All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service, and WWE’s official Twitter
- Kickoff Match: Zack Ryder VS Mojo Rawley; Rawley wins.
- WWE United States Championship Triple Threat: Baron Corbin VS Bobby Roode VS Dolph Ziggler; Ziggler wins and becomes the new WWE US Champion.
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4 Way: The Usos VS The New Day VS Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable VS Rusev & Aiden English; The Usos win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
- WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Lumberjack Match: Charlotte Flair VS Natalya; Charlotte wins and retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- Breezango VS The Bludgeon Brothers; Bludgeon Brothers win.
- Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Double Special Guest Referees: Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon; Kevin & Sami win and keep their jobs.
- WWE Championship: AJ Styles VS Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers; Styles wins and retains the WWE Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Backstage interview with AJ Styles.
The WWE Champion won his title overseas during WWE’s UK Tour. Ever since then, former champion Jinder Mahal has tried to get his title back any way he can. Styles saw through his tricks, such as making it seem that The Singh Brothers were switching sides. Is Styles concerned about any new tricks up Mahal’s sleeve? Styles admits that while he saw through the lies, he shouldn’t have turned his back on the Singhs, because that allowed Mahal to blindside him. Styles will do what he always does: defy the odds. He’ll be ready for everything and anything, like the Great Khali returning, or the Singh Brothers being annoying as usual. He knows he to be better than good, and better than ready. He’ll be phenomenal! Will The Phenomenal One live up to that name and remain THE WWE Champion?
Backstage interview with Naomi.
A former SmackDown Women’s Champion in her own right, #TheGirlwiththeGlow speaks on the Riott Squad beating her down and being Charlotte Flair’s only ally in the Lumberjack match. Naomi is familiar with haters, like The Welcoming Committee’s Carmella and Tamina. She also admits The Riott Squad are dangerous, sidelining Becky and almost doing the same to Naomi. She warns the rookies: stay away or “in the worst way possible”, you will #FeeltheGlow. But speaking of The Welcoming Committee, they appear to speak with Naomi in person.
This is only to “welcome” Naomi back. These four haven’t seen eye to eye, but have a common enemy in Riott Squad. If Naomi doesn’t cross them, they won’t cross her. But then The Riott Squad appear in person.
Welcome back, Naomi. How about they welcome you to a broken jaw? Things break down into shouting, referees have to keep the peace. With this much tension in the SmackDown Women’s Division, will that Lumberjack match simply turn into a powder keg?
Charlotte Flair joins the Kickoff Commentary.
The Queen of Flair and SmackDown Women’s Champion has a “very busy night” ahead of her. One on one with Natalya is one thing, but how does she feel with the rest of the SmackDown Women’s Division ringside? The former champion is a threat, but so are all the other women. How will Charlotte deal with only having one ally on her side? Charlotte doesn’t politic like Natty, but she admits The Riott Squad is probably the biggest threat out there, even with Carmella being Ms. Money in the Bank. Speaking of the Queen of Harts, she appears!
Natty is so happy to see everyone, especially Charlotte, and Natty’s championship. The Queen of Harts hopes Charlotte gave that title a nice big hug, because this is the last time she’ll get to hold it. After tonight, “baby’s coming home to mama.” Natty takes her leave to prepare, Charlotte “loves” her confidence. Charlotte takes her leave now, will she leave the TD Garden with the title?
The New Day visit the Social Media Lounge.
The four-time WWE tag team champions want to become five-time champions, inside a SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tag Fatal 4 Way. They are ready for the questions! “Will you guys start officially selling New Day branded ‘Booty Powder’ pancake mix”? Yes, given supply and demand. The New Day provides for the people. “Will becoming the Five-Time WWE world tag team champions be the best Christmas ever?” Yes!
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) December 18, 2017
The number five is fitting, because five years ago, “yo boi” Big E debuted to run over and slam down John Cena, with Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee at his side! The others give applause for this great moment. “What is the game plan for tonight”? Why would they give it away!? They’re four-time champions for a reason: their opponents never know what’s coming! All these questions, and you ask that one? They will never slip up! They will never crack up! You will never see New Day’s crack. The New Day is confident as ever, can they make the SmackDown Tag Team championships their early Christmas presents?
Kickoff Match: Zack Ryder VS Mojo Rawley!
The Hype Bros came together to become tag team champions, but fell short when Ryder fell from a knee injury. They reunited, but had missed their window, and Mojo blames Ryder for it all. The Hype Bros “are dead”, so who will come out the survivor of this friendship’s fallout?
Ryder dropkicks Mojo right at the bell! He hammers away, Mojo shoves him, runs, Ryder clotheslines Mojo and tumbles out with him. The brawl continues on the outside, Ryder backing Mojo down, but Mojo rams Ryder into the LED apron! Mojo puts Ryder back in the ring but Ryder comes back with a wrecking ball dropkick! Ryder puts Mojo back in the ring then dodges the shoulder to kick Mojo away. Ryder gets in the ring only to get a spinebuster from Mojo!
Mojo looms over Ryder, then picks him up for a right hand that puts him in a corner. Mojo continues with a headbutt then a corner to corner whip with a corner splash. Cover, TWO, so Mojo puts Ryder in a chinlock. The fans rally, Ryder feeds off the energy but Mojo rocks him with a right. Mojo puts Ryder in a corner, runs but gets knees from Ryder, Ryder hops up only for Mojo to shove him down to the floor! The referee counts as Ryder crawls but Mojo goes out to gain speed and then run Ryder over!
Ryder collides with barriers, Mojo trash talks while we go to break.
#WWEClash returns, Mojo grinds Ryder down with another chinlock. Ryder fires himself up and fights against the hold, jawbreaker frees Ryder, only for Mojo to boot him down! Mojo trash talks again, “Show me your killer instinct!” Mojo toys with Ryder now, “that all you got?” Ryder wills himself up and then rocks Mojo with a right hand, then a back elbow. Ryder rallies, but Mojo grabs his throat, Ryder breaks free to slap Mojo!
— WWE (@WWE) December 18, 2017
The fans fire up as Ryder rallies, big forearm smash in the corner and then more right hands before the Broski Boot! Ryder keeps going, a second Broski Boot against ropes, Ropebreak! Ryder can’t believe it, he brings Mojo up but Mojo holds the ropes. The referee backs Ryder off, Mojo chop blocks out the leg! Mojo fires up, runs, Hype Arm! Cover, Mojo wins! He shouts in Ryder’s face, because he proved he didn’t need Ryder. It is #MojoRising, who will be the next to feel his fury?
“All will be defended or lost.”
Everyone wants to be champion, but not everyone can be champion. Pride and glory combine in this “clash of champions” tonight, who will come out still holding on to theirs?
WWE United States Championship Triple Threat: Baron Corbin VS Bobby Roode VS Dolph Ziggler!
The Lone Wolf didn’t want to defend his title, but at a Pay-Per-View where every champion must defend their title, he has no choice but to take on both The GLORIOUS One and the Show-Off.
The bell rings, the three men circle, Roode and Ziggler decide to take care of the big bad Lone Wolf. They corner Corbin and pounce with mudhole stomps! Corbin bails out but Ziggler and Roode pursue, giving him haymakers and a double clothesline that send him out into the crowd. Roode then turns on Ziggler with haymakers and puts him in the ring. Ziggler almost hits the Superkick, Roode almost hits the DDT, Ziggler powers out and sits, TWO. ZIggler kicks low, jumps but Roode dodges, atomic drop to Russian side leg sweep. Cover, TWO, Roode slows the pace but Ziggler throws him out of the ring. Corbin returns to run Roode over!
Ziggler grabs Corbin but Corbin rocks him with a right hand. Corbin throws Roode into barriers, then drags Roode up and into the ring. Roode gets to a corner while Corbin reenters the ring, COrbin runs in for a big corner clothesline and standing STO before giving a stiff right hand on the run. Fans boo and jeer, Corbin embraces it all before bringing Roode up again. Corner to corner whip, Roode hits buckles hard and Corbin watches him writhe. The Lone Wolf drags Roode up again, to ram shoulders into Roode’s back. Corbin rocks Roode with another right, then goes out to fetch Ziggler. Ziggler goes back first into barriers! Corbin returns to Roode in the ring, stalks over but Roode kicks and chops back. Roode backs Corbin down, runs, but into a sidewalk slam, cover, Ziggler breaks it. Ziggler grabs Corbin, Corbin hits back. Corbin stomps away on Ziggler in a corner, fans boo and jeer whiel Corbin runs at Roode. Roode dodges, Corbin slides out then in, keeps going for Roode but Roode ducks so that Ziggler takes the lariat. Roode throws haymakers and chops again, Corbin shoves him but is kicked away, Roode runs Corbin over! Now Roode goes on a rally, corner to corner whip reversed but he gets the boots up to then hop up, blockbuster!
Cover, TWO! Corbin rolls out of the ring, Roode stalks over, Ziggler returns for the Zig-Zag but is bucked off, Roode rallies on him now. Ziggler back elbows Roode, but runs into boots. Roode hops up again, takes aim, jumps but Ziggler dodges to then kick out a leg and hit the Famouser!
Corbin breaks the pin just in time! All three men are down, fans rally as Corbin tears away his shirt. The champion sees his challengers in opposite corners, he runs in and clobbers Roode, then clobbers Ziggler, then runs at Roode but takes a back elbow and then a dropkick from Ziggler! Roode slams Ziggler, then gets slammed by Corbin via the Deep Six!
TWO! Corbin is frustrated, he, Roode and Ziggler are down on the mat. Fans cheer for Roode, which upsets Corbin, so Corbin picks on Roode first. Corbin hoists Roode up onto the top rope before climbing up to join him, Roode fights back and knocks Corbin down. Ziggler appears outta nowhere, Roode resists so Ziggler hammers away. Ziggler tries again, but Corbin has returned, Tower of Doom!
Corbin covers Ziggler, TWO! He goes over to Roode, TWO! The Lone Wolf feels frustration creeping in, fans cheer “this is awesome!” Corbin grabs Ziggler, choke slam escaped! Ziggler dodges, Corbin hits a post! Ziggler sees Roode all alone. The Show-Off tunes up the band, fans react in a mixed bag, Roode dodges and hits a SPINEBUSTER! Roode winds it up… GLORIOUS! But ZIggler escapes the DDT, satellite DDT from Ziggler! TWO! Ziggler cannot believe it, and now Corbin has returned to throw him out. ZIggler stays on the apron, Roode dumps Corbin back out, Ziggler returns for- No, Roode blocks the Superkick, to trip Ziggler and catapult him into a buckle! GLORIOUS DDT!
Corbin returns to throw Roode out but gets thrown out isntead, cover, Corbin drags Roode out! Choke Slam Backbreaker on the outside!
Corbin drags Roode back into the ring, brings him back up, End of Days and a Zig-Zag!!
Ziggler wins!! He is the NEW United States Champion!! Ziggler played the odds and won, is this a new resurgence in his WWE career?
SmackDown GM and Commissioner receive their referee uniforms.
Daniel Bryan feels his is a bit too big for him. He requests a new one, but Shane’s fits. Shane has been “going a little bit bonkers” with this. He respects Bryan, but the plan was Sami & Kevin were supposed to be gone. Shane made himself special guest referee, yet Bryan makes himself the other? What is Bryan thinking? Bryan wants to protect SmackDown’s integrity and protect Shane from himself and his grudge. Shane admits he has a temper, so let’s play it out. Two referees, one in and one out? No both inside. Unprecedented! Any ideas how that’ll work? Yes, and Bryan wants to talk about that in private. Shane will fetch Bryan a shirt that fits, then they’ll discuss a plan that fits. Will these two be able to get along once the bell rings?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.
Between losing the US Championship and failing in his Money in the Bank cash-in, does he sense he’s building a reputation as someone who “squanders opportunities”? Corbin didn’t “squander” anything! He was cheated! Ziggler didn’t belong, Ziggler stole that title, and will pay for it in the rematch!
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4 Way: The Usos VS The New Day VS Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable VS Rusev & Aiden English!
“And because today is Rusev Day”, it is a great day to become SmackDown Tag Team Champions. “On the 12th day of Rusev, my partner gave to me~!” 12 months of Rusev, 11 Russian Medals, 10 Lanas leaping, 9 second winning, 8 Aiden songs, 7 boards a breaking, 6 Machka Kicks, 5 Pluvtive keys~! 4 of the lads, 3 unhinder Jinders, 2 Rusev shirts, and a tag team title victory~! But no time for encores, the match must begin!
Why is Aiden English still singing? This ain’t American Idol or the Voice. The Usos give a remix, feel free to sing along! 12 days, LOCK DOWN! 11 days, LOCK DOWN! You know the rest. The Uso Penitentiary has the SmackDown Tag Team Division #OnLock, but can it stay that way when practically the entire division is in one match?
Four men must start, one from each team, so it is Gable, Jey, Kofi and ENglish at the bell. They circle, pair off, Gable rolls Kofi but English rolls Gable but Kofi rolls English but Jey rolls Kofi, TWO! All four men find themselves by their corners, so they all tag in their partners and it is an eight man brawl!
Teams spill out, the New Day’s Kofi and Big E control the ring, Kofi gets a boost to FLY!
Kofi wipes out Gable & Benjamin, Big E runs but is dumped out, Jey runs and FLIES onto him and English!
Jimmy climbs, Benjamin springs up to join him, SUPER OVERHEAD SUPLEX!
Benjamin covers, Big E breaks the pin. Big E drags Benjamin up for body shots and a whip, then a big shoulder into the corner. Kofi returns, “time to turn up!” The New Day stampedes on Benjamin, two rotations until Kofi has to dropkick Rusev down. “Who? Who who?” Kofi gets whipped to dropkick Benjamin, then back around for Jimmy! Rusev MACHKA Kicks Kofi, and then sends Big E into a post. Rusev solos the Usos, covers, TWO. Cover on Kofi, TWO! The fans chant for “Rusev Day!” before he tags English at the same time Benjamin & Gable focus on Kofi. Gable & Benjamin hit the back suplex bulldog, Gable covers, TWO. English drags Jimmy up and bumps him off a buckle, then gives a forearm to his back. Gable puts on a keylock while English puts on a chinlock, they stare each other down as they do it. Benjamin tags in, he and Gable isolate Kofi. English keeps Jimmy down, Benjamin suplexes Kofi while Rusev kicks Jimmy down. The two teams hold a tense truce as they pick apart their prey, Gable tags back in while English tags in on his end. They keep Kofi and Jimmy isolated, English covers but TWO. Benjamin asks for room as he whips Kofi, big back body drop sends Kofi flying. Benjamin knocks Jey Uso down while English suplexes Jimmy, cover, Benjamin breaks it. English tags Rusev, Benjamin tags Gable, they continue to isolate and pick apart Kofi and Jimmy, Rusev breaks Gable’s pin. Benjamin tags back in, as does English. Gable tags back in to help with double knees and kicks, as well as knocking Big E down and out. BIG heel kick from Kofi outta nowhere!
Big E and the fans rally as Kofi crawls, Benjamin is dumped out, but the hot tag to Big E is denied by Benjamin. Gable hits a rolling kick, English breaks the cover. The truce ends as Gable and English shove each other, Jimmy tries to take advantage. His dragon whip kick is sent into Gable, English knocks him down, Kofi returns for double stomps! The fans rally on New Day’s side, all four men are down but crawling, hot tags to Jey and Big E! They rally on the others, mule kick to uppercut to overhead for Gable! English takes a Samoan Drop! The #UceTruce allows Jey to hit Gable with the running hip attack, and Big E to hit English with the Big Splash!
Double cover, double TWO! Jey and Big E stare down now, the #UceTruce breaks down! They throw heavy haymakers, Jey SUPERKICKS Big E! Jimmy SUPERKICKS Kofi! Rusev comes in, SUPERKICK! ENglish in, SUPERKICK! Benjamin & Gable, double SUPERKICKS, but then blocks into a powerbomb for Jimmy, Texas Cloverleaf for Jey!
Benjamin guards Gable, Jey endures, Kofi springboards in for a powerbomb! English drags Benjamin out, DDT! MACHKA Kick to Gable, then the Widowmaker, TWO! Rusev Day almost had the titles! English tags Rusev, Rusev targets Gable, stomp to Accolade!
Gable endures the Bulgarian Brute’s signature hold, Big E returns to throw Rusev to ropes, scoop Rusev up, and with Kofi on the top rope- No, English shoves Kofi down! Then a hotshot for Big E, roll-up, TWO! MACHKA KICK! TWO!! Rusev can’t believe it, but he won’t slow down. “MACHKA!!” Another Accolade!
Big E endures, Woods begs that he keep it together, Big E finds a second wind to power up, but he’s back in the hold! Big E fades, but Gable appears to give Rusev a German Suplex!
English returns, he bumps off a buckle, roll into a German! Gable aims at Big E now, shove into another rolling German!
THe fans fire up with Gable, he’s far from over. He grabs Jey but Jimmy tags in and makes the save, SUPERKICK! SUPERKICK! Jey tags back in, Uso Splash!
The Usos win and retain the titles! Can the Uso Penitentiary keep SmackDown’s Tag Team Division on Lock Down forever?!
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Lumberjack Match: Charlotte Flair VS Natalya!
The Queen of Flair may be champion tonight, but can she remain atop the SmackDown Women’s Division when a former champion is her opponent, the entire division is ringside, and Ms. Money in the Bank is among them?
The bell rings, Charlotte and Natty tie up, Charlotte gets a standing switch but Natty elbows out. Natty runs to run Charlotte over, poses, then runs only to run into Charlotte’s back elbow. Charlotte boots Natty out right in front of Naomi, Naomi gets hers with kicks to Natty before feeding her to Charlotte. Charlotte grabs Natty, Natty bumps out and gives Charlotte a haymaker. Natty throws Chalrotte to her Welcoming Committee, who now get theirs. CHarlotte fights back, the Riott Squad helps put Chalrotte in the ring, Natty is upon her. Natty trash talks before throwing haymakers, whips but Charlotte kicks back then gives a Flair Chop and stiff neckbreaker. Charlotte boots Natty down, covers, TWO. Natty gets to a corner, boots Charlotte away then throws her into buckles before posing again. Fans boo and jeer, Natty embraces it as she clotheslines and stomps Charlotte down. Natty kicks Charlotte out, The Riott Squad is upon her. The Welcoming Committee wants some, but THe Riott Squad keeps them away as they feed Charlotte back to Natty. Natty feeds Charlotte back to the Lumberjacks, the Riott Squad and Welcoming Committee beat her down.
They put Charlotte back on the apron, Natty uses a baseball slide dropkick to send Charlotte back down, and the two stables beat Charlotte down again. Natty enjoys toying with Charlotte, giving a stiff kick to the ribs and then a slap across the face. Charlotte returns the slap so Natty clubs her down and wraps on a chinlock. Natty tells fans to “shut up!” before she thrashes Charlotte around on the mat. Charlotte endures, Natty keeps on the squeeze. The champion endures, Naomi the only woman ringside on her side. Fans rally, Charlotte feeds off the energy, but Natty throws her down, walks over her and hits a dropkick. Natty keeps it up with another kick to the back, then a choke at the ropes. The referee counts, Natty backs off at 4, then goes for another dropkick but Charlotte gets up to let Natty fall out of the ring. Natty worries what’ll happen to her, but Carmella does nothing more than help Natty back into the ring. Charlotte gives Natty a Flair Chop, then another, and another, and another. More and more chops, Charlotte then whips Natty for one big double chop! Charlotte styles and profiles, goes back to Natty but her whip is reversed, but she manages to hit Natty with a backbreaker and buckle shot. Charlotte puts Natty in position, climbs up but is yanked down by Natty! Natty drags Charlotte around, tries the Sharpshooter but Charlotte slaps her away. Roll-up, TWO, boot! Charlotte has Natty now, FIgure Four shoved away, Charlotte falls out on top of Ruby!
Ruby’s Riott Squad pounces on Charlotte, The Welcoming Committee come in to get theirs, now the Lumberjacks fight each other! Naomi appears to springboard onto all of them!
The Lumberjacks are all down, Charlotte finds Natty and gets her back in the ring. Ruby anchors Charlotte, Natty wants after her but the referee backs her off, so Tamina has an opening for a SUPERKICK to the champion! Natty embraces the heat before putting Charlotte into the Sharpshooter!
Charlotte endures the Hart Family signature, but powers her way to the ropes! Natty drags her away, The Riott Squad and Welcomign Committee watch Charlotte suffer. Charlotte tries again, crawling towards other ropes, and gets the ropebreak! The Lumberjacks drag her out and attack! They fight against each other agani, it is chaos at ringside! Charlotte ends up in the ring, Natty finds her way out of the chaos but it is Carmella who enters the ring! With her MITB briefcase!!
Natty and Ruby stop Carmella, but the Lumberjacks flood the ring, too! They move out of the ring, Natty has Charlotte but Charlotte throws Natty out. Natty fights her way out while Charlotte climbs up, SUPER Moonsault onto the Riott Squad and Welcoming Committee!
Natty finds Charlotte and throws her into a post. The Queen of Harts grins as she stomps the Queen of Flairs, but is stuck dragging dead weight into the ring. Natty returns, grabs Charlotte again, Sharpshooter reversed into the Figure Eight!
Natty endures, Natty taps! Charlotte wins and is still the SmackDown Women’s Champion! She defied the odds and the numbers, can anyone hope to dethrone THE Queen of SmackDown?
In-ring interview with Natalya.
How is she feeling after this “disappointing outcome”? Natty did nothing wrong. Tonight, Charlotte did what she does best: using her family name to cut corners! “I have given the WWE Universe some of the best matches the women in this company have ever seen!” Natty has carried the Division for 10 years, yet all of them have treated Natty with nothing but disrespect. Fans boo and jeer even now. “The WWE Universe wants to turn their back on me?!” The Women’s Division wants to turn their back on her? Natty will turn her back on them! Natty leaves, tears of frustration in her eyes. Is this the last time the Queen of Harts will be seen in a WWE ring?
Backstage interview with The Singh Brothers.
This was meant to be an interview with the former WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal, but Samir & Sunil will not let anyone interrupt the Modern Day Maharaja in his “deep, deep, deep meditation”. Jinder Mahal did hear what Styles said, however, and Mahal’s reaction? Laughter. AJ Styles is mistaken if he thinks he’s going to defy the odds tonight. Mahal & The Singhs humiliated Styles, and are all very confident Mahal will become a “two time two time” WWE Champion. Mahal is so confident, he won’t even need The Singh Brothers. Does that mean they won’t be ringside? Watch and find out.
Breezango VS The Bludgeon Brothers!
The Fashion Police have been tracking down who trashed their headquarters, and finally cracked the code: 2B means The Bludgeon Brothers. Can Fandango & Breeze arrest Rowan & Harper? Or will they be two more lambs to the slaughter?
Harper and Breeze start, the bell rings, Harper rocks Breeze with an uppercut and scares Fandango off. Harper tags Rowan, Rowan pursues Fandango, then returns to Breeze. Breeze gives an enziguri that rocks Rowan, tag to Fandango, double boots knock Rowan off the apron but not off his feet. Breeze jumps, Rowan catches him, Fandango saves Breeze from worse, Rowan stops himself from going into a post while Harper boots Breeze down! Fandango fights alone against Harper & Rowan but his tornado DDT is denied, Rowan clobbers him in the back. The Bludgeon Brothers put Fandango in the ring, then bring Breeze up for an apron facebuster! Breeze crumples to the floor, Rowan squashes Fandango. Harper tags in, full-nelson lift to the sit-out powerbomb. Harper tags Rowan back in, they lift Fandango up, double crucifix slam!
Rowan covers, The Bludgeon Brothers win. They aren’t done, they take to the mic.
“The future holds more bludgeoning!” “More pain!” “More fear!” “The end of the beginning.” “The beginning of the end.” Harper & Rowan have issued their mission statement, can the SmackDown Tag Team Division survive?
Backstage interview with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.
Earlier, Daniel Bryan claimed that he is the second guest referee for the sake of SmackDown’s integrity, but Shane claims it is for “ulterior motives”. What is this about “ulterior motives”? They know the real reason Bryan became the second referee. Bryan is the only reasonable authority figure, and they know why he jumped into SmackDown’s main event to count the victory for Kevin Owens. People forget that Shane has a history of screwing people over as a special guest referee. Shane did it to Kevin over the Summer when he “screwed” Kevin out of once again being the United States Champion. Bryan knows he has “A+” talent, and wants tonight to be a fair fight. The Sami & Kevin Show isn’t being cancelled any time soon, and the #YepMovement rages on. But what if they lose and are fired? They’re speechless. Kevin & Sami leave without a word, will they be forced to leave the WWE tonight?
Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Double Special Guest Referees: Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon!
This grudge dates all the way back to the Summer, became extremely personal after The Prizefighter brutalized Vince McMahon, and hit an all-time high when Kevin & Sami ruined SmackDown’s chances in the Survivor Series 5v5 Elimination Match. Now Shane O’Mac looks to finish it off, losing here means Sami & Kevin lose their jobs in the WWE!
Bryan already keeps the peace between Shane, Kevin and Sami, the teams sort out who starts. Sami starts against Orton and the bell rings. Sami talks trash to Orton before they circle and tie up, Orton powers Sami to a corner, but then Sami turns it around. Shane counts for the break, Sami gives it. Orton and Sami tie up again, Orton gets a headlock, fans serenade Sami with “Ole~ Ole~!” Sami powers out but Orton runs him over, both refs count but the rhythm is off, but it is still a TWO! Sami gets Orton to a corner again, dirties up the break with body shots, Shane backs him down. Orton kicks and European Uppercuts Sami to the other corner, then wrenches an arm before tagging in Nakamura. Nakamura gives Sami body shots and an arm wrench, Sami grabs Nakamura’s hair. Shane reprimands Sami, fans duel in a chant, Sami puts on a headlock. Sami wrenches Nakamura again, fans keep dueling while Nakamura reverses with spins and a cartwheel, Nakamura wrenches Sami. Bryan points out the ropebreak, Nakamura lets go, but is right back on him. Sami powers Nakamura to his corner, Kevin tags in and fires off shots, Shane and Bryan both back him off. Kevin and Shane argue, Kevin gives Nakamura another shot. Kevin stomps and chops Nakamura, Nakamura turns it around to fire off shots. Bryan has to be the one to back Nakamura off, Nakamura snapmares Kevin for a knee drop. Another double count that is off-rhythm, but still a TWO. Orton tags in, he stomps Kevin’s foot. Orton gives Kevin EuroUppers and haymakers, then stomps. Bryan has Orton bring it out, Ortonw hips but is reversed, Orton throws Kevin down by his head, the double count again gets confusing. Sami thinks this is a joke. Shane and Bryan work out territory of the ring, Shane will take the half with Orton’s & Nakamura’s corner, Bryan will take Kevin & Sami.
The match continues, Sami swings on Orton but gets rocked, Kevin gives Orton a SUPERKICK! That’s Shane’s side, TWO! Kevin argues with Shane, then stomps away on Orton. Sami tags in, they mug Orton in their corner but Bryan makes sure they cool off. Kevin gets a cheap shot, Bryan is right on it. Orton gets to Shane’s side of the ring, Sami grinds an elbow into Ortno. Shane backs Sami off, Sami chops Orton. “You wanna try and take my job?!” Sami says as he chops more. Orton fires back with a EuroUpper! Tag to Kevin, Kevin grabs Orton and brings him back, then clubs him down. Kevin backs Orton down to his corner, stomps away, Sami trash talks while Bryan counts. Kevin argues with Bryan about Shane’s count before giving Orton a knee. Sami tags in again, Sami stomps on Orton before locking him in a chinlock. Orton has an arm locked behind him, Kevin starts up the “YEP! YEP!” chants. Sami keeps Orton from getting away, but Orton reverses the suplex to hang Sami out to dry on the top rope. Both men down, the referees check on each of them. Bryan begins a count, Sami tags Kevin, Kevin intercepts Orton and knocks Nakamura down. Shane reprimands him, Kevin drags Orton out for the back senton! Shane counts, TWO! Kevin gets upset, he wanted Bryan to count, but it wasn’t Bryan’s side. The chinlock returns, fans rally, Orton gets up and fights out. Orton backs Kevin down with right hands, Kevin kicks back and has Orton on his side again. Tag to Sami, Sami chokes Orton on the ropes. Both refs have Sami back off, Sami returns to the chinlock. Sami talks trash even as Orton reaches, but Sami denies the tag, only to take a back suplex! Both men down, crawling for their corners, hot tags to Kevin and Nakamura! Nakamura rallies, Dynamic Dropkick!
Nakamura unloads kicks on Kevin’s chest, enziguri! Kevin takes knees from Nakamura, Nakamura gives Sami a forearm. Corner to corner knee smash, then more knees, Nakamuar sits Kevin down for Good Vibrations! Kevin is set on the top rope, Top Shelf Knee! Cover, Shane counts, TWO! Nakamuar drags Kevin up, Kevin slips out, swings and misses, Nakamura swings and hits on the second! Shane counts, TWO! Nakamura brings Kevin up again, Kevin resists the inverted exploder. Kevin elbows Nakamura into his corner, Sami comes up but Nakamura knocks him down, Kevin runs into a boot. Nakamura hops up, Kevin goes at him, tornado takedown into the triangle hold!
Shane and Bryan both check on this, they move around while Kevin props himself up, it’s a cover on Nakamura! Bryan goes over the line to count it, TWO! Shane and Bryan argue over what was happening, Nakamura runs into a SUPERKICK from Kevin! Shane counts, TWO! Both men down, they crawl for their corners, tag to Sami. Sami knocks Orton down, then takes aim, corner to corner for the- Nakamura boots Sami, runs out, but gets caught in the Blue Thunder Bomb!
Bryan counts, TWO! Sami is frustrated, Shane is relieved. Sami tags Kevin, they both go after Nakamura, Shane reprimands while they double whip. Drop toehold to back senton, Orton breaks the cover. Orton rains hands, Shane and Bryan reprimand him, Sami tackles Orton to rain down hands. Shane backs Sami off, Sami throws Orton out. Bryan keeps peace, fans start dueling again. Kevin goes for another back senton but meets Nakamura’s knees! They crawl, hot tags to Orton and Sami, Orton is the one to rally. Sami swings, misses, fakes out the powerslam but then gets caught into an exploder from Orton! Orton finds Sami on the apron, drags him up, Sami hotshots Orton away. Sami flounders his way to the top rope, Orton trips him up! Bryan reprimands Orton for a moment, but Orton doesn’t care, he climbs up. Sami resists but Orton still hits the SUPERPLEX!
Kevin drags Orton out and puts him into steel steps! Nakamura goes after Kevin with a strike fest! Nakamura throws Kevin into a barrier and keeps going, Sami clobbers Nakamura down. Both Shane and Bryan try to bring this match back in order, Nakamura won’t stop going after Kevin but Sami makes him pay for it with a bump off the announce desk. Kevin & Sami clear off that table, and then mug Nakamura. The referees both try to stop this, Shane accidentally pokes Bryan in the eyes? Sami drags Nakamura up onto one table, Kevin takes aim from the other, running splash!
Kevin and Nakamura crash through the table!! The fans are losing their minds! Shane checks on the two men, Sami asks him and Bryan “What’re you gonna do? DQ us?” Sami in the ring, powerslam from Orton! Orton stalks Sami to the apron, pulls him through the ropes, and with the fans in a fever pitch, draping DDT!
Orton hears those voices in his head now! Shane is fired up for The Viper as he watches Sami staggering to his feet, RKO!
Orton covers, Shane counts, Kevin barrels into Bryan to fall onto Shane?! Shane gets furious with Bryan, that was going to be the finish! The referees argue as Orton glares down Bryan, Kevin comes in, RKO for Kevin! Orton wants Bryan to “pay attention”, Sami surprises Orton and Bryan counts, but then Orton rolls onto Sami and Shane counts, then back again, then back again, TWO! Orton rushes Sami, Sami rolls, Shane counts but STOPS!?
Everyone realizes Shane just screwed Sami out of a win. The referees argue again, fans are on Bryan’s side with this one. Orton gets up, RKO denied, roll up, Bryan with a fast count!! Shane tries to hit Bryan but misses, Sami & Kevin WIN!! They keep their jobs!
Orton and Nakamura are furious, Shane is beside himself as well. Commentary argues over who did what first, what will be the fallout of this screwed-over screwjob?
WWE Championship: AJ Styles VS Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers!
The Modern Day Maharaja became the 50th WWE Champion ever, and immediately deemed himself the greatest champion ever. However, he did anything and everything he could to stay champion against the likes of Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura. The Phenomenal One found a way around those underhanded tactics and became the new WWE Champion in Manchester, England, and now Mahal wants his title back. Can Styles defy the number game again to stay THE Champion?
Fans already chant for Styles before the bell. The bell rings, The Singh Brothers give some last advice before Mahal circles with Styles. The two tie up, Mahal powers Styles to a corner, then backs off. Styles comes back at him, Mahal still powers Styles back. Mahal honors the break and dares Styles to try again. They circle again, Styles gets a waistlock but Mahal elbows out hard. Mahal dares Styles to get up, fans boo and jeer. Styles stands up, checks his nose, Mahal flexes his muscles. Fans duel, more for Styles than for Mahal, the two men tie up but Mahal kicks, which Styles blocks. Styles picks apart Mahal’s leg, Mahal gets out of the ring, Styles pursues and kicks out that leg! The ref counts as Styles slams Mahal’s leg into barriers, then brings Mahal up and in. Styles makes sure the Singh Brothers stay back before getting in the ring, single-leg takedown and Styles stomps away on Mahal’s leg. Mahal endures a knee-wrench while he scrambles to ropes, he gets the ropebreak and the referee has Styles let go. The SIngh Brothers protest, Styles goes back at Mahal’s leg, Mahal shoves Styles away to then give a sharp throat chop! Styles gasps, but gets running, Mahal catches him to then toss him to the ropes!
Styles snaps off the rope and tumbles to the floor! Mahal rests as a ring count begins, but fetches Styles as Champion’s Advantage won’t let him win the title this way. Mahal brings Styles back up but Styles kicks at that back leg. Styles gets to the timekeeper’s area, Mahal grabs him by his hair, Styles ends up pulling off a barrier pad in the process. Mahal throws Styles into other barriers, then refreshes the count. Things return inside the ring, fans chant “Jinder Sucks!” Mahal spots something, then drags Styles out. He throws Styles into the exposed barrier!
Styles crashes and burns into the timekeeper’s area, the referee tries to regain order but Mahal refreshes the count before going over to Styles. Mahal sees Styles crawling out, so he brings him up and into the ring. Mahal grins as he stalks Styles, then drives in a knee to Styles’ back. A springboard knee drop and more stomps keep Styles grounded and gasping for air, Mahal kicks Styles right out of the ring. The Singh Brothers stay back, the referee fails to keep Mahal from going out again and slamming Styles on the announce desk!
Mahal refreshes the count again before further stalking Styles. Back into the ring again, Mahal kicks Styles while he’s down. The former champion stretches the current, clubs him with a crossface punch and then stretches him again. Fans chant “U S A!” at Mahal, Mahal stomps and snapmares Styles before putting on a bodyscissors. Styles endures the powerful squeeze, fans rally and cheer for him, Styles has to keep his shoulders up so it isn’t also a cover. Mahal keeps squeezing, Styles fights his way out and gets to a corner. Styles fights back with kicks and haymakers, he backs Mahal down with each shot. Corner to corner whip reversed, Styles goes into the buckles to batter his ribs again. Mahal brings Styles up to elbow him down, then brings him around for a kneeling abdominal stretch. Fans rally, Styles gets up and fights back, Mahal grabs Styles’ hair to put him in a corner. Mahal rams his shoulder into Styles once, then twice, then hops up to the second rope. The Singhs cheer Mahal on as he hits the flying ax handle but fans boo and jeer. Mahal grins as he aims at Styles from the second rope again. Mahal jumps, into Styles’ dropkick! Styles is down while Mahal rolls out of the ring, Styles crawls over to that side. The Singh Brothers distract Styles, he swipes at them, then slingshots over but Mahal moves. Mahal tries to trip Styles up, Styles lands on his feet and ducks the swing to then mule kick Mahal in the stomach. Styles rocks Mahal with a haymaker before putting him back in the ring, then rocks Mahal again as Mahal tries to intercept. Styles jumps up but Mahal trips him up so that Styles ends up hung up on the ropes again. The Singh Brothers cheer Mahal on, Mahal drags Styles up, fireman’s carry into the gutbuster drop!
Cover, TWO, Mahal and The Singh Brothers are upset that didn’t finish it. Mahal stalks Styles to a corner and keeps up the attack. Styles is set on the top rope and rocked with a right hand, then another. Mahal climbs up now, taking his time bringing Styles up. Styles resists, slips out, Mahal catches him by the jaw! Styles still spins around, Electric Chair drop!
Both men down, the ref begins a count, fans begin a rally. Mahal and Styles stir, stand up, Styles blocks and counters, but then Mahal rams in a knee. Styles comes back, Phenomenal Blitz! Sliding forearm! Both men are down again, Mahal gets himself to a corner. Styles gets to the opposite corner, runs in, big splash, then the fireman’s carry. The bad ribs limit Styles and Mahal gets down, Styles lets him run past and uses momentum for the Ushigoroshi!
Cover, TWO! The Singh Brothers are relieved, and Styles is too sore to show frustration. The champion gets up and has his challenger in position for the Clash, but Mahal powers him back into a corner. Mahal rams shoulders into the bad ribs, backs off but gets boots, Styles runs but is tossed! Cover, TWO! Now The Singh Brothers are furious, as is Mahal. Mahal drags Styles up, suplex escaped, spin around, Northern Lights! TWO! Both men down once again, the referee checks on both of them. Styles stands up, Mahal grins as he sees the damage done in effect. Styles runs, but Mahal blocks the forearm with boots from the ground. Mahal glares now, fisherman lift into Shell Shock!
TWO! The Singhs are at a loss for how Styles is still in this match, but Mahal is not upset at all. He grins as he calls for his finish, grabs Styles but Styles breaks free, ducks under, PELE! Styles drags Mahal up now, but Mahal powers him back again with heavy shoulders. Styles gets a knee in, Tornado DDT denied with power, running kick! Cover, TWO! Now Mahal feels the frustration, fed up with Styles’ resiliency. The Maharaja grabs Styles again, and brings him to a corner. He lifts Styles up in that cobra clutch, Styles breaks out for another PELE! Styles yanks Mahal right off the corner and Mahal crashes to the ground. Styles gets to the apron, takes aim, springboard 450!
It connects! But Styles’ ribs keep him from making a cover, and the Singh Brothers work to save Mahal! So Styles slingshots onto them! Even with bad ribs, Styles gives Samir a Styles Clash!
The Singh Brothers are taken care of, Styles returns and hotshots Mahal. The fans fire up, springboard for the Phenomenal- no, Mahal gets under Styles’ jump and then gives him a knee to the back of the head! Cobra clutch into the Khalas!
Mahal drags Styles to the center, covers, TWO!? Somehow Styles survives?! Mahal is at a loss, but the fans cheer for Styles. Mahal drags Styles up again, he wants to steal the Clash! Styles counters, rolls, Calf Crusher!!
The bad leg suffers the submission, fans are thunderous as Mahal flails and reaches. Styles wrenches as hard as he can, Mahal keeps trying, Styles rolls him away! They’re in the center now, Mahal taps, Styles wins! Styles remains the WWE Champion! Mahal’s game plan failed, Styles proved he is Phenomenal! With the Modern Day Maharaja defeated, ho will be next to step up to the Phenomenal WWE Champion?
The concept of “Clash of Champions” may be obsolete since almost every PPV has every champion defend their title anyway, but the execution of it tonight was spot-on. Every match was excellently done from the first to the last, and in the end went the way that was best for SmackDown in the coming weeks. Mojo wins because his Heel Turn needs to remain strong, Bludgeon Brothers win because they’re just too strong for Breezango, and both of those feuds can continue on the way to the Royal Rumble. Ziggler wins the great triple threat and becomes the new United States Champion not just because it was a big surprise to the fans, but because WWE wanted to give Ziggler a reason to still stick around. The Usos stay champions after an incredible Fatal 4 Way, all four teams are super talented and the Boston fans love Rusev Day. The SmackDown Tag Team Division can go any which way WWE wants, because pretty much all the teams in it right now are very talented and entertaining.
The Women’s Championship match went exactly as I’d hoped. Natty tries to use the Lumberjacks to her advantage, the Lumberjacks end up fighting each other, Carmella attempts an MITB cash-in only for the Lumberjacks to prevent that, and Charlotte stays champion with her options open for the Royal Rumble. Kevin-Sami win because that was the obviously inevitable outcome, but the way the match wrote the story for it was great. Shane did exactly as we expected, i.e. trying to screw Sami-Kevin over with the stopped count. Likewise, Bryan did as expected in response, i.e. siding with Kevin-Sami by giving them the fast-count win, I can’t wait for SmackDown to see the aftermath. Styles remains champion, as everyone was hoping, and he did it in a great underdog fashion as Mahal looks the most legitimate he has his entire time being around the WWE Championship. Mahal had a plan, Styles toughs it out, and now Styles is also open to face anyone at the Royal Rumble.
My Score: 8.5/10