Match Ratings For Smackdown Live 12/26/17: Tag Team Opener Delivers Big Time

Opening segment

  • Daniel Bryan announces that he's tried to call Dolph Ziggler all week long, and hasn't heard from him. The title is now vacant, with a tournament starting tonight.
  • Training Day interrupt and Gable wants a shot. Rusev Day interrupt to a giant pop. Aiden English sings a promo, and it's over.
  • Also over are the New Day. You all know what happens here. Triple threat contender match
Fightful Wrestling Weekly 4/13/21- WRESTLEMANIA!!

Top Contender Match
Training Day defeated New Day and Rusev Day

  • Xavier Woods hits a tope con hilo early and later we see a rare hot tag from him. I thought it worked pretty well.
  • Gable double German suplexed Big E and English! Wow!
  • A big pop for Rusev, and he was designed to shine in this spot, but was a little sloppy. The crowd likes it anyway.
  • Gable is such an unbelievable suplex machine. He prawn deadlifts Rusev.
  • New Day get a uranage/backstabber.
  • Usos are natural on the mic and put over each team. 
  • Benjamin catches Xavier Woods PERFECTLY with a knee, and Gable hits a moonsault.  
  • Aiden English stops a German suplex by holding Xavier's hair. Xavier kicks Gable, then Aiden lands a Widowmaker on Xavier. This kicked ass. 
  • Tower of Doom. Another dove cries.
  • Rusev with the Accolade on both Xavier and Gable, but Benjamin breaks it up!
  • Training Day get the win after their finish on Big E. This was can't miss.

Bludgeon Brothers defeated Breezango by DQ

  • This is a one sided ass kicking. Ascension save Breezango.
  • Backstage, Ascension say they got Breezango another rematch next week. Lol.

Ruby Riott (w/ Riott Squad) defeated Naomi

  • Naomi hits a Disaster Kick and the Riott Squad distract her. She loses in about 40 seconds. Well then.
  • Riott had announced herself for the Rumble before this. She's given terrible dialogue but delivers it pretty well.
  • Riott Squad attack after the match. Charlotte makes the save but gets overwhelmed after hilariously walking into a Logan big boot.
  • The Smackdown heels are here, but Riott Squad leave, only to be cut off and attacked. Jesus, man. The Smackdown women's writing is the laziest shit I've ever seen. They're trying really hard to keep everyone involved and I can admire that, but just run multiple storylines. Goddamn pal.

Backstage Crappenings

  • WWE needs crowd like this every week. AJ Styles gets a huge ovation and cuts a good promo backstage -- again clearly written for him.
  • Daniel Bryan have a funny toned disagreement about the direction of Smackdown and a HILARIOUS compliment of Vince McMahon from Shane McMahon. This is worth seeing because it's funny. 


United States Title Tournament Opening Round
Bobby Roode defeated Baron Corbin


  • It seems like these two wanted to prove they could have a good match without Dolph Ziggler, because there wasn't much down time in it.
  • Roode was running and flying all over the place. This was not the typical Corbin or Roode match. 
  • Corbin busted out the Bossman spot for the first time in a while. Good on him for not doing it all the time. He eats a Spinebuster though.
  • The Deep Six, much like the Blue Thunder Bomb, is a move that should finish people. 
  • Roode sunset flips over Corbin for the victory. This was a good one. 

United States Title Tournament Opening Round
Jinder Mahal defeated Tye Dillinger

  • This is one of the better Jinder Mahal performances in WWE. He worked faster and bumped better than I remember seeing in a while. 
  • Had Jinder Mahal been involved in the United States title picture from the jump, I think we could look at this year much, much differently.
  • Mahal's selling is very good, particularly the chops from Dillinger. Natalya could take a tip from this. 
  • Jinder hits an unimpressive version of his finish.

Kevin Owens (w/ Sami Zayn) defeated AJ Styles

  • Styles hits a big dropkick right after the bell.
  • These two work a solid match full of good spots for both. It goes on a little too long before kicking into the next gear, like so many of their matches. That doesn't mean it's bad.
  • In a show full of matches with stakes, the main event didn't have any.
  • Everyone bumps really hard for Styles' striking clothesline. 
  • The match finally hits that gear, and it gets really good. Zayn gets involved, but Shane McMahon has him ejected.
  • When dealing with this, the ref misses a Styles pin. Instead, Owens gets the victory!
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