– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens live from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Wade Barrett. We go right to the ring.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles Match: The Brawling Brutes vs. The Usos
The music hits and out comes The Brawling Brutes – Sheamus and Butch with Ridge Holland. Out next comes The Bloodline – Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso, with Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn. We see how The Usos retained over Matt Riddle and Kevin Owens on RAW, and how Sikoa destroyed Riddle in paying tribute to Umaga after the match. Cole says Riddle suffered significant trauma to his trachea, a loss of his voice, and difficulty breathing. He is expected to be out for 6 weeks. We get formal ring introductions from Samantha Irvin now.
Sheamus starts off with Jimmy and here we go. Jimmy avoids a lock-up but then they lock up and go tot he corner. Sheamus over-powers Jimmy some and then backs off. Jimmy raises the finger but Sheamus takes him down with a headlock. Sheamus with a shoulder to drop Jimmy.
Jimmy goes to ringside to regroup with The Bloodline. Jimmy goes back in and rocks Sheamus, then headbutts him. Jimmy with a chop. They trade hip toss attempts, then Sheamus drops Jimmy with a clothesline. Sheamus with the rolling senton. Butch tags in and Sheamus lifts him off the top rope, then uses him to hit a rolling senton to keep Jimmy down. Butch with double knees to Jimmy. Jimmy takes Butch to the corner and in comes Jey with a big leaping right hand while Jimmy holds him there. Butch kicks out at 2.
Jey works Butch over but Butch blocks him and fights back out of the corner. Butch with a basement dropkick. The Usos end up making a tag and dropping Butch over the top rope, sending him to the floor. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Butch is fighting Jey off. Jey launches him face-first into the turnbuckles to avoid a tag. Jimmy comes back in for the double team backbreaker top rope combo. Butch kicks out at 2. Butch is sent back to the floor but he kicks Jimmy away as Jimmy approaches. Sami barks with Butch at his feet. They bring it back in and Butch drops Jimmy with an enziguri to get an opening.
Jey tags in and knocks Sheamus off the apron. Sheamus rushes back in to argue but the referee holds him back. Jey runs into a boot from Butch. Butch with a German suplex. Fans rally now as Butch leaps to make the tag. Sheamus and Jimmy go at it off the tag. Sheamus with a corner clothesline, then he drops Jey off the apron. Sheamus dodges a kick by Jimmy, then hits the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Sheamus stands tall for a pop. Sheamus and Butch deliver 10 Beats of the Bodhrán to their opponents, but they keep going as fans count along. Butch went to 20 Beats on Jey.
Butch knocks Jey to the floor. Jimmy rolls Sheamaus up off the distraction. Jimmy sends Sheamus shoulder-first into the corner. Jimmy goes to the top but Sheamus cuts him off. Sheamus climbs up for a White Noise from the second rope. Jimmy kicks out at 2 and we go back to commercial with Sami ranting at the referee.
Back from the break an Jey has Butch up top, but Butch bends his fingers back to send him down to the mat as fans pop. Butch leaps but rolls through as Jey moves. Jey with a big Samoan Drop neckbreaker for a 2 count as Sheamus makes the save. Jimmy runs in but Sheamus sends him to the apron. Jimmy kicks Sheamus to his knees on the apron. Sheamus scoops him and nails White Noise on the edge off the apron. Jey with a suicide dive to Sheamus on the floor.
Butch goes to the middle rope and hits the Asahi moonsault to The Usos at ringside. Butch brings Jey back in and nails a big tornado DDT for a close 2 count as Sami shows frustration and Holland cheers him on. Butch stops Jey’s fingers and kicks him in the air. Jey sends Butch to the apron. Butch climbs up but Jey rocks him. Jimmy tags in and they double team Butch now. They go for the super 1D but Sheamus yanks Jey to the floor, then sends him into the barrier.
Butch brings Jimmy off the top with a big running sitdown powerbomb for 2. The Brutes can’t believe it. Sheamus and Butch hit a Razor’s Edge into a neckbreaker with Butch doing the neckbreaker, but they barely connect. Jimmy kicks out at 2. Fans rally now as Jimmy and Sheamus trade big strikes in the middle of the ring. Jey tags in as Butch grabs Jimmy from the apron. Sheamus scoops Jey for White Noise but Sami runs in and readies for an attack. Holland takes him out. Sheamus barely hits a Brogue Kick on Jey for a close 2 count.
Solo and Holland start brawling at ringside. Solo launches Holland into the timekeeper’s area with a big Spinning Solo. Sheamaus readies for the Brogue Kick on Jey now as he struggles to get back up. Jey blocks the Brogue with a superkick. Butch tags in and tangles with Jey. Butch with an enziguri, but he misses Jey’s tag out. Jimmy ducks and they hit Butch with the 1D for the pin to win and retain.
Winners: The Usos
– After the match, The Usos stand tall as the music hits. They regroup with Sikoa and Zayn at the bottom of the ramp now as Sheamus seethes. We go to replays.
– WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle is backstage walking with fellow Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson. Braun Strowman greets Angle and Angle introduces him to Steveson. Strowman recognizes Steveson from the WWE Performance Center, and tells him to not take too long down there because we could use him up here on SmackDown. Strowman has some friendly words about Steveson getting these hands. Steveson says when he gets out of the Performance Center, Strowman will be the first one he comes to see. Strowman hugs Angle and wishes them a good night as he walks off. Angle and Steveson keep walking.
– We go back to the ring and out comes LA Knight. He hits the ring and poses in the corner. The Bray Wyatt graphics flash on the screen as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cole confirms John Cena’s return for the final SmackDown of 2022. Knight is in the ring now. He takes the mic but fans boo. Knight says he doesn’t recall asking the fans, so let him talk to you. He calls fans puppets when they start with the “What?!” chants. He says it’s obvious he struck a nerve and fear in Wyatt. He brings up how he gets blind-sided each week, but Wyatt denies it was him, and says if he did do it, there would be nothing left of Knight. Knight is calling Wyatt’s bluff because here he is. Knight says he has proof it was Wyatt. He shows us footage from three weeks go, when he was first attacked.
All we see is the same footage as before, with officials pushing debris off Knight. He says that could be anyone, but let’s look at what happened right before. We see how Megan Morant interviewed him on his way out of the building that night. He stops the video and we see one of Wyatt’s masks in the background. Knight calls it one of Wyatt’s toys. He shows us footage from the other attack and pauses it, then shows us one of Wyatt’s other masks in the background. Knight says he already told Wyatt what he can do with his puppets, and he can do the same with his toys.
Uncle Howdy interrupts from the big screen now. The video flashes with happenings between Knight and Wyatt, Howdy’s face, and other images. Howdy asks Knight what he’s waiting for? Do it. Don’t you want to be respected, feared? He deserves to be punished. Do it. Let’s do it, man. He deserves it, do it now. He deserves to suffer. The door is closing. We go back to Knight in the ring now. He says if you need anymore evidence, you’d have to be a cross-eyed halfwit to not see it was Wyatt. Knight threatens to go back to the back and find Wyatt right now, yeah. He drops the mic and marches backstage.
– Cole sends us to video from earlier tonight, which was already posted to Twitter. The video shows Cathy Kelley interviewing Legado del Fantasma about facing The Viking Raiders now. Shotzi screams out from the parking lot, and we see Shayna Baszler and SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey walking away. Shotzi had her hand slammed in a car door. She cries out as officials rush to check on her. Megan Morant is backstage with Baszler and Rousey now. She asks if they’ve taken things too far. Baszler asks what she’s implying, and says all we saw was Shotzi crying in pain on the ground. Rousey says Shotzi does this every week. Baszler says she could’ve fallen for all we know, or maybe she’s just unlucky like Natalya and Raquel Rodriguez. Rousey says or maybe she’s just fragile. Rousey says tell the China shop the bulls are coming. They go to walk off but Tegan Nox and Liv Morgan walk up. Liv says she can’t deny they make a good team, they’ve hurt several Superstars and pretty much beaten everyone… except us. Nox assumes the China shop is open. Baszler says if you mess with the bull, you get the horns. They have a few more words as the heels walk away.
The Viking Raiders vs. Legado del Fantasma
We go back to the ring and out comes Legado del Fantasma – Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro with Santos Escobar and Zelina Vega. They hit the ring and pose together as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is announced for next week’s SmackDown. We go back to the ring and Wilde waits in the ring with Del Toro as Vega joins the announcers for commentary. Out next comes The Viking Raiders – Erik and Ivar with Valhalla. They pose in the middle of the ring as we see recent happenings between the teams. Vega says Legado del Fantasma is not afraid of anyone.
The bell rings and Erik goes at it with Wilde. They trade counters and Erik levels Wilde with a punch. They run the ropes again and Erik levels Wilde. Ivar tags in and they club Wilde back to the mat.
Ivar with a thrust in the corner while Erik holds him there. Erik tags in and nails a big shoulder to Wilde while Ivar holds him there. Wilde with a hurricanrana to Erik to get an opening, but Erik comes right back and levels him with a clothesline. The music interrupts and out comes Hit Row’s “B-Fab” Briana Brandy. She brings a steel chair to the stage, then takes her seat. Erik and Ivar challenge her to bring her crew to the ring. “Top Dolla” AJ Francis and Ashante “Thee” Adonis suddenly appear at ringside from behind, with chairs in hand, attacking Wilde and Del Toro for the disqualification.
Winners by DQ: Legado del Fantasma
– After the bell, Legado del Fantasma are announced the winners but Hit Row beats them down at ringside. Dolla and Adonis hit the ring and attack Erik and Ivar with chairs now. Valhalla jumps on Adonis’ back, clawing at his eyes. B-Fab pulls her off and kicks her in the face, sending her to the floor. B-Fab follows and launches Valhalla onto Vega at the announce table. Wilde goes back in and leaps off the top but Dolla catches him in mid-air, then launches him to the mat from his shoulders. Hit Row kneels down and taunts Wilde while he sells in the middle of the ring now. Hit Row’s music starts back up as they celebrate and taunt the others who are down at ringside trying to recover.
– LA Knight is walking backstage now, looking for Bray Wyatt. He enters a dressing room and finds a Wyatt t-shirt hanging up. The lights go out. Knight turns on his phone flashlight, and a Wyatt mask appears. Knight shouts out in fear as we go right to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see Shinsuke Nakamura, Emma and Madcap Moss backstage at Kurt Angle’s birthday. They greet Angle and Gable Steveson. WWE Producer Jason Jordan walks up with a homemade card for Angle. The “father and son” reunite with a hug.
– We go back to the ring and out comes Ricochet as Samantha Irvin does the introduction. Ricochet hits the ring as we get tonight’s Progressive Match Flo video, which looks at how Ricochet defeated Santos Escobar last Friday to win the SmackDown World Cup Tournament. We also see his post-match face-off with WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER. Cole confirms their title match for next Friday.
Ricochet is checking out his World Cup trophy, which is on display in the ring. The music interrupts and out comes Imperium – GUNTHER, Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser. They march to the ring for a contract signing to make Ricochet vs. GUNTHER official for next week’s SmackDown. Adam Pearce welcomes them and has them take a seat. Vinci and Kaiser stand behind GUNTHER. Before Pearce can finish his introduction, the music interrupts and out comes Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods of The New Day.
Woods apologizes to Pearce for interrupting, but they wanted a front row seat to see everything here. Kofi knows how these work – eventually GUNTHER will get mad, then the rest of Imperium will get mad, and they will try to jump Ricochet, but we can’t have any of that. Woods plus their match at WWE NXT Deadline against NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly. Woods goes on about how they’ve come to have Ricochet’s back. Pearce dismisses the idea of every contract signing ending in physicality, but Woods gets him to agree. Fans chant for The New Day.
GUNTHER says he wants Ricochet to remember who took the title off him. GUNTHER has beaten Ricochet twice, proving he’s not worthy to hold the title. GUNTHER says next week he will beat Ricochet again, and do it in the worst way possible, and nothing can save him. GUNTHER says the difference between Imperium and Ricochet and his two goofs is that Imperium respects this great sport, and they are professional wrestlers, not performers. The crowd gave GUNTHER the “What?!” treatment the whole time. GUNTHER signs the contract. The New Day starts cracking jokes about GUNTHER saying Imperium has trouble performing. They say there are pills for that. They try to get a “Imperium can’t perform!” chant going.
Ricochet stands up and addresses GUNTHER, saying he will give GUNTHER the fight of his life next week. GUNTHER stands and yells back. Pearce asks for a crew to come out and remove the furniture as things are heating up, but GUNTHER tosses the table out and Ricochet tosses a chair. Pearce calls for a referee to come out and make the match official as a brawl breaks out between the two sides. Vinci and Kaiser are sent to the floor. Ricochet dropkicks GUNTHER, then Woods and Kingston double dropkick him to the floor.
The New Day and Ricochet pose in the ring for a pop now. Ricochet runs the ropes and leaps out, right as The New Day also flies out, and they take Imperium down. The babyfaces return to the ring as fans cheer them on.
The New Day and Ricochet vs. Imperium
The bell rings with Ludwig Kaiser going at it with Ricochet, taking him into the turnbuckles. Kaiser dodges a corner splash and sends Ricochet into the ropes. Kaiser with a big takedown but Ricochet lands on his feet and shows Kaiser up. Ricochet with a scissors takedown.
Ricochet talks some trash to Giovanni Vinci and WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER now. Woods and Ricochet double team Kaiser. Woods covers for 2. Woods fights Kaiser off with body blows, then nails a dropkick for a 2 count. Woods plays to the crowd, then causes Kaiser to run into a big boot. Woods with the Honor Roll out of the corner.
Vinci tags in with a deep arm drag to Woods. Vinci kicks away at Woods. Vinci drops Woods in the corner and stomps away some more. Vinci sends Woods out to the floor and he lands hard. Imperium stands tall as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Vinci has Woods in a headlock. Woods fights out and rocks Vinci with strikes. Vinci drops Woods and puts a knee into his back in the middle of the ring. GUNTHER tags back in and works Woods over to keep him down. The referee checks on Woods. GUNTHER with a scoop slam. GUNTHER knocks Ricochet off the apron, then drops a leg onto Woods for a close 2 count.
Kaiser tags back in and grounds Woods in the middle of the ring while working him over. Woods fights back but Kaiser whips him into the corner, then blocks a kick. Kaiser takes Woods to the top and knocks him back to the mat. Woods is dazed now as Kaiser taunts him and takes his time. Fans chant for Kofi but Kaiser keeps Woods in the corner with another big chop to the chest. Kaiser climbs up to the top but Woods knocks him to the mat. Woods with a missile dropkick to create an opening. Vinci and Kingston tag in. Kofi flies off the top and decks Vinci, then unloads with offense. Kingston misses a right hand but Vinci grabs him. Kofi blocks a a suplex attempt and forces Vinci to run into a kick. Kofi with a top rope crossbody to Vinci for a 2 count.
Kofi keeps going and hits the Boom Drop in the middle of the ring. Kofi rallies now. Vinci dodges a Trouble In Paradise. Kofi keeps going, dodges a move, then goes out and trips Vinci from the floor. Vinci knocks Kofi off the apron after a distraction by Kaiser. Kofi is leveled at ringside by an uppercut from Kaiser. Imperium launches Kofi over the announce table and he hits hard. Imperium stands together at ringside, laughing at Kingston as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Kaiser is working Kofi over in the middle of the ring. Kaiser knocks Woods off the apron. Kaiser turns around to a big back-drop by Kofi. Kofi and Kaiser crawl for tags now. GUNTHER and Ricochet tag in to a pop. They face off and have words. GUNTHER swings first and now they trade big strikes in the middle of the ring. GUNTHER chops Ricochet down, then nails a boot to the face. GUNTHER slaps Ricochet around and taunts him. Ricochet with a jumping knee and more big strikes.
Ricochet unloads against the ropes now, then beats GUNTHER down in the corner as fans pop and the referee warns him to back off. Ricochet dodges a big boot, then kips-up and nails an enziguri. GUNTHER scoops Ricochet and chops him to the mat. GUNTHER goes for the powerbomb but Ricochet rolls him up for 2 off the counter. Ricochet and GUNTHER are down now. Woods and Vinci tag in and they go at it. Woods with a tornado DDT. Kofi tags in for Midnight Hour but he has to fly and deck Kaiser due to his run-in. Kofi and Vinci tangle now. Vinci with a rolling senton. Kaiser tags in as Vinci hits a moonsault to Kofi.
Kofi avoids the Imperium Bomb. Ricochet with a top rope hurricanrana to Kaiser. Ricochet knocks GUNTHER off the apron with a flying kick. Woods leaps off the steel ring steps and collides with Vinci and GUNTHER on the floor, knocking them down. Kofi with Trouble In Paradise to Kaiser in the ring. Ricochet goes to the top and hits the 450 for the pin to win.
Winners: Ricochet and The New Day
– After the match, Ricochet and The New Day celebrate as his music hits. We go to replays. GUNTHER is on the apron now, staring down at Ricochet as Ricochet talks trash about how he will win next week.
– We go backstage to Kurt Angle’s birthday party. Alpha Academy tries to get in but security says they’re not on the list. Chad Gable can’t believe this, and wants the guy to keep checking. The Street Profits walk up and they are on the list, so they’re let into the party. Gable is not happy. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and The Bloodline is backstage. They’re all in a good mood and on the same page, ready to go out and eat. Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa leave, but Sami Zayn and Jey Uso stay behind a bit. Jey says with The Tribal Chief coming back next week, it might be good if Zayn trims his hair, shapes his facial hair up. Sami asks why. Jey says with how War Games went and with how Sami has been leveling up each week, he thinks it will be a big night for Sami next Friday in Chicago. Sami is a bit surprised but he’s excited as Jey walks off.
– Rey Mysterio is backstage working with a trainer on his leg injury. Scarlett and Karrion Kross walk in. The trainer says they can’t be here, then he steps away and calls for security. Kross says it’s not like that. He’s heard about Rey’s predicament, and came as soon as he could. He says Rey’s issue with son Dominik Mysterio is heartbreaking, Rey must be in hell. Rey agrees. Kross says Rey has demonstrated restraint, which counts for something… he turned the other cheek, turned the other page and came to SmackDown for a new beginning, but then he gets injured. Kross asks Rey if he knew Scarlett comes from Romania. He says life can be pretty rough for some people there, especially for a kid growing up. Rey looks uncomfortable in his chair. Kross tells a story Scarlett told him, which has stuck in his mind. He tells how Scarlett, as a kid, had a thoroughbred horse, a champion horse her family needed. Eventually the horse couldn’t run as fast as it once could or jump as high, but the family needed it so they strapped a cart to it, and it became a workhorse. Eventually it could no longer drag the cart… Scarlett never forgot the look in its eyes, the broken look when it realized it was totally useless. Kross says it’s always a sad thing to see when it gets to the point you have to put animals out of their misery. Two security guards walk in and ask if there’s a problem. Kross says no problem at all. Kross tells Rey to look at the time… Tick, Tock. Rey leans back in his chair and thinks it over as Kross and Scarlett walk out.
Liv Morgan and Tegan Nox vs. Shayna Baszler and SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey
We go back to the ring and out comes Liv Morgan, then Tegan Nox. We get a brief video package that looks at Nox’s WWE career and her journey back. Nox and Morgan pose on the apron together as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a new “Back To Basics” vignette with Lacey Evans doing boot camp. A voice-over says most people choose comfort, safe choices and the easiest way. This training would break them within minutes, they’d be crying for mom or crawling back to the safety of their couch. Not you, you embrace the suck, you choose the hard way, you welcome pain. Oorah. We go back to the ring and out comes Shayna Baszler and SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey. Cole says Shotzi suffered a broken hand in the earlier parking lot attack. The bell hits and Nox locks up with Baszler to start.
Baszler and Nox trade holds now. Baszler bends the arm back but Nox breaks free. Baszler takes it to the corner but backs off. Nox turns it around in the corner and drops Baszler. Baszler charges but Nox hits an arm drag, and another. Nox with a big corner uppercut, then another shot to drop Baszler. Nox with a corner cannonball. Nox goes to the top but Baszler jumps up with a kick to the head to send her to the mat. Rousey tags in and slams Nox to the mat, then again, by her arm.
Rousey drops to the mat and mocks Morgan. Nox rolls Rousey from behind for 2. Rousey with the ankle lock now. Nox resists but Rousey tightens the hold while taunting Morgan. Nox fights out and sends Rousey into the turnbuckles. Baszler tags in, then Morgan tags in. Morgan with a dropkick, then a Hip Attack in the corner. Liv with a high knee in the corner. Liv leaps off the top with a missile dropkick, then a kip-up. Liv screams out and nails a double stomp to Baszler’s back in the corner. Baszler kicks out at 2. Baszler launches Liv with a big German suplex. Rousey talks some trash from the apron.
Raquel Rodriguez comes out with her elbow brace on. Adam Pearce and other officials are trying to tell her she’s not medically cleared to come out. Rousey comes off the apron and yells back at Raquel as officials keep them apart. Liv blocks the Kirifuda Clutch in the ring now. The referee is distracted by Rousey and Raquel, allowing Nox to rush in and nail the Shiniest Wizard to Baszler. Liv covers for the pin to win.
Winners: Tegan Nox and Liv Morgan
– After the match, the music hits as Nox and Morgan celebrate. Rodriguez stares at Rousey and Baszler from the stage. Rousey and Baszler look on from the ring and they’re not happy.
– Kurt Angle and others are backstage at his party. He’s headed out but Gable Steveson asks if Angle wants him to come out with him. Angle tells him to stay back here, and Gable seems a bit annoyed as Angle walks off. The Street Profits greet Gable and we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle to a big “you suck!” chant from his hometown crowd. The pyro goes off as Angle heads to the ring to celebrate his 54th birthday. The ring is decorated in red, white and blue, with plenty of party favors, including a big cake and balloons.
Angle thanks Pittsburgh for this birthday celebration. Before he can continue, the music hits and out comes Alpha Academy to interrupt – Chad Gable and Otis. Gable is still salty over Alpha Academy being left off the guest list for Angle’s backstage party. Gable says Angle didn’t want to get upstaged at his own party by a real Olympic hero. Fans boo. Gable says Angle is just petty, and pettiness sucks.
Gable says this is the only time he will say the fans are right, but they’re right when they chant “you suck!” at Angle. Fans boo. Gable and Otis are in the ring now. Gable says he sees Angle for what he’s really become – he has no integrity, he lost his intensity, and if he wants to keep a shred of the intelligence he has left, he will get the hell out of Alpha Academy’s ring because this celebration is over, and Otis is going to eat the birthday cake.
Fans chant “eat the cake!” now. Gable says Angle might end up with another broken freakin’ neck if he doesn’t lave. Thank you! Angle turns and leaves as Otis begins eating the cake. Gable, who is also eating the cake, continues taunting Angle and insulting him as he walks up the ramp to the stage. Angle stops and says if they’re going to eat all that cake, they’re going to need a lot of milk. Angle’s music starts up as Gable Steveson comes out riding a milk truck, with a driver dressed as a milk man. Angle also hops on the milk tuck as it drives down to ringside.
Angle and Steveson begin throwing bottles of milk from the floor to the ring, hitting Gable and Otis. A bottle knocks Otis in the head. Barrett isn’t happy with the milk bath, and Cole says he’s lactose intolerant. Angle then pulls out a large hose and drenches everyone in milk as Steveson cheers him on. Steveson and Angle bring a few bottles into the ring as Otis and Gable retreat. Angle and Steveson toast and chug milk as fans cheer them on. They then hit the corners to pose to a “you suck!” chant as SmackDown goes off the air.