The main event of SmackDown saw the return of John Cena to the ring for the first time in 2022. This was Cena’s first match since September 2021. The last SmackDown of the year was emanating from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The main event match of John Cena and Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn was advertised all throughout the show.
Sami was pumped up backstage, trying to discuss strategy with The Tribal Chief. He and Paul Heyman exchange words of wisdom and Zayn enters The Bloodline’s room. Roman is confident in the Honorary Uce and says that even if he delivers 10% of what he’s saying, it should be an easy night at the office.
— Wrestle Ops (@WrestleOps) December 31, 2022Advertisement
In the match itself, Sami and Kevin start it off. Kevin busts Sami’s nose and mocks him for it. Roman asks for the tag and enters the ring but lariats Owens before he could tag Cena in. He puts the boots to him and doesn’t let the fresh Cena enter the match. After the break it’s KO vs Zayn at it again. It’s going back and forth when Reigns pulls Cena off the apron and attacks him. Owens counters a Helluva kick with his own super kick. Reigns breaks up a pinfall attempt on Zayn after a Pop-up Powerbomb. After a lot of offence from both sides, including a Frog Splash and Superman punch, KO finally tags the MVP, Cena.
The Leader of the Cenation is finally in the ring after more than an year. He does his regular routine of ducking a lariat into a flying shoulder blocks and a Blue Thunder driver. Then comes the You Can’t See Me! And the Five Knuckle Shuffle, this time a double with Owens joining in. They land on both members of The Bloodline. Finally an Attitude Adjustment on Reigns, takes him out and Owens pins Sami after a Stunner. JC & KO have beaten The Bloodline.
Cena had limited in-ring action and understandably so, due to ring rust. But there’s no denying his charisma and command over the crowd.
— Imtiaz Riyad (@imtiaz_u_riyad) December 31, 2022Advertisement
KO now has a main event win over The Bloodline. This should mean that he is next in line for Reigns’ titles.