– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown opens with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan backstage with James Ellsworth. He’s very sick and can’t compete against WWE Champion AJ Styles tonight. They send him home and have to find a new contender now. Ellsworth leaves and they load up on the hand sanitizer. We go to the SmackDown opening video.
– We’re on a slight tape delay from Washington, DC as Mauro Ranallo welcomes us. He’s joined by JBL, Tom Phillips and David Otunga.
– We go right to the ring and WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz is in with Maryse for another episode of MizTV. He puts over his guest and introduces AJ Styles. Out comes the WWE Champion.
Miz brings up Ellsworth not being able to wrestle tonight. AJ says it looks like he came down with a case of chin-fluenza. Styles says they did Ellsworth a favor by giving him the night off but eventually AJ is going to destroy Ellsworth in the ring. AJ goes on about what he’s done and asks Miz who else is on his level. Miz says AJ is right but there’s only one other Superstar that has restored prestige to his title. Miz says he has taken the Intercontinental Title and made it legendary. No offense, but Miz says AJ hasn’t beat Ellsworth and he’s been battling Dean Ambrose for months. Miz says he just beat Ambrose last week. AJ asks what’s the point. Miz says AJ is right, he’s not on AJ’s level – he’s above it. They stand up and face off. Miz says maybe it’s time he made the WWE Title legendary. They get ready to fight but the music hits and out comes Ambrose.
Before anything can happen or Ambrose can speak, Dolph Ziggler’s music hits and out he comes. Ziggler calls them paper champions and says they can’t win without cheating. Miz comes in from the apron but Ziggler kicks him. Miz ends up dropping him with a Skull Crushing Finale. Ambrose hits Miz with a Dirty Deeds. AJ backs off as Ambrose stares at him from the ring. Ambrose nails Dirty Deeds on Ziggler. A graphic similar to The Wyatt Family’s flashes and Harper appears with a massive clothesline on Ambrose. Harper points out at AJ. The graphic flashes again and that’s it for the segment.
– Still to come, a #1 contenders tag team battle royal. Also, Carmella vs. Natalya. Back to commercial.
– AJ comes in and demands protection from Shane and Bryan. Bryan mocks him and they announce a Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match with Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose and The Miz. If anyone interferes, that will cause an elimination. The winner will face AJ on December 27th. AJ isn’t happy and storms off.
Natalya vs. Carmella
We go to the ring and Nikki Bella is out for commentary. Natalya makes her way to the ring next.
Natalya takes the mic and addresses Nikki. She goes to clear the air between them but the music interrupts and out comes Carmella. The bell rings and Natalya unloads on her. Carmella scrambles to the floor but Natalya keeps it up. Carmella finally gets a breather at ringside as the referee counts. Carmella comes in off a big slap. Carmella pounds on Natalya and keeps control as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Natalya is still in control but Carmella quickly turns it around. Natalya tries to break from a hold but Carmella keeps her grounded. Natalya powers up and nails a Michinoku Driver. They end up on the floor and Natalya argues with Nikki. Natalya gets pushed into Nikki but she brings Carmella back in the ring.
Natalya turns her attention back to Nikki. Carmella takes advantage and rolls Natalya up for the win.
– Still to come, the six-team #1 contenders battle royal. Back to commercial.
– John Cena’s return is announced for December 27th.
– Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is backstage with Apollo Crews. He’s excited and mentions being on Tribute to The Troops tomorrow night. Maryse and The Miz walk up asking for “quiet on the set” so Miz can prepare for tonight’s match. They diss Fluffy and he cracks a joke back at them.
#1 Contenders Battle Royal: American Alpha, The Hype Bros, Rhyno & Heath Slater, Breezango, The Ascension, The Vaudevillains
We go to the ring and out comes Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley are out next. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Tyler Breeze is out with Fandango. Konnor and Viktor are also in the ring as are Simon Gotch and Aiden English. Rhyno and Heath Slater are out next.
The bell rings and Gotch is immediately eliminated.
The match continues as everyone goes at it. The next elimination sees Gable toss Viktor several minutes later. Konnor comes right over and eliminates Gable. Rhyno fights off Breezango on the apron. Slater jumps at them but accidentally hits Rhyno and knocks him off the apron. Rhyno is eliminated. Slater can’t believe it as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Jordan saves himself. Jordan eliminates English from the apron. The Vaudevillains are the first team to be eliminated. Fandango and Slater go at it on the apron now. Slater sweeps him and Fandango is eliminated.
Jordan is the next man eliminated. Mojo was also eliminated at one point. American Alpha is out of the match. It’s down to Konnor, Breeze, Slater and Ryder. They attack Ryder. Slater and Breeze go at it now. Konnor eliminates Slater. Konnor eliminates Breeze several minutes later. Ryder counters a move and sends Konnor over the top to win it.
Winner: Zack Ryder (The Hype Bros are new #1 contenders)
– After the match, Mojo comes out to celebrate with Ryder as we get replays.
– Alexa Bliss is backstage walking as we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a vignette for Baron Corbin.
Alexa Bliss vs. Deonna Purrazzo
We go to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Her opponent, Deonna Purrazzo, waits in the ring. Greg Hamilton goes to introduce her but Bliss grabs the mic and dismisses him. Bliss calls Deonna Jane Ellsworth and says she doesn’t do charity cases like Becky Lynch does. Bliss ends up beating Deonna down. The music interrupts and out comes Becky. She wants her rematch but Bliss says it will be on her own terms. Shane McMahon comes out and makes the match for right now.
SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
Back from the break and we get the bell. Becky goes for an early Disarm-Her.
Back and forth until Becky takes control. Becky unloads but Bliss blocks the Bexploder suplex. Bliss gets out of a submission and goes to the floor for a breather. Becky follows and nails her. Becky with another forearm to drop Bliss. Becky rolls Bliss back in but she retreats out the other side. Bliss sells a knee injury and fans boo her. The referee counts. Bliss keeps walking and gets counted out but retains.
Winner by Count Out: Becky Lynch
– After the match, Becky goes after Bliss and attacks her. Becky brings Bliss back in the ring and beats her around. Bliss escapes and leaves with her title as fans boo. Becky’s music plays and we go to the announcers for WWE Network hype.
– Still to come, Harper vs. Miz vs. Ambrose vs. Ziggler to crown a new #1 contender. Back to commercial.
Fatal 4 Way #1 Contenders Elimination Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz vs. Luke Harper
Back from the break and Dean Ambrose is out first for the main event. Dolph Ziggler is out next, followed by WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Maryse. Luke Harper is out next. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and WWE Champion AJ Styles is out for commentary. The bell rings and Harper unloads on everyone as Miz looks on. Harper nails a big dive to Ambrose on the floor. Harper comes back in and ends up taking Miz out. It comes down to Ziggler and Miz going at it as Maryse looks on. Miz mocks Daniel Bryan and does the “yes!” kicks on Ziggler. Ziggler ducks the running kick but Miz blocks him. Miz with two corner dropkicks. He goes for a third but Ambrose runs in and hits the bulldog. Ambrose runs the ropes and nails a big dive on Harper. It’s blocked. Ambrose comes right back but Harper floors him. Harper comes in and grabs Ziggler but gets rolled up. Harper with a backbreaker on Ziggler.
Harper keeps control of Ziggler and goes back out to send Ziggler into the barrier. Harper stares down Miz and comes back in to continue the offense on Ziggler. Ambrose runs in and breaks a hold. Ziggler superkicks Harper into a Dirty Deeds. Harper with a big clothesline. Miz runs in for a 2 count on Ziggler and a 2 count on Harper. Miz throws a fit. Ambrose rolls Miz up with a small package. Miz is eliminated.
Back from the break and Ambrose with a 2 count on Ziggler. They go on and Ziggler gets caught in a swinging backbreaker. Ambrose keeps Ziggler grounded with a submission now. Ambrose with a snap suplex for a 2 count. Ambrose goes to the top but Ziggler runs up. Harper runs in and gets Ziggler in the Electric Chair. Ziggler turns it into a Zig Zag. Ambrose comes off the top with a clothesline on Ziggler for a 2 count.
Ziggler and Ambrose trade pin attempts. They collide in the middle of the ring with clotheslines and both go down. Harper comes back in and ends up hitting a big sitdown powerbomb on Ziggler for a 2 count. Harper with big running elbows on Ambrose and Ziggler in the corners. Harper takes Ambrose to the top but turns around for a superkick from Ziggler. Ambrose comes off the top and hits Dirty Deeds for the pin. Harper is eliminated.
Ziggler and Ambrose go at it now. Ziggler unloads but misses an elbow drop. Ambrose ends up launching Ziggler into the ring post. More back and forth. Ziggler with a big top rope facebuster. Ziggler goes over but Ambrose rolls him up for 2. They collide with clotheslines again. The Miz comes back to ringside and taunts Ziggler. Ziggler rolls to the floor and wants to fight. Ambrose nails a dive from the ring, sending Miz into the barrier. Ziggler superkicks Miz. Ambrose takes advantage and drops Ziggler. Ambrose brings Ziggler back in the ring. Miz stops Ambrose from entering by grabbing his leg. Ambrose sends Miz into the barrier. Ambrose comes back in but Ziggler superkicks him for the win.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Dolph Ziggler
– After the match, Ziggler recovers as his music plays and we go to replays. Ziggler poses in the corner as WWE Champion AJ Styles stares him down from ringside. Ziggler talks some trash as we go backstage to WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann to hype WWE 205 Live. SmackDown goes off the air with AJ mouthing off as he leaves with the title in the air.