WWE SmackDown Live
Original Air Date: December 25, 2018
Event Date: December 18, 2018
Commentary: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, David Otunga
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
R-Truth and Carmella, dressed as Santa and an elf, head to the ring. R-Truth wishes everyone a merry Christmas and says he, along with Carmelfa, has been delivering presents to all the good boys and girls in the WWE Universe. Carmella thinks it’s time for a dance break, but their carol/dance is interrupted when Daniel Bryan comes out and heads to the ring.
Bryan says he accepts the fact that he has to spend time away from his family on Christmas, but he will not accept the farce of Truthy Claus. Bryan intends to expose the real Santa Claus. Santa represents everyone’s cheap material desires, desires that have polluted the world. In twenty years when the north pole melts, there will be no Santa Claus.
Truth says Bryan is an angry little elf. Bryan understands that R-Truth thinks this is all a joke. After all, Truth’s career is a joke. R-Truth reminds Bryan that he’s going to the Royal Rumble at number 30. Maybe after Truth wins, he’ll take Bryan’s title and be the last one laughing. That is, if Bryan is still champ at Wrestlemania. Bryan wonders how Truth intends to win the Rumble when he can’t even count to 30. Truth says he can count to 30, and he proves it by counting to 7… for a seven second dance break.
Bryan cuts the dance break short by attacking R-Truth. Carmella is force to watch as Bryan beats up and tortures R-Truth.
Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega vs Mustafa Ali
(referee: Mike Chioda)
Result: Mustafa Ali wins via pinfall after the 054
Time: 4:47 (1 break)
Good match. It was rather short, so they didn’t get to do a whole lot, but what they did was very good. One sequence in particular near the end of the match was great. Ali and Almas avoided each other’s moves back and forth until one of them finally hit the other. That led almost directly to a finish that wasn’t a huge surprise, but I think it was kind of an upset. I hope these two fight each other a lot more.
Samoa Joe is worried about Jeff Hardy. He’s worried that Jeff has turned Samoa Joe into his new addiction. Tonight, Joe will help Jeff overcome his addiction.
The Usos & Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs Killian Dain & Alexander Wolfe w/ Eric Young & Sheamus (SD Tag Champ) & Cesaro (SD Tag Champ)
(referee: Ryan Tran; guest commentary table: New Day)
Result: Karl Anderson pins Cesaro after the Magic Killer
Time: 4:49 (1 break)
Good match. The pace was very high, and that allowed everyone to get in some good shots. The chaos of the match never really stopped. No team really outshone any other team, and I think that was definitely good for SAnitY and Gallows & Anderson.
Lars Sullivan, Lacey Evans, Heavy Machinery, Nikki Cross, and EC3 are still headed to the main roster.
The Brian Kendrick, Akira Tozawa, and Cedric Alexander congratulate Mustafa Ali. Shelton Benjamin welcomes Ali and shakes his hand. As Ali is speaking with Benjamin, Daniel Bryan attacks Ali from behind. Bryan beats up Ali and tells him that he doesn’t belong here.
The Miz heads to the ring. This is a special holiday edition of Miz TV, and the guest is Shane McMahon. When Shane makes it to the ring, Miz asks Shane what changes the McMahons have planned for WWE. Shane says they will start listening to the WWE Universe. There will also be new stars, new matchups, and new opportunities.
Miz says that there are four members of the McMahon family overseeing RAW and SmackDown, so he suggests that means Shane will have some extra time to be a tag team with Miz. Shane is still reluctant. Miz says he’s not asking Shane to team in an effort to suck up to the McMahons. Rather, this is all about Miz’s dad. Miz says even after everything he has accomplished in WWE, his dad has never been proud of him. Miz’s dad said if Miz were to team with Shane, then that would be something to be proud of.
Miz says that this fresh start for WWE means that the decision for them to be a team isn’t in his or Shane’s hands, it’s in the hands of the WWE Universe. The crowd seems to approve of the team, so Miz holds his hand out to Shane. Shane is still reluctant, but he decides to give the team a chance. Miz and Shane hold up the WWE World Cup trophy together as the crowd cheers.
Rusev says today is a good day. Not only is it Rusev Day, but it is also Rusev’s birthday. Rusev says he will give a present to everyone by winning the US Title tonight. Lana smiles and approves.
Samoa Joe vs Jeff Hardy
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)
Result: Samoa Joe wins via DQ when Jeff Hardy refuses to stop beating on Joe at ringside
Time: 6:04 (1 break)
Good match. This was fought fairly evenly, though Joe did seem to be a bit more in-control than Jeff. That proved to be true when the fight went out to ringside where the match ended.
After the match, Jeff Hardy throws Samoa Joe over the announce table. Hardy goes in to continue the attack, but Joe catches Hardy in the Coquina Clutch. Joe leaves Hardy down at ringside as he walks away.
Shinsuke Nakamura says Rusev might want gold for Christmas, but all he’s going to get is a knee to the face.
The Usos are happy about their win. Jimmy Uso goes off to find Naomi, but he finds that he’s wandered under mistletoe near Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Mandy moves in, but Naomi runs in and chases Rose and Deville away. Jimmy and Naomi kiss under the mistletoe.
US Title Match
Rusev w/ Lana vs Shinsuke Nakamura (US Champ)
(referee: Jason Ayers)
Result: Rusev wins via pinfall after the Machka Kick and becomes the new US Champ
Great match. This was easily Nakamura’s best US Title defense, and it was Rusev’s best match in a while. The match was given enough time on the show to develop well, and it built up to an exciting finish. I like both guys very much, so I didn’t really have a favorite to win. I just wanted a good match, and that’s what I got. Hopefully this feud will continue, maybe even through to Wrestlemania.
Vince McMahon wants to know who AJ Styles is. Styles says he is the phenomenal one, a two-time champ, and the man who built SmackDown. McMahon wonders if SmackDown is the house that Styles built, then why isn’t he competing tonight? McMahon knows Styles has a tormented soul, and he wants to see it. McMahon says that if Styles harnesses the darkness, then he will brutalize the entire SmackDown locker room.
McMahon slaps Styles in the face, so Styles hits Vince. Vince goes down. Referees and officials get Styles to leave. Still on the ground, Vince smiles.
Good show. I think this was better than RAW this week (but what else is new). The fresh start for SmackDown is already a bit more exciting for me. SmackDown was already enjoyable most weeks, and now it looks like some of the people I’ve wanted to see get wins and be competitive are finally going to get that chance.
Match of the Night
Rusev vs Shinsuke Nakamura
The other matches on the show were kind of short, so the US Title match was definitely the focal point. That’s a very good thing, and it paid off well. This match was very good for both guys.
Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2018-12-25