Smackdown – December 12, 2017

Date: December 12, 2017
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s the go home show for Clash of Champions 2017 and things are starting to pick up. The most recent weeks have focused on the Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon and company feud. Therefore, tonight is probably going to be more centered around the World Title match between champion AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal. You know, the title match on the show about champions. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long sequence on last week’s big story, seeing Shane McMahon making Orton/Nakamura vs. Zayn/Owens for the pay per view with himself at the referee. If Zayn/Owens win, they’re done in WWE.

Here’s Styles to open things up. He won the title a little over a month ago and wants to be a fighting champion. This Sunday he defends against Mahal and lists off what Mahal will do to get the title back, including bringing in Great Khali. Cue the Singh Brothers, who say they’re not introducing Mahal tonight. We look back at Mahal attacking the two of them two weeks ago so AJ wants to hug it out. AJ: “Come hug it out with Uncle Al!”

The Brothers get in the ring and say they want to be in Mahal’s corner on Sunday. One of them rants about how horrible Mahal is (“He thinks we’re twins!”) while the other tries to calm him down. AJ doesn’t buy it and shows a still of the Brothers being in Mahal’s corner this weekend in India. They swear they’re done with Mahal, who comes out looking rather angry. AJ of course doesn’t buy any of this (thank goodness) and lays the Brothers out.

We recap the Riott Squad debuting and picking apart the women’s division. This is in no way shape or form a copy of what Absolution has done.

Charlotte vs. Ruby Riott

Non-title with Natalya on commentary. Charlotte suplexes her down for two but stops to yell at Natalya. We take an early break and come back with Charlotte hitting a Lethal Combination into the corner. Sarah Logan has to be knocked off the apron and Natalya gets forearmed as well. Natalya clotheslines Charlotte for the DQ at 5:04. Not enough shown to rate of course but this was an angle instead of a match.

Post match the Squad goes after Charlotte and loads up the steps but Naomi returns (after missing a single week) for the save. Carmella, Tamina and Lana come in to help as well with the Squad running off. Again, THIS IS THE SAME THING THAT ABSOLUTION DID ON RAW! Can we really not get a second idea?

Daniel Bryan is on the phone with Shane when Zayn and Owens come in, both wearing modified Bryan shirts (YEP instead of YES). They don’t say anything but hand him a sign with Shane’s face crossed off.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

Non-title with Bobby Roode on commentary. Corbin drops him with a single right hand before yelling at Roode. Ziggler is back with a dropkick and avoids a charge to send Corbin into the post. Roode gets off commentary and removes the robe before getting inside. A Glorious DDT plants Ziggler for the DQ at 1:34.

Corbin takes a DDT as well.

We see a clip of this week’s Fashion Files where Breezango challenges the Bludgeon Brothers for Sunday. The challenge has been accepted.

Bludgeon Brothers vs. Colin Delaney/Joe Monroe

Graves eludes to Delaney’s former time in WWE as he’s dropkicked into the corner. Harper’s clothesline takes Colin’s head off and an assisted Batista Bomb plants Monroe (with a loud scream). The double spinebuster finishes Delaney at 1:21.

Here are Owens and Zayn to occupy Smackdown. Owens does the ranting, talking about how Shane is abusing his power on Sunday. Sami says YEP to every statement Owens makes, including Owens telling everyone to come out here and occupy the show. No one comes out until Bryan walks to the stage….with his music starting once he’s out there.

Owens and Zayn praise him for inspiring this movement but Bryan wants to know what they’re doing. He’s nothing like them because the YES Movement was about the fans instead of him. Sami says this is about what they deserve and Owens begs him not to drink the Shane Kool-Aid. Bryan says there’s an understanding between he and Shane and this Sunday he’s going to be the second guest referee.

Usos vs. Aiden English/Rusev

Non-title and New Day is on commentary. Before the match, English sings the Eight Days of Rusev (including three unhindered Jinders). The Usos come out to make jokes about English’s hair but here are Shelton Benjamin/Chad Gable to interrupt, saying they’ll win the titles on Sunday. Joined in progress after a break with Rusev bearhugging Jey. A kick to the head allows the hot tag to Jimmy as New Day does their over the top commentary. English dives into a superkick for two but Rusev makes the save. Rusev’s superkick sets up a layout DDT to end Jimmy at 2:35 shown.

We look back at the opening segment.

Mahal jumps Styles before AJ has an interview.

Sunday’s Kickoff Match is Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder.

Pay per view rundown.

Here are Orton and Nakamura for a chat before their main event. Orton says he can’t wait to get rid of these two and make sure they lose their jobs. Renee Young asks Nakamura if he’s confident for Sunday. Nakamura: “Yep.”

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens

Bryan is on commentary to continue a trend tonight. Owens grabs a headlock for a bit before getting kicked in the chest for his efforts. A knee to the ribs cuts Nakamura down though and a backsplash gets two. We hit the chinlock as Bryan talks about how Shane’s stipulations aren’t exactly fair. Nakamura fights up but can’t hit the knee in the corner. Instead he gets sent hard into the barricade as we take a break.

Back with Owens stomping away until Nakamura gets in a running kick to the face. Some YES Kicks have Owens in more trouble and there’s Good Vibrations for a bonus. The running knee in the corner gets two but Owens breaks up a superplex. His Swanton hits knees but Owens blocks the reverse exploder. The referee gets bumped and Bryan takes over instead. Nakamura’s spinning kick to the head gets a delayed two as Orton and Zayn get in a fight. The distraction lets Owens hit a Pop Up Powerbomb for the pin at 14:29.

Rating: C+. Good match, but the sledgehammer of plot didn’t help things. This was supposed to be the smoking gun that proves Bryan is going to be biased on Sunday but it feels a bit forced. Granted some of that might have been Byron Saxton hammering home the same idea over and over again, which makes anything sound annoying. I would say I look forward to this story ending on Sunday but I’d be surprised if it’s done by Wrestlemania at this point.

Kevin and Sami say no one is taking their careers away because they’ll win at the Clash.

Overall Rating: D+. This show did one thing very well: it made it clear that Sunday’s pay per view doesn’t need to exist. The main event tag match (and there’s a good chance it main events) feels like a rest stop on the way to whatever the really big match is (whatever that may be) and that makes Sunday feel like something I’m not sure I need to see.

Other than that….there wasn’t much to say around here. Well aside from the fact that they need something other than guest commentary to advance feuds. Other than the Bludgeon Brothers squash, there was guest commentary in every single match. This wasn’t a very good show, but it did at least bolster some of the rest of the card. The problem is none of the rest of the card, including the World Title match, feels like it means anything compared to the top story.


Charlotte b. Ruby Riott via DQ when Natalya interfered

Dolph Ziggler b. Baron Corbin via DQ when Bobby Roode interfered

Bludgeon Brothers b. Colin Delaney/Joe Monroe – Double spinebuster to Delaney

Rusev/Aiden English b. Usos – Layout DDT to Jimmy

Kevin Owens b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Pop Up Powerbomb

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