Welcome everyone to the last SmackDown of 2022!
We’re in for a spectacular evening, I gotta tell you. John Cena returns tonight to team up with KO to battle Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn as our main event. I’m SO excited! I can hardly contain my joy.
If you saw me last week, I was jumping around my room with no pause. And speaking of surprises, Bray Wyatt reminds LA Knight that he’s been patient with this man’s pursuit on proving that he’s Uncle Howdy, so he accepts Knight’s challenge for Royal Rumble as the crowd cheers for brutality to take shape.
Howdy did too. He wants Wyatt to revel in the darkness, to allow yourself to accept the messy, unhinged side of himself. In a way, Howdy doesn’t want Bray to be fake; although, I kind of feel gaslighted. LA Knight thought Wyatt and Howdy were going to team up to attack him, but Uncle Howdy shocks us all by ploughing down on Bray with a Sister Abigail. Wyatt’s signature move.
I asked for this. I asked for Howdy and Bray to be in the same place together, but I didn’t think it would happen this year to be frank with you. The lingering mystery was getting good and the ominous tone was endearing; thankfully, it got better with this abrupt appearance.
By the way, slight detour here, that cackling laugh Wyatt emotes terrified and amused me. I looked at him like he finally cracked… for the best. Ha! Maybe I’m the eccentric one too.
To hoop onto that manipulation train, I suspect that regardless of the fact The Bloodline initiated Zayn into the fold are gaslighting him into believing that he has any authority over what’s going on. He voices his opinion, but Zayn isn’t completely at the top as he’s been disillusioned to be. Heyman makes that look somewhat noticeable every time he acts as Reigns’ mouthpiece. He told Zayn to not encourage the audience to chant his name again.
The Bloodline are the strongest division I’ve ever seen during the years I’ve watched wrestling, but there are some… discrepancies.
Sheamus vs. Solo Sikoa
During this match, I think Sheamus found himself another worthy competitor, Solo Sikoa. A few exchanges of shoulder tackles that knocked neither of them down spurred something wild in the Irish warrior and the Enforcer. Berserk, I’d say.
The arm drag Sheamus was about to inflict on Solo failed due to Sikoa’s quickness in turning it around with a clothesline.
Sheamus delivers double boots to Solo’s face before sending him over the ropes, embarrassing him since Sikoa felt like having a tantrum. Ha!
Sikoa may have been fired up after the knee to the face he received, but that switches gears to allow Sheamus to deliver the Ten Beats, or rather 16 harsh beats. Solo was dizzy.
Sheamus later goes for the Clover Leaf to end his opponent, and it almost did, but the Usos get involved by helping Solo reach the bottom rope without the official’s knowledge.
Because of that distraction, the Usos, Ridge Holland and Butch erupt into a brawl on the main floor as Jimmy sends a Super Kick to Butch’s jaw. Instead of concentrating on his match, Sheamus decides to plough over the twins. Bold, but stupid. Solo materializes himself next to Sheamus, grabs his hand then forces him to collide with the post. It didn’t end there, Sikoa puts Sheamus through the Yurinagi off the apron.
“Sheamus is ripe for the pickings here” said Wade Barrett, which I found to be hilarious because he made Sheamus sound like a fruit.
Anyway, Solo yanks Sheamus up from his roots and performs the Samoan Spike for a victory. Although he won, y’all couldn’t even let the announcer finish introducing the winner because the Usos went after Sheamus’ tired out body. They simply cut her off. Ha!
But that doesn’t matter, Drew McIntyre comes to the rescue. He helps take down the Usos with a Claymore to end this altercation right. The Bloodline were obligated to crawl away.
Winner: Solo Sikoa
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Raquel Rodriguez – SmackDown Women’s Championship match
Rodriguez isn’t your ordinary wrestler, she’s the ultimate fighter that continues to be underestimated by Rousey’s forces. Given the brutal attack a few weeks back on her arm, dislocating it temporarily, Raquel wants revenge. She won the Gauntlet match to determine who will face Rousey head-on. She persevered! Now it’s payback time.
This is one of the rarest moments I don’t mind a little blood…
When Raquel came out to the stage, she looked greater than I’ve ever seen her. Angry and fiery. A marvelous combination. The last but first time Raquel challenged Rousey for the title, Rodriguez was shockingly bold. She lost, yes, but made an even bigger impact on her goals. That’s more dangerous than actually winning the gold.
As the match begins, Ronda kept mocking Rodriguez, especially with her bruised up arm. Raquel chose not to back down and kept taking the fight to Rousey.
Ronda was in disbelief as she retreats to Shayna, but Raquel meets her there regardless. Rodriguez sends the champ hard into the bottom rope then throws her entire body over her shoulder as Ronda crashes onto the mat and lands in the corner.
Raquel had a bit of momentum as she explodes her anger onto the champ, but on the third try, Ronda ducks out of the way to have Raquel hit her shoulder against the post instead.
Rodriguez was looking for the Tahana Bomb as she lifts Rousey on her shoulder, yet Ronda turns it around by sketching the challenger’s other arm, sending them both over the ropes. Raquel still has a grip on her though and bombs Ronda on the apron.
With the boot to Ronda’s face executed and Shayna moderately taken out, this could have been Raquel’s moment. The Spinning Cork Screw was foisted and the count quickly followed… 1, 2… wait, Shayna comes back in time to place Ronda’s foot on the bottom rope to save her title.
“You know I never liked referees, Cole,” said Wade Barrett because it’s amazingly true.
Nonetheless, Raquel is back on the attack by ramming Ronda into the turnbuckles. She had the champ in trouble, but it wasn’t enough. Ronda positions herself neatly to start yanking at Raquel’s injured arm as the challenger stood on the second rope.
The pain became so unbearable that once they both fell on the mat, Raquel tapped out immediately.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Charlotte Flair – SmackDown Women’s Championship match part 2
The queen is back! After Ronda retained her title, Charlotte Flair graced us with an unexpected return since Rousey injured her elbow back in MAY. It has been a while.
Ronda thought that Flair wanted to challenge her at Royal Rumble, but no, my friends, Flair demands a match right now. Despite Baszler’s council forbidding Ronda to proceed, Rousey basically said “Hell yeah, I’ll let my ass get kicked by you.”
Well, this was random… It was a two minute match. I’m amazed. “You’re in luck cuz I’m feeling spicy!” Rousey said. Oof that egotism is too high.
Flair delivers a heavy boot to Ronda’s face that’s followed by a cover that almost grants her the title. Charlotte takes Shayna out as well to limit any interference.
As Flair measures her prey, Ronda manages to get up on her feet and gets speared. But Rousey quickly turns it around with an arm bar that also gets twisted into a roll up victory for Flair. Holy Christ.
Welcome back, queen. Just don’t be vain.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Backstage with The Bloodline, Roman regals us with tales of his family Christmas time. It was cute for a moment till Zayn makes sure that Reigns isn’t bothered by the audience chanting his name. The champ said no… after a detectably long pause. Ha!
They charged themselves up once they got on the same page. Is it just me, or does the room still feel slightly cold?
A Digital Exclusive shows another attempt of Dominik and Rhea Ripley inserting themselves in the Christmas celebrations with the Mysterios. Rey isn’t having it. He’s beyond pissed that he shoves his son aside, but things really go bonkers when Mrs. Mysterio slapped Rhea in the face after Dom instigated Rey to hit him.
Ripley had the nerve to call that abuse. It’s they’re property in the first place, so really, who’s actually invading? Once Ripley and Dominik get thrown outside, the COPS showed up. I died from laughter. They arrested Dom for trespassing, I suspect. He said he won’t survive in jail and called out to mommy that I mistakenly thought was his biological parent. He cried out to Rhea. Weird…
Michael Cole and I both agree that Dominik should have remained in jail a little longer. I say it should have been at least a week. At least.. God.
As we move away from that craziness, we have Imperium here talking about Gunther’s Path to Destruction. Kaiser still sounds like he practices his lines in the bathroom mirror while taking a dump. They list Gunther’s latest victims: Shinsuke Nakamura, Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, Ricochet. The Ring General may be overwhelmingly dominant and self-absorbed, but he brings the power to the table like we asked. Although, there’s so much truth to what he says, Gunther forgot one person. BRAUN STROWMAN.
Strowman challenges The General three weeks from today. He’s not asking, he demands an opportunity. Since Gunther fancies himself above Braun, he and the rest of Imperium walk away, but Strowman stops him. The leverage of attacks were on his side for the time being, but they soon switched on him once Gunther had Strowman in a dislocated position effecting his arm to the point it could have broken.
Luckily for him, Ricochet shows up with a chair to save him. He even bonks Gunther on the head like whack the weasel.
HA! HA! HA! HA! Geez.. I sound like the Joker. Imagine that. I wasn’t the only one who cracked their ribs laughing when Top Dolla went over the ropes wrong two weeks ago. Madcap Moss, The New Day, the Maximus Male Models and Ricochet engaged in a little playful teasing.
Strangely, things went a bit too far according to Dolla’s tiff with Rico when he said “At least he knows it’s not as easy as I make it look. You jump over the top rope, you, at least gotta make it over the rope.” Because of that, Dolla and Ricochet deal with their minor dispute in the ring next week.
John Cena & Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn – Tag Team match
This is why I’m here tonight, to watch John Cena battle. Unfortunately, the majority of the match was Kevin and Sami tumbling instead.
Zayn was getting whiplashed by his former best friend, Owens, that the looks of sheer disgust and disappointment on Roman’s face was priceless. I laughed way too much. I loved when the camera went on his expression knowing these details.
The crowd was waiting for Cena to get in, but The Bloodline did one thing I really didn’t like, and that was momentarily disposing John. So, Owens had to Pop Up Powerbomb Zayn on his own for a bit. Reigns stopped this match from being over when he leaped in to punch Kevin then drag Sami’s mauled out body to their corner to tag himself in.
Roman went for the Superman Punch to Kevin, instead meets with a Super Kick followed by a frog splash that goes nowhere.
Owens tries again with another Pop Up Powerbomb, but fails due Reigns’ sudden Superman Punch. This was the opening he needed. Roman charges up for a spear, yet spears himself into the post ever so comically.
The room explodes once Cena rushed into the ring to deliver shoulder tackle after shoulder tackle and a body plant for extra measure. “Down goes Sami!” Cena approaches Roman and the crowd chants along with him: “You can’t see me”, which enrages Reigns to angrily leap in after him, but Cena had a surprise Powerbomb waiting for him.
Cena tags Owens in as they double team the Five Knuckle Shuffle to both Reigns and Zayn. The Undisputed champ struggles to his feet then swiftly falls into John’s grasp with the AA, Attitude Adjustment.
Sami is left for Kevin to confront now with a Stunner (stunning) victory! I guess you didn’t deal with the KO problem, did you, Sami Sam?
Happy New Year, folks!
Winners: John Cena & Kevin Owens
TOP PHOTO: John Cena & Kevin Owens in battle. Courtesy of WWE