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WWE SmackDown results, live blog (Dec. 16, 2022): Two title matches

WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 16, 2022) with a live show emanating from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, featuring the latest build towards next month’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) event.

Advertised for tonight: WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns returns to television for the first time since Survivor Series.

Elsewhere on the card: Gunther defends the Intercontinental title against Ricochet, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai defend the WWE women’s tag team titles against Tegan Nox & Liv Morgan, there’s a triple threat tag match between Hit Row, Viking Raiders, and Legado del Fantasma, and more!

Come right back here at 8 pm ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on FOX. It will be below this line here. (Note: Links to illegal streams are prohibited. Pics and GIFs are allowed.)


Sitting in the car with the radio turned to static, feeling quite tragic and with one strategic blow, I’ll be liveblogging this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with the Usos and Sami Zayn rolling up to the arena.

Thence to the intro video.

Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai & IYO SKY) (c) vs. Liv Morgan & Tegan Nox (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)

Morgan and Kai to start, back splash into a tag, Nox taking it to Kai, whip reversed, clobbers Tegan with a forearm! Nox off the ropes, handspring heel kick cuts her off, tag to SKY but Tegan hits a sitout gourdbuster and tags Liv back in! Double suplex, Liv goes and gets a kendo stick but Tegan has to talk her out of it and Damage CTRL regain the advantage!

Double whips, Nox and Morgan with corner forearms, dumping the champions to the floor, off the ropes, baseball slide, Tegan perches, crossbody takes ‘em both out and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Kai with a nearfall off a double stomp, SKY tags in, Nox blocks the German with elbows and lands a staggering headbutt that gets the tags! Liv lighting her up, step-up enzuigiri, back elbow, rising knee, kip-up, corner elbow but Kai lands a kick that turns the tide back!

Double powerbomb on Morgan, cover... NOX BREAKS IT UP! Liv lands a codebreaker, tag to Tegan, Codebreaker, Liv lands a sunset flip powerbomb to the floor on Kai but IYO takes her right out on the floor with a dropkick! Tegan lighting SKY up, kicks and a senton, off the ropes and IYO clobbers her with a Shotei!

Nox blocks the moonsault, Bayley runs interference but Tegan throws her over the barricade! She gets attacked by someone in a hoodie who immediately gets carted off by security, IYO pulls her back inside and goes up top...

Damage CTRL win by pinfall with the diving moonsault from IYO SKY on Tegan Nox to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.

We get a hype reel for GUNTHER ahead of his title defense tonight.

Commentary promises us a look at what went down when the lights went out last week, and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get Ricochet’s version of the same hype reel.

We go backstage with Sami Zayn and the Usos.

They talk up Sami’s makeover, his hair up and his bear trimmed, wearing charcoal suit over his usual t-shirt, and we learn that Solo Sikoa is with Roman Reigns right now and they’re on their way. Zayn is nervous and goes to get some water to decompress.

Jey Uso is excited for Sami to become a full-blown Uce tonight, but Jimmy doesn’t think it’s happening and he’s worried they’re setting him up for a big disappointment. Jey is committed to tonight being a good night.

We get the footage from last week’s blackout, and we get footage from Uncle Howdy’s perspective of singing at a tied-up and masked LA Knight.

He takes the mask off and palms Knight’s face while he struggles.

We cut to LA Knight walking through the arena tonight, one eye over his shoulder, and we go to break.

Back from commercial, LA Knight is in the ring and on the microphone.

He tells the crowd to shut up because he has business to do. For the last few weeks he’s been blindsided and cheapshotted at every turn but he’s still here knocking on Bray Wyatt’s door. But all Bray has done since coming back is talk a bunch of gobbledygook, dress like a clown, and blindside him backstage.

He doesn’t buy Bray’s “it wasn’t me” talk and tells him to put on whatever mask and costume he needs to do, call himself whatever, and walk down here so he can get stomped out.

Enter Bray Wyatt, no masks, no costumes.

He says he’s sick and tired of this game. He knows LA doesn’t believe him and he understands why, but he’s barking up the wrong tree. He hasn’t touched him, and deep down they both know how this story ends. He’ll give Knight one last chance to deliver his message, and he better deliver it good and deliver it right.

LA blindsides Bray as he gets in the ring and puts boots to him until a video plays on the tron! Uncle Howdy appears and asks what he’s done and if he wants to see something really scary.

Knight goes right back to putting boots to Wyatt and the entry fills with smoke. UNCLE HOWDY IS HERE! He tips his hat and grabs his lapels and laughs and laughs, the laughter echoing around the arena as LA Knight slides out of the ring, scared.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial we get a hype reel for Tribute to the Troops.

Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, and Paul Heyman arrive at the arena.

GUNTHER (c) vs. Ricochet (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Adam Pearce makes a point of ejecting Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci before the match begins.

Circling, Ricochet with a leg pick and he ducks the swing GUNTHER takes at him after! Trying to suffocate the One and Only on the floor early, wrenching on his leg, but Ricky gets the ropes and fights back with an upkick! A little back and forth, the Ring General traps him in the ropes and throws him away like a sack of garbage!

Up in the ropes, Ricochet ducks a chop, counters a back suplex with a headlock takeover, shot off, shoulder block, duck a chop, springboard blocked and GUNTHER shoves him! Skin the cat, German suplex, lands on his feet, Matrix evasion, dropkick, to the floor and GUNTHER slams him into the apron to send us to break!

Back from commercial, Ricochet fighting back with body blows but GUNTHER chops him down! Scoop and a slam, wrist clutched, kicks to the ribs, hip toss into a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring! Upkicks get him away eventually, front kicks stagger the champion, chops in the ropes, elbows, but GUNTHER counters with a backbreaker for two!

Back to the Crab, Ricochet gets his foot on the ropes! Clubbing blow, the Ring General pulls him up into the Gojira Clutch! The One and Only fighitng desperate, overhead elbows to the shoulder, he almost gets GUNTHER up but gets clubbed down! Butterfly suplex for two!

Chops in the corner, the challenger having a bad time but he starts to rally! Dropkicks, punches, GUNTHER tries to turtle up but Ricochet clobbers him with a dropkick! Suplex reversed into a gourdbuster, standing dropkick, powerbomb reversed into a Frankensteiner over the ropes and to the floor!

Dropkick sends the Ring General into the barricade, following it up with an Asai Moonsault and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Ricochet off the ropes, corkscrew tope con giro lands true! Up top, superplex attempt but the One and Only lands on his feet! Jumping knee gets a big boot, big lariat, cover... NOPE! Vertical suplex gets two, Ricochet up top... GUNTHER KICKS OUT OF THE SHOOTING STAR PRESS!

Trading palm strikes on a postage stamp, Ricochet with the lead, kicks and chops in the fray, superkick connects, but GUNTHER chops him down! Tenryu Powerbomb... RICOCHET WILL NOT STAY DOWN! The Ring General draws him up, trading big slaps, scoop lift...

GUNTHER wins by pinfall with the Last Symphony to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

The rest of Imperium come to the ring to celebrate with GUNTHER and, of course, pull Ricochet up for taunting.

Braun Strowman makes the save!

We go backstage with Roman Reigns, Solo Sikoa, and Paul Heyman.

Jimmy Uso rolls up to chat with Roman and asks him what he’s planning and if he’s really gonna leave him out of the loop. If he’s gonna make Sami tonight, he’s with it, he loves Sami. But he loves his family, he loves the Bloodline, he loves Roman, and if he doesn’t want to make him, he gets it.

A slightly consternated expression comes across Roman’s face and Jimmy quickly makes his excuses to leave.

Reigns tells Paul Heyman to call Adam Pearce and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Adam Pearce takes a seat next to Roman Reigns.

Paul Heyman says Roman has chosen to bless him with a way out of that mess with Bobby Lashley, proposing a match— Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens and a partner of his choosing, even Pearce himself. He asks if tonight works and gets laughed at, and then asks if they want it to be at the Royal Rumble.

Paul suggests doing it live on Fox on December 30th in Tampa, and Roman is into it, so the match is official and Adam goes off to let Kevin know.

A twentieth anniversary Tribute to the Troops video narrated by John Cena follows.

Legado del Fantasma make their entrance and we go to break.

Hit Row (Ashante “Thee” Adonis & Top Dolla) vs. Legado del Fantasma (Cruz del Toro & Joaquin Wilde) vs. Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) (WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Match)

Ivar and Adonis to start, Ashante with right hands, whip across, float over, side headlock. Viking shoots him off, he slides under, hip toss blocked, whip across, duck a leg lariat, dropkick sends Warbeard to the floor but Erik blindsides Adonis and throws him out of the ring!

Dolla throws Erik out, Legado attack him from behind but Top just shoves them out of the ring! Erik back in, clobbering Dolla, Legado with stereo dropkicks and they’re fired up! Stereo tornillos to the floor wipe the crush out and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Dolla and Wilde make tags and Top runs wild! Ivar runs in, fireman’s carry, Erik saves him with a dropkick, Vikings slam Legado around! Joaquin off the top, crossbody, tornado DDT on Ivar, tag to Toro! Cruz in with a springboard dropkick, back up top, 450 splash... NOPE!

Into “everybody do something cool” territory, Warbeard with the Banzai Drop, Dolla takes him out with a boot, off the ropes, he gets caught up but still more or less hits the tope con giro! Zelina Vega runs in, B-FAB runs her off, Valhalla runs her off and they brawl on the floor!

Back in the ring, Top tags out, Wilde hits him with a jawbreaker, off the ropes, Ashante is ready...

Hit Row win by pinfall with a dropkick-assisted back suplex on Joaquin Wilde to become #1 contenders to the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship.

Raquel Rodriguez is interviewed in the trainer’s room.

She says the doc wants her taking her time with her recovery, but every time she tries to straighten her arm she remembers the pain and humilation and she wants payback on Ronda Rousey, so she’ll be in the gauntlet to crown a new challenger next week.

Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler attack and wrench and kick her injured elbow repeatedly! Ronda throws a bag of ice at her and tells her to ice it for twenty minutes.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, commentary hypes up next week’s show.

The Bloodline make their entrance.

Roman Reigns gets on the mic and asks Chicago to acknowledge him.

He says he ain’t seen his Bloodline since WarGames, and in case you didn’t know, they dominated WarGames. He says tonight is the night, and every night is a good night for the Tribal Chief, but tonight... was gonna be a good night for Sami Zayn.

But they got a problem, a KO problem. He won’t leave Sami alone, he keeps stalking him and trying to drag him down, and that means he’s a problem for Roman too, and if he’s a problem for Roman, he’s a problem for the Bloodline, but don’t worry, the Tribal Chief has a solution.

He’s gonna team with Sami Zayn against Kevin Owens and whoever he wants, and they’re gonna smash him and we’re never gonna see KO again. Sami agrees and says Kev is a cancer and he’s driven everyone away and he’s his only friend! Zayn immediately backpedals and says he WAS his only friend, and it’ll be his honor to team against KO and take him out.

John Cena appears on the tron.

He says everybody loves a good holiday surprise, and boy was he surprised when he got a text from his old friend Kevin Owens. He said “What’s up Peacemaker? Did you know you’ve had a WWE match every year for the past twenty years except this one? Mind blown, eggplant Santa Claus peach!”

KO asked him to be his tag partner to keep his streak running, and hell yeah he’s gonna do it! Make your list and check it twice, because Cena Claus is coming to town, ho ho holy shit!

That’s the show, folks!

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