Clash of Champions has come and gone, but there’s still some burning questions on Smackdown Live. Mainly people are wondering what is going to happen between Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon. Keep reading to find out and what other events took place on Smackdown Live.
The show starts with Daniel Bryan coming to the ring. Bryan talks about the major announcement on Raw last night regarding the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match taking place next month. Bryan then mentions in the main event Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, and AJ Styles will team up to face Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Jinder Mahal.
Shane McMahon then goes to the ring to confront Bryan. Shane goes on about the events that took place during the Owens Zayn vs Orton Nakamura match. Shane then goes into his reasoning on why he didn’t count three when Zayn clearly had a three count pin. Shane remembered when Owens headbutted Vince and Zayn costing Shane his match at Hell in a Cell and lastly costing Smackdown Live the Survivor Series match. Bryan then defended why he did the fast count. Shane told Bryan that Owens and Zayn couldn’t be trusted and they’ll betray him and they’re taking advantage of his empathy. Bryan told Shane he didn’t want to see him turn into Vince and if that’s the way Smackdown Live is going then to go ahead and fire him. Shane told Bryan he respected him and good luck with the show and left the ring.
The Usos vs Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
Coming off a hot fatal four way tag team title match at Clash of Champions, the Usos were in non title action against Gable and Benjamin. After the break the match started to pick up. The Usos started using many of their signature moves such as Samoan Drops and superkicks. The finish to the match intensified as Gable gets superkicked and Jey looks for the splash, but Shelton runs up the turnbuckle and briefly stops him. Shelton gets pushed off though, but the splash from Jey was blocked by Gable’s knees. Gable tried a cradle pin, but Jimmy was able to break it up. Gable hits the rolling German Suplexes on Jimmy while Shelton drills Jey with a knee strike. Eventually Gable and Benjamin are able to hit the powerbomb/diving clothesline combination on Jey Uso and Benjamin scores the pinfall win.
WINNERS: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’s TAKE: Gable and Benjamin in my opinion have looked great and every time out they’re getting better and better as a cohesive unit. The Usos of course are no slouches and have been one of the top tag teams in 2017. It was a decent tag team match for the time they were allowed to work with. Gable and Benjamin pinning the champs most likely means they’ll be rewarded a tag team title match in the future. Of course I’m not a fan of this booking decision. I felt the Usos coming off a huge pay per view win and being the champions shouldn’t be losing a non title match. Gable and Benjamin should’ve wrestled another tag team to gain momentum and propel themselves up the rankings, especially since Smackdown Live has a fairly deep tag division.
Charlotte Flair goes to the ring to touch on the women’s Royal Rumble match coming up and she’s ready to defend his championship against the winner at Wrestlemania. Naomi comes out and declares herself as the first entrant on Smackdown Live and she’ll see Charlotte at Wrestlemania. The Riott Squad interrupt, but Naomi cuts them off. Naomi tells the Riott Squad that they won’t win the Rumble because it’s everyone for themselves and you can’t sneak attack anybody.
Charlotte Flair & Naomi vs Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan (w/ Liv Morgan)
Match was fairly short, Naomi ended up getting the win by hitting the Rear View on Logan.
WINNERS: Charlotte Flair an Naomi via pinfall
New Day is backstage dressed in holiday attire and eating pancakes. Santa Rusev and Aiden the Snowman confront them. Aiden signs holiday carols challenging New Day to a match. This segment was actually pretty funny.
Dolph Ziggler, the new United States Champion goes to the ring. Dolph complains again about how nobody said he deserved to be in the title match at Clash of Champions, but he won. Dolph then brings up the other time he won the title in 2011. He then reflects on his five Intercontinental Championship victories. Lastly he highlights his 2012 Money in the Bank win followed by successfully cashing in 2013 the night after Wrestlemania to become a world champion. Dolph then shocks the world by dropping the United States Championship in the ring and leaves. There’s been rumors of Ziggler leaving WWE and maybe winning the US Championship at Clash was a way of saying thanks to Dolph for his years of service? Or maybe there’s just a bigger story here waiting to unfold. I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to see what the story is behind the United States Championship and Dolph Ziggler.
Daniel Bryan is backstage and is confronted by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Bryan isn’t in the mood to deal with them and threatens to fire them himself if they keep it up.
Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston (w/ Big E) vs Rusev & Aiden English
This was your typical holiday comedy relief match of the evening. The superstars are dressed in holiday attire, gingerbread man is getting chased around the ring, and a sack of presents is raided to reveal boxers saying Happy Rusev Day. Things get even stranger when Rusev and Aiden put a plate of New Day pancakes on the commentary table, spray whipped topping on them, and place only one cherry on top. Of course Kofi with the trust fall takes Rusev out and Kofi and Xavier manage to hit a flapjack on Aiden into the flapjacks on the table. Aiden is thrown into the ring and Xavier hits the Limit Break to end the match.
WINNERS: New Day via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Smackdown Live’s strong tag division is featured again with the other two teams in the fatal four way from Clash of Champions. Of course this wasn’t exactly a serious match considering the circumstances. It was entertaining to a degree and Rusev Day is quickly becoming a phenomenon. One would think New Day scoring a win over Rusev and Aiden could stake claim to a title match vs the Usos as well. Guessing New Day could face Gable and Benjamin to decide that perhaps?
Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, & AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, & Jinder Mahal (w/ The Singh Brothers)
Match got quite a bit of time. I was expecting something big to happen with all the elements involved, but it didn’t deliver. Example is why is Jinder Mahal still linked to AJ Styles when Styles made him tap out in the WWE Championship rematch at Clash of Champions. Then we’re still doing the KO Zayn vs Nakamura Orton thing. Conclusion of the match was when Nakamura was measuring up Zayn for the Kinshasa, but the Singh Brothers distracted Nakamura. The referee caught them and ejected them from ringside. Orton of course made sure to take them out a double hanging rope DDT. AJ Styles took Owens out with the Phenomenal Forearm and Nakamura drilled Zayn with the Kinshasa to secure the win.
WINNERS: Nakamura, Styles, and Orton via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’s TAKE: The theme of the night was tag team matches and the main event gave us a big one. The match wasn’t a must see by any means, but it gave the fans a feel good moment seeing the babyfaces hit all their signature moves and secure the win. Kind of was waiting for something to happen in the end, but nothing did.
RATING: 4 out of 10. I may be harsh with this rating, but the show didn’t hold my attention most of the night. The Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan story didn’t develop into anything major yet so it looks like they’re going to slow burn this. Gable and Benjamin vs the Usos was a solid one to watch. New Day and Rusev & Aiden was the entertainment of the evening. The women’s match didn’t do anything for me and the Riott Squad are quickly going to turn into enhancement talents as seen tonight by Charlotte and Naomi. The main event was just a quick way to get the top guys of Smackdown Live into the ring. However we have no clue who is next to challenge Styles for the WWE Championship? The biggest cliffhanger is the United States Championship and Dolph Ziggler right now. It’s going to be a slow couple of weeks for Smackdown Live with us now in full swing of the holidays and nothing is going to pick up until we get closer to the Royal Rumble. Hopefully some big things are being planned, but we’ll have to wait and see. Lastly, where the hell has Tye Dillinger been?