Roman Reigns Attacked King Corbin
The Universal Championship number one contender's match was supposed to kick off the show (and, in fact, Daniel Bryan had already made his entrance), but Reigns attacking Corbin before the bell prevented it from happening. Reigns hasn't been seen since losing to Corbin at TLC two weeks ago, so this probably should have felt like a bigger deal. Nonetheless, it was a decent angle that provided a nice hook for the rest of the show as to what would happen with the scheduled number one contender's matchup.
Braun Strowman and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro and Sami Zayn
This actually marked Zayn's first match since becoming Nakamuara's mouthpiece over four months ago. It's crazy to think he's been out of the ring for that long, and it's not like he's been injured, either. At any rate, this was a fairly formulaic yet fun six-man tag team match. Strowman pinning Nakamura should set him up for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship sometime soon. Strowman dancing afterward with Kofi Kingston and Big E didn't do anything for me personally, but at least the fans in attendance were into it.
Carmella def. Mandy Rose
Although this went a little longer than Carmella vs. Sonya Deville from last week, it wasn't much better. Both ladies are perfectly competent in the ring, but these matches don't mean anything because the bigger story is with Rose and Deville and how they've teased tension as of late. Rose definitely seems to be headed toward a babyface turn based off her backstage interaction with Otis, so a split may be coming for Fire and Desire.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz in a Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Match Ended in a No Contest
We were told Corbin would be removed from the match as a result of Reigns' attack from earlier in the evening. I was looking forward to Bryan and Miz rekindling their rivalry as they've always had strong chemistry together. Unfortunately, the contest was cut short before it had a chance to get going due to interference from the men who carry Corbin to the ring. It was a lame finish designed to delay the matchup until the main event, but I question why this was needed at all.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross Hosted Moment of Bliss with Lacey Evans
Evans hasn't had many opportunities to firmly establish herself as a face yet, but I thought this segment did an effective job of doing just that. She cut a quality promo about how Banks made a mistake by getting in her daughter's face last week and came off as genuine and likable. I don't know how many people were clamoring for the return of Moment of Bliss, but I appreciated that this was short, sweet and served a purpose.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks def. Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke
Brooke was easily the weak link here, but I thought she held her own nicely and was wisely kept limited with it being a tag team match. It was paced pretty well and all four ladies got to shine, even though it was far from a must-see matchup. Banks and Bayley winning was unexpected but necessary since I can't remember the last time Banks won anything important. Broke was the one pinned, so Evans will be just fine.
Daniel Bryan def. The Miz and King Corbin in a Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match
Reigns ended up ambushing Corbin again and essentially eliminated him from the equation, so with it coming down to Bryan and Miz one-on-one, I have no clue why WWE bothered to run the previous two angles with these guys earlier in the show other than to fill time. On the bright side, the match got great down the stretch as Bryan and Miz never cease to bring the best out of each other. There was suspense behind every nearfall and the crowd was happy to see Bryan win. Bray Wyatt's post-match message to Bryan was also well done and left me looking forward to their rematch at the Royal Rumble.
I can't believe WWE wasted as much time as they did on the stuff with Bryan, Corbin and Miz. The main event wound up being a blast, but there was no reason for the match to get interrupted the other two times. Rose and Otis were all over the show as well and at least that's been somewhat entertaining. The women's matches were solid and the six-man tag team matchup was well wrestled. Much like every other installment of SmackDown on Fox, this was a middle-of-the-road show that didn't feature anything worth going out of your way to watch. It was a weak effort for the final episode of the year.
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