Despite the events of RAW that saw both men victimized by Seth Rollins in a heinous attack, SmackDown kicks off with the Guest Hosts for the evening, Edge & Christian. With a more serious tone than their night on RAW, Edge says that he feels like The Authority coming back is his “fault” and if there was something they could do to Seth Rollins, they would. Edge then says that Rollins now has a target on his back as he has gotten the attention of John Cena before Christian says that the “show must go on”, promising a great show. Edge then adds that The Authority cannot do anything about what they have planned, but before Edge & Christian could get the show rolling, they are interrupted by the arrival of a limo in the parking lot as J&J Security get out of the limo. J&J Security then make their way to the ring with paperwork in hand as Jamie Noble says that they have come out there with a “prepared statement” from The Authority. Joey Mercury then reads the statement, which claims that The Authority had no prior knowledge of a pre-meditated attack by Seth Rollins & Big Show on Edge & Christian on RAW, saying that Seth Rollins acted on his “own accord” and The Authority neither “condones” or “supports” Rollins’ actions. Mercury then states that The Authority “apologizes”, cutting Edge off before continuing to read the statement, saying that The Authority recognizes Edge & Christian’s contractual right to host SmackDown and they will not interfere. Mercury then reveals that J&J Security will be appointed “Official Observers of SmackDown” and any “breaches of protocol” from Edge & Christian will be reported to WWE Headquarters.
Edge comments that the statement was “interesting”, but it does not change the fact that they are in charge of SmackDown tonight. With that, Edge announces that, tonight, Ryback will go one-on-one with Big Show. Christian then adds that United States Champion Rusev will go one-on-one with Roman Reigns! Jamie Noble then chimes in that he is making “notes” of everything that happens and it will go on Edge’s “permanent files”. Edge then reminds J&J Security that he does not actually work for the company before saying that they might not get to host a show again for a long time, but tonight, this is their show. Edge & Christian then declare that their show starts right now.
Before he goes to war with Dean Ambrose in an Ambulance Match on RAW, the opening match of the night was an interesting one as “The Eater of Worlds” Bray Wyatt would collide with his former follower and Wyatt Family brethren, Erick Rowan. The match would begin with Bray Wyatt actually ordering Erick Rowan to lie down for him, but Rowan would refuse and the battle would truly get underway. Erick Rowan would actually dominate his former mentor for most of the match, but when Bray Wyatt kneeled before Rowan asking for forgiveness, Rowan would show just a small amount of compassion and Bray would take advantage, hitting the Sister Abigail on Rowan and picking up the win. After the match, Bray Wyatt addresses Dean Ambrose, saying that, if he could do what he just did to someone he considers his “brother”, just imagine what he will do to Ambrose. Bray then says that it’s been “fun”, but all “good things must come to an end” and their story ends with Ambrose leaving in the back of an ambulance.
After defeating The Miz & Damien Mizdow on RAW to win the WWE Tag Team Titles, the new WWE Tag Team Champions were in action on SmackDown as The Usos would team with R-Truth to face the unusual team of Adam Rose and Gold & Stardust in a 6-Man Tag Match. At the end of a wild 6-Man Tag Match, it was Jey Uso hitting the Superfly Splash on Adam Rose, pinning Rose to pick up the win for his team. After the match, a few members of The Exotic Express would inexplicably try to attack R-Truth & The Usos, but the trio would easily dispose of Adam Rose’s followers before celebrating their victory.
After opening up about his tough journey to WWE on RAW, Ryback would collide with “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show on SmackDown. Throughout the match, Big Show would target the surgically repaired leg of Ryback, but Ryback would manage to fight back against the giant. However, just when it looked like Ryback was about to put Big Show away with the Meat Hook Clothesline, the Russian flag unrolls above the ring before United States Champion Rusev & Lana make their way towards the ring. Ryback steps out to the apron, daring Rusev to come fight him, but Big Show would take advantage of Rusev’s distraction, delivering the Knockout Punch to “The Big Guy” and knocking Ryback to the floor. Barely conscious following the Knockout Punch, Ryback struggled to try and get back into the ring before the referee’s ten-count, but ultimately failed as Big Show picks up the win by count-out. After the match, Big Show leaves the ring and Rusev pounces on a defenseless Ryback, trying to lock on the Accolade, but Ryback would battle back and, even after everything that Ryback just went through, Ryback would fight back against the United States Champion, sending Rusev over the top rope with a huge clothesline!
In tag team action, Cesaro & Tyson Kidd, with Natalya in their corner, would face Los Matadores, with El Torito in their corner. In the end, it was Cesaro lifting Diego up on his shoulders as Tyson Kidd comes off of the top rope with a neckbreaker before Kidd pins Diego for the win.
Before he squares off with Bray Wyatt in an Ambulance Match on RAW, Dean Ambrose was scheduled to face Curtis Axel on SmackDown, but “The Lunatic Fringe” would not even wait for the match to begin, taking it to Axel on the outside. After thwarting an attempt at a comeback by Curtis Axel, Dean Ambrose would roll Curtis Axel back into the ring, spiking Axel with Dirty Deeds. Ambrose would then grab a microphone, heading to the ambulance parked near the stage, promising to drag Bray Wyatt behind the ambulance, toss Bray into the ambulance and make the one-way trip to “happy new year hell”!
Following an impressive debut with a victory over The Miz & Damien Mizdow on RAW, The Ascension would make their SmackDown debut against two local competitors. It was a dominant victory for The Ascension as Konnor & Viktor hit the Fall of Man on one of the locals as Viktor pins the local for the win.
Then it was time for the main event as, after having the announce table turned over on him by Big Show on RAW, Roman Reigns would go one-on-one with United States Champion Rusev, with Lana in his corner, in a non-title match. During the match, Roman Reigns would hit the Superman Punch on Rusev, knocking Rusev to the outside and, upon rolling Rusev back into the ring, Roman spots Big Show lumbering down the ramp. However, before Big Show could get to the ring, Roman Reigns charges at Big Show, dropping the giant with the Superman Punch! Roman then heads back into the ring, but he is immediately caught with a big kick to the face by Rusev. The United States Champion then goes for a second kick, but Roman dodges it and blasts Rusev with the Spear! All Roman had to do at this point was pin Rusev and he would become the first man to do so, but Big Show would ruin all of that for Reigns as Big Show pulls Roman out of the ring, ending the match by disqualification. Big Show then tosses Roman Reigns into the ringside barricade before doing it two more times and following it up with a big Spear to Reigns. Big Show then exposes the announce table with the intent of putting Roman Reigns through it with a chokeslam, but Roman would counter, driving Big Show face-first into the table before leveling the giant with a big dropkick. Roman would then exact his revenge for what Big Show did to him on RAW as Reigns tosses Big Show over the announce table before tipping the entire table over on top of “The World’s Largest Athlete”!
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