WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn promise to mangle John Cena and Kevin Owens

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Undisputed WWE universal champion Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn have bad intentions in mind for John Cena and Kevin Owens. Reigns and Zayn did not mince their words when addressing Cena and Owens, who they will face in a tag team match in the SmackDown final of 2022.

Last week, Owens enlisted Cena as his partner of choice to wrestle Reigns and Zayn on the Dec. 30 episodes of SmackDown. The booking marks 20 consecutive years that Cena will compete inside a WWE ring. In advance of the match, Reigns and Zayn addressed their opponents with serious intensity. In another Bloodline business, The Usos defended their undisputed WWE tag team championships against Ashante Adonis and Top Dolla of Hit Row.

SmackDown also served as a proving ground for the next No. 1 contender for the SmackDown women’s championship. Raquel Rodriguez, Emma, ​​Tegan Nox, Xia Li, Liv Morgan, Sonya Deville and Shayna Baszler competed in a gauntlet match to determine who will challenge Ronda Rousey for SmackDown supremacy.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.

Zayn promises to erase a dark cloud named Owens

The Bloodline opened SmackDown in full force. Special counsel Paul Heyman revealed that Solo Sikoa would fight Sheamus next week before handing the microphone to the group’s leader. A confident and calculated Reigns assured the WWE Universe that he and Zayn would defeat Cena and Owens next week. Zayn stood firmly with Reigns, describing Owens as a black cloud from his past that he will blow away. Zayn promised that he and Reigns would mangle Owens and Cena. Reigns approved of Zayn’s statements, nodding along and embracing him to close out the segment.

Undisputed WWE tag team championships – The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (c) def. Hit Row (Top Dolla and Ashante Adonis) via pinfall after planting Dolla with the 1-D. Hit Row fought admirably, but their showmanship got the better of them in the end. Dolla attempted to show off his strength by hoisting up both of the tag team champions. Dolla’s legs gave out from the weight, allowing The Usos to clock him with a superkick and finish things with their signature 1-D.

There is only so much you can expect from a pre-taped, holiday episode of WWE programming. On the plus side, an effort was made to push storylines forward to a small degree. WWE viewers have been conditioned for some time now to expect very little of substance from these pre-taped shows. Reigns and Zayn delivered a fiery promo to open the show, The Usos added another title of defense to their historic record and there were plenty of small developments in other storylines. It’s nothing to write home about, but it certainly wasn’t bad. The only criticism is Hit Row in the title picture. It’s great to see WWE investing in more tag teams, but Hit Row’s act hasn’t hit the mark on the main roster and their title shot felt like a throwaway. Grade: B-

WWE SmackDown previews

  • Raquel Rodriguez def. Emma, ​​Tegan Nox, Xia Li, Liv Morgan, Sonya Deville and surprise entrant Shayna Balzer to become No. 1st contender for the SmackDown women’s championship (Gauntlet match)
  • Bray Wyatt demanded an apology from LA Knight for mistaking Wyatt for Uncle Howdy. Wyatt attacked the cameraman.
  • Rey Mysterio def. Angel Garza via pinfall after landing a 6-1-9 and springboard DDT combo. Mysterio dared Karrion Kross to enter the ring post-match but Kross refused.
  • Emma slapped Scarlett backstage. Kross calmed down before Scarlett warned Emma that she had just unleashed something terrible.
  • Ricochet and Braun Strowman def. Imperium (Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser) via pinfall in a Miracle on 34th street fight. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, dressed as nutcrackers, were hiding in one of the giant gift boxes.

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