As John Cena and AJ Styles signed the contract for the WWE Championship Match at Royal Rumble 2017, the WWE Universe eagerly waited for other superstars from SmackDown LIVE to announce that they were entering the Royal Rumble Match. Prior to this week’s SmackDown, just seven men had officially entered the 30-man battle royal — including Brock Lesnar and Goldberg — but all seven men were from the Monday Night Raw roster. Only one of the 23 remaining spots was filled by a member of the blue brand’s roster on the first WWE SmackDown LIVE of 2017.
While it isn’t expected than any females will be a part of this year’s Royal Rumble Match, there’s plenty of questions left to be answered within the SmackDown Women’s Division. Nikki Bella has unfinished business with Natalya, while Carmella continues to keep James Ellsworth at her side. Finally, Becky Lynch continues to deal with issues related to La Luchadora, who helped Alexa Bliss retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship last week.
Also, on 205 Live, available on the WWE Network immediately following SmackDown LIVE, Neville continued his crusade to be recognized as the King of the Cruiserweights in a match against TJ Perkins. Meanwhile, as noted by WWE’s official 205 Live page, Tajiri made his 205 Live debut.
WWE SmackDown LIVE Results
The following includes the results of all the matches and segments from SmackDown LIVE, 205 Live, and Talking Smack on January 3. SmackDown LIVE finally defeated Monday Night Raw in the ratings during the last week of 2016. With a contract signing featuring John Cena and Dean Ambrose in a main event title match against The Miz, could Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan’s show defeat WWE Raw two weeks in a row?
The Miz called out Renee Young
In the opening segment of this week’s SmackDown LIVE, The Miz told everyone that his New Year’s resolution was to be more forgiving. He used that as a segue to bring up Renee Young, who the IC Champ claimed owed him an apology. Instead, Dean Ambrose came out. When The Miz left Maryse alone in the ring, she ended up slapping the Lunatic Fringe. No new information was provided during this segment, just some additional hype for their title match.
Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler
In the opening match, Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler after a well-fought match. Afterwards, Corbin grabbed a chair from ringside, intending on beating The Showoff with it. Kalisto stopped him, however, and The Lone Wolf left the ring before doing too much damage.
Dolph Ziggler didn’t appreciate the assistance from the luchadore, however, and hit him with a superkick. He yelled that he didn’t need Kalisto’s help, in what was appears to be a return to the heel Ziggler of old. About half of the fans in attendance seemed really happy that Dolph turned heel.
Becky Lynch defeated La Luchadora
After a few minutes of action against the former SmackDown Women’s Champion, La Lunchadora crawled under the ring, and another La Luchadora crawled out the other side. Becky Lynch pinned the second La Luchadora, who turned out to be Alexa Bliss. While the second La Luchadora wasn’t unmasked, the smart money is on Naomi.
John Cena and AJ Styles signed their contract — Baron Corbin interrupted
After John Cena and AJ Styles both cut some serious promos for their WWE Championship Match at Royal Rumble 2017, Baron Corbin made his second appearance of the night to let them both know that he was planning on winning the Royal Rumble Match and taking the title from whichever of them had it at WrestleMania 33. Just as Cena was preparing to get in a fight with Corbin, Styles laid the leader of the Cenation out with a kick to the back of the head, and any further ruckus was avoided.
Carmella defeated Aliyah
With SmackDown LIVE airing from Jacksonville, it’s no surprise that at least one NXT talent got to make an appearance. Carmella took on NXT’s Aliyah while James Ellsworth was in her corner. He actually got involved in the match physically, grabbing Aliyah by the ankle, giving Carmella a slight boost to help her get the win.
American Alpha defeated Breezango
In a match that lasted less than a minute, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan defeated Fandango and Tyler Breeze in short fashion. Immediately following, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and Luke Harper sent a message letting them know that their rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship would go down next week.
Nikki Bella confronted Natalya
Nikki Bella called Natalya to the ring after the Queen of Harts recently attacked the star of Total Bellas at Survivor Series. Shortly after Natalya said that John Cena would leave Nikki when her beauty fades and that she would die alone, Nattie was laid out with one punch from Nikki.
A singles match between the two was booked for next week’s SmackDown LIVE, along with the Tag Team Championship Match. John Cena vs. Baron Corbin is on the card as well.
Dean Ambrose defeated The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz almost left SmackDown LIVE with the title, after Maryse slapped Dean Ambrose and the referee nearly disqualified the champion. At Dean’s request, however, the ref simply sent Maryse to the locker room and allowed the match to continue. Despite getting hit with the Skull-Crushing Finale and getting hit in the back of the head with the IC Title, The Lunatic Fringe ended up getting the win and taking the Intercontinental Championship from The Miz in the main event of SmackDown.
Talking Smack on the WWE Network
General Manager Daniel Bryan returned to Talking Smack this week alongside Renee Young. At the show started, they discussed the fact that the blue brand finally defeated Raw in the ratings, and they also talked about the fact that Maryse was getting fined for slapping Renee Young, a “non-in-ring talent.” Their first guest was Baron Corbin, who frequently shows up on Talking Smack to make sure things remain tense between him and Daniel Bryan.
Obviously, Corbin was there to talk about the fact that he was entering the Royal Rumble Match. He also talked about arguably the biggest match of his career so far, his one-on-one contest with John Cena on SmackDown next week. After he left, Daniel Bryan discussed the legitimate frustration that many WWE Superstars have when so-called “part-timers” return and take major PPV spots that guys like Dean Ambrose could definitely argue he deserves.
Their next guests were Carmella and James Ellsworth. James tried to issue a public apology to Aliyah for interfering in the match, but Carmella quickly told him that he didn’t need to apologize. When Daniel and Renee questioned them about their relationship, neither of them gave very direct answers. The final guest on the show was The Miz, who blamed both Renee and Daniel for the end of his Intercontinental Championship reign before claiming that 2017 would be his year.
The above SmackDown LIVE results have been corroborated by WWE’s official SmackDown LIVE page.
Scheduled for WWE SmackDown LIVE on January 10:
- John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
- Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
- American Alpha vs. The Wyatt Family — SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
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WWE 205 Live Results
The following will include the results of all the matches and segments from 205 Live on January 3. With the WWE Universe in Jacksonville already primed from a big win for Dean Ambrose, the WWE 205 Live competitors will try to build on that for the most recent episode of their own show.
Injury update: Rich Swann
Before the opening match, the commentary team of Austin Aries, Corey Graves and Mauro Ranallo let the WWE Universe know that Rich Swann was not medically cleared to wrestle after multiple attacks from Neville. However, his friend TJ Perkins would be facing off against Neville in the main event.
Tajiri defeated Sean Maluta
Seen very little since being eliminated from the first round of the Cruiserweight Classic Tournament, Sean Maluta was brought into this match without an official introduction for Tajiri’s debut as part of the 205 Live roster and WWE’s new Cruiserweight Division. Tajiri’s win was rather decisive, and it will be interesting to see how WWE utilizes the Japanese Buzzsaw in their new division.
After the match, The Brian Kendrick came to the ring to welcome Tajiri to 205 Live, and even reminded everyone that they used to compete together on SmackDown many years ago. But as Tajiri shook Kendrick’s hand, he also hit him with a burst of his patented green mist.
Jack Gallagher defeated Tony Nese by disqualification
In the middle of Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese, Ariya Daivari interrupted the match to attack his opponent from last week’s Gentlemen’s Duel. Still upset over being embarrassed by Gallagher, it doesn’t look like Daivari will giving up on the feud anytime soon.
Mustafa Ali defeated Noam Dar
With an incredibly impressive Inverted 450 Splash from the top rope, Mustafa Ali improved his 205 Live record to 2-0 with a victory over Noam Dar.
After the match, Charly Caruso interviewed Noam Dar inside the ring. Previously on 205 Live, Alicia Fox agreed with Cedric Alexander that she needed to be more careful when she accompanies him to the ring. Dar used his post-match interview to invite Foxy to be in his corner any time she feels like it if Cedric “isn’t man enough” for her.
Neville defeated TJ Perkins
Having already defeated the current Cruiserweight Champion in singles competition last week, Neville won a competitive match against the first-ever champion TJ Perkins with a top-rope Superplex. He continues to live up to his self-described moniker of King of the Cruiserweights.
The above 205 Live results have been corroborated by WWE’s official 205 Live page.
Updated WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Card
- AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena — WWE Championship Match (confirmed)
- Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, The New Day, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin and 22 others TBD — Royal Rumble Match (confirmed)
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. TBD — SmackDown Women’s Championship Match (unconfirmed)
- Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns — WWE Universal Championship Shark Cage Match (confirmed)
- Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Bayley — Raw Women’s Championship Match (confirmed)
As of Tuesday afternoon, only one SmackDown-exclusive match had been confirmed for WWE Royal Rumble 2017. Aside from AJ Styles vs. John Cena, no one from the blue brand had been confirmed as appearing at the January PPV. The Royal Rumble will feature stars from both WWE 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 January 29, Sunday, 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]