WWE Smackdown Results
January 2, 2018
Commentary: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves
Results by: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com
A video package runs focusing on last week’s show featuring Kevin Owens picking up a pinfall victory over WWE Champion AJ Styles in a non-title match.
WWE Champion AJ Styles will face Sami Zayn later tonight in a non-title match.
Also set for the show is The Usos defending the Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin.
We go live to Orlando where AJ Styles opens the show.
AJ Styles opens the first Smackdown of 2018
The WWE Champion grabs a mic and yells, “Happy New Year!” He welcomes everyone to the first Smackdown of 2018 and the house that AJ Styles built. A loud “AJ STYLES” chant starts up in Orlando. He understands people make resolutions this time of the year. Styles says his resolution is to take the WWE Championship all the way to WrestleMania and walk out with it still around his waist. He has another resolution: that is to beat Sami Zayn tonight. Styles talked about Kevin Owens being allowed at ringside last week and how the man who approved that decision wants to address that live tonight.
Here comes Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan. Big reaction for Bryan tonight in Orlando. Just as Bryan grabs a mic, out comes Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon. Shane quickly heads to the ring and shakes hands with both Bryan and Styles. Shane wishes Orlando a Happy New Year as well. He had the best of intentions last week and gets interrupted by a loud “SHANE O’MAC” chant. The crowd interjects with a loud “DANIEL BRYAN” chant as well. Bryan smiles. Shane said last week he was attempting to get the referee to eject Zayn to the back and avoid any interference in a main event.
Shane apologizes to Styles for what went down last week. He talks about being accused of having a personal vendetta against Owens and Zayn. Shane accuses Bryan of having some kind of kinship with Owens and Zayn. He wonders why Bryan would even allow Zayn to be allowed at ringside last week. Shane asks Bryan if he is turning the Yes Movement into the Yep Movement? He continues when Bryan tries to talk. Shane announces he will be at ringside tonight if Owens is allowed to be. Bryan wasn’t exactly thinking about doing that, but figures Owens should be out here as well if Shane plans to be.
He adds he should be at ringside too. Shane says 2018 will start with a bang.
Bryan leads a loud “YES!” chant to close the segment.
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships
The Usos (c’s) vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
We start with Shelton Benjamin and Jimmy Uso. Benjamin with a shot to Jey off the corner. Gable tags himself in. Benjamin with a toss to Jimmy off the top and Gable follows it up.
Back live, Jimmy catches Gable with a spin kick to the face. Hot tags to Jey and Benjamin. Benjamin is tossed over and Jey takes him out with a dive. Jey tosses Gable over the top and takes him out with a dive as well. Benjamin trips up Jey and drives him into the barricade. Gable is tossed out near Benjamin, but Benjamin hits a high knee to Jimmy. Benjamin has Jimmy up in a powerbomb and Gable comes off the top rope. Gable covers Jimmy in the corner and gets the pinfall. We have new champions!
Jey immediately starts yelling with the referee that he was the legal man. The referee seems to ignore the argument and hands the titles to Gable and Benjamin.
Another referee walks down and starts talking with the original referee. We see a replay of the finish on the screen showing Jey was indeed the legal man, not Jimmy.
The referee calls over the announcer. He’s restarting the match.
Gable and Benjamin are not happy.
We return live as the bell rings to officially restart the match. Jey with a samoan drop on Benjamin and tosses him down into the corner. Jey misses when Gable pulls Benjamin away. Gable takes out Jimmy, but eats an uppercut from Jey. Benjamin with a roll up on Jey for a two count. Benjamin follows that up with a big planting spinebuster. Benjamin has Jey up in the corner in a powerbomb waiting for Gable. Gable jumps off eating a superkick from Jimmy. Double superkick by The Usos to Benjamin. Splash by Jey to get the pinfall.
Winners and still WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Usos
After a series of replays, we see Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin arguing with the referee at ringside as The Usos celebrate the win inside the ring.
Backstage, Renee Young talks with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Owens predicts Sami will beat AJ Styles tonight just like he did last week. Zayn says this is the Sami and Kevin show. Owens says Sami will destroy the house AJ Styles built. Zayn agrees with a yep.
Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
Harper and Rowan level Tyler Breeze in the corner with a splash and big boot. They do the same to Fandango. The match has yet to officially begin.
Here comes The Ascension. Rowan tosses Viktor in and Harper connects with a superkick to Konor. Double chokeslam by Harper and Rowan to Viktor.
Winners: No Contest
Backstage, Xavier Woods is blindfolded as Xavier Woods and Big E have a New Years surprise for him. Woods says when he becomes champion they all do, referring to the tournament to crown a new WWE United States Champion.
Mojo Rawley says Zack Ryder will be back in the past – where he belongs – when he defeats him next week in the United States Championship tournament.
WWE United States Championship Tournament
First Round Match
Aiden English w/ Rusev vs. Xavier Woods w/ New Day
Lock up and English gets a headlock applied on Woods. Woods levels English with a quick forearm. Backstage we see Jinder Mahal watching with The Singh Brothers. English with right hands to Woods jumping down on the mat. Woods catches English with a superkick. Woods has English up on his shoulders and drops the back of English over his knees, getting a close two count off a pinfall attempt. Series of roll up attempts between both. English plants Woods and gets another two count. English has Woods up on the second rope. Woods launches English with a high back body drop. Woods with a springboard flying elbow off the top turnbuckle and picks up the pinfall victory.
Winner and advancing: Xavier Woods
Backstage, we again see Jinder Mahal watching. Mahal will face Woods next in the tournament to crown a new WWE United States Champion.
Backstage, Natalya, Carmella, Tamina and Lana are asked about the Riott Squad. Carmella says the party is over for them. Natalya points out how they were the original welcoming committee on Smackdown before they showed up.
NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone is at ringside tonight in Orlando.
We start with Natalya and Liv Morgan. Natalya with a quick headlock takedown. Morgan with a takedown of her own. Natalya catches Morgan with her discus clothesline. Natalya goes for a Sharpshooter and Morgan breaks free quickly bailing to the outside.
Back live, Sarah Logan has Carmella down in a headlock. Logan knocks Natalya off the corner. Carmella rolls up Logan for a two count. Tag to Tamina who hits Logan with a forearm and follows with a clothesline. Tamina knocks Morgan off the corner and superkicks Ruby. Tamina with a samoan drop to Logan. Tamina heads up to the top rope, but Morgan pushes her off the top. Logan drops a knee over Tamina and picks up the pinfall victory.
Winners: The Riott Squad
After the match, Ruby grabs a mic and is pretty sure everyone in Orlando believes in magic. She says magic isn’t real and that everyone needs a strong dose of reality. Ruby says The Riott Squad is real and the destruction is real. She says Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan will be joining her in the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match.
Here comes Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. She congratulates them on the victory tonight and says that was quite the speech. Charlotte wants to introduce some others that want to teach them a lesson. Naomi and the returning Becky Lynch come out. All six women begin brawling at the end of the ramp. Charlotte with a boot to Logan inside the ring. Naomi with a springboard kick to the face on Morgan. Becky with a Becksploder on Ruby and Morgan launching them out of the ring.
Baron Corbin is shown backstage talking about the Royal Rumble match. He can’t wait. Corbin says The Lone Wolf is officially in the Royal Rumble.
WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn
Kevin Owens is joining Zayn tonight at ringside.
Also at ringside tonight: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon.
Back live, the bell rings and Styles levels Zayn with a clothesline immediately. Styles sends Zayn face first to the corner. Styles with a snap suplex on Zayn. Styles with chops to Zayn. Zayn fires back with a high back body drop on Styles. Styles catches Zayn with a big dropkick as Zayn bounced off the ropes. Styles is arguing with Owens at ringside. Daniel and Shane get involved to break it up. Back in the ring, Zayn catches Styles with a delayed bridge suplex for a close two count as we head to a commercial break.
We return live with Zayn applying a headlock on Styles to keep him grounded. Styles with a series of strikes and then a flying forearm off the ropes. Zayn catches Styles with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a close two count. Styles with a roll through and gets the Calf Crusher applied on Zayn. Zayn is reaching for the bottom rope. Styles grabs Zayn, turns him over and goes back to the Calf Crusher. Zayn pulls and reaches out getting to the bottom rope to break it up. Styles catches Zayn with a Pele Kick. Styles with a quick forearm to Zayn from the ring apron. Styles springboards off the ropes, Zayn moves, Styles grabs Zayn and pushes him into the referee who falls out. Styles with a crucifix cover as Owens distracts the referee. The referee finally gets in and Zayn kicks out. Shane pushes Owens down at ringside. He demands the referee send him to the back. The referee ejects Owens. Bryan gets on the mic and says he should leave with Owens. Zayn with a Helluva Kick to Styles in the corner and picks up the pinfall. Zayn has pinned the WWE Champion.
Winner: Sami Zayn
After the match, we see a replay of the finish. Back live, AJ Styles grabs a mic and wonders if this is what it’s going to be like every week. Styles isn’t sure who’s side Bryan or Shane is on. He tells them to stop bickering like children. Styles says he is the WWE Champion and wants to entertain without people getting involved. He said they might as well book him in a handicap match against them.
Bryan grabs the mic and loudly agrees. He says Styles will defend the WWE Championship against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at the Royal Rumble in a handicap match. Shane is not happy and neither is Styles. Bryan starts up a “YES!” chant to close the show.
Quick Match Results:
* The Usos def. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships
* The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango ended in a No Contest
* Xavier Woods def. Aiden English in a First Round U.S. Title Tournament Match
* The Riott Squad def. Natalya, Carmella and Tamina
* Sami Zayn def. WWE Champion AJ Styles in a non-title match