Smackdown Review: Jan 6th 2023
Charlotte returns, The Usos defend their tag titles against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre, and we all take a deep breath and hope not to hear “You Got No Chance!” from the titantron.
The show started off with the Bloodline, a segment that can be described as a drunk dad asking his weird gangly son if he wants to fight. Roman Reigns went on a tangent, blaming Sami Zayn for their loss on Smackdown last week against John Cena and Kevin Owens. Reigns berates Zayn for the loss and asks if Sami is here to replace the Tribal Chief, setting up an eventual turn from Sami on Roman. Here comes Kevin Owens to demand a title shot at the Royal Rumble, Reigns agrees to the fight with the enthusiasm of a boyfriend agreeing to go out to ladies night.
First Match: Kofi Kingston vs Santos Escobar: WINNER SANTOS
Our first match of the night is Kofi Kingston vs Santos Escobar which starts with Santos rocking Kofi to the ground. Kofi gets knocked out of the ring where he walks on his hands, showing off his versatility in the upcoming Royal Rumble match. Santos ran this match, despite Xavier Woods trombone antics. Santos finished the match with a Phantom Driver for the 1-2-3.
Sami Sayn is now in the back begging Paul Heyman for help outside of the Bloodlines locker room. The less than best friends manager gave Zayn a lesson in relevancy, and the cold shoulder.
Liv Morgan gives a compelling back stage promo professing her plan to win the women’s Royal Rumble, and the show continues.
A clip from last weeks Smackdown shows Uncle Howdy giving Bray Wyatt a Sister Abigail neckbreaker with LA Knight in the ring. Knight is interviewed by Kayla Braxton where he disparages Memphis, setting up Wyatt vs LA Knight in a Pitch Black Match at the Royal Rumble.
Second Match: Madcap Moss & Emma vs. Karrion Kross & Scarlett: WINNER Karrion Kross & Scarlett
The match started with Emma hitting a running cross body on Scarlett. Scarlett responds with a suplex. Emma came back with a double underhook suplexand Kross saves Emma from a running kick. Emma slaps Kross, moss takes the not so hot tag. Scarlett trips Moss and Kross comes in with a clothesline. Scarlett tosses Emma into the ring post and over the announcer table. Kross gets Moss into the Kross Jacket submission and Moss is knocked out. A fast match with a lot of action.
A replay of Ronda Rousey beating Raquel Rodriguez in last weeks Smackdown Women’s Championship match is played showing Rousey pulling Raquel’s trunks to steal the victory.
We come back from commercila to a segment at Jerry Lawler’s bar in Memphis. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus had a boys afternoon out of drinking and punching which sets up their match against the Usos later in the night.
Charlotte comes out to a flurry of “Thank You Charlott” chants and delivers a scathing promo against Ronda Rousey, stating that “payback is a bitch,” not very PG to me. The female Flair mentions her 14 title reigns
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Sonya Deville: WINNER Charlette
This seven minute match went by fast. Deville started out strong with a forearm knock down. Woo chants and chops before Flair hit a spear and a figure eight leg lock. Devile tapped to the submission and we are on to the next match.
The same Cody Rhodes promo from Raw was played, we can see the push for Cody coming along.
Royal Rumble Qualifying Match: Ricochet vs. Top Dolla
Dolla manhandled Ricochet for the first part of their match. Ricochet bounces around the ring and came back with a leaping neck breaker, giving him time to set up and execute the shooting star press for the 1-2-3.
After the match Hit Row blindside Ricochet who is saved by Braun Stroman.
We are backstage again to the Reigns faction, Heyman brings in Sami who looks like the puppy dog left out in the cold. Sami apologizes to Reigns who does a complete turn and apologies to Sami and blames his anger on the real problem, Kevin Owens.
Then we are given a video package of Gunther trash talking Braun Stroman setting up a match for next week.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (w/Solo Sikoa) vs. Sheamus & Drew McIntyre: WINNER USO
Drew gave Jimmy some frequent flyer miles, giving him a belly to belly suplex across the ring. Jey is tagged in and gives Drew a Samoan Drop. Jey hits a suicide dive before the commercial break. This was a long back and fourth 14 minute match with a cut to the Bloodline locker room where Heyman, Zayn, and Roman are eating popcorn and watching the fight. After a few near falls theres some outside interference from Solo, Butch, and Ridge Holland, Jimmy rolls up Sheamus for the not so clean 1-2-3.
I can safely say this is the best Smackdown of 2023.