Hooded Individual Crashes Damage CTRL's Title Defense On WWE SmackDown

A mysterious, hooded figure influenced the outcome of IYO SKY & Dakota Kai's WWE Women's Tag Team Championship defense against Liv Morgan & Tegan Nox on the 12/16 "WWE SmackDown" in Chicago, Illinois.

Towards the closing stages of the bout, SKY and Nox battled on the outside, until a mysterious figure appeared from the crowd and blindsided Nox with a vicious kick. Thereafter, WWE security officials began chasing down the hooded figure, who quickly retreated through the crowd.

Back in the ring, the outside assistance allowed SKY to hit a moonsault on Nox for the pinfall victory. 

It was revealed later – via WWE's social media channels – that the hooded figure was none other than Xia Li, who had been off WWE TV since the 11/11 episode of "WWE SmackDown" where she was part of six-pack challenge to determine the #1 contender for Ronda Rousey's title. Subsequently, Li lost to Emma at a pair of WWE live events a few weeks ago but had not appeared on any WWE programming in over a month. 

At this point, it's unknown if Li has joined the Damage CTRL faction, or if she targeted Nox owing to some unresolved issues from the past. It's worth noting that Li & Nox were briefly tag team partners in 2019, teaming up at a live event in Melbourne, Australia that year. 

Meanwhile, Damage CTRL's victory Friday was their first televised title defense since SKY & Kai captured the titles from Alexa Bliss & Asuka at the Crown Jewel premium live event last month. In recent weeks, the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions have defended their titles against Asuka & Mia Yim at various WWE live events.