With new contenders for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and Tag-Team Championship (albeit, one is injured), how will WWE World Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles and Tag-Team Champions The Wyatt Family “matchup” their challengers in Dolph Ziggler and The Hype Bros? Will Mojo Rawley have to find another partner as it is Zack Ryder that is out-of-action, or does The Hype Bros’ title shot get relinquished and we have to have another way to find new #1 Contenders?
Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch are still going at it; what is next in this rivalry?
Lastly, John Cena is set to return next week. Will someone step up tonight and challenge him for anything in a week?
All those and much more, so read on!
Tuesday Night Smackdown! Live TV Report for December 20th, 2016 – “New Contender(s)?”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
The regular opener plays and the pyro goes off in the Joe Louis Arena. Mauro Ranallo tells us that our first match is for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
Match #1: Single for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship – A.J. Styles (Champion) VS. James Ellsworth (Challenger)
After formal in-ring introductions, James puts up his “dukes” but A.J. throws him into the corner. Ellsworth tries a superkick, but Styles catches his leg and punches away, knocking James out. He covers with two hands on his chest and receives the quick victory!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion: A.J. Styles
Post-match, A.J. decimates Ellsworth on the outside, shoving and sling-shotting him into the steel underside part of the ring. He walks away but then goes back and suplexes James into the corner of the barrier. He gets back into the ring with a microphone and says the attack “was a long time coming.” Medical attendants bring a stretcher out for Ellsworth.
“The Phenomenal One” wants to move on to 2017, but his new challenger, Dolph Ziggler, won’t let him. They verbally-joust at each other, and then insinuates that he’ll do anything “to get my hands on that WWE Title.”
Baron Corbin suddenly interrupts, and declares he should be the #1 Contender. Dolph retorts that he made his title shot happen while Corbin was absent last week. Baron replies that Ziggler “wastes opportunities,” and then punches him. Dolph tries to fight back, but is driven to the mat with End of Days. The crowd chants “one more time…” but “The Lone Wolf” waves them off and walks away.
Segment #2: Office Promo
Dolph is furious with Corbin and wants General Manager Daniel Bryan to book them in a match. GM Bryan tells Ziggler not to be concerned about Dolph, but “The Show-Off” insists; he even says that he will make his WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match next week on Smackdown! up for grabs! Daniel reluctantly agrees.
Match #2: Single for the Intercontinental Championship – The Miz (with Maryse) (Champion) VS. Apollo Crews (Challenger)
They circle around and then Apollo almost takes this with a couple of roll-ups! He continues to one-up Miz with leaps and a dropkick for a near-fall! Miz tries a leap-frog, but misses a front-dropkick and Crews jackknifes him for two! He follows with a baseball-slide, and then moonsaults off of the apron onto a standing Miz! Back in the ring, Apollo soars off of the top turnbuckle with a crossbody, but only gets two!
Both are down as Referee Mike Chioda is counting. Apollo kicks at Miz and then hits him with a leaping-clothesline! He gears up for an enziguri and just about gets the I.C. Title after another couple of pin-variations.
Crews splashes in the corner, but Miz moves and Maryse tries to take advantage. Referee Chioda sees her and forces her to go to the back. Apollo tries a backdrop a bit later but Miz flips out of it and pokes Crews in the eye; he follows with his Skull-Krushing Finale and gets the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall and STILL Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
Post-match, interviewer Rene Young asks Miz about his “obsession” with Dean Ambrose. Miz retaliates harshly with a comment about Rene and Dean’s relationship, saying “you’re the one sleeping with him.” Rene slaps Miz and marches away, tearing her microphone gear off in the process.
The announcers recap Zack Ryder’s injury and announce that on next week’s Smackdown!, there will be a Four-Corners Elimination Match for the Tag-Team Championship between The Usos, American Alpha, Heath Slater and Rhyno, and Tag-Team Champions The Wyatt Family!
Natalya makes her entrance and then we go to break.
Segment #3: Video Promo
Career highlights of John Cena are shown, and he will be back next Tuesday on Smackdown! Live, in Chicago, where his WWE career started.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Natalya is in the ring and asks Nikki Bella to join her so they can clear the air on who attack Nattie. Before they can talk, Carmella interjects and tries to stir the situation more between Natalya and Nikki. Her and Nattie argue for a bit while, and then Carmella goes over the line, making Natalya call her a “dirty little Stanton Island snitch!” Nikki wonders if it is Nattie did attack her, but Natalya chases Carmella to the stage, where she chucks her into the Christmas tree and presents.
Natalya comes back and admits that she really did assault Nikki at Survivor Series. Nattie says that Nikki and Brie were handed everything to them, while she is “wrestling royalty.” Natalya’s final insult to Nikki is “John will never marry you.”
Up next, Dean Ambrose meets Luke Harper!
Segment #5: Office Promo
GM Bryan is on his cell-phone when Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss limps in. She wants him to “punish” Becky Lynch for “injuring” her leg, but Daniel reveals he knows that Alexa is faking it, as he just finished chatting with the trainers. He makes Bliss wrestle Lynch on next week’s Smackdown! for the Women’s Championship; Alexa warns him off what could happen to Becky and not to blame her (Alexa), as he put them in the position.
Match #3: Single – Dean Ambrose VS. Tag-Team Champion/Wyatt Family member Luke Harper (with Tag-Team Champions/Wyatt Family members Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton)
Dean and Luke measure each other, and then they go back-and-forth until Harper slings him throat-first into the bottom rope.
Luke and Dean are standing on the second turnbuckle, and then Ambrose headbutts Harper off. He follows with a leap, but Luke moves and swing-slams Dean to the canvas. He locks in a modified-crossface, but Dean battles back, eventually hitting a clothesline that puts Harper to the canvas! He runs in the corner but is caught and dropped face-first on the second turnbuckle. Harper follows with a superkick that makes Dean tumble to the floor!
Luke throws him back in the ring, but Dean jawbreaks Harper with the top rope. He then dives off of the top turnbuckle onto Bray and Randy on the outside! Luke just about gets this with a sit-down powerbomb in the ring! Harper spins around for his Discus Clothesline, but Dean reverses into a La Majistral Cradle to finish this!
Winner via Pinfall: Dean Ambrose
Post-match, Randy and Bray pounce on Ambrose. Bray sets up for Sister Abigail and throws him into Orton’s R.K.O. The entire Wyatt Family poses over Dean with Luke holding the Tag-Team Championships and Bray calling out “follow the buzzards.”
The lights go out and then come back on shortly after, with The Wyatt Family gone. Ambrose has a hard time standing up and then Intercontinental Champion The Miz, and Maryse, stomp out. Miz stalks and then gives Dean the Skull-Krushing Finale. They kiss and stand over a downed Ambrose.
Match #4: Single – La Luchadora/Miss Mascaras VS. Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss (Non-Title)
(Note: La Luchadora/Miss Mascaras is dressed in a full head mask and spandex full-body outfit.) La Luchadora gets the better of Alexa for a while until Bliss forearms her hard and hammers away. Luchadora counters out of the corner and rolls into a Disarmer! Alexa quickly gives in!
Winner via Submission: La Luchadora/Miss Mascaras
Post-match, after an exuberant celebration, Mascaras unmasks herself to really be Becky Lynch.
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Ryan Phillipe – star of Shooter (great show!) – is searching for Randy Orton. Instead, he finds both Mojo Rawley and Curt Hawkins, who argue; they agree to wrestle later.
Match #5: Single – Mojo Rawley VS. Curt Hawkins
Mojo finishes this with a running-punch in the corner decently quick!
Winner via Pinfall: Mojo Rawley
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
A bandaged-up James Ellsworth is interviewed but he can’t talk; Carmella walks up and helps James away.
Match #6: Single – Dolph Ziggler VS. Baron Corbin
(Stipulation: #1 Contender’s Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Prior to the bout, WWE World Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles proceeds to the commentator’s area.
Dolph slugs away at Corbin right off of the bell, and then Baron goes to the outside for a break, but soon takes over after Ziggler can’t trip him up. Dolph fights back a bit with corner-punches, but Corbin ruthlessly Irish-Whips him into top turnbuckle. He chucks him shoulder-first into the ring post, and then follows with a jumping-forearm.
Baron is still dominating until he misses a corner shoulder-ram! Ziggler capitalizes with the Fameasser, but only gets two! Corbin shoves Dolph back into turnbuckle and goes for a powerbomb, but Ziggler flips over into a jackknife for a near-fall! Baron takes over again after a slam and hard punch! He almost gets pinned with a roll-up but fires back with a big clothesline!
Dolph counters with a neckbreaker on the middle rope and then hits his Zig-Zag finisher! 1 – 2 – Baron just raises his shoulder! Ziggler punches in the corner and then props Corbin on the top-turnbuckle. Baron counters with a few elbows and then his Deep Six Spinning-Backdrop! 1 – 2 – Dolph gets his shoulder up!
On the outside, Corbin hurls Ziggler into the timekeeper’s barrier, and then into another corner of the barrier. He then throws Dolph into A.J., and then the bell sounds! Referee Mike Chioda goes to the timekeeper, and Styles whacks both Corbin and Dolph with a steel chair!
General Manager Daniel Bryan walks to the ramp; he announces that there will be a Triple-Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between Dolph, Baron, and A.J. next week on Smackdown! Styles yells at Bryan to close the show.
End of Smackdown Live