WWE Champion Daniel Bryan Attacked R-Truth
I probably should have expected Truth and Carmella to kick off the Christmas edition of SmackDown with Truth dressed up as Santa and Carmella dressed up as an elf. It was harmless fun, even if I don't particularly care much for the Truth and Carmella act. Thankfully, it wasn't long before Bryan interrupted them and proceeded to lay a brutal beating on Truth, putting his aggressive side on full display in the process. I assume we'll get a match between these two on next week's show.
Mustafa Ali def. Andrade "Cien" Almas
I'm thrilled that Ali is already being built up like a true threat in the main event scene, even though I know Bryan isn't dropping that title any time soon (nor should he). He's also being given a real chance to showcase his skills and prove to the masses why he is indeed one of the best in all of WWE right now. It's a shame Almas continues to get the short end of the stick (nor am I surprised there are reports of him being unhappy with his current spot on the roster), but at least he can always be counted on for a quality contest. With this win, Ali maintains momentum and I'm sure a Bryan vs. Ali for the WWE Championship rematch is only inevitable.
Elias def. Bobby Lashley in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight
I'm going to catch flack for this, but I absolutely love the campy holiday matches WWE runs every Halloween and Christmas. They're dumb fun, never take themselves too seriously, and the crowds usually enjoy them. That seemed to be the case here. Elias and Lashley used the Christmas-themed environment to their advantage and turned this into an enjoyable affair to kick off the night. Hopefully Elias winning means this rivalry has been put to rest once and for all.
Raw Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable def. The Revival
Based off what I saw from The Revival and American Alpha in NXT, I have no doubt this could have been an instant classic with the right build and more time, but for what it was, it was an entertaining outing. Fans didn't have much of a reason to believe The Revival would win the twin titles, mind you, but the two tandems worked well together and hopefully we see more matches between them in the near future.
Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey & Natalya def. The Riott Squad and Nia Jax & Tamina in a Triple Threat Match
I loved that this managed to further two different feuds (Rousey vs. Jax and Natalya vs. The Riott Squad) simultaneously, and it was a fun match to boot. The three-way format was largely responsible for this being as enjoyable as it was and everyone held their own. Following her victory, Rousey addressed the audience and thanked the troops for everything they do.
Elias and Finn Balor def. Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre
Similar to the opener, this bout featured two teams that have been at odds for weeks. The in-ring action was above-average and it had a great sense of urgency. All four guys worked well together, the crowd was into everything they did, and the final few minutes were well done. The finish was a little lame, but it was an entertaining affair, otherwise. Michael Cole noted on commentary that Elias and Lashley will face off in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight on the upcoming Christmas Eve Raw, so brace yourselves for some cringe-worthy holiday silliness.
Io Shirai and Dakota Kai def. Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke
Considering Shafir and Duke are still relatively new to the wrestling scene, I thought they did perfectly fine here. They still have a ways to go, of course, but they did well in their debut match on NXT TV. It also helped that they had two incredibly skilled competitors to work with in Kai and Shirai. I'm surprised Shafir and Duke lost so decisively, but I guess it was more important for the babyfaces to build momentum.
Dominik Dijakovic def. Aaron Mackey
Dijakovic is the former Donovan Dijak from Ring of Honor and the northeast independent scene. He is super impressive for a guy of his size and I'm happy he now has a bigger platform to showcase his skills on. This was exactly what it needed to be: short and sweet with Dijakovic dominating throughout. I'm looking forward to him showing more of what he can do once he begins facing more credible competition.
Hideo Itami def. Noam Dar
Before the bout, Ariya Daivari praised Itami and mentioned how he deserves elite competition. That led to Drake Maverick introducing Dar as Itami's opponent. I don't believe these two have ever clashed one-on-one before, so I enjoyed their encounter and thought it had a nice pace to it. Itami's victory adds to his momentum and further establishes him as a force to reckoned with on 205 Live.
Lio Rush def. Local Athlete
WWE may not have given him a name here, but the local athlete was actually Aaron Solow (Bayley's husband), who has made a handful of appearances on the show before. As for Rush, he hasn't been seen on 205 Live since losing to Cedric Alexander last month and has instead been busy managing Bobby Lashley on Raw. He returned to form by beating Solow in the matter of minute and talking trash beforehand.
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