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– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens up with a video showing a few highlights from the WWE Clash of Champions pay-per-view on Sunday.
– We’re live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go right to the ring and out comes SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan to a pop.
Fans chant Bryan’s name before he welcomes us. Bryan will address what happened on Sunday but first he wants to discuss the Royal Rumble announcement from RAW. He confirms SmackDown Superstars will be in the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match. Bryan says the match will be huge, it will be awesome and it will be a turning point in WWE history. Bryan says we also have a big show for tonight. He announces Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE Champion AJ Styles for the main event. The music hits next and out comes SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon.
Shane says hello to Bryan and gives a shout out to Newark. Shane agrees, the first women’s Royal Rumble will be amazing. But that’s on January 28th and he wants to talk about the pay-per-view that just happened on Sunday. Shane says he’s been thinking about the match that he and Bryan were special referees for. Shane says it was beautiful as everything was going how it should when Orton jumped up and hit Sami with the most beautiful RKO he’s ever seen. Shane says he was smiling as he went down to count. He was close to counting 3 and sending Sami and Owens out of WWE forever but Bryan tripped and landed on top of him, breaking the count. Shane says he could have counted to 50. Bryan says that was an accident. Shane knows that now but he didn’t know that then and his emotions were running high. Shane says somehow during all this, Sami rolled Orton up and he went to count. Shane says as he got to the 3 count, the only thing that went through his head was how Owens attacked his dad Vince McMahon, how Sami interfered in Hell In a Cell and how Sami & Owens screwed Team Blue at Survivor Series. Shane says his emotions got the better of him and his hand stayed up at the 2 count. Shane says Bryan’s emotions got heated as he jumped up in Shane’s face. This led to Sami rolling Orton up and Bryan diving into position to make the quick 3 count. Sami and Owens are still here. Shane says he explained what was going through his head, now it’s Bryan’s turn.
Bryan says he did what he did to protect Shane from himself. A “thank you Daniel” chant starts up. Shane says he doesn’t need protection from Bryan, with all due respect. Bryan says yes Shane does, with all due respect. Bryan says Shane eats, sleeps and breathes SmackDown but his passion can turn him into a hothead. Bryan did what he did to protect not only Shane, but an idea. Their idea. Bryan took the GM job because he believes in the shared vision of a land of opportunity. The land of opportunity for everyone, not just the ones Shane likes. Bryan says Shane may not like Sami and Owens but he threatened their livelihoods. He threatened to take away what they promised to everyone. Shane’s been trying to figure this all out and he can understand how Bryan personally has empathy for Sami and Owens. Shane warns Bryan that Sami and Owens will stab Bryan in the back once they’re done playing with his empathetic heart strings. Shane warns Bryan not to show favoritism to them, from a business standpoint, as that will come back and bite Bryan in the rear. Bryan mocks the “from a business standpoint” comment and asks if Shane means he should have done what’s best for business? Bryan says he’s heard those words before but he’s also fought against those words. Bryan believes in Shane, in SmackDown and in their shared vision. Bryan says if Shane has a separate vision then that’s his prerogative. Bryan says if Shane wants to fire someone, fire him. Fans chant “no!” at this. Bryan says because he doesn’t want to see Shane turn into Vince. A “who’s your daddy?” chant starts. Shane says he respects Bryan and he trusts him. Shane wishes Bryan good luck with tonight’s show, then lays the mic down and leaves the ring. Bryan looks on as his music hits.
– Still to come, The Usos face Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable in a non-title match. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Tom congratulates The Bella Twins on 1 million YouTube subscribers.
The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable
We go to the ring and out first come SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos for this non-title match. Greg Hamilton does the introductions as Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable are out next.
Gable starts off with Jimmy Uso and they go at it. Jey Uso tags in for a double team in the corner. Jey with a big shot to Gable to stun him. Jey with more offense on Gable, whipping him hard into the corner. Jey with a few more shots before tagging in Jimmy. Jimmy keeps control until Gable retreats to the floor for a breather. We go to commercial with The Usos standing tall.
Back from the break and Jimmy goes at it with Shelton. Jimmy drops Shelton with a big kick. Jey gets the tag and unloads on Shelton but in comes Gable. Jey catches Gable in a Samoan Drop after a second attempt. Jey with the running splash in the corner. Shelton gets sent to the floor. Jimmy runs the ropes for a dive but Shelton jumps up and meets him with a knee. Back and forth in the ring leads to Jey hitting Gable with a superkick. Jey goes to the top but Shelton runs up and meets him on the top.
Jey sends Shelton to the mat. Uso goes for the big splash on Gable but he gets the knees up. Jimmy breaks a 2 count by Gable up. Gable blocks a superkick and drops Jimmy on his neck with a big German suplex. Shelton with another big knee strike to Jey. Gable with another rolling German on Jey. Shelton comes in and lifts Jey as Gable goes to the top for the big double team and the non-title win.
Winners: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable
– After the match, Gable and Benjamin stand tall as their music hits. We go to replays.
– Still to come, the new WWE United States Champion will celebrate.
– We see Charlotte Flair walking backstage. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair to the ring. We see video from Stephanie McMahon’s announcement on the women’s Royal Rumble and reactions from various RAW Superstars.
Flair talks about retaining her title in the Lumberjack Match at Clash of Champions over Natalya. Nothing makes her prouder than to hold the title on her shoulder but now Stephanie has gone and announced the first women’s Rumble match. Flair says there is nothing the women of WWE can’t do but the fans helped them make it all possible. Flair says fans speaking up has made a difference as management listened. Flair congratulates the fans and the women of the SmackDown division. Flair says whoever wins the Rumble match, she will be waiting to defend her title at WrestleMania 34. The music interrupts and out comes Naomi.
Naomi congratulates Flair on retaining her title. Naomi then announces that she will be the first blue brand Superstar to be in the Rumble match. Naomi says she will see Flair at WrestleMania and Flair says WrestleMania it is. The music interrupts and out comes The Riott Squad – Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. Naomi mocks them and says they’re the Three Stooges who won’t be in the Rumble match because the Rumble is about surviving, not sneak attacking. Naomi rips them and challenges any 2 of them to step in the ring with she and Flair, so they can teach them how to rumble. We go to commercial as The Riott Squad approaches the ring.
Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan vs. Charlotte Flair and Naomi
Back from the break and Sarah Logan is going at it with Flair. Logan drops Flair and covers for a 2 count. Riott tags in and goes to work on Flair, also talking some trash to Naomi. Riott focuses on Flair’s leg as Liv Morgan watches from ringside. Logan tags back in and keeps Flair near their corner, focusing on the leg.
Riott tags back in and kicks the leg. Riott with more offense and a counter to Flair. Logan tags back in and slams Flair’s knee hard into the mat. Flair blocks another knee slam but Logan stops her from tagging. Naomi gets the tag and comes in with a bunch of right hands to Logan. Naomi drops Riott off the apron next. Logan comes from behind and rolls Naomi up for a 1 count. Naomi with a scorpion kick on Logan. Naomi comes flying with another big kick for a 2 count as Riott breaks the pin.
Flair comes in and takes out Riott with a big boot. Logan and Naomi go at it. Logan with a headbutt. Liv gets on the apron but Naomi moves, leading to Logan spearing Liv off the apron. This leads to Naomi getting the pin on Logan for the win.
Winners: Naomi and Charlotte Flair
– After the match, Naomi’s music hits as she and Flair celebrate.
– The New Day are backstage dressed in Christmas costumes. Big E is an elf, Xavier Woods is a reindeer and Kofi Kingston appears to be a gingerbread man. They’re handing out gifts and pancakes. They also plug their new Christmas t-shirts. Rusev, dressed as Santa Claus, and Aiden English, dressed as a snowman, appear next. Rusev says nobody wants their Christmas t-shirts but he’s here to give the world what they want. He pulls a Rusev Day t-shirt out of his Santa sack. Rusev goes on about everyone being on the only list there is – the naughty list. English then sings about Rusev Day. This leads to tension between the two sides and it looks like we have a match for later.
– Still to come, our six-man main event and Dolph Ziggler’s celebration. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes new WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler for his celebration. His music starts but quickly cuts off and he heads to the ring with no music.
Ziggler brags on how he told us so. He says people said him winning the title was impossible but they must not have been watching for the past 12 years. He goes on about how he’s the best and how this is his second United States Title reign. He shows us video from his first US Title win in 2011, then we see stills from the title win on Sunday, defeating champion Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode in a Triple Threat. Ziggler says he’s just getting started. He shows us footage from his 5 WWE Intercontinental Title wins – 2010, 2014, 2014, 2014 and 2016. Ziggler says he’s not even done. He knows there’s some kind of accolade he’s forgetting off the top of his head. He brags on winning Money In the Bank and cashing in successfully to become World Heavyweight Champion. We see video of his 2012 Money In the Bank win and then the 2013 World Heavyweight Title win. Ziggler says he’s one of the most decorated Superstars in WWE history and night after night, year after year, he proved it to himself and the rest of the world but year after year he goes unappreciated.
Ziggler says the fans are not worthy of his presence, none of them are. Fans boo. Ziggler says the fans don’t deserve him. He stares at the title and says if you want something to remember him by… Ziggler looks back at the title and lays it on the mat. Ziggler walks out of the ring and leaves the title laying on the mat. It appears Ziggler has just relinquished the title. Ziggler walks straight to the back. The camera shows the title laying in the ring.
– Daniel Bryan is backstage on the phone when Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens walk in. They thank him and give him a bottle of champagne. Sami says Bryan did the right thing for them and for their legions of fans. Bryan says he didn’t do it for them or their fans, he did it for all of SmackDown. And he doesn’t drink. Bryan hands the bottle back to Owens. Owens brings up Randy Orton and Orton’s history with Bryan when he was battling The Authority. Sami says Shane McMahon is trying to do the same thing to them that Orton did to Bryan, tear his spirit down. Owens says Bryan got the last laugh on Orton at Clash of Champions and they got the last laugh on Shane. Bryan says they are unbelievable and if they don’t wipe the smiles off their faces, he might have to fire them himself. Bryan tells them to go get ready for tonight’s match.
The New Day vs. Rusev and Aiden English
Back from the break and out comes The New Day. Rusev and Aiden English are out next.
Fans chant Rusev Day as we get the bell. All Superstars are still dressed in their Christmas costumes for the match. Kofi Kingston starts with English but shows up Rusev and English to avoid a double team. Rusev Claus tries to catch Kofi but can’t. Rusev chases Kofi around the ring and gets frustrated. English comes in but Kofi dropkicks him. The New Day stand tall in the ring. Kofi slides Rusev’s Santa sack into the ring. They start tossing t-shirts to the crowd.
Rusev and English return to the ring to drop The New Day from behind. Rusev and English talk some trash as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a “we want pancakes” chant from the crowd. Rusev floors Kofi with a big clothesline for a 2 count. Woods reaches for a tag as Big E watches from the floor. Rusev with more offense. Kofi finally turns it around with a big DDT. Fans try to rally for The New Day now.
Woods gets the hot tag and unloads as English also tags in. Woods with a dropkick to the back of the neck against the middle rope. English runs into a big boot in the corner. English blocks the Honor Roll and nails a big spinebuster for a 2 count as Kofi breaks the pin. Rusev comes in and sends Kofi to the floor. Aiden and Rusev stand tall in the ring now. English goes out and Rusev follows. They start taking apart the announce table as fans cheer. Rusev and English take the plate of pancakes and put a bunch of whip cream on them. They go in the Santa sack and bring out a jar of cherries. They place just one cherry on the pancakes. English goes to put Woods’ face in the pancakes but Woods resists. Kofi comes flying off the top and takes Rusev down on the floor. English gets double teamed and sent face first into the pancakes with a Flapjack.
Woods rolls English back into the ring and drops him. Woods goes to the top rope and nails a big flying elbow drop for the pin. Tom says The New Day has saved Christmas.
Winners: The New Day
– After the match, The New Day celebrates in the ring as we go to replays.
– The announcers plug Total Divas and we see a preview for this Wednesday’s episode, featuring The Miz and Maryse.
– We see Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles backstage talking. Back to commercial.
Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura
Back from the break and out first comes Randy Orton for tonight’s main event. Shinsuke Nakamura is out next, followed by WWE Champion AJ Styles. The Singh Brothers are out next to introduce Jinder Mahal. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are out last. We go to commercial as the two sides face off before the bell.
Back from the break and Jinder starts the match with Orton. Orton ducks a lock-up attempt and knocks the other 2 off the apron. Orton goes at it with Jinder but Owens and Sami hit the ring for a brawl. Nakamura and Styles also hit the ring to even the odds. Everyone goes to the floor to continue the brawl. Nakamura sends Sami into the barrier. Orton goes at it with Jinder and slams him on top of the announce table.
Orton brings Jinder back into the ring and beats him into the corner. Orton keeps control but Jinder blocks the RKO. Orton drops Jinder and covers for a 2 count. Nakamura tags in and keeps up the attack on Jinder but Jinder rams him back into the corner. Sami tags in for a bit of double teaming. Sami works on Nakamura’s arm now. Nakamura turns it around and takes Sami down by his arm. Nakamura keeps control and pulls some of Sami’s chest hair out. Nakamura with a counter and a knee, then a knee drop to Sami. They go to the corner and in comes Styles. Sami looks to turn it around on Styles but Styles takes him down with a scissors. Styles goes back to the corner and in comes Orton. Orton causes Sami to bounce hard from the ropes to the mat. Orton with a 2 count. Jinder tags back in and goes at it with Orton now.
Jinder drops Orton with an elbow and stands tall with a fist in the air. Jinder drops a knee and tags in Owens for a quick double team. Owens drops Orton with a right hand and stomps away, talking trash. Owens pounds on Orton some more as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Owens has control of Orton as Styles and Nakamura reach for tags. Orton ends up sending Owens shoulder-first into the ring post. Styles tags in to a pop. He unloads on Owens but Jinder opens the ropes to cause Styles to fall out of the ring to the floor. Owens goes to the floor and keeps control to bring AJ back into the ring. Owens with a senton for a 2 count.
Owens puts a knee to AJ’s throat against the ropes now. Sami tags in and works AJ over as fans chant for the WWE Champion. Sami drops AJ again for a pin attempt. Jinder tags back in and stomps on AJ as Sami keeps him down. Jinder with more offense until AJ turns it around and makes a go for the tag. Nakamura gets the hot tag as does Sami. Nakamura drops Sami with a big kick to the mouth. Owens comes in but Nakamura takes him out. Nakamura drops Jinder off the apron next. Nakamura unloads on Sami with kicks while he’s on his knees now. Nakamura drives big knees into Sami now. Nakamura puts a boot to the throat for some Good Vibrations in the corner. Fans chant for Nakamura as he keeps control of Sami in the corner. Nakamura with a big knee and a 2 count.
Sami ducks a kick but Nakamura nails the next kick for a close 2 count. Sami blocks the reverse exploder suplex but Nakamura ends up dropping Sami for the armbar. Sami resists. Owens breaks the hold. Orton sends Owens to the floor. Jinder drops Orton with a DDT. Styles drops Jinder with a pele kick. Styles leaps out of the ring and drops Owens on the floor with a big forearm. Nakamura looks to put Sami away but The Singh Brothers hit the apron to drop Nakamura with a shot to the back of the neck. The referee ejects The Singh Brothers from ringside.
Orton takes The Singh Brothers out with the RKO to send them packing. AJ goes for the Phenomenal Forearm on Owens in the ring, receiving an assist from Orton as he pushes Styles into the move. Nakamura ends up hitting a Kinshasa on Sami as Orton watches from a few feet away. Nakamura covers Sami for the pin.
Winners: Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton and AJ Styles
– After the match, Nakamura’s music hits as the babyfaces stand tall. We go to replays. Orton, Styles and Nakamura all pose as fans cheer them on. We get more replays of the finish. SmackDown goes off the air with the winners celebrating.