WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 22, 2023) with a taped show (spoilers here) 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: There is a Holiday Havoc 8-woman tag team match pitting Damage CTRL against Bianca Belair, Shotzi, Zelina Vega, and Mia Yim.
Also on the card: The United States championship number one contender tournament continues with the two semifinal matches (Kevin Owens vs. Carmelo Hayes, Bobby Lashley vs. Santos Escobar), Dragon Lee defends the NXT North American Championship against BUTCH, 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.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR DEC. 22
Take your time, she’s only burning. This kind of experience is necessary for her learning. If you’ll be my flotsam, I can liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with a recap of Randy Orton’s promo segment from last week, as well as AJ Styles’ return and turn on LA Knight.
AJ Styles makes his entrance and gets on the mic.
He says Randy Orton wants Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, and LA Knight wants Roman Reigns any time, any place, anywhere, and he doesn’t blame either one of them. He doesn’t give a damn about either of them, either, because when it comes to Roman Reigns, he’s first in line.
Enter LA Knight.
He says AJ’ll be the first on his list, and Styles asks if he’s really forgotten that he stepped over his dead body on his way to tagging with John Cena and getting a title match?
Enter Randy Orton.
He says he gets that they have their own issues with the Bloodline, but they put him on the shelf for eighteen months. Eighteen months! Nothing is gonna get in his way, but Knight pipes up and says of the three of them, the Bloodline have never taken him out and they can come along for the ride, but he’s got Roman Reigns.
Enter general manager Nick Aldis.
He says this is a situation we find ourselves in, because each of them has a legitimate claim to face Roman Reigns, so he’s going to give them a legitimate opportunity to face Roman next. So, in two weeks at New Year’s Revolution, it’ll be AJ Styles vs. LA Knight vs. Randy Orton in a three-way #1 contender’s match!
AJ threatens to take them out if they try to get involved in his match against Solo Sikoa and leaves.
We get babyface entrances for our Holiday Havoc atomicos match and go to break.
Bianca Belair, “Michin” Mia Yim, Shotzi Blackheart, & Zelina Vega vs. Damage CTRL (Asuka, Bayley, Kairi Sane, & IYO SKY) (Holiday Havoc Match)
Wild brawling to start, fighting inside and out of the ring, SKY and Belair getting into it in the ring, IYO floats over a suplex, handful of braid, duck a lariat, back handspring stalemate! Off the ropes, Bianca running hot and showing off, vertical suplex... BAYLEY BREAKS IT UP!
Blackheart brings a present into the ring and opens it to find a chair, Bayley attacks her and steals the chair, setting it up in the corner. Jockeying for position over a suplex, drop toehold, the Role Model blocks, duck a lariat, victory roll for two from the Ballsy Badass!
Knuckle lock, step-up lucha arm drag, dropkick, following it up with a senton in the ropes! Mia Yim holds the ropes open and Shotzi dives! Directing traffic with Vega, but Sane and Asuka attack from behind with candy cane kendo sticks! Bianca and Shotzi get a table out from under the ring, Bayley and IYO cut them off, take the table, and bowl them both over on the floor with it to send us to break!
Back from commercial, tower of doom leaves everybody laying! Vega reverses a suplex from SKY on the floor, Yim and Asuka throwing kicks, uraken takes Mia down but she pops up and powerbombs the Empress! IYO in with a missile dropkick... NOPE! Belair smashes a present over IYO’s head, blinding her, Blackheart off the top, dropkick Doomsday Device... STILL NO!
Sane blasts Mia in the throat with a trash can lid uraken, Zelina cuts her off with a chair, Asuka pies her in the face and tops it with the mist! Back inside, Bayley takes Bianca down and throws her to the floor! Kabuki Warriors open a gift on the floor but only Isla Dawn is inside! Alba Fyre comes out of the present behind them and the two beat the Kabuki Warriors down!
KOD on Bayley, IYO off the top before she can capitalize, moonsault connects but Mia slides in and hits Sole Food! Yim sets the champion up on a table...
Bianca Belair, “Michin” Mia Yim, Shotzi Blackheart, & Zelina Vega win by pinfall with a diving senton through a table from Yim on IYO SKY.
We get a recap of AJ Styles being put out of commission a few months ago.
Cut to “Big” Jim Uso giving Solo Sikoa a pep talk while Roman Reigns has a sour look on his face and asks Paul Heyman who the SmackDown general manager is. Paul E tells him it’s Nick Aldis and tries to beg off but Reigns wants him to bring Aldis to him and do it now.
Dragon Lee makes his entrance to send us to break.
Dragon Lee (c) vs. Pete “BUTCH” Dunne (NXT North American Championship)
Feeling out, Dunne looking for an early armbar, ducking and dodging, both men catch kicks, clean break. Pete clobbers him with a right hand, takes him down by the arm, kneeling on the elbow and then dropping a knee over it, wrenching his arm back and working the hand and wrist and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Lee in control, hesitation dropkick, Dunne reverses a powerbomb into a Tiger Driver of his own.. SO CLOSE! Pete with kicks, Dragon returns a rising knee, trading rebound German suplexes! BUTCH with more kicks, Lee lands on his feet off an X-Plex, revolution Liger Bomb... PETE DUNNE WON’T STAY DOWN THAT EASY!
Jockeying for position in the turnbuckles, Dunne wishbones the fingers, X-Plex connects, Bitter End... REVERSED INTO A FLIP PILEDRIVER! Lee fired up...
Dragon Lee wins by pinfall with Operation: Dragon, retaining the NXT North American Championship.
A video recap of our United States Championship #1 contender’s tournament follows.
Kevin Owens makes his entrance and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Nick Aldis meets with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman cedes them the room.
Reigns asks if Aldis booked the triple threat and Solo vs. AJ, and he says he did. Roman allows that those were pretty good ideas, but an even better idea would have been to run it by him first. Adam Pearce got that. Aldis steps up and talks about how he’s looking forward to Sikoa vs. Styles given that Solo took care of John Cena in a way that even Roman couldn’t.
He’s also looking forward to the triple threat and the winner fighting Roman at the Royal Rumble and he looks forward to a more productive dialogue and getting to know each other better, leaving Roman fuming.
Logan Paul cuts an inset promo about how Carmelo Hayes impressed him and Kevin Owens disgusts him.
Carmelo Hayes vs. Kevin Owens (WWE United States Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Semifinals)
Hayes pulling ahead in the early goings but Owens cuts him down with a chop and stomps! Action to the floor, KO puts him into the steel steps and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Hayes rallies, Kev floats over a suplex but runs into a boot and a nearfall! Owens sets him up, hanging DDT off the top... SO CLOSE! Thinking package piledriver, Melo floats over, springboard sidestepped, Owens drops him with a lariat! Off the ropes... POP-UP POWERBOMB REVERSED INTO A CODEBREAKER!
KO on his feet and dazed, he still manages to sidestep Nothing But Net, pop-up powerbomb... MELO KICKS OUT! Off the top, senton atomico, drawing Hayes up...
Kevin Owens wins by pinfall with the Stunner.
Post-match, Owens shakes Hayes’ hand.
AJ Styles runs into the Club backstage.
Mia Yim is happy to see him but Karl Anderson says they haven’t heard anything from him and asks if they’re good. AJ turns the question right back around on him and walks off.
Logan Paul gets an inset promo where he says Bobby Lashley has no chance, and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Karrion Kross gets a video package about how even the greatest proclamation is soon to be forgotten without a scribe, without her words. Scarlett Bordeaux appears and screams.
Bobby Lashley vs. Santos Escobar (WWE United States Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Semifinals)
Back from commercial, Escobar with a dive, back inside, cover for two. up top, jockeying for position, Lashley knocks him down and follows it with a reverse STO for breathing room. A masked man jumps the barricade, security takes him out, Bob with a chokeslam! Two masked men attack Street Profits, Bob distracted...
Santos Escobar wins by pinfall with a schoolboy and a handful of tights.
Post-match, the masked men unmask as Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza!
A grumpy Pete Dunne walks backstage when he runs into an interview.
He congratulates Dragon Lee on bringing the fight and then assaults Pretty Deadly when they roll up singing Christmas carols!
Nick Aldis breaks the fight up and tells him to find a tag team partner for New Year’s Revolution and he can have Pretty Deadly, and so we go to break.
Back from commercial we get a Logan Paul hype reel for the tournament.
AJ Styles vs. Solo Sikoa
Sikoa chopping Styles down early, scoop and a slam, AJ slips away, plancha elbow to the floor and we go to break!
Back from commercial, Solo in control-o, throwing Styles back-first into the post! Ode to Rikishi connects, AJ comes back with a Stinger Splash, sliding forearm, quebrada... STILL NO! Pop-up Samoan drop from Sikoa, only two! Cutting Styles out of midair, he ducks the Samoan Spike, schoolboy for two and an enzuigiri cuts the Enforcer down!
AJ calling for it, reversed, Solo dumps him onto the apron, Styles with a forearm, lining him up, Phenomenal Forearm connects but Sikoa rolls out to the floor! Roman Reigns runs in and jumps AJ Styles...
AJ Styles wins by disqualification.
Post-match, Roman draws him up, fireman’s carry, AJ slips out, enzuigiri connects! Solo enters the ring, Randy Orton makes the save! Jim Uso and LA Knight join the fray, leaving us with the same situation as last week. Jawing amongst the babyfaces, Styles throwing hands, Knight takes him down, Orton pulls him away!
Reigns holds Uso and Sikoa back as the babyfaces beat each other up!
That’s the show, folks.