Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you all had a pleasant time over the holidays whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Jimmy Buffet's birthday.
Tonight is a STACKED card - we've got the weirdly-named "Wild Card Finals" which will see three titles on the line. AJ Styles defends the WWE Title against Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin in the main event while the Wyatts will defend THEIR titles against American Alpha, the Usos and Beauty and the Man-Beast. We will also see Alexa Bliss defending her Smackdown Women's Title against Becky Lynch in a rematch from TLC.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: Did you get any cool wrestling-related gifts? I also want to know what your favourite matches were from Smackdown! Live this year.
SMACKDOWN! LIVE (12.27.16)
CHICAGO, IL (AllState Arena)
Host: Tom Phillips
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, David Otunga
Written by Brendan Wahl
(Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher. I know this isn't wrestling-related but Star Wars is such a big part of my life that I couldn't NOT mention it. A sad, sad ending to 2016.)
John Cena is back! He makes his way down to the ring to some pretty loud negative reactions from the vitriolic Chicago crowd. Cena eats it all up and talks about how he missed this reaction from the crowd and says there is nothing like the excitement of the WWE Universe. The crowd chants "CM Punk" and John tries to figure out if they're chanting "Cena Sucks." He figured that they would be chanting "Go, Cubs, Go!" Cena says that Chicago is the city of champions and so tonight, there will be championship matches. Cena mentions that the Tag Team, Women's and WWE Championships are all on the line! He polls the crowd on who the winner of tonight's WWE Title match will be and AJ Styles ends up as the clear favourite. Cena then questions what he's even doing here and the crowd isn't far behind as they chant "Undertaker." Cena talks about the critics referring to him as a part-timer and washed-up but says that he's not done, he's not leaving and he's sick of this New Era. It's the "My Time is Now" Era! He's going to watch the main event very close and he wants the winner at the Royal Rumble.
The Miz refuses any interview from Dasha Fuentes and says that he'll only be accepting interviews from the unprofessional person who slapped him last week, Renee Young.
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match
The Wyatt Family (c) (Harper & Orton) [w /Bray Wyatt] vs. American Alpha vs. Beauty and the Man-Beast vs. The Usos
Gable and Rhyno start things off with the Man-Beast using his power to take over with a shoulderblock and a massive clothesline. Gable peppers him with rights but Rhyno goes to the mid-section to retain control. A northern lights suplex from Gable grabs him a two count but Jey Uso quickly makes a blind tag and hammers away on a fallen Rhyno to grab a near fall of his own. The Usos double-team Rhyno in the corner, which gives Jimmy a two count and then they follow that up with more aggressive cheating tactics for more near falls. Jey goes to a chinlock but Rhyno fights out... and gets taken back down again. Jimmy goes to work now but Rhyno fights out with a short-arm clothesline and tags in Slater! He comes in with rapid-fire right hands on Jimmy and a leg lariat, followed up by a neckbreaker for a two count. Slater kicks Jimmy in the head and knocks Jey off the apron. Slater slips off the top rope and Jimmy superkicks him for the elimination at the 4:04 mark.
Jey has Jason Jordan in a chinlock as we come back from the break. Jason gets the hot tag to Chad Gable, who hits a T-Bone suplex to Jey for a two count. Jimmy then intervenes and they go for stereo top-rope moves but both get caught with Alpha-Plexes. Gable reverses a sunset flip on Jey for the elimination at the 10:04 mark.
The Usos attack Alpha before leaving and this match is down to AA against the Wyatts. Orton stomps away on Jason Jordan and hangs him onto the top rope with a suplex before stomping on his face. Jordan gets whipped hard into the corner and then powerslammed for a two count. Randy hammers away on Jordan in the corner with forearm smashes but Jordan reverses a corner whip and dropkicks him down so he can reach for his corner and tag in Gable! Harper comes in too and Gable hits him with a huge cross-body. A German Suplex gets him a two count and a Bray Wyatt distraction allows for an Orton cheapshot that gives Harper a two count. We take another commercial break as Harper tags Orton back into the match.
As we come back from the break, Harper has Gable in a side headlock and when the Olympian escapes, Harper nails him with a back elbow and knocks him to the outside. Orton decimates Gable out there before rolling him back in for a two count. He hangs Gable out to dry on the top rope and then nails a slingshot suplex for two. Harper is tagged back in and hits a Michinoku Driver on Gable for a two count. He goes to the Gator Roll and then catches Gable in a spinning sidewalk slam but he still fights out of the pinfall attempt. A powerbomb attempt is countered with a rana into the corner by Gable and finally Jordan is back in! He nails both Wyatts with suplexes, getting a near fall on Orton but Harper breaks it up. Jordan and Harper brawl on the outside but Gable nails Luke with a cannonball. Jordan then clotheslines Bray off the apron to the outside but gets caught with the hanging DDT by Randy! He sets up for the RKO but a miscommunication with Harper leads to the Grand Amplitude, the three count and the titles.
WINNERS (NEW CHAMPIONS): American Alpha (23:17)
Dolph Ziggler is interviewed by Renee Young and says that last week might not have been his smartest decision and goes over his two opponents before declaring that he might just be the wild card in this deck.
Dasha Fuentes interviews James Ellsworth, who says he is kinda different and people tend to make fun of his face. She asks about his recovery but Carmella intervenes and says that James is uniquely attractive. She scurries him along and they walk away.
WWE Smackdown Women's Title Match
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Becky Lynch
Lockup to start with Becky quickly taking Alexa down but then the champ goes to a body-scissors. Becky turns that into a leglock before Alexa goes to the ropes. They go through an armbar reversal sequence before Becky grabs a side headlock but then Alexa reverses it right back to a headlock of her own. Becky knocks Bliss down with a shoulderblock and goes for a sunset flip but Alexa blocks it for a two count and they go back-and-forth for a number of two counts. Becky uses a Matrix-like maneuver to escape a pinfall attempt and then goes for the Dis-Arm-Her but Bliss fights out and grabs a two count off a cradle-like maneuver. She nails the challenger with an STO and hammers away on her for a two count before we get some blatant hair-pulling on the ropes. Bliss grabs another near fall and clubs her back but this time, Becky kicks out even quicker. Becky manages a pair of armdrags on Alexa that knock her to the floor but Bliss catches her baseball slide and hammers her outside the ring. Bliss smacks her into the ring steps as we go to a commercial break.
We come back with Bliss choking Becky on the ropes and then digging two knees into her back for a two count. Becky finally comes back with clotheslines and a leg lariat. She goes for the flying firearm but Alexa moves. She tries to challenge the Bexploder but Becky also avoids a DDT in return. She YANKS on Alexa's arm and then tosses her into the corner before heading to the top rope. Suddenly, someone in a La Luchadora costume comes out and it allows for a two count by Bliss. They reverse a few rollups until Bliss gets Insult to Injury for a near fall. Becky finally gets the Dis-Arm-Her but Bliss puts her foot on the ropes to break it. Bliss pretends her arm is broken allowing for a distraction and Luchadora to ram Becky's shoulder into the exposed corner. Bliss hits a DDT for the victory.
WINNER via PINFALL: Alexa Bliss (13:52)
Dasha asks Bliss who is La Luchadora and she says she has no idea, speculating that it was Sasha Banks or Nia Jax.
Renee Young shows up to interview the Miz, who tells his security team to leave. She puts him over in a half-assed way before Dean Ambrose appears behind him and beats him up as well as his returning security team. Miz manages to get away fairly unscathed.
Nikki Bella tells Dasha that she's not ashamed at who she is and says she came back from a career-ending neck injury in less than two months. As for Natalya, she will tell her what she needs to say when they are face-to-face.
Baron Corbin tells Renee that he should've been seen as a top star a long time ago, adding that Dolph and AJ are about to meet the End of Days.
WWE Title Triple Threat Match
AJ Styles (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin starts out quickly on both guys but AJ uses his speed to fight back. Ziggler hits a Stinger Splash on AJ but gets shoved into Corbin and manages to avoid his onslaught. Corbin does manage to knock Styles out of the ring and then holds his ground as we go to a break.
We come back with Corbin working over Ziggler on the outside by ramming him into the apron and then the barricade. He then turns his attention to Styles and does the same before rolling him into the ring for a one count. Styles and Ziggler fight over a suplex and then slug it out but Corbin clotheslines them both down at the same time and gets a two count on Dolph as a result. He stomps away on Dolph in the corner and then picks him up by the hair before whipping him chest-first into the opposite corner. Ziggler uses right hands to fight his way back up but Corbin launches him into the air. He goes for End of Days but Styles comes in to block it... and gets rammed into the corner. Baron then sends Ziggler into Styles but then eats kicks from both guys. Baron clotheslines Ziggler and STOs Styles, nearly getting the victory as we take another break.
We come back with Baron pounding both opponents in their respective corners but Dolph and AJ start to double-team the Lone Wolf and end up clotheslining him over the top rope. They go after him on the outside but Corbin drives AJ into the barricade and avoids an attack by Ziggler as well. He starts taking the announce table apart but goes straight into the barricade when AJ moves out of the way. Styles nails Baron with the Phenomenal Forearm and Ziggler superkicks him as well. Baron is prone on the table for a double leap off the barricade from AJ and Dolph, which puts the big man through the table! Dolph manages to STO Styles against the apron and gets a DDT in the ring for a very close near fall. Both men slowly get to their feet and AJ avoids a Zig-Zag but does get an FU/knee to the neck type move (sorry, I don't know what it's called). Dolph slips out of the Styles Clash and superkicks AJ on the ropes to avoid the Phenomenal Forearm! He gets a second superkick and Baron misses his cue to break up the pinfall but AJ smartly kicks out anyway. Dolph then goes after Baron with a neckbreaker and an elbowdrop for a two count. Baron fights back with Deep Six but AJ breaks up the count at two. Dolph manages the Zig-Zag at the SAME TIME as the End of Days on Styles but only gets himself a two count! CRAZY SPOT. Baron pushes Ziggler into the corner and sends him shoulder-first into the post before setting him up on the top rope. Dolph shoves him away but Baron still knocks him down. End of Days for Ziggler! AJ comes back out of nowhere with the Phenomenal Forearm for Corbin though and then takes advantage by pinning Ziggler for the victory!
WINNER via PINFALL (over Ziggler): AJ Styles (21:16)
John Cena then runs out to the ring and takes his shirt off as he gets ready for a fight. He extends his hand to AJ and we get a simple handshake. AJ yells about how his belt "ain't goin' nowhere." Words are exchanged as both men stand tall.
Keep refreshing the page for the last time in 2016!