During the opening segment of the final SmackDown LIVE of the year — dubbed the “Wild Card Finals” — John Cena let everyone know that he is “sick of this New Era BS.” It kicked off an episode that included three title matches, one of which saw the beginning of a new reign. Every title from the blue brand (except the Intercontinental Championship) was on the line — and the Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann faced Neville on 205 Live — so the WWE title scene could be in for some major changes as the WWE Superstars prepare for 2017.
On Tuesday morning, every title on WWE SmackDown was being held by a heel. While AJ Styles certainly has his supporters, he has clearly used several heel tactics to keep the WWE Championship for over three months. For the “Wild Card Finals,” he defended the title one last time in 2016 as part of a Triple Threat Match that also included Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin. We now know that AJ Styles vs. John Cena will take place one more time at Royal Rumble 2017.
The Wyatt Family put the SmackDown Tag Team Championship on the line as well, giving up their championship advantage in a Four Corners Elimination Match. Becky Lynch also challenged Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Finally, on 205 Live on the WWE Network, Neville continued to claim that he’s the “King of the Cruiserweights” as he challenged Rich Swann in a non-title singles match. Also, after slapping Ariya Daivari with a leather glove on Monday Night Raw, Jack Gallagher faced him in a “gentlemen’s duel.”
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 27. 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 boasting three title matches for the “Wild Card Finals,” will this be the first time Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan’s show defeats WWE Raw?
John Cena cut an in-ring promo and teased a heel turn
SmackDown LIVE started out with John Cena cutting an in-ring promo. After hyping the Chicago crowd about the main event, John Cena talked about his future and about the heat he’s been getting for being “part-time” as of late. He said that he’s “sick of this New Era BS” and will be challenging whoever wins the main event to a title match at Royal Rumble 2017.
Anticipating the response from the anti-Cena crowd, the 15-time former world champion had a comeback ready for anyone who thinks he can’t challenge for the title on his first day back.
I know what you’re thinking: “I can’t do that.” I just did. Why? Because I’m John Cena. You better recognize.
American Alpha won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The final two teams in this Four Corners Elimination Match were American Alpha and The Wyatt Family (as represented by Luke Harper and Randy Orton). Jason Jordan and Chad Gable earned their first tag titles since moving up from NXT after a miscommunication between Orton and Harper.
Carmella defended James Ellsworth again
Dasha Fuentes interviewed James Ellsworth backstage, asking him about whether or not internet trolls got him down. The interview was cut short by Carmella, who took Ellsworth by the arm after saying she found him attractive.
Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch
Since it turned out to be Becky Lynch under the La Luchadora mask last week, it was a surprise to see La Luchadora make another appearance during this SmackDown Women’s Championship Match. She interfered on behalf of the champion, however, and Alexa Bliss walked away with the title. After the match, she claimed to have no idea who was under the mask, suggesting that it was probably Sasha Banks or Nia Jax from Monday Night Raw.
Dean Ambrose attacked The Miz
After Renee Young slapped The Miz last week, he refused to be interviewed by anyone else. When she finally came to interview The Miz, Dean Ambrose came in dressed like the rest of the security team and attacked the Intercontinental Champion. Before the show was over, it was announced that The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose was booked for next week’s SmackDown LIVE, with the title on the line.
AJ Styles defeated Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin
In the Triple Threat Match main event, the WWE Champion AJ Styles successfully defended his title against Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin. Since Corbin didn’t take the fall, fans can expect the Lone Wolf to blame The Showoff for losing the match and beginning a feud with Ziggler leading up to WWE Royal Rumble 2017.
After the match, John Cena rushed to the ring to remind Styles that he was challenging for the title at Royal Rumble. If Cena was going to go full heel, he had every opportunity to take a cheap shot at Styles in this final segment. His actions were completely neutral, however, so if his promo that opened the show was meant to be the beginning of a heel turn, it was a very subtle beginning.
Talking Smack on the WWE Network
Without giving any real explanation for Daniel Bryan’s absence, JBL joined Renee Young as co-host for Talking Smack. Their first guest was John Cena, who talked about his comeback on SmackDown LIVE and his upcoming match with AJ Styles at Royal Rumble 2017. They were briefly interrupted by Styles, who claimed that Cena was trying to “punk him out” when he offered to shake his hand at the end of SmackDown.
They were also joined by new SmackDown Tag Team Champions American Alpha. Bradshaw had only great things to say about Chad Gable and Jason Jordan, aside from their “Ready, Willing and Gable” slogan. After Renee and JBL talked briefly about who might have been under the La Luchadora mask, Dean Ambrose joined the conversation, discussing his match against The Miz on next week’s SmackDown.
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 and segments from 205 Live from December 27. After the events of Monday Night Raw, two matches were announced ahead of time, including Rich Swann vs. Neville and Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari. As the Cruiserweight Division competed in front of the remaining audience from SmackDown LIVE in Chicago, the matches were called by Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and Austin Aries.
Tony Nese defeated Cedric Alexander
As the drama continues to build between Cedric Alexander, Alicia Fox and Noam Dar, Alexander faced Tony Nese, accompanied by Drew Gulak. Last week, when Gulak lost to Alexander, he claimed it was because of the ringside drama involving Alicia Fox. Gulak eventually got Fox ejected from ringside, and Nese took advantage of a distracted Alexander to get the win.
Backstage, Alicia Fox ran into Noam Dar, who had mistletoe left over from Christmas and tried to get Foxy to kiss him. Instead, she slapped him — twice — and he seemed to enjoy it.
Mustafa Ali defeated John Yurnet
As a Chicago native, Ali received a warm welcome from the WWE Universe at the Allstate Arena. He got a clean win over John Yurnet, whom Corey Graves noted had been competing previously at Full Sail University.
The “Gentlemen’s Duel” ended in a brawl
The showdown between Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari wasn’t a traditional match, but an event that Gallagher called a “Gentlemen’s Duel.” After Daivari chose a lead pipe and Gallagher chose an umbrella to use for weapons, Daivari ignored the rest of the rules. Gallagher would get the upper hand by the end of the encounter, but the feud appears to be far from over.
Neville defeated Rich Swann
In the main event, the self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” defeated the current Cruiserweight Champion. After the match, Neville continued to beat Rich Swann before screaming to no one in particular, “bring me my crown!”
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
- AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena — WWE Championship Match
- Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns — WWE Universal Championship Shark Cage Match
- Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Bayley — Raw Women’s Championship Match (unconfirmed)
Only two matches had officially been confirmed for WWE Royal Rumble 2017 prior to 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 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]