sheamus with Ridge Holland and Butch. Out next comes The Bloodline – Solo Sikoa with Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso.

The bell rings and they go at it, colliding and staring each other down. Sheamus ties Solo up by the arm but Solo fights out. Sheamus with a big shoulder. Solo powers into him back and they face off again. Solo rocks Sheamus.

Cole sends condolences to the family of former TNA/Impact commentator Don West, who passed away at the age of 59 this week. Cole praises West for his influence on pro wrestling commentary. Solo drops Sheamus and works him around, taking his time. Sheamus lands an uppercut and beats Sikoa from corner to corner. Sheamus with right hands in the corner now.

Sheamus sends Sikoa to the floor, and Sikoa is frustrated as he snaps a bit. The Usos try to calm Sikoa down as he stares at Sheamus from ringside. We go to commercial with Sheamus looking on from the ring.

Back from the break and Sikoa has Sheamus grounded. Sheamus fights back but Sikoa hits a Samoan Drop to put him back down. Solo goes on but wastes some time and Sheamus levels him with a clothesline. More back and forth between the two. Sheamus with a big powerslam, then 10 Beats of the Bodhrán as fans pop. Sikoa goes to one knee.

Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick but Sikoa cuts him off with a superkick. Sheamus comes right back with a knee strike but Sikoa kicks out at 2. Sikoa grabs Sheamus’ beard and connects with a headbutt but Sheamus comes back with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus with the Cloverleaf submission now. Jey distracts the referee, allowing Jimmy to help Sikoa out of the Cloverleaf. Butch comes over but The Usos drop him, then Holland attacks them both.

Sheamus leaps off the top to take The Usos down at ringside, saving Holland. Sikoa comes from behind and sends Sheamus into the ring post shoulder-first. Solo with the Uranage on the apron. Sikoa brings Sheamaus back in and nails the Samoan Spike for the pin to win.

Winners: Solo Sikoa

– After the match, Sikoa stands tall as the music hits. Sheamus is attacked now by The Bloodline. A chair is wrapped around Sheamus’ neck in the corner, and Sikoa readies for the Umaga corner splash but the music hits and out comes Drew McIntyre. Drew drops Jey at ringside, then drops Jimmy with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt as he enters the ring. Drew faces off with Sikoa in the ring now as fans pop. Drew ducks a clothesline and then clotheslines Sikoa to the floor. Drew dodges a superkick from Jimmy, then levels him with a Claymore Kick. Butch and Holland rush the ring to stand with Drew, sending Jey back to the floor retreating. McIntyre, Holland and Butch stand tall together as Sheamus’ music starts up, and Sheamus joins them. The Usos and Sikoa look on from ringside.

– Tonight’s Progressive Match Flo replay looks at Ronda Rousey’s recent dominance, and her feud with Raquel Rodriguez.

SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Raquel Rodriguez vs. Ronda Rousey

Back from the break and out comes #1 contender Raquel Rodriguez, and she’s ready to fight. SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey is out next with Shayna Baszler. We get formal ring introductions from Samantha Irvin.

The bell rings and they go at it. They go into the corner and then break. Rousey attacks Rodriguez in the corner, beating her down and sending her face-first into the turnbuckle. Rousey works on the hurt elbow and slaps Rodriguez.

Rodriguez gets fired up and unloads on Rousey, then hits a big spinning slam for a 2 count in the middle of the ring. They end up on the floor and Rodriguez works Rousey over in front of Baszler. Rodriguez brings it back in and launches Rousey across the ring. Rodriguez with a corner splash, then another big splash in the corner.

Rodriguez charges again but Rousey moves, and Rodriguez hits the post with her hurt arm. Rodriguez falls out to the floor as Rousey recovers and we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Rousey grinds the hurt arm into the top rope. Rousey works on the arm some more and drops Raquel from the apron. Rousey takes Rodriguez down into a submission now as the referee checks on Rodriguez. Rousey pounds on Rodriguez while in the hold. Rodriguez fights out and nails big right hands.

Rousey connects with a right of her own. Rousey runs into an elbow in the corner. Rousey catches a kick and dumps Rodriguez on her head for another 2 count. Rousey mocks the fans now while man-handling Rodriguez on the mat. Rousey with another arm submission as Baszler cheers her on. Rodriguez powers up and slams Rousey back, now they’re both down in the middle of the ring.

Both competitors get back up and Raquel nails two clotheslines, then a third with the bad arm. Rousey kicks out at 2. Rousey ends up applying the armbar but Rodriguez resists. Rousey mocks fans while trying to tighten the hold. Rodriguez turns it into a Boston Crab for a big pop. Baszler screams at Rousey, who quickly turns the Crab into the ankle lock in the middle of the ring.

Rodriguez gets free, then slams Rousey face-first with a big Flapjack as she charges in. Rodriguez goes for the Texana Bomb but Rousey dumps them both over the top rope, keeping the arm locked in. Rodriguez powers Rousey back up and slams her into the edge of the apron with the one-arm slam. Rodriguez is in control at ringside as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Rodriguez nails a vertical suplex for 2 as Rousey grabs the bottom rope on the kick-out. Rousey goes back to work on the hurt arm, applying another submission and making Rodriguez scream out as Baszler rallies from ringside. Rodriguez rolls through and comes up with Rousey in her arms for a big fall-away slam. Both competitors are down as the referee checks on Rousey. Rodriguez slaps her arm to try and get the feeling back.

Rousey slides out of a Texana Bomb and applies a Sleeper hold on the back of Rodriguez. Rodriguez begins to fade to one knee as Baszler cheers from ringside. Rodriguez suddenly powers up and rams Rousey back into the corner. Rodriguez runs from one corner to the other across the ring, sending Rousey face-first into the top turnbuckle. They both go down but Rousey hits harder. Rodriguez with a big boot to put Rousey back down. Rodriguez knocks Baszler off the apron, then hits the corkscrew elbow from the corner for 2 as Baszler puts Rousey’s arm on the rope. The referee yells at Baszler as fans boo her.

Rodriguez scoops Rousey and rams her back into the turnbuckles, then places her up top. Rodriguez works on Rousey while she’s up top. Rodriguez climbs up but Rousey fights off her shoulders, applying an armbar while up on her back now. They both fall to the mat, with the hold still applied, and Rodriguez lands on her bad elbow. Rousey still has the armbar locked in, and Rodriguez taps as soon as they hit the mat.

Winner: Ronda Rousey

– After the match, Baszler joins Rousey in the ring and they stand tall as we go to replays. We come back and the familiar music of Charlotte Flair hits as the crowd erupts. Flair is here. Rousey and Baszler are shocked. Flair marches to the ring and enters. Rousey takes the mic and asks Flair how her arm is doing, how rehab is going. Rousey says let me guess, you want a title shot at the Royal Rumble? Rousey asks “Queenie” how she’s doing. Flair says no, she’s challenging Rousey tonight. Flair tosses the mic as fans pop. Rousey seethes as Baszler tries to talk her to the back. Flair raises her arms and the crowd pops. Rousey drops the title in between them, and says she’s feeling spicy. Baszler argues with Rousey now. Rousey hands the title to the referee and her we go.

SmackDown Women’s title Match: Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey

The bell rings and Flair immediately levels Rousey with a running big boot for a 2 count. Flair knocks Shayna Baszler off the apron with a big boot.

Flair stalks Rousey now, then hits a Spear when she gets back up. Rousey immediately counters with the armbar but Flair turns it into a roll-up for the pin to win the title.

Winner and New SmackDown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair

– After the match, Flair raises the title and celebrates at ringside as her music hits. Flair enters the crowd to celebrate with fans as a disappointed Rousey looks on from the ring. We see Flair embracing fans in the crowd now. We go to replays. Flair raises the title on the entrance-way now as the pyro goes off. Flair continues her celebration and heads to the back, stopping to kiss the title belt and raise it in the air.

– We go backstage to The Bloodline. Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn are talking and sharing a few laughs. Sami asks Reigns if he was bothered by the fans chanting for him last week. Reigns acts as if this did not bother him, and says he meant to tell Sami this – the way he was locked in, how can anyone pay attention to anything else due to the words he was saying, the conviction he said it with. Reigns says if Sami has 10% of that tonight, it’s an easy night for Reigns, he won’t have to do anything. Sami says it will be a great night for The Bloodline. The Usos agree while Solo Sikoa stares ahead, and Paul Heyman smiles. Reigns looks ahead and nods as we go back to commercial.

– Back from the break and we see what happened with the SmackDown Women’s Title.

– Cole shows us a replay of what happened with Dominik Mysterio getting arrested at his grandfather’s house on Christmas when he showed up with Rhea Ripley to confront Rey Mysterio. Cole confirms Ripley bailed Dominik out.

– WWE NXT Tag Team Champions The New Day, Hit Row, Madcap Moss and Maximum Male Models are backstage ribbing “Top Dolla” AJ Francis over his recent failed dive. Ricochet joins in on the jokes against Dolla, but Dolla gets offended and shoves him. They have words as the others hold them back. Cole says Dolla should be embarrassed as a man of his size should never try dives like that.

– We go back to the ring and out comes Imperium – WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. They march to the ring and we go back to commercial

Back from the break and the announcers hype tonight’s main event. We see what happened earlier with LA Knight, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy. The Pitch Black match is confirmed for Royal Rumble, sponsored by Mountain Dew’s Pitch Black flavor. No details are announced. We go back to the ring and Imperium is standing tall in the center. Kaiser takes the mic to boos.

Kaiser says 2022 was the year of The Ring General. Vinci says GUNTHER has proven to bet he mos dominant Intercontinental Champion in history, and no man on SmackDown will take the title from him. Kaiser says don’t just take their word for it, take a look at the men who tried. We see a video package on GUNTHER’s recent dominance as champion. We come back and the music hits for Braun Strowman to make his entrance to a pop. Strowman marches to the ring now.

Braun takes the mic and faces off with GUNTHER. Braun says he noticed one thing about GUNTHER’s little video – Braun wasn’t in it, which means GUNTHER clearly hasn’t defeated him. Braun says maybe Vinci and Kaiser are right when they say there’s not a man on SmackDown who can beat GUNTHER, but what about a monster? Fans pop. GUNTHER laughs and drops the mic. Imperium turns to leave but Braun says he’s not asking for a title shot he’s telling GUNTHER, boy. Braun grabs GUNTHER’s shoulder to turn him back around. Imperium attacks Braun but he fights them off. Braun clears the ring of Vinci and Kaiser as GUNTHER watches from the corner.

Braun backs GUNTHER into the corner now. GUNTHER attacks with a chop but Braun catches it. GUNTHER pleads with Braun as Braun holds his arm. Braun with a big clothesline. GUNTHER rolls to the floor as Braun rips his shirt off, then yells out. Braun runs around the ring with the Strowman Express as fans pop. Braun runs over Kaiser and Vinci but GUNTHER sends him crashing through the barrier into the timekeeper’s area. GUNTHER with a steel chair shot over the back. They hold Braun as GUNTHER delivers another chair shot, then they send him into the steel steps. GUNTHER brings Braun back into the ring and stretches his arm out. Vinci and Kaiser keep officials from entering the ring. Ricochet runs down with a steel chair to make the save for Braun. Imperium retreats. Adam Pearce and other officials try to restore order from ringside as Ricochet checks on Braun.

– We see The Bloodline walking backstage for the main event. Back to commercial.

John Cena and Kevin Owens vs. Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn

We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes Kevin Owens. John Cena is out next to make his big return to the ring as fans go wild. Cena speaks to the camera and gives thanks for allowing him to do this for more than 20 years. Cena says let’s go to work. He rushes the ring and plays to the crowd as they cheer him on. Cena and Owens embrace. Out next comes The Bloodline – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn with Solo Sikoa, Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos and Paul Heyman. Sami is fired up. The Bloodline stops at the entrance-way, then they raise their fingers and their titles while the pyro goes off. Cena salutes The Bloodline and gives them a thumbs up as they march to the ring. The Bloodline now stands tall in the ring. Reigns raises the gold in the air again as more pyro goes off. We go to commercial.

Back from the break and Sami faces off with Owens. The bell rings an they lock up. Sami drops Owens first with a clothesline. Sami celebrates and shows off. He wastes some time and turns around to a kick, but Owens can’t get the Stunner. Owens goes to work on Sami and hits a senton as Reigns looks on a bit surprised.

Owens briefly taunts Reigns. Sami fights in from the apron. Owens blocks a suplex attempt, then drops Sami over the top rope. Owens talks some trash to Sami now. Owens challenges Reigns to come in, and dares Sami to hit him. Owens continues taunting both opponents, until Reigns tags in. Fans chant “Cena!” now. Cena reaches for the tag. Reigns taunts Owens and talks some trash in the middle of the ring. Owens and Reigns have words.

Owens looks over at Cena, but Reigns takes advantage and clotheslines Owens, then stomps away as the referee warns him. Reigns spikes Owens into the mat for a 2 count in the middle of the ring. Reigns keeps the attack going on Reigns as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Owens fights Sami off, then knocks Reigns off the apron. Sami comes back with a big throw but Owens immediately levels Sami with a clothesline and they both go down as fans pop and Cena reaches for the tag.

Reigns runs over and pulls Cena off the apron to prevent the tag. Reigns unloads on Cena at ringside, sending him into the barrier. Sami with a modified Helluva Kick to Cena against the barrier. Sami comes back in and goes for the Helluva Kick to Owens but Owens meets him with a superkick. They both go back down in the middle of the ring as Reigns looks on.

Owens crawls to his corner but Cena is down on the floor. Owens yells at Cena to get back up. Sami comes from behind but Owens nails a Pop-Up Powerbomb for 2 as Reigns makes the save just in time. Reigns pounds on Owens as the referee orders him back out. Reigns drags Sami to their corner, then tags in. Reigns calls for the Superman Punch but Owens dodges it, then superkicks Reigns to the mat. Owens goes to the top and hits a big Frogsplash to Reigns for 2. Reigns blocks a Pop-Up Powerbomb with a Superman Punch. Reigns calls for the Spear but Owens moves and Reigns hits the ring post shoulder-first.

Reigns and Owens are both down as Cena gets back to the apron to a big pop. Sami is also waiting for the hot tag. Cena and Sami tag in and they go at it. Cena with two shoulder tackles, then the big slam. Cena calls for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, taunts Reigns with the “you can’t see me!” taunt, and slams Reigns as The Tribal Chief runs in to fight.

Cena tags Owens in and they hit stereo Five Knuckle Shuffles to Sami and Reigns while The Bloodline members are down next to each other. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment to Reigns. Owens drops Sami with the Stunner. Owens covers Sami in the middle of the ring for the pin to win.

Winners: Kevin Owens and John Cena

– After the match, Owens’ music hits as he and Cena celebrate to a big pop. Reigns and Zayn are down at ringside as Sikoa and The Usos stand tall next to them. Cena and Owens continue their celebration as Cole wishes everyone a Happy New Year. The final SmackDown of 2022 goes off the air.

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