SmackDown Notes: Bloodline interfere in Owens/Zayn, Gunther retains, Kross chokes out Mysterio

Photo Courtesy: WWE

January 13, 2023

Resch Center – Green Bay, WI

By: John Kleinchester

SmackDown kicked off by jumping right into Braun Strowman vs. Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship. The story of this match was Gunther working over Strowman’s injured shoulder including Imperium attacking the shoulder during a referee distraction. The pair worked a competitive match in front of the hot Green Bay crowd and Gunther was able to prevail by powerbombing Strowman and covering with a high stack for the win. 

Next we saw Sami Zayn trying to get into The Bloodline’s locker room and running into Paul Heyman. Heyman revealed that Roman Reigns decided to send The Usos and Solo Sikoa home so Sami Zayn could face Kevin Owens on his own. Sami told Heyman to call Reigns and tell him he made the right choice.

Rey Mysterio came down to the ring and cut a promo talking about how Dominik ruined him and his family’s Christmas and he was fed up but he came to SmackDown for a fresh start. Rey said he would get back on track by entering and winning the Royal Rumble. Karrion Kross and Scarlett then interrupted insulting Rey by mentioning his age and how he won the Rumble a whopping seventeen years ago and Rey was never around for Dominik when he was a kid. Kross asked ” Who do you hate more? Your son Dominik for not growing up to be just like you or yourself for failing to raise your son to be just like you?” Mysterio jumped Kross but Karrion was able to get Rey into the Straight Jacket and choke Rey out. WWE announced on Twitter that this meant Rey Mysterio was officially entered in the Royal Rumble.

Backstage, we went to the women’s locker room where Emma, Maxxine Dupri and Raquel Rodriguez were wondering why Liv Morgan would want to enter the Royal Rumble with her small stature. Liv then slapped Raquel Rodriguez and challenged her to a match later tonight.

Tegan Nox defeated Xia Li via World’s Shiniest Wizard in under three minutes.

Footage was shown after SmackDown went off the air last week with the Viking Raiders laying out Sheamus & Drew McIntyre. Next, they cut to a video package of the Raiders with Valhalla. The trio said that suffering awaits Sheamus & McIntyre. We then went backstage to The Banger Brothers asking Adam Pearce for a match with the Viking Raiders. Sheamus then said that they can wait and he wants The Usos. This led to a reprise of them slapping each other back and forth as they disagreed. Adam Pearce interjected saying that he’s starting a tag team tournament next week with the winners facing The Usos for the Undisputed Tag Team titles. Pearce then revealed that Sheamus & McIntyre will face The Viking Raiders next week in the first round. 

Bray Wyatt was out to the ring next and his rocking chair made its surprise return. Bray said that he is the eater of worlds and he is Uncle Howdy. He advised LA Knight that when the lights go out in their upcoming Mtn Dew Pitch Black Match he should run.

Kayla Braxton interviewed Kevin Owens in the back and before he could get a word in, Sami Zayn appeared asking Owens if he was happy and that he was not being used by The Bloodline. Sami said he was proud to “take care of business” tonight.

Imperium was backstage with Kayla and Gunther said he overcame his biggest challenge so far in Braun Strowman. He went on to declare himself for the Royal Rumble in two weeks.

Raquel Rodriguez vs. Liv Morgan was another Royal Rumble “teaser” match like Kofi Kingston vs. Santos Escobar last week, with emphasis on Liv being able to throw Rodriguez over the top rope during the match. Morgan set up a table and wanted to put Rodriguez through it but Raquel was able to get out of the way before Liv made the jump. Rodriguez won shortly thereafter with the Tejana Bomb.

Backstage, Sonya Deville was arguing with Adam Pearce to attempt to get a rematch against Charlotte. Pearce suggested that Deville would have to win the Women’s Rumble to get that opportunity again but Deville said that she would find a way to make the rematch official. After the commercial break, Deville was attacking Charlotte in the backstage area as officials unsuccessfully attempted to pull them apart.

Another Cody Rhodes promo video package aired highlighting his shocking return at WrestleMania last year and his bicep injury going into his Hell in a Cell match with Seth Rollins. The video ended with him entering The Nightmare Factory with a “to be continued” graphic.

The main event of the night was Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn and the two had a quality competitive match. Just as Sami had Owens set up for the Helluva Kick and the potential win, The Usos and Solo Sikoa attacked Owens causing the DQ. Sami Zayn questioned why they interfered and Michael Cole wondered aloud numerous times why Sami would allow The Bloodline to use him for so long. Solo Sikoa then ran across the ring barriers and put Kevin Owens through the announce table with the group (and a hesitant Zayn) standing over the fallen Owens to end the show.


Announced for SmackDown Next Week in Detroit:

  • Tag Team Championship Opportunity Tournament: Sheamus & Drew McIntyre vs. The Viking Raiders

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • Intercontinental Championship: Gunther over Braun Strowman in 17:28
  • Tegan Nox over Xia Li in 2:46
  • Raquel Rodriguez over Liv Morgan in 4:45
  • Kevin Owens over Sami Zayn via DQ in 15:52
About John Kleinchester 155 Articles
New Jersey born and raised. Wrestling fan since Lex slammed Yokozuna on the deck of the USS Intrepid. Favorite Wrestler of all time is Owen "The Rocket" Hart.