WWE SmackDown Results: Roman Reigns Vs. Kevin Owens sat at the Royal Rumble, Sami Zayn in a tough spot

Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens is official for Royal Rumble 2023. A furious Reigns accepted Owens’ challenge on Friday’s episode of WWE SmackDown.

Reigns laid on Sami Zayn for eating the pin in the duo’s loss to John Cena and Kevin Owens last week. Owens took advantage of Reigns’ emotions and talked him into a title match at the Rumble. It marks the third time that Reigns and Owens will compete against each other at the annual event, as well as the third time that the Universal Title will be on the line in addition to the WWE Title.

The Usos’ tag team championships were on the line Friday against the combined forces of Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. Charlotte Flair defended the SmackDown Women’s Championship in an impromptu match, and new entrants were announced for the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.

Reigns loses his temper with Zayn, The Usos defend tag titles

The Bloodline opened Friday’s show as Reigns addressed the reactions to him and Zayn losing to Cena and Owens. Reigns insisted he didn’t lose. After all, it was Zayn who got pinned in the match. Reigns clotheslined Zayn for calling and missing. After all, Reigns never fails to deliver on his promises. Reigns accused Zayn of impersonating him, perhaps out of a desire to control The Bloodline. Zayn backed up in the corner as Reigns screamed at him.

Owens interrupted Reigns and insisted that he was the cause of Reigns’ grief and not Zayn. Owens challenged Reigns to defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against him at the Royal Rumble. Reigns accepted the challenge. Owens told Zayn to seek him out whenever Zayn had the nerve to leave Reigns.

In a subsequent segment, Zayn asked Paul Heyman to let him talk to Reigns and clear the air. Heyman insisted it was a bad idea before letting Jey Uso enter The Bloodline locker room.

During the last quarter of the show, Reigns asked Heyman to retrieve Zayn for him. Zayn apologized to Reigns if Zayn gave the impression that he wanted something more than being a member of The Bloodline. Reigns rejected Zayn’s apology and issued an apology of his own. Reigns said that no one deserved to be yelled at like that in public and that it was Reigns’ responsibility as the head of the family to keep calm. Reigns said his issue is with Owens and he unfairly took it out on Zayn. Heyman revealed that next week’s SmackDown would feature a one-on-one match between Zayn and Owens. The segment ended with Reigns inviting Zayn to watch the main event with him.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships — The Usos (c) def. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus via pinfall after a rope-assisted roll-up. McIntyre and Sheamus’ raw strength overwhelmed the tag team champions for most of the match. McIntyre laid out The Usos with a dive over the ropes and nearly ended things with a Claymore kick. The Usos returned the favor with a 1-D on Sheamus, but McIntyre saved the day within a hair of three. A brawl broke out ringside between Solo Sikoa, Butch and Ridge Holland after Sikoa incapacitated McIntyre with a Samoan Spike. A Brogue Kick by Sheamus looked like it would seal the deal, but Jey Uso broke up the pinfall. Jimmy Uso rolled up Sheamus and Jey Uso used his feet to leverage his brother.

Zayn celebrated a little too hard backstage, throwing his popcorn all over Reigns’ locker room.

SmackDown is at its strongest when The Bloodline is the focal point. That was certainly the case this week. Reigns’ explosive rant about Zayn further teased their eventual split, but his apology added emotional complexity and possible misdirection. Owens was wise to challenge the champion while Reigns was heated, and his invitation to Zayn opened the door for an eventual reunion. The finish to the main event was pretty clever. Jey Uso used his body as a wedge between Jimmy Uso and the ropes, giving the pin more leverage. Grade: A

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Santos Escobar def. Kofi Kingston via pinfall after hitting Phanta Driver following distractions from Legado del Fantasma.
  • Liv Morgan declared herself a participant in the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble match.
  • Karrion Kross and Scarlett def. Madcap Moss and Emma via submission after Kross locked the Krossjack on Moss. After the match, Kross covered Moss’ face with a Rey Mysterio mask, threatening the legendary luchador.
  • Sheamus and Drew McIntyre took a trip down memory lane in a pub, leading the patrons in a “banger after banger” chant.
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship – Charlotte Flair (c) def. Sonya Deville via submission after tying up the figure eight.
  • A Lacey Evans video package highlighted her fighting experience with Marines and her Cobra Clutch finisher.
  • Ricochet def. Top Dolla via pinfall after landing a Shooting Star Press to qualify for the Royal Rumble match. Hit Row attacked Ricochet after the match and turned heel. Braun Strowman ran away from Hit Row.

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