So that’s what they have in mind. This has been a huge week for WWE already and things are about to get even bigger. With next week containing the Christmas holidays, WWE made the smart move of taping next week’s Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live ahead of time. This could make for something interesting as the fans and wrestlers are going to be a big spent. So what happened?
WWE taped the Christmas night episode of SmackDown Live after this week’s edition of the show tonight at the Save Mart Center, in Fresno, California. This show will feature Shane McMahon as a guest on MizTV, Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura defending the United States Title against Rusev. Here are the results from the taping, courtesy of Wrestlinginc.com:
* Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson and The New Day defeated SAnitY and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar in an eight-man match. The Usos were on commentary. The New Day had on Christmas costumes with white beards and Santa Claus hats. Gallows and Anderson got the pin for their team. After the match, The New Day threw pancakes to the crowd while Xavier Woods played Francesca
* R-Truth and Carmella come out dressed as Mr. & Mrs. Claus. They did a dance break to Christmas songs and Truth messed up the names of Santa’s reindeer. WWE Champion Daniel Bryan interrupted and said they aren’t real. AJ Styles and Santa Claus also aren’t real. Bryan cut a promo on materialism and the environment. Bryan said Santa will not exist as the glaciers continue to melt. Truth thinks it’s a joke. Bryan says Truth’s career has been a joke. Truth mentions his #30 spot in the Royal Rumble and possibly challenging Bryan at WrestleMania 35, if Bryan can keep the title that long. Bryan says Truth can’t even count to 30. Truth counts – 1,2,3,7. They do another 8 second dance break but Bryan interrupts by dropping Truth mid-dance. Bryan applies The LeBell Lock to Truth while Carmella looks on. Bryan breaks the hold, stomps on Truth and goes for his leg. Bryan leaves with the WWE Title held high
* Mustafa Ali defeated Andrade “Cien” Almas. Good match, Ali won with the 054
* The Miz comes out with a Christmas-themed edition of MizTV. Miz outs over the 2018 that SmackDown had and then introduced Shane McMahon, calling him his bestie. Shane talks about how the McMahon Family will listen to the fans from h ere on out, and that new Superstars are on their way to the main roster. Miz asks why can’t he and Shane be tag team partners now that SmackDown has 4 members of the family running the show. Miz also put himself over. Miz ran down his week and comments on how that still wasn’t enough to impress Vince McMahon, saying nothing is enough for Vince but Vince was impressed by Shane at the World Cup tournament. Miz says tagging with Shane is something to be proud of. Miz puts Shane on the spot, telling him to listen to what the fans want like he claimed. Fans respond with a mixed reaction but Shane agrees to tag with Miz. They stand together and raise the World Cup trophy at once. Miz leads a “yes!” chant to end the segment. They then shook hands and played to the crowd off-camera
* Jeff Hardy defeated Samoa Joe by count out. Hardy came out wearing Christmas face paint. This was a fairly quick back & forth match with no one taking the lead for too long until Hardy rallied the crowd. Joe almost took his head off with a clothesline before going to work on him in the corner. More back and forth. The crowd rallied for Hardy again after Joe kept him in an abdominal stretch. Jeff came back and hit some of his signature moves, then lead a “delete!” chant. Joe avoided the Whisper In the Wind and rolled to the floor. Hardy jumped from the apron and kicked Joe on the floor, beating him up for the count out. After the match, Jeff took Joe to the announce table and prepared for a Twist of Fate. Joe got free and dropped Hardy into the Coquina Clutch. Officials pulled them apart but Hardy went down. Joe looked to attack Hardy some more but the officials backed him off. Joe smirked as he left to the back
* Rusev defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to become the new WWE United States Champion. The match starts off fast and sees Nakamura get offense on the outside. Rusev with massive suplexes when they come back in the ring. Lots of back and forth action mid-match, they also go back to the floor. Nakamura puts on a kicking clinic until Rusev catches him with a series of clotheslines. They fight back out of the ring and Nakamura hits a diving knee from the apron. Nakamura misses a Kinshasa and eats a superkick. Rusev can’t get The Accolade in but Nakamura puts him in a triangle choke. Rusev turns that into a powerbomb. They trade pin attempts, roll-ups and more counters. They trade Kinshasa and superkick attempts again. Nakamura can’t knock Rusev down and Rusev responds with a big clothesline. Rusev stomps on Nakamura and superkicks him when he gets back up. Rusev then covers for the pin and the title. Lana comes in to celebrate after the match
* That was the end of the show, it seemed short. No AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio or Randy Orton either, among others
Opinion: That’s quite the night of results with the title change being the biggest of them all. It’s a nice way to end a big show with a title change to make it memorable, which is always a smart path to take on the last show of the year. Other than that, it’s a bunch of stuff where we’ll just have to wait and see how things play out. Hopefully the show is as good as it could be for a bonus Christmas present. Let’s get to it.
Which of these matches interests you the most? Where do you want to see things go from here? Let us know in the comments below.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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