– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens with Shane McMahon leading a backstage meeting with the blue brand roster.
The Superstars boo when Shane mentions the McMahon Family announcement on last night’s RAW. Shane says they ushered in a new era of change last night. Shane says we will be seeing more new faces, new matches and opportunities. Shane says they are truly listening. He says they owe it to the fans and they need to create the best possible product, for the best fanbase in the world. Shane says this all starts tonight. He needs the Superstars to not just reach for the brass ring but tear it down. Shane gets them all hyped up. He thanks the former General Manager Paige and introduces her. The Superstars clap for her.
Shane thanks Paige on behalf of the crew, the roster, and the fans, for her enormous contributions. Shane says Paige isn’t going anywhere but her role will change. Shane raises her arm as a “thank you Paige!” chant starts among the Superstars.
– We’re live from the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– We go to the ring and out comes Becky Lynch to a pop. We see stills from her loss in the TLC Triple Threat main event on Sunday.
Fans chant Becky’s name. She says she doesn’t really care who is running the show because The Man is in charge. She says she doesn’t do backstage meetings while the others are backstage listening to corporate talk. Becky says she’s out here with the people because that’s where the real business happens. Becky says all they can do for her is give her the RAW Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey. Becky goes on about Rousey and says she cost her the title at TLC and wouldn’t even fight her. Becky says she’s worked too hard for too long to let some Roddy Piper cosplayer take it from her. The music interrupts and out comes Charlotte Flair.
Flair tells Becky to get behind her because Rousey cost her a shot at TLC. Becky calls Flair a cosplayer and says her days of standing behind Flair are over. Flair says the days of Becky looking up to her are then, now and forever. Flair says she would have become an eight-time champion if it weren’t for Rousey at TLC. They have words until the music hits and out comes new SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka to interrupt. Asuka says to forget about Rousey because she is the champion now. Flair and Lynch say Asuka should be thanking Rousey, calling her a paper champion. They go on until the music interrupts and out comes WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
Vince wishes everyone a Happy Holidays and then congratulates Asuka. Vince says this conduct is unbecoming of Becky. He asks about her being angry and making excuses, talking about someone owes her something. Vince says the same goes for Flair. Vince says they competed in a TLC match where anything goes, and that what’s happened with Rousey, who said she would write the next chapter in their careers. Vince tells them to get over it and if they have a problem, take it up with Rousey. Vince asks Asuka if she would like to defend her title tonight. Fans pop. Vince asks if anyone is ready for Asuka. Fans pop again. Vince says let’s find out who will take on Asuka tonight. The music hits and out comes Naomi. She comes sliding in past Vince and he gives her a nod.
Naomi says Flair has had her opportunities, and Becky was The Man but she no longer has the title. Naomi says she wants the title. Naomi nods at Vince and he asks her to show him that look again. Vince says the match is on. Naomi’s music hits as Asuka, Flair and Lynch look on from the ring. Naomi enters the ring and runs around as we go to commercial.
SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Naomi vs. Asuka
Back from the break and the match is underway. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair look on from ringside. Tom reveals that David Otunga is filling in for Byron Saxton tonight.
Back and forth between the two for several minutes. They both go for a dropkick and have a stalemate. They go at it and Naomi drops Asuka with a big kick. Asuka catches a kick and goes for an ankle lock but Naomi resists and gets free. Naomi slams Asuka for a 2 count as they trade more pin attempts in the middle of the ring. Asuka tries to mount offense but Naomi cuts her off.
Naomi takes it to the top but Asuka turns it around with a submission up high. The referee warns her and Asuka yells out in Japanese, sending a message to Flair and Lynch. Naomi takes advantage and brings Asuka to the mat with a leg sweep from up high. We go to commercial with both Superstars down.
Back from the break and Asuka ends up hitting a missile dropkick to the back from the top. Asuka kicks Naomi out of the ring and follows. Asuka with more kicks on the outside. Asuka tries to send Naomi into the barrier but she jumps up on top of it and leaps at Asuka with a big kick to the face. Naomi and Asuka make it back into the ring right before the 10 count. They trade strikes in the middle of the ring now.
Naomi unloads with strikes but Asuka rocks her back. Asuka charges in the corner and blocks boots but Naomi comes right back and kicks her to the mat. Naomi goes for the split-legged moonsault but Asuka gets her knees up. Asuka with the Asuka Lock attempt now but Naomi fights it. Naomi powers up with Asuka on her back. Naomi with a 2 count as they tangle some more. Asuka turns that into the Asuka Lock in the middle of the ring. Naomi fights out again. More back and forth on the mat now.
Naomi blocks a German suplex and rolls Asuka up for a 2 count. Asuka charges but Naomi drops her with a Rear View for another close 2 count as Flair and Lynch look on from their chairs at ringside. Naomi springboards in from the apron but Asuka catches her in mid-air and drops her into her knees. Asuka with a 2 count. Asuka turns that into the Asuka Lock and Naomi immediately taps out.
– After the match, Asuka takes the title as her music hits. She raises the title in the air while facing Lynch and Flair. They stand up from their chairs and stare Asuka down, Becky talks trash. Naomi approaches Asuka to congratulate her as the camera cuts backstage.
– The Miz is knocking on Vince McMahon’s door. Vince comes out and asks what he can do for him. Miz asks if Shane McMahon is around. Vince says Shane can’t come out to play. Miz says Vince and everyone else knows how reliable Miz is and how he’s always there when the company needs him. Miz says if he and Shane teamed together they could be something special, the best tag team in the world. Vince asks Miz what he wants Vince to do about it. Miz says he is a worthy partner for Vince’s son. Miz just wants Vince’s blessing. Vince says he’s never given a blessing in his life and he doesn’t believe in them. Vince says he doesn’t do that but Vince will come up with a team and Miz can find a partner to see how good he is. They will do this now as Vince say things move fast around here. Miz rants about how he won’t let Vince down and Vince slams the office door in his face.
– Still to come, AJ Styles and Mustafa Ali vs. Daniel Bryan and Andrade “Cien” Almas. Also, Samoa Joe issues an apology to Jeff Hardy. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Tom notes that Otunga is filling in for Saxton because he’s under the weather this week. Saxton will be back next week. The announcers plug WWE Holiday Week on the USA Network.
– Kayla Braxton is backstage with Rusev and Lana, asking about how he pinned WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura in the recent tag team match, and if he deserves a title shot. Rusev says he hopes Vince McMahon is paying attention because he is the definition of a WWE Superstar and he’s a man of action. Rusev says he proved that when he crushed Nakamura. Rusev goes on about how special he is, how handsome he is, and more. He knocks how Nakamura looks in his new blue jumpsuit and says he looks like Sonic The Hedgehog. Rusev says when he gets his hands on Nakamura, and he will, he will take back his title on the greatest day of them all – Rusev Day. Rusev and Lana walk off.
– We go to the ring and out comes Jeff Hardy.
Hardy takes the mic as some fans chant his name. Hardy says he heard Samoa Joe wants to apologize to him. Some fans boo Joe’s name. Jeff says Joe has been trying to get under his skin as of late. Jeff says some of the things Joe said about his demons are true. Jeff says he has been weak but that was then. He looks in the mirror every day and is thankful that he’s alive, well, and here. Jeff calls Joe out to the ring because he wants to hear this apology face to face. Some fans chant for Joe as Hardy waits. The music finally hits and out comes Joe.
A quick “Joe!” chant starts up. Joe says he is sorry. He’s sorry because… this is no apology. Joe says this is something they should have done a long time ago. This is an intervention. Joe enters the ring. Joe says he’s known Hardy for a long time and he is worried about Jeff, as are the WWE fans. Joe says it’s the holidays and these can be tough times for a guy like Jeff. Joe talks about Hardy’s demons possibly coming back to cause him trouble. Jeff says he sees right through Joe. Jeff says Joe attacks other people’s weaknesses to cover up his own insecurities. Jeff wonders if it’s because Joe has had just one title reign after being here for two years. Joe turns to leave but turns back and tries to attack but Hardy kicks him. Hardy drops Joe with a Twist of Fate. Jeff exits the ring and backs up the ramp as his music hits. Joe recovers in the ring and stares Hardy down.
– Still to come, Mustafa Ali teams with AJ Styles. Back to commercial.
The Miz and Mandy Rose vs. R-Truth and Carmella
Back from the break and out comes The Miz. Greg Hamilton announces that this will be a mixed tag team match. Out next comes Mandy Rose, the partner that was chosen by Vince McMahon. Out next comes R-Truth and Carmella, winners of the Mixed Match Challenge season two.
Truth brags on the MMC win and how they won the #30 spots in the Royal Rumble matches. Truth mentions their vacation to WWE HQ in Stamford, CT and Carmella still isn’t thrilled. Truth says they are looking forward to this match with Miz and Maryse, confusing Mandy with The Miz’s wife. The bell rings and Mandy starts off with Carmella.
Rose takes Carmella down first. Carmella avoids a clothesline but comes back and takes Rose down with a scissors. Miz and Truth end up tagging in next. Truth rolls Miz up for a 2 count. Truth clotheslines Miz over the top rope to the floor. Carmella comes back into the ring for a dance break. They stop and celebrate. Rose tries to attack Carmella from behind but Carmella drops her with a kick. Miz runs in with a Skull Crushing Finale to Truth from behind. Miz covers for the pin to win.
Winners: The Miz and Mandy Rose
– After the match, Miz celebrates as his music hits. He goes to the floor to join Rose.
– We get a look back at last week’s match between Mustafa Ali and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Still to come, Bryan and Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Ali and AJ Styles. We go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get the “coming soon” vignette for WWE NXT Superstars Lars Sullivan, Lacey Evans, EC3, Nikki Cross and Heavy Machinery’s Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic.
– We go to the ring and out comes The Usos – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso.
The Usos say despite changes around here, one thing remains the same – The Usos run this show. They talk about not getting pinned at WWE TLC in the Triple Threat. They call out SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar but the music interrupts and out comes Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson instead.
Gallows and Anderson speak from the stage. Anderson talks about how it’s been nothing but The Usos, The New Day and The Bar every week. He gives them some props for having good matches but says they had a friggin’ rap battle last week. He says The Good Brothers haven’t been on SmackDown since August. Gallows says that’s 4 months since one of the best tag teams of the past decade has been on the sidelines but no more, it’s time they clean house. Gallows says it’s time to get paid and they head to the ring but stop as Uso takes the mic and says they’re not why Gallows and Anderson have fallen through the cracks. The Usos say you get stepped on if you don’t step up around here. The Usos go on as Gallows and Anderson continue walking to the ring. The Usos welcome them to The Uso Penitentiary. The two teams face off in the middle of the ring as Hamilton announces that the McMahon Family has confirmed this match. The referee gets ready to go as we return to commercial.
The Usos vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Back from the break and Karl Anderson has Jimmy Uso grounded. Jey Uso struggles to get back up to the apron after being laid out during the commercial. Anderson stops a tag and hits a big uppercut in the corner. Luke Gallows tags in and drops Uso as Anderson holds him.
Gallows drops Jimmy with a big shot and covers for a 2 count. Gallows grounds Jimmy now and unloads with elbows. Gallows tightens another hold as Jey waits for the tag. Jimmy fights up and out but Gallows knees him in the gut. Gallows misses a big running boot in the corner. Gallows gets hung up on the top rope and goes down.
Anderson and Jey tag in at the same time as fans pop. Jey unloads and nails a big right hand. Jey catches Anderson with a quick Samoan Drop in the middle of the ring. Jey get the crowd hyped up but misses a splash in the corner. Anderson with a kick to the face and a neckbreaker for a close 2 count. Gallows and Anderson end up missing a Boot of Doom as Jimmy brings Anderson down. Gallows keeps control of Jey and hits a sitout powerbomb for a close 2 count. More back and forth between the two teams now. The Usos look to mount offense as they send Gallows over the top rope to the floor. Jey is legal now. Jey runs the ropes for a big dive out of the ring but Anderson meets him on the apron with a big kick to the head. We go to commercial with Gallows and Anderson in control.
Back from the break and Jimmy comes flying off the top on Gallows for a close 2 count. Jimmy goes back up but Gallows rocks him with a right hand. Jey is still down on the floor. Anderson comes in and goes to the top but Jimmy fights him off, sending him to the mat. Jimmy leaps but lands on his feet as Anderson moves. Jimmy drops both opponents with superkicks as fans pop.
Jimmy goes back to the top for a splash on Anderson but the music interrupts and out comes the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Jimmy finally leaps for the splash but Anderson gets his knees up. SAnitY’s Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain and Eric Young suddenly interfere for the bell.
– After the bell, SAnitY continues attacking. Dain takes out Jey on the floor. Dain and Wolfe with a double team move to Jimmy in the ring as The Bar watches from the ramp. SAnitY walks past The Bar and they all trade looks but that’s it. The Bar rushes the ring now and stomps on Jimmy. They launch Anderson into the ring post in the corner. They go to the floor and send Gallows into the barrier, then Jey. Sheamus and Cesaro take the titles and raise them at the bottom of the ramp as SAnitY watches them.
– We go backstage to WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura in a pre-recorded video. Nakamura jokes that he’s supposed to be scared of this – he shows us footage of Rusev on Total Divas with Lana. Nakamura says Rusev is no United States Title contender, he’s nothing special but he is a Total Diva.
– We see Mustafa Ali and AJ Styles backstage talking. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see what happened with the McMahon Family on RAW.
– The following matches are announced for next Tuesday’s SmackDown on Christmas Day – Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe, Rusev vs. WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Shane McMahon on MizTV.
– We get a pre-recorded promo from The New Day to hype the 16th annual WWE Tribute to the Troops on Thursday and The New Day’s Pancake Powered New Year Super Spectacular on Wednesday, both a part of WWE Holiday Week on the USA Network.
– We go to the ring and out comes WWE Champion Daniel Bryan.
Bryan says he killed The Yes Movement and then on Sunday at TLC, he destroyed the house that AJ Styles built. Bryan says unlike the people, he’s not about destruction and he’s about creation. Bryan says he’s creating something better, a whole new world here on SmackDown. Bryan says he knows the people won’t like it because they fear change. Bryan goes on ripping fans for their consumption and how they are killing the planet. Bryan says the people of Fresno are the worst. He says the city of Fresno ranks #1 in pollution for the state of California. Fans boo some and Bryan chants “shame!” at them.
Bryan goes on running the fans down and says they have already failed but lucky for them, they have someone to show them the way. That is Bryan, the WWE Champion. He raises the WWE Title as the boos continue. The music interrupts and out comes Andrade “Cien” Almas with Zelina Vega for the main event.
Daniel Bryan and Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Mustafa Ali and AJ Styles
Andrade “Cien” Almas joins Daniel Bryan in the ring. Out first comes AJ Styles for his team. Mustafa Ali is out next. Ali joins Styles on the ramp and they head to the ring together as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Almas goes at it with AJ. Almas with offense in the corner. AJ catches a kick and they trade counters but Almas levels AJ with a huge elbow. Almas with a pin attempt. Almas with a knee in the gut and a right hand to drop AJ. AJ turns it around long enough to get the tag to Ali. Ali comes in and takes control of Almas. Bryan comes in and keeps Ali grounded. Bryan works on the arm and tags Almas back in. Almas drops Ali with a big chop to the chest and tags Bryan back in.
Bryan whips Ali into the corner but Ali kicks him in the head. Ali catches Bryan with a Facebuster. Bryan rolls to the floor for a breather. Ali charges to fly out but Almas and Vegas block him by posing on the ropes. Ali kicks Almas to the floor. Ali runs and leaps out, taking Bryan and Almas down on the outside as Vega screams. Ali returns to the ring to stand tall with AJ as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Almas remains in control of Ali. Almas comes off the top for another close 2 count as Vega cheers him on. Almas continues to focus on Ali’s leg now. Almas drops Ali again for another close pin attempt. Bryan comes in and kicks Ali around while talking some trash. Ali avoids a shot and starts to fight back now. Bryan comes right back and levels him. Bryan with a surfboard submission in the middle of the ring now. Bryan turns that into the Dragon Sleeper but Ali makes it to the bottom rope to break the hold. Ali looks to keep the offense going as Almas comes back in but Almas drops him face-first from up high. Almas with another nonchalant cover as AJ looks on.
Ali looks to mount offense again but Almas nails a big clothesline. Ali finally drops Almas with knees and gets an opening. AJ and Bryan tag in at the same time as fans pop. AJ unloads on Bryan. More back and forth now. AJ catches Bryan in a neckbreaker for a 2 count. AJ gets sent to the apron. He springboards in but Bryan moves. AJ goes on and rolls Bryan into the Calf Crusher. Bryan looks to turn it around but AJ tightens the hold and re-adjusts. Almas runs in and breaks the Calf Crusher by beating on AJ.
Almas goes for the Hammerlock DDT on AJ but AJ dumps him over the top rope to the floor. Ali runs and jumps off the steel ring steps but slips, still managing to take Almas down on the floor. Bryan charges AJ in the ring but lands hard as AJ side-steps. Bryan avoids a Styles Clash. Bryan with kicks to drop AJ again. Bryan runs into a kick in the corner. AJ hits the moonsault into the reverse DDT. Ali tags in and manages to hit a DDT on Bryan. Ali goes to the top but Almas runs up from behind. Ali kicks Almas to the mat. Styles springboards in and hits the Phenomenal Forearm on Almas to take him out. Ali leaps from the top and hits the 054 on Bryan for the pin to win.
Winners: Mustafa Ali and AJ Styles
– After the match, Ali celebrates with Bryan as Ali’s music hits. We go to replays. SmackDown goes off the air with Styles and Ali celebrating as the losers recover on the floor.