The December 26th, 2017 edition of WWE SmackDown Live took place at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL.
– Tom Phillips welcomes us to the Allstate Arena for the final SmackDown of 2017. He’s joined by Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
– SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan comes out to the ring to kick off the show. Bryan talks about Dolph Ziggler seeming to leave the company, and says they now need to move forward with the vacated U.S. Championship. Bryan says they’ll be doing a U.S. Title tournament, and then Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable come out to interrupt. They say that’s great about the U.S. Title, but they want to know about the Tag Team Titles. Rusev and Aiden English come out to interrupt, and English sings on the way down to the ring. They say everyone knows what comes on December 26th – Rusev Day. The New Day comes out to interrupt next. They say everyone is wasting their time, because the true #1 contenders for the Tag Titles should be The New Day. Big E calls Shelton the “old Jason Jordan,” and continues to state their case for being the #1 contenders. Bryan books a triple tag team match between the three groups, and that takes place right now. Before the bell, Tag Team Champs The Usos come out to the ring.
– The New Day vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. Rusev Day: Big E and Xavier are representing The New Day in this one. This one spills out to ringisde early one, where Xavier hits a suicide dive onto his opponents. Back in the ring, Big E powerbombs his own partner Woods onto English for a two count. Gable comes in and hits a German suplex on both Rusev and English, then Gable and Shelton beat on Big E in the corner. They continue to work over Big E, then English comes in and continues the assault on Big E. Rusev gets the tag and cleans house until Gable comes in and suplexes him. English and Xavier go at it now, then Gable and Shelton double team Rusev. Gable goes for a German on Aiden, but Aiden blocks it by latching onto Xavier. Xavier hits a tornado DDT on Gable, then English slams Woods for a two count. Gable and Benjamin go for a superplex on English, but Rusev powerbombs them down and English follows up with a frogsplash on Gable for a two count. Rusev boots Xavier in the face, then lays him on Gable and locks them both in the Accolade. Shelton breaks it up and decks English. Big E spears Shelton to the outside through the ropes. Back in the ring, Shelton hits a knee to the face on Big E, then Gable tags in. Shelton and Gable hit a variation of the Doomsday Device for the three count on Big E.
Winners & new #1 contenders for the Tag Titles: Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
– Shane McMahon confronts Daniel Bryan backstage and says he took offense of Bryan’s comment last week that Shane was turning into his dad. Shane says Daniel has to give Vince his due to building this business brick by brick and redefined this business. Shane says Baron Corbin has a legitimate gripe for being in line for the U.S. Title, and suggests Corbin vs. Bobby Roode makes sense for the U.S. Title. Bryan says SmackDown is the land of opportunity, and he wanted to give the shot to many superstars. Shane also questions AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens tonight in a non-title match, because they know Sami Zayn will run in. Shane says Owens and Zayn don’t deserve the opportunity, and Bryan is showing favoritism towards those two. Bryan says Styles vs. Owens was one of the biggest rivalries of 2017, so why not give them another match to end the year. Shane says “OK,” and they have an awkward stare-down.
– We see a pre-taped segment where The Ascension informs The Fashion Police that they got them a rematch with the Bludgeon Brothers tonight.
– Luke Harper & Eric Rowan vs. Tyler Breeze & Fandango: Harper hits a side suplex on Fandango early on, while Rowan beats down Breeze at ringside. Back in the ring, Harper slaps Rowan across the face then whips Rowan into Breeze in the corner. They hit a double team sit-out powerbomb on Breeze, but decline to pin him for the finish. Harper knocks Fandango off the apron, and Rowan beats him down on the floor. The Ascension runs in and the ref calls for the bell.
Winners via DQ: Tyler Breeze and Fandango
– The Ascension immediately leaves the ring and they haul the Fashion Police to the back.
– We see a backstage interview where The Ascension says they were happy to help their best friends, the Fashion Police. They say what the Bludgeon Brothers did isn’t fair, and so that’s why their best friends are challenging them to another rematch. Breezango looks disappointed at the news.
– The Riott Squad is out next and Ruby Riott has a singles match.
– Ruby Riott vs. Naomi: Ruby takes over off the opening bell, but Naomi quickly comes bakc with a springboard kick to the face. Liv Morgan gets on the apron for the distraction and Naomi knocks her off, then Sarah gets on the other apron and Naomi knocks her off. Ruby takes advantage of the distraction by kicking Naomi’s knee out, then kicking her in the face for the three count.
Winner: Ruby Riott
– After the match, the other SmackDown women come out to confront the Riott Squad, and the Squad leaves. Tamina, Carmella, Lana, and Natalya chase the Squad all the way up the ramp to the back.
– WWE Champion AJ Styles does an interview in the back where he discusses his plan for tonight. Styles says Owens will have to outwork, outsmart, and out-hustle him, and that’s not going to happen.
– Bobby Roode vs. Baron Corbin: This is the first match in the tournament to crown a new U.S. Champion. The opening bell sounds and Roode knocks Corbin down and sends him out to ringside early on. Corbin takes a breather before coming back in. Roode continues to take the fight to Corbin and hits a neckbreaker. They fall back out to ringside and Corbin throws Roode into the guard rail. Back in the ring, Corbin continues beating on Roode. They throws Roode back out to ringside and decks him with a clothesline on the floor. Back in the ring, Roode comes back with a forearm shot and then clotheslines Corbin back outside. Roode hits a flying clothesline off the apron, then takes Corbin back in. Roode hits a blockbuster off the middle rope on Corbin for a two count. Corbin goes for the Deep Six, but Roode escapes and hits a spinebuster. Roode goes for the DDT, but Corbin escapes and hits the Deep Six on Roode. They fight up to the turnbuckle, then back down to the mat where Roode catches Corbin in a roll-up for the three count.
Winner: Bobby Roode
– Jinder Mahal vs. Tye Dillinger: The Singh Brothers give Jinder his ring introduction, and this one is the next match in the U.S. Title tournament. Jinder takes the fight to Tye right off the opening bell and gets him in a front face lock. Jinder beats down Tye in the corner until Tye fires back with a boot and some chops. Tye stomps a mud hole in Jinder in the corner. Jinder comes back with a gutbuster. Jinder appears to be bleeding from the mouth now. Tye comes back with some strikes, but Jinder shuts him down with a shot to the knee. Jinder follows up with the Khallas for the three count.
Winner: Jinder Mahal
– Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are backstage with a bottle of champagne that they plan to pop after Owens beats AJ. Owens trashes Shane a bit, and says he has a vendetta against him. He says he’s better than “phenomenal,” he’s Kevin Owens.
– Randy Orton does an interview backstage where he says he’s been dealing with everyone else’s issues except for his own. He says now he’s worrying about himself and looking into the future. He announces he’s officially entering the Royal Rumble match, and then Shinsuke Nakamura interrupts. Nakamura says good idea, “let’s rumble.”
– AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens: This one is a non-title match. AJ backs Owens into the corner off the opening bell and puts the boots to him. Owens drops AJ but AJ comes right back with a hurricanrana. AJ puts Owens in the Calf Crusher but Owens quickly reaches the bottom rope. The fight spills outside and AJ is briefly distracted by Zayn before Owens drops him with a clothesline on the floor. Back in the ring, Owens hits a senton bomb for a two count then locks AJ in a headlock. AJ comes back with a big facebuster, and both men are down. AJ picks up Owens and Owens drops him with a clothesline. Owens follows up with a neckbreaker for a two count. AJ answers with a fireman’s neckbreaker, and both men are down again. They get up and trade shots to the face until AJ tees off with a series of strikes to Owens’ face. AJ looks for a Styles Clash but Owens escapes, so AJ hits him with a Pele kick instead. Owens comes back with a gutbuster and an elbow off the top for a close two count. Owens takes AJ up top, but AJ pulls him down and hits a spinning fireman’s carry slam. Styles knocks Zayn outside and then he hits a suicide dive on him. AJ pushes Owens into the ring post, then throws him back in the ring. Zayn gets on the apron for a distraction, and Owens hits a superkick on Styles for a two count. Shane McMahon comes down and orders Sami Zayn to be removed from ringside. The ref ejects Sami, and Owens gets mad. AJ rolls up Owens in a Small Package, but the ref was distracted by Zayn and Shane. AJ gets up and yells at the ref, then Owens rolls up AJ from behind to steal the three count.
Winner: Kevin Owens
– Owens celebrates with Zayn at ringside, as Shane and AJ both look pissed off and SmackDown goes off the air.