Who Are the Champions?
We start with a quick video recap of the controversy from last night’s Clash of Champions.
I’m Gonna Be Like You, Dad
And just like that Daniel Bryan’s music starts to bring him to the ring. The crowd is chanting for Bryan so obviously turning him heel is going to be a problem. Bryan leads with the news from RAW that there will be a Woman’s Royal Rumble match. He then goes into the main event for the night or Zayn, Owens, and Mahal vs. Nakamara, Orton, and Styles. And here goes the money.
Some hellos and Shane goes for the cheap pop. Shane wants to talk about the PPV and what happened. Oh. Good. Storytime. Shane tells us his version of last night and how the match ended. Bryan explains he was just protecting Shane from himself. Shane is a hothead according to Bryan and Smackdown is a land of opportunity. Shane throws back to when Bryan held down by what was best for business, to which Bryan says he does not want to see Shane turn into Mr. McMahon. Shane says he trusts Bryan and leaves the ring.
The end with Shane was a little bit clunky, but this is exactly how this should have gone. There were seeds planted for the disagreements to continue with the warning from Shane. The line about not becoming his dad throws back to all the things that Shane has feared and avoided in his adult career.
The Usos vs. Benjamin and Gable
After a quick start from Gable, The Usos take control of the match and start with some tag team and power moves to dominate Gable as the first commercial comes. Back from the break, the Usos continue to dominate the match. Jimmy tried the drive out, but Benjamin hit a kick instead. Gable reverses a pin attempt after a splash. Gables comes back and hits the German Suplex. Benjamin lifts up Jey Uso for Gable to hit a bulldog from the top rope. And the win
Winner: Benjamin and Gable
Shelton and Gable have come together as a team after a rough start. The slow heel change for the team done in this way works. No flat-out attack but instead change in the aggression of the team. I assume that we will see a title match at the Royal Rumble.
A Queen vs. Some Chickenheads
As Charlotte makes her way to the ring, we get a recap of all the firsts this past year from the Women’s Division. It ends with the announcement about the Women’s Royal Rumble Announcement and reaction from superstars backstage and former wrestlers via social media. Charlotte talks about how the fans are the ones that helped get the women’s division to where it is. As the fans cheered, it made management listen. They gave the division more matches.
Naomi heads out to tell Flair she will see her are WrestleMania after she wins the Rumble. Look it’s the Riott Squad. Naomi calls them Chickenheads, which of course gets a chant going from the crowd.
I am glad it stopped with just these five coming out. It could have easily become one of those convoluted situations where the entire roster marches out, and we end with a massive fight. There will be plenty of time to get everyone’s feelings over the next few weeks. This is a situation of less is more.
Flair & Naomi vs. Sarah Logan & Ruby Riott
Back from the break, the match has been made between these four. The announcers are finally starting to explain why Riott brought the Riott Squad together. Riott and Logan continue to work over Flair and keep her on their side of the ring. Hot tag made to Naomi. Naomi shows off her athletic prowess and hits the Rear-View for the win.
Winner: Flair & Naomi
This match really showed off Naomi’s athletic ability and how much she has improved since she first started. It was a nice flip of the script to have Charlotte be the one who needed help and Naomi getting the win.
Happy Rusev Christmas
Backstage the New Day are dressed as Elves, Reindeer, and Gingerbread selling T-Shirts and Pancakes. Rusev Claus and Aiden the Snowmen show up to sell their own shirts. A challenge is made, and the line of the segment comes when Big E says you done flapped the wrong jack. Seriously Rusev and English are so over right now.
You Don’t Deserve Me!
Well, it seems that Dolph Ziggler is back to the music stopping after it starts. Dolph comes out to talk about how good he is. He starts running through all his championship reigns including 2 U.S. Titles, 5 Intercontinental Titles, Money In the Bank Winner, and 1 World Title. Ziggler says no one appreciates everything he has done. Drops the U.S. Title in the middle of the ring and leaves.
I am officially intrigued as to where this storyline is going. What happens now that Ziggler has given up the U.S. Title? Is it done with the WWE? Smackdown? Does he want to go into the Rumble hungry as one of the few things that he has never accomplished in his career?
Zayn and Owens come into Bryans office to thank Bryan. Reminding Bryan of all the things that Orton has done to him over the years including taking his title. Bryan calls Zayn and Owens delusional and tells them to get ready for their match later tonight.
Christmas Spirit Match
The New Day vs. Rusev & English
So, The New Day dressed as Christmas characters. Kofi is running in a Gingerbread Man outfit while Rusev is yelling for him to run as fast as he can. Seriously. Did TNA take over this show? Maybe late day WCW? English gets dropped face first into some pancakes. Rudolph Woods flies from the top rope with the elbow and the win
Winner: The New Day
If they had kept this as a backstage event, I would have been happy with it. Moving it to the ring made it feel too childish.
Orton, Nakamura, & Styles vs. Mahal, Owens & Zayn
Within a few minutes the match breaks down. All six men are involved. Orton and Mahal end up starting the match once it is all settled down. Nakamura pulled out Sami Zayn’s chest hair. What? Evidently, Orton missed the memo to wear red for his team tonight. Owens finally makes his way into the match and starts working over Orton.
Back from break, Owens is still working over Orton. Elbow by Orton, and he makes the hot tag to Styles. Styles is sent quickly to the outside of the ring, followed by a toss into the ringside barrier and then back into the ring for a new fall by Owens. Out of the corner Styles is able to hit the DDT and tag in Nakamura. Nakamura starts in with his unique offense against Zayn. The Sign Brothers try and get involved. Styles, Orton, and Nakamura all get to hit their finishers on various people. And Nakamura pins Zayn for the win
Winners: Styles, Nakamura, & Orton
So where do we go from here? The heels all took the loss, and nothing happened to move the Bryan and McMahon storyline forward.