WWE Smackdown Report – 1/20

Jan 20, 2023 - by Marc Middleton

– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a look back at what happened last week during Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens. We’re now live from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett. We see two black SUVs pull into the back parking lot. The Bloodline hops out – Zayn and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos in one truck, with Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman in the other. Sami and The Usos are fired up, in a good mood tonight. Zayn offers a fist bump to Reigns but he keeps walking past him. Zayn looks a bit concerned as he watches everyone else enter the building.

SmackDown Tag Team Titles #1 Contenders Tournament: Sheamus and Drew McIntyre vs. The Viking Raiders

We go right to the ring to kick off the tournament to crown new #1 contenders to Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos for a future shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Out first comes Sheamus to a pop. He hits the ring and out next comes Drew McIntyre as Samantha Irvin does the introductions. The horns sound next as The Viking Raiders come to the ring – Erik and Ivar with Valhalla. We see how Erik and Ivar attacked Sheamus and McIntyre two weeks ago. The winner of this match will face the winners of Hit Row vs. Los Lotharios. All first round matches will happen tonight.

Cole sends well wishes to the family of ROH Hall of Famer Jay Briscoe, who passed away at the age of 38 on Tuesday. Cole mentions how Jay and Mark Briscoe were one of wrestling’s great tag teams. The Viking Raiders suddenly attack as the bell hits. Sheamus fights Erik off while Ivar works Drew over at ringside.

Erik rocks Sheamus but Sheamus clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. Ivar rocks Drew with a throat shot, then sends him into the ring post. Drew goes down. Sheamus unloads on Ivar now, then Erik. Sheamus launches Erik into the barrier as Valhalla looks on and the referee counts. Sheamus brings Erik back in but he has to hit Ivar to stop him from re-entering.

Sheamus with 7 Beats of the Bodhrán to Ivar as Erik makes the save. Fans boo. Sheamus rocks Erik and delivers 10 Beats of the Bodhrán to him as fans cheer. Erik and Ivar double team Sheamus to turn it around. Ivar with a running low crossbody against the barrier while Sheamus is already down on the floor. Ivar yells out as we go to commercial.

Back from the break and Erik drops Sheamus with a neckbreaker for 2. Erik grounds Sheamus in the middle of the ring, then pounds on him to keep him down. Erik continues to wear Sheamus down as fans try to rally. Sheamus fights up and out but Erik fights back. Ivar comes in and drops the ax handle on Sheamus. Erik is legal again as the assault continues. Sheamus finally levels Erik and fans pop. Drew and Ivar tag in to cheers now as they go at it. Drew with a clothesline and a big shoulder.

Drew launches Erik over his head, then nails a neckbreaker to Ivar. Drew with a neckbreaker to Erik, then a kip-up for a big pop. Drew grabs Ivar but gets rammed into the corner. Ivar mounts offense but Drew scoops him for a Michinoku Driver. Valhalla looks concerned as Ivar fights with Drew. Ivar with a big senton in the corner. Erik tags in and splashes Drew in the corner with a clothesline, then sends him into a big clothesline from Ivar. Erik covers for 2.

Ivar goes to the top but Drew rocks him and climbs up. They end up with Drew turned upside down in the corner. Sheamus makes the save and drops Erik with White Noise. Drew pulls himself up in the corner and launches Ivar to the mat. All four Superstars are down now as fans cheer and we go to commercial.

Back from the break and Ivar has Drew in the corner, taking his time. Drew is whipped into the opposite corner but he comes out with a clothesline. Drew keeps control and calls for the Claymore Kick but Ivar cuts him off with a spin kick. They both go down and now fans rally.

Erik and Sheamus tag in, then. More brief back and forth now. Erik launches Drew over his head. Ivar tags in and goes to the top, nailing the big splash on Sheamus but Sheamus kicks out just in time. Ivar can’t believe it. Erik tags in and they go for the double team but Sheamus cuts Ivar off in mid-air with a knee strike. Drew runs in with a big Claymore Kick to Erik. Ivar gets back up and turns around to a Brogue Kick to get the pin and to advance in the tournament.

Winners: Sheamus and Drew McIntyre

– After the match, Sheamus and Drew stand tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Cole confirms Sheamus and McIntyre vs. Hit Row or Los Lotharios at a later date. Sheamus and McIntyre celebrate.

– We go backstage to Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns. Sami Zayn enters and asks Reigns for a second to talk. Sami is nervous. He knows this is a big night for The Bloodline but he couldn’t help but notice Reigns’ gave him a frosty reaction in the parking lot. Sami wants to just make sure everything’s cool. Reigns says he saw how Sami was last week and he knows Sami is trying to cover up everything tonight. Reigns tells Sami to just give it to him straight, tell the truth about what’s going on. Sami says everything is fine, really. Reigns says no, tell me the truth. Sami says if he’s being honest, he was a little disappointed last week. He takes pride in carrying his weight for the family and he didn’t know The Usos were coming out during the match with Kevin Owens. Sami says he felt a little slighted. He says Owens keeps mentioning how he’s being used and for a split second last week… Sami says he just doesn’t know, it’s all fine. Reigns tells Sami to get out. Reigns says he’s not going to do this every single week. Heyman looks on worried. Reigns tells Sami again, to just get out. Reigns says The Tribal Chief has to run his game plan by The Honorary Uce… when did this start? When does he have to ask Sami for his approval? Reigns tells Sami to just get out, go find Owens, go find his own Bloodline or something, and stop using Reigns and his Bloodline. Get out of here, man. Reigns calls on The Wise Man… and Heyman motions for Sami to find the door.

– We see LA Knight walking backstage. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Raquel Rodriguez is backstage. She says everything is bigger in her home state of Texas and at the Royal Rumble, she plans to make this the biggest moment of her career. She’s counting down the days, minutes and seconds until she rushes to the ring to earn her way to WrestleMania 39.

LA Knight vs. Greg Jones

We go back to the ring and out comes LA Knight. Enhancement talent Greg Jones is already waiting in his corner.

Knight takes the mic and wants to talk to you. He asks if someone can help Bray Wyatt figure out what’s going on? One week he’s saying he’s not Uncle Howdy, then he’s saying “I am him,” but one name says it all and that’s LA Knight. Yeah. Knight says that means at the Royal Rumble he will be the one to make Wyatt ask himself if maybe he should’ve stayed away, maybe he should’ve never come back. He goes on and says Wyatt has been living check to check on his past glory, but he can walk into LA’s bank and find out those checks are trash. Knight says whether it’s pitch black or daylight, he will turn Wyatt’s switch off just like that, and that’s not an insult, it’s just a fact of life. Yeah. The bell rings and they lock up.

Knight takes it to the corner but the lights flash and the Wyatt logo shows on the screen. LA keeps on but the lights and the logo flicker again.

Knight fights Jones off and levels him with a clothesline. Knight nails the BFT for the pin to get the easy win.

Winner: LA Knight

– After the match, Knight stands tall as the music hits. However, a distorted version of the Firefly Fun House music quickly interrupts. We see Abby The Witch, Huskus The Pig, and Ramblin’ Rabbit. They announce that they are back. We see Wyatt bent over, plumber’s rear and all showing, as he nails a sign to the door. Wyatt turns around and says he can see you. He welcomes us back to the Firefly Fun House. Yowie! Wowie! Wyatt apologizes for the mess and says we’re working on it. He says he has seriously missed everyone and he can’t wait to have lots of fun here with his friends once again. Rabbit says LA seems cool, can he be their friend? Abby tells Rabbit to shut the fuck up. Rabbit is worried about the Royal Rumble because he’s scared of the dark. Huskus says something about loving the dark chocolate as he munches on a chocolate bar.

Wyatt jokes with Rabbit and says in th dark is where things might hide under your bed and come out when you sleep… and eat you. Wyatt goes on and says maybe you should be scared of the dark. Wyatt looks at the camera and smiles. We see another TV screen and Uncle Howdy is on it, with the usual graphics flashing. Howdy is laughing. Howdy says now that I told you so… all you needed was a little push. He repeats these words. We go back to Wyatt and he’s very serious now as he looks at the camera. Wyatt tells Knight… I hope you are satisfied, I hope you understand you are the one that opened the door and now whatever comes from there, it is your problem. See you at the Royal Rumble. Wyatt smiles and laughs, then says bye bye, have a nice day. Knight looks on from the ring as the Fun House music starts back up. We go to commercial.

SmackDown Tag Team Titles #1 Contenders Tournament: Hit Row vs. Los Lotharios

Back from the break and out comes Hit Row – “Top Dolla” AJ Francis and Ashante “Thee” Adonis with “B-Fab” Briana Brandy. Los Lotharios are already in the ring – Angel and Humberto. The winners of this match will face Sheamus and Drew McIntyre in the second round.

Humberto starts off with Adonis and they go at it. Humberto controls Adonis by the arm, and in comes Angel for the double team. They level Adonis with stereo kicks for a 2 count. Adonis comes back with a big standing dropkick.

Dolla tags in and kicks Angel in the corner, then launches him across the ring. Angel rolls to the floor as Dolla talks trash to Cole for bringing up his recent dive botch. Dolla with a big chop to Angel. Dolla brings it back in but Angel elbows him away. Angel leaps for the tag and in comes Humberto. He unloads Adonis as he also comes in. They trade offense and Humberto levels Adonis with kick. Dolla charges but Los Lotharios double team him, sending him to the floor.

Angel and Humberto nail double suicide dives to send Dolla into the announce table. The referee is distracted by Adonis, allowing B-Fab to deck Humberto. This allows Dolla to get the pin on Humberto for thee pin to advance.

Winners: Hit Row

– After the match, Hit Row regroups at ringside as the music hits. Cole confirms Sheamus and McIntyre vs. Hit Row for the second round. Los Lotharios looks on from the ring as Hit Row taunts them.

– We get the third return vignette for Cody Rhodes, which confirmed him for the Royal Rumble. This is the same video that aired on RAW.

– Still to come, the SmackDown Women’s Champion is here. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Braun Strowman is backstage. He says he’s made a career out of tossing bodies around, so the Royal Rumble was made for The Monster of All Monsters. Strowman says if anyone stands in the way of him going to WrestleMania 39, then they will get these hands.

– We go back to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. The pyro hits and she goes to the ring. Tonight’s Progressive Match Flo looks back at recent happenings between Flair and Sonya Deville.

Flair takes the mic and gives a “Wooo!” shout-out to Detroit. She says it seems Deville has a real problem with her. Flair doesn’t know why, maybe it’s because Flair beat her two weeks ago. Flair says if Deville has a problem with her, she doesn’t need to attack from behind or whine to Adam Pearce, she can come say it to her face, woman-to-woman. Flair calls Deville out and says Detroit would love to see her. Fans pop. The music hits and out comes Deville to boos.

Deville doesn’t care what this disgusting, dirty city wants. Fans boo. She cares about what she wants and what she deserves, and that’s a title shot. Deville says Flair must not think she’s worthy. Deville tells a fan to shut up as she enters the ring. Deville speaks but a “you suck!” chant drowns her out. Deville goes on about how people need to realize she’s a star every time she comes out, people shut up and listen every time she speaks, and last week it took six people to rip her off Flair. Is Flair really that arrogant and entitled that she doesn’t see it? Fans chant “you suck!” again and Flair smirks, saying Detroit has made up their mind about Deville.

Flair says she has always told Deville she’s a star, but is Deville saying the others backstage aren’t stars? Flair asks Deville why she thinks she’s more special than anyone else. Flair says Deville keeps demanding title shots, so maybe Flair isn’t the entitled, arrogant one in this ring. Flair says Deville called her shot and lost, and on top of that she tapped out. Fans chant “you tapped out!” now. Flair says maybe Deville should be focusing on the Royal Rumble and not the title, but if Deville wants to fight, she’ll do it right here in Detroit. They tease a match but Deville says no. Fans boo. Deville asks why should she do that when there’s nothing in it for her. No thank you. Unless Flair is willing to put her title on the line.

Pearce comes out and says he’s heard enough. Pearce says he thought he made himself clear to Deville… Deville suddenly drops Flair with a cheap shot. Deville quickly retreats and Pearce isn’t happy with her as they have words on the stage. Fans chant “you suck!” as Deville goes backstage to talk to Pearce.

– We go backstage to Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman. Reigns asks Heyman if he can believe this guy, Sami Zayn. Heyman says he’s never liked Sami since day one, but he supports Reigns’ visions for The Island of Relevancy and he tried to look at things from the perception of the Special Counsel and as your Wise Man, but as your Wise Man, just perhaps if you could take it into your ruthless consideration, isn’t it better, as we’re about to sign a contract to defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Title against Kevin Owens of all people, that when it comes to Sami, my Tribal Chief, maybe it’s better to have him in the castle pissing out, instead of out of the castle pissing in? Reigns thinks it over as we go to commercial.

– Back from the break and we get a new vignette for Lacey Evans. We see her beating up other women in the WWE Performance Center rings. The voice-over says your weapon and method of destruction is the Cobra Clutch. Your opponents have two choices – they can tap out or black out. You will break their spirits, you will capture titles, you will make every woman in WWE tremble in fear at the name Lacey Evans. And that’s an order. This is Operation Cobra Clutch.

SmackDown Tag Team Titles #1 Contenders Tournament: The Brawling Brutes vs. Imperium

We go back to the ring for another first round tournament match, with the winners facing the winners of tonight’s match between Legado del Fantasma and Maximum Male Models. Out first comes The Brawling Brutes – Ridge Holland and Butch. We see them backstage with Sheamus, and they get fired up before heading to the ring, just Butch and Holland. Out next comes Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci with WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER. The Ring General stops on the stage and heads backstage as Vinci and Kaiser march to the ring.

The bell rings and Vinci goes at it with Holland to start. They collide and Holland tells him to ring it. Holland with a big hip toss. Holland ties the arm up and tags in Butch, who nails an ax handle off the top. Kaiser tags in as they run the ropes.

Kaiser catches Butch with a big slam face-first into the mat. Butch works on the hand, wrist and fingers now. Vinci tags in and hits a crossbody, then Kaiser levels Butch with a kick. Vinci also knocked Holland off the apron. Imperium stands tall over Butch as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Butch counters Kaiser, then rocks Vinci off the apron. Butch tags in Holland and he runs wild on Kaiser. Holland with clotheslines to Kaiser. Holland launches Kaiser into the turnbuckles. Holland sends Vinci off the apron and powerslams Kaiser for a pop.

Vinci runs in but Holland slams them both at the same time for a pop. Butch tags in and hits a moonsault from the apron to Vinci on the floor. They double team Kaiser in the corner now. Vinci sends Holland into the steel ring steps. Butch is distracted, which allows him to miss Kaiser coming off the top. They tangle and Butch applies the ankle lock submission in the middle of the ring now. Kaiser fights out but Butch takes him down into the armbar.

Vinci tags in and nails a big top rope moonsault onto Butch while he’s face-own on the mat, being held there by Kaiser. Butch kicks out at 2. Holland stops the Imperium Bomb from happening, knocking Kaiser from the top to the floor. Butch drops down onto Vinci for a 2 count.

Butch and Vinci trade big strikes in the middle of the ring now. Butch leaps off the top with a big tornado DDT. Holland is back on the apron to rally fans. Kaiser is also back on the apron. They both tag in and go at it. Kaiser with a big kick and chop. Kaiser comes off the middle rope but Holland nails a headbutt in mid-air. Holland with a double underhook throw. Butch goes to the top but Vinci grabs his leg. Vinci gets kicked to the floor. Butch ends up kicking both opponents down.

Vinci grabs Butch off the apron and nails a big Brainbuster on the floor in front of the announcers. Kaiser and Holland tangle now. Holland doesn’t see the tag as Vinci comes back in. They hit the Imperium Bomb and Vinci covers for the pin to win and advance to the semi-finals.

Winners: Imperium

– After the match, Vinci and Kaiser stand tall in the middle of the ring as the music hits. We go to replays. Cole confirms Imperium vs. Legado del Fantasma or Maximum Male Models for next week. Vinci and Kaiser embrace to celebrate.

– Paul Heyman approaches Sami Zayn backstage. They stare at each other for a second, and Sami stands up. Heyman says your Tribal Chief would like to see you now. A serious Sami nods and looks around as we go back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Shayna Baszler is backstage. She says to imagine being in the Royal Rumble with a broken ankle, imagine throwing other bodies out with a hurt shoulder, or beating 29 other women with a broken arm. So the other women may want to stay away from Baszler because as far as she’s concerned, she won’t just eliminate them, she will tear them apart, limb by limb.

– Cole sends us to a video package for the RAW 30th Anniversary special on Monday.

– We go backstage to Karrion Kross and Scarlett. Kross says she just reminded him that in one week he will be stepping in the ring with Rey Mysterio. A clock is ticking in the background. Kross says normally he gets really amped up before a fight but this time, not so much. We see some highlights of Kross beating Rey up. Kross says Rey can’t figure out if he wants to be a family man or the greatest of all-time and in this business you can’t be both, that’s not how it works. Kross says so now he’s going to take Rey out and after that, he’s going to take out 29 other Superstars in the Royal Rumble because that’s his too. Time is running out for everyone. Tik, tok.

SmackDown Tag Team Titles #1 Contenders Tournament: Legado del Fantasma vs. Maximum Male Models

We go back to the ring for tonight’s final first round match in the tournament to determine new #1 contenders to Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos for a future shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Legado del Fantasma is out first – Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro with Santos Escobar and Zelina Vega. Legado hits the ring to pose as we go to commercial.

Back from the break and we see Maximum Male Models wrapping up their entrances – ma.çé and mån.sôör with Maxxine Dupri. They pose on the apron as Vega joins commentary. Vega says she had some pieces of breaking news – Wilde and Del Toro will win the SmackDown Tag Team Titles, Santos will win the Men’s Royal Rumble, and she will win the Women’s Royal Rumble as she is officially entered now.

The bell rings and Mansoor starts out with Wilde and they go at it. Mansoor takes control but Wilde drops him and works on the leg. Mansoor sends Wilde to the floor but Cruz runs in to attack. Mace also runs in and they double team Cruz, sending him to the floor.

The Models tease a double suicide dive but they stop to pose instead. Santos hypes up his henchmen, then sends them back into the ring to fight. The double team Mansoor, then Mace, sending theme both to the floor. Wilde with a big running dive to Mansoor, then Cruz nails a big running dive to Mace. Vega taunts Maxxine on commentary for looking mad.

Cruz works on Mansoor now, then tags in Wilde for a double suplex. Cruz slams Wilde from his shoulders, on top of Mansoor for a 2 count as Mace makes the save just in time. Mace tags back in and nails a big kick to Wile, then another kick to knock Del Toro off the apron. Mace puts Wilde on his shoulders as Mansoor tags in and goes to the top. Wilde slides out and sends Mace into Mansoor to crotch him.

Wilde drops Mace with a big tornado DDT, then Cruz follows up with a top rope missile dropkick. Wilde holds Mansoor for the side-Russian leg sweep, while Del Toro charges and nails a spin kick to finish the sweep. Cruz covers for the pin to win and advance.

Winners: Legado del Fantasma

– After the match, Legado del Fantasma stands tall in the middle of the ring as the music hits. Cole confirms Legado vs. Imperium in a second round match next week.

– Sami Zayn enters the room where Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns are waiting backstage. Sami asks if Reigns asked to see him. Reigns says it’s no secret he has a temper but that’s why he’s put people in place, like The Wise Man, to counsel that anger. Reigns says he wasn’t hearing Sami before, but Sami just wanted clear communication, to bee a part of the game, of the team. Reigns says Sami is a perfectionist just like him. Sami says you can’t become the greatest if you don’t think of all the little details, and that’s what Sami does, and that’s why they get along. Sami thanks Reigns for understanding. Sami says he came in expecting the worst but it means the world to hear Reigns say that. Reigns says that’s alright, it’s on him. Reigns says sometimes he just expects the same amount of love, respect and loyalty he gives out. Sami says don’t say that, we all love you, we all love you, you’re The Tribal Chief, The Head of The Table, you’re steering the whole ship, this is nothing without you. Sami says he will always put what’s best for The Bloodline first, what’s best for this family first, any time, anything Reigns wants him to do, just please tell him and he will do it. Reigns nods and Heyman is all smiles in the background. Reigns says clear cut communication, this is what he needs Sami to do – find The Usos, make sure the SUVs are in place, call the pilots to make sure the jet is fueled up and ready to go. Reigns says he’s going with Heyman and Solo Sikoa to sign this contract, then let’s get out of here. Sami says it’s done. Reigns asks if we’re good. Sami says better than good, really. Sami thanks Reigns so much. Sami stands up and offers a fist bump, while Reigns is still sitting. Reigns looks at Sami’s fist and says he owes Sami one. Reigns does the fist bump and Sami smiles, looking relieved. Sami walks off. Heyman leans over and says thank you my Tribal Chief.

– We see the ring crew setting up for a contract signing. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and Adam Pearce is in the ring for a Royal Rumble contract signing. The music hits and out comes The Bloodline – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, and Paul Heyman. They stand tall at the entrance-way and Reigns raises gold as the pyro goes off.

Reigns enters the ring to more pyro. He takes a seat and places his fear on the table as Pearce looks on. Owens suddenly enters the ring from behind, lays out Sikoa to the floor, then drops Reigns with a Stunner as fans go wild. Sikoa comes back to the apron but Owens superkicks him off. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos rush down but Owens kicks them both off the apron.

Owens goes to the floor to continue hitting The Usos with superkicks several times. Jimmy Uso is sent into the steel ring steps. Heyman cowers in fear in the corner as Owens re-enters the ring. Reigns is trying to get up but Owens grabs him for a big Pop-Up Powerbomb through the table. Heyman screams out from the corner. Owens approaches Heyman but he’s screaming on. Owens grabs the contract from Heyman and signs it to make the title match official for the Royal Rumble.

Sami Zayn runs down and hits the apron. Owens looks on from the ring and Sami stares him down. Owens smirks and tosses the contract at Sami. Owens retreats through the crowd now. Sami looks to chase him but he stops at the ropes, next to Heyman in the corner. Owens stands with fans on the steps in the crowd now as they cheer him on. Sikoa and The Usos come back in the ring to check on Reigns. Sami holds the con tract and stares out at Owens. Heyman looks at Sami, then to the contract in his hand. Reigns is being helped up to his feet now from the table debris, clutching his shoulder. Owens looks on from the crowd as Sami looks at the contract in his hand, then down at Reigns, and back out at Owens. SmackDown goes off the air.

Leave a Reply