We kicked off the episode with Elias who was in the centre of the ring and performed a song what would happen on tonight’s show. After that, the SmackDown theme aired and Daniel Bryan made his entrance for his match against King Corbin and the Miz. Next, Corbin came out on his platform and held a promo while he was on that one. He talked trash about Bryan and the Miz as suddenly Roman Reigns’ music hit. The Big Dog appeared and fought against Corbin at ringside as he also performed a Superman Punch. As he teased to spear Corbin through the barricade, the King was able to escape through the crowd.
Opinion: At first, I didn’t like that appearance of Elias that much as it is way better when he sits in the centre of the ring and performs a song about funny topics and not the content of this episode. Besides, it was a huge surprise that the triple threat match was scheduled as the opener and due to that it was clear that any interference would take place as it then did. However, I’m wondering how long they want this feud between Reigns and Corbin to continue.
Braun Strowman and “The New Day” Kofi Kingston and Big E vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro and Sami Zayn
These six men showed a great performance and the interesting thing was that I took about 10 minutes until Kofi Kingston Big E were for the first time able to bring in Braun Strowman in this match who then logically destroyed all three opponents. As the referee was distracted, Shinsuke Nakamura wanted to use the New Day’s pancakes plate as a weapon, but Kingston took it away from him to hit Nakamura with it. Then, Strowman performed a Running Powerslam against the Intercontinental Champion for the win.
After the fight, Kingston and Big E wanted that Strowman would dance together with them as he then did.
Backstage, Kayla Braxton said that King Corbin would refuse to compete in this night’s triple threat match (because of Reigns’ attack) and du to that it would become a singles match between Bryan and the Miz to declare the challenger for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.
Next, Otis approached Mandy Rose in the backstage area and gifted her a fruitcake which his mother made. She accepted it, but then noted that she would have a match next and headed to the ring.
Opinion: Solid match to set up a championship match between Nakamura and Strowman while the post-match angle was a mixture of funny and hilarious. That Corbin would refuse to compete is really senseless while it will get interesting to watch how this story around Otis and Rose will continue. She isn’t interested in him but also doesn’t really act like a heel towards him as she normally does.
Carmella vs. Mandy Rose
The match took about three minutes and Rose was most of the time able to dominate her opponent. However, in the end, Carmella performed her typical Superkick for the three count.
Opinion: Before Otis approached Rose, we have seen her having a discussion with Sonya Deville as Rose hasn’t been in Deville’s corner last week. Since this week it was the other way around and Rose lost her match, they will surely work with this angle during next episode too.
Daniel Bryan vs. the Miz to declare the number one contender for the Universal Championship
These two men fought against each other for about two minutes as then Corbin’s security guards showed up and attacked Bryan and the Miz what led to a no-contest finish. Anyways, the two wrestlers fought them off as then Braxton asked Corbin in the backstage area what this was all about. He answered that it would be justice and that it’s Reigns’ fault that they have no safe work environment around here. Braxton told him that Reigns was asked to leave the building. Due to that, Corbin noted that he would be willing to compete again. Suddenly, Bryan and the Miz started a brawl with Corbin and his security guards in the backstage area.
Opinion: So, when will we get the actual match? After the brawl, they announced that it would be this night’s main event, but who knows what will happen until then.
“A moment of Bliss” and Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross came out to host this episode of “A moment of Bliss” together. Lacey Evans made her entrance as she was their guest. She recapped last week’s match with Sasha Banks which led to a brawl as Banks was taunting Evans’ daughter who was in the crowd.
Evans acted as a perfect babyface as she said some stuff about her daughter and, for example, she noted that she would do anything to stop someone who is coming between her and her child. She continued by saying that she wouldn’t give Banks and Bayley the chance to attack her from behind and headed to the ring as she and Dana Brooke would take on Banks and Bayley in the upcoming match. As then Brooke’s music hit, Banks and Bayley came out and dragged Brooke with them. Evans ran up the ramp to help her tag team partner what led to a brawl. In the end, the referees had to separate them as then the actual match started.
After about six minutes, Banks applied the Bank Statement against Brooke who then had to tap out.
Backstage we saw Rose who was tasting the frosting of Otis’ cake and then got approached by Dolph Ziggler who asked her if she would have plans for New Year’s Eve. Rose answered that she wouldn’t have any plans what Ziggler couldn’t believe. He then also tasted the frosting of the cake and then put it on the floor as he smushed it with his feet. Suddenly, Corbin came around and took Ziggler with him as he had to talk with him.
Next, we saw Mustafa Ali who talked about his year 2019 which got several dark moments, but he said that he would keep on fighting and being the light. He added that he would continue the chase of becoming a champion. After this little vignette, Otis found the smushed fruitcake and was logically sad about it.
Opinion: Strong promo by Evans as she worked as a perfect babyface. It was clear that she wouldn’t be the one who taps out as she should look strong, but I wonder why they didn’t give Bayley the chance to get the win for her team. The backstage segments were good while I wonder if they really have the plan to give Ali a championship opportunity within the next year.
Daniel Bryan vs. the Miz vs. King Corbin to declare the number one contender for the Universal Championship
These three men worked a good match, but it was no surprise that suddenly Ziggler would interfere who gave Bryan a Superkick. Corbin made the cover on Bryan as it seemed that it would be over as suddenly, Reigns pulled him out of the ring to break up the count.
After a commercial break, the commentators explained that Corbin and Reigns brawled out of the arena what meant that it would be a one-on-one match between the Miz and Bryan once again. These two continued to perform an outstanding match which in the end Bryan won with the aid of the LeBell Lock. After the match, the Fire Fly Funhouse theme aired and Bray Wyatt appeared. He congratulated Bryan and noted that “he” would remember everything. He then asked Bryan if he would be willing to do whatever it takes and if he would let him in. The show closed with Bryan doing together with the crowd the Yes!-chants.
Opinion: The stuff with Reigns and Corbin was a bit unnecessary but you have to admit that Miz and Bryan showed off a great performance.
The final ten minutes of the show with the Miz and Bryan were by far the best ones of this episode. However, I didn’t like how they worked with the feud between Reigns and Corbin. Just let Reigns interfere and take out Corbin what will lead to the situation that the Miz and Bryan are alone and they perform a great match but don’t work with it in five different segments.
The big difference between Raw and SmackDown is that on Raw they have so many superstars which they want to bring over and so we have in every episode at least four squash matches while on SmackDown there are just a few big superstars and in this episode, for example, we had no single squash match. I think the mixture of both of these ways would be the best one. Anyways, no good episode of SmackDown, but I’m happy that we’ll see Bryan once again in a match against the Fiend.