WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 27, 2016) from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois 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: John Cena returns, three title matches, 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. 27
Barren land that once filled a need are worthless now, dead without a deed. Slipping away from an iron grip, nature's scales are forced to tip, but me, I'm just here to liveblog a wrestling show, folks.
Show opens right to the arena, where John Cena is making his return!
He thanks the crowd for their chaotic welcome and says there’s nothing like the excitement of the WWE Universe, and very few places that compete with the excitement of the Allstate Arena. “CM Punk!” chants go up and he asks if they’re chanting “Cena sucks!”, and figured after all the wackiness of 2016 they’d be chanting “Go Cubs, Go!”. The crowd doesn’t like this, so he correctly ascertains that they’re White Sox fans, but eventually gets the sportball chant he requested.
But no doubt about it, he says, Chicago is the city of champions, and WWE recognizes that with the slate of title matches we have lined up tonight. He polls the crowd on who they think is gonna end 2016 as WWE Champion, they’re down on Dolph Ziggler but he knows that one kick can change the course of history. They don’t like Baron Corbin either, and Cena suggests that he doesn’t like them and it doesn’t matter anyway because he might still win the title.
AJ Styles, on the third hand, gets a, well, phenomenal reaction, and he acknowledges this, saying that he’s also a fan of AJ’s. He says the champ has made a year out of telling people they don’t want none, but can he do it one more time? We will see. But what is John Cena here for?
A smattering of chants for Undertaker go up, eventually getting pretty solid as Cena adjusts his cap. He says a lot of people have been planning his future, and 2016 wasn’t exactly a super year for SuperCena. He’s been called damaged goods, washed up, a part timer, and a lot of superstars say he’s already got one foot out the door, ready to go to Hollywood and never come back. But tonight, he’s setting the record straight. He’s not done, he’s not leaving, and he’s sick of this New Era BS.
It ain’t the New Era, it’s the “My Time Is Now” Era, and Never Give Up means when you get knocked down you fire up and kick some ass. And no matter who leaves tonight as WWE Champion, he’s wrestling them for the title at the Royal Rumble. You wanna say he can’t do that? Well he can, because he’s John Cena.
Commentary puts over the WWE Championship and SmackDown Women’s Championship matches over before the Wyatt Family’s music hits and the champions make their entrance. The tag titles are up next, after the break.
Back from commercial and an interview rolls up on Miz’s dressing room. She knocks on the door and Maryse answers, shutting the door in her face. The door opens a moment later and Miz is there to say that tonight he’ll only answer questions from that “unprofessional journalist” Renee Young.
American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) vs. Beauty and the Man-Beast (Heath Slater & Rhyno) vs. the Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. the Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Randy Orton) (c) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Elimination Match)
Gable and Rhyno to start, Chad with a waistlock, Rhyno reverses to a wristlock, shoulder block, off the ropes for an arm drag, Gable blocks, Rhyno levels him with a lariat. Gable with a wristlock into a bridging northern lights suplex for one when Jey Uso tags in on Gable. He takes it to Rhyno with strikes on the mat but the Man-Beast gets away.
Jimmy tags in, quick cover on Rhyno before choking him over the middle rope. Jey gets a cheap shot in, another quick cover and a quick tag as they work the former ECW Television Champion over. Rear chinlock applied, Rhyno to his feet and out but mat slammed by the hair. Jimmy back in, chinlock of his own, Rhyno out again, short-arm clothesline wipes the Uso out and he tags Heath Slater in.
Diving fist drop, punches, whip, reversed, Heath with a knee lift and leg lariat, Miller’s Crossing! No good! Right hand from Jimmy, he throws Slater to the apron, eats a gamengiri, dropkick on Jey when he tries to interfere, Slater goes up top and comes own awkward, opening him up...
The Usos eliminate Beauty and the Man-Beast by pinfall with a superkick from Jimmy Uso on Heath Slater.
On that note, we go to break.
Back from commercial and Jey Uso has Jason Jordan in a rear chinlock on the mat. The Alpha man is fighting but Jey is on top of him for the time being. Jordan gets away but gets caught in a back suplex only to land on his feet and tag Gable in! Punches, dodges an evasion, huge T-Bone Suplex! Jimmy and Jordan get into it and the Usos end up in position to hit tandem splashes but end up eating tandem belly-to-belly suplexes.
Jey gets away from a double team only to eat a sunset flip. He and Gable trade pins for a second and...
American Alpha eliminates the Usos by pinfall with a folding press from Chad Gable on Jey Uso.
The Usos attack Jordan on the outside, feeding him into the Randy Orton’s loving embrace in the ring as they leave. Garvin stomps in, a suplex hangs Jordan on the top rope and he goes back to stomps. Wristlock, drags him to the corner, hammer whip, a second feeds Jordan into the snap scoop powerslam for a nearfall.
Orton keeps bringing it to him, with uppercuts in the corner, but a whip across is reversed and Jordan gets a dropkick off! Tags made, Gable with a diving crossbody on Harper, a deadlift German suplex, but Bray Wyatt distracts referee Dan Engler and Orton gets a cheap shot in. Harper gets a nearfall off a big boot and we go to break.
Back from commercial and Harper has a reverse chinlock in on Chad Gable. He fights out, Luke switches to a side headlock and takes him over, grounding him again. Off the ropes, Harper throws a back elbow and catapults Gable into the middle rope so hard he falls to the outside, a vacant stare on his face. Engler counts, and Gable gets in very late in the count, only to get dumped once more.
Randy Orton busts out the back suplex onto the barricade twice in a row! Back in the ring he covers him for a nearfall and suplexes him into the ropes once before hitting a slingshot suplex for another nearfall! Raking his kneepad across Gable’s face and Harper tags back in. Michinoku Driver gets the Wyatts another nearfall and he keeps the Olympian on the mat with a gator roll.
Gable desperate for the tag, he gets shot off the ropes into a Truck Stop... NO GOOD! Harper with the powerbomb clutch but Chad fights out with punches and a Frankensteiner. Tags made, Jordan bowls Orton over and belly-to-belly suplexes Harper over his head! Saito suplex for Orton gets two but Luke breaks the pin up.
Harper throws Jordan to the outside but gets pulled out himself. He and Jordan slug it out until Gable hits a cannonball on Harper! Jason punches Wyatt on the outside but when he comes back in Orton’s ready for him and hits the rope-hung DDT! Orton’s going to that place but Gable catches his attention. Orton looking for a superplex, Harper comes over to assist and Gable knocks Orton down onto Harper
Tag made, Alpha takes advantage of Orton’s confusion...
American Alpha win, last eliminating the Wyatt Family by pinfall with Grand Amplitude on Randy Orton to become the NEW WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions!
American Alpha celebrate up the ramp as Harper and Orton bicker. Soon Bray Wyatt comes in and place peacemaker with his Family.
Commentary puts over our other title matches for the night, with the women’s title up next after the break.
Back from commercial with a hype video for the Royal Rumble.
We then get a recap of the events that lead to Daniel Bryan making tonight’s WWE Championship match a triple threat.
Renee Young is backstage with Dolph Ziggler interviewing him about the match. Last week Corbin came looking for a fight and he got one, he says, and while it might not have been the smartest decision some of the greatest nights of his life came out of terrible decisions. He runs down his opponents in short before pointing out that he himself has let opportunity after opportunity slip through his fingers, and that keeps him up at night.
And maybe, just maybe, that makes him the wild card in this deck. Usually you fold, but every once in a great while that wild card
cuts your brake lines changes the whole damn game.
James Ellsworth is interviewed backstage. He knows he looks different and is scrawny, that people make fun of his face, and that honestly does bring him down sometimes. Carmella rolls up and tells Dasha that asking James these questions is also making fun of him, before saying she finds him uniquely attractive and offers her arm to go off.
Back in the arena, Alexa Bliss makes her entrance and we have one more break to sit through before the match actually happens, it seems.
Back from commercial in time for the challenger to make her entrance.
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Becky Lynch (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Circling, collar and elbow, Becky flips Alexa out of it and they resume circling. In for another, Bliss gets a waistlock, Lynch sits down, Bliss with a bodyscissors but Becky rolls and turns it into an inverted figure four! Champion gets the ropes but her knee is bugging her already. Knucklelock to a wristlock, Lynch in charge, Bliss reverses to one of her own, Lynch reverses again, side headlock, to a knee, Alexa reverses again.
Side headlock takeover, shoot off, shoulder block, Lynch off the ropes, drop-down, sunset flip, champion reverses, they trade pins for a minute. Alexa with a leg sweep and a cover, Lynch escapes with a bridge, rolling armbar but the champion has her hands together and reverses to a pin.
Champion takes challenger to the mat and throws hands at the back of her head before going for a cover. Kick out, wrenching her neck against the ropes with a handful of hair before tossing Becky to the mat and standing on her, stomping her head against the mat! Cover gets two, Lynch with body blows but Alexa hammers on her back and throws her face to the mat for one.
Off the ropes, Lynch catches her with arm drags, a dropkick, she’s fired up and the champion is outside for a breather. Baseball slide but Becky gets caught up on the apron and Bliss is able to beat her down outside, slamming her head into the apron. Lynch blocks one and reverses, tries to send her into the ringpost but eats the ringpost herself and we go to break.
Back from commmercial and Bliss is pulling Lynch to the ropes to choke her some more. Double knees to the back of the head, a yank of the ropes sends the challenger into the middle of the ring. Stepping on her hair and yanking her up with double wristlocks now but Becky rolls out of the way of a followup knee drop.
Becky throwing uppercuts now, lariat, lariat, leg lariat, calling for the Straight Fire forearm but the champion dodges. Lynch connects with a springboard kick, looks for a suplex, Bliss blocks, looking for a DDT, Lynch blocks. Spinning armlock, ODE TO JIM BREAKS ARMBREAKER! Lynch throws her into the corner hard and goes up top but Alexa is right there to meet her. Struggling, Becky gets a missile dropkick off for a nearfall.
La Luchadora?! She distracts Becky, Alexa gets a nearfall off a schoolboy pin. Lynch with a pair of quick pins of her own but Bliss throws a hard elbow! Insult to Injury ocnnects, looking for Twisted Bliss but Becky dodges and graps another quick pin before locking the Dis-Arm-Her on. Bliss gets a foot and referee Jason Ayers forces the break!
Alexa’s elbow is at an obtuse angle as Ayers checks on her and La Luchadora attacks Becky, throwing her into the ringpost. Bliss miraculously recovers...
Alexa Bliss wins by pinfall with a DDT, retaining the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Alexa is interviewed about who that woman was and she doesn’t know, suggesting maybe Sasha Banks. When the interviewer says she was too big to be Sasha, Bliss suggests Nia Jax and heads to the back.
We get a recap of Miz and Renee Young from last week before Renee shows up at Miz’s door for his interview. Maryse doesn’t want him to do it but he begs her off. Renee asks him about how he’s gonna follow up his 2016 with 2017. He proclaims 2017 to be the year of the Miz when Dean Ambrose rolls up in a security shirt.
Dean beats Miz up and the actual security guards interfere, so he beats them up too. He plays with their walkie-talkie and gives the all clear.
Our WWE Championship match is up next after the break!
Back from commercial and we get a recap of Natalya’s admission that she did in fact attack Nikki Bella from last week.
Nikki is interviewed backstage about Nattie’s betrayal. She says she’s not ashamed of who she is and got what she has by working hard, not because of her looks. And she’s damn proud to be a part of two hit reality shows, and most importantly, she’s in love with the man of her dreams. As for Natalya, she’ll say what she has to say to her face.
Renee Young is backstage with Baron Corbin. He says he’s not feeling pressure, just impatient. He should have been recognized as a top star a long time ago. The only people who should feel pressure, he says, are the two men who are about to meet their End of Days.
Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler make their entrances as we head to break once again.
Back from commercial in time for the champion’s entrance.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler (WWE Championship)
Circling, Corbin shoves Styles and Ziggler throws a dropkick at his face before going for a Zig Zag. The Lone Wolf shrugs him off and soon puts AJ over his shoulders. The champ slips out and throws kicks at Corbin’s legs but Dolph charges up on him. Stinger splash, Styles shoots him away, Corbin fends off a dropkick, knocks AJ to the outside! Dolph hooks his neck over the top rope and we head to break.
Back from commercial and Corbin is going after Dolph on the outside, ramming him back-first into the ring apron before throwing him into the barricade. He also takes it to Styles, bringing him back in for a cover. He draws the champion to his feet and throws a vicious knee lift but a second attempt wakes AJ up and he throws strikes, charging in. Corbin looks for End of Days, AJ blocks, Dolph puts him over with a dropkick and AJ gets a nearfall with a crucifix pin.
Styles and Ziggler struggle for a suplex before slugging it out, then Corbin bowls them both over with a double clothesline! Baron putting the boots to Dolph now, before dragging him to his feet and yelling at him in the corner. Hammer whip across corners, Dolph throws hands for separation, goes for the big DDT and Corbin throws him off! Hooks Ziggler for End of Days but AJ blocks it!
AJ throwing punches, Corbin drives him into the corner and goes back to Ziggler, hammer whipping him INTO AJ! Body avalanche meets a back elbow and Styles kicks him. Corbin lays Dolph out with a lariat and throws a wicked STO on Styles! Back to break we go.
Back from commercial and Corbin’s throwing punches and kicks at Dolph in the corner. He heads over to Styles in the next corner over and throws a single punch before drawing AJ up for more. Back to Dolph he goes, handful of hair but the Show-Off throws hands back. Styles joins in and they stagger the big man against the ropes with blow after blow before clotheslining him outside!
Styles and Ziggler face off a moment before heading out to beat up Corbin more but Baron throws AJ into the barricade! Dolph’s on him with the sleeper but the Lone Wolf snapmares him out and dismantles the announce table. Charging at the champion but he dodges and Crobin goes into the barricade. Phenomenal Forearm, superkick, he’s on the table!
Dolph and AJ get up on the barricade and shrug at each other... ELBOW AND LEG DROPS SEND CORBIN THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE! Styles and Ziggler crawl back to the apron but AJ graps Dolph’s leg Dolph slams AJ back-first into the apron before heading into the ring for the big DDT... NOT ENOUGH!
Sleeper on, Styles shrugs it off, Ushigoroshi connects! He drags Ziggler into position for the Styles Clash but Ziggler kicks him in the head to break. Charge in the corner, back drop to the apron, springboard... Dolph kicks his leg out of his leg! Before he can capitalize AJ grabs a schoolboy but Ziggler’s right out. SUPERKICK! AJ KICKS OUT!
Corbin makes it in the ring to break it up a second late and he and Dolph pair off again. Ziggler snaps off a swinging neckbreaker and an elbow drop for a nearfall, following with punches to the face and a stomp to the foot but he runs into a Deep Six! AJ breaks up the pin! He and Corbin go at it now, champion ducking punches and throwing two of his own. Corbin blocks part of the Styles Rush and looks for End of Days on AJ but Dolph catches him with the Zig Zag as he gets Styles! Corbin kicks out!
Corbin charges Dolph in the corner, sending him into the ringpost before setting him up top. The Lone Wolf follows but Dolph’s fighting with punches and a headbutt. Corbin crotches him, End of Days! AJ Styles with springboard, Phenomenal Forearm on Baron...
AJ Styles wins by pinfall with a lateral press on Dolph Ziggler, retaining the WWE Championship.
AJ celebrates with the title, but John Cena comes out to make good on his challenge!
Cena strips to his ring gear and offers a hand. AJ points at the title by way of response but John insists it’s a show of sportsmanship and respect and that he knows what he’s getting into. AJ shakes his hand and they keep jawing at each other.
We get a quick Neville promo where he talks about feeling like the Man That the WWE Universe Forgot and how he’s going to force Rich Swann to respect him.
That’s the show, folks.