Date: December 17, 2017
Location: TD Garden in Boston, MA
Show Recap --
Mojo Rawley defeated Zack Ryder (Kickoff Match)
Rawley won with a running forearm in the corner. He taunted Ryder throughout the match, questioning his killer instinct. This led to Ryder’s comeback which included two Broski boots, but Rawley got his foot on the rope on the cover. Rawley followed with a chop block and his finish for the win.
David Otunga was included on the pre-show panel along with Renee Young and Sam Roberts, if you were wondering.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode to become U.S. Champion (12:03)
Roode’s entrance received a good reaction and Ziggler got pretty good heat for his entrance with no music or video. Corey Graves said Ziggler had a list of accomplishments longer than Byron Saxton’s letter to Santa.
Corbin had control on both guys for a bit before Roode made a comeback and hit a blockbuster for two. Ziggler attacked Roode and caught him with a Fameasser but Corbin broke it up. Corbin then ripped off his shirt for some reason.
Roode gave Ziggler a uranage, then Corbin gave Roode a Deep Six for a nearfall. They followed with a tower of doom spot where Corbin powerbombed both guys (Roode catching the worst of it). Ziggler dodged Corbin who ran into the post and tried a superkick on Roode, but Roode ducked and hit a spinebuster.
Ziggler countered a Glorious DDT and hit a jumping DDT of his own for a nearfall. Roode sent Corbin back out of the ring, countered a superkick and hit a Glorious DDT on Ziggler, but Corbin pulled Roode out of the ring.
Corbin pushed Roode back in the ring and went for End of Days, but Ziggler caught them from behind and gave Corbin a Zig Zag for the win (pining Corbin). Ziggler is the new champ. Pretty good match.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan told a production guy to find him a new referee’s shirt because his was too big, like it was made for Earthquake. Shane McMahon jumped in and said his fits just fine (it’s the jersey he always wears).
Shane wanted to know what was up with Bryan. Bryan said Shane can be a bit of a hothead and just wanted to protect the match. Shane wanted to know what his plan was, logistically, and Bryan said they would both be in the ring. Bryan said they could talk about it more in private.
Dasha Fuentes tried to interview Corbin and said he’s developing a reputation for squandering opportunities. Corbin tossed a trash can in anger and said Ziggler was going to pay because he stole the title. (But not as bad as the Patriots stealing a win from the Steelers.)
Fatal 4-Way: The Usos defeated Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable, Rusev & Aiden English and Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) to retain the Tag Team Titles (12:53)
English introduced Rusev which lead to loud “Rusev Day” chants. English sang the entire Twelve Days of Rusev song... and here it is:
On the twelfth day of Rusev, my partner gave to me, Twelve months of Rusev, eleven Russian medals, ten Lanas leaping, nine-second winning, eight Aiden songs, seven boards a’ breaking, six Machka kicks, five Plovdiv kicks, four of the lads, three hindered Jinders, two Rusev shirts, and a tag team victory.
The Usos sang a song in response, which was lame enough it almost turned them back heel.
Four guys could be in the ring at once. Of course, because it’s WWE, after some high spots, this lead to a moment where English had an Uso in a rest hold and Gable head Kingston in a rest hold right next to him.
The Usos retained the titles. It didn’t get off to a great start but this was a fun match. Rusev & English were the most popular team and got a bunch of nearfalls.
Rusev had Big E in the Accolade for a while, but Gable grabbed him and nailed a German. Gable then gave both English and Big E the O’Connor roll German suplexes, which both looked incredible. The Usos then nailed Gable with a superkick and diving splash for the win.
Lumberjack Match: Charlotte Flair defeated Natalya to retain the Women’s Championship (10:32)
The lumberjacks were Naomi, Carmella, Tamina, Lana, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. After a couple straight weeks of the women not getting entrances on Smackdown, everyone got an entrance here.
Less than a minute into the match, Charlotte sent Natalya to the outside and Naomi, a babyface, kicked her a couple times before tossing her back in the ring. Natalya then tossed Charlotte outside and she was attacked by Tamina, Lana and Charlotte. Later in the match, all six heel women attacked Charlotte outside the ring. This happened several times. Naomi remained on the other side of the ring (off-camera).
When Natalya was sent outside, Carmella simply shoved her back in the ring. This led to Charlotte’s comeback. She tried a Figure Eight but Natalya kicked her outside the ring and Charlotte managed to dive onto Ruby. This led to a brawl with everyone, which was ended when Naomi hit a springboard dive on everyone.
The heels got one more cheapshot on Charlotte and that led to Sharpshooter by Natalya. Charlotte managed a rope break but the heels yanked her out and this led to another brawl. Carmella grabbed her briefcase and it seemed like she would cash in, but she was attacked by Ruby. As everyone continued to brawl, Charlotte nailed a moonsault onto the pile.
Natalya attacked her and went for the Sharpshooter again, but Charlotte countered into a Figure Eight for the submission win. This sucked. The only positive here was Charlotte overcoming everything to still retain the title. Everyone else came out of this looking weaker.
Kayla Braxton asked Natalya what went wrong. Natalya said Charlotte used her family’s name to cut corners (how?). Natalya yelled at the crowd and said she’s given the fans some of the best women’s matches they’ve ever seen. She’s carried the division but the fans don’t respect her. She said everyone turned their backs on her and now she was turning her back and them. She left the ring and cried her way up the ramp.
Fuentes wanted to interview Jinder Mahal but got the Singh brothers instead. They said Mahal was too busy meditating. I’m sure. They laughed at the idea of Styles beating Mahal and claimed they humiliated him on Smackdown. The Singhs said Mahal doesn’t even need them tonight. Fuentes asked if this meant they wouldn’t be at ringside, but they didn’t answer.
Talking Smack is back tonight, hosted by Renee Young and Sam Roberts. Charlotte and the Usos will be the guests.
Bludgeon Brothers defeated Breezango (1:57)
Harper and Rowan won in a squash. Breezango did get a couple of shots in, but it wasn’t much. Harper and Rowan destroyed Breeze on the outside and gave Fandango an assisted sitting powerbomb and double crucifix bomb for the win.
Bludgeon Brothers post-match promo: “The future holds more bludgeoning. More pain. More fear. The end of the beginning. The beginning of the end. Harper. Rowan. Bludgeon Brothers.”
Brock Lesnar was advertised for Raw tomorrow.
Fuentes interviewed Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Owens and Zayn said they know why Bryan made himself the second referee, because he’s the only reasonable person on Smackdown. Owens reminded us that Shane cost him a shot at the U.S. title back in the summer. He said the Sami & Kevin Show isn’t getting cancelled anytime soon, and Zayn said the Yep Movement lives on. Fuentes asked what happens if they lose. They looked at her with disdain and left without answering.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn defeated Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura (Special Referees: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan) (21:32)
Bryan got a huge reaction. He and Shane shook hands. The crowd loudly sang Nakamura’s theme and they cut his song for a moment so you could hear them. Shane clapped for Orton and Nakamura on their way out.
Orton tried an early pinfall but both Shane and Bryan tried to count and they weren’t in sync, which was part of the story. Zayn then comically sold an uppercut from Orton. Nakamura tagged in and the crowd did dueling chants for him and Zayn.
There were a couple of pinfall attempts where Bryan and Shane were again out of sync, so they agreed to each just take one side of the ring, splitting it down the middle, which was amusing. At some point in here, Shane appeared to lose his ear piece.
After a while, the match spilled to the outside and Owens and Zayn began clearing the announce table. Shane wanted them to stop but Bryan said to let it go. Not sure if it showed on camera, but the announcers said Shane accidentally hit Bryan in the eye as he waved for them to stop.
Owens hit a frog splash on Nakamura through an announce table. Orton followed by hitting Zayn with a draping DDT. Orton followed with an RKO but as Shane counted the fall, Owens tried to interfere but knocked Bryan into Shane, breaking up the fall. Shane yelled “that was three” repeatedly at Bryan.
Orton gave Owens an RKO and this led to Orton and Zayn trading small packages, as Shane and Bryan took turns counting. Finally, Zayn seemed to have the match won with a schoolboy, but Shane stopped his count at two. The crowd gasped. Bryan got in his face and they yelled at each other.
Zayn then gave Orton a schoolboy and Bryan did a fast three count for the win. Shane tried to stop him but wasn’t fast enough. If you didn’t see this, this wasn’t necessarily Bryan siding with Owens and Zayn, but rather, he was pissed off at Shane. Owens and Zayn led a “Yep” chant afterwards.
I’m glad I don’t give star ratings because I have no idea how you would judge this one. It was an interesting angle that happened to last 20 minutes.
(If you didn’t see it, Bryan does take a bump onto Shane McMahon, but it was a soft bump and his head comes nowhere close to the mat. Still, somewhat interesting that they let him do that.)
AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal (w/Singh Brothers) to retain the WWE Championship (22:57)
Mahal wore brown trunks with orange lining and bright green logo. During the heat, he tossed Styles into and over the barricade, and Styles took a bump onto a steel chair. Mahal also dropped Styles onto the announce table.
After many minutes of rest holds, Styles came back with a dropkick as Mahal came off the top. Styles set up for the Phenomenal forearm but Mahal knocked him off the top and hit a poor gutbuster.
Styles came back with an electric chair drop, strikes, sliding forearm and a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for two. Styles went for another low forearm but Mahal kicked him out of the air and hit a Samoan drop for two.
Styles countered a Khallas into a Pele kick but Mahal countered a tornado DDT and hit a big boot for two. With Mahal on the ropes, Styles hit another kick and yanked him down. Styles hit a springboard 450 but was in too much pain to make a cover. The Singhs tried to pull Mahal out of the ring, so Styles hit one of them with a forearm and gave the other a Styles Clash on the outside.
Mahal ducked a Phenomenal forearm, hit a running knee and Khallas but Styles kicked out. The crowd sighed. The crowd was mostly quiet until this point but began chanting for Styles. Mahal set up for the Styles Clash but Styles reversed into a Calf Crusher. Mahal fought towards the ropes but Styles pulled him back to the middle of the ring and Mahal tapped.
This was a nothing match but, thankfully, Styles won. After all these months, Mahal doesn’t feel even a little like a main eventer.