Just hours before SmackDown LIVE hit the air, WWE announced that a battle royal had been added to the card to determine the No. 1 contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, currently being held by Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Luke Harper of The Wyatt Family. Applying the same “Freebird Rule” that The New Day have utilized to their advantage (en route to breaking the WWE record for longest tag title reign), it’s hard to imagine any tag team from Team Blue being able to step up and take the gold away from the new champs. Competing in the melee will be American Alpha, Heath Slater & Rhyno, The Ascension, Breezango, The Vaudevillains, and The Hype Bros.
James Ellsworth did not get his big opportunity on SmackDown LIVE this week, as his title match was postponed due to Ellsworth presenting signs of sickness. He still holds the contract, however, that guarantees him a shot at AJ Styles and the WWE Championship. Without the support of Dean Ambrose, very few members of the WWE Universe think Ellsworth has any chance against The Phenomenal One, whenever he finally gets his title match.
Finally, according to WWE’s official 205 Live preview, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann faced former champion TJ Perkins in singles action less than a week before their Triple Threat Match at WWE Roadblock for the title.
WWE SmackDown LIVE Results
The following includes the results of all the matches and segments from SmackDown LIVE, 205 Live, and Talking Smack on December 13. SmackDown LIVE hasn’t won the ratings war with Monday Night Raw since the week the blue brand hosted the WWE Draft. With this week’s episode of SmackDown advertised as featuring a WWE Championship Match and a Tag Team Battle Royal, will this be the first time Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan’s show defeats WWE Raw?
Digital: SmackDown Live Pre-Show on YouTube
Booker T — who just recently announced he could be running for mayor of Houston in 2020 — hosted the ten-minute version of the SmackDown Live Pre-Show with co-host Renee Young. The show has been cut from 30 minutes to just ten, and is no longer available on the WWE Network. Booker and Renee talked briefly about James Ellsworth challenging AJ Styles, and then about which tag team might be able to challenge The Wyatt Family, building up the battle royal booked for SmackDown this week. They also announced that a rematch featuring Natalya vs. Carmella was scheduled for SmackDown LIVE.
James Ellsworth was sent home — MizTV sets up new No. 1 Contender Match
In the ring, The Miz and Maryse were set up to host another edition of MizTV, with WWE Champion AJ Styles as their guest. Eventually, they were joined by both Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, and things became very confrontational between them all. Then, out of nowhere, Luke Harper showed up and laid out Dean Ambrose. After a commercial break, Shane and Daniel decided that The Miz, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler and Luke Harper would compete in a Fatal 4-Way Match to determine a new No. 1 contender for a match on December 27, the final SmackDown of the year.
Carmella defeated Natalya
With Nikki Bella at ringside providing guest commentary, Natalya made her case for her innocence once again before the match started. Bella’s presence at ringside would prove to be a distraction, however, eventually helping Carmella get enough of an edge to get a roll-up pinfall over the Queen of Harts.
Gabriel Iglesias talked to Apollo Crews and The Miz
Promoting his appearance at WWE’s Tribute to the Troops, Gabriel Iglesias was hanging out backstage, talking with Apollo Crews. They were interrupted by The Miz and Maryse.
The Hype Bros won the No. 1 Contenders Battle Royal
In a 12-Man Tag Team Battle Royal, it was Zack Ryder who out-lasted eleven others to give The Hype Bros the opportunity to face The Wyatt Family for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Other teams in the match included Breezango, The Ascension, American Alpha, The Vaudevillains and Heath Slater & Rhyno. It looked like Ryder was in a great deal of pain as the battle royal came to an end. On Talking Smack, The Usos would provide an update on Zack’s status.
Alexa Bliss refused to give Deonna Purrazzo a match
Claiming that she didn’t do “charity cases” like Becky Lynch did, Alexa Bliss refused to face her scheduled opponent, Deonna Purrazzo. Attacking the up-and-comer without the match ever officially starting, Lynch came to the ring to challenge Bliss. When the SmackDown Women’s Champion tried to leave the ring, Commissioner Shane McMahon made an appearance and told her she’d defend her title against Becky Lynch immediately.
Alexa Bliss was counted out after a “knee injury”
After hopping off of the ring apron and supposedly landing wrong, Alexa Bliss limped around the ring, looking as though she had twisted her knee. The referee reached a ten-count, giving the victory to Becky Lynch while the gold remains with Bliss.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Dean Ambrose, The Miz and Luke Harper
In a Fatal 4-Way Match to determine the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship on December 27, it was Dolph Ziggler who managed to outlast Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper and The Miz. Of course, WWE Champion AJ Styles was providing guest commentary, and did provide a brief distraction.
Talking Smack on the WWE Network
The first guest to join Daniel Bryan and Renee Young on Talking Smack was AJ Styles. He talked about his upcoming match on December 27 against Dolph Ziggler, and his currently-unscheduled match against James Ellsworth. They were then joined by The Usos, who revealed the reason that they didn’t compete in the battle royal was due to an ankle injury. They also announced that Zack Ryder injured his knee in the battle royal, so the Hype Bros may not be the No. 1 contenders any longer. They were also joined by SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, who continued to play up her injury, even after her integrity was questioned by Daniel and Renee.
The above SmackDown LIVE results have been corroborated by WWE’s official SmackDown LIVE page.
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WWE 205 Live Results
The following includes the results of all the matches WWE 205 Live on December 13. The show aired on the WWE Network immediately following SmackDown LIVE on the USA Network.
Jack Gallagher defeated Drew Gulak
In the opening match, Jack Gallagher got a clean victory over Drew Gulak. Although his on-going feud with Ariya Daivari was mentioned prior to the match, Jack’s current rival didn’t make an appearance during the match.
Lince Dorado vs. Mustafa Ali ended in a double count-out
In a match meant to introduce the WWE Universe to more participants from the Cruiserweight Division, Lince Dorado and Mustafa Ali wrestled to a double count-out. After the match, Dorado tried to shake hands with Ali, who took the opportunity to get in a cheap shot on Lince.
Noam Dar approached Alicia Fox
Last week, Noam Dar dedicated a match to Alicia Fox. This week, he approached her backstage. When she reminded him that Cedric Alexander was her boyfriend, his complete lack of concern seemed to make Foxy smile.
TJ Perkins defeated Rich Swann
In the non-title main event, former Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins forced current champion Rich Swann to tap out. After the match, The Brian Kendrick left his post at guest commentary to confront his Roadblock: End of the Line opponents. However, Perkins managed to take Kendrick out and made sure that Swann knew he could have taken him out as well.
Predicted WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Card
- Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and 28 others TBD — Royal Rumble Match (confirmed)
- Kevin Owens (c) vs. TBD — WWE Universal Championship Match
- AJ Styles (c) vs. TBD — WWE Championship Match
WWE Royal Rumble 2017 will be the next PPV featuring stars from SmackDown LIVE. Aside from Goldberg and Brock Lesnar entering the Royal Rumble Match, very few details have been confirmed for the event. Royal Rumble 2017 will air live on Sunday, January 29, from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. As more information is confirmed, it will be updated at WWE’s official Royal Rumble preview page.
Where To Watch WWE
The WWE Royal Rumble 2017 will air live on the WWE Network on Sunday, January 29, at 8/7c. The Royal Rumble Kickoff Show will begin at 7/6c.
The new show 205 Live, featuring the best of WWE’s Cruiserweight Division, airs weekly on the WWE Network at 10/9c on Tuesday nights. Replays of the show are available to stream immediately.
WWE SmackDown LIVE airs Tuesdays on the USA Network at 8/7c. Replays of WWE SmackDown aren’t made available on the WWE Network until several weeks after the original air date. However, a replay of SmackDown LIVE is available to stream on-demand Wednesdays via Hulu. WWE Talking Smack begins at 10:45/9:45c on the WWE Network, and is immediately made available to stream on-demand.
[Featured Image by WWE]