Fresh off their first ratings victory over Raw, Smackdown Live looks to keep the momentum going in 2017, with an Intercontinental Title match between The Miz and Dean Ambrose, and a contract signing between AJ Styles and John Cena. Get all the results from the first Smackdown of the New Year right here!
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The Miz kicked off the show with an in-ring promo, where he demanded an apology from Renee Young, for what he called “unprofessional behavior”. Young was not forthcoming, but Dean Ambrose came to the ring instead. Maryse ran interference, slapping Ambrose, while Miz escaped. Ambrose told a retreating Miz that Maryse hits harder than he does.
– Baron Corbin d. Dolph Ziggler (pinfall, End of Days)
Post-match, Corbin went for a chair, but he was run off by Kalisto. In response, Ziggler hit Kalisto with a Superkick and screamed about not needing anyone.
Backstage, James Ellsworth awkwardly offered Carmella good luck in her match, as well as the shirt off his back. Carmella asked him to escort her to the ring.
In the midst of destroying the locker room, Ziggler was confronted by Apollo Crews over his actions. Ziggler headbutted him, and a brawl erupted.
– Becky Lynch d. La Luchadora (submission, Disarm Her)
During the match, La Luchadora hid under the ring and a much shorter version appeared on the other side. After losing, she was revealed to be Alexa Bliss (well, duh), and both Luchadoras beat down Becky.
Daniel Bryan came out to moderate the contract signing between John Cena and AJ Styles. Styles appealed to Daniel Bryan based on the similarities in how they worked hard for years to get to WWE and earned everything they got, while John Cena took four months off and immediately got a title shot. Bryan said the match had to happen to continue the momentum from Smackdown beating Raw in the ratings. He also pointed out that AJ has beaten Cena three times already, and left the ring. Styles reminded Cena that last year, Cena had told Styles that he needed a win to prove he belonged, and now Styles is WWE Champion, and telling Cena the same thing. He said Smackdown was beating Raw because he was champion, not Cena, and that they didn’t need him. Styles reminded Cena everything mean he’d said about The Rock being a part-timer, and said that it all now applied to Cena. Cena claimed Styles had now crossed the line, went on a rant about his passion for wrestling, and said no one could ever be him.
Baron Corbin interrupted the proceedings and announced that he would be entering the Royal Rumble match, and presumably challenging whomever was WWE Champion at WrestleMania. Cena decided to pick a fight, but got blindsided by Styles.
Backstage, Maryse slapped Renee Young on behalf of The Miz and told Renee never to touch her husband again.
– Carmella d. Aliyah (submission, Code of Silence)
Ellsworth interfered by grabbing Aliyah’s foot on a top rope move, leading to the finish.
– American Alpha d. Breezango (Gable pinned Breeze, Grand Amplitude) in roughly thirty seconds.
Postmatch, Bray Wyatt cut a promo on American Alpha from the smoky room, and claimed losing had only made the Family stronger. Wyatt invoked their rematch clause for next week.
In the ring, Nikki Bella told Natalya that she had worked for years to make their name mean something, while Nattie had lived off the Hart name. Nattie called Nikki sick and selfish for bringing family into it, said she was better than any Hart had ever been, and said Nikki used sex appeal to get what she wants. And when her beauty faded, she’d lose John Cena and die alone. Nikki leveled Natalya with a forearm and left.
– Dean Ambrose d. The Miz to win the WWE Intercontinental Title (pinfall, Dirty Deeds)
During the match, Maryse slapped Ambrose, but Ambrose begged the referee to send her backstage rather than take the DQ win, which would result in Miz keeping the title. Miz tried a belt shot while Ambrose was distracted, which only got two, and Ambrose hit his finisher to win the match and the championship.