Tonight’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown is live from the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Michael Cole welcomes us and he’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett. WWE announced Gunther vs. Braun Strowman for the Intercontinental Championship, Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens and more.
– GUNTHER defeated Braun Strowman via pinfall and successfully retained his WWE Intercontinental championship. After the match, GUNTHER stands tall and raises the title from the entrance-way as Braun Strowman looks on from the ring, trying to recover.
– Tonight’s Progressive Match Flo video looks back at recent happenings with The Bloodline and Kevin Owens, and what led to tonight’s match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. We see Sami Zayn walking at backstage now. He stops at The Bloodline’s locker room suite and knocks. Paul Heyman comes out. Sami Zayn wants to go in there and talk strategy with the guys. Paul Heyman says he’s the only one here tonight. Sami Zayn is confused. He says he spoke to Solo Sikoa and Undisputed Tag Team Champions The Usos earlier in the day.
Paul Heyman says last week he told The Tribal Chief that Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens would be the perfect chance for Solo Sikoa and The Usos to attack Kevin Owens, but The Tribal Chief told The Wise Man that he was wrong. Paul Heyman says Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns then asked what kind of love would he be showing Sami Zayn if he doubted him and didn’t let him do this for The Bloodline on his own.
Paul Heyman says tonight, out of love, Roman Reigns wants Sami Zayn to do this all by himself. Sami Zayn seems a bit upset when he asks Paul Heyman for a favor… he tells Heyman to call or text Roman Reigns and tell him he made the right call. Sami Zayn says he will handle this, he will solve this problem tonight. Paul Heyman smiles and says that’s why Roman Reigns is in awe of Sami. Sami says that is not a prediction, it’s a spoiler. Sami and Heyman smile as Sami walks off. Heyman now rolls his eyes and looks annoyed.
– Rey Mysterio makes his way to the ring. Rey have mic and says he’s always looked at the holidays as a special time, especially when you’ve been on the road for years because you cherish that family time, especially Christmas. Rey says we all know he didn’t have a merry Christmas because his son Dominik Mysterio ruined things again. Rey says now his son is walking around like he’s some sort of thug and as a father, that breaks his heart, but as a man, he’s pretty fed up. Fans pop. Rey came to SmackDown for a fresh start and he won’t let Dominik distract him. Rey knows just what he needs to do to stay on track and that’s enter the Royal Rumble. The music interrupts and here comes Karrion Kross and Scarlett.
Kross enters the ring and stares Rey down as the lights flash. Kross takes the mic and says Rey needs goals, or else Kross doesn’t know how Rey peels his old ass out of bed every day. Kross goes on and says we all remember 17 years ago when Rey won The Rumble in 2006. Kross is sure that was a special moment for Rey and his son Dominik. Kross asks Rey why he’s looking at him like that. Kross says nevermind, Rey doesn’t know if it was special for Dominik because Rey was never around his family then. Kross says he and Scarlett were backstage talking and they wondered – who does Rey hate more… his son for not growing up like Rey did, or himself for failing to raise Dominik to be just like him.
Rey rocks Kross, then unloads with punches. Kross catches Rey in a bear hug but Rey fights off. Rey keeps fighting and drops Kross into the ropes for 619. Rey runs but Scarlett distracts him from ringside. Kross takes advantage and chokes Rey out with the Kross Jacket as fans boo and the lights go red. Scarlett holds up a Mysterio tarot card at ringside as she watches Rey fade away. Kross stands up and head to the back with Scarlett while Rey Mysterio is laid out in the ring.
– Liv Morgan, Emma and Maxxine Dupri are at backstage. Emma respects Liv Morgan for being fearless but she’s not sure about Liv Morgan entering the Women’s Royal Rumble at #1, saying maybe it’s not the best way to get to WrestleMania. Maxxine says this is the worst idea she’s ever heard, Liv doesn’t have a chance to win so it doesn’t matter when she comes out. Raquel Rodriguez walks up and says she wouldn’t go that far, but they are making some good points, Liv.
Raquel says don’t get me wrong, Liv has the fighting spirit to take on 29 others but wouldn’t the best strategy be to enter later? Raquel says for what it’s worth, she thinks someone of Liv’s size has a better chance to succeed if they enter later. Raquel is excited to be in her first Rumble an she feels like she was built to win this. Liv says for what it’s worth, she got her palm read today. She shows it to Raquel but slaps her instead. Liv wants to wrestle Liv tonight. Raquel steps to Liv and she’s upset. She speaks some in Spanish and says she’s sick and tired of everyone forgetting she’s the biggest and strongest around. Raquel accepts the challenge. Liv laughs and taunts Raquel, then walks off.
– Tegan Nox defeated Xia Li via pinfall. After the match, Tegan Nox goes right to the floor to celebrate while Xia Li looks on from the ring and she’s not happy.
– We see how The Usos retained the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles over Sheamus and Drew McIntyre last week. We also see the post-show segment where The Viking Raiders attacked Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. We cut to a new vignette and we see Valhalla standing with Erik and Ivar. She says when the Gods speak, she listens. Erik and Ivar say they obey. Valhalla says she has seen two fallen warriors sentenced to battle – McIntyre and Sheamus. The Viking Raiders say suffering awaits them.
– Drew McIntyre and Sheamus are at backstage with Adam Pearce now. Drew McIntyre is going to make Pearce’s job easy – they want The Vikings tonight. Sheamus says those lunatics can wait, he wants The Usos tonight. Sheamus and Drew McIntyre chop each other while having a friendly argument over who they want to fight tonight. Adam Pearce gets in between and says he has a solution that will make them both happy.
Adam Pearce is kicking off a tournament next week and the winners will earn a shot at The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles, and Sheamus and Drew McIntyre are in the tournament. Drew McIntyre says that’s only a half solution. Adam Pearce says their opponents in the first round will be The Viking Raiders. Drew McIntyre says that idea is perfect. Sheamus says this tournament will include banger after banger after banger, and so on.
– Bray Wyatt makes his way to the ring. He takes the mic as we see recent happenings with LA Knight and Uncle Howdy. Bray Wyatt has a spotlight on the middle of the ring now, shining on his rocking chair. Fans pop as Wyatt takes a seat in the chair. He gives a shout-out to Green Bay and says we’re here. Wyatt laughs and says it’s wild how we sometimes forget who we are, and what made us in the first place. He says all it takes is a little push to come along and send u in the right direction, and then all of a sudden you understand all u had to do all along was revel in what you are.
Bray Wyatt says just like that it all comes back to him… he remembers things lost, he remembers that he is the color red in a world of black and white, that he is the Eater of Worlds, he is Uncle Howdy, he is him. Wyatt goes on and declares he is everything, he is Bray Wyatt. Fans pop again. Wyatt knows who he is, but who are you? He says at the Royal Rumble it will be his true rebirth, a baptism in the dark and as for Knight, know this son… when the lights go out, you should run. The graphics flash and the lights go dark to end the segment.
– Kayla Braxton at backstage with Kevin Owens. She brings up the Royal Rumble match with Roman Reigns for the title. Sami Zayn appears to interrupt. Sami Zayn asks Owens if he’s happy about all this, about what he’s making Sami Zayn do tonight. Sami Zayn says Kevin Owens could’ve left him alone, left him to be with The Bloodline and stayed on Raw. Kevin Ownes says The Bloodline came to Raw and caused this.
Kevin Owens didn’t ask for this match or the tag match with John Cena, it was Roman Reigns who did. Kevin Owens goes on about Roman Reigns using Sami Zayn. Sami tells him to get it through his head – he is not being used. Sami Zayn asks Kevin Owens how many times he has to see Roman Reigns hug him or The Usos get along with him, this is family and Kevin Owens doesn’t understand. Sami Zayn has to handle his business tonight and he’s proud to. Kevin Owens says he will see Sami Zayn out there. Sami Zayn storms off.
– Kayla Braxton is with Imperium at backstage, asking WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER if his win over Braun Strowman gave him the momentum he needs. Ludwig Kaiser says momentum is essential in all success. Giovanni Vinci says GUNTHER set an example of what it means to be a true champion. GUNTHER, who is icing his neck, says this is a glorious day because he’s overcome his biggest challenge so far. For the love of this great sport and the honor of this great title, he’s beaten Strowman. He says now it’s time to capitalize and go on to the Royal Rumble, where he will throw out body after body from their sacred mat, then he will go on to where The Ring General belongs – the main event of WrestleMania 39.
– Raquel Rodriguez defeated Liv Morgan via pinfall. After the match, Raquel Rodriguez stands tall and has her arm raised and continues her celebration as Liv Morgan recovers.
– We see how SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair retained over Sonya Deville last week. Deville is backstage berating Adam Pearce now. She wants a rematch against Flair. Pearce understands but she lost and he can’t give her a rematch, that’s not how it works. Deville acts like Flair has special treatment. Pearce says the only difference is Flair won, Deville lost. Deville says Pearce is being unreasonable. She asks if he expects her to enter the Royal Rumble to earn a title shot, and he does. Deville says she is going to find a way to make the rematch official. Deville walks off.
– We get the second Cody Rhodes recovery vignette, which premiered earlier this week on Monday Night Raw.
– Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn via disqualification after The Usos and Solo Sikoa attacking Kevin Owens. After the bell, Sami Zayn looks on shocked as Kevin Owens is triple teamed in the corner. The Usos hit the 1D on Owens. The Usos and Sikoa take Owens to the floor as Sami watches from the apron, still in disbelief. Owens fights The Usos off but Sikoa hits him with the Samoan Spike, then a superkick. The Usos hold Owens for another Samoan Spike from Sikoa. The Usos tell Sami they’re doing this for him. Sami says he was handling business. The Usos tell Sami he did good but he’s not happy.
The Usos point to Sami Zayn and raise their 1s up. Sami also raises his 1 but he’s hesitating. We see Sikoa standing on top of the barrier now, several feet away. Sikoa runs the top of the barrier and leaps, putting Owens through the announce table. Sikoa stands tall and yells out as Sami’s continues to look disappointed. The Usos and Sikoa stand over Owens and the table debris now, and Sami slowly joins them. They all raise their 1s in the air. Friday Night SmackDown goes off the air with The Bloodline standing over a fallen Kevin Owens.