The December 11, 2018 Edition of Smackdown Live is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on December 11, 2018 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was the go home show for TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs.
Daniel Bryan has proven over the last few weeks he’s no longer interested in hero worship, but onetime admirer Mustafa Ali provided a bit of a bonus for the WWE Champion: Bryan could actually beat him up.
Of course, Bryan preferred not to have the match at all, as he believed the WWE Universe was too fickle to deserve it, and besides, Ali was just a “small little man” whose decision to drive an SUV put him on the level of the “sheep” in the audience. But when the Cruiserweight daredevil responded to Bryan’s literal and figurative slaps to the face with a flurry of offense, the champion decided to give the man what he asked for.
He got as good as he gave. Despite controlling the match early on, Bryan attempted to go high-risk, which played right into his opponent’s hands, and The Beard found himself subjected to an impressive array of high-octane offense. Ali came inches from victory with an 054 attempt, but Bryan evaded the maneuver and grounded the high-flier with a series of attacks on his leg before forcing him to submit to a heel hook. Bryan continued his attack after the bell, stomping Ali’s face and locking in another heel hook on the ramp. Whether the post-match assault was a statement directed at AJ Styles, the 205 Live roster, or the WWE Universe was somewhat unclear. The message, however, was crystal clear.
Whether The Bar can survive a Triple Threat title defense on Sunday remains to be seen, but they definitely got more than they bargained for when they challenged The Usos to a Rap Battle, as Jimmy & Jey responded to the champions’ rendition of “Ice, Ice Sheamy” by rapping circles around them and provoking a throwdown between the two teams. The New Day, who won the previous rap battle and returned to host this one, weren’t spared either, but Cesaro & Sheamus eventually cleared the ring of all challengers in a stark reminder to their opponents that while Vanilla Ice parodies may not cut the mustard in a rap battle, there’s no mistaking who’ll be under pressure when the bell rings.
For all The Miz’s trickery, give him this: When he decides to go in on something, he goes all the way in. The A-Lister’s strange desire to join forces with SmackDown LIVE Commissioner (and Best in the World trophy co-parent) Shane McMahon took another turn this week when The A-Lister went behind SmackDown General Manager Paige’s back and finagled a match between himself, Shane and a pair of locals called The Vegas Boys, who jumped Shane-O-Mac from behind.
The gambit paid off, albeit to a point: Shane singlehandedly defeated Chip & Chad to prove he and Miz can co-exist and win as a tag team, though the ruse was quickly uncovered by Paige. When Shane got in Miz’s face about it, The A-Lister got uncharacteristically sincere: Before crossing paths with Shane, he had never, despite all his accolades, been included among the best in the world. His attempt to genuinely shake on it with the Commissioner went nowhere, but fans of The Awesome One can still take heart. If his WWE career has proved nothing else, it’s that he will not be denied so easily.
Can Rey Mysterio get his payback against Randy Orton in a Chairs Match at WWE TLC? Not according to The Viper. “Once a victim, always a victim” is how the Grand Slam Champion phrased it after punishing The Ultimate Underdog both physically and psychologically over the past few weeks. But he may have spoken too soon: Mysterio struck Orton from behind while he was on the mic, pummeling The Apex Predator with a steel chair and forcing him into retreat after drilling his nemesis with the 619. Expect Orton to retaliate at WWE TLC, but The Ultimate Underdog's days as a victim may well be numbered.
Two of SmackDown LIVE’s budding rivalries — Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev — crossed paths on Tuesday in a tag team match that showcased the best of all four Superstars, plus a Dance Break from Carmella and R-Truth that actually came at the beginning of the match rather than the middle. It also provided an early glimpse at where those two rivalries stand. Samoa Joe, who has chosen to play mind games with Hardy, remained in almost complete control of The Charismatic Enigma, save for a last-ditch rally. Rusev, meanwhile, bulldozed Nakamura all over the ring, eventually dropping The King of Strong Style with a pinpoint Machka Kick for the 1-2-3.
Last time Charlotte Flair and Asuka locked horns, it was at WrestleMania, and The Queen escaped with a definitive win that snapped Asuka’s incredible undefeated streak. But that was a long time ago, and much has changed: The Empress of Tomorrow was all over Charlotte in a rematch of their WrestleMania contest that also served as a preview of Sunday, where both women will challenge Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Title in a Triple Threat TLC Match.
With Becky watching inscrutably from ringside, the preview was almost all Asuka. The former NXT Women’s Champion had been something of a dark horse in the title picture before tonight, but she dismantled The Queen in excruciating fashion, transitioning from submission to submission while the second-generation Superstar attempted to brawl her way back into the running.
Charlotte finally found separation with a sit-out powerbomb and followed up with a targeted assault of Asuka’s knee to tee up the Figure-Eight, though The Empress of Tomorrow kept pace through sheer force of will, eventually trapping her opponent in the Asuka Lock — at which point an overwhelmed Charlotte sent both women tumbling through the ropes and attacked Asuka with a Kendo stick to lose via disqualification. Her attempt to turn the weapon on Becky didn't go quite as well, as it prompted a ruthless retaliatory tattooing from The Man.
Asuka got the last word, however, seizing hold of the stick and pummeling both women with savage abandon, ending the show perched victoriously atop the announce desk with the weapon held above her head. As the last few months have shown, this isn’t the same Becky Lynch we saw during WrestleMania season, nor is it the same Charlotte Flair. But it ain’t the same Asuka either.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Mustafa Ali by submission (10:34)
- Shane McMahon & The Miz defeated The Vegas Boys (Nathan Ryan & Owen Travers) (1:09)
- Jeff Hardy & Rusev (w Lana) defeated Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura (8:01)
- Asuka defeated Charlotte Flair by DQ (12:54)
Other on-screen talent
Daniel Bryan v Mustafa Ali
The rap battle between The Bar and The Usos descended into chaos
Shane McMahon & The Miz v The Vegas Boys
Rey Mysterio attacked Randy Orton with a steel chair
Jeff Hardy & Rusev v Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura
Asuka v Charlotte Flair
- WWE Smackdown Live #1008 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #1008 at WWE.com
- [ Smackdown #1008 on WWE Network]