WWE Friday Night SmackDown Results (1/20/2023): Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI.

WWE Friday Night SmackDown is back.

Another jam-packed lineup taps into this week’s blue brand WWE on FOX program, as the road to WWE Royal Rumble 2023 continues.

Scheduled for this evening’s event at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, the SmackDown Tag-Team Title Tournament pits the Viking Raiders vs. The Bangers (Sheamus and Drew McIntyre) in the first round.

Also in store for the WWE Universe on the weekly two-hour WWE on FOX show is the official contract signing of Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns for their WWE Royal Rumble 2023 Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

Complete WWE Friday Night Smackdown results from Friday, January 20, 2023 are displayed below. The following report was written by Rajah.com reporter Matt Boon (@matboon0709) The show airs live from 8-10pm EST. on Fox.

WWE Friday Night SmackDown Results (1/20/2023)

This week’s show begins with the typical John Cena signature “WWE Then. Now. Forever. Together” and then we cut to the regular weekly SmackDown opening video and theme song.

From there, we go straight into a lengthy video recap showing the build-up and pay-off of the Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens match from last week’s show, in which Zayn likely snagged a legitimate victory for The Bloodline Beating. Below is an already beat down “Prize Fighter.”

Sami Zayn’s good mood quickly faded

Now we shoot out of Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcome us to this week’s show and we watch the cars pull into the garage. Out pops “The Honorary Usa” Sami Zayn, who is in a good mood, and The Usos, Solo Sequoia, Paul Heyman and finally Roman Reigns get out of the car.

Everyone bumps into Zayn and pounds fists — except one — the “tribe chief.” As The Bloodline goes on, Jane’s jaw drops and her good mood fades and she retreats in shock.

SmackDown Tag-Team Title Eliminator Tournament
Sheamus and Drew McIntyre vs. Viking Raiders

We then hear the familiar chants of “The Celtic Warrior” as Sheamus emerges and heads to the ring for the scheduled first round match in the SmackDown Tag-Team Title Eliminator Tournament.

The WWE veteran settled inside the ring and his music died. Now the familiar sound of Drew McIntyre’s theme hit and out “The Scottish Warrior” brings his massive sword to the Detroit venue as fireworks and pyro erupt.

As the first team settles into the squared circle, the building’s lights go out and sirens start to play as the lights flash on and off. Smoke billows from the entrance area and a pair of viking riders make their way to Valhalla.

With both teams in the ring, we get ready for the first match in this competitive tourney. Brackets for the tourney are shown and afterward, Michael Cole pays tribute to the late Jay Briscoe.

Now we see The Viking Raiders and The Bangers ringing the bell to officially get this tag-team tournament off-and-on. Sheamus and Eric are the two members representing their respective teams as the legal men in the ring.

We see Sheamus clothesline Eric over the top-rope and to the floor. He follows him and then whips him into the solid barricade before rolling him back into the ring and following him. He hugs Eric to the chest and he hits his 10 Bits of the Bodhran spot as fans count with each connecting shot.

Sheamus looks to take Eric to the top-rope but slips out. This allowed Eric to take over and shift the offensive momentum in favor of the Viking Raiders. He sends “The Celtic Warrior” to the floor where Eva is hiding in a running power-spot before we go to a mid-match commercial.

Back from the break, we see Sheamus still getting the business from the Viking Raiders until a big Irish Curse back-breaker buys him some time. He makes a much-needed tag to the much-dismissed Drew McIntyre.

The ridiculously powerful “Scottish Warrior” goes on a one-man rampage, taking it one by one to Eric and Ivar. He hits a big Michinoku Driver on Ivar for a near fall and the action continues.

McIntyre looks to hit a big super-plex off the top-rope on Evar but Eric stops him. Sheamus comes to his aid and hits him with his White Noise. McIntyre then flipped Ivar over his head and he fell to the mat below as McIntyre landed in a tree-of-way position upside down in the corner from his own throw.

On that note, we head into a second mid-match commercial break as this first round of the SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contenders Tournament continues on Friday Night SmackDown. When we return from the break, we see the Viking Raiders in control of the offense until McIntyre hits a Future Shock DDT to change the momentum.

We see McIntyre back in a corner and start his count, looking for a claymore kick but instead runs into a big kick from Eric. Evar and Sheamus both tag in now and both slug it out. Sheamus taunts him and plays to the crowd, which is white hot in Detroit, MI. This evening.

From there, we see Valhalla get involved, leading to Viking raiders taking over. Eric comes off the top-rope with a huge splash on Sheamus. He goes for a follow-up pin attempt, but somehow “The Celtic Warrior” kicks out after a two count.

A big knee to the face of Sheamus is followed by a claymore kick from McIntyre. Sheamus then follows that up with a brogue kick and goes for the cover. He got the pinfall and with the win, the team of Sheamus and Drew McIntyre advanced to the SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contenders Tournament. Great opener.

Winning and advancing to the SmackDown Tag-Team Title Contenders Tournament: Sheamus and Drew McIntyre

Roman Reigns tells Sami Zayn to come out and start his own bloodline

We shoot backstage where we see Paul Heyman reading Roman Reigns’ tour schedule while Sami Zayn asks for a minute to talk. Reigns tells him to sit down. Zayn brings up the “frosty” greeting he got from “The Tribal Chief” tonight and asks if everything is okay.

Reigns tells Zayn that he saw him last week and he handled business and he’s here tonight to handle business. He asks Jain what is really going on. Zayn admitted to feeling a little lightheaded last week with The Bloodline’s interference when he was about to defeat Kevin Owens.

He tells Owens that he’s using he just wants to make sure things are okay. Reigns responds, “Get out.” Jane is confused. Reigns says he can’t do that every week. He asks Jain to get out. He says find Kevin Owens and build your own bloodline. He again asks her to get out. Heyman calmly tells Zayn to be smart and leave behind Reigns.

LA Night is up next…

From there we see LA Knight walking backstage while a quick Bray Watt-style production cut-in occurs on screen. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett let us know that LA Knight will be working when we return. On that note, we head to another commercial break.

Raquel Rodriguez is Royal Rumble-ready

We return from break to find Raquel Rodriguez backstage. She talks about how excited she is to go to San Antonio and compete in the Women’s Royal Rumble match. He said his family would be there to witness him earn a world title match on “The Grandest Stage of All” at WrestleMania.


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