WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Dec. 18, 2018) from the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, featuring the fallout show from the TLC pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in San Jose.
Advertised for tonight: Asuka’s reign as SmackDown women’s champion begins, Becky Lynch and Charlotte respond to Ronda Rousey, 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. 18
We’re on the edge of greatness, turning darkness to light. We’re right beside you, ready to fight, we’re gonna win in the end. We must be strong and we must be brave, we must be brave! We gotta find every bit of strength that we have and never let it go! We must be strong, and I must liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with Shane McMahon addressing the roster backstage.
He says last night on Raw (which gets raucous boos from the SmackDown superstars) the McMahon family ushered in a new era in WWE and that goes for SmackDown as well. They’re truly listening and they owe it to not just themselves, but for the greatest fanbase in the world, the WWE Universe. It all starts tonight, and he wants everyone to rip the brass ring down!
He brings Paige out and thanks her on behalf of everyone for her enormous contributions and says she’s not going anywhere, just her role is changed, and he raises her hand and leads a “Thank you, Paige!” chant.
In the arena, Becky Lynch makes her entrance.
She gets on the mic and says she doesn’t care who’s running the show, because The Man’s in charge, and she doesn’t really do meetings, so she’s out here with the people, where the real business is conducted, and the only thing she wants from the McMahon family is that they deliver Ronda Rousey to her. She tells Ronnie to listen up and says when she got in her business she faced her down in her own dressing room and ring.
At TLC Ronda cost her the title and didn’t even have the decency to fight her, pushing her ladder over inches from victory, and she’s worked too hard for too long to let some Roddy Piper cosplayer take it away from her!
Enter Charlotte Flair.
She tells Becky to take a number and stand behind the Queen, because Ronda stole HER opportunity. Lynch calls her a cosplayer also and says her days of standing behind her are long gone. Charlotte says Becky looking up to her is a “Then, Now, Forever” type thing and if Rousey hadn’t been there she’d have become an 8-time champion.
Enter newly-minted SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka.
She shimmies and laughs before telling them to forget Ronda because she’s champion now. Lynch tells her to prove it and Flair says she should be thankful since she never beat her. Becky calls her a paper champion--
(NO CHANCE, THAT’S WHAT YOU’VE GOT!)
Enter Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
He wishes everyone a happy holidays and congratulates Asuka on winning the title, because it’s 2018 and we need surreal moments like that in WWE. He tells Becky and Charlotte their conduct is unbecoming, making excuses for things that happened in an anything goes match like TLC. Rousey said she was going to write the next chapter in both their careers, and they need to get over it and take charge and take it out on her.
McMahon asks Asuka how she’d like to defend her title, and she’s into it. He asks if anyone is ready for Asuka and introduces her challenger... NAOMI!
Naomi says Charlotte got her opportunities and Becky isn’t The Man anymore, and she wants the title.
But as always with matches booked for “right now” in the first segment, we have to go to break before the action.
Asuka (c) vs. Naomi (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Circling, collar and elbow, Naomi with a wristlock, Asuka reverses using the ropes. Naomi reverses back after a leg kick, cartwheel to keep it on and she shifts to an armbar. The Empress reverses to an armbar of her own, kneeling into it and shifting to a headscissors. Naomi kips up to escape, off the ropes, champion ducks a lariat, waistlock, Naomi lands on her feet, double dropkick stalemate!
Test of strength, Naomi goes behind to a full nelson, denied, snapmare to a kick to the back. Another kick, Asuka catches it, ankle lock, she gets away, full nelson bomb, trying pins but she can’t put the champion away. The Empress of Tomorrow shifts to a seated armbar before rising to her feet. Trading forearms, whi to the corner, up and over and Asuka counters a headscissors into Alarm Clock!
Kicks to the back against the ropes, back elbow, up top, jockeying for position, octopus hold in the ropes and Asuka breaks at referee Mike Chioda’s command... NAOMI WITH THE AVALANCHE RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP TO SEND US TO BREAK!
Back from commercial and Naomi is down and out on the floor. Asuka puts her back in the ring, missile dropkick and Naomi heads back outside again. The champion following her with kicks, throwing her at the barricade but she jumps up for the springboard roundhouse! Both women in at the count of nine, trading forearms and Naomi runs into the hip toss knee to the midsection!
Asuka charges in, springboard roundhouse out of the corner... THE KNEES ARE UP ON THE SPLIT-LEGGED MOONSAULT AND THE ASUKA LOCK IS PARTIALLY ON! Naomi kicks off the corner into a pin but Asuka fights out and gets the Asuka Lock all the way on this time! Naomi rolls to her feet, sits out, Asuka rolls her back but she counters to a victory roll pin for two! Rear View... SO CLOSE! Trying to figure out what else she can do to put the champion away, Naomi heads to the apron and waits, springboard... CAUGHT INTO A CODEBREAKER FOR A NEARFALL! Asuka falls back into the Asuka Lock a third time...
Asuka wins by submission with the Asuka Lock to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Backstage, Miz psyches himself up to knock on the McMahon family dressing room and Vince answers.
McMahon criticizes his knock for its lack of manliness and Miz asks if Shane’s around, but he can’t come out to play. The A-Lister says Vince of all people knows he’s reliable for anything he needs and sure he gets carried away sometimes, but if he and Shane teamed together they could be the Best Tag Team in the World. McMahon asks what he wants him to do about it, and Miz says he’s just asking for his blessing.
Vince says he’s never given anyone a blessing in his life and Miz isn’t getting one now. But he’ll let him prove himself in a tag team match that Vince is going to go set up. McMahon slams the door in his face, end segment.
Commentary hypes up AJ Styles & Mustafa Ali vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Daniel Bryan as well as an apology from Samoa Joe to send us to break.
Back from commercial, commentary informs us that Byron Saxton is out sick and will be back “next week”, and runs down WWE Holiday Week on USA Network.
Rusev and Lana are interviewed backstage.
He says he’s a man of action and he proved that Shinsuke Nakamura needs to be afraid of him when he crushed him. He’s handsome, a hunk, he’s got big biceps and a handsome beard that you could shave off and sell on eBay to make sweaters for babies and sell them for thousands of dollars, but Shinsuke looks like Sonic the Hedgehog. He may run fast and far, but when he gets his hands on him, he’ll take his United States Championship back on Rusev Day.
Jeff Hardy makes his entrance and gets on the mic.
He says he heard that Samoa Joe wants to apologize, and for the last few weeks he’s said some things about him and his demons that were true. He’s been weak and made mistakes, but that was then and this was now, and Jeff wakes up every day and worships the fact that he’s alive, well, and here, so bring it on, Joe, he wants to hear this apology face to face.
Samoa most obligingly makes his entrance. He apologizes... because this is no apology, no. He’s been forced to deceive him, because this is more important, this is an intervention. He tells Hardy to look at him and he’s known him for a long time and everyone’s very worried. It’s the holiday times and a man in his fragile condition, well, it can be really rough this time of year and eventually his demons are gonna come running back.
Jeff says the more he reminds him about his past, the more he tells himself he’s never going back, and he and his demons see right through Joe. He says Samoa attacks people’s weaknesses to cover up his insecurities, so what is it? The fact that he’s been her two years and hasn’t won one championship? Joe waves him off before charging in, but Jeff is ready... TWIST OF FATE!
Commentary again hypes up our dream match tag for later and we go to break.
Back from commercial, the Miz makes his entrance for the mystery tag match Vince McMahon set up earlier.
His tag partner Mandy Rose makes her entrance, followed by their opponents, Fabulous Truth.
R-Truth cuts a promo about how they won Mixed Match Challenge and talking up the spoils of war and says he’s looking forward to wrestling Miz and Maryse.
Fabulous Truth (Carmella & R-Truth) vs. Mandy Rose & the Miz (Mixed Tag Team Match)
Rose and Mella to start, collar and elbow, snapmare from Mandy, duck the lariat, revolution headscissors takeover and a dropkick from Carmella and Miz tags in. Truth with a wheelbarrow into a victory roll before dumping Miz to the floor... DANCE BREAK! Rose in with a boot, Carmella nails her with a superkick but the A-Lister comes in from behind...
Mandy Rose & the Miz win by pinfall with Skull-Crushing Finale from Miz on R-Truth.
Commentary throws to a recap of last week’s Daniel Bryan vs. Mustafa Ali match, just to remind you that that happened and the world can still be wonderful sometimes. They also inform us that Ali is officially on the SmackDown roster now!
On that note, we go to break.
Back from commercial, commentary talks about all the changes coming to SmackDown and toss to the video package on the six NXT superstars that are coming soon that we saw last night on Raw.
The Usos make their entrance to cut a promo.
They say with all the changes, one thing stays the same, and that’s that the Usos run SmackDown and they’ve still got gold on their mind and they call the Bar out to come and get jig--
Enter the Club. Karl Anderson says week after week it’s New Day, Usos, the Bar, week after week and they’re great teams having great matches but last week they watched them have a freakin’ rap battle and the Good Brothers haven’t been on SmackDown since August? Luke Gallows says that’s four months one of the greatest tag teams of the last decade have been on the sidelines, but no more, it’s time to clean the slate, clean house, and get paid, Hoot.
The Usos say they’re not why the Club fell through the cracks, but if they don’t step up, they’ll get stepped on, and the Usos don’t back down for nobody. They welcome them to the Uso Penitentiary and referee Danilo Anfibio separates them because we’ve got a match right now!
Or, uh, after the break.
The Club (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) vs. the Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
The match is in progress and Anderson is in control with a reverse chinlock on Jimmy. Uso sits up and gets to his knees, to one foot, reaching for the tag and Karl shifts his efforts to whip him into the corner and cut him off with an uppercut. Gallows tags in, roundhouse kick connects for two! Overhead elbows into a reverse chinlock, but Jimmy manages to hang him up in the ropes.
Tags made, Jey in hot with leaping lariats, kick to the midsection, big uppercut, Samoan drop and he’s fired up! Tribute to Rikishi sidestepped, bicycle kick and the Gun Stun style neckbreaker but Anderson can’t put him away! Luke in, Boot of Doom denied but the Gallows Pole connects... NOT ENOUGH! Stinger splash, Jimmy with the tag, tag back, dive into the double goozle, escape with kicks and clothesline Big Hoot to the floor but he made the tag as well!
Jey lying in wait, off the ropes... ANDERSON CATCHES HIM WITH A LEAPING KICK TO THE SIDE OF THE HEAD AND SENDS HIM CRASHING INTO THE APRON! And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Gallows is staggered and Jimmy hits a diving crossbody for two! Big slicing right, tag to Machine Gun, he climbs to join the Uso and they jockey for position. Karl runs under a dive and Jimmy superkicks both members of the Club in turn! Headed up top but the Bar make their entrance and delay the splash. From the other side of the ring SAnitY attack and referee Danilo Anfibio is going to have to throw it out!
The match goes to a no-contest that’s never announced because why would you ever announce a finish?
SAnitY lay all four men out and leave the ring, squaring up with the Bar, Eric Young telling the champs they beat them to it.
The Bar beset the Usos and the Club anyway, throwing Gallows and Jey into the barricade in turn before holding the titles high as a statement to SAnitY.
Shinsuke Nakamura cuts a promo asking if he should be afraid of Rusev and running a hype reel of a variety of goofy moments from his time on Total Divas, mostly centered on how much he likes showing his legs off. He says Rusev is no championship contender nor a star, he’s a Total Diva.
We see AJ Styles and Mustafa Ali backstage talking strategy and are informed that their match is next, after the break!
Back from commercial we’re informed that there’ll be an episode of MizTV with Shane McMahon as the guest next week, as well as Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship, and Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe.
New Day get a promo to hype up their special on USA Network tomorrow night.
Daniel Bryan makes his entrance (staring down a “this sign wasted paper” sign on his way) and gets on the mic, saying he killed the Yes! Movement and destroyed the House That AJ Styles Built, but unlike us, he’s not about destruction, but rather creation of something better. And here on SmackDown he’s creating a brave new world, and he understands we won’t like it because we fear change.
How else to explain all of us continuing to lead these lives of vacuous consumption despite the evidence that we’re destroying the planet that gives us life? And the people of California are the guiltiest of them all, and the city of Fresno ranks number one in pollution in the state. He then proceeds to shame the crowd by shouting “Shame!” at them a bunch, in the time-honored tradition.
He says Isaac Asimov once wrote that self-education is the only kind of education there is, and for people like him and Asimov that might work, but we wouldn’t know wisdom if it was handed to us through a drive-through window. He warns the people not to try self-eduction because they will fail (I dunno, self-education’s how I figured out my gender nonsense, Dan), but lucky for us, we have someone to teach us how to live.
Bryan’s speaking of himself, of course.
We get the rest of our main event entrances and then go to break before the match begins.
AJ Styles & Mustafa Ali vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Daniel Bryan
The match is in progress and Styles and Almas are legal. Cien with kicks and knees, backing him in the corner, chops and knees, whip reversed, back elbow, off the ropes, AJ catches the front kick but eats the elbow this time for one. More punishment in the corner, knee lifts, Styles with right hands, he floats over a slam but takes the back elbow again.
Off the ropes, drop down, leapfrog, dropkick and both men are down and out with the way clear. AJ chooses to continue going after Almas, wristlock, tag to Ali and he comes in with a diving double stomp to the elbow. Wristlock, Andrade with a fireman’s carry but Mustafa’s got a fancy lucha arm drag and a sunset flip into a wristlock only for Cien to back him into the corner and tag Bryan in.
Chest kicks with Ali down and out in the corner, smashing his face into the next turnbuckle, pasting him with a big slap and backing off while referee Jason Ayers checks on him. Arm wringer into a Cobra Twist, Mustafa counters with a hip toss but the American Dragon maintains wrist control and tags Andrade back in. Almas draws him up, big chop, Dan asks for one more and he gets it!
Tag back to Bryan, he comes right in with chops, whip across but Ali sidesteps the charge and kicks him in the face, rolling thunder X-Factor sends the champion to the floor! Mustafa off the ropes, cut off by Almas laying in the ropes and Styles takes him out with a dropkick. Off the ropes... ALLEY OOP TOPE CON GIRO TO SEND US TO BREAK!
Back from commercial, Bryan’s got a full-on Liontamer locked in on Ali! Mustafa gets to his back and out with upkicks but Dan tags Almas in, and he lands a falling splash off the top for two before grabbing a half-crab of his own. Wrenching back, breaking for a running knee to the back of the head... NOPE! Boot to the midsection, tag to Bryan and the American Dragon stalks his prey.
Chest kicks ensue with Cien cheerleading from the apron, whip, front kick, Ali firing back with right hands, off the ropes himself and he gets decapitated by a lariat! Romero Special applied, Bryan falls all the way back, adds a rear chinlock and then transitions right into a Dragon sleeper to torture the former Freelance World Champion! He informs referee Jason Ayers that he has until five when Ali gets the ropes and begrudgingly breaks and tags Andrade in.
Trading strikes, whip across, pop-up drop, going for a powerbomb and Mustafa counters to a Frankensteiner! Almas with a WICKED lariat, he goes up top... moonsault, nobody home, lands on his feet, goes for another as soon as he lands but Ali gets the knees up! The path is clear, crawling, praying, reaching... TAGS MADE!
Styles blocks a lariat, punches and chops, Styles Rush, off the ropes, sliding forearm and the Phenomenal One is fired up! Corner lariat, suplex lift blocked with a knee on the first try but the second feets into a neckbreaker... NOPE! Phenomenal Forearm sidestepped but AJ locks the Calf Killer on! Rolling through with him, keeping him away from the ropes but Almas makes the save!
Hammerlock applied while Ayers protests but Styles saves the match by back body dropping Cien to the floor and Ali punctuates it with a Frankensteiner! AJ sidesteps a running dropkick, sets up the Styles Clash but Dan slips out and hits a pair of roundhouse kicks! Charging in, boot up, moonsault inverted DDT connects and both men are down and out! Ali tags in and hits a tornado DDT!
Dragging Bryan in the corner, climbing up top, Andrade cuts him off and they jockey for position before AJ hits a Phenomenal Forearm on Cien! Ali off the top... 054! IT’S OVER! HE DID IT!
AJ Styles & Mustafa Ali win by pinfall with 054 from Ali on Daniel Bryan!
Ali and Styles celebrate together.
That’s the show, folks.