– The Christmas Eve edition of WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with a look back at how WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns fired Paul Heyman last week, and was then attacked by Brock Lesnar.
– A somewhat disheveled Paul Heyman is backstage with Kayla Braxton now, in an interview that is billed as recorded earlier today. Kayla says it’s been one week since Heyman was fired publicly by WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns She asks him what happened.
Heyman says what happened was he told the truth to Reigns, a truth Reigns didn’t want to hear, publicly. He was fired, publicly, because he told the truth. Smashed in the face, publicly. Heyman goes on and says he paid a price for telling the truth. Kayla asks if he regrets telling the truth. Heyman thinks about it and says no because his role as special counsel was to tell Reigns these uncomfortable truths, to not just protect Reigns as a personality or IP, but as champion.
Heyman says when he came back from the ring he had to explain this to Reigns, but all his suits, bags and belongings were tossed from Reigns’ locker room suite into the hallway, like he’s some rookie. Heyman says his role was to protect the title and make no mistake about it, Reigns is the greatest Universal Champion of all-time, but he needs to be protected from Brock Lesnar.
Kayla asks Heyman what’s next. He takes a sip of water and says he doesn’t know. What does he do now? Go to WWE NXT, scout a top talent and start all over again? Not at this stage. He put every bit of his heart, soul and spirit into being Reigns’ special counsel because he believes in Reigns and without that, maybe it’s time for Heyman to acknowledge that his career is most likely over.
– We’re live on tape from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL as Michael Cole welcomes us to the Christmas Eve edition of SmackDown. He’s joined at ringside by Pat McAfee. Cole thanks everyone for tuning in on Christmas Eve and says it wouldn’t be Christmas without the traditional Miracle on 34th Street Fight. The New Day and Drew McIntyre will face SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos and Madcap Moss. They also plug tonight’s 12 Days of Christmas Gauntlet to determine the new #1 contender to WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.
SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Toni Storm vs. Charlotte Flair
We go right to the ring for tonight’s title match opener as SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair makes her way out. There are Christmas trees and decorations all over the set. Flair hits the ring as the pyro hits. Out next comes Toni Storm as Mike Rome does the introductions. We see how Storm earned this title shot.
Back from the break and the bell rings as they size each other up. They lock up and aggressively go at it with Flair takes Storm to the corner to force a break. They lock up again and Flair takes it to the other corner, then backs off. Storm rocks her with uppercuts. Storm knocks Flair to her knees with more stiff strikes. They go at it and Flair boots Storm in the gut. They run the ropes and Storm hits a crossbody for a 1 count.
Storm with more offense, then a basement dropkick and a quick pin attempt. Flair goes to the floor for a breather as the referee counts. Flair takes her time but comes back in. Storm immediately hits another crossbody for 2. Flair unloads and beats Storm down in the corner, then takes her into the other turnbuckle. Flair stands on Storm and keeps her down. Flair goes on for another close 2 count.
Flair uses her knees to slam Storm’s face into the mat over and over. Flair keeps Storm grounded now. Flair goes on but Storm rolls her up for 2. More back and forth for a few minutes. Flair with the top rope moonsault but Storm kicks out at 2. Flair shows some frustration and immediately covers for another 2 count.
Flair talks some trash while Storm is down on the mat now. Flair with big chops as Storm gets back up, but is sent back down. Storm counters Natural Selection and hits a big German suplex. Flair counters a move and rolls Storm up. Flair goes into the Figure Eight and then tries to bridge into the Figure Four submission. Flair also slapped Storm and is now yelling at her to tap out.
Storm managers to roll the submission over. Storm grabs the bottom rope to break the hold. Flair gets up and stares Storm down. Flair levels Storm wit a big boot. Flair then charges and kicks Storm in the back of the head, sending her off the apron to the floor. Flair talks some trash and grabs Storm as the referee counts. Storm counters and sends Flair face-first into the ring post. Storm unloads with lefts and rights now. Storm rolls Flair back in but Flair fights.
Flair tries to use the ropes for leverage but the referee catches her. They trade several pin attempts now. Flair manages to get the pin to retain after countering another roll-up in the middle of the ring.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
– After the match, the music hits and Flair stands tall to celebrate. Storm gets emotional and rolls to the apron. Flair raises the title in the air and exits the ring as Storm looks on.
– We see how Drew McIntyre crashed Happy Talk last week as Madcap Moss and Happy Baron Corbin had Adam Pearce’s desk in the ring. King Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston are backstage now when McIntyre walks up with his sword, Angela. Drew says he’s always ready for battle and it’s a special day when Drew-Day gets back together. The New Day looks forward to getting the titles back at WWE Day 1, but first they all will beat Moss and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos tonight. Drew is a bit sad because he might beat Moss so bad he can’t make it to Day 1. They end the segment with lots of ridiculous laughing.
12 Days of Christmas Gauntlet Match: Ricochet, Sami Zayn, Drew Gulak, Mansoor, Erik, Ivar, Shanky, Jinder Mahal, Sheamus, Cesaro, Angel, Humberto
We go back to the ring and out comes Rick Boogs with his guitar. He does the grand introduction for WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and they head to the ring together. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and the Progressive-sponsored replay shows us how Xia Li made her debut two weeks ago. We also see how Natalya threatened her in a promo. Li is backstage now. She has known women like Natalya all her life, but she doesn’t fear her, she will fight her. Li speaks some in Chinese now and says she is The Protector. We go back to the ring and Nakamura and Boogs are wrapping their entrance. They head to ringside to watch the match. Angel is out first for the Gauntlet. He waits as Mansoor makes his way out. The bell rings and Mansoor catches a kick to start. Mansoor with a big inverted Atomic Drop. They run the ropes and Mansoor nails another big Atomic Drop, then a dropkick.
Mansoor fights back from the corner but Angel pulls his legs out and he hits hard on the turnbuckles. Angel with a running boot to the face and some trash talking to Nakamura. Angel rocks Mansoor. Mansoor blocks strikes and mounts offense, dropping Angel with an enziguri. Angel ends up rocking Mansoor with another stiff shot, then hitting him with the Wing Clipper in the middle of the ring for the pin. Mansoor has been eliminated.
The music hits and out next comes Erik of The Viking Raiders. Erik rushes the ring and Angel dropkicks him right back to the floor. Angel slams Erik face-first into the apron. Erik fights back but Angle stays on top. Angel goes to the top for a big moonsault to the floor but Erik catches him in mid-air, then slams him hard on the floor for a pop. Erik gets fired up at ringside as fans cheer him on and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. Erik slams Angel and rocks him in the face with a knee strike for 2. Erik slams Angel on his head for another close 2 count as Boogs and Nakamura look on from ringside. Erik misses double knees in the corner as Angel moves, then slams Erik face-first into the mat. Angel with a Wing Clipper to Erik in the middle of the ring for the pin. Erik has been eliminated.
The music hits and out comes Shanky now. Angel recovers in the ring as Shanky yells out and makes his way in. Angel pleads but immediately nails a dropkick, but that does nothing to Shanky. Shanky comes over the top rope and levels Angel with a clothesline. Shanky with a big chop to the chest to drop Angel in the corner. Shanky with a big elbow and hip toss from the corner. Shanky man-handles Angel some and nails a big Accordion Slam for the pin. Angel has been eliminated.
The music hits and out comes Ivar of The Viking Raiders. Ivar rushes the ring and they go at it. Shanky tries to grab Ivar’s beard but they keep fighting. Shanky drops Ivar with a big boot. Shanky sends Ivar into the corner but runs into an elbow. Ivar with the cartwheel and clothesline in the corner, then a splash to drop Shanky in the corner.
Ivar charges and hits the Viking Buster to keep Shanky down. Ivar goes to the top rope and hits the big splash for the pin. Shanky has been eliminated.
The music hits and out comes Sheamus now. Sheamus enters the ring and goes right to work on Ivar. Ridge Holland is at ringside for The Celtic Warrior. Ivar fights back and rocks Sheamus with a right hand, then clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus has Ivar down for a 2 count. Sheamus keeps Ivar grounded in the middle of the ring as Holland looks on. Ivar starts hulking up and out of the hold. They trade strikes but Sheamus rocks Ivar. Ivar drops Sheamus with a tackle, then again with a right hand. Ivar runs into a boot in the corner but then catches Sheamus with a side-slam. Ivar with the running crossbody to keep Sheamus down. Ivar calls for the raid as fans chant “raid!” now. They trade counters and Ivar hits the big senton out of the corner.
Sheamus kicks out at 2. Ivar goes back to the top but Sheamus rocks him with a forearm, then unloads with him. Sheamus gets Ivar on his shoulders but Ivar stays in it. They tangle some more until Sheamus levels Ivar with a Brogue Kick for the pin. Ivar has been eliminated.
The music hits and out comes Drew Gulak now. Gulak is fired up. He enters the ring but immediately eats a Brogue Kick for the pin. Gulak is eliminated in seconds.
The music hits as Cesaro makes his way to the ring next. Cesaro, who gets a big pop, has his ribs taped up from the baton shot by Holland last week. Sheamus and Cesaro meet at ringside and start brawling. Sheamus sends Cesaro into the barrier but misses as Cesaro moves, and Cesaro sends him into the barrier. Cesaro brings it in the ring and hits the top rope crossbody for a close 2 count. Sheamus keeps fighting and hits the rolling senton now. Sheamus with a back suplex and more strikes to the hurt ribs. Sheamus grounds Cesaro now. Sheamus dominates and takes his time with Cesaro now, beating him around.
Cesaro mounts some offense and unloads as fans cheer him on. Cesaro dodges a big boot and nails a missile dropkick. Cesaro goes on and hits the Cesaro Swing but only gets Sheamus around 4 times due to his ribs. Cesaro with a big uppercut and a clothesline for a pop. Holland gets on the apron right as Cesaro is about to do the Neutralizer, but he stops the move and looks to knock Holland off the apron. Sheamus goes for a move but Cesaro lands on his feet, then knocks Holland off the apron. Sheamus takes advantage and levels Cesaro with a Brogue Kick for the pin. Cesaro has been eliminated.
The music hits and out next is Ricochet. Ricochet rushes the ring and unloads on Sheamus with strikes. He ends up sending Sheamus to the floor and nailing a huge Asai moonsault, flying into the air and back down onto Sheamus at ringside as Nakamura and Boogs look on. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and they’re going at it. Sheamus pounds on Ricochet and keeps control, grounding Ricochet now as Holland, Nakamura and Boogs all watch from ringside. Fans try to rally for Ricochet now. He fights up and out with lefts and rights. Sheamus catches him with a big powerslam in the middle of the ring for a 2 count. Sheamus sends Ricochet to the apron and beats him down with 10 Beats of the Bodhrán now. Sheamus goes to the top and flies but has to roll through as Ricochet moves. Ricochet comes back with a big DDT for a close 2 count. They trade lefts and rights in the middle of the ring now. Ricochet counters a powerslam and side-steps to send Sheamus face-first into the turnbuckle. Ricochet goes on but lands on Sheamus’ knees in trying the springboard moonsault in the middle of the ring. Sheamus rolls him for a quick 2 count.
Sheamus goes for 10 Beats of the Bodhrán again but Ricochet drops him over the top rope, then boots him from the apron. Ricochet springboards in and takes Sheamus down, then hits the standing moonsault for another close 2 count. Ricochet shows some frustration now. Ricochet goes back to the top but has to come down as Holland gets on the apron. The distraction allows Sheamus to knock Ricochet off the apron with a knee. Fans boo now. Sheamus brings Ricochet back in and plays to the crowd as the boos get louder. Cesaro runs over and takes Holland out at ringside out of nowhere. Sheamus is distracted, which allows Ricochet to roll him up for the pin. Sheamus has been eliminated.
The music hits and out comes Humberto next. Sheamus drops Ricochet from behind and lays him out. Sheamus makes his exit as Humberto enters the ring. The referee backs him off and checks on Ricochet but he’s slowly getting up. She gives the OK and Humberto nails a big dropkick into the corner. Humberto goes for a moonsault from the top but Ricochet blocks it in mid-air. Ricochet drops Humberto with the Recoil for the pin. Humberto has been eliminated.
The music hits and out next comes Jinder Mahal. Mahal brings Ricochet out and slams him on the edge of the apron. A seething Mahal brings Ricochet back in and drops him on his head for a 2 count. Mahal with some early frustration. Ricochet blocks The Khallas and rolls Mahal up for the pin. Mahal has been eliminated.
The music hits and out comes Sami Zayn as the final competitor. Fans boo Sami as he struts to the ring. Ricochet regroups in the ring and looks on as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Sami has Ricochet down in the corner, working him over. Sami with a clothesline for a 2 count. Sami plays to the crowd for more boos, then looks to fly off the second rope with a right hand but Ricochet grabs his leg. Sami sends Ricochet back and talks some trash but Ricochet jumps up and brings him to the mat with a big hurricanrana. Sami kicks out at 2. They trade strikes in the middle of the ring now. Ricochet blocks the Blue Thunderbomb and they keep fighting.
Ricochet slams Zayn for a 2 count. More back and forth now. Sami with the Blue Thunderbomb for a close 2 count and Sami can’t believe it. Ricochet blocks the Exploder suplex into the corner. Sami keeps fighting and beats Ricochet down with elbow strikes. Ricochet blocks another Exploder. Sami with some trash talking but he goes on and manages to launch Ricochet into the corner with the Exploder as fans boo.
Sami charges for the Helluva Kick and nails it. Ricochet comes back and drops Sami on his head for a close 2 count. More back and forth now. Ricochet also shows some frustration as Boogs and Nakamura look on. Ricochet goes to the top but Sami joins him and they fight it out.
Sami goes for a superplex but Ricochet sends him to the mat. Ricochet goes for the Shooting Star Press but Sami gets his knees up, and Ricochet lands hard. Sami follows up with an Exploder suplex into the turnbuckles, then a Helluva Kick for the pin to win and advance to WWE Day 1.
Winner and New #1 Contender to WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura: Sami Zayn
– After the match, the music hits as Sami stands tall and celebrates in the middle of the ring. Ricochet looks disappointed. Sami continues celebrating as Nakamura and Boogs watch from ringside.
– Still to come, a look at Paul Heyman’s career. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a video package on Paul Heyman’s storied career.
– We see the Miracle on 34th Street Fight being prepared at ringside.
Miracle on 34th Street Fight: The Usos and Madcap Moss vs. Drew McIntyre and The New Day
We go back to the ring and the decorations are out all over the ringside area and set for the Miracle on 34th Street Fight as Madcap Moss comes out with Happy Baron Corbin. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos are out next to join them – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes The New Day – King Xavier Woods and Sir Kofi Kingston. Drew McIntyre is out next and he’s carrying his sword, Angela. Drew poses in the corner and raises the sword as the fire shoots up from the ring posts. Woods starts off with Jey and they go at it. Woods catches a superkick and levels Jey with a big right hand. Woods covers for 2.
Kofi tags in and they double team Jey with several moves to keep him down. Kofi springboards off the ropes for a 2 count. Jey rams Kofi back into the opposite corner and in comes Jimmy for the quick double team. Moss tags in and takes over on Kofi in the corner. Kofi counters a move and tags in McIntyre for a pop. Moss charges but Drew rocks him and fights him off. Moss decks Drew and then unloads on him in the corner. Drew comes out of the opposite corner with a clothesline. Drew uses Moss’ suspenders against him and they tangle. Drew drops Moss with a big DDT as The Usos make the save. The New Day attacks The Usos and the two teams brawl tot he floor.
Moss unloads on Drew but Drew scoops Moss on his shoulders. Corbin hits the ring with a candy cane kendo stick and unloads on Drew with it, beating him down. We see The Usos and The New Day fighting on the stage. Jimmy tosses Kofi into a bunch of presents and Christmas trees, then Jey does the same to Woods. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Woods is using a candy cane kendo stick at ringside but The Usos double team him. Moss has control of Drew in the ring now. Moss with a suplex. The Usos vs. The New Day continues at ringside while Moss dominates Drew in the ring. The Usos sandwich Kofi with Christmas trees to the face. Woods gets up at ringside but they drive a tree into him next. Moss continues to beat Drew around and slams him around in the ring as Corbin cheers him on.
Drew counters a suplex and hits one of his own. Woods opens a present at ringside and pulls out a steel chair as fans pop. Woods tosses the chair to Jimmy and then kicks it in his face. Jey superkicks Woods. Kofi leaps off the top to Moss in the ring. Jey runs in but Kofi unloads on him with signature offense. Kofi with a Boom Drop to Jey in the middle of the ring. Kofi rallies fans but Uso ducks Trouble In Paradise. Kofi comes back with and the match starts to fall apart. The New Day sends The Usos to the floor.
Kofi brings platters of cookies in and leaps off the top to the floor, smashing The Usos in their faces with platters full of cookies. Moss beats Drew around now, talking trash in his face and slapping him. Moss charges but Drew explodes at him with a big clothesline. Drew with another clothesline and overhead throw, then another throw. Drew tosses Moss again and kips up for a pop. Drew waits for Moss to get back up as fans count along. Corbin grabs Drew’s foot from the floor and fans boo.
Drew chases Corbin around the ring but Kofi meets Corbin with a candy cane kendo stick at ringside. Drew has him trapped on the other side. Kofi comes from behind as Corbin yells at Drew. Kofi pours a jug of eggnog all over Corbin. Corbin seethes and Moss joins him. They stare Kofi down, yelling at him to bring it. Drew takes advantage of the distraction and comes from behind, then covers them both in eggnog. Drew brings Moss back into the ring to level him with a Claymore Kick for the pin to win.
Winners: Drew McIntyre and The New Day
– After the match, McIntyre stands tall as his music hits. We go to commercial. Drew and The New Day bring a Christmas tree into the ring, then they start tossing WE merchandise into the crowd. Woods takes some action figures and t-shirts to ringside and stands on top of the barrier, tossing the items to the floor. McIntyre tosses various items into the crowd from ringside now. The New Day and McIntyre continue throwing gifts to the WWE Universe as the Christmas Eve edition of SmackDown goes off the air.