New Year’s Eve will not just mark the end of the year — in the WWE Universe, it also marks the end of WWE SmackDown airing on SyFy. Beginning January 7, Thursday Night SmackDown will be on the USA Network, along with WWE’s flagship program, Monday Night Raw. Just last Tuesday, WWE aired a special SuperSmackDown Live on USA instead of the regular Thursday night slot on SyFy. With heavy promotion and rumors that the show will be revamped, the WWE Universe is anticipating the move. As WWE builds towards Royal Rumble 2016 and the “Road to WrestleMania,” the extra attention given to SmackDown couldn’t have come at a better time.
NOTE: The following contains spoilers for the December 31, 2015 episode of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown, which was taped on December 29 in Washington, DC. It is proceeded by an updated card for WWE Royal Rumble 2016, which airs January 17.
WWE Thursday Night SmackDown spoilers — 12/31/2015
- At the show’s opening, it is announced that the main event will feature WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose in a tag team match against former champions Sheamus and Kevin Owens.
- According to a report from Wrestling Inc., WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day cut a promo about New Year’s Eve (since that’s when the show will air). This brings out the Dudley Boyz and Kalisto, setting up a six-man tag team match.
- The Dudley Boyz and Kalisto defeated The New Day (pinfall).
- Tyler Breeze defeated Goldust (pinfall).
- After the match, Tyler Breeze and Summer Rae cut a promo, announcing that they are breaking up so that they can have a refreshing start to the New Year.
- The Wyatt Family (Braun Strowman and Luke Harper) defeated The Usos (submission).
- Team Bella (Brie Bella and Alicia Fox) defeated Team B.A.D. (Naomi and Tamina Snuka) (pinfall).
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Bo Dallas (pinfall).
- Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose defeated Sheamus and Kevin Owens (disqualification). Both teams continued to fight after the match. Roman Reigns knocked out Kevin Owens with a Superman punch to end the show.
Updated card for WWE Royal Rumble — 1/17/2016 (confirmed and assumed matches)
- Royal Rumble Match — The Big Show is the only confirmed entrant at this point, according to WWE’s official Royal Rumble preview page. 29 other men will join him. It is assumed that the others involved in the MizTV segment from WWE Raw (The Miz, Heath Slater, Ryback, Goldust, R-Truth and Zack Ryder) will also join him. With recent rumors of a John Cena vs. Roman Reigns main event at WrestleMania, Cena is expected to join the Rumble Match. Many have also speculated at the possible surprise returns of Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match — Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Match — Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens
- WWE United States Championship Match — Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena
- WWE Tag Team Championship Match — The New Day vs. The Lucha Dragons
- WWE Divas Championship Match — Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch
This week’s episode of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown airs on December 31 on the SyFy Network at 8 PM EST. Replays of WWE SmackDown can be streamed on-demand via Hulu Plus the following day. This year’s Royal Rumble will air on the WWE Network on January 17. The pre-show is scheduled to start at 7 PM EST.
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