WWE SmackDown Results (1/6): Undisputed Tag Team Title Match, Ricochet Faces Top Dolla

Tonight's episode of the blue brand will see a major main event take place in order to kickstart the year as The Usos defend their Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre.

The match was originally supposed to happen last year, but due to McIntyre's recent ear injury, he had to miss out on the encounter. Instead, Butch stepped in to team with the "Celtic Warrior" against The Bloodline members, but they ended up falling short of the mark.

However, now the old friends and rivals will be teaming up as they challenge The Usos for the gold, and they already boast one victory against the champions during their previous bout.

Elsewhere the build to WWE's Royal Rumble will continue and another wrestler will officially earn their place in the men's over-the-top-rope match as Ricochet and Top Dolla compete in singles action with a Rumble spot on the line. The two men got involved in a backstage argument last week after Ricochet mocked Top Dolla for his botched dive recently, and now the Hit Row star is out for revenge.

Charlotte Flair is also set to be in the building to be part of the show after she made a surprise return to WWE last week. The Queen defeated Ronda Rousey to claim the "WWE SmackDown" Women's Championship, and tonight she will address the fans following that win. Whether or not the "Baddest Woman On The Planet" will be on hand to respond remains to be seen.

Let's Hear From The Tribal Chief

The show begins with Sami Zayn, The Usos, and Solo Sikoa bursting in next to the commentary table by launching chairs around to make a statement as the "Tribal Chief," Roman Reigns then makes his way to the ring with Paul Heyman by his side. He kicks things off by telling the WWE Universe to acknowledge him, and he then says he will give people what they want as he wants to hear from Sami Zayn, which gets a big pop. 

Zayn says they have kicked off the show like they are for 2023, they're putting everyone on notice that this year belongs to The Bloodline. Zayn says they sent a message on "WWE Raw," but Reigns doesn't care about that, he wants to talk about last year and the tag team match against John Cena and Kevin Owens and he laughs at the idea they lost the match. He doesn't understand that as he doesn't lose, and he didn't as he says Zayn lost. 

Reigns asks why Zayn guaranteed a win and called his shot, because that's what he does and he always delivers. Reigns say it is embarrassing when you call your shot and fail to deliver, and he questions if Zayn wants to be the "Tribal Chief." Reigns then loses his cool and starts screaming at Zayn until Kevin Owens' music hits. KO tells him to calm down, and says his anger is misdirected, as Reigns' problem is with him. He suggests taking care of the KO problem at the Royal Rumble in a match for the titles, and Reigns says he doesn't care, he just wants him to be gone. 

Owens says he is in a good mood, and he will leave for now, but he will see him at the Rumble, and he will see Zayn whenever he digs his b*lls out of Reigns' pocket. 

Charlotte Flair is then shown arriving backstage in a sports car. 

Kofi Kingston vs. Santos Escobar

Footage is shown from earlier today as Santos Escobar puts over what Kofi Kingston has done in the Royal Rumble, but he will enjoy eliminating him this year. He says the sun has set on The New Day and then Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro end up getting in Kingston's face as he dares them to make a move.

Escobar immediately takes the former WWE Champion into the corner and takes a cheap shot, but Kingston responds with a hurricanrana, but as he tries to jump back into the ring he is met with a right hand Escobar then tries to push him to the floor. However, just like in the Rumble, Kingston walks on his hands to the steps so his feet never hit the floor, and he comes in with a crossbody and then throws Escobar over the top rope, with another nod to the upcoming Rumble match.

Back inside the ring, Escobar gets taken down with a dropkick from the second rope, but Escobar comes back fighting only to showcase his ability to try and stay in the ring as he jumps from the apron to the steps. However, Xavier Woods uses the trombone and that scares him to the floor. However, Escobar hangs up Kingston on the top rope and follows with a big kick to the face which gets him a near fall. 

Kingston drops Escobar with a flurry of forearms and then a dropkick, and he follows it with the SOS but Escobar manages to kick out. Escobar leaps to the second rope to join The New Day star, but Kingston fights him down to the mat with a headbutt, but he gets met with a knee to the fact when trying to follow up on that from the top rope, and Escobar gets another near fall. 

Kingston comes back in by stomping Escobar down after he tries to throw the WWE veteran into the air, and that is followed by a Boom Drop. Wilde and Del Toro then get involved in distracting the official and Kingston, and that allows Escobar to connect with a knee to the face and then the Phantom Driver. 

Winner: Santos Escobar

Michael Cole then announces that Kevin Owens will challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. 

Sami Zayn is then shown trying to speak to Reigns, but Paul Heyman tells him now is not the time as The Usos head into the room. Heyman reminds Zayn that he said he had to stay three steps ahead, and that he still loves Zayn. 

Karrion Kross & Scarlett vs. Madcap Moss & Emma

Liv Morgan is shown backstage, and she says entering the Royal Rumble last is the easy way to do it, and if she has it her way she would enter first and beat the cr*p out of everybody as she is confirmed to be in the women's match. 

Kayla Braxton is then shown with LA Knight and he says he feels damn good, but not because he is in Memphis, as nobody feels good about that. But he says last week Bray Wyatt's plans didn't work as he couldn't keep his goons in control. He says now he just has to go to the Royal Rumble and kick around what is left and then everyone will be talking about him and not Wyatt's return match...Yeah!

The match is underway after the commercial as Madcap Moss drops Karrion Kross to the matt and the ladies tag in, with Emma immediately taking Scarlett down. She launches her into the turnbuckles repeatedly, and then fires off the ropes with a clothesline. Emma connects with a running forearm in the corner and then dives into her as Scarlett is slumped onto the bottom turnbuckle. 

However, she then fires back with a big right hand of her own and then a suplex which gets a near fall. Emma responds with a throw of her own and then a kick to the face, but that leads to Kross pulling Emma off as she goes for the pin. She responds by slapping him in the face, and Moss then tags in and instantly charges into him in the corner, but he then gets tripped by Scarlett, allowing Kross to hit a clothesline as Scarlett then slams Emma into the ring post and then over the announce table. 

Back in the ring Moss misses with a charge into the corner, and as he bounces off the turnbuckles he gets nailed with the Kross Hammer and then the Kross Jacket submission. 

Winners: Karrion Kross & Scarlett 

Post-match, Scarlett pulls out one of Rey Mysterio's masks and puts it on Moss as Kross showcases a tarot card of Mysterio. 

Charlotte Flair Returns To WWE SmackDown

Drew McIntyre and Sheamus are shown in Jerry Lawler's bar in Memphis earlier today. The two men discuss their rivalry as they slap each other harder, and Sheamus calls him an honorary Brute, and then they remind each other of their past matches as they keep chopping and slapping each other. Sheamus says, if they did that to each other, can you imagine what they'll do to The Usos?

Charlotte Flair then arrives and says she missed the fans, and asks the fans what the phrase is, "Payback is a ..." and she says Ronda Rousey knows about that. She gets choked up about the fans chanting "Thank you Charlotte." She says no matter how people feel about her, she was moved by the reaction last week, she has been about three things; passion, consistency, and dedication for what she does in the ring. 

Charlotte says she is not complacent, and she will always do more and demand more and will not rest or coast, and she will knock down anyone in her way, as that is what a champion does. However, before she can continue, Sonya Deville appears and she sees through Flair's lies and says there should be an asterisk next to this run as she beat a half-dead Rousey. Deville asks how she would feel against a fresh fighter, and she challenges her to put the title on the line, and Flair agrees.

Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Sonya Deville (SmackDown Women's Championship Match)

As the champion hands over her robe Deville jumps her from behind and takes advantage, but she then runs into a trademark big boot. Deville then gets sent into the turnbuckle as Flair looks to stomp down on her leg, but Deville avoids it and goes for a chop block to Flair's knee, following that with a running knee strike. The challenger hammers in several crossface strikes. 

Flair avoids her in the corner though and then hits a big kick before several clotheslines and then some chops to regain control. Flair hits a back suplex but runs into a kick to the face, yet she then dodges Deville's high-risk move as she handstands her way into a unique clothesline. Deville goads her in after and hangs up on the top rope, but as she gets back into the ring Flair hits a Spear and then locks in the Figure Eight. 

Winner (and still SmackDown Women's Champion): Charlotte Flair

Ricochet vs. Top Dolla (Royal Rumble Qualifying Match)

WWE then airs the Cody Rhodes video package that was shown on "WWE Raw" this week as he reflects on his WrestleMania debut and injury.

The latest vignette for Lacey Evans is shown as she is inside the ring at the WWE Performance Center working with a variety of women. It is revealed her weapon of destruction is the Cobra Clutch, hinting at a new finisher for her impending return. 

Top Dolla wastes no time showcasing his power advantage by launching Ricochet from the top turnbuckle to the floor, following it up with a big boot to the face as he then pushes down on his neck as Ricochet lays on the second rope. He gets too arrogant though and ends up being kicked in the face as Ricochet almost gets a roll-up win. 

He then uses Top Dolla's momentum against him to flatten him on the mat and follows it up with a Shooting Star Press to earn his place at the Royal Rumble. 

Winner: Ricochet

After the match, Top Dolla looks to show respect and extends a hand to Ricochet, and the two of them hug it out, but he ends up being nailed by a superkick to the face from Ashante 'The' Adonis as Top Dolla talks trash to him and allows B-Fab to kick him in the face as well. Hit Row continues to beat the hell out of him, hitting a double team, but as he looks to continue the attack Braun Strowman hits the ring and sends them running away.

The Bloodline (minus Zayn) are shown backstage as The Usos get pumped up for their title match. They head out with Solo Sikoa, and Roman Reigns instructs Paul Heyman to get him Sami, which leads to him calling the "Honorary Uce." Zayn then appears and he acknowledges him and says he isn't trying to be him or take power, and if anything he did gave him the impression that he apologizes.

Reigns doesn't accept the apology. He holds himself to a high standard and he has to control his anger and nobody deserves to be spoken to like that, so he doesn't accept Zayn's apology because he should be the one apologizing. Reigns then says sorry, and Zayn says it is fine. Reigns admits KO was right, he's not mad at Sami, he's mad at him, but they're going to fix it. Heyman then says Reigns is giving Zayn the chance to redeem himself, as next week he will go one on one with Owens, and Zayn says he will take care of him. 

The Usos (c) vs. Sheamus & Drew McIntyre (Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Match)

Sheamus starts out dominating Jimmy Uso and then brings in Drew McIntyre who launches him across the ring and tells Jimmy to tag in his brother, which he decides to do. Jey Uso hits the ring and immediately starts swinging punches, but he misses, and while he gets a kick in that's not enough as McIntyre simply flattens him and then makes him eat an elbow. However, a distraction from Jimmy works for them as Jey can connect with a Samoan Drop to turn things around. 

The two men then go back and forth with punches as Jey suplexes McIntyre back into the ring as Jimmy comes back in as Zayn is shown backstage watching the match with Reigns. Jimmy then pushes McIntyre into the ropes and as he distracts the official, Jey comes in with a cheapshot from the ring apron which irates Sheamus. McIntyre tries to fight back and gets closer to his partner, but he is quickly sent back to that side. 

The former WWE Champion tries to fight out again and he clotheslines Jimmy outside the ring, but Jey then charges out and connects with a suicide dive. SmackDown then returns from commercial with Sheamus having tagged in as he hits his classic 10 beats of the Bodhran, which ends up being a lot more than 10. Jey hits an elbow though and then a superkick as Jimmy has tagged in and connected the Uso splash, but Sheamus kicks out just in time. 

The Usos both end up in a corner each as the challengers take a man each and then hit double White Noise which Jey kicks out from. Jey manages to nail a kick but Sheamus falls into McIntyre and he drops both of his opponents and then follows it with a huge over-the-top-rope dive to flatten the champions and he then nails the Claymore Kick, but Jimmy makes the save at the last second before the three count. 

Jey avoids the next charge and McIntyre goes into the post, but Sheamus tags in, and as he looks for a move Jimmy tags in and they hit 1D, but McIntyre is on hand to break this one up. McIntyre hits a Glasgow Kiss to Jey, and while the official checks on him, Solo Sikoa nails the Samoan Spike and then the Spinning Solo, but the Brawling Brutes attack him. Back inside the ring, Sheamus nails the Brogue Kick, but Jey pulls his brother out just in time. He then ends up catching Sheamus with a roll-up as his brother pushes him with his feet, as The Usos cheat to retain.

Winners (and still Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions): The Usos