Smackdown Notes: Charlotte Flair returns to win SmackDown title, Cena/Owens win, Uncle Howdy attacks Bray Wyatt

Originally published at Smackdown Notes: Charlotte Flair returns & wins SmackDown title, Cena/Owens win, Uncle Howdy attacks Bray Wyatt

December 30, 2022

Amalie Arena – Tampa, FL

By: John Kleinchester

SmackDown began with Bray Wyatt coming to the ring wanting to apologize for his attack on the cameraman last week. His promo was interrupted by LA Knight. Knight accused Wyatt of paying a “goon” to attack him as Uncle Howdy two weeks ago and went on to challenge Bray Wyatt to a match at Royal Rumble. Wyatt accepted and Uncle Howdy promptly appeared again. Howdy came down to the ring and hit Sister Abigail on Bray leaving Knight confused about what was going on. Later in the night, it was announced that their Rumble match would be a “Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match”. No other explanation was offered. 


— WWE (@WWE) December 31, 2022

Next up Sami Zayn was seen backstage trying to get a word with Roman Reigns but instead ran into Paul Heyman who delayed Zayn’s entry and said “life on the island of relevancy is staying three steps ahead at all times”. He then received a text giving him the green light to allow Sami to enter the Bloodline’s locker room. 

Solo Sikoa defeated Sheamus after hitting him with the Samoan Spike – an homage to Umaga. At the start of the match, Michael Cole acknowledged the passing of Don West who he noted made a major “impact” on the industry. After the finish, The Bloodline and The Brawling Brutes attacked Sheamus trying to take him out again like they did a few weeks ago. Drew McIntyre returned and made the save chasing The Bloodline off. 

.@DMcIntyreWWE is back and he's taking out #TheBloodline!#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) December 31, 2022

Ronda Rousey defeated Raquel Rodriguez via submission in a unique spot where Rousey climbed on top of Rodriguez who was on the ropes in the corner and applied a submission. Rodriguez countered by dropping them both off the ropes but had to tap immediately upon hitting the mat because of her injured elbow. After the match, Charlotte Flair returned and challenged Ronda Rousey to an immediate title match and Rousey accepted. Charlotte won in under a minute after reversing a submission attempt into a pin with a handful of tights.


— WWE (@WWE) December 31, 2022

Next, we were taken backstage into The Bloodline’s locker room where Sami Zayn was checking in with Reigns to make sure the “Sami” chants in the arena last week weren’t bothering him. Reigns said no and that he was impressed with Zayn’s control and that he looked forward to their match tonight.

Next up they showed the video of Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley attempting to crash the Mysterio Family Christmas and Dominik getting arrested. Cole said that Ripley bailed Dominik out. 

Backstage The New Day and some other roster members were busting on Top Dolla for his botched top rope dive two weeks ago. It was all in good fun until Ricochet said that it’s not as easy as he makes it look. Dolla shoved Ricochet and a pull-apart ensued.

Imperium came to the ring and showed a video highlighting Gunther’s successful title defenses over the last few months. Braun Strowman interrupted and demanded a shot at the Intercontinental Championship. Strowman started attacking Imperium but was bested by a chair-wielding Gunther who then tried to break Strowman’s arm with a submission. Fortunately for Braun Ricochet ran down with a chair to make the save. In the process Ricochet accidentally nailed Gunther in the head with the back part of the chair and you could see visible dismay from the WWE officials who had run down to try to stop the melee. 

.@JohnCena IS BACK!!!#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) December 31, 2022

In the main event John Cena and Kevin Owens defeated Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn with an Attitude Adjustment and a Stunner. The crowd was hot for this match but there were no storyline advancements for The Bloodline just yet.

Here comes @JohnCena!#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) December 31, 2022



Announced for SmackDown Next Week in Memphis:

  • Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos vs. Sheamus & Drew McIntyre
  • Royal Rumble Qualifying Match: Ricochet vs. Top Dolla

Announced for SmackDown in Two Weeks in Green Bay:

  • Intercontinental Championship: Gunther vs. Braun Strowman 

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • Solo Sikoa over Sheamus in 11:09
  • Smackdown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey over Raquel Rodriguez in 16:42
  • Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair over Ronda Rousey in :40
  • John Cena & Kevin Owens over Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn in 10:56

What on earth is the booking logic for having Charlotte Flair win the title in three minutes from Rousey?!?!?

There’s got to be more to the story. Maybe Rousey is taking time off? In the case have Raquel win the title and then have Charlotte appear to establish Raquel’s fist contender. The fact that they didn’t go that route tells you how little they think of Raquel and the women’s championship.


It’s weird for sure

I guess it depends on the eventual direction. The biggest matches they can do for WM are either

Ronda vs Becky
Ronda vs Bianca

I tend to like Ronda vs Bianca. But for that to happen she has to lose the title

I figure she then either wins RR or EC and gets the shot against Bianca, and then they do Charlotte Vs Rhea.

Ronda vs Bianca is one of the biggest matches they can do? No one would give a shit about that match.

Its Ronda vs Becky or they have seriously failed.

Maybe here, but in a stadium show I think fans would go nuts for Bianca vs Ronda, especially if it’s to unify the titles (though I doubt that happens).

Generally not a fan of flipping the belt to START a program. But they have to keep running up Charlotte’s title count, I suppose.

Though if it’s meant to write off Ronda for a bit, I’ll sign up for that.

I think they’re doing Becky vs Rhea vs Bianca for RAW and maybe Charlotte vs Liv for SD.

I can see them doing Ronda vs Shayna at Mania and then Ronda goes away maybe forever. It’s obvious she is not invested and isn’t worth the money anymore

That match with Raquel was pretty damn good I thought. By far the best match she has had since she has been back.


100% agree, and the fact that Raquel was able to look so good in front of a huge audience is that much better as Ronda definitely played her part in that match. She may not be the best actor in the world, but when she has to she can go in the ring.