Keep up with all of tonight’s WWE SmackDown results as the show emanates from the WWE ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida with less than a week to go till TLC!
- The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) defeated Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler via Pinfall to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (11:48)
- The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan) defeated Billie Kay & Tamina via Pinfall (2:49)
- Otis defeated Shinsuke Nakamura via Pinfall (2:57)
- Bayley defeated Bianca Belair via Pinfall (10:11)
Kevin Owens Makes An Emphatic Statement To The Universal Champion, Roman Brutalises His TLC Opponent
- We see a recap of Roman & Owens’ interactions last week before Kevin Owens makes his way to the ring which is surrounded by tables, ladders and chairs.
- Owens says he heard Roman’s message loud and clear last week and that he talked to his family: He told them not to watch his match at TLC under any circumstance because he’s afraid of what his family will think of him after what he does at TLC.
- Owens calls Roman a hypocrite, pathetic and a coward because he uses his own family members as pawns before Heyman appears on the titantron.
- Heyman says he made a mistake. He thought Owens was a masochist because he kept coming back for more hurt. But now he thinks Owens is a martyr because he’s willing to do anything to win the Universal title. Therefore Owens has to be eliminated.
- Owens interrupts and says if Roman won’t come to him, Owens will come to Roman.
- After a break, we see Adam Pearce try to stop Reigns from entering Roman’s lockerroom but Owens ignores him. As Owens tries to get in, we see Roman has evaded him and is making his way to the ring as Owens watches on from a TV backstage.
- Roman says he doesn’t want to hurt Owens or his family but Owens keeps saying he’s a bad guy but he’s not. He’s just doing the things that need to be done for him to be ‘The Guy’.
- Roman tells Owens to acknowledge him as the Tribal Chief and the head of Owens’ family tab;e and they’ll be all clear. Owens heads towards the ring as Owens threatens that if he doesn’t, Owens will not make it out of the ThunderDome tonight, nevermind TLC.
- Owens marches his way towards Roman in the ring but Jey Uso ambushes him from behind. Both he and Roman beat down on Owens before referees and producers get Roman to go to the back.
- After an ad break, Reigns tells Uso that Owens still doesn’t understand and orders his cousin to “end him, take him out.”
Analysis: Good two-part opener that set up a very heated encounter between Roman and Owens, though I suspect Owens will get some payback against both men before the night is done. As the weeks have gone on – and through this promo specifically – I’ve realised Owens is the perfect opponent for Reigns. Owens has always said he does what he does for his family, so of course, he’d see through Roman’s ‘Head of the Table’ talk. I could see this having similar vibes to Owens’ match with Dean Ambrose at TLC a few years back which is only a good sign.
The Street Profits defeat Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler via Pinfall, retaining the SmackDown Tag Team Championships in 11:48
- Clark Duke weighs in on the match-up before the match and predicts the Street Profits will retain.
- Ziggler tries to steal the titles early on, attacking Ford just as the bell rang and attempting a roll-up for a 1-count.
- Ford attempts From The Heavens early on after punching Ziggler down from the corner but Roode knocks him from the top into the ringside barricade before we cut to commercial.
- As we cut back, Roode & Ziggler tag back in and out with both dominating over Ford. Ziggler uses a waistlock to focus on Ford’s midsection, dating back to an injury suffered in Street Profits’ match with New Day at Survivor Series.
- Ford eventually throws Ziggler to the outside and push away Roode long enough to tag in Dawkins, who clears house – hitting a lifting spinning neckbreaker for a near-fall.
- Ziggler tags in and hits an assisted Famouser for a near-fall. Dawkins eventually hits the Anointment and Ford hits From The Heavens but fails to capitalise before Roode breaks up his eventual pin attempt.
- After the match, Roode & Ziggler jaw jack with Charles Robinson who tells the two they’ll be suspended if they continue to complain.
Analysis: A fun match with a surprising twist to the predictable outcome. Ford is unable to get a clean win over the challengers, instead rolling up Roode whilst grabbing his tights after Roode attempted the same thing on him. I was pleasantly surprised by how into this I was, especially with Roode/Ziggler bringing out some new moves like an Assisted Famouser which looked great. The finish’ll give Roode/Ziggler a reason to challenge again on Sunday which’ll be fun but Street Profits will ultimately retain.
The Riott Squad defeat Billie Kay & Tamina via Pinfall in 2:49
- Riott Squad joke about who Billie Kay’s partner will be this week backstage. Kay does her own ring introduction as she has “seasoned ring announcer” on her resume before introducing her partner this week, Tamina.
- Tamina dominates over Ruby before Billie blind tags as Tamina hits a senton. The momentary confusion allows Liv Morgan to come in and break up Billie’s eventual pin attempt.
- Riott Squad hit a dropkick/STO tag combination move to pin the former IIconic for the second week in a row.
Analysis: Kay was really entertaining character-wise again this week, doing her own ring announcing as she’s apparently a ‘seasoned ring announcer’… and then she brought out Tamina and I remember why I didn’t like this last week. I think the only satisfying conclusion to this would be Kay eventually bringing in Peyton to help her beat Riott Squad but I don’t see that happening, Peyton is too embroiled in her current team with Lacey Evans after just switching to the brand in October.
Carmella Hosts Her Champagne Toast
- We see a recap of Sasha vs Carmella from last week. Carmella says she’s celebrating her eventual SmackDown Women’s Championship victory. Carmella says Sasha is quick, agile and ferocious but mentally when it counts, she slips.
- She says Sasha is drowning in her own expectations and says she knows she already has the champion beat because of her DQ victory last week because she’ll have to fight her true instinct as well as fighting Carmella, a battle not even Sasha can win.
- The challenger questions who the champion is if she’s not the Boss and that Sasha herself doesn’t know the answer. Sasha appears in the ring and beats down the challenger but Carmella gets the last laugh after hitting Sasha with a champagne bottle over her back again.
Analysis: A really, REALLY strong promo from Carmella here. I’ve not been 100% on this new gimmick for her up till now but she definitely has the promo skills to pull it off based on this. The confrontation with Sasha was much the same as last week and gives her the upper hand over Sasha heading into Sunday, where she’ll put up a good challenge but ultimately Sasha will retain.
Otis defeats Shinsuke Nakamura via Pinfall in 2:57
- We see a recap of Gable losing the match for him and Otis last week and telling Otis last week he should have ignored Gable’s orders.
- Otis hits a splash in the corner setting up for the Caterpillar but Gable tells him to go for a suplex instead, but Nakamura counters into a roll-up for a near-fall.
- Otis hits the suplex into a middle rope splash to pick up the win.
- After the match, Gable berates Otis for not going for the Caterpillar despite his win.
Analysis: Otis pinned Shinsuke Nakamura in less than 3 minutes, a sentence I’d be APPALLED by 2 years ago. Sadly, Nakamura has fallen hugely from grace since his Royal Rumble win and is just another guy now, even with the new addition of pyro to his entrance. Otis gets a win under the tutelage of Gable despite listening to Gable again. I think there could be a fun dynamic between these two in the Rumble, with Gable telling Otis to do things and then Otis trying to decide whether or not he’s meant to do it or not. Lots of potential with this partnership.
Sami Zayn Hosts The First-Ever Sami Awards
- We see Sami talking to a producer backstage to check if everything’s ready for the Sami Awards before saying he’d have to do everything himself. We pan to Big E laughing and smiling to himself as if he has something planned.
- Sami says the Sami Awards are about the will of the people before giving his own 2020 year in review, which is just a video that puts himself over.
- Sami gives out the Comeback of the Year Award which he awards to himself. He also gives the Match of the Year Award to himself, for his defence of the Intercontinental Championship over AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy at Clash of Champions.
- He gives out the Superstar of the Year award which he intends to hand out to himself but the card and graphic say that Big E is the winner. Big E comes out and thanks his mother before Zayn denies E’s win.
- Big E slams Sami into a nearby table before spiking the Superstar of the Year Sami Award like a football.
Analysis: This was a really dumb segment in the most fun way possible. I loved Sami being so arrogant that he’d make his own awards ceremony just give himself some awards and, of course, Big E being the troll he is just ruins it all. Unless it gets made last minute, it seems like the eventual Intercontinental Championship confrontation between Zayn and Big E will take place at Royal Rumble, which is surprising considering how long they’ve been building this feud – Not against it though!
Bayley defeats Bianca Belair via Pinfall in 10:11
- Earlier in the show, Belair is asked what a victory over Bayley would mean for her career. Bianca says that Bayley is her measuring stick and that she’ll “S-H-I-N-E” against the longest-reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion.
- Later, Bayley is asked about being called a measuring stick. Bayley says it’s refreshing to hear someone say nice things about her and says she doesn’t brag about how good she is like Bianca does. She finishes by saying she should be humble and pick her brain instead of picking a fight with her, but she’ll make a star out of Belair.
- Bayley tries to take Belair off her feet early on but Belair is too strong and simply powers out of Bayley’s attempt. Belair continually taunts Bayley before Bayley threw Belair into the barricade arm first, setting up her target for the rest of the match.
- Both get back in the ring and Belair maintains a 5-second vertical suplex before hitting a springboard moonsault for a near-fall.
- Bayley tries to run at Belair, but the EST counters with snake eyes into the corner before getting a 2-count with a spinebuster.
- Belair deadlifts Bayley into a powerbomb position but Bayley rakes her eyes before hitting the Rose Plant to pick up the win.
Analysis: Good match that was unfortunately interrupted mostly by commercials. Being honest, I’m not incredibly happy about Bayley beating Belair here. Belair has been undefeated in singles action since leaving NXT and her first pinfall loss is to Bayley, who’s lost a TON of credibility the last month and a half. If this was Bayley coming straight off the Sasha feud, then that’d be totally fair since she’d be THE top star in the SmackDown women’s division up to that point.
But since then? She was pinned by Peyton Royce at Survivor Series (who’s did nothing with that momentum), was the first eliminated from that match and tapped out to Natalya clean in under three minutes a fortnight ago. There were many other ways you could have built Bayley back up whilst having Belair finally losing being a big moment like it was in NXT. It’s not the end of the word and Belair will be fine, but it does feel like a BIG wasted opportunity.
The Bloodline Try To Take Out Kevin Owens For Good, Owens Gets Back Up
- Earlier in the night, we see Adam Pearce & Jessika Carr walking backstage with an irate Kevin Owens who gets attacked from behind with a chair by Jey Uso.
- Later, Owens is getting checked on in the medical room and Jey attacks him again, driving the Universal Championship challenger through a table.
- In the main event segment, Roman Reigns makes his entrance alongside Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. Roman says this is an opportunity that Owens’ children will take about for generations and Owens blew it before Owens limps his way to the ring.
- Roman and Jey beatdown Owens with multiple chair shots before driving him through another two tables. Roman berates Owens for pissing him off before burying Owens under a pile of ladders and tables.
- Backstage, Kayla tries to interview Roman but he’s distracted by Owens getting back up again in the ring. Owens closed the show by saying he was “going to take the Universal title” or “die trying.”
Analysis: Really engaging main event segment that made Owens look unstoppable. Despite Reigns and Uso ambushing Owens with chair shots throughout the show; putting him through three tables; and burying him under countless tables and ladders, Owens STILL got back up and wanted Reigns to give him more. Usually, one table is enough to keep someone down for the 3-count but Owens still got up after three, so what’s it gonna take for the Universal Champion to keep the challenger down on Sunday? As I mentioned earlier, this is giving me really similar vibes to Owens’ fantastic match with Dean Ambrose at TLC in 2015 which is only a good sign of things to come. Ultimately, Roman will retain but it should be a fantastic match on December 20th.
And that was the December 18th episode of SmackDown!
A much stronger episode than last week (thankfully) that managed to have both big moments on the show as well as moments to hook you into watching TLC on Sunday! Street Profits vs Roode/Ziggler was surprisingly fun was Sami hosting the Sami Awards.
Bayley and Bianca also had a great match though I wasn’t a fan of Bayley beating Belair and breaking her undefeated singles streak in an attempt to build her back up after a shoddy month of booking for the longest-reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion in history.
Keep up-to-date with all the fallout from this episode of SmackDown, as well as all the latest WWE news, right here at Inside The Ropes.