WWE SmackDown Results 12/23 – Since this is a taped episode, our coverage will be slower than usual.
– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up on a tape delay as Michael Cole welcomes us to the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett.
– We go right to the ring and out comes The Bloodline to a big pop – Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, Solo Sikoa, Sami Zayn, and Paul Heyman. They stop on the entrance-way and raise their fingers, and the gold, in the air. The stage is decorated for Christmas. The Bloodline marches to the ring now.
Cole hypes Reigns and Zayn vs. Kevin Owens and John Cena for next week’s live SmackDown. The Bloodline enters the ring and stands tall together as the pyro goes off. Heyman takes the mic and introduces himself, and says he’s here to hype us for two back-to-back weeks for The Bloodline. He says first, tonight will see Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso successfully defend their titles against Hit Row, and that is not a prediction, it’s a spoiler. Then, next week, live from the beautiful warm city of Tampa, FL… fans boo… The Enforcer will take out Sheamus, and after that, in the biggest televised match of 2022, Owens and Cena will be smashed by Sami and your Tribal Chief.
Fans chant for Sami now as Reigns looks around the arena, nodding. Reigns that’s exactly what he was thinking because on December 30, you already know he’s going to smash somebody, and it’s no secret – he made multiple millions of dollars by whooping Cena and KO, because that’s who he is and what he does. Reigns is curious what The Honorary Uce is going to do. He says this here isn’t the Sami he knows, as Sami looks a little flustered and bothered. Reigns tells Sami to get it off his chest, tell us what’s going to happen. Fans chant “Ucey!” before Sami can speak. He says he really should be on top of the world as it’s the holidays and all he’s ever wanted is what everyone wants – respect, and a place to belong. He finally found that with WWE’s hottest group ever. He found family, respect. They love him, this city loves him, every city we go to, the fans chant for Sami. This causes a “Sami!” chant. Sami says you’d think he’s on top of the world but no, there’s a black cloud hanging over his head and it’s Owens.
Sami says last week, what should’ve been a huge week for him, it was ruined by KO’s existence, just the fact his name had been tied to Sami’s name for his entire career, and he can’t get rid of Owens. Sami recalls Owens saying he’s done with Sami but not The Bloodline. Sami knocks Owens for wanting to bring Cena back to try and upstage The Bloodline. Sami says they are too strong, they are the show. Sami hopes Cena is watching and says The Bloodline will show him, they will rip him apart, leave him mangled. Whatever happens, Cena will be smashed, he says. Sami goes on and says they will do what this city is about to do – acknowledge The Tribal Chief. Sami and the others raise their fingers in the air as the music starts up. Reigns hugs Sami while barking some trash talk into the camera. We go to commercial.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles Match: Hit Row vs. The Usos
Back from the break and Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos are waiting in the ring – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. Sami Zayn stands with them. Out next come the challengers, Hit Row – “Top Dolla” AJ Francis and Ashante “Thee” Adonis with Briana “B-Fab” Brandy. Samantha Irvin does the introductions.
The bell rings and Jey starts off with Adonis. They lock up and Jey applies a headlock. Adonis shows Jey up and dances around, then takes him down by his arm. Adonis takes it to the corner and in comes Dolla. Dolla launches Adonis into Jey in the corner with a Spear. Dolla goes for a slam but Jey counters and takes his knee out from behind.
Jey clutches the leg and drags Dolla to their corner, then tags Jimmy in. Jimmy stomps away, then chokes Dolla on the middle rope as the referee warns him. Jey with a chap shot. Jimmy holds Dolla as Jey tags back in with a kick to the gut. Dolla fights out of The Usos’ corner, then yanks Jimmy in from the apron. Jey takes Dolla’s knee out and he goes back down. Jey recovers back to his feet as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Jey drops Dolla, still near their corner. Jey taunts Dolla and rocks him but Dolla catches him with a Spinebuster as B-Fab rallies from ringside. Jimmy and Adonis tag in now. Adonis drops Jimmy, then dropkicks him. Adonis knocks Jey to the floor, then drops Jimmy and kicks him in the chest.
Adonis with a big DDT, then a kip-up for a pop. Adonis goes to the top for a high crossbody and he nails it for a close 2 count. Jimmy catches a superkick but Adonis blocks a suplex, then knocks Jey off the apron again. Jimmy with a big Samoan Drop but Adonis kicks out at 2. Jey tags back in and they call for the 1D but Dolla pulls Jimmy to the floor, then sends him into the steel ring steps. Adonis rolls Jey up for 2 off the distraction.
Adonis then superkicks Jey to the mat. Dolla tags in and they go for the Heavy Hitter on Jey. They hit it and Dolla covers for 2 as Jimmy rushes in to break it up. Adonis pounds on Jimmy but Jimmy sends him to the apron, then superkicks him to the floor. Dolla scoops Jimmy to his shoulders but the hurt knee is giving him problems.
Dolla now has both champions up but he drops them as his leg goes out. Jey superkicks Dolla. Jimmy tags in and they hit Dolla with a double superkick, then the 1D. Jimmy covers for the pin to retain in the middle of the ring.
Winners: The Usos
– After the match, The Usos stand tall as the music hits. We go to replays. The Usos and Zayn celebrate and head to the back.
– Tonight’s Progressive Match Flo looks at how WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER retained over Ricochet last week with the Last Symphony. We also see how Braun Strowman saved Ricochet from a post-match attack by Imperium.
– Kayla Braxton is backstage with Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci now, asking about tonight’s Miracle on 34th Street Fight with Braun Strowman and Ricochet. Kaiser says this match is an abomination, it makes a mockery of what they do. Vinci says Braun and Ricochet are sideshows… one is an acrobat and the other a strongman, put them in the circus with the other fakes, not on Imperium’s mat with world class athletes like they are. Kaiser says they will not be spreading holiday cheer tonight, but they will restore the honor of their sacred mat.
– We go back to the ring for tonight’s Gauntlet to determine the new #1 contender to SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey. Emma makes her way out first. She hits the corner to pose as we go back to commercial.
#1 Contender’s Gauntlet Match: Emma vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Xia Li vs. Sonya Deville vs. Liv Morgan vs. Tegan Nox vs. Shayna Baszler
Back from the break and out comes Xia Li for the Gauntlet as Emma looks on. We see how Li helped Damage CTRL retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles over Tegan Nox and Liv Morgan last week. The bell rings and Emma locks up with Li, who takes it to the ropes as the referee warns them to back off. Li drops Emma with a right hand. Emma ducks a clothesline, and another, then knocks Li down.
Emma works Li over and hits a double underhook suplex. Emma with a running right forearm in the corner, then the crossbody while Li is down against the turnbuckle. Emma covers for 2. Li counters a slam but Emma blocks her. Li sends Emma into the middle rope throat-first. They trade shots now. Li climbs Emma with a right hand to the top of the head. Li with a cyclone kick for the pin to eliminate Emma in the middle of the ring.
The music hits and out next comes Nox. She hits the ring, ducks Li and unloads with strikes as fans cheer her on. Nox is fired up now as she keeps control. Nox with a Facebuster. Nox rallies the crowd and nails a cannonball in the corner. Nox goes to the top for a crossbody but Li kicks out at 2.
Li rolls to the apron but Nox stays on her. Li sends Nox back into the ring post twice. Li with a big knee to the jaw to send Nox back into the ring from the apron. Li with another cyclone kick for the pin in the middle of the ring.
Raquel Rodriguez is out next as her music starts up. She stops on the entrance-way and clutches her elbow, which still has a brace on it. Li looks on as Rodriguez rushes the ring and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Li has been dominating Rodriguez by focusing on her hurt arm. Li sends Rodriguez to the floor, then follows. Li runs and kicks the hurt arm. Li slams the face of Rodriguez into the edge of the apron a few times, then nails a high knee. Li rolls back in and charges Rodriguez with a shot to the ribs to keep her down. Li charges but Rodriguez sends her into the turnbuckles.
Rodriguez mounts offense now. Rodriguez with a big fall-away slam. Rodriguez with the twisting elbow drop in the corner. Li kicks out at 2. Li fights back with kicks now, sending Rodriguez to one knee. Li climbs Rodriguez with the fist to the top of the head. Li misses a roundhouse kick as Rodriguez ducks. Rodriguez then hits the Texana Bomb with one arm for the pin to eliminate Li.
The music hits and out next comes Morgan. They go at it and Rodriguez blocks a Codebreaker, but Liv counters and keeps fighting. Liv dropkicks Rodriguez back into the corner. Liv with a back splash and a high knee in the corner. Rodriguez blocks a hurricanrana and turns it into a powerbomb attempt, but Liv ends up rolling her up for 2. Liv side-steps for another roll-up for 2. Liv works on the hurt arm for another 2 count now. They trade more quick pin attempts.
Liv ends up on Raquel’s back with a Sleeper hold. Rodriguez fades down to one knee now as fans rally. Rodriguez slams Liv back to break the hold. We go to commercial with both competitors flat on their backs.
Back from the break and Liv drops Raquel but they’re both down as the referee counts. They get up and Liv runs into an elbow. Raquel with a clothesline, then a big side-slam. Cole confirms the winner will challenge Rousey next week. Rodriguez with a corner splash. Liv catches Rodriguez with an arm breaker, then a big corner stomp to the hurt arm. Liv goes to the middle rope for a missile dropkick and a 2 count.
Liv goes right into a Rings of Saturn finisher in the middle of the ring. Liv pounds on Raquel while tightening the hold. Raquel finally powers up with Liv on her back, but Liv blocks the slam by getting her knees up. Raquel goes down and Liv covers for 2 but they’re both slow to keep going. Liv rocks Raquel but shows some frustration. Liv runs the ropes and ducks clotheslines but Raquel catches her with a fall-away slam. Raquel with the springboard corkscrew elbow in the corner for another close 2 count. They trade strikes in the middle of the ring now while on their feet. Raquel levels Liv with a big boot, then powers her up but Liv escapes to her back for a Crucifix pin for 2.
More back and forth now. Liv slides out of a powerbomb attempt and nails the step-up enziguri to daze Raquel. Raquel blocks Ob-Livion from mid-air and spikes Liv into the mat for the pin to advance.
The music hits and out comes who Cole calls the final competitor – Sonya Deville. Deville attack sand unloads on the hurt arm in the corner. Deville with body shots now as the referee warns her. Raquel with a headbutt and a shoulder tackle to put Deville down. Deville blocks a slam and yanks Raquel to the mat by her arm. Deville with a running knee to the jaw for 2.
Raquel runs into the ring post as Deville moves. Deville yanks Raquel into the ring post a few times by her arm as fans boo. Rodriguez tries to Irish Whip Deville but she hangs on as her arm brace starts to fall off. Rodriguez keeps fighting, then slams Deville face-first into the mat for 2. Deville with an arm submission in the corner as the referee makes her break it. Deville does this again and the referee isn’t happy. Deville looks for a power move out of the corner but Rodriguez turns it into the Texana Bomb for the pin to win.
Not so fast. The music hits and out comes Rousey to the stage. She tells Rodriguez to wipe the grin off her face because she hasn’t won anything just yet. Rousey introduces Raquel’s final opponent for the Gauntlet and out comes Shayna Baszler.
Baszler rushes the ring and unloads on Rodriguez. Baszler takes Rodriguez down and wrestles the brace off her arm. Baszler snaps and unloads on the hurt arm now while Rousey watches from the stage. Baszler raises the brace in the air as Rousey laughs. Rodriguez takes advantage and rolls Baszler up for the pin to win and earn the title shot.
Winner and New #1 contender to SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey: Raquel Rodriguez
After the bell, Rodriguez quickly retreats to the floor as Rousey rushes the ring. Baszler and Rousey are upset as they stand tall together, yelling out at Rodriguez. Rodriguez vs. Rousey for the title is confirmed for next week.
– We get a video package on recent happenings between Bray Wyatt and LA Knight, including last week’s in-person appearance by Uncle Howdy. Wyatt will be here tonight on SmackDown. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes Bray Wyatt. Wyatt asks if we want to hear something wild. He’s being serious.
Wyatt says one of the hardest thing for him to do is confront the fans, with everyone in the world watching. He says it’s incredibly nerve-wracking, it’s a wild, wild feeling, a pretty surreal feeling. He doesn’t think he will ever get used to people being excited to see him, and he doesn’t really understand it. Fans pop.
Wyatt says he really doesn’t look at himself like that, he tries to present the realest version of himself to the fans but he doesn’t really know if there is a real him, but he does know one thing – LA Knight owes him an apology, man. Wyatt laughs. Wyatt says no one listened to him – Knight and the fans didn’t believe him. Wyatt tells the fans to be honest, they thought it was Wyatt attacking Knight for a while. He says he’s not Uncle Howdy but when he thinks of what Uncle Howdy stands for… Wyatt apologizes for losing his train of thought.
Wyatt kneels down and drops the mic, and looks out in a daze. Wyatt then attacks the camera man out of nowhere. Wyatt drops the camera man with Sister Abigail, then grounds him with the Mandible Claw. Adam Pearce and other officials rush down, then pull the referee to safety. It sounds like Wyatt is yelling for them to please stop him. Wyatt stares ahead as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see what just happened with Bray Wyatt. Cole says Wyatt has been removed from the building and Adam Pearce has called WWE HQ to decide on what happens next.
Rey Mysterio vs. Angel
We go back to the ring and Los Lotharios are already out and posing in the corner – Angel with Humberto. Out next comes Rey Mysterio to a pop. We see how Los Lotharios confronted Rey on The SmackDown LowDown last week to set this match up.
Karrion Kross and Scarlett are shown watching the match from out in the crowd. The bell rings and Angel drops to his knees to taunt Rey. Angel offers his hand for a shake. Rey shakes it but then smacks Angel for a pop.
Rey runs the ropes and Angele leaps over him. Angel comes back and rolls him up but Rey nails a basement dropkick. Rey sends Angel into the corner, then mounts him with right hands as fans count along. Rey with a takedown out of the corner. Rey misses a springboard crossbody as Angel moves. Angel comes back with a dropkick. Angel rips his pants off and throws them at Rey. Angel with a big double underhook Gutbuster for 2 as Humberto looks on from ringside.
Angel with a headlock to ground Rey now. Rey fights up and out but Angel whips him chest-first into the turnbuckles, then nails a forearm to the back of the head. Angel whips Rey into the turnbuckles again, then puts him on his shoulders. Rey counters and sends Angel into the turnbuckles face-first. Rey with a top rope senton, then a hurricanrana takedown into the ropes for 619. Rey goes for 619 but Humberto pulls Angel to safety. Rey launches himself to the floor, taking Humberto down. Rey acknowledges Kross and Scarlett, saying he’s watching them also.
Rey fights back in but Angel superkicks him for a close 2 count. Angel mocks Rey and calls for a 619. Rey resists and Humberto rocks Rey with a cheap shot from the floor. Angel runs for 619 but Rey counters with a hurricanrana, then he hits his 619. Rey then launches himself in from the apron, catching Angel with a big DDT for the pin to win.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
– After the match, Rey stands tall as the music hits. We go to replays. Rey celebrates after the match as Kross and Scarlett look on from the crowd. Rey looks out at them and Kross warns him that time is running out.
– Ricochet and Braun Strowman are backstage now. Ricochet says Imperium is all talk. He brings up how they said he and Strowman should be in the circus. Strowman says let’s go show Imperium who runs the Big Top around here. Strowman and Ricochet are fired up as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Emma stops Karrion Kross and Scarlett as they’re walking backstage. Emma asks them who the hell they think they are by disrespecting a legend like Rey Mysterio. Emma says and calling Riddick Moss a joke a few weeks ago. Scarlett says she actually called Moss a fool. Emma slaps Scarlett and we hear fans cheering in the arena. Scarlett goes for Emma but Kross holds her back. Scarlett looks back at Kross, then back at Emma as Emma stares Kross down. Kross tells Emma she has absolutely no idea what she’s just done. Kross and Scarlett walk off as Emma seethes.
– Cole and Barrett send us to a video package on John Cena’s career to hype next week’s ring return. The video also looks at Cena’s historic run with Make-A-Wish, his work with the Troops, his non-WWE TV appearances, his movies, and more. The video also includes Superstars and Hall of Famers praising Cena, such as Batista, Cody Rhodes, Steve Austin, WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H, and former WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, among others. Cena and Kevin Owens will face Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn next week at the final SmackDown of 2022 in Tampa.
Miracle on 34th Street Fight: Ricochet and Braun Strowman vs. Imperium
We go back to the ring for the traditional Miracle on 34th Street Fight. There are many Christmas decorations around the ring area, such as Christmas trees, gifts, cookies, and more. The music hits and out first comes Ricochet. Braun Strowman is out next, and they head to the ring together. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Imperium – Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. Cole says WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER is not here tonight because he started his Christmas vacation early. WWE had advertised GUNTHER to be at ringside for this match. The bell rings and Strowman goes to work on Vinci. Ricochet tags in and Strowman launches him into Vinci in the corner with a dropkick.
Ricochet covers Vinci for the pin but Kaiser yanks Ricochet to the floor to break it up, then sends him into the steel ring steps. Vinci attacks Strowman in the ring, then Strowman is double teamed. Strowman fights them off but runs into boots by Vinci in the corner. Vinci leaps off the top but Strowman catches him in mid-air. Kaiser takes Strowman’s knee out to save Vinci. Strowman is double teamed again now as they beat him down.
Strowman knocks Vinci to the floor, then back-drops Kaiser into Vinci on the floor. Ricochet runs the top of the barrier, and leaps off with a hurricanrana takedown to Vinci at ringside. Ricochet stands tall on the floor while Strowman looks on from the ring. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Strowman scoops Vinci at ringside but Vinci slides out and send shim face-first into the ring post. Vinci sends Strowman into a Christmas tree and gifts at ringside.
Kaiser takes Ricochet down by his arm on the floor. Vinci unloads on Ricochet with a candy cane kendo stick while he’s trapped in the submission. Imperium with a gift wrapped steel chair shots to Ricochet now. They pose to boos, allowing Strowman to attack them both and turn it around. Strowman with a stiff right hand to Vinci’s eye. Strowman beats both opponents to the stage. Strowman launches both opponents into Christmas trees and presents on the stage now.
Strowman scoops Vinci and Kaiser for a double powerslam but they rake his eyes to get free. Imperium a double suplex to Strowman on the stage. Ricochet runs up and hits Kaiser with a knee to the face. Vinci, who is bleeding from a right hand by Strowman at ringside earlier, attacks Ricochet but Ricochet brings it back to the ring. Ricochet fights Kaiser off and goes to springboard in to hit Vinci, but Kaiser knocks him off the apron to the floor with a chair shot to the back. Imperium goes back to the stage to bury Strowman under trees and gift boxes.
Imperium opens one large gift box and out comes a ballerina. She dances around the stage and to the back. They open another large gift box but out comes WWE NXT Tag Team Champions The New Day, dressed as toy soldiers. They strut around as fans chant “New Day rocks!” now. They hit Imperium with low blows because they’re nutcrackers. They then salute Strowman as he gets up. Strowman runs to the ringside area, running over Vinci, then Kaiser, then Vinci again, then Kaiser again. Fans pop big for The Strowman Express.
Strowman notices Ricochet down at ringside. He gabs some mistletoe and calls Ricochet’s real-life girlfriend over, ring announcer Samantha Irvin. They kiss under the mistletoe and this wakes Ricochet up. He rushes back to the ring, kicks Vinci in the head from the apron, then nails a springboard flying clothesline. Ricochet is fired up now. Strowman rocks Kaiser and powerbombs him from the apron through a table of Christmas snacks at ringside, while Ricochet hits Vinci with a moonsault.
Ricochet with a Recoil to Vinci, which stuns him and sends him into a running powerslam by Strowman. Ricochet then goes to the top as they both rile the fans up. Ricochet stands on Strowman’s shoulders, then leaps off with a splash to Vinci in the middle of the ring. Ricochet covers Vinci and Strowman reinforces his pin for the win.
Winners: Ricochet and Braun Strowman
– After the match, Strowman and Ricochet celebrate as the music hits. We go to replays. Strowman and Ricochet play to the crowd now as Cole plugs the final SmackDown of 2022. Strowman and Ricochet pose with fans at the barrier as SmackDown goes off the air.
WWE SmackDown Results 12/23