Kevin Owens was originally supposed to be at WWE’s double Smackdown taping, but was unable to make it in time.
Even though Kevin Owens is a member of the WWE Raw roster, he was scheduled to appear on the December 16th edition of Smackdown that included Friday’s live show along with the taping that will air on December 23rd (these are the spoilers for that show).
In the main event of Smackdown on December 16th, Roman Reigns and The Bloodline were in the ring doing a promo. Reigns talked about how the group had a “Kevin Owens problem” leading to Sami Zayn talking about his best friend. Zayn said he is KO’s only friend, the rest of The Bloodline (Reigns, The Usos, Solo Sikoa & Paul Heyman) gave Sami a look after that and Zayn had to correct himself saying he “was” KO’s only friend.
As Reigns continued to speak, they were surprised by a video message from John Cena, who mentioned that Kevin Owens texted him earlier in the night saying that he wanted Cena to be KO’s partner on the December 30th edition of Smackdown so that Cena could have a match in WWE this year for the 20th consecutive year. Cena agreed to it, so Owens & Cena will team up against Reigns & Zayn on the last Smackdown of 2022 in Tampa.
It was reported by Fightful Select that Owens was supposed to be on Smackdown, but was unable to make it to Chicago due to a “nightmare travel situation” according to WWE sources. Since Owens wasn’t there, they had to make some writing and production changes.
The plan was for Owens to introduce the video message from John Cena instead of Cena simply interrupting The Bloodline as we saw on Smackdown.
It is expected that Reigns will defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Title against Owens at the Royal Rumble on January 28th with Reigns having a big say in choosing his opponent. Whatever happens in the December 30th Smackdown tag team match should likely be used to build to that Rumble match.