WWE SmackDown results: Kevin Owens presents The Bloodline by himself before the Royal Rumble 2023

Kevin Owens doesn’t need a helping hand. Owens showcased The Bloodline in droves on WWE SmackDown ahead of his WWE Undisputed Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.

Friday’s episode of SmackDown was as much about the strained relationship between Sami Zayn and Reigns as it was about Reigns versus Owens. The tumultuous chemistry between members of The Bloodline continues to distract the faction from the very real threat of Owens.

SmackDown also pitched and completed the first round of a tournament to crown the No. 1 contenders for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships currently held by The Usos. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus, Imperium, Brawling Brutes, Legado Del Fantasma and Viking Raiders were among the tandems involved.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Owens stuns The Bloodline, Zayn and Reigns feel tense

SmackDown opened with The Bloodline arriving in the arena parking lot. Zayn was in good spirits, having fun with the Usos before Reigns snubbed a punch.

Zayn requested an audience with Reigns later that evening. Reigns asked for honesty and Zayn expressed how he felt disrespected by The Bloodline last week. Zayn had been tasked with defeating Owens and was about to do so when The Usos and Solo Sikoa interfered. For a split second, it crossed Zayn’s mind if Owens was right about The Bloodline using him. This set reigns. The undisputed champion was unhappy with Zayn’s execution of his game plan. Reigns demanded that Zayn leave the locker room, suggesting it was time for Zayn to stop using The Bloodline and return to Owens.

During the second half of the program, Heyman calmed down a seething reign. The Special Counsel asked Reigns to consider Zayn’s value to The Bloodline before a match against Zayn’s best friend. Heyman then approached Zayn and informed him that Reigns wanted to speak to “the honorary Uce.”

Reigns apologized to Zayn for his outburst, thanking Heyman for coaching him. Reigns understood that Zayn only wanted a clear line of communication. Reigns pointed out how perfectionist they both are. Reigns said it was his mistake to expect the same kind of love from The Bloodline that he gives the family. Zayn assured him that The Bloodline loved Reigns and that Zayn would always put the group first. Reigns asked Zayn to sort out all the details of leaving The Bloodline so they can leave as soon as the contract to fight Owens is signed.

Reigns was comfortably seated at the negotiating table during the final SmackDown segment. Owens snuck up on The Bloodline, dropping Solo Sikoa and planting Reigns with a stunner. Owens brushed off The Usos then drove Reigns across the table with a pop-up powerbomb. Owens signed the contract and confronted Zayn before fleeing into the crowd.

The Bloodline, Zayn and Owens continue to deliver some of the most compelling pro wrestling TV shows in quite some time. Originally, members of The Bloodline feared that Zayn would sneak into the group. It now becomes apparent that while Zayn is fully committed to his adoptive family, Reigns is manipulating his pawn. Owens – for his part – was touted as a solid challenger for Reigns and had the best of everyone this week in “Stone Cold” Steve Austin fashion. Rating: A+

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Drew McIntyre and Sheamus won. Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) via pinfall after Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick on Ivar. McIntyre and Sheamus advance to the second round of a tournament to crown the No. 1 contenders for the tag team titles.
  • LA Knight beats. Greg Jones via fall after landing a snapmare pilot.
  • Bray Wyatt’s “Firefly Funhouse” is back as he taunted Knight before their Pitch Black match at the Royal Rumble. Uncle Howdy was also introduced.
  • Hit Row (Top Dolla and Ashante Adonis) beats. Los Lotharios (Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo) via pinfall after Adonis rolls up Carrillo with help from B-Fab. Hit Row advanced to the second round of the tag team tournament.
  • Braun Strowman has announced his participation in the men’s Royal Rumble match.
  • Sonya Deville blinded Charlotte Flair during a verbal confrontation.
  • Lacey Evans unveiled the Cobra clutch in a military themed vignette.
  • Imperium (Kaiser Ludwig and Giovanni Vinci) won. Brawling Brutes (Butch and Ridge Holland) via pinfall after hitting the Imperium Bomb in Holland. Kaiser also hit Butch with a brainbuster on the outside. Imperium advances to the second round of the tag team tournament.
  • Legacy Of The Ghost (Cruz del Toro and Joaquin Model) beats. Maximum male models (Mace and Mansoor) via pinfall after hitting a Russian enzuigiri and side leg sweep combination on Mansoor.

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