SmackDown takes place from the Target Center in Minneapolis and features more build to TLC.
Women’s Champion Becky Lynch makes her return to SmackDown tonight. Before Survivor Series, Lynch attacked Ronda Rousey and led the SmackDown women's division in an invasion of Raw. She suffered a concussion at the hands of Nia Jax and was pulled out of her match with Rousey and, in storyline, chose Charlotte Flair to replace her. After the match, Flair snapped and viciously attacked Rousey. Lynch will address the injury and her former best friend's new attitude.
Two weeks ago, Daniel Bryan turned heel and defeated AJ Styles to win the WWE Championship. Last week, Bryan explained his actions and taunted Styles. Tonight, Styles addresses Bryan and his recent underhanded tactics.
Jeff Hardy will celebrate 20 years with WWE and has a special celebration in mind for his anniversary. Plus, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar take on The Usos in a non-title match.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Paige was in the ring to start SmackDown. She introduced Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Lynch got a huge reaction. The fans broke into a very loud “Becky” chant. She called herself the hottest thing in wrestling. She noted she went to Raw to fight and bleed but then wasn’t allowed to compete. Instead, she had to watch Charlotte Flair step into her shadow and face Ronda Rousey. Lynch then called Flair out.
When Flair entered the ring the fans broke into another “Becky” chant followed by loud “Woos”. Both got a good reaction from the fans. Lynch semi-praised the beating Flair gave Rousey. If Lynch fought Rousey she wouldn’t get up. Lynch noted Flair had to channel Lynch to give Rousey the beating.
Lynch said Flair first copied her old man and now tries to copy The Man. Flair noted Nia Jax must have hit Lynch really hard. She then teased an encounter with Rousey at TLC. Flair challenged Lynch to a match right now. Paige said nobody has the passion and desire Flair does. Paige announced Lynch vs. Flair in a TLC match for the pay-per-view.
Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Zelina Vega and The IIconics interrupted. Rose did all the talking. Rose was offended that Paige said nobody has Flair’s passion or desire. They all want a title shot against Lynch.
This brought out Naomi, Asuka, Carmella and Lana. The fans broke into a loud “Asuka” chant. Naomi did all the talking. She agreed with Rose and demanded a title shot as well. Lynch agreed to take them all on. Paige announced a battle royal with the winner being added to the TLC match to make it a three way.
The Usos defeated The Bar in a non-title match
The Bar came out without The Big Show. Earlier today, The Bar yelled at Show for not helping last week when The New Day beat The Bar. Cesaro was furious with Show. Show had enough and gave him the knockout punch.
The Usos had the early advantage when Sheamus interfered from the apron. Jey got the hot tag and ran wild on Cesaro. Sheamus made the blind tag. Jey attempted a dive over the top rope but Cesaro rocked him with an uppercut. Sheamus hit a knee for a near fall.
Jey hit Sheamus with a superkick for a near fall. Jimmy and Jey went for a double splash on Sheamus. Cesaro caught Jey with an uppercut and Sheamus got the knees up. Finish came when Jimmy gave Cesaro a superkick and Jey hit a splash for the win
Backstage, The New Day were watching a video and laughing. The Miz showed up. Woods said this is Miz’s best work. He didn’t know they were fans of The Marine. They noted they’re not watching The Marine 6 starring Becky Lynch.
They were actually watching his tag match with Shane McMahon from last week. New Day pointed out their team won at Survivor Series but Miz didn’t. Miz said their win didn’t count. He’s going to ask for a match with one of them for later.
AJ Styles made his way down to the ring. It’s been 14 days since he lost the championship. He said that feels longer than the 371 days he held the belt. He’s more bothered by how he lost the title. He showed footage of Daniel Bryan using a low blow to win the title and attacking him after the match.
He knew when he became champion there would be a target on his back. He said he didn’t know that target could move somewhere else and looked down. That seemed like a reference to all the low blows he received.
Styles said Bryan’s explanation is BS. He doesn’t want to wait until TLC and called out Bryan. The fans broke into a “Yes” chant. Styles noted Bryan isn’t there and wasn’t at the house shows. He said Bryan’s been watching Raw and doing things like them.
Styles never missed a SmackDown or title defense. He’ll see Bryan at TLC and told him to bring his dreams and excuses but most importantly to bring the title. Styles promised to defeated Bryan at TLC.
The commentators talked about Lars Sullivan. Tom Phillips called him a game changer. He noted both Raw and SmackDown want Sullivan on their brand.
United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
The match never took place. Nakamura attacked Rusev from behind before the bell rang and hit the Kinshasa. He then gave Rusev the Kinshasa on the floor.
The Jeff Hardy celebration was next. Michael Cole was in the ring, which had pictures from Hardy's career. The entire roster was on the ramp. Cole introduced Hardy and then showed footage covering his career. The video featured all of his most famous moments.
Hardy wasn’t wearing any face paint. He got a big reaction from the fans. He couldn’t believe he did half the crazy stuff he did. He can freely be the Charismatic Enigma in the WWE. He’s faced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. He thanked the fans for sticking by him. The fans chanted “Thank You Hardy”. He thanked his family as well. He said this isn’t a retirement speech and hopes to find out the future together.
This brought out Samoa Joe. He walked pass the roster and congratulated Hardy. Joe apologized for being late. He was backstage popping bottles of champagne for a toast but he shouldn’t bring that out around Hardy. Shane McMahon tried to take the mic away but Hardy stopped him. Joe praised the video package but noted Hardy wasn’t coherent to remember any of it. Joe doesn’t praise weakness. He said people like Hardy never change and the demons don’t go away.
Hardy noted Joe can’t rain on their celebration and challenged Joe to match right now. Joe teased accepting but walked away instead.
Kofi Kingston (Xavier Woods & Big E.) defeated The Miz
Kingston was firmly in control and sent Miz to the floor. He teased a dive but decided against it. Woods distracted Miz and Kingston hit a dive. Kingston set up for trouble in paradise but Miz caught him. Kingston hit SOS for a close near fall. Miz fought back and hit the DDT for a two count.
Miz removed the top turnbuckle pad but Big E covered it with pancakes. Kingston rolled up Miz for a near fall. Woods played the trombone and Miz hit him with a drop kick. Miz tried to bring in a chair but Woods stopped him. Kingston then hit the trouble in paradise for the win.
Randy Orton came out to address his actions last week. He came out caring Rey Mysterio’s mask. Orton said he never understood why the mask is such a big deal. He never learned the history of the mask. Last week he knocked Mysterio off the pedestal the fans put him on.
Mysterio came out wearing a neck brace. They brawled around ringside. Orton had the advantage and ripped off the neck brace. Mysterio fought back and hit the 619 twice, He grabbed a chair but Orton hit the draping DDT instead. Orton placed Mysterio’s throat over the chair and then sent the chair into the steps.
In Shane McMahon’s office, Miz approached McMahon. McMahon was standing next to the World Cup trophy. Miz was upset McMahon wasn’t there for him against The New Day. He said the trophy is their baby and demanded McMahon act like his partner.
Asuka won the Battle Royal and is added to the Women’s Championship TLC match
The participants included: Carmella, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Zelina Vega, Lana, Asuka and Naomi.
Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair were sitting at ringside.
Lana rolled out under the bottom rope and pulled out Vega for the first elimination. Vega attacked Lana on the floor. Lana tried to dump out Kay but Royce saved her. The IIconics worked together to throw out Lana.
Asuka went after the IIconics. She sent both onto the apron and then hit a double running hip attack to eliminate them. Carmella rocked Asuka with a superkick. Asuka placed Carmella on the apron and nailed her with strikes. Asuka then eliminated Carmella from the match.
Rose and Deville worked together against Asuka. Naomi saved Asuka and went after Rose and Deville. In a awkward looking spot, Rose and Naomi ended up on the apron. Naomi did the splits and eliminated Rose. Deville then eliminated Naomi.
It came down to Deville and Asuka. The fans reacted big to this. Asuka ended up on the apron and Rose tried to pull her off. Asuka fought back and pulled Deville on the apron.
They traded strikes on the apron and both hit a big boot. Deville charged at Asuka but she caught her with a knee to eliminate Deville. Asuka’s now added to the first ever women’s TLC match.