Tonight's Christmas Eve episode of SmackDown is a taped show from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Paul Heyman will speak for the first time since Roman Reigns fired him last week. Reigns questioned Heyman's loyalty and fired him when Heyman admitted that he's protecting Reigns from Brock Lesnar. After firing Heyman, Reigns knocked him out with the Superman punch. Reigns was about to give Heyman a con-chair-to, but Lesnar ran out to make the save. He beat down The Usos and gave Reigns two F-5s.
Reigns defends the Universal title against Lesnar at Day 1 on Saturday, January 1.
SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair defends against Toni Storm tonight. Last week, Storm and Sasha Banks defeated Flair and Shotzi in a tag team match when Storm pinned Flair.
Plus, a "12 Days of Christmas" gauntlet match will determine the number one contender to Shinsuke Nakamura's Intercontinental title. Sami Zayn, Jinder Mahal, Drew Gulak, Ricochet, Sheamus, Cesaro, Humberto, Angel, Ivar, Erik, Shanky, and Mansoor are the gauntlet match participants.
Our coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
They recapped Roman Reigns firing Paul Heyman last week.
Paul Heyman Interview
Heyman was great in the interview. He was somber, soft-spoken, and hadn't shaved in days.
Earlier today, Kayla Braxton interviewed Paul Heyman. Heyman admitted that he told the truth to Reigns and got fired publicly. He added that he got embarrassed and publicly humiliated in front of his peers.
Heyman doesn't regret telling Reigns the truth last week. He noted that his job as special counsel was to tell the truth to Reigns. Heyman tried to talk to Reigns last week, but Reigns threw all his notes, suits, and luggage out of his dressing room.
Heyman added that Reigns is the greatest Universal Champion of all time, but he needs to be protected from Lesnar. Braxton asked Heyman what's next. He needed a moment and had a drink of water. Heyman doesn't know what's next for him. He could go to NXT and find a new superstar, but he doesn't want to do that. He only wants to advise Reigns at this point in his life. Heyman noted that his career is probably over.
Michael Cole announced Madcap Moss & The Usos against Drew Mcintrye & The New Day in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight.
SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair defeated Toni Storm (14:42)
Flair and Storm had a good match.
They recapped Toni Storm & Sasha Banks beating Flair & Shotzi last week.
They locked up, and Flair backed Storm into the corner. Storm avoided a chop from Flair and took over with uppercuts. Flair fought back with a boot to the gut. Storm recovered with a cross body for a near fall. She followed up with a basement dropkick. Flair rolled out the ring and stalled at ringside.
Flair missed a boot, and Storm hit another cross body for a two-count. Flair quickly regained control with chops in the corner. She slowed the pace down with the head scissors. Storm tried to break free, but Flair flipped her over. Storm briefly fought back with a small package and a head butt. Flair bounced back with a big boot sending Storm to the floor.
Back from the break, Flair was firmly in control and taunted Storm. Storm yelled, but Flair rocked her with a clothesline for a near fall. Storm fought back and hit a German suplex for a near fall. Flair drove Storm into the turnbuckle to regain control. Flair missed a moonsault but landed on her feet. Flair then hit a standing moonsault for a two-count.
Storm avoided Natural Selection and hit another German suplex to regain control. Flair locked on the figure four leglock, but Storm reversed it. Flair sent Storm to the floor with a big boot. Storm fought back and sent Flair into the ring post. Flair rolled up Storm using the ropes, but the referee caught her. The finish came when they traded pinfall attempts. Flair reversed a small package to retain her title.
They recapped Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin stealing Adam Pearce's table with Drew McIntryre's sword.
In the back, McIntrye approached King Xaiver and Kofi Kingston. McIntrye's sad because he'll beat up Moss so bad that he won't make it to Day 1. McIntrye and New Day promised to win later.
"12 Days of Christmas" 12-Man Gauntlet Match: Angel defeated Mansoor (1:35)
The gauntlet match was a series of very quick matches with a few good ones but it dragged at times. Ricochet and Zayn had a good final match.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs watched the match from ringside.
Mansoor ran wild early, but Angel dropped him on the top turnbuckle. He followed up with a running knee in the corner. Mansoor fought back with an enziguri. Mansoor missed a move off the top rope, and Angel hit the wing clipper to win.
Gauntlet Match: Angel defeated Erik (4:47)
Most of the match took place during the break.
Angel jumped Erik before he could get in the ring. Angel hit a moonsault, but Erik caught him and hit a powerslam on the floor.
Back from the break, Angel was firmly in control, but Erik fought back. Erik scored a near fall but missed a splash in the corner. Angel hit the wing clipper to eliminate Erik.
Gauntlet Match: Shanky defeated Angel (:53)
Angel tried jumping Shanky as he entered, but Shanky overwhelmed him. Shanky dominated Angel and pinned him for the next elimination.
Gauntlet Match: Ivar defeated Shanky (1:09)
Ivar and Shanky traded shots in the middle of the ring. Ivar quickly took over and gave Shanky the bronco buster in the corner. He then hit a diving splash to eliminate Shanky.
Gauntlet Match: Sheamus (w/Ridge Holland) defeated Ivar (5:52)
Ivar had the early advantage on Sheamus and sent him to the floor with a right hand.
Back from the break, Ivar hit a side slam for a near fall. Ivar went for another slam, but Sheamus slipped out the back. Ivar followed up with a sit-out splash for a two-count. Ivar climbed to the top turnbuckle, but Sheamus cut him off. Ivar missed a clothesline, and Sheamus hit the brogue kick to win.
Gauntlet Match: Sheamus defeated Drew Gullak (:6)
Gulak jumped in the ring, and Sheamus hit the brogue kick for the quick win.
Gauntlet Match: Sheamus defeated Cesaro (3:32)
Cesaro and Sheamus fought around ringside to start the match. Cesaro hit a diving crossbody on Sheamus for a close near fall. Sheamus recovered and hit a back suplex. He then targeted Cesaro's ribs and slowed the pace down.
Cesaro fought back and hit a missile dropkick. He went for the giant swing, but his ribs gave out. He recovered and hit an uppercut. Holland caused a distraction and Sheamus hit the brogue kick to eliminate Cesaro.
Gauntlet Match: Ricochet defeated Sheamus (8:52)
Ricochet had the early advantage and sent Sheamus to the floor. He followed up with a huge Asai moonsault.
Back from the break, Sheamus was firmly in control and slowed the pace down with a chin lock. Ricochet fought back, but Sheamus hit a slam for a two-count. Ricochet avoided Sheamus and hit a tornado DDT for a near fall. Ricochet avoided Sheamus again and hit a springboard crossbody. He followed up with a Lionsault, but Sheamus got the knees up for a near fall.
Ricochet hit a springboard clothesline and a standing moonsault for another near fall. Ricochet climbed to the top rope, but Holland jumped on the apron. Sheamus then knocked Ricochet to the floor with a knee. Suddenly, Cesaro attacked Holland at ringside and took out a cameraman. Sheamus was distracted, which gave Ricochet the chance to roll him up for the win.
Sheamus attacked Ricochet after the match with a brogue kick.
Gauntlet Match: Ricochet defeated Humberto (:42)
Humberto jumped in the ring, but the referee checked on Ricochet first. Humberto went for a moonsault, but Ricochet got his knees up and hit the recoil for the next elimination.
Gauntlet Match: Ricochet defeated Jinder Mahal (:31)
Mahal got in some brief offense, but Ricochet countered the khallas for the next elimination.
Gauntlet Match: Sami Zayn defeated Ricochet (5:45)
The match started during the commercial break. Zayn was sitting on the turnbuckle taunting Ricochet until he hit a standing hurricanrana for a near fall. Zayn tried fighting back and went for the blue thunder bomb, but Ricochet slipped out. Zayn sent Ricochet into the corner and hit the blue thunder bomb for a close near fall.
Zayn went for the exploder suplex in the corner, but Ricochet fought back with elbows. Zayn avoided a forearm and gave Ricochet the exploder suplex in the corner. Zayn went for the helluva kick, but Ricochet countered.
Ricochet climbed to the top rope, but Zayn cut him off. They fought on the top turnbuckle. Ricochet knocked Zayn off and went for the shooting star press, but Zayn got his knees up. Zayn then hit the exploder in the corner and followed up with the helluva kick for the win. Zayn earns an Intercontinental title match against Nakamura.
Zayn had a brief staredown with Intercontinental Champion Nakamura after the match.
They took a look at Paul Heyman's career, including his days as a manager in WCW, running ECW, ECW invading the WWE, and joining the alliance. Heyman returned as the advocate of Brock Lesnar until losing to Drew McIntyre in 2020. Heyman then returned as the special counsel to Roman Reigns until last week. They teased that Heyman's career might be over.
Miracle on 34th Street Fight: New Day & Drew McIntrye defeated The Usos & Madcap Moss (w/Happy Corbin) (12:09)
This was a fun holiday street fight with the typical spots. They set up Christmas trees, presents, cookies, and eggnog at ringside.
Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston worked over Jey on their side of the ring. The heels briefly isolated Kingston in their corner. McIntyre tagged in and beat down Moss until Corbin jumped in with a candy cane kendo stick. The Usos and New Day fought up the ramp to the trees and presents.
Back from the break, Moss stomped on McIntrye in the ring. The Usos beat down The New Day with gifts at ringside. They then hit Kingston and Woods with two trees. Moss attempted a suplex, but McIntrye reversed. Woods super kicked the cookies out of Jey's hands. Woods unwrapped a gift to reveal a chair, which he used on Jimmy. Jey then kicked the chair back into Woods' face.
Kingston ran wild on Jimmy and hit a hurricanrana. New Day sent the Usos to the floor and grabbed two trays of cookies. Kingston then leaped off the top and hit The Usos with both trays.
McIntrye ran wild on Moss and hit a belly-to-belly suplex. He followed up with a neck breaker and set up for the Claymore. Corbin grabbed McIntyre's leg to break up the move. McIntrye chased Corbin around ringside until Kingston stopped him with a kendo stick. Corbin got in McIntrye's face, but Kingston poured eggnog on Corbin. Corbin and Moss yelled at Kingston, but McIntyre poured eggnog on both of them. The finish came when McIntyre hit the Claymore on Moss for the win.
After the match, McIntrye and New Day threw out gifts to the fans to end SmackDown.