WWE SmackDown - Tribute To The Troops (12/8/2023) Results: CM Punk Returns, Charlotte Flair vs Asuka

On December 1, 2023, WWE hosted a new episode of Friday Night SmackDown on Fox.

The show was headlined by CM Punk returning to the blue brand. Live results & highlights are listed below.

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WWE SmackDown - Tribute to The Troops (12/8/2023).

  • After a performance from War & Treaty of "God Bless America", the broadcast team of JBL, Michael Cole & Kevin Patrick welcomed the audience to the broadcast before transitioning into the opening match.
  • WWE United States Championship Eliminator Tournament - 1st Round Match: Santos Escobar def. Dragon Lee.
    • NXT North American Champion Dominik Mysterio watched the match from ringside. Mysterio stood over Lee and spat on his face. Lee & Dominik will compete tomorrow for the NXT North American Championship at NXT Deadline.
  • Randy Orton met with Nick Aldis backstage to pay his $50,000 fine after hitting Aldis with an RKO. Orton then complained to Aldis as to why he was booked to team with LA Knight, to which Aldis responded by saying they both wanted The Bloodline and that he (Aldis) wanted to see the match. Aldis saw the check and asked Orton why he was only paying $100,000 instead of the original $50,000 of the fine, to which Orton responded by saying that the payment was for "next time".
  • Cody Rhodes came to the ring to cut a promo. He introduced a video detailing the history of WWE's "Tribute to the Troops" shows before introducing the US Army Drill Team.
  • Montez Ford spoke about his experience as a former member of the US Marine Corps.
  • WWE United States Championship Eliminator Tournament - 1st Round Match: Bobby Lashley (w/ Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) def. Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett).
    • Brad Nessler was on commentary for the match.
  • Iyo Sky, Asuka, Kairi Sane & Dakota Kai were backstage before Bayley interrupted them. Bayley said she tried to help Sane last week but volunteered to stay backstage for Asuka's match against Charlotte Flair. Kai told Bayley that her staying backstage was a good idea, but told her that the rest of Damage CTRL would be heading to the ring for Asuka's match.
  • CM Punk made his return to Friday Night SmackDown with a thunderous pop from the crowd. He cut a promo and said he would leave it to the fans where he would go as a Free Agent. He recognizes that he knew people did not like Punk being an "I'm home type of guy" and promised to get spicy. CM Punk called out Roman Reigns, saying that he "acknowledges him", but to never forget who the OG Paul Heyman guy was. Punk said that he was still skeptical about Randy Orton but put over LA Knight before talking about Kevin Owens, where he said that he would not trust a man who randomly punches people backstage. Punk then called out Seth Rollins, where he would not put stock on what Rollins said because he was not the man in his own household. Punk said that he would speak with Nick Aldis, Shawn Michaels & Adam Pearce and stated that he would make his decision on joining a brand and declared that he was entering the 2023 Royal Rumble Match to Main Event WrestleMania 40.
  • CM Punk walked around backstage before being confronted by Kevin Owens. Punk asked Owens if he knew where Aldis's office was, but Owens said he did not before they moved along.
  • Zelina Vega, "Michin" Mia Yim, Shotzi & Bianca Belair attacked Iyo Sky & Kairi Sane, leaving Asuka all on her own for her match against Charlotte Flair.
  • Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka.
  • Bayley interfered in the match, by her breaking Flair's Figure 8 on Asuka. Flair took down Bayley, but Asuka got Flair in a Schoolboy Roll-Up for the win.
  • Nick Aldis gave CM Punk a contract to review before Punk was confronted by Cody Rhodes. Rhodes agreed to let the best man win on the 2023 Royal Rumble before Rhodes shook Punk's hand to welcome him back to WWE.
  • There was a video package honoring Florent Goldberg for his service with the military.
  • Randy Orton & LA Knight were training backstage, but they were interrupted by CM Punk backstage. Punk wished them luck ahead of their match in the main event against The Bloodline.
  • Randy Orton & LA Knight def. The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa & Jimmy Uso).

- Check out the post-show podcast for a full review of the show on Fightful's YouTube & Twitch channels. You can check Fightful's Results Section here.

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