WWE SmackDown Preview (12/30): John Cena Returns To In-Ring Action, SmackDown Women's Championship Match, More

The final "WWE SmackDown" of 2022 will emanate live from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, and will see John Cena make his long-awaited in-ring return. The Cenation leader last performed in a televised match at the SummerSlam premium live event in 2021, losing to Roman Reigns in a WWE Universal Championship clash. Cena will again step into the ring with his former rival tonight, teaming up with Kevin Owens against The Bloodline's Reigns and Sami Zayn. After weeks of disagreements between former friends Zayn and Owens, The Tribal Chief set up a tag team match in an attempt to eradicate the problematic former Universal Champion. However, that idea didn't turn out as hoped as Cena revealed himself to be Owens' partner.


The "SmackDown" Women's Championship will also be on the line this evening when Ronda Rousey defends the gold against Raquel Rodriguez. Last week, Rodriguez defeated Liv Morgan, Emma, Xia Li, Tegan Nox, Sonya Deville, and Shayna Baszler in a gauntlet match to earn a shot at the title. Over the past few weeks, Rousey and Baszler have repeatedly injured the arm of the former "NXT" Women's Champion following vicious attacks. Rodriguez will now have the opportunity to exact revenge and capture the "SmackDown" Women's Championship for the first time in her career. 

Furthermore, Sheamus of The Brawling Brutes will square off against The Bloodline's Solo Sikoa. The Celtic Warrior will look to finally conquer Sikoa after losing to the former "NXT" North American Champion on the October 21 episode of "SmackDown." Elsewhere, Lacey Evans will return to WWE programming after weeks of vignettes focused on her returning to basics by training with the US Marine Corps.