WWE SmackDown Results: Roman Reigns' Royal Rumble challenger confirmed; 2 title matches - Winners, Recap, Grades, and Highlights (January 6, 2023)

The first SmackDown of 2023 saw some unexpected turn of events!
The first SmackDown of 2023 saw some unexpected turn of events!

The Bloodline kicked off the first SmackDown of 2023, and Roman Reigns joined them in the ring.

The Tribal Chief said he would let Sami Zayn speak, and the latter went on about how 2023 would be the Bloodline's year.

After a major upset last week, @WWERomanReigns wants to know one thing: Does @SamiZayn want to be The Tribal Chief? ๐Ÿ‘€#SmackDown

Roman addressed their loss to John Cena from last week and said that he was never pinned; Sami was pinned, so only he lost. Roman started yelling at Sami before Kevin Owens walked out.

.@FightOwensFight antagonizing @WWERomanReigns and #TheBloodline with a smile on his face. ๐Ÿ˜#SmackDown

KO said that Roman's anger was misdirected and challenged Roman to a match at Royal Rumble. Roman accepted the challenge and said that he wanted KO to go away forever.

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WWE SmackDown Results (January 6, 2023): Kofi Kingston vs. Santos Escobar

He's still got it! Is @TrueKofi giving us a little preview of what's to come at #RoyalRumble?#SmackDown

Santos had control of the match early on and tried to kick Kofi off the apron, but Kingston jumped to the steel steps to save himself. Escobar got the Double Knees in the corner before Kofi came back with a dropkick.

Kofi got the SOS for a near fall before Santos countered with a big dive. Kofi got a stomp and the Boom Drop, but Legado Del Fantasma interfered, and Zelina Vega distracted Woods at ringside, letting Santos get a kick and the Phantom Driver on Kofi for the win.

Result: Santos Escobar def. Kofi Kingston

Grade: B

Backstage on SmackDown, Sami Zayn was not allowed to enter the Bloodline's locker room while The Usos were let in.

In an interview, LA Knight said he wasn't afraid of Bray Wyatt and their upcoming Pitch Black match.

Does @RealLAKnight feel good? YEAH!He's showing no fear as his @MountainDew Pitch Black Match against #BrayWyatt at #RoyalRumble creeps closer.#SmackDown

Liv Morgan was backstage and announced that she would join the Women's Royal Rumble.

She said she was looking forward to beating the people joining the match after her.

.@YaOnlyLivvOnce puts the entire Women's division on notice & vows to win The Royal Rumble! #Smackdown #WWE

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Karrion Kross & Scarlett vs. Madcap Moss & Emma on SmackDown

The match started during the break, and when we came back, Kross was in control. The ladies were tagged in, and Emma got a takedown and sent Scarlett into the turnbuckles before getting her finisher for a near fall.

Scarlett came back with a Northern Lights Suplex and got a near fall of her own. Emma got another big move and a kick, but the pin was broken up by Kross, who dragged her aside.

Emma slapped Kross before Madcap went after him in the ring. Scarlett attacked Emma at ringside and took her out. In the ring, Kross got the Kross Hammer and Kross Jacket before getting the win.

Result: Karrion Kross & Scarlett def. Madcap Moss & Emma

After the match, Kross placed Rey Mysterio's old mask on Madcap's head to make a statement before walking off.

TICK-TOCK... โณ@realKILLERkross sending a VERY clear message to @reymysterio after defeating @MadcapMoss tonight on #SmackDown.

Grade: B

Sheamus and Drew McIntyre were at a bar and were arguing and slapping each other in the chest to prove how tough they were.

"Cause when the lads are in town..."@WWESheamus @DMcIntyreWWE #SmackDown

Charlotte Flair was next on SmackDown and bragged about beating Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown Women's Championship.

Sonya Deville came out and said that she beat Ronda when she was already 'half dead.'

Sonya was ready to fight and challenged Flair to a title match. Flair consulted the crowd and accepted the challenge before we headed for the match.

Charlotte (c) vs. Sonya Deville - SmackDown Women's Title match

.@SonyaDevilleWWE came ready for a fight tonight, but @MsCharlotteWWE is showing no signs of rust as she defends her #SmackDown Women's Championship! #SmackDown

Sonya got some big strikes in from behind before Flair was ready for the match. Charlotte managed to take control and sent Devilee outside before we headed for a break.

Back on SmackDown, Deville got a near fall off a knee strike before locking in a submission. Charlotte got a spear before locking in the Figure-Eight Leglock and getting the easy win.

Result: Charlotte def. Sonya Deville to retain the SmackDown Women's Title

AND STILL #SmackDown Women's Champion...@MsCharlotteWWE! Wooo!

Grade: B-

Top Dolla vs. Ricochet on SmackDown

.@KingRicochet is heading to #RoyalRumble! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Top Dolla got a big chokeslam to start the match and tried for an early pin, but Ricochet kicked out.

Ricochet got a big takedown off a counter and went up top for the shooting star press before getting the easy win.

Result: Ricochet def. Top Dolla

#HitRow runs off after brutalizing @KingRicochet when #BraunStrowman blasts to the ring to protect him! ๐Ÿ˜ค#SmackDown

Dolla attacked Ricochet after the match, and Adonis helped him beat down the former champ and hit their finisher on him. Braun Strowman came out to make the save, and Hit Row retreated right away.

Grade: C

Roman asked for Sami before we headed for another break.

On SmackDown, Sami came in and apologized to Roman for disrespecting him. Roman said that he should be the one to apologize since KO was right.

"I should be the one apologizing. I'm sorry @SamiZayn."@WWERomanReigns #SmackDown

Roman said he would fix the KO problem before having Heyman book a match with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens next week.

Sami agreed and said that he would take care of it before Roman invited him to watch The Usos' match with him.

๐Ÿšจ JUST ANNOUNCED: Next week @SamiZayn takes on @FightOwensFight 1-on-1 on #SmackDown!

The Usos (c) vs. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus - Undisputed Tag Team Title match on SmackDown

It is a WAR tonight on #SmackDown as @WWESheamus & @DMcIntyreWWE look to defeat @WWEUsos and become the next Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions!

Jey and Drew were in the ring early on, and the challengers were in control, but a distraction from Jimmy allowed Jey to hit a Samoan Drop. Jey got a vertical suplex before the match went outside, and Jey sent Drew into the barricades.

After a break on SmackDown, Sheamus got the chops on the ropes before Drew and Sheamus got tandem top rope White Noise for a near fall. Drew hit neck breakers on both Usos before hitting a dive to the outside on them.

Back in the ring, Jey took the claymore, but Jimmy broke the pin. The latter came off the tag and got the superkicks and the 1D on Sheamus but Drew broke up the pin this time!

Solo Sikoa came out and sent Drew into the barricades before Ridge and Butch came in to take him down. Sheamus got the Brogue Kick in the ring, but the pin was broken again. Jimmy and Jey rolled up Sheamus and won with an assisted pin.

Result: The Usos def. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus to retain the Undisputed Tag Team Titles

The @WWEUsos retain the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles โ˜๏ธ@WWERomanReigns @SamiZayn @HeymanHustle #SmackDown

Grade: B+

Episode rating: B

We got the in-ring debut of Scarlett tonight on SmackDown, as well as some great title matches.

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Edited by Angana Roy