WWE Friday Night SmackDown is back.
The build to the WWE Royal Rumble 2023 pay-per-view wraps up tonight with the final “go-home” show heading into the first WWE premium live event of the New Year.
On tap for tonight’s show, which emanates from Sames Auto Arena in Laredo, Texas, is Karrion Kross vs. Rey Mysterio, as well as Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa.
Also scheduled is the semi-finals of the SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contender Tournament with Sheamus & Drew McIntyre vs. Hit Row, as well as Legado Del Fantasma vs. Imperium.
Featured below are complete WWE Friday Night SmackDown results from Friday, January 27, 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 (1/27/2023)
The final stop on the road to Royal Rumble has arrived, as this week’s Friday Night SmackDown kicks off with the usual “WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together” signature narrated by John Cena.
Sami Zayn Meets Up With Jey Uso
We then shoot to highlights of The Tribal Court for The Trial of Sami Zayn. When the highlights wrap up, we shoot to the parking lot where The Bloodline arrives. The Usos and Solo Sikoa come out of one vehicle.
Off from the side we see Sami Zayn in a hoodie. He stops Jey Uso and Uso says he ain’t supposed to talk to him. Sami says he knows and he’s not gonna walk in with him because of that, he just wants him to know that after Monday, he’s got his back no matter what and if he needs anything to let him know. He says he’s gonna head out and Uso heads into the arena as Zayn walks off.
Rey Mysterio vs. Karrion Kross
From there, the regular SmackDown opening hits and theme plays. We then shoot inside Sames Auto Arena in Laredo, Texas as Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcome us to the show.
After that, the two set the stage for the opening contest and the iconic theme for Rey Mysterio hits. The masked fan-favorite emerges from the back and makes his way down to the ring.
Mysterio settles in the ring and his music dies down. Now the screen goes to black-and-white and the familiar sounds of Karrion Kross’ theme hits. Out he comes accompanied by Scarlett.
The two are both in the ring and the bell sounds to get our first match of the evening off-and-running. The two lock-up and immediately it’s apparent that Kross has the power advantage, as he launches Mysterio face-first down to the mat with authority.
Just as fast we see that Rey has experience and speed advantages, as he uses his quickness to avoid Kross and hits a nice leg-scissor takedown attempt. Kross goes back to manhandling him from there until the action spills to the floor and Rey rams Kross into the steel ring post.
After that, Mysterio hits a nice sliding dive from the ring to the floor, launching Kross into the barricade. From there, we head into a mid-match commercial break as the action in our opener continues.
When we return from the break, Cole and Barrett show us footage showing Kross shifting the offensive momentum to his favor during the commercials. We settle back in and see Kross continue to dominate for a few minutes until out of nowhere, Mysterio rolls him up for a pin fall out of the blue.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
A Look Back At Brock Lesnar’s Return At Raw Is XXX
The Progressive Match Flo of the Week highlights come from Raw Is XXX and show Austin Theory and Bobby Lashley duking it out for the WWE United States Championship and how Brock Lesnar made his return at the end of the show to provide an assist for Theory to retain over “The All Mighty.”
Austin Theory Is On SmackDown, Confronted By The New Day, The Miz & Bobby Lashley
We return live and Michael Cole talks about how he heard rumors that Austin Theory was in the building tonight and then he is introduced. The WWE United States Champion makes his way down to the ring with his title over his shoulder.
As he settles in the ring and poses with his title on the middle rope in the corner, Michael Cole talks us into another commercial break.
When we return from the break, Theory begins by saying “The champ is here!” He continues by gloating about his victory this past Monday night and then is interrupted by the theme of The New Day.
With that said, the NXT Tag-Team Champions make their way out. Kofi Kingston says there’s only three Austin’s he respects — Austin Creed (Xavier Woods), “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the city of Austin in the state they’re in right now — Texas.
Woods then gets on the mic and addresses Austin, which he admits is weird after his real name being Austin was just acknowledged. They enter the ring and both question Theory claiming he’s going to win the Royal Rumble.
As Austin Theory tries to respond and play being offended, pointing out he’s the biggest star in WWE, he is interrupted again, this time by The Miz. Miz comes out to the top of the stage with a mic and question Austin calling himself the biggest star in WWE.
Miz tells Theory he’s been competing in Royal Rumble matches since before Theory hit puberty. Austin asks if that just means he’s old. Miz says older, smarter, wiser, etc. The New Day laugh. Miz tells them they can laugh all they want but says there’s nothing more dangerous than him with a something on his shoulder.
He laughs after blatantly flubbing the line, and The New Day suggest he meant “chip” on his shoulder. The guys all start to brawl and then Bobby Lashley’s theme hits and he runs down to the ring and cleans house of everybody, including the U.S. Champion Austin Theory, who he takes out last with a Spear.
Brock Lesnar Ambushes Bobby Lashley Again
Lashley gets on the mic and says since Brock Lesnar wanted to interfere and cost him his opportunity at winning back the U.S. title, he’s gonna torture all of these men in the Royal Rumble.
Just as he says that, out comes the biggest cowboy in town, and “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar — cowboy hat and all — ambushes Lashley, hitting “The All Mighty” with a massive F5. He then grabs the mic and declares himself for the Royal Rumble match.
After this segment wraps up, we see Solo Sikoa backstage as Michael Cole plugs he and Kevin Owens’ match later tonight. We then head to another commercial break.
Rhea Ripley Declares For The Royal Rumble
When we return from the break, we see a “digital exclusive” video featuring The Judgment Day’s Rhea Ripley talking about Saturday night’s Royal Rumble PPV, declaring herself for the women’s Royal Rumble bout in the process.
Lacey Evans vs. Jazmin Allure
Cole and Barrett recap Lesnar’s appearance moments ago and confirm him for the men’s Royal Rumble on Saturday night. We then hear Lacey Evans’ theme hit and she makes her way out for her comeback.
She settles in the ring and her music dies down. Already in the ring is her opponent for this comeback match, Jazmin Allure. The bell sounds and we’re off-and-running with this one.
This one amounts to nothing more than a squash match, as Lacey beats down Allure and finishes her off with a Camel Clutch.
Winner: Lacey Evans
After The Match: Lacey Evans Declares For Royal Rumble
She gets on the mic after the match and gloats about being little miss Lucha and then declares herself for the Royal Rumble. She picks Allure up and tosses her over the top-rope and out to the floor to prove she’s good at eliminating women.
Drew McIntyre & Sheamus Give Each Other High-Praise
We shoot backstage to the interview zone where Drew McIntyre and Sheamus do their usual back-and-forth chop and compliment routine to each other. Kayla Braxton eventually asks them about their match tonight. Sheamus tells her they’re gonna take Hit Row to Skid Row. They walk off as we head to another commercial break.
Cody Rhodes’ “Road To Recovery”
As we settle back in from the commercial break, Michael Cole and Wade Barrett mention the Royal Rumble pay-per-view tomorrow night and then send us into the latest “Cody Rhodes’ road to recovery” video package.
Sheamus & Drew McIntyre Attacked By The Viking Raiders
We return from the video package to the ring entrance of the team of Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. Out first is “The Celtic Warrior.” He stops and then the theme for “The Scottish Warrior” plays.
As the two men begin to make their way down to the ring, they are attacked from behind by The Viking Raiders. Erik and Ivar beat down Sheamus and McIntyre and leave the two laying after losing to the duo in a first-round match in this tourney last week.
Once the beat-down concludes, a ton of officials run out to make sure The Viking Raiders leave. As they do, they check on Sheamus and McIntyre as we head to another commercial break.
SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contender Tournament Semi-Finals
Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. Hit Row
When we return from the break, we see Hit Row in the middle of their ring entrance. Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Top Dolla settle in the ring and we see footage from the break of Sheamus and Drew McIntyre pushing past Adam Pearce and storming to the backstage area to find The Viking Raiders.
Adam Pearce gets on the mic and informs Hit Row that Sheamus and McIntyre voluntarily gave up their spot in the tourney to find The Viking Raiders. Pearce informs Hit Row that they won’t get a bye in the tourney, but will instead face a replacement team.
With that said, Braun Strowman’s theme hits and out he comes accompanied by his tag-team partner, Ricochet. The two settle in the ring and the music dies down.
Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Ricochet kick things off for their respective teams, as the bell sounds to get this tourney semi-final bout officially off-and-running.
We see Ricochet faring well early on, however when the referee gets tied up with B-Fab at ringside, we see Ashante sneak in some offense on Ricochet that shifts the momentum in the favor of the Hit Row duo.
As we see Ashante beat Ricochet down, B-Fab once again gets involved, reaching through the ropes to slap the SmackDown World Cup Tournament winner with a cheap shot. Top Dolla tags in a few times and adds to the punishment to Ricochet being handed out by Hit Row.
Finally, Ricochet makes the much-needed tag to Strowman. “The Monster of all Monsters” hits the ring like a bat out of hell. He takes the hot tag and cleans house of Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Top Dolla. He looks for the Monster Bomb on Ashante and hits it while Ricochet hits a splash onto Top Dolla on the floor.
He goes for the pin and gets the win. With the victory, Ricochet and Braun Strowman advance to the finals to face the winner of the Imperium vs. Legado del Fantasma showdown still to come later in tonight’s show.
Winners and ADVANCING to the SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contender Tournament Finals: Braun Strowman & Ricochet
Kevin Owens Brawls Backstage With The Usos
Kayla Braxton is shown backstage and she welcomes her guest at this time, one-half of tonight’s main event against Solo Sikoa — “The Prize-fighter” Kevin Owens.
Owens walks in and talks about his match tonight and his title showdown against the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns at the WWE Royal Rumble 2023 pay-per-view tomorrow night.
He says tonight’s match with Sikoa is about taking out as many of The Bloodline members as he can before his showdown with Roman Reigns, to increase his chances at the Rumble.
Owens sees The Usos and a brawl breaks out. Adam Pearce breaks it up and tells Owens to go get ready for his match later tonight. We then head to another commercial break.
LA Knight Sends A Message To Bray Wyatt, Uncle Howdy Appears
We return from the break and see a quick shot of The Usos being ejected from the building. As we return the lights go out and the original Bray Wyatt theme song from The Wyatt Family days plays.
Out comes LA Knight dressed up like the original Bray Wyatt character. He comes to the ring and says “Lemme talk to ya!” He talks about The Undertaker helping Bray Wyatt at Raw Is XXX on Monday night.
As he continues to talk, the lights go out again. When they come back on, we see Bray Wyatt sitting in a rocking chair. He tells Knight to have fun tonight because when the lights go out tomorrow night, “you’ll see.”
From there, the silhouette of Uncle Howdy is shown in the background. We see LA Knight reacting and then we head to another commercial break.
SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contender Tournament Semi-Finals
Legado Del Fantasma vs. Imperium
Now we return from the break to the entrance of Legado Del Fantasma. Out comes the duo consisting of Cruz Del Toro and Joaquim Wilde, led to the ring by Zelina Vega. The two settle inside as Cole and Barrett show off updated brackets for the tourney.
The theme for their opponents hits and out comes Imperium. The duo consisting of Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci make their way out in their trademark red coats by themselves. They settle inside the ring and our last semi-final bout in the tourney is about to get underway momentarily.
Wilde and Kaiser kick things off for their respective teams as the bell sounds to get this one off-and-running. We see some good back-and-forth action and as Imperium start to settle into the offensive lead, we head to a mid-match commercial break.
As we settle back in from the break, we see Imperium still in the offensive driver’s seats. Wilde tags in and goes on an offensive spree, capped off by a huge splash off the top rope for a close near fall that Kaiser breaks up just in time.
The action continues both inside and outside the ring, with Vinnci military-pressing Wilde off the top-rope in an insane spot. Cole questions if he hurt his knee on the landing. Kaiser tags in and looks to finish him off with Vinnci.
The two hit their double-team finisher and score the pin fall victory to advance. They will meet Braun Strowman and Ricochet in the tournament finals.
Winners and ADVANCING to the SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contender Tournament Finals: Imperium
A Look At Royal Rumble By The Numbers
We return to the commentary position where Michael Cole and Wade Barrett mention the two Royal Rumble matches at tomorrow night’s highly-anticipated WWE pay-per-view event.
From there, they send us into the historical statistic video package covering all of the past Royal Rumble matches, and some of the impressive records and stats related to said-matches.
Kevin Owens Prepares For Main Event
Once the video package wraps up, we see Kevin Owens wrapping his wrists as he is shown walking towards the entrance area as we head to a pre-match commercial break.
Charlotte Flair Wants To Give Sonya Deville A Title Shot
We return from the break to Mia Yim in a digital exclusive declaring herself for the women’s Royal Rumble match. The commentators then show us highlights of Charlotte Flair’s interview with Ryan Satin of FOX Sports when Sonya Deville crashed the set and confronted her.
Now we return live backstage and Charlotte Flair approaches Adam Pearce. “The Queen” talks to him about Sonya crashing her interview with Ryan Satin. Charlotte tells Adam she wants to give Sonya a title match. Pearce suggests they do it next week. Charlotte thanks him, they high-five and she walks off.
Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa
From there the familiar sounds of Kevin Owens’ theme hits and the “Prize Fighter” makes his way to the ring for our scheduled main event of the evening here on Friday Night SmackDown.
He settles inside the ring and his music dies down. Now the theme for his opponent hits and out comes Solo Sikoa of The Bloodline. He settles inside the ring as well and his theme fades down.
Now the bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with the last match of this week’s blue brand program. We see Owens faring well early on, but it is Sikoa who starts to take over and begin a prolonged offensive lead.
With Sikoa beating down Owens outside of the ring at the ringside area, we head to a mid-match commercial break as our main event of Friday Night SmackDown continues in Laredo, TX.
As we settle back in from the break, we see Sikoa still dominating the action back inside the ring. Owens starts to fight back and connects with some big super kicks that shifts the momentum in his favor.
We see Sikoa nearly finish off Owens and then Sami Zayn arrives on the scene to provide an assist, but Owens hangs alive. Zayn gets taken out, Sikoa gets taken out at ringside as well after a big pop-up power bomb on a table.
Owens stands over Zayn with a chair and he tells Zayn to watch. He turns and whacks Sikoa with the chair across the back. He slams it down and walks past Zayn, who looks shook up. Owens lets out a war scream and his theme hits.
Owens tells Roman Reigns to listen. Off-mic, he tells Reigns he’s bringing everything he’s got at the Royal Rumble when they meet for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
Winner: No Contest