– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota as SmackDown General Manager Paige welcomes us. She introduces SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Becky makes her way out for a pop as Tom Phillips welcomes us. Hes joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
Becky takes the mic and fans start chanting her name. Becky says any time is too much time away when you’re the hottest thing in the industry. Becky talks about how she wanted to fight at Survivor Series but she was stopped. She goes on and says she’s done watching because she’s putting herself back in the game. Becky still wants to face RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey now that she can. She wants to get right to business as she calls Charlotte Flair to the ring. The music hits and out comes Flair as we see stills from her Survivor Series match with Rousey.
Fans chant for Becky again as Flair enters the ring. Becky says Flair almost gave Rousey the beating that she would have, like Becky asked, but Rousey wouldn’t be walking if it would’ve been The Man in the ring with her. Becky goes on and accuses Flair of trying to be like her. Flair says she was just being herself, the seven-time champion and the only woman on either roster that’s capable of giving Rousey the beating she deserved. Paige stands in between them. Flair says she gave the beating to Rousey because she’s genetically superior and has the mindset to do any solitary thing possible to get the job done. Becky says Flair just went from copying her old man, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, to copying The Man. Becky says Flair is just a bootleg Becky trying to take what’s hers and she won’t have it. Becky is glad she beat some of the phoniness out of Flair over the past few months. Flair says Nia Jax must have hit Becky harder than she thought because she went from quirky to delusional. Flair says Becky is the one copying her dad, and still managing to ride her coattails. Flair tells Becky to shut up as she turns her attention to the camera, sending a warning to Rousey. Flair turns back to Becky and says she will fight her right now. They have words and Paige tells them to quiet down. Paige loves this fired up side and the desire from Flair, and hasn’t seen it in a while. Paige announces Flair vs. Lynch in a TLC match at the TLC pay-per-view. The music interrupts and out comes Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce and Zelina Vega to the stage.
Rose says this is a joke and insulting as Paige said no one else has shown the drive & desire that Flair has. Rose says any of them could have done the exact same thing to Rousey, and any of them deserve a title match with Becky but Paige doesn’t give them the time of day. The music interrupts and out comes Naomi, Carmella, Asuka and Lana. Naomi takes the mic but fans break out in a chant for Asuka. Naomi says with all due respect, she knows Paige isn’t questioning her desire. This leads to Paige announcing a Battle Royal for tonight with the women’s division, except for Flair and Becky. The winner will be added to the TLC match at TLC, making it a Triple Threat. Paige’s music hits as everyone looks around at each other.
– Still to come tonight, AJ Styles addresses WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Also, Jeff Hardy celebrates his 20th anniversary with WWE.
– The Usos are backstage welcoming us to The Uso Penitentiary. We go to commercial.
The Bar vs. The Usos
Back from the break and out first comes The Usos, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar are out next for this non-title match, Cesaro and Sheamus. We see video from earlier today where Cesaro was yelling at Big Show backstage about last week’s Thanksgiving Feast Fight loss to The New Day. Show shoves Cesaro back into Sheamus. Show walks off as Sheamus yells at him, saying they are better off without him.
Jimmy starts off with Sheamus and they go at it. Jey comes in and keeps up the attack, dropkicking Sheamus for a 2 count. Cesaro comes in but The Usos make a tag for the double team. Jimmy works over Cesaro but Cesaro ends up distracting the referee, allowing Sheamus to nail a cheap shot. Sheamus tags back in and they double team Jimmy, then yell out to the crowd. We go to commercial with Sheamus in control of Jimmy.
Back from the break and The Bar double teams Jimmy in the corner with a big move. Cesaro with a 2 count. They continue to dominate until Jey gets the hot tag. Jey unloads on Cesaro with a tribute to Roman Reigns. Jey goes on and catches Cesaro in a Samoan Drop. Jey with the Rikishi splash in the corner for another close pin attempt.
Sheamus tags back in as Jey kicks Cesaro out of the ring. Jey runs the ropes and dives out onto Cesaro but Cesaro meets him in mid-air with a big uppercut. Jey is rolled back in. Sheamus drops him with a big knee when he gets up. Sheamus with a flying knee drop from the second rope for another 2 count. Sheamus goes back to the top for the flying clothesline but Jey blocks and sends him into the steel ring post. Jey with a superkick and another for a 2 count. Jimmy tags in.
Jimmy and Jey go to the top of opposite corners while Sheamus is laid out. Sheamus with an uppercut in mid-air to Jey. Jimmy nails the Uso splash but Sheamus gets his knees up. Sheamus mounts Jimmy and rocks him with big punches. Sheamus scoops Jimmy and tags in Cesaro for the double team finisher. Jey with a superkick to Sheamus from behind. Cesaro sends Jey to the floor but Jimmy rolls him up for a 2 count. Jey tags in as they hit a double enziguri on Cesaro after he was stunned by another move. Jimmy tags back in and comes flying off the top with the splash. Jimmy covers for the non-title win.
Winners: The Usos
– After the match, The Usos exit the ring as their music hits. The Bar looks on from the mat.
– We go backstage to The New Day and The Miz in the locker room. They’re watching something and laughing. Miz thinks they’re watching The Marine 6 and asks what their favorite parts are. They’re actually watching and laughing at The Miz and Shane McMahon’s loss to enhancement talents on last week’s show. Miz goes on about how he and Shane have been fighting for SmackDown, including the match at Survivor Series. The New Day points out how they were the only ones to win a match for Team SmackDown at Survivor Series. Miz rants some more and says he can beat all three of them. He goes on and says he will go to his co-bestie Shane and get him to make a match for tonight.
– Still to come, a women’s Battle Royal with TLC implications. Also, Jeff Hardy celebrates 20 years since his official WWE debut.
– We see AJ Styles backstage sitting in a chair, looking like he’s in deep thought. A staffer approaches and tells him it’s time. Styles gets up and heads to the ring as we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes AJ Styles for his first appearance since losing the WWE Title two weeks ago.
Styles takes the mic and fans pop for him. He talks about losing the WWE Title to Daniel Bryan and says no one likes to lose, but what bothers him is the way he lost. Styles shows us a replay of the low blow from Bryan and then the heel turn following the match. Styles knew he had a target on his back as champion but he didn’t think that target would have moved somewhere else on his body. Styles knows what it’s like to want the WWE Title so bad you’ll do anything to get it but Bryan went too far after the match with the kicks to his face. Styles says he wasn’t medically cleared to compete at Survivor Series and he was just cleared this past week. Styles says he watched from home while Bryan explained his actions last Tuesday. We see a replay of Bryan’s promo from last week where he declared that The Yes Movement is dead, and that the new Daniel Bryan is here.
Styles is looking forward to beating Bryan’s face in and says we don’t have to wait until TLC. Fans chant “yes!” now. AJ says Bryan isn’t here tonight and he wasn’t at the weekend live events. AJ says it sounds like Bryan has been watching RAW and got an idea of how they do things there, but this isn’t RAW, it’s the house that he built. AJ says for 371 days he never missed an event because this is where he belongs. AJ tells Bryan to make sure he’s at TLC, and he can bring his dreams and his excuses but he better not forget the WWE Title because that belongs to AJ. AJ drops the mic as his music hits.
– Still to come, Jeff Hardy celebrates 20 years since signing with WWE. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the announcers hype up WWE NXT Superstar Lars Sullivan. We get a “coming soon” vignette for his main roster call-up.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
We go to the ring and out comes WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura for this non-title match. Rusev is out next as Greg Hamilton does the introductions.
Rusev enters the ring and Nakamura immediately drops him from behind with a Kinshasa before the bell rings. Nakamura puts boots to Rusev and then delivers another Kinshasa. Nakamura leaves up the ramp but runs back down and drops Rusev at ringside again as fans boo. Nakamura raises the title and backs up the ramp as his music starts back up. We go to a replay of what happened. Nakamura looks on from the stage as Rusev recovers.
– Still to come, a women’s Battle Royal with title shot implications. Also, Jeff Hardy celebrates 20 years since his official WWE debut. Michael Cole will interview him. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and the entire roster is out on the stage. Michael Cole is in the ring with several photos blown-up photos of Jeff Hardy blown on display. Cole praises Hardy and introduces him. Hardy comes out to a pop.
Cole talks about Hardy officially debuting with WWE 20 years ago and shows us a video package with highlights from Hardy’s career. We come back from the video and the roster is clapping for Hardy. Fans chant his name. Hardy doesn’t know what to say but he thanks everyone. Hardy says he can’t believe he did half of those crazy moments. Hardy goes on and says he’s experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows but no matter what he’s gotten himself into, people have stuck by his side and he’s eternally grateful for that. A “thank you Hardy” chant starts up.
Hardy signals for a “delete!” chant next. He says he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for his wife Beth and their daughters. He gives thanks again for making this night possible. Hardy says this is far from a retirement speech and he doesn’t know what the future holds but he wants to find out together. He thanks everyone again and goes to leave but the music interrupts and out comes Samoa Joe with a mic.
Joe congratulates Hardy and asks him to forgive his tardiness. Joe says he was in the back popping bottles and about to come out for a toast but we can all agree that a bottle of champagne around Jeff isn’t a good idea. SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon steps forward to get Joe to back off but Hardy stops Shane, telling him to let Joe through to the ring. Joe, now speaking from the ramp, brings up the video package on Hardy’s career and says he was probably too incoherent to remember any of it. Joe says he does not celebrate weakness and second chances, especially when there are men like him who haven’t received their first. Jeff gets another quick “delete!” chant going. Joe can’t believe how Jeff allows himself to be put up on a pedestal after the mistakes he’s made over the years. That makes Joe sick.
Joe says he’s let the people down just as much as he has made them stand. Joe says people like Jeff never change because the demons are always lurking in the background, waiting to take control. Joe says the next time Jeff becomes powerless, and he knows it will happen, Joe will be there with his hand out, for a one-step program, but it won’t be painless. Jeff says no matter what he says, Joe can’t rain on his parade tonight. Jeff says he’s walked the tight rope for 20 years and almost ended his career 20 times but he’s about the moments. He asks Joe if he’d like to make a moment here tonight. Jeff drops the mic for a fight but Joe walks up the ramp to the back as fans boo. Jeff’s music hits as he claps with the fans.
– Still to come, The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a WWE Shop Christmas segment from Naomi and The Usos.
The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
We go to the ring and out comes The New Day – Kofi Kingston with Big E and Xavier Woods. The Miz is out next.
The bell rings and they go at it, trading holds and counters. Kofi with a splash on the mat for a quick pin attempt. Miz turns it around but Kofi clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. Kofi goes to run the ropes and leap out but Miz distances himself. Kofi dances in the ring. Big E dances in front of Miz at ringside, distracting him. This allows Kofi to run the ropes and hit a suicide dive on the floor. The New Day celebrates while Miz is down. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Miz comes off the top with an ax handle but Kofi dropkicks him out of the air. Kofi keeps control and hits the Boom Drop. Kofi waits for Miz to get up but Miz blocks Trouble In Paradise. Miz is blocked next. Miz blocks the SOS. Kofi rolls Miz for a 2 count after blocking the Skull Crushing Finale. Kofi blocks the neckbreaker – backbreaker combo. Kofi hits SOS for a 2 count.
Miz comes right back with a DDT for another close 2 count. Miz removes the top turnbuckle pad now as the referee checks on Kofi. Big E hits the apron and covers the exposed turnbuckle with pancakes. Kofi gets up and makes a comeback on Miz now but Miz stops him with a knee to the gut. Woods gets on the apron with Francesca but Miz knocks him off to the floor. Miz tries to bring a steel chair into the ring while the referee is distracted but Woods grabs it. Miz turns back around to Trouble In Paradise. Kofi covers for the pin to win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
– After the match, The New Day celebrates in the ring with pancakes. We go to replays.
– Still to come, the women’s Battle Royal with a title shot up for grabs.
– We see a sinister-looking Randy Orton backstage. He will address his recent actions against Rey Mysterio tonight. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes Randy Orton. He’s holding Rey Mysterio’s mask in his hand. We see a replay from last week when Orton took Rey’s mask after their main event match.
Orton says people have used all kinds of negative words to describe his actions against Rey Mysterio last week. Orton says he would use the word euphoric. He goes on and says he never understood what was so special about this piece of trash Rey wore on his face. Orton says he never bothered to learn because he didn’t care. Orton says what he did last week wasn’t to disrespect Rey’s culture, it was to hurt Rey and bring him down from the pedestal that people have put him on. Orton wanted to prove that Rey is just another one of Orton’s victims at this stage in his career, another victim of the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment – R… the music interrupts and out comes Rey.
Rey is wearing a neck brace. Rey rushes the ring but Orton meets him on the outside and they go at it. Orton launches Rey into the barrier a few times. Orton takes the neck brace off and sends Rey in the ring. Rey kicks Orton as he enters. Rey with more shots to Orton, sending him into the ropes. Rey nails the 619. Rey keeps control and hits 619 for a second time. Rey goes outside of the ring and grabs a steel chair, raising it in the air as fans pop. Rey brings the chair back in but Orton rocks him as he comes trough the ropes. Orton hits the second rope draping DDT on the chair. Orton goes to the floor and kicks the chair away. Orton uppercuts Rey back into the barrier as the referee warns him. Officials run down and try to stop Orton as he places the chair under Rey’s throat and slams it into the steel ring steps. Some fans boo as officials check on Rey. Orton is backed off. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and Shane McMahon is backstage with his World Cup trophy. The Miz asks him where he was at just now. Shane was right here. Miz goes on about trying to make their team happen but Shane says they’re not a team. Miz acts like the trophy belongs to both of them. He says they are family and Shane needs to start acting like it. Miz leaves and Shane looks confused.
Battle Royal: Carmella, Mandy Rose, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Zelina Vega, Lana, Asuka, Naomi, Sonya Deville
We go to the ring for tonight’s Battle Royal as Carmella comes out first. R-Truth joins her and raps to the ring. The winner of this match will be added to the SmackDown Women’s Title match at WWE TLC to make it a Triple Threat. Mandy Rose is out next, followed by The IIconics – Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. Zelina Vega is out next, followed by Lana. Asuka is out next to a big pop. Naomi is out last. Sonya Deville was also introduced.
The bell rings and they go at it. We see Charlotte Flair and SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch at ringside watching from chairs. Lana goes under the bottom rope but she’s still in the match. This leads to Vega being eliminated first. Vega is furious as she goes after Lana and puts hands on her. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Lana tries to eliminate Peyton but Billie makes the save. The IIconics double team Lana now. Lana is eliminated.
The IIconics turn around to Asuka staring them down. She ducks their clothesline and delivers a Hip Attack to Billie. Asuka drops Peyton and tries to dump Billie now. Asuka sends them both tot he apron. Asuka hits the ropes and delivers a double Hip Attack to them both. The IIconics have been eliminated.
Asuka turns around to a huge kick from Carmella. Carmella takes Asuka to the turnbuckles. Asuka sends Carmella to the apron and they go at it. Asuka unloads with strikes. Asuka kicks her off the apron. Carmella has been eliminated.
Deville and Rose double team Asuka now. Naomi makes the save. These are the final four competitors. Rose drops Asuka with a knee. Deville and Rose try to dump Asuka over the top now. Naomi makes the save again. Naomi unloads on Rose now with strikes. Naomi with a Rear View on Rose. Naomi with a springboard kick to Deville. Rose blocks a hurricanrana from Naomi. Rose tries to dump Naomi over the top now, sending her to the apron. They both end up on the apron. Rose catches a kick but Naomi sends her flying into the ring post. Rose has been eliminated.
Deville comes right over and knocks Naomi off the apron. Naomi has been eliminated.
Deville and Asuka face off now as Deville puts her hair up. They go at it. Asuka gets sent to the apron. Rose grabs Asuka’s leg from the floor but Asuka fights her off and delivers a flying kick from the apron. Deville tries to capitalize but Asuka drops her, still fighting from the apron. Asuka tries to suplex Deville out of the ring but she hangs on. They trade shots on the apron now and both go down after connecting at the same time. Deville charges but Asuka nails a big knee to the jaw. Deville has been eliminated. Asuka is going to TLC to join Flair and Lynch in the title match.
– After the match, Asuka celebrates as her music hits. Lynch and Flair look on from ringside. The announcers hype the first-ever women’s TLC match with Asuka vs. Flair vs. Lynch, with the title on the line. Asuka stares out at Flair and Lynch as they look on from ringside. Lynch talks trash back at Asuka, raising the title in the air. SmackDown goes off the air as Asuka looks down at them from the top turnbuckle.