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SmackDown Live Recap & Review – Episode 955

WWE SmackDown Live
Episode 955

Original Air Date: December 5, 2017
Event Date: December 5, 2017 (aired live)

City: San Diego, CA
Venue: Valley View Casino Center

Commentary: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton


Intro Video
“Take a Chance” by CFO$

Ring Area
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn head to the ring. They talk about how Randy Orton has been handed many opportunities over the years, yet they have had to struggle to get where they are. They also talk about the vendetta that the McMahon family has against them. Sami goes on to explain why he didn’t actually violate Shane’s rule barring him from ringside last week. He worked within the system and still outsmarted Shane.

As Sami speaks, Randy Orton runs into the ring and hits Owens with an RKO. Shane comes out to the stage and says he doesn’t have a personal vendetta against Sami and Kevin. He also announces that Sami and Kevin will team up at Clash of Champions to take on Randy Orton and a partner of his choosing. He then tells Sami that he will face Orton tonight with Owens handcuffed to a ring rope.

Zayn informs Owens of what Shane said since Owens was unconscious a few minutes ago. Owens decides to go talk to Daniel Bryan.

Ring Area
Aiden English sings about “The Twelve Days of Rusev” until he is interrupted by New Day.


Match 1
Rusev & Aiden English vs New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods)
(referee: Ryan Tran)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Rusev pins Kofi Kingston after a kick to the back of Kofi’s head
Time: 9:26

Match Thoughts
Very good match. The finish was surprising, and the action leading up to it was very good. Kofi got beat up for a while, but Big E shifted the momentum with his power, allowing Kofi to come back in and work with Rusev for an exciting, fast-paced finish.


Renee Young asks Mojo Rawley why he attacked Zack Ryder. Rawley says that he succeeded without Ryder, and Ryder’s return from injury only dragged him down. Rawley says he’s a serious competitor and a superstar.

Carmella tells Daniel Bryan that she deserves a spotlight at Clash of Champions for getting rid of James Ellsworth. Lana thinks Tamina deserves a title shot. The Riott Squad think they deserve to be on Clash of Champions. They accuse Bryan of being superficial and prejudiced. Everyone starts arguing until Bryan decides to put everyone on Clash of Champions by making them lumberjacks in the SD Women’s Title match.

Baron Corbin asks Bobby Roode what he thinks about Dolph Ziggler being added to the US Title match as Clash of Champions. He doesn’t like it. Ziggler walks up and says he was added to the match because need him to make the match something worth watching.


Match 2
Adam James & Josh Carr vs Bludgeon Brothers
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Luke Harper pins either James or Carr after a tandem chokeslam
Time: 1:01

Match Thoughts


Behind the scenes of Charlotte in Psych: The Movie.

Owens tells Zayn that Bryan would think about doing something about Zayn’s match tonight.


Match 3
Baron Corbin (US Champ) vs Bobby Roode
(referee: Dan Engler; guest commentary: Dolph Ziggler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Bobby Roode wins via DQ after Dolph Ziggler attacks
Time: 3:25

Match Thoughts
This was barely a match. Roode and Corbin were just getting into it when Ziggler decided to break things up. I think something like this was needed though. The upcoming triple threat match for the US Title feels a little thrown-together.


Natalya is excited that Carmella, Lana, and Tamina will be at ringside in here title match. Natalya reminds them that Charlotte is not and will never be one of them. She also asks them if they’ll have her back if the Riott Squad decides to attack. The Riott Squad walks up, so Natalya welcomes them and thanks them for taking out Becky Lynch and Naomi.

Chronicling the paths of Jinder Mahal and AJ Styles going into their title match at Clash of Champions.


Match 4
Tamina w/ Lana vs Charlotte Flair (SD Women’s Champ)
(referee: Danilo Anfibio; at ringside: Lana, Natalya, Carmella)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Charlotte wins via submission with a Figure Eight
Time: 6:41

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. Nothing wrong with it, but not overly compelling either. It was a nice exhibition for Charlotte, though it didn’t do a lot to advance any story lines.


Ring Area
Natalya begins to warn Charlotte about what’s in store for her at Clash of Champions when the Riott Squad heads to the ring. “No one is safe when a riot is about to break out.” Tamina and Sarah Logan start to brawl, but they are held back. Charlotte backs away up the ramp and holds up her title as the segment ends.

Kevin Owens thanks Daniel Bryan for listening to his side. Bryan appreciates that, but he still sides with Shane’s point of preventing interference in tonight’s match. Owens reluctantly agrees.


Match 5
Sami Zayn w/ Kevin Owens vs Randy Orton
(referee: Mike Chioda; handcuffed at ringside: Kevin Owens)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Randy Orton wins via pinfall with a schoolboy
Time: 8:19 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. Orton beat up Zayn a lot, often at ringside, but Zayn hung in there and continued to try to fuigure out a way to get Owens to help or get him free. Eventually Owens, of course, got free, and the final portion of the match was wrapped up quickly and nicely.


Ring Area
Owens and Zayn gang up on Orton after the match. After a few moments, Shinsuke Nakamura runs down to the ring and takes out both Owens and Zayn. Orton recovers, so he and Nakamura take turns hitting Owens and Zayn with their finishing moves.

Shane tells Bryan he’s just getting warmed up with his punishments for Owens and Zayn. Shane says that he’s going to be the referee in their tag match at Clash of Champions, and if they lose they’ll be fired from all of WWE. Bryan doesn’t appear to like Shane’s decision.


Show Impressions
This was a pretty good show. I would’ve liked to have had Styles and Mahal on the show rather than just a video for them, but other than that I think this show added some interesting twists heading into Clash of Champions. Rusev and English beating New Day is a big deal, and I think that will get them added to the title match. It should, and I’m happy to see those guys get some decent air time.

I’m also getting increasingly interested in the Bryan vs Shane story. Shane is obviously going way too far, and it’s making Bryan look bad for sticking up for Shane. The whole things is added shades of gray to the Owens/Zayn/McMahon/Bryan story, and I like that a lot.

I also like Ruby Riott’s stuff, though I hope with so many women they can split off into multiple feuds rather than one huge story with everyone all the time like they always seem to do on SmackDown.

I did miss The Usos tonight, but they deserve a break every once in a while.

Match of the Night
Randy Orton vs Sami Zayn
The opening tag match was good too, but I liked how the main event came together. The addition of Owens at ringside helped keep it interesting.



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