The December 11th, 2018 edition of WWE SmackDown Live took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
– This week’s broadcast opens up with a video package looking at the matches set for Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view.
– Booked for tonight: Daniel Bryan vs. Mustafa Ali
– WWE Champion Daniel Bryan comes out to the ring, and he’s got a mic. Bryan says he wants to apologize for calling the fans sheep last week, because sheep don’t deserve to be compared to the fans. Bryan says the fans are destroying the earth with their mindless consumption. He says the fans are more like parasites than sheep. He says the fans have to stop living vicariously through the old Daniel Bryan, because the old Daniel Bryan is dead. Bryan says the fans have moved on from him to AJ Styles now, but he’s going to crush AJ on Sunday. Bryan says the people of Las Vegas are ignorant, but then Mustafa Ali comes out to interrupt. Ali introduces himself on the mic from the ramp, but Bryan cuts him off and says he knows who he is. Bryan tells Ali to come up in the ring and talks to him. Bryan says they don’t need to have this match tonight, then he trashes the fans some more. Ali asks what happened to Bryan, and talks about Bryan inspiring him and looking up to Bryan. Ali says the old Daniel Bryan would want a fight, and that’s what Ali wants now. Bryan asks Ali what car he drives, and Ali says he drives an SUV. Bryan says Ali is a small man and doesn’t need an SUV, then he slaps Ali across the face twice. Bryan goes to hit Ali a third time, but Ali blocks it and throws Bryan out to the apron. Ali dropkicks Bryan from the apron down to the floor, then Ali hits a dive off the top rope down onto Bryan on the floor.
– Daniel Bryan vs. Mustafa Ali: This one is a non-Title match. The opening bell sounds and Bryan takes Ali down with a knee to the body, then he follows up with more strikes. Bryan follows up with some knee drops, then he fish-hooks Ali until the ref calls him off. More strikes from Bryan, then he starts working over Ali’s left knee. Bryan hits the Yes Kicks, but Ali ducks one and fires back with some kicks of his own. Ali hits a superkick to the back of Bryan’s head for a two count, then Bryan rolls outside for a breather. Ali hits a baseball slide kick, then he looks for a suicide dive but Bryan dodges it and throws Ali into the ring post. Back in the ring, they fight up to the top turnbuckle and Ali hits the super spanish fly for a two count. Bryan fights back and applies the Yes Lock, but Ali reaches the rope to break the hold. Bryan ties Ali upside down in the corner and lays into her with kicks. Bryan takes Ali up top for a back suplex, but Ali lands on his feet. Bryan misses a running knee attempt in the corner, and Ali fires back with right hands. Ali hits a tornado DDT for a two count. Ali goes up top for the 450 splash but Bryan rolls out of the way. Bryan pulls Ali’s legs around the ring post and repeatedly slams his knee into the post. Back in the ring, Bryan continues to work over Ali’s knee. Bryan applies a heel hook and Ali taps out.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
– We go to the broadcast table where Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton start to go over the card for TLC, but then Bryan attacks Ali on the ramp. Bryan stomps on Ali’s knee and applies the heel hook again on the entrance ramp. Referees pry Bryan off of Ali, and Bryan holds his WWE Title belt up in the air.
– The New Day comes out to host a “rap battle” between The Bar and The Usos. The New Day are wearing tuxedos, The Bar are in red tracksuits and The Usos are in their street clothes. The Bar does their rap first, to the tune of Vanilla Ice’s “Cant Touch This.” The Usos rap to The Bar next and make fun of Sheamus and Cesaro’s appearances. This one turns into a fistfight and The Usos dump The Bar out to ringside. The Usos get in The New Day’s faces now, but then Cesaro and Sheamus attack from behind and drop everyone.
– We see a pre-taped promo from Asuka where she talks about making a mistake against Charlotte, but she won’t stop against her this Sunday at TLC.
– Still to come: Rusev & Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura
– The Miz is in the ring, and he’s got the World Cup trophy with him. Miz gets on the mic and addresses Shane McMahon, and demands that he comes out and listens to what Miz has to say. The Miz gets on one knee and begs Shane to please come out to the ring, and this is about so much more than Shane even knows. Shane finally comes out to the ring, and he asks Miz what’s up and if everything is okay. Miz says Shane won’t answer his calls or return his texts, and they could be so good together if he gave them a chance. Miz says Shane is scared, and he’s scared too. Miz says they owe it to each other to tag team one more time. Shane says this whole thing with the trophy is starting to get a little weird. Miz calls for a referee, and then he announces that he and Shane are going to take on two local enhancement talents from Las Vegas.
– Shane McMahon & The Miz vs. The Vegas Boys: Shane is standing in the ring as the bell rings, and it looks like Shane wants no part of this match, but the local enhancement talent attacks Shane from behind. Shane fights them off and connects with punches. Shane hits a back elbow on one jobber, then he punches the other one off the apron. Shane hits a DDT and then a knee drop. Shane puts one jobber in a triangle choke and he taps out.
Winners: The Miz & Shane McMahon
– Shane doesn’t look pleased with The Miz as The Miz celebrates.
– Still to come: Charlotte vs. Asuka
– SmackDown GM Paige is backstage admonishing the referee for officiating that last match without her permission. The Vegas Boys walk in and hand Paige an invoice for $5,000 for their work, but Paige rips it up and tells them all to get lost.
– Randy Orton comes out to the ring, and he’s got a steel chair and a microphone. Orton shows us some replays of him beating down Rey and using a steel chair on him. Orton starts trashing Rey and saying he should have been too scared to accept the chairs match against Orton at TLC. Rey Mysterio then comes out of nowhere and hits Orton from behind with a steel chair. Rey beats on Orton with the chair, then hits the 619 on him. Orton retreats up the ramp as Rey stares him down from the ropes witch a chair.
– SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch does an interview in the back where she talks about taking part in one of the most dangerous matches in WWE on Sunday, and doing it against two opponents in Charlotte and Asuka. Becky says fighting against the odds is what she does, and she loves it. Becky says she’ll be at ringside for Charlotte and Asuka’s match tonight to scout her opponents.
– Coming up: Jeff Hardy & Rusev vs. Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura
– Shinsuke Nakamura & Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy & Rusev: Before the match, R-Truth and Carmella come out to the stage to interrupt. They have a dance break, then leave. Nakamura takes advantage of the distraction to hit Hardy from behind, then he lays into Hardy with knee strikes while he’s down. Joe tags in and continues the offense on Hardy with strikes in the corner. Joe hits a splash in the corner and then a Pele kick for a two count. Nakamura comes back in and ties up Hardy in the corner for some knee strikes. Joe comes back in and puts Hardy in a shoulder lock on the mat. Hardy comes back with a kick and he hits the Whisper In The Wind. Rusev and Nakamura tag in and Rusev cleans house. Rusev hits a series of knee strikes on Nakamura, and then a fallaway slam. Rusev hits a spinning heel kick, and Nakamura tries to come back with some kicks of his own but Rusev ducks them. Joe tries to get involved, but Hardy takes him out. Rusev trips up Nakamura with a drop toe hold, but Nakamura is able to fight back up to his feet and stun Rusev. Nakamura looks for the Kinshasa, but Rusev strikes first with the big boot for the three count.
Winners: Rusev & Jeff Hardy
– Shane McMahon approaches The Miz in the back and yells at him for being out of line. Miz says he did that because he knew Shane’s instincts would kick in and he’d prove to himself what he’s capable of. Miz says he was never considered best in the world at anything until Shane came along. Miz extends his hand to Shane, but Shane takes the World Cup trophy and walks off.
– AJ Styles is backstage for an interview. AJ says no one wants to beat the hell out of Daniel Bryan more than him. AJ says he’s waiting until Sunday to get his hands on Bryan so he can take his WWE Title back. AJ says this isn’t the new Daniel Bryan we’re seeing, it’s the real Daniel Bryan.
– We see some footage from the Vegas strip out in front of the arena.
– Charlotte is backstage for an interview. She talks about the stakes of her match this Sunday, and she says tonight is just a preview of what she’s going to do at TLC when she makes them bow down to the queen.
– Charlotte vs. Asuka: Becky comes out before the match and takes a seat at ringside to watch her two TLC opponents go at it. The opening bell sounds and Asuka starts off with a leg lock, but Charlotte fights out and hits a back suplex. Charlotte hits some chops, but Asuka ducks one and comes back with a German suplex. Asuka misses the flying hip attack and Charlotte answers with a big boot to the side of the face. Charlotte goes up top and looks for a moonsault, but Asuka blocks it with her knees. Asuka looks for the Asuka Lock, but Charlotte fights her off and drops her to the mat. Asuka and Charlotte trade strikes in the middle of the ring now until Asuka locks in a shoulder bar submission. Charlotte fights out, but Asuka goes for a triangle choke next. Charlotte picks up Asuka and powerbombs her down for a two count. Charlotte locks in the Figure Four, and Asuka struggles but she finally gets to the rope to break the hold. Charlotte drags Asuka to the middle of the ring and starts working over her knee and hitting some elbow strikes. Charlotte slams Asuka’s knee into the ring post now, then she briefly has words with Becky at ringside. Charlotte looks for a spear on Asuka, but Asuka reverses into a facebuster for a two count. Asuka follows up with a series of kicks, and then some elbows to the head. Asuka hits more kicks to the head and then runs the ropes, and Charlotte comes back with a spear for a two count. Charlotte goes for a moonsault and sees that Asuka has pulled her knees up, so Charlotte lands on her feet instead. Charlotte looks for the Figure Four, but Asuka wrestles her way out and takes Charlotte down to the mat. Asuka looks for the Asuka Lock, but they end up falling through the ropes down to the ringside floor. Charlotte grabs a kendo stick from under the ring and repeatedly bashes Asuka with it. Senior official Charles Robinson calls for the bell for the DQ.
Winner via disqualification: Asuka
– Charlotte continues to hit Asuka with the stick, then Charlotte collapses on to the announce table out of exhaustion. Becky gets up and starts to walk away, but Charlotte nails her with the kendo stick to. Charlotte turns back to hit Asuka, but Becky nails her from behind, takes the stick and starts beating Charlotte with it. Asuka throws Becky over the announce table, then Asuka grabs the kendo stick and bashes both Charlotte and Becky with it. Asuka stands on the announce table with the kendo stick in the air as SmackDown goes off the air.