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WWE SmackDown results, live blog (Jan. 13, 2023): Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 13, 2023) with a live show emanating from Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, featuring the latest build towards this month’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) event.

Advertised for tonight: Kevin Owens goes one-on-one with Sami Zayn. The Honorary Uce is trying to redeem himself after letting down Roman Reigns and The Bloodline two weeks ago in a tag team loss against Owens and John Cena.

Elsewhere on the card: Braun Strowman challenges GUNTHER for the Intercontinental championship, additional superstars will be named for the Royal Rumble matches, 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.)


Do you take what I take? Endurance is the word, moving back instead of forward seems to me absurd, but hey, what do I know? I’m just here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with the intro video.

Braun Strowman vs. GUNTHER (c) (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Strowman shoves GUNTHER away, breather on the floor, back in, arm wringer, wrenching, Braun whips him to the floor and gives chase! Smashing his face into the steel steps, big slicing right, charging around, he freight trains the Ring General into the barricade and we go to break!

Back from commercial, still on the floor, GUNTHER in control, taking Strowman to the woodshed, smashing his hand into every hard surface he can find! Top wristlock applied to grind him down back in the ring, chops and stomps follow it up, punting the arm directly!

Back to the top wristlock, working the arm over at length, Strowman fires up and gets back into it but Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci run in and get a few cheap shots! Braun is fast enough to counter and hit a powerslam on GUNTHER... NOT ENOUGH! And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, GUNTHER has a short armscissors applied, Strowman rolls through and deadlifts him into a suplex! Both men back on their feet and trading chops, off the ropes, GUNTHER with a big lariat but Braun takes him down with one equal and opposite!

Sidestep the charge, Strowman takes the turnbuckles hard, shotgun dropkick sets it up, lariat... NOT ENOUGH! Diving splash gets another two count, up top in the turnbuckles, jockeying for position, GUNTHER smashing his arm, getting under him... POWERBOMB! IT’S OVER!

GUNTHER wins by pinfall with a powerbomb, retaining the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

We get a recap of the build for Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.

Sami Zayn knocks on the Bloodline’s door and Paul Heyman answers.

Sami wants to talk strategy with “the guys” but Heyman says he’s the only one here tonight. Zayn is confused and Paul explains that they’re not here because Roman Reigns is showing him love by letting him beat Kevin Owens tonight on his own.

Sami buys the pep talk and says he’s gonna get it done.

Back from commercial, Rey Mysterio makes his entrance and gets on the mic.

He says he’s always said the holidays are special and exciting to him, especially when you’ve been on the road for so many years, you cherish the time you get with your family, especially Christmas. But we all know he didn’t have a very merry Christmas, because his son Dominik tried to ruin things again.

Now he’s trying to walk around like a thug, like a hardened criminal, and that breaks his heart as a father. As a man, he’s pretty fed up with it, but he wants a fresh start and he’s not going to let him provoke him. And that fresh start is winning the Royal Rumble.

Enter Karrion Kross and Scarlett.

Kross says he was in the back listening to Rey talk about goals, and he needs them or how else would he peel his broken ass out of bed every day? The years haven’t been kind to him, but he digresses. We all remember that one time seventeen years ago when Rey Mysterio won the Royal Rumble, and he’s sure that was a special moment.

But even moreso he’s sure it was a special moment for Dominik, wasn’t it? His dad’s a real life superhero and he goes and wins the big one, but Rey doesn’t know that it was special for him, does he? Because he was too busy to be a good father, and other attacks on Rey’s parenting skills follow.

Mysterio attacks, Scarlett runs interference, and Karrion chokes Rey out with the Krossjacket!

We see Liv Morgan hanging out with Emma and someone else who thinks she has no chance in the Royal Rumble. Raquel Rodriguez rolls up and says they make a good point and she just thinks someone of Liv’s size would have a better chance entering later, but mainly she’s just excited for her first Royal Rumble.

Morgan says she got her palm read and she’s confident about her chances and when she holds up her hand to explain she slaps Rodriguez across the face! They agree to have a match and that’s the segment.

Xia Li makes her entrance and we go to break.

Tegan Nox vs. Xia Li

Side headlock, Nox breaks free with right hands, big uppercut, gourdbuster follows! Senton in the corner, big slam from Li for two and into a rear chinlock in the middle of the ring! Xia striking in the corner, back and forth, Tegan gets it...

Tegan Nox wins by pinfall with the Shiniest Wizard.

We get a Viking Raiders vignette where Valhalla speaks of talking to the gods and having a vision of two fallen warriors, Drew McIntyre and Sheamus.

Adam Pearce is backstage with the Banger Bros, who want the Viking Raiders tonight. Well, Drew does, Sheamus wants the Usos now. They slap each other as they argue over who they should fight first, and Pearce says he can make both of them happy because a tag tournament is gonna start next week, winners get a title shot against the Usos, and the Bangers get the Vikings in the first round.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, Bray Wyatt makes his entrance and takes a seat in his rocking chair in the ring.

He says it’s funny how we can forget who were are how we were made but all it takes is a little push in the right direction and suddenly you know all you had to do all along is revel in what you are. He remembers all the things that he lost, that he’s the color red in a world black and white.

That he’s the Eater of Worlds, he’s Uncle Howdy, he’s Him, the nagging conscience of a world thrown to monsters, he’s Bray Wyatt. But who are you? At Royal Rumble he’ll experience a true rebirth, a baptism in the dark, and when the lights go out for LA Knight, he should run.

Kevin Owens is interviewed backstage.

But Sami Zayn is right there and asks if he’s happy about all of this, about what he’s making him do tonight. He couldn’t just leave it alone and stay on Raw— Owens complains that actually the Bloodline came to Raw and ran their mouth and he decided to take them down piece by piece and if Sami’s one of those pieces, so be it.

He didn’t ask for the tag match with Cena or their match tonight, it’s all Roman. Sami says he’s not being used and he asks how many times Reigns has to hug him before KO will see that they’re family. But now he’s got business to take care of and he’s gonna do it.

Liv Morgan makes her entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Imperium are interviewed in the trainer’s room and talk about how GUNTHER’s gonna win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania.

Liv Morgan vs. Raquel Rodriguez

Collar and elbow, Rodriguez shoves Morgan away, back to the well twice more and Raquel drops her with a big boot! Throwing her over the ropes and to the floor, Rodriguez blasts her with an elbow smash for a deep two! Looking for a spinebuster, Liv counters with headbutts but Raquel knocks her back and throws her hard into the turnbuckles.

Morgan fired up and headbutting the turnbuckles, sidestep, rising knee, off the ropes and a clothesline sends Rodriguez to the floor! Raquel pulls her down after but Liv floats over her and then puts her into the steel steps after! In to break the count, back out, Morgan gets a table out from under the ring and sets it up!

Liv up top, Raquel rolls back inside, Morgan adjusts but Rodriguez swats her out of midair! One-arm lift...

Raquel Rodriguez wins by pinfall with the one-arm powerbomb.

We get a recap of Charlotte Flair defending the title against Sonya Deville last week.

Tonight, Sonya Deville is badgering Adam Pearce for a rematch, but he won’t give her one. She kvetches about him being unreasonable and wanting her to enter the Royal Rumble before saying she’s gonna find a way to get her rematch.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, Sonya Deville and Charlotte Flair are brawling while referees and security try to pull them apart! Finally Flair throws her over a road case but Sonya ain’t done, and she jumps off of it to attack Charlotte some more!

Another Cody Rhodes vignette follows.

Sami Zayn makes his entrance and we go to break.

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

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Owens offers a handshake, Zayn kicks it away, circling, collar and elbow, side headlock, shot off, shoulder block wipes Sami out! Big slap across the face, Kev takes him down into mounted punches and Zayn rolls to the floor! Out after him, running over him with a lariat,

Big chop, back inside, Sami cuts him off and stomps him running! Back to the floor, off the ropes, tope con giro wipes KO out! Kev turns the tide, punches against the barricade, back inside, rising forearm from Sami... BRAINBUSTER ON THE APRON SENDS US TO BREAK!

Back from commercial, Owens wailing away on him with punches, biting his hand, and a headbutt sends him into the ropes. Zayn choking him in the ropes, back and forth, Kev off the top with a frog splash... NOPE! Sami with the Blue Thunder Driver... NOPE! Punches from their knees and to their feet, trading with abandon, Half & Half suplex gets a lariat, both men down and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Owens off the top, senton atomico, the knees are up... SO CLOSE! Up top, jockeying for position, KO with a superplex! Trading bombs, both men down and out, the Usos and Solo Sikoa hit the ring and attack Kevin Owens, forcing referee Ryan Tran’s hand...

Kevin Owens wins by disqualification, presumably.

The Usos hit the 1D on Owens and help Sami up so he can blast Owens with the Helluva Kick but Kev crawls out of the ring! The Usos tell Zayn that he did good and they all throw up their ones, although Sami’s goes up a bit reluctantly. Sikoa up on the barricade... SPLASH THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK!

The Bloodline pose over Owens’ fallen body and Sami gives him an experimental little kick.

That’s the show, folks.

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