WWE’s SmackDown Live was broadcast from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on December 19, 2017.
WWE SmackDown Live main event: Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, & AJ Styles def. (pin) Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, & Jinder Mahal (w/ the Singh Brothers)
A decent little match, though a bit awkward since it seemed like all of these guys were done with their respective opponents at Clash of Champions.
Probably the best spot in this match was after Styles hit the KENTA series on Owens. Styles was then going to bounce off the rope, only for Mahal to open the ropes just enough for Styles to fall through to the ground. Great timing, looked awesome, and made Mahal look like such a clever bad guy.
That said, this match ended like most Mahal matches: the Singh Brothers got involved, but the two were dispatched by Orton’s draping DDT. This was enough to rally Orton’s team to the victory, as Nakamura hit the Kinshasa kick not long after on Zayn to get the win.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon tensely discuss the fallout from Clash of Champions
Bryan enthusiastically opened the show before he was eventually interrupted by commissioner Shane McMahon. The two had an intense showdown over what happened at Clash of Champions, where Bryan quick counted a pin in favor of Sami Zayn so Zayn and Kevin Owens wouldn’t be fired for losing the match.
Bryan eventually even said that if Shane really wanted to fire someone, then he should fire Bryan, at which point the two sort of backed down. Shane wished Bryan the best with the show tonight and the two went their separate ways, but there is clearly more happening here at some point.
Dolph Ziggler… Leaves?
Dolph Ziggler was out to celebrate his U.S. Title win. After showing some of his career highlights, Ziggler then left his title in the ring so the fans would have “something to remember him by”. Soo… did he just retire? Is he leaving and giving up the title? No idea what’s going on here.
Benjamin & Gable def. (pin) The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) in a non-title match
You should have been able to see this one coming after Chad Gable’s performance in the Fatal 4-way tag match at Clash of Champions.
The match was all around Gable attempting to get a German suplex, but both Usos were able to get out of anything that Gable was attempting early. Eventually Benjamin got involved at the end to open that opportunity, and Gable hit a couple of great rolling German suplexes.
Gable and Benjamin finally hit their modified Doomsday Device to get the pin, and that usually leads to title shots in WWE. We will see where this one goes.
Naomi & Charlotte def. (pin) The Riott Squad (Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan)
Before the match, Charlotte was out for a promo commending the Women’s Royal Rumble match, which was announced on Monday. Charlotte said that she would be happy to defend her title at WrestleMania against whomever may win the match.
Naomi came out, saying she would be happy to be that person. They out came the Riott Squad, and in true WWE fashion, the two sides settled their little squabble with a match. Seems a little early for the Riott Squad to be losing due to their own team getting in the way of each other, but that’s what happened here, as Logan knocked her own stablemate off the apron when Liv Morgan was trying to cause a distraction. Naomi wound up getting the pin with the Rear View.
The New Day (Kofi and Xavier w/ Big E) def. (pin) Aiden English and Rusev
Big E was an elf, Kofi was a ginger bread man, and Xavier was a reindeer. Rusev was Rusev Claus and Aiden English was a snowman. That was clearly the most important part of this match.
Crowd was super into both teams, which was a nice change of pace from what you usually get in these types of matches. Big chants both for “Rusev Day” and “We want pancakes”.
Well, the pancakes eventually got involved, as English and Rusev set up some pancakes with whipped cream on the announce table as if they were going to put Xavier Woods through both. Well, that plan backfired, and English wound up with a faceful of whipped cream and pancake before he was pinned by Woods.
Best of the rest of WWE SmackDown Live
- Rusev Claus was back stage with Rusev Day shirts. Sorry New Day, Rusev clearly had the better costume here.
- Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn tried to celebrate with Daniel Bryan backstage. Bryan wasn’t having any of it, and he told the two to wipe the smiles off their faces and stop gloating or Bryan would fulfill Shane’s dream of firing both of them.