Tonight on SmackDown Live, Luke Harper will go after Dean Ambrose following a loss in last week’s Fatal 4-Way. Plus, with Zack Ryder out for several months due to a legitimate injury, a new No. 1 contender in the tag team division is needed. Who will take The Hype Bros’ place? SmackDown Live will air tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the USA Network. Read on for match results and spoilers followed by a preview of the night’s events written earlier today.
8:00 – AJ Styles defeats James Ellsworth. Ellsworth is extremely cocky going into the match, but he gets knocked out and pinned immediately, with the match lasting less than 30 seconds. Styles continues to beat up Ellsworth for several minutes after the match ends, throwing him into the announcer’s table and the frame of the ring. Styles at one point begins to leave, but as he’s on his way out, he comes back in just to beat up Ellsworth some more. The crowd is on Styles’ side the whole time, cheering for him and giving a “Yes!” chant after Styles throws Ellsworth into the announcer’s table.
8:10 – As James Ellsworth is being carried out on a stretcher, AJ Styles gets on the microphone and says that this beating had been building up for the past six weeks. AJ Styles says that it’s time for him to look ahead into 2017 because he’s done all he needed to do in 2016. He has nothing to ask for Christmas this year because he already has all he needs, including the WWE World Championship.
Dolph Ziggler enters. He says congratulations to Styles, but before Styles goes on vacation, Ziggler is next in line for the title. Styles says that beating Ziggler will be easy based on his recent losing streak. Ziggler points out that this is coming from the guy who lost to James Ellsworth three times. Ziggler also says that he’s willing to do anything to get his hands on the title.
Baron Corbin enters. Corbin says that he should be the one fighting AJ Styles, not Ziggler. How many chances is Ziggler going to get, Corbin asks. Ziggler said that he earned his shot at the WWE World Championship. Corbin says that the only reason Ziggler earned anything is because Corbin wasn’t there last week to stop him. The two begin to fight, with Corbin taking out Ziggler and standing over him victorious.
8:19 – Backstage, Dolph Ziggler is talking to Daniel Bryan and demanding a match against Baron Corbin tonight. But if Ziggler loses, Corbin gets Ziggler’s championship opportunity. Ziggler agrees.
8:21 – The Miz defeats Apollo Crews. At one point in the match, Maryse is getting ready to attack Crews, but the referee catches her in the act and banishes her from the ring. Crews comes close to taking out The Miz a few times, but ultimately Miz is able to defend his title.
8:32 – During an in-ring interview, Renee Young asks The Miz about his obsession with Dean Ambrose. The Miz throws this back at Young, asking why she’s obsessed with Ambrose because “after all, you’re the one sleeping with him.” (Renee Young is dating Dean Ambrose in real life.) Young then slaps The Miz and storms off.
8:35 – Natalya enters. She asks Nikki Bella to come out because the two of them need to talk.
Nikki Bella enters, and Carmella enters shortly after. Carmella says that she’s here to see how Natalya weasels her way out of this. Bella asks how she can be sure that Carmella wasn’t the one who attacked her. Carmella says that if she was the one to attack Bella, she’d be bragging about it. She adds that Natalya doesn’t really care about Bella and she’s a liar; in private, Natalya said she was jealous that Nikki Bella was getting all the attention and that nobody cared about the Bellas when they tried to make it on their own.
Natalya admits to making that comment in private. Nikki Bella asks if it’s true that Natalya is the one who attacked her. Natalya says that Carmella caused all of this, and she proceeds to attack Carmella. After Carmella flees the arena, Natalya tells Nikki Bella that yes, she’s the one who attacked her at Survivor Series because she has always despised her. She says that she is the superior wrestler, but Nikki Bella gets all the attention because she’s beautiful. Nikki Bella may be beautiful, but on the inside she’s nothing, and that’s why John Cena will never marry her, Natalya says.
8:51 – Daniel Bryan is just getting off a phone call when Alexa Bliss walks in. He says that Becky Lynch will fight her next week for the WWE Women’s Championship. Bliss is confused, but Bryan says he just talked to the trainers and found out that Bliss is 100 percent cleared to compete. If she doesn’t fight Lynch next week, she will lose her championship.
8:53 – Dean Ambrose defeats Luke Harper. But Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt are watching the match at ringside, and the instant Ambrose is declared the winner, they run in and begin beating him up. After the match, The Miz enters and beats up Dean Ambrose as well.
9:12 – Alexa Bliss is defeated by a local jobber named The Luchadora…who, it turns out, is actually Becky Lynch in disguise.
9:18 – Backstage, Mojo Rawley clashes with Curt Hawkins ahead of their match.
9:22 – Mojo Rawley defeats Curt Hawkins.
9:33 – Backstage, James Ellsworth is interviewed while covered in bandages, a neck brace, a sling, and everything else you can imagine. Ellsworth is moaning in pain and does not have the energy to answer any questions. Carmella enters and shows sympathy for Ellsworth, saying she will help him and taking him off camera.
9:35 – A match between Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin ends in a double countout. Corbin has the advantage for the second half of the match, at one point throwing Ziggler into AJ Styles, who is sitting in on commentary. As Ziggler and Corbin brawl outside of the ring, and as AJ Styles gets involved and starts hitting both men with a chair, the referee ends the match and both Ziggler and Corbin are counted out.
Daniel Bryan enters. He says that next week on SmackDown Live, there will be a triple threat championship match with AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin.
On December 13th’s episode of SmackDown Live, a Fatal 4-Way took place, with the competitors being Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper. The winner would go on to become the No. 1 contender for the WWE World Championship, and in the end, Dolph Ziggler emerged victorious. Luke Harper came up short, as he was eliminated by none other than The Lunatic Fringe, Dean Ambrose. According to the WWE’s official preview of tonight’s episode, Harper will now go after Ambrose.
Plus, a tag team battle royal took place last week, with the winner becoming the No. 1 contenders for the Tag Team Championship. The Hype Bros. were able to defeat Heath Slater and Rhyno, Breezango, American Alpha, The Vaudevillains, The Ascension and The Usos. But unfortunately, Zack Ryder suffered a legitimate injury in the final seconds of the match, and after undergoing knee surgery, he is expected to be out for between four and nine months. Now that The Hype Bros can’t fight Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt for the championship, a Wild Card Triple Threat Match will take place tonight between Heath Slater, Tyler Breeze and Konnor, and whoever wins gets to face Orton and Wyatt next week.
Meanwhile, in the women’s division, the Wicked Witch of WWE is still at large, with Alexa Bliss retaining her Women’s Championship in a match against Becky Lynch last week. But she won by faking an injury to get herself counted out; it became clear that she was faking during her appearance on Talking Smack, where she said that she had not even gone to the trainer to get her knee checked out yet. Will her deception be exposed on tonight’s SmackDown Live? And once it becomes clear that Bliss faked her injury, might Dean Ambrose and Shane McMahon give Becky Lynch another shot at the title?
Dana Brooke is also still trying to explain that she wasn’t the one to attack Nikki Bella at Survivor Series, while Bella doesn’t believe her and Carmella continues to go after her in the ring. When will we find out who was really behind that attack on Bella?