SmackDown Recap & Reactions (Dec. 30, 2022): Cena, Flair, Howdy, Oh My!

Early on in this week’s episode Friday night on SmackDownThey start laying the groundwork for Roman Reigns not being happy about Sami Zayn shining a little brighter when he’s in the ring with him, noting that Honorable Use got loud boos last week.

It’s bad optics, as Paul Heyman said.

Reigns played it to Zayn, which wasn’t a problem, but looked like something to watch out for down the line. After all, the two had a match later against Kevin Owens and John Cena.

That match had a feeling, man. With the great atmosphere of the live crowd in Tampa, we don’t have enough feeling in pro wrestling.

They also put together a fun match, doing a great job of creating a hot tag for Cena that the crowd was absolutely begging for. Unfortunately, they seemed rushed for time as you could hear the referee telling them to take it home and giving them a countdown as they rushed to finish. It didn’t take anything away from me and it made me wonder how much better it would have been if they had more time to work on it.

In the end Owens – who had his eye cut open really badly – ​​hit Zayn with the pinfall. Gee, I wonder how Reigns is going to react to that next week.

It was good. I wish it had more time, but it was still great, and it sets up the future very well.


First, let’s give a shout out to Raquel Rodriguez here. Knowing she wasn’t going to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship, in the end, she was completely overshadowed by a big payday, no matter how she defended her loss. That immediately led to a change of topic.

Rodriguez got a good match from Rousey, and all things considered, she deserves a lot of credit for what she did here.

However, Charlotte Blair is irresistible.

Flair has been out since May so he can take time off to get married and go on his honeymoon and generally enjoy life away from wrestling. She came back after a while. It was only a matter of time before she won the title again.

I didn’t expect these two things to happen so close together.

Flair won the title within minutes of her return, immediately challenging Rousey to a match and rolling her up to regain the title she lost earlier this year. I guess they wanted to make it a big show, right?

I couldn’t be happier that Flair is back. She needed this section.


is that

Maybe so?

He’s a couple of inches short, which is troubling.

I can buy that it’s his phase.

Yes, I am ready to say.

Uncle Howdy Bo Dallas.

Please mama how can bo dallas be.

We got another appearance from ol’ Unc during the show, this time after Bray Wyatt and LA Knight agreed to a match at the Royal Rumble. Howdy takes his sweet time in the ring, stares down the two, and then, as he grabs Wyatt’s side, hits him with Sister Abigail.

The message was clear enough – Wyatt didn’t give in to his violent urges as he apologized to the cameraman he assaulted last week and kept relatively calm while accepting Knight’s challenge to the match. If he’s not going to “be happy with who you are,” as Howdy repeatedly demands, he’s going to pay the price.

As he did here.

I think.

Throughout all of this Knight was incredible, playing a deeply troubled boy who wants to do with this weirdness. He seems to be getting more and more comfortable as his old self every week, and we’re all better off for it.

But we’re also honest about the moral drive in this story, which is actually a welcome sight. Business is about to start and I have to admit I’m here for it.

Especially if it’s Howdy Dallas.

Come!


Everything else

  • Solo Chikova defeated Sheamus in a singles match that featured plenty of interference from both The Bloodline and The Brawling Brutes. It was still a fun match and Chikova looked strong. He was on the verge of eliminating Sheamus completely when Drew McIntyre returned a few weeks later and cleared the ring. It didn’t feel like a resolution between these two sides, in fact they announced on the show that McIntyre & Sheamus would get their missed title match against The Usos next week.
  • I really enjoyed making fun of the entire locker room for Top Tala’s inability to jump over the top rope two weeks ago. I really enjoyed how he responded to this, getting angry and ready to fight people for it. Hey, that’s some real character development that hasn’t done anything on Hit Row since they came back. I’m all for it.
  • The Imperium and Braun Strowman had a showdown that was mostly a skirmish, with neither side really looking stronger than the other. When Strowman suffered a mental breakdown, Ricochet stepped in to help him out and chased everyone down (unfortunately hitting Gunther in the head with a chair, which one can only assume was an accident). Not much to it, but in two weeks for the Intercontinental Championship GUNTHER vs. Strowman was able to set up the announcement.

It’s a good show.

Grade: A-

Your turn.

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