SmackDown Results: Orton Challenges Reigns for Rumble, Styles Returns & Attacks Knight

Originally published at SmackDown Results: Orton Challenges Reigns for Rumble, Styles Returns & Attacks Knight

December 15, 2023

Resch Center – Green Bay, WI

By: John Kleinchester


Return of the Roman

Friday Night Smackdown kicked off with The Bloodline coming down to the ring led by the returning Roman Reigns who has not been seen since Crown Jewel on November 4th. Roman said tonight was about one man, the man that is next in line. Jimmy Uso acted like Roman was talking about him but Roman said it was Solo. Meanwhile, the crowd started chanting “Randy” and shortly thereafter Orton’s music hit, and the show immediately went to commercial less than ten minutes into the first segment.

"Jimmy join me in congratulating your brother… @WWESoloSikoa!"

The Enforcer is officially the next Tribal heir 🤯@WWERomanReigns #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) December 16, 2023

Randy got on the mic and said that Roman took 18 months away from him so he would take everything from him and it starts tonight and ends at the Royal Rumble where he will challenge Roman for the WWE Universal Championship. Reigns said Orton hadn’t done anything to earn the opportunity and he could go to the back of the line with everyone else. Orton said that Roman had evolved and become a legend but he would always be a “legend killer” and with that, Orton attempted an RKO but Reigns escaped. 

He's hearing voices!@RandyOrton #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) December 16, 2023

United States Championship Tournament

The first match of the night was the next match in the tournament to determine who would face Logan Paul for the United States Championship with Grayson Waller taking on the surprise entrant from NXT, Carmelo Hayes. The announce team noted that Shawn Michaels handpicked Hayes himself. Logan Paul cut a self-shot in-set promo running down Carmelo Hayes and calling him a “random guy” and an “essay contest winner”. Hayes and Waller had a competitive match with some impressive maneuvers with Hayes picking up the win with The First 48 and Nothing But Net. 


WHAT WAS THAT??? 🤯🤯🤯@GraysonWWE @Carmelo_WWE #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) December 16, 2023

Orton & Knight

Randy Orton ran into LA Knight backstage and said he didn’t need his help tonight and told him to stay out of his way. Knight responded by saying that he was going to be the one to take everything away from Roman Reigns and The Bloodline. 

"If there's one man who's going to take everything away from @WWERomanReigns before anybody… it's @RealLAKnight YEAH!" 👀#SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) December 16, 2023

United States Championship Tournament Match 2

Next up was the second match in the US Championship tournament with Kevin Owens taking on Austin Theory. Owens was out first and it was explained that he had a broken hand after last week’s attack but somehow had been cleared for the match. Logan Paul did another inset promo and insulted Kevin Owens’ appearance after complimenting Theory’s. After the first commercial break we got a promo for The Iron Claw, which means the Von Erich family was now being featured on three different promotion shows tonight. Owens kept having issues with his hand throughout the match, and ended up using his cast to knock Theory out for the victory. 

KO advances!@FightOwensFight #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) December 16, 2023

Brooding Bloodline

In the back, Roman Reigns was complaining about Randy Orton ruining Solo Sikoa’s night. Jimmy attempted to weasel out of his match against Randy but Roman shot him down. Jimmy said “Yeet” and Roman got pissed so Jimmy meekly said “No Yeet”.  

Jimmy isn't a real person! 😂#JimmyUso @WWERomanReigns #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) December 16, 2023

Karrion Kross

A Karrion Kross promo package aired with Kross saying it was a new beginning and everything was about to crumble. 

Everything is about to crumble… ⏳@realKILLERkross @Lady_Scarlett13 #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) December 16, 2023

Kevin Owens & Carmelo Hayes (feat. Cameron Grimes)

Backstage, Owens was feeling the effects of his broken hand and was approached by Cameron Grimes who said he wished he could punch Austin Theory. Owens was then interviewed and complimented Carmelo Hayes who suddenly appeared next to him. Hayes said he needed this win more than him and said he wasn’t going to let KO “Little Bro” him.

.@FightOwensFight 👀 @Carmelo_WWE #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) December 16, 2023

Charlotte Injury, Bayley’s Dream

Footage was shown of Charlotte vs. Asuka last week and the announcers said that Charlotte would unfortunately be out for nine months with her knee injury. Then we cut to a Damage CTRL promo led by Bayley where it appeared that all five women were finally aligned. Bayley said she was entering the Royal Rumble and would take Rhea Ripley’s title and the Kabuki Warriors would win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships and her dream would finally come true. 

#DamageCTRL vows to take control of every championship in WWE… 👀@itsBayleyWWE @WWEAsuka @Iyo_SkyWWE @ImKingKota @KAIRI_official #SmackDown

— WWE (@WWE) December 16, 2023

This led directly into The Kabuki Warriors facing Zelina Vega and Michin. The babyfaces jumped the heels from behind during their entrance and the show went to commercial. The Kabuki Warriors won after interference from Bayley and Dakota Kai led to the Insane Elbow from Kairi Sane.


Jimmy Uso Getting Jumpy

Jimmy Uso was complaining to Solo that Paul and Roman had been talking for a long time and that it felt like a setup. Jimmy asked Solo if he would tell him if something was going to happen to him. Solo simply replied “I’m your brother”.

Should #JimmyUso be worried? 👀@WWESoloSikoa #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) December 16, 2023

Santos Promo Package / Lashley Promo

Santos Escobar appeared in a promo package promoting his upcoming match against Bobby Lashley in the US Championship Tournament. Escobar said he would go on to take away what he gave to Logan Paul (via brass knuckles) in the US title. Bobby Lashley cut a live backstage response with The Street Profits saying that Santos is just standing in his way.


Main Event

The main event of the evening was Randy Orton taking on Jimmy Uso. Uso was out without any Bloodline support. Orton was control early in the match including two unsuccessful attempts to put Jimmy through the announce table. Jimmy kept trying to call “timeout” to no avail. Orton was setting up for the RKO when Solo Sikoa’s music hit but before he could get to the ring, LA Knight attacked him from behind and stopped him. Orton then hit the RKO for the victory over Jimmy. Roman Reigns then jumped Knight leaving Orton alone in the ring. Reigns got into the ring and traded blows with Orton until Jimmy Uso was able to recover and assist Reigns. Then LA Knight recovered and joined in. Then Solo Sikoa recovered and joined in as well with The Bloodline dominating the faces. AJ Styles’ music then hit and AJ appeared out of the crowd hitting the Phenomenal Forearm.

AJ STYLES IS BACK!@AJStylesOrg #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) December 16, 2023

Suddenly, AJ Styles attacked LA Knight and walked off past The Bloodline.

WHY AJ?!@AJStylesOrg #SmackDown

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) December 16, 2023

Announced for SmackDown Next Week (taped tonight):

  • US Championship Tournament: Bobby Lashley vs. Santos Escobar
  • US Championship Tournament: Carmelo Hayes vs. Kevin Owens
  • NXT North American Championship: Dragon Lee vs. Butch
  • Holiday Havoc 8-Woman Tag Match: Bianca Belair, Zelina Vega, Shotzi & Michin vs. Damage CTRL

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • US Championship Tournament: Carmelo Hayes over Grayson Waller in 10:22
  • US Championship Tournament: Kevin Owens over Austin Theory in 13:56
  • The Kabuki Warriors over Zelina Vega & Michin in 7:12 (estimated, match began in commercial)
  • Randy Orton over Jimmy Uso in 14:25