WWE Friday Night SmackDown returns tonight.
The weekly two-hour WWE on FOX television program returns this evening from the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin with another jam-packed action as the road to WWE Royal Rumble 2023 continues.
On tap for tonight’s show is Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn, as well as WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER defending against Braun Strowman.
Featured below are complete WWE Friday Night SmackDown results from Friday, January 13, 2023. The following report was written by eWrestling.com reporter Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live from 8-10pm EST. on FOX.
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN RESULTS (1/13/2023)
This week’s show kicks off with the usual “WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together” opening signature narrated by John Cena. We then shoot inside the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI. after the opening video plays.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Braun Strowman vs. GUNTHER (C)
Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcome us to the program and then we head down to the ring where we get ready for our opening match of the evening here on this week’s show.
With that said, the familiar sounds of Braun Strowman’s theme music hits and out comes “The Monster of all Monsters” for his championship opportunity against GUNTHER.
Strowman settles inside the squared circle and then his music dies down. Now Imperium’s theme hits and out comes the leader and reigning, defending WWE Intercontinental Champion. The fans boo as he makes the way to the ring accompanied by his fellow Imperium members.
Today marks the 217th day of his reign as I-C champ. As he settles into the ring, we see footage from two weeks ago that set up tonight’s title showdown between GUNTHER and Strowman.
The title is held up high before the bell to show these two what they are fighting for. Michael Cole explains the significance of Strowman’s custom ring boots for this match, which are shown on camera. The bell sounds and we’re off-and-running with this one.
We see GUNTHER trying to avoid the onslaught from “The Monster of all Monsters” early on, however the big man eventually gets his paws on the champ and begins to manhandle him. The action spills out to the floor where Strowman hits a big spot on the commentary table before we head to a mid-match commercial break.
As we return from the break, we see Strowman hoisting GUNTHER up on his shoulder on the floor. GUNTHER slips out the back door and slams the injured shoulder of Strowman into the steel ring post.
From there, the champ focuses his attack on the injured shoulder of the challenger as he returns back inside the ring in a commanding offensive lead. We see GUNTHER work over the arm of the big man for a bit and then as Strowman starts to shift the momentum into his favor, we see Imperium hit the ring to try and interfere.
Strowman ends up getting rid of them and blasting GUNTHER with a big slam for a close near fall. After the champ kicks out, we head to another mid-match commercial break as the action continues.
When we settle back in from the commercial time-out, we see “The Monster of all Monsters” stuck in an armbar from the champ on the mat. He slams his way out of it and the crowd goes nuts and begins breaking out with “Let’s go Strowman!” chants.
The two trade shots and then after Strowman gets the better of the exchanges, we see him look for the Monster Slam, only for GUNTHER to avoid it and return to his attack on the weakened shoulder of the hometown fan-favorite.
GUNTHER fights his way back into the offensive driver’s seat and then he connects with a top-rope splash for a close near fall. He heads back to the top-rope again but this time Strowman heads up with him. He looks for a super-plex, but things don’t go as planned and this leads to GUNTHER getting the win and retaining his title.
Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: GUNTHER
Paul Heyman, Sami Zayn Talk Backstage
We shoot to highlights of Roman Reigns’ lecture of Sami Zayn and then the subsequent Kevin Owens promo that saw him secure a title shot against Reigns at the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view. We also see the set up to tonight’s showdown between Zayn and Owens.
As we return live, we see Sami Zayn and Paul Heyman talking outside of The Bloodline locker room about “The Tribal Chief” and tonight’s Zayn-Owens match. As Zayn walks off, Heyman has an interesting look on his face. After this, we head to another commercial break.
Rey Mysterio Enters Royal Rumble, Gets Confronted By Karrion Kross
We return from the break and after an NFL ad read from Michael Cole, we hear the familiar sounds of Rey Mysterio’s theme music. The WWE legend emerges and the masked fan-favorite heads to the ring to a big pop from the Green Bay fans.
Mysterio settles inside the ring and grabs a microphone as his entrance tune dies down. He starts off by talking about how much the holidays mean to him. He says especially when he’s on the road his whole life.
He talks about getting sick of his son Dominic’s bullsh*t and then mentions how he came to SmackDown to get a fresh start. He knows what he needs to do to get back on track and that is to enter and win the Royal Rumble match.
Before he can continue, the familiar sounds of Karrion Kross’ theme hits and out he comes accompanied by Scarlett. The commentators talk about “The Calculated Lunatic” Karrion Kross and his “Siren of Sin” Scarlett being after Rey-Rey for weeks.
Kross gets on the mic and sarcastically talks about what it’s like to see Mysterio in the flesh. He then mocks Mysterio for needing goals, because it’s hard to get his old ass out of bed everyday without any. He mentions Mysterio winning the Rumble in the past. The crowd pops and he tells them to calm down because it was 17 years ago.
Liv Morgan Smacks Some Sense Into Fellow Royal Rumble Entrant
We shoot backstage and we see Emma telling Liv Morgan that wanting to enter the women’s Royal Rumble match first is a bad strategy. That sentiment is shared by another participant in the match. Another walks in and gets a b*tch slap from Morgan before the segment wraps up.
Xia Li vs. Tegan Nox
After this we head back inside the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI. and the theme hits to bring out the next competitor heading to the ring for our next match of the evening here on Friday Night SmackDown.
On that note, Xia Li’s theme hits and the women’s wrestling star makes her way down to the ring. As she does, we head to a pre-match commercial break.
When we return from the break, Tegan Nox makes her way to the ring and the bell sounds to get this one-on-one women’s showdown officially off-and-running.
We see some good back-and-forth action in the early goings and then we watch Li settle into the offensive lead. It isn’t long after this that Nox shifts the offensive momentum in her favorite and ultimately caps this one off with her Shiniest Wizard finisher for the victory.
Winner: Tegan Nox
The Bangers Want The Viking Raiders, Adam Pearce Announces Tournament
We shoot to a special video message from The Viking Raiders and Sarah Logan, who make it clear that they have their sights set on Drew McIntyre and Sheamus. After this, we return live backstage where The Bangers are shown and they respond.
They continue their trend of pounding on each others chest harder and harder with each verbal response they give. In walks Adam Pearce and he announces that there will be a tournament kicking off next week and the winners will earn a shot at The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
Sheamus and McIntyre are in the tournament. Drew says that’s only a half solution. Pearce says their opponents in the first round will be The Viking Raiders. Drew says that idea is perfect. “The Celtic Warrior” likes the idea as well. The segment wraps up after this.
Bray Wyatt: “I Am Him!”
After another break we return to a promotional Royal Rumble segment for Hardy (no, not the wrestler!) and his official theme song for the show. From there, we return inside the Resch Center where the lights go out.
The familiar sounds of Bray Wyatt’s theme hits and after a decent delay, we see the lantern emerge and out comes Bray Wyatt. The fan-favorite makes his way to the ring to a nice reception from the Green Bay crowd.
Wyatt settles in the ring and sits down in the rocking chair. With the lights still out but a bright spotlight shining down on him, he talks about the Royal Rumble being his true re-birth. He says his Pitch Black match against LA Knight will be the setting of his baptism in the dark.
He mentions being the color red in a world full of black and white and even says he is Uncle Howdy. As he continues, the warp-sound plays and the camera cuts-in-and-out and then we hear “strong statements” said by a familiar voice, teasing the return of “The Fiend.” He tells LA Knight he better run at the Royal Rumble.
Liv Morgan vs. Raquel Rodriguez
We see a quick backstage promo segment with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens ahead of their showdown later tonight and then we head back inside the Resch Center where Liv Morgan makes her way down to the ring before we head to a pre-match commercial break.
Morgan is wearing Harley Quinn inspired “Birds of Prey” ring gear. When we return from the break, her opponent, Raquel Rodriguez makes her way down to the squared circle.
As she settles into the ring, Cole and Barrett remind fans of her being b*tch-slapped by Morgan in the backstage segment earlier in the show. The bell sounds and we’re off-and-running with this one.
We see Morgan faring well in the early goings, however when all is said-and-done, we see Rodriguez manage to pick up the pin fall victory over the former SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Winner: Raquel Rodriguez
Sonya Deville Wants Another Piece Of “The Queen”
We shoot to footage of Sonya Deville coming up short in her attempt to dethrone “The Queen” in their SmackDown Women’s Championship match on last week’s show. We return live backstage where Deville is complaining to Adam Pearce about wanting a rematch against Charlotte Flair.
She gets mouthy with Pearce and mocks him for saying how things work around here. She sarcastically questions if he’s gonna suggest she enter and win the Royal Rumble if she wants another shot at Charlotte.
He says that’s exactly what he wants. She vows to find a way to get her rematch one way or the other. She walks off as the segment wraps up and we head to another commercial break.
Charlotte Flair, Sonya Deville Brawl Backstage
When we settle back in from the break, we shoot backstage where we see Charlotte Flair and Sonya Deville in a violent brawl. Charlotte ends up being pulled off of her by a ton of officials, only for Deville to attack again.
“The Queen” again slams her on some production equipment and then it seems over again, only for Deville to once again attack from behind. Flair gets the better of her once more and the two are again pulled apart to end the segment.
Latest Road To Cody Rhodes Recovery
From there, we head to the latest chapter in the ongoing “Road to Cody Rhodes’ recovery” video series. It starts where the last one picked up after Cody’s pectoral muscle injury performance at Hell In A Cell and post-match surgery.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
After this, we return inside the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI. where Sami Zayn’s theme hits and out comes “The Honorary Uce” for his main event showdown against former longtime friend turned rival, Kevin Owens.
As Zayn settles inside the squared circle for our final match of the evening, we head to a pre-match commercial break. When we return, the familiar sounds for Kevin Owens’ theme hits and “The Prize-Fighter” emerges to a big pop.
Owens heads to the ring and then settles inside, where his music dies down. The bell sounds and we’re off-and-running with our headline match of the evening here on this week’s SmackDown.
We see some good back-and-forth action and then Zayn hits a crazy dive onto Owens out on the floor at ringside. He follows that up with a vicious suplex to Zayn on the hard part of the ring apron, before we head to a mid-match commercial break as the action continues.
When we return from the break, we see Zayn is still very much in the offensive driver’s seat. The commentators are spending the majority of the match ignoring the action in the ring and bantering among themselves about Zayn groveling to Reigns for months and still having to have “Honorary” in front of his name.
Zayn sets Owens on the top-rope and begins heading up after him, as the fans in Green Bay try and rally behind Owens. Zayn hooks the arm of Owens, looking for a super-plex, however Owens blocks it and knocks Zayn down to the mat below.
Owens follows this up with a big frog splash for a close near fall. Zayn kicks out and both guys are slow to get back to their feet. Zayn counters a big shot from Owens and hits his Blue Thunder Bomb for a close near fall of his own.
As Owens starts to fight back again, he hits a big lariat that turns Zayn inside-out. Both guys are down and out as we head to another mid-match commercial break as the match continues here on SmackDown.
When we return from the final break of the evening, we see footage from the commercials of Zayn hitting a big tornado DDT for a close near fall. Back live, we hear “This is Awesome!” chants as Zayn takes Owens up to the top-rope.
He again looks for a super-plex but again Owens counters, this time hitting a super-brainbuster off the top. Ouch. The two are both slow to get up, but when they do, they start viciously exchanging shots in the middle of the ring as the fans react to each shot that lands.
Zayn dumps Owens on his noggin twice in a row and then backs in a corner and waits for Owens to get up. Before he does, however, The Usos and Solo Sikoa hit the ring and immediately start beating an already beaten down Owens in the corner.
Zayn slumps down in the opposing corner and drops his jaw and out-stretches his hands in shock as he watches on as The Bloodline clearly just cost him the win in his mind. They come over to Zayn and try and snap him out of it.
They take Owens out to the floor and tear apart the commentary desk. After they clear it off, they put Owens on it and they turn to Zayn. “Ucey — get him!” Before he can react, Owens pops back up and starts fighting back.
They beat him down again in three-on-one fashion as Zayn continues to watch on from the ring. They smile and tell Zayn, “This was for you!” They tell him he did good and they do their custom hand-shake before putting up the one finger for “We the ones!” poses.
Zayn pretends to go along with this but is clearly bummed out by what just transpired. Meanwhile, Sikoa comes off the barricade and splashes onto Owens, putting him through the table. Zayn looks shocked after seeing.
They all stand tall over a fallen Owens and do the “We the ones!” pose again. Highlights are shown of everything that just transpired. That’s how this week’s show goes off-the-air. Thanks for joining us!
Winner via DQ: Kevin Owens