WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 20, 2016) from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan featuring all the latest build to the upcoming dual brand Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for next month in San Antonio, Texas.
Advertised for tonight: Ryan Phillippe guest stars, Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper, and more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR DEC. 20
Someday love will find you, break those chains that bind you. One night will remind you that I'm here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show, folks.
Show opens with the intro video.
In the arena, AJ Styles makes his entrance. His title defense against James Ellsworth is kicking the show off!
AJ Styles (c) vs. James Ellsworth (WWE World Championship)
Circling, Ellsworth shadowboxing, collar and elbow, Styles sends him face-first into the turnbuckles. James tuning up the band, AJ turns around, catches the boot, Styles Rush knocks Ellsworth flat on his ass!
AJ Styles wins by pinfall with a forearm strike, retaining the WWE World championship.
AJ’s not done yet, though, throwing Ellsworth into the ropes and taking him outside for a backbreaker against the edge of the announce table as referee Jason Ayers begs him off. Right hand, facebuster on the steel steps, a stomp in passing, and the champion goes under the ring for plunder.
He doesn’t find any but chooses to throw Jimmy headfirst into the steel frame of the ring and then catapult him throat-first into it! AJ decides that’s good enough and heads up the ramp but thinks better of it and comes back own. Snap suplex into the barricade!
AJ gets on the mic, he’s sorry we had to witness that— wait, no he’s not! That’s been building up for six weeks, it’s a long time coming, and now Rudolph and this chinless reject can go back to the Island of Misfit Toys and he can move on to more important things, like... Actually, he’s done with the most important things this year, and AJ Styles is moving on to 2017. He doesn’t even have to ask Santa for anything, because he has it all, including the WWE Championship.
It’s a merry Christmas to AJ Styles, and a happy new year.
Enter Dolph Ziggler. He congratulates AJ and wishes him a merry Christmas, but before the end of the year, he’s got one more thing to deal with, Dolph being next in line for the title. Styles claims he forgot about Dolph because he’s gonna be a cakewalk, the losing loser. Ziggler points out it took AJ four tries to beat Ellsworth and AJ says he’s only gonna need one to take Dolph down.
Dolph claims it’s not gonna be that easy; he put his career on the line for the Intercontinental Championship, so what do you think he’s gonna do to put his hands on the WWE Championship?
Enter Baron Corbin. AJ leaves, and Baron says it should be him challenging for the title before asking how many chances Dolph is gonna get. Ziggler retorts saying he earned his shot while Corbin was off walking black carpets in New York City. Corbin says the only reason Dolph earned anything is because he wasn’t there and tells him that he will lose next week.
Baron says Dolph doesn’t steal the show, he steals opportunities and wastes them— at which point he lays Dolph out with a punch. Dolph comes back swinging but Corbin catches him with End of Days! AJ looks at him from up the ramp as Baron surveys his destruction.
Commentary hypes up Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper and Miz vs. Apollo Crews, and the latter is up after the break.
Back from commercial and Dolph is asking Daniel Bryan for a match against Baron Corbin tonight. Bryan agrees, but says Dolph has to put his title shot on the line. Dolph accepts by way of saying he’s risked it all before.
Apollo Crews vs. the Miz (c) (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Circling, Miz goes for a lariat, Crews catches him and pins him with a crucifix and La Magistral but both come up empty. Right hands, whip across, leapfrog, dropdown, Apollo with a huge dropkick! Side headlock on the champ, shoots him off, leapfrog, dropdown, Miz goes for a dropkick but Crews holds the ropes and comes over with a jackknife pin for two.
Miz bails, eats a baseball slide, Crews moonsaults off the barricade! Back in the ring, Apollo goes up top, diving crossbody gets two, and Miz bails again as we go to break.
Back from commercial and both men are rising from the mat. Crews throws a pair of kicks, whip across, jumping lariat, enzuigiri gets a nearfall. Looking for the powerbomb, Miz slips out, looking for Skull Crushing Finale, Apollo reverses to a victory roll pin before catching the champion with a spinning back suplex!
Stinger splash dodged, Miz eats a back elbow, Maryse goes to interfere and referee Mike Chioda throws her out! Schoolboy pin gets Crews two, Miz with a boot, he charges in, Apollo hits a crazy pop-up twisting German suplex for two! Apollo goes for his powerbomb again, Miz slips out, thumb to the eye...
Miz wins by pinfall with the Skull Crushing Finale, retaining the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
Renee Young interviews Miz in the ring, saying last week his obsession with Dean Ambrose got in his way during the #1 contender’s match. Miz turns it around saying maybe we should talk about her obsession with Dean Ambrose, after all she’s the one sleeping with him. RENEE HAULS OFF AND SLAPS HIM!
Tom Phillips discusses the aftermath of the tag battle royal and Zack Ryder’s injury and putting over a four corners elimination match between the Wyatt Family, the Usos, American Alpha, and Beauty and the Man-Beast for the titles next week.
Natalya makes an entrance, she’s got something to say after the break.
Back from commercial and we get a hype video for John Cena’s return next week.
Natalya’s still in the ring, and she says she’s tired of the rumors and asks Nikki Bella to come out because they need to talk.
Nikki obliges, but she ain’t happy.
Carmella’s out right after her, and she is happy. She says not to mind her, because she’s just here to see how Nattie weasels her way out of this. Nikki reiterates that she doesn’t know that Carmella didn’t attack her, and Carmella restates that if she did it, she’d shout to the rooftops. She knows Carmella didn’t do it, unless some of that silicone leaked to her brain.
She asks Natalya if she didn’t say somebody needs to teach Nikki a lesson, and Nattie’s all denials. She asks about a time where she cried on Carmella’s shoulder about how Nikki is keeping her from getting opportunities and that the Bellas are only in WWE because nobody else wanted them.
Nattie admits to the last one, and Nikki asks if she did in fact attack her. Nattie doesn’t reply directly, rather saying that Carmella caused all this and attacking her! She goes up the ramp and they brawl in the set for a minute, before Nattie admits that she did it and calls Nikki a bitch. She says she’s always despised Nikki, because she’s Natalya Neidhart, wrestling royalty, and Nikki is not.
She may have been the longest-reigning Divas Champion and worked so hard, but she and her sister got everything handed to them because they’re beautiful. The magazine covers, the red carpets, the Total Divas spinoff, and that should have been her. In fact, her cat has more charisma than Nikki Bella. She may be beautiful inside and out but she’s nothing, and that’s why John Cena will never marry her.
And on that bombshell, they have a stare-off for a moment before commentary puts Ziggler/Corbin and Harper/Ambrose over, the latter of which is after the break.
Back from commercial and Daniel Bryan is on the phone confirming something with someone. Alexa Bliss rolls up and claims her leg still hurts and demanding that Becky Lynch be punished. Bryan’s punishment is that Becky gets a title shot next week! He talked to the trainers and Bliss is 100% good to go. In fact, she has a match tonight, and if she doesn’t take it, she won’t have to worry about her title match next week.
Alexa says last week she didn’t want to wrestle Deonna Purrazzo because she didn’t want to hurt her but anything that happens tonight is on Bryan’s hands.
Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
Dean charges right at Luke with a dropkick, goes for a crossbody but Harper catches him. To the ropes, Harper shrugs him off, Dean throws him outside. Back in, looking for Dirty Deeds, Luke blocks, catapult into the ropes. Harper nudges Ambrose outside with his foot and we go to break.
Back from commercial and they’re struggling in the turnbuckles when Dean knocks Harper down with a headbutt. Harper in under the dive, he catches Dean with a Truck Stop for two! Border City Stretch locked on but Ambrose gets to his feet and breaks free by wishboning the fingers! Harper with a backbreaker into an Argentine backbreaker rack, he pumps a few times but Dean gets out.
They slug it out, Ambrose goes off the ropes and lays Harper out with a lariat. Luke in the corner, Dean in with a forearm, Harper blocks the bulldog, Lawn Dart connects and a superkick sends Dean out the ring! Neck snap over the ropes gets Ambrose some breathing space and he throws a diving elbow wiping out the other two Wyatts!
Back in the ring, Harper catches him with a rolling solebutt into the Brodie Bomb! Harper signals, goes for the discus lariat, Ambrose catches him for Dirty Deeds, he slips out, Ambrose is a step ahead...
Dean Ambrose wins by pinfall with La Magistral.
The Wyatts immediately come in and put boots to Dean for his trouble. Bray hits some mounted punches and drags him up for Sister Abigail before throwing him into the RKO! Harper retrieves their tag title belts and the Family poses over Dean’s unconscious body.
The arena goes black and when the lights come back up Dean is alone in the ring. He crawls to the ropes and tries to get to his feet but Miz interrupts. He heads in the ring and delivers a Skull Crushing Finale before kissing his wife for good measure. They stand tall over him before heading back up the ramp lovey all the way.
Alexa Bliss is walking backstage with her title, her match is after the break.
Back from commercial and Alexa makes her entrance. Her opponent is masked and in a bodysuit.
Alexa Bliss vs. La Luchadora
Bliss closes and her opponent slips away. Waistlock, shove, the Luchadora goes for a low trip, crazy sunset flip combo. Go behind, waistlock, snapmare, bodyscissors, she rolls the champion across the ring. Dragon sleeper added but Alexa hits the ropes. Stiff forearm from the champion, clubbing blows, pin only gets one.
Choke over the ropes, double knees, Bliss gets in her opponent’s face, yelling. Slams her face in the turnbuckles, rolling into a cross armbar, shifts...
La Luchadora wins by submission with a seated Fujiwara armbar.
She celebrates wildly around the ring and removes her mask... it was Becky Lynch all along!
Ryan Philippe is walking backstage asking if anybody’s seen Randy Orton when Mojo Rawley runs into him. Mojo says he’s not sure that’s a good idea, Randy’s a different guy now. Curt Hawkins pops up and says just like when he was in the Funky Bunch! Different guy, apparently. Mojo threatens to put his foot up Curt’s ass and says he loves jokes, and in fact, he’ll give him the punchline later.
Hawkins vows to beat him later and we go to break on an ad for NXT.
Back from break in time for Mojo’s entrance. Ryan has joined the commentary booth for this.
Curt Hawkins vs. Mojo Rawley
Hawkins with a kick and a clubbing blow to the back. Punch to the head, Mojo sends him to the ropes and he bails. Chase around, Curt hits a knee drop as Rawley gets back in, off the ropes, Mojo hits a pounce that knocks him out of the ring! Rawley pulls him up to the apron by his hair but Curt throws him into the ringpost.
Mojo with a lariat in the ring for two but Hawkins comes back at him with a rear chinlock. Rawley to his feet, Hawkins hooks him for a Rock Bottom but Mojo fights out and hits a huge back body drop. Shoulder blocks, a lariat, Stinger splashes, off the ropes, another pounce! Off the ropes one more time...
Mojo Rawley wins by pinfall with a running forearm smash.
Mojo invites Ryan in the ring to celebrate after and raises his hand.
Ziggler/Corbin is after the break.
Back from commercial with the hype video for John Cena again.
An interviewer is standing in front of the trainer’s room talking about James Ellsworth going to the local medical facility. He walks out and he is, to use a scientific term, “all screwed up”. She asks him a bunch of questions but all he can do is moan. Carmella comes up to scold her and check on Jimmy, taking him to his ambulance.
In the arena proper, entrances happen for our main event and AJ Styles follows suit. The match will begin after the break.
Back from commercial and AJ Styles joins the commentary team.
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph charge right in, throwing wild punches, a crossbody, a dropkick, and Corbin heads outside. Baron back in, Ziggler goes for the leg but Corbin won’t go down and levels Dolph with a knee. A second and he sends Dolph into the ropes throat first. Standing choke using the ropes as leverage and things go outside.
Baron levels Dolph with a knee in front of AJ and takes him back in the ring for a cover, but Dolph won’t go away yet. Ziggler throwing punches, driving Baron in the corner before whipping him, reversed, Dolph chest-first into the turnbuckles but a cover still only gets two. Corbin choking in the corner, grabbing a wristlock and wrenching Dolph against the ropes.
Lone Wolf gets Dolph up in the corner and throws a huge right hand and another hammer whip. Cover gets two, but the counts are getting longer and longer. Scoop, Ziggler floats out, dropkick, ducks a lariat and throws a leaping one of his own! Going for a Stinger splash, Baron Hot Shots him on the ropes!
Another punch in the corner, a charge leads to a back elbow, a second sees Dolph send him outside. Corbin back in to send Ziggler shoulder-first into the ringpost before charging around and clobbering him to send us to break.
Back from commercial and Dolph is throwing body blows and a stomp to the foot to escape something. Punches to the head, headbutt, dodge a charge, Fameasser for a nearfall! To their feet, Baron sends Dolph in the corner before dragging him up for a powerbomb but Dolph counters with a sunset flip. Baron hits a beautiful STO and Dolph’s down but not out.
Corbin drags Ziggler to his knees and comes off the ropes with a wicked punch to the side of the head. A second try but Dolph gets a rollup for two and Corbin destroys him with a lariat... NO GOOD! Ziggler on the apron, Baron comes over and Dolph hangs him up on the middle rope before hitting a neckbreaker across it!
Kick to the knee, Zig Zag... CORBIN KICKED OUT! Dolph drags him to his feet and sends him in the corner, peppering him with punches as referee Mike Chioda admonishes him. He sets Corbin up top, more punches, a headbutt, looking for a superplex but his positioning is off and Baron rains overhead elbows down on his dome. Dolph charges in and Corbin catches him with Deep Six for a nearfall!
The big man throws a tantrum on the mat and things go outside again. He sends Ziggler into the timekeeper’s barricade before breaking the count and doing it again on the other side of the announce zone. He throws Dolph into AJ Styles! Dolph wakes up and hits a superkick as Chioda keeps counting...
The match is a draw as a result of a double countout.
AJ grabs a chair and destroys both his challengers with it!
Daniel Bryan comes out to announce what we’re all suspecting and makes next week’s title shot a triple threat! AJ loses his mind yelling at Bryan and that’s the show, folks.