This week’s edition of WWE SmackDown aired live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, and was the first episode after Sunday’s Clash of Champions PPV.
– We see a recap from Clash of Champions, then SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan comes out to the ring. Bryan has a mic, and he starts off talking about the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. He announces Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles in a six-man tag for tonight’s main event. Shane McMahon’s music hits and the SmackDown Commissioner comes down to the ring to meet Bryan. Shane talks about what happened at the PPV on Sunday, and says he knows Bryan falling into him was an accident now. Shane makes a comment that he doesn’t need any protection from Daniel Bryan, and Bryan tells him he does. Bryan says Shane is a hot heat and sometimes loses track of what’s best for the entire SmackDown roster – including Owens and Zayn. Shane says Bryan’s empathy will be his weakness with Owens and Zayn, because they’ll stab him in the back. Bryan asks if he shouldn’t have done what was best for business on Sunday, and if Shane wants to fire someone, don’t fire Owens or Zayn, fire him. The crowd makes lots of noise, and Shane says “well Daniel.” He says he respects and trusts Daniel, and wishes him good luck with the show tonight. Shane steps out of the ring and leaves.
– The Usos will take on Chad Gable & Shelton Benjmain in a non-title match tonight.
– The Usos vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin: The Usos start off strong and send Gable and Benjamin out to the ringisde floor. Shelton comes in an goes back and for with Jimmy. Jey and Gable get the tags and Jey fires up. Jey hits a series of kicks on Gable and goes for a Samoan drop, but Gable evades it. Jey finally hits the Samoan drop, then goes up top but Jordan stops him. Jimmy comes in but Gable hits him with a German suplex. Gable hits a German on Jey next, then Shelton tags in and they connect with a double team powerbomb/flying clothesline. Shelton pins for the three count.
Winners: Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
– WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte comes out to the ring and reminds everyone that she beat Natalya on Sunday. She recaps Stephanie McMahon’s announcement from Monday that there’s a women’s Royal Rumble coming up. Charlotte says this is thanks to all the fans, for going on social media and making their voices heard. Charlotte panders to the crowd some more, then Naomi comes out to interrupt. Naomi says she’s announcing she’ll be in the Royal Rumble, and that she’ll see Charlotte at WrestleMania to take her title. The Riott Squad comes out, and Naomi cuts a promo on them and calls them chicken-heads who won’t last in the Royal Rumble. Naomi challenges two of them to a tag match right now against her and Charlotte.
– Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan vs. Charlotte Flair & Naomi: Logan and Flair start off nad Logan gets some good offense in early on. She covers Flair for a 2 count before tagging in Riott. Ruby focuses on Charlotte’s leg and keeps things near her corner. They heel now trade tags to keep control and continuously work Charlotte’s knee. Naomi gets the hot tag and cleans house. She hits a scorpion kick on Logan, then another kick for a two count as Riott breaks up the pin. Charlotte comes in and takes out Riott with a big boot. Logan and Naomi go at it and Logan hits a headbutt. Liv gets on the apron, but Naomi dodges the cheap shot and Logan accidentally spears Liv off the apron. Naomi then rolls up Logan for the win.
Winners: Naomi and Charlotte
The New Day is backstage dressed in Christmas costumes, and then Rusev and Aiden English (also in Christmas/Rusev Day costumes) join them. Rusev says no one wants Christmas stuff, because they want Rusev Day stuff. English sings, and there’s some tension as Rusev doesn’t like The New Day’s pancakes. It looks like there might be a match between these two sides later.
– Dolph Ziggler comes out to the ring for his U.S. Title victory celebration. Ziggler says no one can do what he does in the ring, and he starts showing highlight videos from his past. Ziggler shows all of his previous championship victories, and says the fans don’t appreciate it. He says he’ll give them something to remember him by, and takes a long look at his U.S. Title belt. He drops the belt down to the mat, drops the mic and walk off. The announcers wonder what this means.
– Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens approach Daniel Bryan backstage to thank him for what he did on Sunday. Bryan says he didn’t do it for them, he did it because he thought it was the right thing to do for SmackDown. Bryan tells them to wipe the smiles off their faces and get ready for their match tonight.
– The New Day is backstage heading towards the gorilla position and they’re throwing pancakes at people working.
– Rusev Day vs. The New Day: Everyone in this match is wearing a Christ-mas themed costume. Rusev chases Kofi around to start as Kofi taunts him. English tags in and Kofi dropkicks him. Rusev runs in but Kofi throws him outside. The New Day grabs a red bag from ringside and they start throwing out tshirts to people in the crowd. Rusev and English drop Woods and Kofi from behind. English and Kofi are the legal men and English is beating down the New Day member. Rusev tags in and continues the assault on Kofi. Xavier finally gets the hot tag and lays into English with kicks. Kofi and Rusev come in, and Rusev dumps both Kofi and Woods to the outside. English and Rusev now go to the announce table and start pulling stuff off of it. English and Rusev set up a plate of The New Day’s pancakes with whip cream on it, and English tries to slam Xavier’s face into it but Xavier escapes. Kofi hits a suicide dive on Rusev at ringside, and Xavier and Kofi slam English’s face into the pancakes. Back in the ring, Woods hits a flying elbow drop on English for the three count.
Winners: The New Day
– We see an ad for Total Divas with a clip of The Miz and Maryse.
– WWE Champ AJ Styles is backstage discussing strategy for tonight with Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura.
– AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, & Jinder Mahal: The Singh Brothers do Jinder’s introduction and are at ringside in his corner. Randy Orton starts this one off and Jinder and he knocks the other heels off the apron too. This one quickly becomes a ringside brawl as all four men spill outside and fight on the floor. Orton slams Jinder onto the announce table then throws him back in the ring. Orton goes for the early RKO, but Jinder escapes. Orton drops him, then Nakamura and Zayn come in. Nakamura backs Zayn up to the ropes and rips some of his chest hair out. Zayn charges but Nakamura drops him, then tags in AJ. AJ beats on Zayn, then quickly tags in Orton who picks up Zayn and drops him across the top rope. Jinder tags in and starts putting the boots to Orton. Jinder drops Orton with an elbow to the face. Owens tags in now and continues to stomp on Orton. AJ comes in and he has some trouble against the combination of Zayn, Owens, and Jinder, as they trade frequent tags and wear down the WWE Champion. Jinder hits a series of knee drops on Styles chokes him. Nakamura and Zayn come in now and Nakamura tees off with kicks. He follows up with some knee drops on Zayn, then hits the good vibrations in the corner. He sets up Zayn in the corner and hits a running knee strike for a two count. Nakamura misses one kick, but connects with the second one and gets another two count on Zayn. Zayn escapes a suplex attempt and hits a cheap shot, but Nakamura comes back with an armbar attempt. Owens runs in and hits a senton on Nakamura to break it up. Orton throws Owens outside, then Jinder runs in and hits a DDt on Orton. AJ runs in and hits a Pele kick on Jinder, then AJ hits a suicide dive on Owens outside. The Singh Brothers get on the apron which appears to lead to a cheap shot on NAkamura. The ref kicks the Singh Brothers out ,but they don’t leave. Orton hits an RKO on Jinder, then he hits a draping double DDT on both Singh Brothers. AJ comes flying off the top rope with a Phenomenal Forearm on Owens, then Nakamura hits the Kinshasa on Zayn for the three count.
Winners: AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura
– Styles, Orton and Nakamura celebrate their win in the ring and stare down the heels laying at ringside.