WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 3, 2017) from the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida 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 and AJ Styles sign the contract for the title match, Dean Ambrose challenges Miz for the Intercontinental title, 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 JAN. 3
It doesn't matter if you're wrong or if you're right. It makes no difference if you're black or if you're white. All men are equal till the victory is won. No color or religion ever stopped the bullet from a gun, but me, I'm here to liveblog a pro wrestling show, folks.
Show opens with the Miz making his entrance alongside his wife. He’s wearing a suit, however, so presumably his title defense against Dean Ambrose isn’t kicking the show off.
He gets on the mic to tell us that we’re looking at the “It” Couple, the Ratings Spike, the Most Must-See WWE Superstar of All Time, and other superlatives. He only has one new year’s resolution, and that’s to be more forgiving. And somehow, this means he wants Renee Young (without naming her) to come out and apologize, and SmackDown will not continue until he gets the apology.
He accuses Renee of setting him up to be attacked and rails against Dean getting a title shot for being on Daniel Bryan’s good side. (They are Dragon Gate USA Bros, to be fair.) The crowd chants that they want Ambrose and Miz says he wants an apology before continuing to wonder how Renee can sleep at night when she sacrificed her journalistic integrity for Dirty Deeds with Dean Ambrose.
Enter Dean Ambrose. Miz hides behind Maryse as Dean gets in the ring, and Maryse hauls off and slaps him across the face to boot. Ambrose fumes for a second and Miz beats feet, Maryse following after. Dean gets on the mic and says the hard part of his night is over because Maryse hits way harder than Miz does.
Commentary hypes up the contract signing for AJ Styles vs. John Cena III as well as Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler (V or so, but who’s counting?), which is after the break.
Back from commercial in time for entrances.
Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler
Circling, Dolph ducks a lariat and throws right hands, backing Corbin in the corner. Stinger splash, Baron catches him, pops him up, Dolph on his feet, superkick, caught, ducks another lariat, Corbin slaps a dropkick away! Lone Wolf with boots against the ropes, draws Dolph his feet for a knee lift before stepping on his head against the bottom rope.
Punch in the corner, hammer whip across, the Show-Off is hurting. Disdainful stomp, Dolph fires body blows in return, but runs off the ropes into a back elbow that gets two. Corbin stepping on Ziggler’s face in the corner before choking him with a guillotine over the ropes as referee Dan Engler counts. Big rights from Dolph but Corbin knocks him to the outside with a single one of his own.
Baron ramming Ziggler into the apron before heading back in the ring. Forearms follow, sending Dolph stumbling but he’s able to fire an uppercut on a charge and get a boot up on a second. A third sees Dolph send Corbin outside and catch him with a dropkick when he heads back in. Corbin heads outside for a breather and we head to break.
Back from commercial and Corbin is straight up stepping on the back of Dolph’s head. He shifts to a half nelson neck crank but Dolph escapes and looks for the big jumping DDT. Corbin catches him and throws him onto the turnbuckles, where Ziggler dives into a forearm strike! NO GOOD!
Dolph with a punch to the gut, a stomp to the foot, punches to the face, headbutt sends Baron in the corner, Stinger splash, swinging neckbreaker, elbow drop for two! Kick to the knee, of the ropes, Fameasser attempt but Corbin throws him off and levels him with a giant lariat! Lone Wolf follows up shoving him in the corner but he’s stumbling and Ziggler is able to dodge a charge and plant him with the Fameasser for a nearfall.
Ziggler looking for the Zig Zag and another leaping DDT but Corbin throws him off and charges in himself. Dolph ducks him and plants him with the Zig Zag... NOT ENOUGH! Wailing punches on Corbin in the corner but the Lone Wolf has it together...
Baron Corbin wins by pinfall with End of Days.
Corbin goes and gets a chair but before he can bring it to bear Kalisto comes down! He ducks a chair shot and dropkicks it out of Corbin’s hands before low bridging him and brandishing the chair at him.
Kalisto jaws at Corbin and Dolph superkicks him! He’s yelling about never having needed anyone!
Commentary puts over the Intercontinental Championship match again and we go to break on a house ad for 205 Live featuring the debut of Tajiri!
Back from commercial and Carmella is stretching backstage when James Ellsworth comes over. He’s sorry to interrupt but he wants to kind her for the thank words and wish luck good her match tonight. And he got her a t-shirt, the very one on his back!
She hesitates for a second before telling him how sweet he is before inviting him to go ring her for her match tonight.
Rhyno, Mojo Rawley, and Apollo Crews are in the locker room when Dolph comes in on a tear. Apollo says he understands getting angry but what he did to Kalisto crossed a line. Dolph tells him to mind his business and Crews says Kalisto’s his friend so he’s making it his business, and Ziggler attacks! Rhyno and Mojo pull them apart and Dolph heads out to fume elsewhere.
Commentary gives us a recap of the SmackDown Women’s Championship match from last week and Becky Lynch makes her entrance. She has a match against La Luchadora after the break!
Back from commercial and both competitors are in the ring already.
Becky Lynch vs. La Luchadora
Circling, Luchadora goes for a kick ot the gut, Becky gets a waistlock and Luchadora shoves her away. Forearms to the kidneys, armbar takeover and grounded punches as the masked woman scrambles for the ropes. Lynch pulls her back in for more punches and she runs away again. Kick to the ribs, face smash into the turnbuckle and down to the next corner but Luchadora blocks the third.
She charges in and Becky catches her with an exploder suplex before putting the boots to her in the corner. Luchadora bails and heads under the ring before coming out on the other side for clubbing blows and a shove to the mat. She heads up top and does a Twisted Bliss but Lynch ducks...
Becky Lynch wins by submission with the Dis-Arm-Her.
She unmasks La Luchadora, revealing Alexa Bliss, but another Luchadora comes from under the ring to attack her! They beat on the former champ and Bliss punctuates with a DDT.
Commentary puts the contract signing over once again, and it’s next after the break.
Back from commercial and Daniel Bryan makes his entrance. He welcomes us to the contract signing and brings Cena and Styles out after him.
AJ asks Bryan why they’re doing this— they go back 12 years and they’re cut from the same cloth. They’ve wrestled in high school gyms in front of nobody because they love wrestling, but John Cena isn’t like them. He’s off TV for four months and he comes back and gets a title shot, how does that work?
Bryan understands where AJ’s coming from, but Styles has to understand where he’s coming from. Last week they beat Raw in the ratings for the first time ever, and why? Because AJ headlined it and Cena made his return. They have to keep that momentum going, and how do you do that? You make the biggest match possible, the match that everbody’s talking about, AJ Styles vs. John Cena.
It’s the match everybody wants, and it’s the match Bryan is going to give them. And hey, he doesn’t know what AJ’s worried about, he beat Cena three times already. He bids them luck and takes his leave, at which point Styles tells Cena that he’s the luckiest man alive, gifted this match by his brother-in-law.
But he relents, and says Bryan is right, they gotta do what’s best for SmackDown, and last year Cena told AJ, with this title on his shoulder, he had to win to prove he’s not just an overrated indie guy, but now, if Cena doesn’t win, he doesn’t belong in the WWE. He beat Cena three times, and he wants to do his taunt? Nobody can see him, because he’s a ghost lately, and he takes credit for SmackDown’s ratings success.
Spoiler alert: They can do it without Cena, he says. John says he’s got a lot of respect for Styles but AJ tells him not to try and cover his tracks. He saw Talking Smack, he saw Cena say he was wrong about the Rock, but AJ thinks he was right, he was telling the truth about the Rock and guest what? That’s the truth about John Cena, too.
AJ will give Cena credit, though, he’s been great for a long time, but notice the words “has been”. He tells John he’ll never be as good as the Rock in Hollywood, and in the ring, he’ll never be as good as AJ Styles. AJ signs the contract, and Cena fires back, saying part of being a man is admitting you’re wrong and apologizing.
Another big part of being a man is if somebody pushes you, you push back, and he tells Styles he just make the biggest mistake of his life by pissing off John Cena. And he’s right, he needs a win here to prove he belongs because of chumps like AJ that think he’s already gone. So he pushes back, and says he’s lost all respect for Styles and thinks he’s a punk little bitch. Why’s everybody talking about John Cena vs. AJ Styles?
Because everybody who despises him thinks AJ’s his replacement, but they know deep down he’s made a career of defending his spot and making them eat his words. He’s gonna make Styles feel as stupid as he looks. He says Cena has no passion, he destroyed his shoulder and came back in a fraction of the time. AJ goes where they tell them to go, they tell him to stop. AJ walks down the ramp because he has to, Cena walks down because he wants to. Lot of people would have already left for Hollywood but he’s still here, and that’s all proof of his passion.
Everybody needs this match because it’s more than just Styles and Cena, AJ’s no different than anybody that’s ever said Cena sucks or tried to knock him off. They try their best but realize on their best day they could never be him. So at the Royal Rumble, bring your family, your friends, the noise (Bass, how low can you go?), your A game, and Cena’s still gonna kick your ass and take the championship. Why? Because he’s John Cena, recognize.
Baron Corbin comes out, microphone in hand. On his first day in WWE he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in Memory of Andre the Giant, so he’s making it known right now that he’s the first SmackDown superstar to not just enter the Royal Rumble match, but he’s going to win it. He doesn’t care who walks in as WWE Champion, he’s going to leave WrestleMania as champion.
Cena picks a fight with him and Corbin tells him that if he talks like that again, he’ll knock his teeth down his throat! Cena throws the table away to get ready to fight and AJ blindsides him! Corbin kneels over the 15-time champ and says maybe AJ’s right, Cena’s time is up.
Cut backstage where Maryse walks up to Renee Young and slaps her on behalf of the Miz! She warns her never to touch her husband again and we go to break.
Back from commercial and Carmella is in action against Aliyah!
Aliyah vs. Carmella
Circling,collar and elbow, Carmella grabs a side headlock. Aliyah reverses, snapmare, Carmella lands on her feet and taunts so Aliya picks a leg and grabs a jackknife pin. Off the ropes, Carmella with a mat slam and some grounded punches into a cover for two. Rear chinlock, she sends Aliyah in the corner, Bronco Buster gets two more, another mat slam into a reverse chinlock this time.
Aliyah out with elbows and a jawbreaker, lariat, short-arm bridging northern lights suplex gets a nearfall. Turning shoulder block, Aliyah to the second but Ellsworth grabs her foot! Carmella nails her with a superkick, drop toehold...
Carmella wins by submission with the Code of Silence.
She and Ellsworth celebrate up the ramp and commentary puts over our Intercontinental Championship match. But first, American Alpha are in action after the break.
Back from commercial and Breezango are ticketing the crowd for fashion violations.
American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) vs. Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze)
Gable and Breeze to start, Tyler ticketing Chad. He tears the ticket up and nails Breeze with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Tag to Jordan, he knocks Fandango off the apron, shoulder block on Breeze, hoists him up...
American Alpha win by pinfall with Grand Amplitude on Tyler Breeze.
Cut to the Wyatt Family in a smokey room. Bray Wyatt says nothing lasts forever and to appreciate the moment. Reality will eventually hit, and they haven’t won anything just yet. You may think you’ve stolen the light that binds the family, but you’ve only made it stronger, and next week they’re going to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. He takes his leave and Luke Harper steps forward only for Randy Orton to cut him off and tell Alpha to run.
Nikki Bella addresses Natalya after the break.
Back from commercial and Nikki and Nattie are already in the ring together.
Nikki says she wishes she could despise Nattie but she can’t do it. She feels sorry for her, because she thinks it’s all about looks and stuff but she and Brie have worked hard. She points out Natalya riding on her family’s legacy, and Nattie says she takes nothing from her family, to which Bella mentions her music and the Sharpshooter.
She calls Nattie the “nothing” of the Hart Family and Natalya calls her selfish and calls up a tweet that Bret Hart sent about about Nikki being one of his favorites. She doesn’t want to know the things Nikki did to get Bret to send out that tweet, but as far as she’s concerned she’s better than Bret ever was. She again says that Nikki uses her sex appeal to get what she wants, and she’s beautiful, but beauty fades, and when her beauty fades, John is going to leave her.
And when he does, she’s going to die alone. Nattie punctuates that statement with the “You can’t see me” taunt and Nikki levels her with a Bellahammer!
Cut backstage where Dean walks into an interview. He says he’s gonna make it real simple, he’s taking the most important thing away from Miz, not his wife, but his Intercontinental Championship.
Dean heads right through to make his entrance and we head to break.
Back from commercial and Jack Gallagher cuts a quick promo about his duel with Ariya Daivari, promising that he’ll be in action on 205 Live.
Commentary promises us Natalya vs. Nikki Bella, American Alpha vs the Wyatt Family for the titles, and Baron Corbin vs. John Cena for next week, and we cut back to the ring for Miz’s entrance.
Dean Ambrose vs. the Miz (c) (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Dean charges in and takes the champion down, pounding him on the mat but Miz escapes and leads him on a chase. Boots to Dean as he gets back in the ring but he sends Miz in the corner and kicks him to the mat before bringing him back up for chops. Whip, reversed, Ambrsoe dodges, looking for Dirty Deeds, Miz bails again.
Dean rolls out, Miz rolls in, Dean rolls in, Miz rolls out and referee Dan Engler counts. Miz slowly makes his way in with Dean’s back turned but Ambrose feints and throws him outside before taking him into the steps and over the timekeeper’s barricade. He breaks the count and atomic drops Miz on the barricade!
Charging over for a forearm before throwing Miz back in the ring for a cover but it’s no good and the A-Lister bails again. Dean follows and throws Miz across the announce desk before torpedoing him back in the ring, at which point Maryse yells at him and gets Miz the opportunity to throw a slingshot dropkick before throwing Ambrose into the steps to take us to break.
Back from commercial and Miz charges over to Ambrose only to get back body dropped to the outside! Dean heads up top and drops an elbow on him in the aisle! He throws the champion back in the ring and ducks a lariat, back elbows of his own, whip reversed, lariat on the rebound! Off the turnbuckle, forearm but Miz blocks the bulldog.
Schoolboy for two, Dean looks to folllow with Dirty Deeds but Miz slips out and gets him in the corner. Shoulder legbreakers, knees to the back of the knee, looks for the figure four but Ambrose kicks him away, pendulum lariat ducked, Skull Crushing Finale reversed to a victory roll pin for two, swinging neckbreaker gets Dean two more!
Up top, Miz cuts him off with a punch and fires another before climbing up to meet him. Looking for a superplex, Ambrose blocks and throws headbutts to knock the champion to the mat but Maryse argues before he can capitalize and Miz is in position to catch him with Skull Crushing Finale off the dive... NOT ENOUGH!
Both men spent but game to get to their feet as Miz cuts Ambrose off on his knees with Daniel Bryan’s chest kicks but Ambrose ducks the big finale. Big boot feeds Dean into the ropes and the pendulum lariat connects! Dean punches himself in the face to fire himself up, kick to the gut, butterfly for Dirty Deeds, Miz slips away but Dean sends him outside with a lariat... suicide dive!
Maryse slaps Dean Ambrose in the face in full view of referee Dan Engler! Dan has no choice but to disqualify him but he follows and grabs Engler’s hand and begs him to use his discretion! ENGLER THROWS MARYSE OUT INSTEAD! Miz takes advantage of the distraction to clobber Ambrose with the title belt and cover him... AMBROSE KICKS OUT!
Miz drags Ambrose to his feet in a full nelson but Dean slips out and reverses...
Dean Ambrose wins by pinfall with Dirty Deeds, becoming the NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion!
Dean celebrates with the title and commentary hypes up 205 Live a bit. That’s the show, folks.