Preview: WWE SmackDown Tonight (1/6/23) – Charlotte Flair Returns

SmackDown ratings impacted as Charlotte Flair Returns to the WWE as SmackDown Women's Champion once more

In what has been a turbulent, tumultuous couple of days for the WWE, with the announcement that Vince McMahon will be returning to the company – under the guise of a long-rumored sale, which feels like a rather poor excuse for his return – this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown (live from FedExForum in Memphis, TN) arrives at no worse a time. Last week’s end of 2022 show featured the return of John Cena and the first of 2023 will feature the official return of Charlotte Flair who, just last week, returned to defeat Ronda Rousey and claim her 14th women’s championship (it is 16, if you count the two NXT Women’s Championship reign). A big tag team match is scheduled to go ahead and Top Dolla will compete in a Royal Rumble qualifier. Should he indeed qualify for the Royal Rumble, he has the unfair advantage of being the only man on the roster who can’t clear the top rope. Let’s dive into the preview.

Charlotte Flair Returns

Charlotte Flair Returns to the WWE as SmackDown Women's Champion once more
Photo: WWE

Well, ahead of last week’s SmackDown, it was expected that the main talking point coming out of the show would be John Cena’s return. Instead, his return was somewhat upstaged by Charlotte Flair’s return and freak, subsequen and sudden upset victory over Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Many fans took to social media to cite the ludicrousness of the situation, with claims that Vince McMahon must have returned to creative, as only he could book something so bizarre (those fans have clearly not been paying much attention in recent months). Tonight, Charlotte will be at SmackDown to address the WWE Universe, where the beginnings of a feud with Rousey will surely take place as we continue on the road to WrestleMania.

Royal Rumble Qualifying Match: Ricochet Vs. Top Dolla

Top Dolla takes on Ricochet in a Royal Rumble Qualifying Match
Photo: WWE

In the latest Royal Rumble Qualifying Match, Ricochet will take on Top Rope – or, as he is more popularly known, Top Dolla – in what you would expect to be a win for Ricochet. This match was made when Ricochet, who has no issues clearing top ropes, made some mocking comments about Dolla – all in jest, of course. Top Dolla does have back up in the form of his Hit Row allies Ashante “Thee” Adonis and B-Fab, so there is the possibility that he overcomes Ricochet tonight. Should Ricochet want to freeze Dolla with fear so that he can overcome him with ease, he should come out to Van Halen’s big hit from 1984, “Jump”.

WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos Vs. Sheamus & Drew McIntyre

Photo: WWE

With Drew McIntyre last week returning to aid his fallen Celtic ally in the midst of a Bloodline onslaught, it has been confirmed that – tonight – McIntyre will team up with Sheamus in a match against The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) with the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship on the line. This has the potential to be a good match capable of providing SmackDown fans with a high-paced, hard hitting tag team brawl. As is often the case with Bloodline matches, we might see fellow Bloodline members Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa get involved. However, Sheamus has his brawling brutes allies to rely on too, should assistance be required. Who wins? You will have to tune into SmackDown live on FOX at 8/7c to find out!

Not Announced But Expected For WWE SmackDown tonight

– Expect more Bray Wyatt shenanigans. What even is a Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match? Hell, LA Knight doesn’t know either and he’s competing in one!

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