12/9 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Sheamus and Butch for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Kurt Angle’s birthday celebration, Shayna Baszler vs. Shotzi

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,216)
Live from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at PPG Paints Arena
Aired December 9, 2022 on Fox

[Hour One] Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show and plugged the sponsor. He was joined on commentary by Wade Barrett, and Samantha Irvin was the ring announcer…

“The Brawling Brutes” Sheamus, Butch, and Ridge Holland made their entrance. Cole noted that Butch would replace Drew McIntyre in the tag team title match due to McIntyre being medically disqualified. A graphic listed a Gunther and Ricochet contract signing for later in the show.

“Bloodline” members Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, and Sami Zayn made their entrance. Cole recapped footage of The Usos beating Matt Riddle and Kevin Owens to retain the titles on Raw. He also recapped Solo Sikoa taking out Elias prior to the match and then destroying Riddle afterward. Cole said Riddle suffered trachea damage and is expected to be out of action for six weeks while he recovers.

1. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso (w/Solo Sikoa, Sami Zayn) vs. Sheamus and Butch (w/Ridge Holland) for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Barrett said the Usos are the first time to defend the tag titles on Raw and Smackdown in the same calendar week in over twenty years. The Usos clotheslined Butch over the top rope. Butch was down at ringside selling a throat injury heading into a break. [C]

Sheamus and Butch hit simultaneous Ten Beats. Sheamus hit Jimmy with White Noise from the middle rope and then covered him for a near fall. [C] Sheamus performed a Razor’s Edge on Jimmy, who was hit with a neckbreaker by Butch on the way down. Sheamus covered Jimmy, but Jey returned to break up the pin.

Zayn entered the ring while the referee was distracted, but Holland took out Zayn before he could get involved. Sheamus picked up another near fall. At ringside, Sikoa uranage slammed Holland into the timekeepers area. Moments later, Jimmy made a blind tag. Jey avoided Butch’s finisher and shoved him into the ropes and then the Usos hit him with 1 D. Zayn held the legs of Sheamus to prevent him from returning to the ring while Jimmy pinned Butch….

Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso defeated Sheamus and Butch in roughly 20:00 to retain the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles.

Powell’s POV: A terrific match to open the night. Here’s hoping that this wasn’t the peak of the show just as the Usos tag defense was the peak of Monday’s Raw. Either way, that was fun.

Kurt Angle was shown walking backstage. The camera pulled back and showed that Gable Steveson was walking with him. Braun Strowman greeted Angle, who introduced him to Steveson. Strowman said he knew that Steveson was training at the WWE Performance Center. He told him with a smile on his face that he could “get these hands” once he’s ready. Steveson said he’d call him once he gets out of the PC…

LA Knight made his entrance… [C] Pittsburgh sports team imagery was shown… Cole touted the news of John Cena appearing on Smackdown in three weeks…

LA Knight stood in the ring and delivered a promo. He mentioned Bray Wyatt. “It figures you puppets would do that,” Knight said when the fans cheered. Knight said it’s obvious that he struck a nerve and struck fear in Wyatt. He said he’s been blindsided multiple times and Wyatt denies responsibility. Knight said he knew it was Wyatt and had footage air that he claimed would prove it.

The footage showed various people removing items from him in a backstage. Knight said that was enough and said it’s not a snuff film. Knight had footage air from before the attack of a mask that appeared on the door behind him during a promo. Back live, Knight asked if the mask was one of Wyatt’s toys. He played footage from after another attack and pointed out the mask in the background.

Uncle Howdy footage interrupted Knight. A distorted voice said do it now, he deserves to suffer. Knight watched it on the big screen and said that if you need more evidence, you’d have to be a crosseyed half-wit to not know that was him. Knight said he was going to the back to find Wyatt. Knight left the ring and started heading to the back…

Barrett said he’s a big fan of Knight, but he’s messing with forces that he doesn’t understand. Cole shifted the focus to pushing NXT Vengeance Day for February in Charlotte…

Footage aired from “earlier tonight” of Cathy Kelley interviewing Legado Del Fantasma in the parking lot. In the background, Shotzi started screaming and sold a hand injury while the duo of Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler were walking away from her…

Megan Morant interviewed Rousey and Baszler, who mocked the idea that they were responsible. As they were ready to walk away, Liv Morgan and Tegan Nox showed up. Baszler told them that if you mess with the bull, you get the horns…

Legado Del Fantasma made their entrance. A graphic listed Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro vs. The Viking Raiders for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: I guess the injury angle explains why WWE stopped advertising Shotzi vs. Shayna Baszler for this episode.

Cole hyped Fox’s NFL coverage and then Barrett announced that Roman Reigns will appear on next week’s Smackdown, which will be broadcast from Chicago… The Viking Raiders made their entrance…

2. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar (w/Valhalla) vs. Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro (w/Santos Escobar). Zelina Vega sat in on commentary. A little over a minute into the match, the Hit Row entrance theme played. B-Fab walked out and took a seat on a chair that she set up on the stage. Meanwhile, Top Dolla and Ashante Thee Adonis showed up and pulled Wilde and Del Toro to the floor. The referee called off the match.

“The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar fought Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro to a no-contest in 1:55.

Afterward, Top Dolla and Adonis worked over Erik and Ivar with chair shots. Valhalla jumped onto the back of Adonis. B-Fab entered the ring and pulled Valhalla off and then superkicked her. B-Fab kicked Valhalla to ringside and then ran her into Vega. Wilde dove from the ropes at Top Dolla, who caught him and then put him down with a neckbreaker…

Powell’s POV: The live crowd either didn’t care about Hit Row or they weren’t sure who to side with based on how quiet they were. It was a bit confusing to have the Viking Raiders working against another heel team before Hit Row arrived.

LA Knight entered a locker room backstage and found a new Wyatt t-shirt. The lights went out. Knight used his cellphone camera light and discovered that the masked man was inside the room with him…

An ad for Raw hyped the previously advertised No. 1 contenders matches with Bobby Lashley vs. Seth Rollins, and Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley… [C]

Backstage, Angle was shown introducing Steveson to Shinsuke Nakamura, Madcap Moss, and Emma. A man off-camera handed Angle a homemade card. The camera pulled back to show that it was Jason Jordan, who then hugged Angle…

Powell’s POV: A cute moment. It’s a damn shame that Jordan has been unable to return to the ring after neck surgery. It seemed like he was just coming into his own when he suffered the injury. On the bright side, he’s been working as a WWE producer ever since.

Ricochet made his entrance and then the Imperium trio of Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci made their entrance. Cole hyped the Gunther vs. Ricochet match for the Intercontinental for next week’s Smackdown in Chicago. Adam Pearce was on the ring and had both men take a seat at the contract signing table, but he was interrupted.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods came out with microphones. Woods told Pearce they were sorry for interrupting, but they wanted to make sure they had a front row seat for what was happening. Kingston said they know how contract signings go and assumed that Imperium would attack Ricochet.

[Hour Two] Woods worked in a plug for their NXT Tag Team Title match on Saturday’s NXT Deadline show (check out John Moore’s live review tomorrow night!). Woods said that if Imperium went after Ricochet, then they could put a whooping on them. Pearce asked if they really thought that would happen. Woods asked Pearce if he’s ever watched wrestling. “Good point,” Pearce responded. Funny.

Ricochet signed the contract. A “New Day rocks” chant broke out. Gunther told Ricochet that he wants him to remember that he’s the person who took the title off of him. Gunther said he’s beaten Ricochet twice and proved that he’s not worthy of being Intercontinental Champion. Gunther said he would beat him again next week.

Gunther said the difference between Imperium and the other three is that they are professional wrestlers, not performers. Ricochet asked if he heard Gunther say that Imperium had a problem performing. The babyfaces (kinda) got the crowd to chant “Imperium can’t perform.” Ricochet stood up and told Gunther that he’s in for the fight of his life. Ricochet said he won’t quit and everyone will see him win the Intercontinental Title.

Gunther stood up and tossed the contract signing table to ringside while the babyfaces cleared the chairs. Pearce called for an official and then the two sides started fighting. The babyface trio cleared Imperium from the ring and then performed stereo dives onto them…

3. “Imperium” Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci vs. Ricochet, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods. The babyfaces worked over Kaiser to start while Barrett questioned why New Day would risk injury when they will be challenging Pretty Deadly for the NXT Tag Titles on Saturday. Vinci made a blind tag and then worked over Woods before dumping him to ringside. [C]

The Imperium trio continued to isolate Woods. Gunther booted Ricochet off the apron. Ricochet eventually tagged in Kingston, who had a flurry of offense on Vinci. Kingston performed a crossbody block from the ropes and got a two count on Vinci. Kingston performed the Boom Drop and played to the tame crowd.

Kingston tripped Vinci and set up for a move, but Kaiser grabbed his leg from the floor. Vinci distracted the referee while Kaiser hit Kingston with an uppercut. Vinci tossed Kingston over the broadcast table. Gunther put his arms around Kaiser and Vinci heading into a break. [C]

Gunther and Ricochet ended up in the ring together. Ricochet worked over Gunther with punches and kicks until Gunther ducked between the ropes. Barrett said it was a “very different” version of Ricochet. Gunther eventually came back and went for a powerbomb, but Ricochet countered into a sunset flip for a near fall.

A short time later, Kingston and Vinci ended up as the legal men. Vinci performed a moonsault on Kingston. Kaiser tagged in, but Ricochet went to the ropes and performed a huracanrana on Kaiser. Ricochet sent Gunther back to ringside. Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise on Kaiser and then tagged Ricochet, who performed a shooting star press and scored the pin.

Ricochet, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods defeated “Imperium” Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci in roughly 19:00.

After the match, Ricochet approached Gunther, who stood on the apron and stared at him. Ricochet said he doesn’t stop…

Powell’s POV: A good match with the right finish in terms of Ricochet getting the pinfall for his team heading into his title match with Gunther. The creative forces have done a nice job of rebuilding Ricochet. I’m curious to see how they handle it next week because Ricochet losing decisively could undo some of the progress that’s been made. My guess is that Ricochet loses a highly competitive match.

Backstage, Chad Gable and Otis tried to join the Angle party, but a man told them that they are not on the list. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins showed up. They were on the list, so they taunted the Alpha Academy duo… Cole hyped the Angle birthday celebration for later in the show… [C]

The Usos and Sami Zayn were shown celebrating in their locker room while Solo Sikoa sat with his arms crossed. Zayn suggested they get dinner. Jimmy and Sikoa got up and walked away, but Jey had Zayn stay behind. Jey told Zayn that Roman Reigns is coming next week and suggest that he trim his hair and beard. Zayn wondered why. Jey told him that after WarGames, he believes next week will be a big week for Zayn…

Cole said he would be wearing jorts in three weeks when John Cena returns. “With those legs?” Barrett asked. Cole hyped Cena’s return for December 30 on Smackdown from Tampa…

Rey Mysterio was shown working with a trainer in a backstage area. Karrion Kross and Scarlett showed up. The trainer called for security, but Kross said it wasn’t going to be like that. Kross spoke to Rey about what happened with Dominik Mysterio and how Rey came to Smackdown for a fresh start.

Kross noted that Scarlett is from Romania and said life can be tough for people who live there. Kross relayed a story he said Scarlett told him about her family’s thoroughbred horse that went from being a champion to being a workhorse and eventually couldn’t go anymore.

Kross recalled Scarlett telling him that the horse had a look in its eye once it realized that it was useless. Kross said it’s always sad when an animal has to be put out of its misery. Security arrived and asked if there was a problem. Kross said no, then told Rey to look at the time. He closed with his usual tick tock…

Liv Morgan and Tegan Nox made their entrance. Cole set up a video package on Nox that she narrated. It covered her knee surgeries and her comebacks… [C]

Another Lacey Evans military training video aired… Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler made their entrance. Cole noted that Rousey made her WWE debut with Kurt Angle, then plugged Angle’s segment for later in the show. Cole also announced that Shotzi had a broken hand due to the Rousey and Baszler attack outside the venue…

4. Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler vs. Liv Morgan and Tegan Nox. Cole said it was an important match because the winning team could find themselves in position for a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Rousey caught Nox in an ankle lock, but Nox rolled out of it. Both women tagged out.

Raquel Rodriguez came out with her arm in a brace and tried to go the ring, but she was stopped by Adam Pearce and other producers while the broadcast team explained that she’s not medically cleared. Rousey dropped off the apron and then Pearce stood between her and Rodriguez. Meanwhile, Nox entered the ring and hit Baszler with a Shining Wizard, and then Morgan pinned Baszler…

Liv Morgan and Tegan Nox beat Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler in 4:10.

Backstage, Kurt Angle said it was time to go to the ring for his celebration. Gable Steveson asked if he wanted him to come with. Angle told him to stay and enjoy the party… [C]

Powell’s POV: Babyfaces passing on having someone at their side rarely ends well. Anyway, it was nice to see the Nox video package. It was brief, but it explained the basics and is an upgrade over just assuming that all viewers followed her run in NXT.

The following matches and segments were announced for next week’s Smackdown: Roman Reigns appears, Gunther vs. Ricochet for the Intercontinental Championship. Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai vs. Liv Morgan and Tegan Nox for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, and Hit Row vs. Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro vs. The Viking Raiders in a Triple Threat tag team match…

Kurt Angle made his entrance and was serenaded with the usual “you suck” chants. The ring was decked out with red, white, and blue balloons and there was a cake set up on a table. Once in the ring, Angle thanked the Pittsburgh fans and was quickly interrupted.

“Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis came out. Gable took issue with not being on the guest list for Angle’s birthday party. He pointed out their “A” sweaters and said he got Otis a tie, which is tough to find for a guy who has no neck. Gable said Angle was bothered by them outshining him. Gable said the fans were right for chanting “you suck” at Angle.

Gable and Otis entered the ring. Gable said Angle has no integrity, lost his intensity, and should leave the ring if he wants to maintain his intelligence. Gable said the celebration was over and Otis was going to eat Angle’s birthday cake. An “eat the cake” chant broke out. Gable said that if Angle didn’t listen, he might end up with another broken neck.

Angle left the ring and went to the stage. Gable said the cake tasted like salty tears. Angle said that if they were going to eat the cake, then they would need a lot of milk. A man drove a milk truck into the arena while Gable Steveson was hanging from the side. The man parked the truck at ringside.

Angle and Steveson grabbed small milk containers and threw them at Gable and Otis. Angle pulled out a hose and then sprayed the duo with more milk. Angle and Steveson entered the ring while Alpha Academy rolled out the other side. Angle and Steveson toasted and then pounded milk. Angle and Steveson posed on the ropes to close the show…

Powell’s POV: That’s not exactly how I envisioned Steveson’s main roster debut going, but what the hell? It was a quick and harmless callback to a classic WWE skit. WWE wanted Angle to manage Matt Riddle at one point, so I wonder if they hope to have him do the same for Steveson once he’s ready.

Overall, the show did peak with the tag title match. To be fair, the Usos are a tough act to follow, and this show was better than Monday’s Raw. I will have more to say about Smackdown in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by grading it below.

Join us for live reviews of Saturday’s ROH Final Battle and NXT Deadline.

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Readers Comments (11)

  1. So there has been a renewed focus on the USOs and the tag titles. They have beaten all comers so who are they setting all this up for? Who really are the next top challengers?

    I really enjoy LA Knight but did they really bring Bray back for this? Seems anticlimactic

  2. “The live crowd either didn’t care about Hit Row or they weren’t sure who to side with based on how quiet they were.”

    The only part of Hit Row that had even a minuscule chance of getting over was Swerve. Nobody gives two shits about the others.

    20 minutes of a cold tag match with Bitch involved isn’t good TV. The Wyatt/Knight stuff isn’t good. Tegan Nox is just the latest in HHH’s stable of ugly, scrawny chicks with a ridiculous dye job, Flipochet is still the absolute shits, and now we’ve got to hope that Kurt Angle segment saves an otherwise bad night of NXT Blue.

  3. @PG13 Icon – Perhaps Bray wanted to work with LA Knight, as a way of easing back into WWE after a while off?

    @TheLamestOne – Go and watch NWA, that seems more your speed.

  4. Wow the greatestturd whining and bitching about everything again. What a shock! You talking about ugly and scrawny chicks when you couldn’t find pussy in a women’s prison you virgin incel. God you suck. You must be the he most miserable pathetic human on earth

  5. The greatestturd is a 50 year old virgin who hoping things go back to the way they were when he watched the AWA 30 years ago. Stop watching and pull out your Verne Gagne vhs tapes you miserable prick

  6. No one gives a shit about a LOT of things in the WWE ring, and this is even though its common knowledge WWE pipes in crowd noise.

    ANd more supernatural crap…glad the Triple H era is SO different.

  7. That was friggen blast!

    So so so much better than how Vince treated Kurt during his retirement tour.

  8. It was nice to see some classic WWE there. Gable and Otis could really be a good duo if they weren’t booked like complete goofs all the time. There’s room for quirky heels that are still a threat to win the tag belts.

    Was this a one off with Steveson or is he just going to be on the main roster going forward?

  9. No need to insult a persons appearance. Attack their in ring ability, how you don’t like their wrestling style, or their lack of charisma instead.

    I can respect that you don’t like the smaller flippy wrestlers, to each their own. I just hope you understand that everyone has different tastes and you cannot book the product to satisfy one particular person.

    It would be nice if you would share some of the positives you see about the product. There has to be something you like because you keep watching week after week. Other than you praising Alpha Academy, I think I’ve only seen you say positive things one or two time before. It’s mostly just negative moaning and groaning and it’s honestly making you come across as a miserable douche.

    As a 50 year old who has watched WWE since the early 80s, I’ve seen it experience many ups and downs. I prefer a more mixed bag approach their doing now over watching two people wrestle the same style match over and over.

  10. I was hoping and fully expecting the HHH era to be a fresh start for Shayna Baszler, who is incredibly talented and who could be absolute money as a heel. I can’t believe she is STILL being booked like a scrub.

  11. Baszler was a bad MMA fighter, isn’t in shape, and can’t cut a promo. She SHOULD be booked as a scrub.

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