The final blue brand WWE program of 2022 goes down tonight.
WWE Friday Night SmackDown returns this evening on FOX starting at 8/7c from Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL.
On tap for tonight's show is Lacey Evans' return to action, Solo Sikoa vs. Sheamus, as well as SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey defending against Raquel Rodriguez.
Also scheduled for the final WWE on FOX show of the year is the highly-anticipated tag-team main event pitting John Cena and Kevin Owens against Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn.
Featured below are complete results of the Friday, December 30, 2022 episode of WWE SmackDown. The following report was written by Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live on FOX.
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN RESULTS (12/30/2022)
The final SmackDown of 2022 kicks off with the usual theme song and video and then we shoot inside Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. where the commentators hype this, the final SmackDown show of 2022.
Bray Wyatt, Uncle Howdy & LA Knight Kick Off The Show
Now we hear the commentators hype that tonight's show will feature the first John Cena match of 2022. From there, we hear the familiar sounds of Bray Wyatt's theme as the lights in the building go out and he makes his way to the ring.
We see footage of his attack of a WWE cameraman on last week's show and then his music dies down and he says his name is Bray Wyatt. He says he doesn't regret much. As he goes to apologize to the cameraman, he is interrupted by LA Knight.
Knight comes out and mocks Wyatt for apologizing and then says that's irrelevant. He gets closer to the ring and starts antagonizing him some more. Wyatt responds by saying, "You little idiot."
He then brings up how it might be time to remind fans how cruel he can be when he wants. LA Knight challenges him to a match at Royal Rumble. Wyatt accepts and throws his mic at Knight.
A weird cryptic video cutting in and out appears on the screen. Uncle Howdy's theme plays and while Wyatt and Knight stand in the ring, Uncle Howdy makes his way out.
Uncle Howdy enters the ring and with the lights still dimmed, he stands in between Wyatt and Knight. He then backs up next to Wyatt. Out of nowhere, he strikes, hitting Wyatt with Sister Abigal and leaving the ring. Wyatt is laid out and Knight is confused.
Sami Zayn Stopped By Paul Heyman
We shoot backstage and Sami Zayn is shown. He approaches a locker room door but is stopped by Paul Heyman. Zayn wants to go over strategies for tonight's big match against John Cena and Kevin Owens, but Heyman appears to be stopping him and stalling.
Finally, Zayn gets close enough to the door and Heyman even jokingly mentions how he's done with his delay-tactics. Zayn walks in the locker room and Heyman abruptly shuts the door as we head to a commercial break.
Sheamus vs. Solo Sikoa
When we return from the break, Sheamus makes his way out to the ring accompanied by Ridge Holland and Butch for one-on-one action. "The Celtic Warrior" settles inside the ring and his music dies down.
Now the theme for Solo Sikoa hits and out he comes accompanied by The Usos. Michael Cole points out how normally Sami Zayn would be with them as well, but notes he is backstage working out strategy with Roman Reigns for tonight's main event.
We've got Sheamus and Sikoa both in the ring and ready to go and now the bell sounds to officially get this one-on-one showdown off-and-running. Michael Cole wishes condolences to the family of former IMPACT Wrestling commentator Don West as the action gets underway.
After some early back-and-forth action, we head to a mid-match commercial break with Sheamus in control of the offense. As we return from the break, we see Sikoa has jumped into a commanding, dominant offensive lead.
During the latter portion of the contest, we see Sheamus faring well with Sikoa in the ring when all hell breaks loose on the floor at ringside. "The Celtic Warrior" heads out to deal with that but ends up getting beaten down and sent back into Sikoa in the ring, who hits a Samoan Spike for the pin fall victory.
Winner: Solo Sikoa
After The Match: Beatdown Continues, Drew McIntyre Makes Save
Once the match wraps up, we see Solo Sikoa and The Usos still beating down Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch until finally Drew McIntyre's theme hits. "The Scottish Warrior" emerges and cleans house with Claymore Kicks for all in sight.
SmackDown Women's Championship
Ronda Rousey (C) vs. Raquel Rodriguez
In our second match of the evening, a championship will be on-the-line, as SmackDown Women's Champion Ronda Rousey defends her title against the winner of last week's elimination gauntlet match, Raquel Rodriguez.
After an elaborate video package airs to set the stage for this women's title showdown, we head to a pre-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, we hear the familiar sounds of Raquel Rodriguez's theme song and the challenger makes her way out and begins heading down to the squared circle.
Rodriguez settles inside and awaits the arrival of the reigning, defending SmackDown Women's Champion, "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey. The iconic theme for the women's MMA pioneer and former WrestleMania headliner begins playing and the fans boo as she emerges.
The SmackDown Women's Champion settles inside the ring accompanied by Shayna Baszler. The bell sounds and the ring announcer handles the formal ring introductions for this title contest. Now the two get after it and this match is now officially off-and-running.
Rousey dominates the offense coming out of the gate early on, however a little too much showboating leads to her finding herself on the wrong-end of a swinging bodyslam from the powerful Rodriguez.
We see Rousey on the floor conferring with Baszler when Rodriguez heads over and brings the fight to her at ringside. She brings Rousey back into the ring and continues to deliver punishment to the champ.
Rousey eventually ducks when Rodriguez dives at her, which leads to Rodriguez blasting arm-first into the steel ring post. This hurts the already softened up limb that Rousey and Baszler worked on last week. As the action continues with Rousey back in the offensive driver's seat, we head to another commercial break.
As we settle back in from the break, we see Rousey still enjoying a comfortable offensive lead. She controls Rodriguez on the mat, pointing out to the camera that Rodriguez's hand is bleeding. Rodriguez starts fighting back and with her bad arm, lays out Rousey with a big clothesline.
We see Rousey slap on an arm bar which Rodriguez turns into a sharpshooter. Rousey survives and ends up slapping on the armbar again, which she refuses to release as they go toppling over the top-rope and out to the floor. We head to another mid-match commercial break with Rousey still controlling the arm of the challenger.
Finally we return from our second mid-match commercial break and then we return inside the ring where Rousey fights her way back into the offensive lead after Rodriguez makes a big fired-up comeback that seemed all but done until Shayna Baszler interfered. The interference by Baszler led to Rousey tapping out the challenger soon thereafter.
Winner and STILL SmackDown Women's Champion: Ronda Rousey
Charlotte Flair Is Back -- With A Challenge!
Once the match wraps up, we see Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler celebrating the big win over Raquel Rodriguez when out of nowhere, the champ's music dies down and some different music plays.
The music of "The Queen!"
Charlotte Flair makes her way out to a huge pop from the fans. She heads to the ring and confronts Rousey and Baszler. Rousey guesses that Charlotte is gonna challenge her for a title match at Royal Rumble.
"The Queen" says that Ronda is wrong and that she is actually out here to challenge her to a title showdown here tonight.
Rousey tells Charlotte she's in luck cause she's feeling spicy. With that said, the impromptu match is set up to take place right now.
SmackDown Women's Championship
Ronda Rousey (C) vs. Charlotte Flair
We see Charlotte immediately take Rousey down and go for the cover. Ronda kicks out. Charlotte heads over and blasts Baszler with a kick and then resumes her focus on Rousey, who she takes out with one big move.
She picks up the win after that to begin her 14th reign as women's champ. Charlotte heads into the crowd to celebrate her win.
Winner and NEW SmackDown Women's Champion: Charlotte Flair
Sami Zayn & Roman Reigns Chat Backstage
We shoot backstage and we see Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Solo Sikoa and The Usos in their locker room. Sami wants to double-check that the crowd chanting "Sami! Sami!" when Reigns was out there didn't bother him. Reigns says it didn't.
Reigns says it was hard to pay attention to anything other than the words Zayn was saying. He then says if Zayn brings 10-percent of that passion, they'll have nothing but guaranteed victory tonight over Cena and Owens. We head to a commercial break after this wraps up.
Top Dolla Loses Cool With Mockery
We see highlights of Dominic Mysterio's arrest and then we shoot backstage where a bunch of NXT and WWE Superstars are mocking Top Dolla for his botched dive. Top Dolla ends up losing his cool and shoving some of the guys for making him the butt of their jokes.
Gunther & Imperium Attack Braun Strowman
The theme for Imperium plays and out comes Gunther and the rest of Imperium. As they settle inside the ring, we head to another commercial break.
As we return from the break, we see Gunther and Imperium still in the ring when out comes Braun Strowman verbally dressing them down on the microphone.
"The Monster Among Men" gets in the squared circle and confronts the trio, but ends up on the wrong side of a three-on-one attack with a steel chair until Ricochet finally runs out to make the save. After this, we head to another commercial break.
Kevin Owens & John Cena vs. Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn
When we return from the break, we hear Kevin Owens' theme hit and out comes "The Prize-fighter" for our main event of the evening. He settles inside and his music dies down.
Now the familiar sounds of John Cena's music hits and the crowd goes ape-sh*t in Tampa, FL. as he makes his way to the ring with Michael Cole singing his praises as the greatest of all-time.
Both babyfaces are in the ring and Cena's music fades down. Now the iconic tune for Roman Reigns plays and out he comes with his tag-team partner, Sami Zayn, as well as the rest of The Bloodline.
It's main event time here on the final SmackDown of 2022. As Reigns and Zayn settle in the ring and we see an eager Cena looking ready for action across the ring with Owens, we head to one final pre-match commercial break.
The bell sounds after we return and we see Owens and Zayn kicking things off for their respective teams. Owens loudly mocks Zayn, telling him he's embarrassing himself in front of the Tribal Chief as he kicks his ass with Reigns watching on.
Reigns finally tags in and he completely takes over, shifting the offensive momentum into his team's favor as he rag-dolls Owens all over the place. We then head to a mid-match commercial break as "The Head of the Table" continues his dominance.
As we return from the break, we see Owens belly-to-back suplexing Zayn and buying himself some much-needed time. Right when he is about to tag in Cena, we see Reigns yank Cena off the ring apron and bash him into the barricade on the floor.
Super-Cena finally gets the tag a few moments later and he begins to clean house as Cole again sings his praises for being the greatest of all-time. Cena and Owens each hit a 5 Knuckle Shuffle at the same time.
Cena hits an A.A. and Owens hits a stunner on Zayn for the pin fall victory. That's how this week's show ends. Cena and Owens celebrates the big win as the show goes off the air. Thanks for joining us!
Winners: Kevin Owens & John Cena