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WWE SmackDown results, live blog (Dec. 15, 2023): Roman Reigns returns

WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 15, 2023) with a live show emanating from Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble event scheduled for late next month in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Advertised for tonight: WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns returns to SmackDown for the first time in over one month in order to handle some Tribal business.

Also on the card: First round matches in the United States championship number one contender tournament continue with Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory and Carmelo Hayes vs. Grayson Waller, 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.)


You’re just another face that I know from the TV show. I have known you for so very long, I feel you like a friend. Can’t you do anything for me? Can I touch you for a while? Can I meet you on another day? ‘Cause I’m busy liveblogging this here pro wrestling show for these folks tonight.

The show opens with Roman Reigns making his entrance, flanked by Paul Heyman, “Big” Jim Uso, and Solo Sikoa as usual.

Reigns gets on the mic and asks the crowd to acknowledge him before telling them to shut their mouths and saying he wouldn’t have had to do that if they could have kept the boos down, but it’s the holidays and he’s here to celebrate. It’s promotion season, y’all!

Because he’s a good boss and a fair Tribal Chief, when someone’s doing good, he lets ‘em know, and when they’re doing bad they get smashed, but that’s not tonight. Tonight is about one man, one man who has bent over backwards and sacrificed everything over the last year or so to keep this family on top of the mountain.

He continues, saying this man is next in line all while Jim Uso shines his apple up standing behind him, confident that Roman is talking about him. He asks Jimmy to join him... in congratulating his brother, Solo. Reigns and Sikoa embrace while Uso stands back, bashful and chagrined.

Enter Randy Orton, sending us to break.

Back from commercial, Randy Orton gets into the ring and on the mic.

Orton says he’s been thinking about this moment for a long time, what he would do and say, but the only thing he really needs to say to Roman Reigns is that he’s coming for him. He took eighteen months from Orton, so Randy will take everything from him, and he doesn’t care how many family members he has to go through.

It starts tonight, it ends at the Royal Rumble, because he’s challengeing Roman to a title match on that show! Reigns asks if it’s been eighteen months because he hasn’t thought about him at all and he can go to the back of the line where he belongs because he’s done nothing to earn a title match.

Everybody wants to get down on the Tribal Chief and thinks they just get an opportunity for showing up, but no, that’s not how it works. Listen to those voices in your head, it ain’t 2007 anymore and he’s way above Randy’s level. If he has a match with Roman, it ain’t an eighteen month vacation, it’s just retirement, and he’ll never come back.

Orton says maybe he’s right, maybe he’s evolved for the better and he’s not just a historical champion but a legend... but so too has Randy changed and evolved. But the one thing Randy Orton will always and forever be is a Legend Killer. He fakes the RKO out and Roman stumbles backwards for the ropes!

Randy tells him to start thinking about him and communes with the voices in his head and they’re telling him that Reigns might have just crapped his pants. Orton leaves him by telling him Daddy’s back and he walks out.

Commentary hypes up tonight’s show and throws to a Carmelo Hayes video package.

Grayson Waller makes his entrance to send us to break.

Back from commercial, Logan Paul gets an inset promo ragging on Carmelo Hayes for being an NXT guy.

Carmelo Hayes vs. Grayson Waller (WWE United States Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament First Round Match)

Waller with a side headlock, shot off, roll over, drop down, leapfrog, duck a lariat, Hayes with a dropkick on the button! Suplex reversed with a small package, leg lariat from Grayson, Carmelo with a tijeras and a kick in the turnbuckles sets up Fade Away!

Melo in control, clothesline to the floor and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Waller has a cravate locked in, Hayes shaking his way out of it with a jawbreaker! Right hands back Grayson off, whip reversed, slide under the springboard, back in, rolling thunder reverse STO... NOPE! Hayes with La Mistica, cover for two! Up in the turnbuckles, corkscrew headscissors driver... SO CLOSE!

Victory roll into a superkick, springboard imploding DDT, still no! Cutting Waller off, Melo goes up top...

Carmelo Hayes wins by pinfall with Nothing But Net.

LA Knight runs into Randy Orton backstage.

Orton says he doesn’t need his help, Knight says he’s not saying he does, but we know how That Damn Numbers Game works and he’s willing to help. Randy says they’re good after last week and he wants to keep that way, so LA should stay out of his way. Knight offers his catchphrase in return.

Kevin Owens makes his entrance and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Logan Paul cuts a promo about how Theory is a golden god former champ and Owens dresses like a five year old.

Austin Theory vs. Kevin Owens (WWE United States Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament First Round Match)

Circling, Owens with a side headlock, block the shoot off, take him down into an armbar. To the floor, cannonball off the apron, back inside, back out again, Theory takes him out and we go to break.

Back from commercial, jockeying for position in the turnbuckles, Owens knocks him down, frog splash but he can’t capitalize because of his injured hand! Wrist-clutch stomps from Theory, Owens overpowers him and stomps a proverbial mudhole in the ropes! Whip reversed, front kick, duck under, flying forearm, Manhattan drop sets up a DDT... NOPE!

Shot off, pop-up falters because of the bad arm, Kev puts him down with something else for a nearfall! Boot up in the corner, Austin with a nearfall of his own off of an Arabian press Spanish Fly! Up in the turnbuckles, KO with the avalanche fisherman buster!

To the floor, crotching Kevin on the barricade and dropping him with a punch, happy to take the countout... KEVIN OWENS BEATS THE COUNT! Rolling thunder blockbuster... STILL NO! Tree of Woe, cannonball, Owens up top, senton atomico... THEORY KICKS OUT! Stunner blocked by wrenching his arm, Austin takes him to the floor and traps his hand in the steel steps and stomps it!

Back inside, tearing at his cast, KO clobbers him with a cast shot...

Kevin Owens wins by pinfall with a cast-assisted forearm smash.

Backstage, Roman Reigns is grumbling at the rest of the Bloodline about Randy Orton ruining Solo Sikoa’s moment and saying he needs to be silenced. Big Jim says he can do it but it sounds like a job for the future Tribal Chief. Reigns reminds him it’s promotion season and if he takes care of Orton he could be in line for good things.

Jim lets an inadvertent YEET out and Roman glowers at him until he says “ YEET.”

And so we go to break.

Karrion Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux get a cryptic video package about how this place is going to be “recycled” soon and we’re at the threshold and everything is about to crumble.

Kevin Owens runs into Cameron Grimes backstage.

Grimes compliments him on the match and moves on in short order, and Kevin then runs into an interview.

He says he was like Carmelo Hayes once upon a time and likens their match next week to his debut match against John Cena before realizing that Hayes is standing right next to him. Carmelo says he needs the win and he’s not like Theory or Waller and he won’t be punched in the face so easily.

We get a Damage CTRL hype reel where the five of them stand together and talk about how dominant they are and how Kabuki Warriors are going after the tag titles and Bayley is gonna enter the Royal Rumble, win, and take Rhea Ripley’s championship.

Mia Yim and Zelina Vega attack Kabuki Warriors during their entrance and we go to break.

Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) vs. “Michin” Mia Yim & Zelina Vega

Back from commercial, match in progress, Kabuki Warriors running hot and working Yim over. Diving forearm from Sane gets a two count, Tag made, Mia with a backslide, Asuka with a neckbreaker drop for two! Tags made, Vega and Sane, Zelina gets the hammerlock DDT and she’s fired up!

Asuka in, Vega gets away, tag made, throwing kicks, Mia with a headbutt, capture hammerlock sitout mat slam... KAIRI BREAKS IT UP! Zelina throws Sane out of the ring, Kairi pulls her to the floor... ALABAMA SLAM INTO THE ANNOUNCE DESK! Yim ducks an uraken, strike rush, Sane tags in...

Kabuki Warriors win by pinfall with the diving elbow drop from Kairi Sane on Mia Yim.

Jim Uso chats with Solo Sikoa backstage because Roman’s been in a meeting too long, but Solo is stone-faced.

Uso tries to have a heart-to-heart with his brother and asks if he’d tell him if something was gonna happen to him. Solo grunts and flexes his hand at him and Jim does his best to look reassured.

Back from commercial, Santos Escobar gets a hype reel where he talks about how he’s gonna beat Bobby Lashley.

Bob gets a live promo with the Street Profits where he says Logan Paul thinks he can beat everyone in the tournament, but he can’t beat him.

“Big” Jim Uso vs. Randy Orton

Orton running hot early, looking for the hanging DDT but Uso bails to the floor and takes a time-out to send us to break!

Back from commercial, Randy in control, kneeling armbar, mounted punches in the turnbuckles, Garvin Stomp, choking him in the ropes! Uso gets away, gets him down in the corner, Ode to Rikishi connects and he claws at Orton’s face in the ropes! Mounted punches, Randy with a thumb to the eye and the hanging DDT is countered with a back body drop to the floor!

Orton clutching his knee and we go to break!

Back from commercial, Uso has the snap scoop powerslam scouted on the first try but the second gets him! Orton goes to that special place—

Enter Solo Sikoa, but LA Knight cuts him off! Randy outta nowhere...

Randy Orton wins by pinfall with the RKO.

LA Knight heads up the ramp doing an “I told you so” before being blindsided by Roman Reigns!

Roman pauses briefly before charging the ring! He and Randy Orton trade punches! Orton gets the better of him but Big Jim Uso makes the save and puts boots to the Apex Predator! LA Knight recovers and joins the fray but Solo Sikoa equalizes him!

The Bloodline stand tall— AJ STYLES IS HERE! PHENOMENAL FOREARM TAKES ROMAN OFF HIS FEET! He fights off the other two, LA recovers, and the babyfaces stand tall together!

Styles drops Knight with a lariat! Whose side is Uncle Allen on?! It’s Aces & Eights all over again!

That’s the show, folks.

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