“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown video plays, and we go into the arena to see a pyrotechnics display. The stage is decorated with Christmas trees and presents. AJ Styles’ music hits, and the WWE Champion makes his way down to the ring. We’re going to kick off Smackdown Live with a WWE Championship match.
WWE Championship Match
AJ Styles (c) vs. James Ellsworth
The crowd is chanting for AJ Styles. Styles yells at him, while Ellsworth gestures that he is 3-0 against him. The ring announcer does the introductions once both men are in the ring. The crowd is really buzzing about this match. Ellsworth’s name receives a lot of jeers from the Detroit crowd. As for Styles, he is roundly cheered.
The bell rings, and Ellsworth throws some phantom jabs at Styles. Styles quickly sends him to the corner and talks some trash. Ellsworth goes for No Chin Music, but Styles blocks it and wipes him out with a strike combo. Styles covers him and picks up the win to retain his championship.
Winner and still WWE Champion: AJ Styles
The referee gives Styles his championship, but he shakes his head and puts it down before snapping Ellsworth’s head off the middle rope. Styles goes outside, grabs him, and slams him off the commentary table. The crowd is chanting “YES.” Styles picks him up and forearms him down before dropping him face-first on the ring steps. Styles lifts up the apron and sends Ellsworth headfirst into the steel structure of the ring. Styles then gives him a guillotine catapult into the steel frame. Styles grabs his championship and starts to walk off before stopping and turning around. Styles grabs Ellsworth and gives him a snap duplex into the barricade. Styles gets in the ring and mugs for the crowd. Referees surround Ellsworth and check on his wellbeing. He appears to be unconscious. Styles apologizes for the crowd having to witness that. No wait… he isn’t. That’s been building up for six weeks and was a long time coming. A stretcher is sent out for Ellsworth. Rudolph and the chinless reject can go back to the Isle of Misfit Toys when they go on. Now he can move on to more important things this year like… actually he’s done with the most important things this year. It’s time to move onto 2017 for him. He doesn’t need to ask Santa for anything for Christmas because he has it all, including the WWE Championship. It looks like it’s a Merry Christmas to AJ Styles and a Happy New Year.
Dolph Ziggler’s music hits, and he quickly walks down to the ring. Ziggler sarcastically congratulates Styles before reminding him that there is one more thing coming at the end of the year — he’s next in line for the WWE Title. Styles forgot about him because Ziggler is a cakewalk. The best thing Ziggler does is lose. Ziggler says this is coming from the guy that took four tries to beat Ellsworth. Styles says he only needs one try to beat him. Ziggler says it’s not going to be that easy. A couple of months ago, he put his entire career on the line for a shot at the WWE Intercontinental Championship. He went through hell and came out on top. What does Styles think he’s willing to do to get his hands on the title?
Baron Corbin’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Styles laughs and gets out of the ring. Corbin says it should be him versus AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, not Ziggler. How many chances are they going to give him? Corbin calls him “little man.” Ziggler says he may be new, but you don’t get chances; you earn them. He earned his championship shot while Corbin was taking a week off. Corbin says the only reason he earned anything is because he wasn’t here. Next week when he faces Styles for the title, he will lose because that’s what Ziggler does. Corbin says Ziggler doesn’t steal the show. He steals opportunities and wastes them. So next week… Corbin takes him down with a right hand. Ziggler tries to fight back, but Corbin lays him out with the End of Days. The crowd callously chants “One more time.” Styles is pleased with what he sees.
Tonight’s main event will see Dean Ambrose take on Luke Harper. Coming up next, we’ll see The Miz defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews.
Daniel Bryan is backstage trying to calm Dolph Ziggler down. Ziggler says he wants Baron Corbin tonight. Bryan agrees to the match, but if Ziggler loses Corbin will get his shot at the WWE Championship next week. Bryan asks if he’s sure, but Ziggler says he is and won’t go down without a fight.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Apollo Crews vs. The Miz (c) w/ Maryse
Footage is shown from WWE Tribute to the Troops when Gabriel Iglasius distracted him.
The bell rings, and Crews quickly gets a crucifix pin for a two count. Crews goes for la magistral, but Miz kicks out. Miz quickly retreats to the corner. Miz fakes a lock up before kicking and punching him. Crews quickly slingshots over him, leapfrogs him, and dropkicks him down for a two count. Crews applies a side headlock, but Miz whips him off, leapfogs him, and goes for a dropkick, but Crews avoids it. Crews jackknifes him for a two count. Miz quickly gets out of the ring, but Crews baseball slides him down. Miz reverses a whip into the apron, but Crews leaps up and takes him out with a moonsault block. Crews gets him back in the ring and goes to the top rope for a cross-body block to pick up a near fall. Miz quickly gets out of the ring to recover.
We come back from the break to see both men down. Crews gets to his feet, as does Miz. Crews kicks him down and kicks him in the head before sending him into the ropes for a clothesline. Crews kips up and hits a standing enzuigiri for a two count. During the commercial, Crews took Miz down. Crews goes for his finish, but Miz fights out and goes for the Skull Crushing Finale. Crews counters into a roll-up for a two count. Crews quickly drops him with an Olympic Slam for another two count. Crews misses an avalanche, but manages to give him a back elbow. Maryse gets on the apron to interfere, but the referee catches it before promptly ejecting her from ringside. Maryse vigorously protests. Crews rolls Miz up for a two count. Miz quickly comes back with a big boot and hits the ropes, but Crews counters with a German Suplex for a near fall. Miz flips through his finish, rakes the eyes, and hits the Skull Crushing Finale for the win.
Winner and still WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
Renee Young gets in the ring and interviews The Miz about his obsession with Dean Ambrose. Miz mentions her obsession with Ambrose. She’s the one sleeping with him. The crowd lets out an “Ohh!” Renee slaps him in the face and walks off.
Footage is shown of Zack Ryder’s injury from last week. They show a picture of the scar on his knee.
Next week, we’ll see a four corners elimination match for the WWE Tag Team Championships. The Wyatts will defend against Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Usos, and American Alpha.
Natalya’s music hits, and she makes her way to the ring. She grabs a microphone while we go to commercial.
John Cena returns to Smackdown Live next week.
Natalya attempts to explain herself to Nikki Bella
Natalya says she’s tired of all the rumors and asks Nikki Bella to come to the ring to talk. Nikki Bella obliges and comes down to the ring. As soon as she gets in the ring, Carmella’s music hits, and she comes down the ramp. Carmella says she’s just here to see how Natalya will weasel her way out of this. Nikki says how does she know Carmella isn’t the on that attacked her. Carmella says if she did, she’d be bragging about it. John Cena can’t help her out with all her problems. Carmella tells her to stop daydreaming about the SNL afterparty and realize that Natalya is a liar. Maybe some silicon leaked into her brain. Natalya is greatly upset by that comment. Carmella says that’s enough of the act. Did Natalya not tell her that someone needs to teach Nikki a lesson? Natalya tells her to shut her mouth. Carmella talks about how Natalya cried on her shoulder and said the Bella Twins were in WWE because they couldn’t make it on their own. Natalya says that’s something she said in private. Natalya calls her a “dirty little Staten Island snitch.” Nikki asks if Natalya really attacked her. Natalya says Carmella caused all this and chases her. Natalya grabs her on the stage and sends her into the trees.
Natalya then looks at Nikki and says, “Alright… I did it, you bitch. I have always despised you. I am Natalya Neidhart. I am wrestling royalty. You are not. Nikki, you may have been the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history, and I know you worked so hard, Nikki. You worked ten long years. You worked your butt off, but you and your sister got everything because you’re beautiful. Yeah, yeah, you’re nothing, just like these people here. Yeah! You’ve got the magazine covers, you’ve got to walk red carpets, you’ve got the Total Divas spinoff. That should have been me! And you didn’t get it, Nikki, because you’ve got a great personality. You’ve got no charisma. My cat has more charisma than you. Yeah, bitch. You may be beautiful on the inside, Nikki, and on the outside, but you are a nothing. And that’s why John will never marry you!” Natalya walks off with the crowd buzzing. Nikki is disgusted.
Dolph Ziggler will face Baron Corbin later tonight. The winner will face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship next week. Coming up next, Dean Ambrose will face Luke Harper.
Daniel Bryan is on the phone when Alexa Bliss walks in limping. Bliss says her leg really hurts and says he better punish Becky Lynch accordingly. Bryan says the punishment he’s come up with is fair. Becky will face her for the Smackdown Women’s Championship next week. Bliss is disgusted and asks if he’s really going to put his injured champion in danger. Bryan says he talked to the trainers and she is 100% cleared to compete. Last week she refused to face her competition, but he’s scheduled her for a match tonight. If she doesn’t compete, she’ll forfeit the title. Bliss says she didn’t fight last week out of the goodness of her heart. Whatever happens to the person she faces tonight is on him. Bliss then walks off, no longer limping.
Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper w/ The Wyatt Family
The bell rings, and Ambrose quickly dropkicks him. Ambrose misses a clothesline and sends him into the ropes, but Harper holds on. Ambrose sends him out of the ring. Harper gets in, and Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds, but he can’t hook it. Harper gives him a guillotine catapult into the ropes. Ambrose falls out of the ring to recover.
We come back from the break to see Ambrose fighting out of a superplex attempt. Ambrose head-butts him down, jumps over him, and gets caught with a spinning sidewalk slam for a two count. Harper applies a modified crossface submission. During the commercial, Harper sent him into the steps. Ambrose fights up, but Harper takes him down and hits a pendulum backbreaker. Harper lifts him up in a torture rack submission, but Ambrose fights off and punches him. Ambrose hits the ropes and clotheslines him down. Ambrose hits a running forearm and goes for a bulldog, but Harper throws him off. Harper drops him on the turnbuckle before giving him a superkick that sends him out of the ring. Harper gets him in the ring, but Ambrose quickly comes back by snapping him off the top rope. Ambrose goes to the top rope and leaps to take out Wyatt and Orton at ringside. Harper gets in the ring and gives Ambrose a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Harper is incredulous. Ambrose ducks a discus clothesline and catches him with la magistral for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Dean Ambrose
Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton immediately attack Ambrose. They double-team him with punches and stomps. Wyatt sets up for Sister Abigail before throwing him into Orton for an RKO. Wyatt stands over Ambrose and just stares. The Wyatt Family then poses next to him before the lights go off.
When the lights come back on, Ambrose is struggling to get up. The Miz’ music hits, and he makes his way to the ring with his wife, Maryse, by his side. Miz gets in the ring and gives him a Skull Crushing Finale. Miz and Maryse kiss in the ring and pose for the crowd.
Tonight’s main event will see Dolph Ziggler face Baron Corbin. The winner faces AJ Styles for the WWE Championship next week. Coming up next, we’ll see Alexa Bliss in action.
Alexa Bliss will be facing a masked female luchador.
La Luchadora vs. Alexa Bliss
The bell rings, and La Luchadora rolls under a lock up. She does this again, and Bliss looks irritated. Bliss grabs her, but La Luchadora takes her down for a two count. Bliss chops her, but La Luchadora takes her down and wrenches the arm before picking up a two count. Bliss looks furious. La Luchadora gives her a snapmare before applying a body-scissor. La Luchadora rolls around wiht her before applying a chin lock. Bliss quickly forearms her and clubs away at her for a one count. Bliss chokes her on the ropes and runs against her for a two count. Bliss appears to be bleeding from a nose ring hole. Bliss puts her in the corner, but La Luchadora elbows her and applies the Dis-Arm-Her. Bliss taps out.
Winner by Submission: La Luchadora
La Luchadora runs around and high fives the crowd before hugging the commentators. La Luchadora gets in the ring and unmasks to reveal it’s actually Becky Lynch. Bliss is furious.
Ryan Phillippe is walking around looking for Randy Orton. Mojo Rawley bumps into him and says it’s not a good idea to find Orton. Curt Hawkins comes up and winds up getting involved in a match with Rawley. They’ll fight later.
Ryan Phillippe will be on commentary for the next match.
Curt Hawkins vs. Mojo Rawley
Hawkins kicks and punches him before having a whip reversed on him. Hawkins quickly gets out of the ring to rethink his strategy. Hawkins runs away from Rawley and punches him while he tries to get into the ring. Hawkins hits the ropes, but Rawley avalanches him. Rawley pulls him up to the apron before sending him to the turnbuckles. Hawkins connects with a clothesline for a two count. Rawley soon comes back with a back body drop. Rawley hits a pair of shoulder blocks and a clothesline. Rawley avalanches him twice before viciously shoulder tackling him. Rawley hits a running forearm in the corner for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Mojo Rawley
Mojo Rawley calls Ryan Phillippe into the ring, and they hug. A new episode of “Shooter” is on right after Smackdown Live.
Coming up next, we’ll see Dolph Ziggler take on Baron Corbin. The winner faces Styles for the WWE Championship.
John Cena returns next week on Smackdown Live.
James Ellsworth has been taken to a hospital, but then he’s shown backstage all bandaged up with ice bags tied to him. Ellsworth is too injured to talk.
AJ Styles will be on commentary for the next match.
#1 Contender’s Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin quickly gets out of the ring at the sound of the bell. Corbin takes him down a few times before throwing him against the ropes. Corbin chokes him with the boot before kneeing him in the midsection at ringside. Corbin gets him in the ring for a two count. Ziggler makes a brief comeback, but Corbin sends him sternum-first into the corner for a near fall. Corbin talks trash to him in the corner and clubs him. Corbin sends him to the opposite corner hard for another near fall. Corbin goes for a slam, but Ziggler slides off and dropkicks him. Ziggler hits the ropes and clotheslines him down. Corbin counters an avalanche into a flapjack into the ropes. Ziggler quickly comes back with a back elbow, but Corbin wipes him out and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Corbin then sandwiches Ziggler’s head into the ring post.
We come back from the break to see Ziggler fighting out of a chin lock before sending him shoulder-first into the ring post. Ziggler immediately follows up with a famouser for a near fall. Ziggler counters a powerbomb into a roll-up for a two count. Corbin comes back with an STO, but Ziggler kicks out at two. Corbin talk a little trash to Styles. Corbin punches Ziggler down and taunts the crowd. Ziggler surprises him with a roll-up, but Corbin kicks out. Corbin immediately clotheslines him down for a near fall. Ziggler snaps him off the ropes before going for a neckbreaker against the ropes. Ziggler kicks the knee and connects with the Zig-Zag for a near fall! Ziggler gets him in the corner and punches away at him. Ziggler gets him propped up on the top rope, but Corbin fights him off and elbows him back. Corbin floors him with Deep Six for a near fall. Corbin throws a tantrum over his inability to put him away.
Ziggler rolls out of the ring to recover. Corbin follows him out and sends him into the barricade. Corbin sends him into the barricade a second time before throwing him into AJ Styles. Corbin lifts him up, and Ziggler superkicks him. Both men are counted out.
AJ Styles attacks both men with a steel chair. Styles cracks it off their backs numerous times. Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage. If Styles wants real competition, then next week on Smackdown Live it’ll be Dolph Ziggler versus AJ Styles versus Baron Corbin in a triple threat WWE Championship Match. Styles is furious over that ruling.