With the stars of SmackDown LIVE turning their focus towards Royal Rumble 2017 next month, the WWE Universe hoped for answers about some of their favorite competitors, including an update on Zack Ryder’s injury and the culprit behind the attack on Nikki Bella at Survivor Series. On last week’s SmackDown LIVE, The Hype Bros became the No. 1 contenders for the Tag Team Championship, currently held by The Wyatt Family. Meanwhile, the drama surrounding Bella, Carmella and Natalya continued to build.
WWE SmackDown LIVE And 205 Live Preview
As noted on WWE’s official preview for SmackDown, Natalya continues to maintain her innocence when it comes to attacking Nikki Bella at Survivor Series. Without any specifics given by WWE, the issue will get some attention on WWE SmackDown this week. Strangely enough, the preview doesn’t mention a thing about Zack Ryder or the Tag Team Championship.
In what is presumably the main event, Dean Ambrose is scheduled to face Luke Harper, two men that were in the Fatal 4-Way Match on SmackDown last week to determine the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship. No further mention of champion AJ Styles or challenger Dolph Ziggler was made on the preview.
After supposedly hurting her ankle during last week’s SmackDown Women’s Championship Match, Alexa Bliss retained the title by losing via count out. With a WWE Championship Match (Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler) and SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match (The Wyatt Family against a team to be determined) scheduled for the final SmackDown of the year, could they add Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch to the card, making it a show with three major titles on the line?
Then, on 205 Live, Neville and The Brian Kendrick team up to face Rich Swann and TJ Perkins in tag team action, while the love triangle between Noam Dar, Cedric Alexander, and Alicia Fox will be addressed as well.
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 20. 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 beginning with a WWE Championship Match followed by an Intercontinental Championship Match, will this be the first time Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan’s show defeats WWE Raw?
WWE SmackDown LIVE Pre-Show On YouTube
The weekly pre-show for SmackDown LIVE has undergone some big changes recently, reduced from a four-person, half-hour program on the WWE Network to a ten-minute segment on YouTube with Booker T and Renee Young. As the SmackDown LIVE Pre-Show airs live at 6:50 p.m. EST, it will be available to stream on this Inquisitr page through a YouTube video below.
For the most part, Renee and Booker simply reviewed what happened on SmackDown LIVE last week, although they were joined by Breezango for a few minutes. They also announced a couple of matches booked for the show, including AJ Styles vs. James Ellsworth for the WWE Championship and The Miz vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship.
AJ Styles defeated James Ellsworth
The show began with James Ellsworth finally getting his shot at the WWE Championship. The match was very short, however, as Ellsworth went down with one punch and Styles got the three-count. After the match, to the delight of the live audience, Styles beat Ellsworth to the point that he had to be taken out on a stretcher.
As Styles was cutting an in-ring promo, he was interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. Their conversation was interrupted by Baron Corbin. The Lone Wolf said that he felt as though he deserved a title shot and then laid out Dolph Ziggler with the End of Days (once again, to the delight of the live audience). After a commercial break, General Manager Daniel Bryan granted Ziggler’s request for a match against Corbin, but with one stipulation. If Ziggler were to lose to Corbin, then Baron would get the title shot on December 27 against AJ Styles.
The Miz defeated Apollo Crews
After Maryse was ejected from ringside by the referee, The Miz proved that he didn’t need her assistance to get a win. When the ref was unable to see, he gouged Crews in the eye before hitting the Skull-Crushing Finale and picking up the win.
Renee Young went to the ring to get an interview with the Intercontinental Champion, and asked him if his “obsession with Dean Ambrose” cost him his match last week. In response, The Miz said, “You’re the one sleeping with him!” Renee slapped The Miz, left the ring and took off her mic.
Natalya confessed to attacking Nikki Bella at Survivor Series
Natalya called Nikki Bella to the ring so that she could, once again, say she didn’t attack Nikki at Survivor Series. They were soon interrupted by Carmella, and after some prodding, Natalya eventually confessed that she hated The Bella Twins and that she did attack Nikki at Survivor Series. Then she laid Nikki out and chased after Carmella, whom she had called a “snitch.”
Natalya then got back on the mic and talked even more trash about Nikki Bella, go so far as to call her a “b***h” on multiple occasions. She then came out and said that John Cena would never marry her, a real-life issue for Nikki and Jonh as documented on Total Divas and Total Bellas.
Dean Ambrose defeated Luke Harper
The Lunatic Fringe got a clean victory over Luke Harper, but was immediately jumped by Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt after the bell rang. The Wyatt Family delivered a thorough beating before the lights went out and they disappeared.
Moments later, however, The Miz came to the ring and hit Ambrose with the Skull-Crushing Finale.
“La Luchadora” defeated Alexa Bliss
Earlier in the show, the SmackDown Women’s Champion approached Daniel Bryan about her sore leg. He told her, however, that he had spoken with the trainers, who said she was cleared to wrestle. He told her that if she refused to fight tonight, that she would forfeit her title. He also informed her that she would defend the title against Becky Lynch on next week’s “Wild Card Finals” edition of SmackDown LIVE.
Alexa’s opponent this week was a mysterious masked competitor named “La Luchadora” that eventually defeated the Bliss using the Disarmer. After the match, she removed her mask to reveal that she was, in fact, Becky Lynch.
Mojo Rawley defeated Curt Hawkins
With Zack Ryder injured and out of action for a while, Mojo Rawley will be competing in singles action indefinitely. He ran into Ryan Phillippe backstage, who was unsuccessfully looking for Randy Orton, who had been a guest star on his show Shooter recently.
In singles action, Mojo Rawley got a clean victory over Curt Hawkins as Phillippe provided guest commentary.
Carmella defended James Ellsworth
In a backstage interview, Dasha Fuentes was trying to ask a heavily-bandaged James Ellsworth questions about his match with AJ Styles. Out of nowhere, Carmella came to Ellsworth’s defense and assured him that she would take care of him.
Triple Threat WWE Championship Match booked for next week
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin ended in a double count-out, and AJ Styles — who had been providing guest commentary — was quick to take a chair to Baron Corbin’s back after the bell rang. General Manager Daniel Bryan made another executive decision by informing the WWE Champion that he would defend his title against both Ziggler and Corbin in a Triple Threat Match next week for SmackDown LIVE‘s “Wild Card Finals.”
Talking Smack on the WWE Network
Renee Young and Daniel Bryan began Talking Smack by addressing Renee’s issues with The Miz. She acknowledged her relationship with Dean Ambrose and apologized for putting her hands on The Miz, although Daniel Bryan said she really didn’t have anything to apologize for. Santa Claus (who looked suspiciously like Rhyno) joined them for the duration of the show.
Their first guest was Baron Corbin, who will be part of the Triple Threat Match for the “Wild Card Finals” episode of SmackDown next week. They were also joined by Becky Lynch, who was still in her La Luchadora outfit. Natalya stopped by before the show went off the air, to talk about her feud with Nikki Bella and Carmella.
The above SmackDown LIVE results have been corroborated by WWE’s official SmackDown LIVE page.
“Wild Card Finals” episode of SmackDown LIVE on December 27
- AJ Styles (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin — WWE Championship Triple Threat Match
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Becky Lynch — SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
- The Wyatt Family (c) vs. American Alpha vs. The Usos vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno — SmackDown Tag Team Championship Four Corners Elimination Match
- The return of John Cena
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WWE 205 LIVE Results
The following includes the results of all the matches and segments from 205 Live on December 20 on the WWE Network.
Ariya Daivari defeated Lince Dorado
Ariya Daivari got a clean victory over Lince Dorado with a rather anti-climatic ending, but took the mic once the match was over. Regarding his on-going feud with Jack Gallagher, he told the WWE Universe that the so-called “gentleman” was actually a scoundrel.
Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak
After a rather extreme suplex that sent both men outside the ring, Drew Gulak accidentally shoved Cedric Alexander into Alicia Fox, causing her to fall and twist her ankle. Noam Dar was quick to come to ringside and help Alicia Fox to the back, as Gulak dragged Alexander back in the ring. Cedric hit Drew with the Lumbar Jack and got the victory.
Alexander went backstage to find Noam Dar still attending to Alicia Fox in the trainer’s room. Before leaving Alicia and Cedric alone, Noam told Foxy that he would always be there for her if she needed him.
Neville and The Brian Kendrick defeated Rich Swann and TJ Perkins
In his official 205 Live debut, Neville got the win for his tag team after hitting TJ Perkins with the Red Arrow.
Neville made a statement on Monday Night Raw that he was going to “obliterate” the Cruiserweight Division. If Neville’s dominance since his attack on TJ Perkins and Rich Swann at WWE Roadblock is any indication, it looks like things on 205 Live could be in for a big change already.
The above 205 Live results will be corroborated by WWE’s official 205 Live page.
Updated WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Card
- Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and 28 others TBD — Royal Rumble Match
- Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns — WWE Universal Championship Shark Cage Match
- AJ Styles (c) vs. TBD — WWE Championship Match (unconfirmed)
- Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Bayley — Raw Women’s Championship Match (unconfirmed)
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. TBD — SmackDown Women’s Championship Match (unconfirmed)
Only two matches had officially been confirmed for WWE Royal Rumble 2017 before SmackDown LIVE. Royal Rumble will be the next WWE PPV and will feature stars from both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown LIVE. 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 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 Tuesday nights 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]