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WWE SmackDown results, recap, notes: John Cena, Kevin Owens victorious, Charlotte Flair wins the title in return

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John Cena is a winner in 2022. Cena returned to WWE SmackDown for his 20th consecutive year of in-ring competition, as he teamed with Kevin Owens to defeat Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn.

Reigns and Zayn vowed to rid The Bloodline of their Owens problem, but they couldn’t stand up to the united front of Owens and Cena. Tasked with choosing a partner to take on Reigns and Zayn, Owens couldn’t have made a more impactful choice than to side with the 16-time world champion.

The final SmackDown of 2022 also featured the surprise return of Charlotte Flair. “The Queen” goaded Rousey into an impromptu match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Rousey, too proud to reject the request immediately after a competitive match against Raquel Rodriguez, backed into a corner.

CBS Sports has you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.

Scene Makes Difference, Flair Shocks Rousey

Heyman congratulated Zayn on the positive impression he made on Reigns. The tone of their interaction changed when Heyman suggested that Zayn’s rising popularity was a problem. Heyman was concerned about how busy fans were singing “Sami Zayn” while undisputed champion Reigns was in the ring.

Zayn probed Reigns later in the night about what Heyman had suggested. Reigns took a moment to reflect before insisting that fans chanting for Zayn didn’t bother him. In fact, he praised Zayn for being so focused when he was on the mic. Zayn promised it would be a great night for the entire bloodline stable.

Cena and Owens defeated. Reigns and Zayn via pinfall after Owens hit Zayn with a stunner. Separated best friends Owens and Zayn started the match. Owens bloodied Zayn’s nose early and teased Zayn for embarrassing himself in front of “The Tribal Chief”. Reigns demanded to be tagged by Zayn and invited Cena to the ring. Reigns stunned Owens when he went to score on Cena. Owens attacked Zayn with a clothesline after an extended beating. Reigns ripped Cena off the apron before a mark could be made. It was a miscalculation by Reigns that opened the door for Cena to enter the fight. Cena took down Reigns and Zayn, after which he and Owens performed a five-joint double shuffle. Cena set Reigns up with an Attitude Adjustment, after which Owens hit Zayn with a stunner for the pinfall. Owens’ eye was badly broken during the match.

Charlotte Flair made a surprise return to WWE, her first appearance since losing to Rousey at WrestleMania Backlash in May. Flair goaded Rousey into defending her SmackDown Women’s Championship moments after defeating Raquel Rodriguez.

SmackDown Women’s Championship – Flair def. Rousey via pinfall after hooking up with Rousey with a student. It was an extremely short game. Flair countered Rousey’s attempted armbar with a roll-up to secure the title moments after the match began.

WWE did not call on the final show of 2022. Cena’s return generated huge pop and added even more weight to an already meaty storyline involving The Bloodline. Zayn pinned, planting the seeds for a split between him and Reigns, but it was actually Reigns’ mistake that allowed Cena to enter the match. The only criticism of the main event is that it was too short-lived considering the names involved. The match lasted approximately 13 minutes with a commercial break in between. Flair’s return was a pleasant surprise and having her win the title was an unexpected but welcome move. Serie B

What else happened on WWE SmackDown

  • Uncle Howdy exposed Bray Wyatt with sister Abigal after Wyatt accepted LA Knight’s challenge to a match at the Royal Rumble.
  • Solo Sikoa def. Sheamus via pinfall after neutralizing it with a Samoan Spike. Drew McIntyre saved Sheamus from an attack by Sikoa and The Usos after the match.
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship – Ronda Rousey (c) def. Raquel Rodriguez by submission after locking in his trademark armbar.
  • Top Dolla pushed Ricochet after Ricochet and several superstars mocked Top Dolla for her failed dive to the ring ropes two weeks ago.
  • Iimperium put Braun Strowman with a steel chair and armbar. Ricochet, equipped with a steel chair, dispersed the Imperium.