SmackDown Results: Owens & Escobar Advance, Humberto & Angel Return to Help Escobar

Photo Courtesy: WWE

December 22, 2023 (taped 12/15)
Resch Center – Green Bay, WI

By: John Kleinchester


Triple Threat Time

This pre-taped episode of Friday Night Smackdown kicked off with AJ Styles cutting an in-ring promo saying that he didn’t give a damn about Randy Orton or LA Knight and he wanted Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble. This brought out LA Knight who said he wanted Reigns first. Randy Orton was out next and said nothing was getting in his way. Nick Aldis then interrupted the promo parade and said that each of them had a legitimate claim to face Roman Reigns. Aldis announced that in two weeks at SmackDown “New Year’s Revolution” the three would compete in a Triple Threat match with the winner getting Roman at the Rumble. Styles then said that if anyone gets close to the ring for his match against Solo Sikoa later tonight, he’d take them out too. 

Holiday Havoc

The first match of the evening was an 8 woman Holiday Havoc match with Bianca Belair, Zelina Vega, Shotzi & Michin taking on Damage CTRL’s Bayley, Asuka, Kairi Sane, and IYO Sky. For this match, “presents” were set up around the ring with weapons inside them.

At one point in the match, Zelina Vega got a pumpkin pie to the face followed up by poisonous blue mist from Asuka. Asuka and Kairi went to open two large boxes at ringside but Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn were in them and took them out as spooky music played.

Several finishers were hit followed by Michin pinning IYO after a back senton off the top rope through a table.

Nick Who?  

Jimmy Uso was trying to hype up Solo Sikoa ahead of his match later against AJ Styles. Roman Reigns shook his head in agitation and then asked Paul Heyman who the General Manager of SmackDown was. Heyman explained it was Nick Aldis and Reigns told Heyman to bring Aldis to him.

Later, Reigns asked Aldis if he booked the triple threat match and Solo vs. AJ and said that it would have been better if he ran those ideas by him first. Aldis didn’t back down and said he hoped that they could get to know each other better.  

NXT North American Championship: Dragon Lee vs. Butch

Next up was Dragon Lee defending his recently-won NXT North American Championship against Butch. Corey Graves noted that Butch was having a bit of an identity crisis as of late, perhaps teasing a return to Pete Dunne (wishful thinking, probably). Although Graves went on to say that Butch was trying to “make a name for himself”. 

Lee and Butch had a high-energy, back-and-forth match with Dragon Lee hitting Operation Dragon for the win. 


US Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Kevin Owens vs. Carmelo Hayes

Next was the first of two semi-final matches in the United States Championship Tournament, NXT’s Carmelo Hayes taking on Kevin Owens. Before the match began, they had another inset self-shot promo from Logan Paul who again insulted Kevin Owens calling him disgusting and saying he cheated to win last week. Hayes was able to hold his own with Kevin Owens and kicked out of a pop-up powerbomb but ultimately succumbed to the Stunner. Kevin Owens goes on to the finals to face the winner of Bobby Lashley and Santos Escobar. After the match, Owens shook Hayes’ hand. 

The Club Reunited… Or Not?

Backstage, Michin, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson approached AJ Styles and said they didn’t expect him back and asked him if they were good. Styles responded by saying, “I don’t know, are we?” and walking off. 

Kross Promo and an Authors of Pain Tease?

Another Karrion Kross promo aired with him again taking credit for a number of things that have happened over the last year or so. For a brief second a silhouette was shown that seemed to be The Authors of Pain with Paul Ellering. 

US Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Bobby Lashley vs. Santos Escobar

Before this match started, we got another Logan Paul promo here as he admitted he liked Lashley’s style but he didn’t have what it takes. There was no promo about Santos Escobar. During the match, two masked men appeared at ringside attacking The Street Profits. Escobar took advantage of the distraction and pinned Lashley with a handful of tights. The masked men were then revealed to be Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza.

Pretty Deadly & Butch

Backstage Pretty Deadly interrupted an interview with Butch and a brawl ensued. Nick Aldis intervened and told Butch to find a tag team partner and they could have a match in two weeks at New Year’s Revolution.

“You Look Like if Reddit Was a Person”

An actual produced Logan Paul promo aired with Paul saying Kevin Owens doesn’t take his shirt off in the pool and looks as if Reddit was a person and said Santos Escobar cried over Rey Mysterio.

Main Event: AJ Styles vs. Solo Sikoa

The main event of the evening was AJ Styles taking on Solo Sikoa aka the man who took him out of action months ago. Sikoa dominated Styles for much of the match until AJ was able to mount a comeback only to have Roman Reigns attack Styles causing the DQ.  Solo and Roman double-teamed Styles until Randy Orton came out to even the odds. This then brought out Jimmy Uso which in turn brought out LA Knight and the faces cleared the ring. Styles then got in Orton and Knight’s faces and the three brawled as the show ended. 

Announced for SmackDown in Two Weeks in Vancouver:

  • US Championship Tournament: Kevin Owens vs. Santos Escobar (Winner faces Logan Paul at the Royal Rumble)
  • WWE Women’s Championship: IYO Sky vs. Michin
  • AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. LA Knight (Winner faces Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble)

Friday Night SmackDown Results:

  • Holiday Havoc 8-Woman Tag Match: Bianca Belair, Zelina Vega, Shotzi & Michin over Damage CTRL in 12:44
  • NXT North American Championship: Dragon Lee over Butch in 9:44
  • US Championship Tournament: Kevin Owens over Carmelo Hayes in 10:20
  • US Championship Tournament: Santos Escobar over Bobby Lashley in 8:16
  • AJ Styles over Solo Sikoa by DQ in 11:39
About John Kleinchester 161 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.