This week’s episode of WWE SmackDown aired live on the USA Network from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI.
– AJ Styles (c) def. James Ellsworth: ‘The Face That Runs The Place’ AJ Styles comes out first to open up SmackDown, followed by his opponent James Ellsworth. AJ Styles knocks out Ellsworth with a series of strikes early on, then pins Ellsworth nonchalantly for the win in a very short squash match. After the match, AJ Styles beats down Ellsworth and tosses him around ringside. Styles is about to head backstage, but halfway up the ramp he has a change of heart and returns to ringside. AJ grabs Ellsworth and suplexes him into the fan barricade at ringside. EMTs come and take Ellsworth away on a stretcher, as AJ cuts a promo in the ring saying that Ellsworth’s beating was a long time coming. AJ says he doesn’t have to ask Santa for anything, because he’s already got it all including the WWE Championship. Dolph Ziggler comes out to interrupt and remind AJ that he’s next in line for the WWE Title. Baron Corbin comes out next, and says he should have the next shot at AJ’s WWE Title. AJ leaves the ring, then Corbin hits Ziggler with a shot to the face then the End Of Days.
– We go backstage where Ziggler is asking Daniel Bryan for a match against Corbin tonight. Bryan says he’ll get his match tonight, but if he loses, Corbin takes his title shot against AJ.
– The Miz def. Apollo Crews: Crews takes control of the match early on with a big dropkick. The Miz rolls outside and Crews follows him out, then hits a moonsault off the apron onto him. Back in the ring, Crews hits a flying cross-body off the top for a two count. At one point Maryse tries to get involved, but the referee catches her and bans her from ringside. Crews hits a couple impressive suplexes, and one of them results in the ref getting knocked down. The Miz thumbs Crews in the eye while the ref is down, then hits the Skull Crushing Finale for the win.
– After the match, Renee Young asks The Miz about his “obsession” with Dean Ambrose. The Miz says Renee is the one obsessed with Ambrose, because “after all, you’re the one sleeping with him.” Renee slaps Miz across the face and leaves.
– Natalya comes out to the ring and calls out Nikki Bella because she wants to clear the air about the backstage assault Nikki suffered at Survivor Series. Carmella interrupts next. Carmella airs out some things that Natalya said to her about Nikki. Nikki asks Natalya if it’s true and she’s the one who attacked her. Natalya doesn’t answer Nikki, and just chases Carmella up the ramp. She throws Carmella into a Christmas tree and boxes, then Carmella runs to the back. Natalya picks up another mic and tells Nikki from the stage that she is the one who did the attack and calls her a bitch. Natalya says she’s from wrestling royalty, and Nikki and her sister got everything because of their looks. Natalya tells Nikki she has no charisma, and that John Cena will never marry her, then she heads to the back.
– Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper: Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton are at ringside for this one. Harper takes control of the match early on after a failed Dirty Deeds attempt by Ambrose. Ambrose rolls outside and Harper follows him out. Harper throws Ambrose into the ring steps, then back into the ring where he locks in a variation of the Crossface Crippler. Harper puts Ambrose in the Torture Rack, but Ambrose fights out and drops Harper with a clothesline. Ambrose hits a splash in the corner and goes for a bulldog, but Harper throws Ambrose into the turnbuckle then drops him with a superkick. Ambrose drops Harper’s throat across the ring rope then Harper rolls outside. Ambrose goes to the top rope and hits a splash onto Orton and Bray Wyatt on ringside, but Harper evaded it and rolled back in the ring. When Ambrose rolls back in, he’s greeted with a powerbomb from Harper. Ambrose kicks out at two, then rolls up Harper in a small package shortly after for the win. Immediately after the bell, Wyatt and Orton hit the ring and beat down Ambrose. Orton hit sthe RKO on Ambrose, then celebrates with Orton and Harper in the ring.
– The Wyatt Family leaves the ring, but before Ambrose can leave, The Miz and Maryse come out. The Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on Ambrose then holds up his Intercontinental Championship and heads to the back.
– La Luchadora aka Becky Lynch def. Alexa Bliss: Alexa is in the ring against a woman in a blue outfit with a pink luchadore mask. La Luchadora gives Alexa a lot of trouble in the opening minutes and gets her in a cross armbar from the top for the win via submission. After celebrating her win, she removes the Luchadore mask to reveal her true identity – Becky Lynch.
– Backstage, actor Ryan Philippe is looking for Randy Orton, but instead he finds Mojo Rawley and Curt Hawkins. Mojo and Hawkins get in each others’ faces, and they’ve got a match tonight.
– Mojo Rawley def. Curt Hawkins: Ryan Phillipe is on commentary for this one, thanking WWE fans for watching his show Shooter which airs after SmackDown. Mojo takes control of the match with a big shoulder block that rocks Hawkins, then he follows up with a back body dro. After a series of shoulder blocks and clotheslines, Mojo hits a couple splashes in the corner then a pouncing shoulder block. Mojo follows up with a running forearm shot in the corner for the win after a short match.
– We go backstage where James Ellsworth is covered in bandaging, and has a cast and a neck brace on. Carmella walks in and grabs Ellsworth and says she’s going to take care of him, before walking off screen.
– Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin – Double count out: “The Champ That Runs The Camp,” AJ Styles is on commentary for this one. Ziggler kicks off the match with strikes on Corbin, but Corbin quickly uses his size advantage to drop Ziggler with knees and kicks. Corbin takes Ziggler out to rinside and drops him with a knee right in front of AJ Styles. Corbin continues the offense, hitting a running forearm then slamming Ziggler into the ring post. Ziggler comes back with a Fameasser for a two count. Corbin drops Ziggler with a right hand, but then gets distracted talking trash and Ziggler rolls him up for another two count. Ziggler comes back again with a neckbreaker and a Zig Zag for another near-fall. Corbin hits some elbows then the Deep Six for a near-fall of his own. They take the action out to ringside, where Corbin slams Ziggler into the fan barricade multiple times as the referee counts. Corbin launches Ziggler into Styles, but then Ziggler comes back with a dropkick on Corbin that drops him. Both men are down, and the referee reaches the ten count and calls for the bell. AJ Styles takes advantage of the opportunity to weaken both Ziggler and Corbin with a series of chair shots to each man. Daniel Bryan interrupts and books Styles in a triple threat match for the WWE Title next week against Corbin and Ziggler. AJ freaks out about Bryan’s decision as SmackDown goes off the air.