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WWE SmackDown Live results (Dec. 26, 2017): Happy holidays

WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 26, 2017) from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for late next month in Philadelphia.

Advertised for tonight: As of a day before showtime, nothing!

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.)


Man alone, born of stone will stamp the dust of time, his hands strike the flame of his soul; ties a rope to a tree and hangs the universe until the winds of laughter blows cold. Fear that rattles in men's ears and rears its hideous head, but me, I'm just here to liveblog this pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with Daniel Bryan making his entrance.

He says it's great to be back in Chicago and last week's show was a real rollercoaster. One of the most shocking moments of the year came from an unexpected place, and he rolls footage of Dolph Ziggler laying down the United States Championship in the middle of the ring. Bryan's been trying to call Dolph all week but he hasn't gotten a reply, therefore due to his actions, he concludes that he's voluntarily relinquished the title.

Dan wishes Ziggler the best of luck from the WWE Universe and acknowledges on a personal level that Dolph is an all-time great but they have to move forward. And so they're starting a tournament tonight, and first round matches include Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Roode and--

Enter Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. They say that's great but they want to know what he's doing about the tag title situation. Bryan asks if they just got an opportunity two weeks ago at Clash of Champions but Gable protests that that wasn't fair. Shelton adds that they never got their one-on-one match and instead Bryan added other teams like New Day and Rusev Day.

Gable says if they got their fair shot, they would have won the titles and they deserve another.

This brings Rusev Day out. Aiden English makes their case for getting a straight-up title shot in song, pointing out that they've beaten the champs, they didn't lose, and also it's Rusev Day. Well, Chad Gable thinks it's Boxing Day, but he's wrong.

New Day come out next, chucking pancakes around as per usual. Xavier Woods says all the other teams are wasting Dan's time, and if he wants #1 contenders all he has to do is take the Kofi Kingston True/False Challenge. Big E begins administering it, asking if the team of Chad Gable and Old Jason Jordan got pinned at Clash of Champions. True! Did the oddly charismatic team of Rusev Day get pinned by your boys last week? True!

And who (owl gimmick) else but your boys deserve a title shot? Logic states that it's your boys, the New Day who are the rightful #1 contenders to the (at this point he gets Bryan in line for the hip swivels) SmackDown WWE World Tag Team-- Rusev stops them short saying nobody wants to see their spinning hips, so is Bryan gonna make up his mind or does he have to ask him mommy, Shane McMahon?

Dan says he can make this decision on his own and they're all very talented and make valid points, so we're going to have a triple threat match between all three teams for the #1 contendership... and that match happens right now!

The Usos come out to keep an eye on the proceedings.

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) vs. Rusev Day (Aiden English & Rusev) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contender's Match)

English, Woods, and Gable to start so it's the same rules as the PPV match. Aiden with a side headlock, Chad shoots him off into a schoolboy for Xavier, no good and the Olympian gets into a shoving match with the PhD. English passes Gable to the floor, Rusev beats on him, Benjamin involved, E freight trains around, Woods clotheslines Aiden to the floor... TOPE CON GIRO INTO THE CRUSH!

Back in, cover gets a nearfall and E tags in. Rolling sunset flip into a powerbomb that puts Xavier into Aiden, Big thinking Midnight Hour already but it gets away from him, Gable comes around and German suplexes the big man and English together! Front chancery, tag to Shelton, putting boots to E, straight suplex, Aiden isolates Big away from him and tags Rusev in to put boots to him but Gable and Benjamin beat him up and toss him to the floor.

Kick combo into tandem knees, cover's only good for two, tag to Chad as English gets involved again helping them put boots to Big. Double whip but E comes hard out the corner and levels them both with a double clothesline! Tag to Woods, forearms for everybody, kick sets English up for the dropkick to the back, whip reversed on Gable, boot up, Honor Roll connects!

Slide under Aiden, wicked elbow connects, Chad breaks it up! Benjamin tags in, kicks and punches, putting English into Rusev to set up a spinebuster but Xavier ruins his night with an enzuigiri! Gable with an exploder suplex, Aiden with a dropkick, everybody's down and out but for the Bulgarian Brute! Tag made, Rusev unleashed, roundhouse kicks for everybody!

Charging shoulder blocks, the spinning wheel kick, Machka Kick drops Shelton! Gable with Chaos Theory but English tagged blind and the match breaks down! Xavier chopping away at the Olympian, whip reversed, blind tag from Big, whip into a Rock Bottom / lungblower combo... NOPE! Up for the Big Ending, Woods is perched up top but knocked down, Benjamin wipes him out, moonsault from Gable... NOT ENOUGH!

Shelton with a powerbomb clutch, English breaks it up with a dropkick but jumps into a waistlock, Chaos Theory denied with a handful of Woods' hair! Gable trying again, Xavier with an kick, tornado DDT, Aiden with a fireman's carry spinebuster... BENJAMIN BREAKS IT UP! Shelton setting English up in the turnbuckles, superplex blocked, Gable climbs up with him, Rusev slides under... DOUBLE POWERBOMB!

Diving splash... only a nearfall! Rusev Day fired up, the Bulgarian Brute tags in, stomp to the back, Woods with a schoolboy for a tight nearfall and Rusev wipes him out with a roundhouse kick! Rusev stacks Xavier on top of Chad... STACCOLADE! Woods is shaking and Benjamin breaks it up with a kick! Dragging Gable over, tag made, Shelton heads in, fends E off but gets passed to the apron... SUICIDE SPEAR!

Big's fired up, clapping along, gets him up on his shoulder but Shelton breaks free. Charging into an elbow, E to the second, met with a jumping knee, Benjamin hoists him up into the powerbomb...

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin win by pinfall with the powerbomb Doomsday Device, becoming #1 contender's the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan is watching on a monitor when Shane McMahon rolls up. He had a great Christmas with his family but one thing's been going through his head, something Bryan said that really upset him. Last week he said he was turning into Mr. McMahon and he takes great exception to that. His dad isn't the easiest guy, from a business aspect, to get along with.

His management style can be ruthless, cold, calculating, they all agree on that. But you have to give the man his due-- he built this business brick by brick himself, changing sports entertainment into what it is today. He redefined this business, and moreso at the end of the day, he's his father.

Dan says he gets it, and he's not trying to undermine his progress, but Shane's been throwing his weight around and that reminds him of some of Mr. McMahon's worst excesses. McMahon tosses the idea of throwing weight back in Bryan's face bringing up the tournament and asking why he didn't just do a single match. Bryan says SmackDown is the land of opportunity and he figured a tournament gives so many more opportunities.

And onto the main event of AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens, what's up with that? Did he ban Sami Zayn from ringside? How does he think this is going to turn out? Perception is reality, and he wants to make sure people don't think Bryan's playing favorites. He's not accusing anything of Bryan personally, but people are starting to talk and he wants to make sure his GM is beyond reproach.

Bryan says Owens/Styles was one of the most heated rivalries of 2017 and he figured why not end the year with one more match? Shane seems satisfied by this, at least temporarily.

Commentary hypes up Naomi vs. Ruby Riott and our one announced tournament match to send us to a house ad for the Royal Rumble.

We get a clip from Fashion Files setting up the next match, a rematch between Breezango and the Bludgeon Brothers.

Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan) vs. Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze)

Fandango and Harper to start but Breeze tags in and they take their five seconds for a double dropkick and punches! Tornado DDT denied... TRUCK STOP! Rowan having his way with Tyler on the floor, back suplex facebuster into the corner of the ring! Tag made, Luke psyches Erick up, corner avalance into the falling big boot and another tag. Full nelson pops him up and the Brodie Bomb puts him down... but Rowan pulls up on the cover before three!

Harper legal again, smashes Dango off the apron, Erick heads around and throws him into the steps and the barricade! THE ASCENSION MAKE THE SAVE!

Bludgeon Brothers win by disqualification.

Friendship lives! The Ascension get Breezango right the hell out of there and leave the Bludgeon Brothers confused as to what just happened.

Naomi is shown walking backstage.

We go backstage with Breezango and the Ascension where an interview rolls up. Konnor, on behalf of his best friends, says the Bludgeon Brothers crossed the line. Viktor says that's why their friends will have a rematch next week, and the Brothers better be ready for the Wasteland.

This is followed by the video package of Stephanie announcing the women's Royal Rumble match.

Ruby Riott makes her entrance and gets a picture-in-picture promo where she says rumble is just a fancy word for riot, and that gives her an advantage. She plans on being the last one standing, and Naomi is the first one she'll eliminate, so why wait? Tonight, she says, that glow has gotta go.

Naomi vs. Ruby Riott

Right in trading punches, Riott with a knee and a mat slam that she follows with grounded punches to the back of the head. Drawing her up, scoop, slam denied, Naomi ducks the lariat, springboard roundhouse kick gets two! She knocks Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan from the apron but Ruby takes advantage, kicking her leg out from behind, wristlock...

Ruby Riott wins by pinfall with the Riott Kick.

Post-match, the Riott Squad put boots to Naomi... Charlotte Flair makes the save! Lariat for Logan, spinebuster for Riott into punches but Liv pulls her off so she gets a spinebuster and punches as well! Sarah gets a kick off, however, and That Damned Numbers Game wins out.

Natalya leads the Welcoming Committee out and we have a brawl! Not a long one, however, as the Riott Squad head for the hills.

AJ Styles is interviewed backstage about his main event match tonight. His plan for Sami Zayn is the same one he had for the Singh Brothers, and he doesn't know nor care if Daniel Bryan is playing favorites. When he steps in the ring, HE'S the favorite and his opponents are the underdogs. In 2017 he's challenged himself, and he started it as WWE Champion and he's ending it as WWE Champion.

SmackDown is the land of opportunity but the question is what do you do with that opportunity? Kevin Owens thinks it'll just be handed to him, but it doesn't work that way in life and it doesn't work that way on SmackDown. If he wants to win tonight, he'll have to out-think him and out-work him, and he hasn't been able to do that yet, so SmackDown will continue to be the House That AJ Styles Built.

Bobby Roode vs. Baron Corbin (WWE United States Championship Tournament First Round Match)

Roode with a side headlock, Corbin backs him off in the corner but Bobby manages to force him to the floor after the break. Right hand to the face when he comes back in, corner lariat, headlock to a neckbreaker, only one. The match spills to the floor again, Baron in control now, ramming him into the barricade and the apron, suplexing him into the Tree of Woe FROM THE FLOOR and hitting him in the breadbasket to knock him down!

Back inside, to the corner, punch to the gut, one-handed standing bulldog, the Lone Wolf just punishing him here. Drawing him up, Roode throws chops to try and fight his way out of it, off the ropes, caught into a side slam, only a nearfall! Bear hug on the mat, trying to grind the Glorious One down and tossing him out of the ring like a sack of potatoes!

Roode has some gas in the tank to try shoulder thrusts from the apron but Baron knocks him down with a shoulder thrust and comes around outside to level him with a lariat, jawing at him before rolling him back inside. Knee up on the charge, Bobby low-bridges him and his ready, duck the lariat, forearm smash and a lariat sends Corbin to the floor! Back in, thinking corner bulldog, Baron blocks it but the blockbuster finds home for a nearfall!

The Lone Wolf puts Roode shoulder-first into the ringpost, wristlock, short-arm End of Days denied, Bobby passes him outside and catches him with the spinning spinebuster when he comes back into the ring! Glorious DDT denied, Baron hits Deep Six... NOT ENOUGH! Putting Roode in the corner, setting him up top, right hand but Bobby wakes up and fires back. Jockeying for position, Roo firing those headbutts off and knocking him down! He jumps off the second, right into the goozle, but he floats over, sunset flip, overrotating...

Bobby Roode wins by pinfall with a folding press, advancing to the semifinals.

Commentary informs us that our other United States Championship tournament match for tonight is Jinder Mahal vs. Tye Dillinger and we go to break.

Back from commercial, the Singh Brothers give their man his traditional big introduction.

Tye Dillinger gets a picture-in-picture promo talking about how he's not letting the US title slip through his fingers again and the only number that matters is 10.

Jinder Mahal vs. Tye Dillinger (WWE United States Championship Tournament Match)

Mahal riding Dillinger on the mat, to their feet, standing switch, Jinder breaks with a back elbow. Off the ropes, backslide, Mahal heads outside for a breather and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Jinder has a half nelson neck crank in, keeping the Perfect Ten grounded. Struggling to his feet, right hands to break but Mahal throws a cross chop to the throat and backs Tye off! Shove in the corner, boot up, Dillinger throwing chops, whip reversed but he's throwing cross chops of his own. Strike rush into a stomp to the face, boots in the corner as referee Danilo Anfibio warns him off.

Takign the knee pad down, fireman's carry denied and Mahal throws him to the apron. Headed up top, Dillinger with a crossbody but Jinder rolls through for a nearfall! Fireman's carry double knee gutbuster gets the Modern-Day Maharaja a nearfall. Suplex denied, Tye snaps him down with a DDT for a two count of his own, mounted punches in the corner but Mahal takes his knee out and hooks him...

Jinder Mahal wins by pinfall with Khallas, advancing to the semifinals.

Commentary hypes up Styles/Owens and we go to break.

Back from commercial, commentary hypes up Hideo Itami vs. Jack Gallagher for 205 Live.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are walking backstage when they roll up on an interview. Owens is shaking a bottle of champagne but he's not popping it until after he wins. It's a very special bottle, you see, it's the bottle Daniel Bryan refused to take it. But they're not offended, they know why he wouldn't take it. The last time KO wrestled Styles, there was a special guest referee.

He gives a bunch of clues as to this man's identity and says he has a vendetta against him. But that was then, this is now, and tonight he has the advantage against AJ because his guardian angel is by his side. Daniel didn't take the champagne because he believes in them and knew they'd need it to celebrate, because he's better than phenomenal, he's Kevin Owens.

Dasha isn't invited to their celebration, and in fact nobody in Chicago is invited. It's a private party, and the only guests are he and Zayn, and they wouldn't want to seem like they're gloating.

Randy Orton is interviewed backstage. He says he's been dealing with everybody's issues but his own and he has himself to worry about. The past is the past and he's looking to the future, so the only thing he's concerned with right now is how to throw 29 other superstars over the top rope, as he's officially entering the Royal Rumble.

Shinsuke Nakamura rolls up next to him and says that's a good idea and he wants to rumble.

AJ Styles makes his entrance, our main event will begin after the break.

Back from commercial in time for Kevin Owens to make his entrance.

AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens

Owens charges right into a dropkick from Styles to start us off with a bang! AJ puts him face first into one turnbuckle and then the next, punch and a kick, referee Dan Engler warns him off and he breaks clean. Snapmare, off the ropes for a knee drop, but KO gets a back elbow in and follows with a waistlock. Standing switch, leg trip, Styles kips up into a Frankensteiner!

More punishment in the corner but Kev manages to trip him face-first into the turnbuckles. Coming back over to follow up, AJ hooks the leg and rolls through into the Calf Killer! Owens gets the ropes almost immediately but the damage is done and he hobbles to ringside. Styles follows after and kicks his leg out of his leg before tossing him back into the ring.

KO hobbles to the ropes, AJ picks his leg and yanks him clean into the middle of the ring only to get kicked to the floor! Owens comes around after him, running him over with an elbow as Sami Zayn cheers him on! Back inside, senton connects for two and he follows it up with a reverse chinlock, grounding the Phenomenal One. Breaking momentarily for a few knees to the back, right back to the hold but now AJ is able to post to his feet.

Fighting out with chops, Styles Rush, Owens stops him short with an inverted headlock elbow drop! A kick to the back of the neck follows and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Owens has the reverse chinlock in but good, Styles rising to his feet, body blows, overhead elbows in return from KO into a boot, but the cover's only good for two. Right back to the chinlock and AJ again rises and backhands his way out, this time connecting with a back suplex facebuster to create some separation. Opposite corners, AJ charges in but nobody's home!

Boot up on the return charge, elbow up, moonsault misses but he's on his feet and Kev drops him with a lariat for a nearfall! Drawing him up, cravate neckbreaker over the knee... NOPE! Cannonball set up but Styles pops up and hits the Ushigoroshi to counter! Both men back to their feet slowly, staggered but trading forearms and the pace intensifies!

Styles Rush goes all the way through this time, off the ropes, sliding forearm, leaping lariat in the corner, he calls for the Styles Clash, reversed to a fireman's carry, escape, duck the lariat, Pele kick! To the apron, a right hand, springboard in but he's caught, fireman's carry gutbuster, slingshot corkscrew elbow drop... NO GOOD!

Setting AJ up top but he slips out, spin-out Argentine powerbomb... NOT ENOUGH! Owens to the floor, Styles slingshot plancha but Sami Zayn takes the brunt of it! AJ puts KO into the ringpost and rolls him back in but Sami gets involved again and the champion turns around into a superkick... SOMEHOW HE KICKED OUT!

This brings Shane McMahon down to ringside to order referee Dan Engler to eject Sami Zayn! AJ gets a small package for a good five or six seconds but he's consumed with taking care of Zayn and when he turns around...

Kevin Owens wins by pinfall with a schoolboy pin.

Owens and Zayn celebrate together and AJ Styles heads up the ramp, stopping a moment to stare at McMahon in disappointment before leaving Shane to look on as the two friends continue to celebrate.

That's the show, folks.

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