The December 25, 2018 Edition of Smackdown Live is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on December 18, 2018 at Save Mart Center on the campus of Fresno State University in Fresno, California.
R-Truth and Carmella (or Truthy Claus and CARMelfA on this night), arrived on the blue brand looking like the coolest Santa and cutest elf to ever trot the globe. The Mixed Match Challenge Season 2 winners simply wanted to spread a little holiday cheer and sing some Christmas carols ... but WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan just wasn't with it.
A furious Bryan didn't think he should be away from his family on Christmas and quickly became irate at Truth & Carmella's holiday antics. The WWE Champion then railed against the WWE Universe's adoration for Santa, suggesting that their yearning for more and more material things has done significant damage to the planet. Bryan suggested that because of their greed, there would soon be no North Pole, and thus, no Santa Claus.
The Beard's rant prompted Truthy Claus to call Bryan an “angry little elf,” which led to Bryan to calling him a joke. Truth then reminded the WWE Champion that he would be No. 30 in the Royal Rumble and that he would be coming for Bryan after he wins the Royal Rumble ... if Bryan was still champion. Truth and Carmella opted for one of their signature dance breaks, but an incensed Bryan chop-blocked Truth and savagely assaulted him with leg locks while Carmella was forced to helplessly watch in horror.
Talk about a grinch.
Fresh off his incredible upset of WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan in tag team competition last week, Mustafa Ali looked to score another impressive victory by defeating the man Bryan teamed with in that contest, Andrade “Cien” Almas.
The two sensational young Superstars held nothing back, and Almas put the heat on the newest SmackDown LIVE Superstar in the early goings. The ever-resilient Alit fought back, despite having to fend off not just Almas, but also Zelina Vega, who was attempting to run interference on the outside in Andrade's favor.
The two Superstars exchanged brutal strikes and high-impact moves, and after several dazzling displays of clutch athleticism from both, Ali connected with an emphatic Satellite DDT that put Andrade in perfect position for Mustafa to hit his signature 054 Splash for yet another monumental win on the blue brand.
With The New Day (decked out in full holiday-themed regalia) providing guest commentary from their now iconic announce table, four of the blue brand's best duos paired up and squared off after crossing paths last week. The Usos and Gallows & Anderson put their competitive rivalry aside to work together, finding success until Killian Dain got the tag and overpowered his opposition. However, the brothers Uce and The Good Brothers rallied, and Gallows & Anderson caught Cesaro with a thunderous Magic Killer to pin one-half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
Gallows & Anderson asked for more opportunity last week. This week, they went and created their own.
After weeks of pleading and case-making, The Miz seemingly had one last attempt in him in his effort to convince Shane McMahon to be his tag team partner. Shane-O-Mac joined “Miz TV” and heard Miz out as The A-Lister laid it all on the table for his “co-bestie.” Miz got deeply personal as he explained to Shane why he so badly wanted to team up with the WWE World Cup winner. Miz explained that, much like Shane himself, he has never heard his father say he's proud of him, and he's spent every day of his life questioning if what he's doing is enough to gain his father's approval. The Miz revealed that his father is a massive Shane McMahon fan and that ever since The A-Lister heard that, he has made it his mission to team with The Man Without Fear in hopes of finally impressing his dad.
Shane seemed moved by Miz's words, but still not convinced. However, in the spirit of the new WWE, where the WWE Universe is The Authority, The Miz then asked them if they wanted to see him and Shane pair up to become “The Best Tag Team in the World.” The WWE Universe roared loudly, clearly wanting to see the partnership. Shane, clearly swayed by Miz's emotional plea and the strong reaction, told The A-Lister that he better not double-cross him and agreed to give this a try.
The two embraced and then hoisted their WWE World Cup trophy. A Christmas miracle in the flesh.
After Jeff Hardy dropped Samoa Joe with a wicked Twist of Fate last week in response to The Samoan Submission Machine's week of hyperbole and mockery of his struggles with personal demons, the two faced off on the blue brand on Christmas night.
The Charismatic Enigma came at The Samoan Submission Machine with a furious intensity, but Joe's size and strength advantage would soon factor into play, as he began to wear down Hardy with a smothering ground-and-pound attack. Jeff struck back with his signature dynamic offense, but he lost control of himself once he downed Joe outside the ring, and he repeatedly kneed his opponent into the face, disregarding the referee's warnings and getting disqualified because of it. Jeff's assault continued even after the bell when he sent Joe soaring over the announcer's table. However, as Hardy began to plot his next devious move, Joe caught him in a singular lapse of concentration and locked the Coquina Clutch onto his rival until Jeff completely passed out.
Joe was content to leave Hardy laying for now, but it was clear that neither Superstar was content to let this situation rest for good.
After weeks of jaw-jacking back and forth, United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and rRusev finally collided for the star-spangled title on Christmas Day (and Rusev Day) (and Rusev's birthday).
Hard hits were the theme from the get-go, with both Rusev and Nakamura exchanging several punishing haymakers. Nakamura used his versatile offense to wear down Rusev with pounding blows and push him to his max with his versatile ground game. The Bulgarian Brute surged back though, using his bruising strength and awe-inspiring athleticism to bring the fight to WWE's Rockstar.
Nakamura got Rusev in perfect position for the Kinshasa, but The Bulgarian Brute popped up and connected flush with the Machka Kick, only for The Artist to kick out. However, Rusev refused to be deterred by Nakamura's resiliency, and after finding a way out of a triangle submission attempt from Shinsuke and surviving a knee to his temple, The Super Athlete rallied once more, connecting with a second Machka Kick to win the United States Championship.
So, what do Christmas Day, Rusev Day and Rusev's birthday all have in common? They're now all the same day when Rusev became a three-time United States Champion.
SmackDown LIVE came to a shocking conclusion when AJ Styles met with WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon in the back.
Mr. McMahon wanted to know more about the “real” AJ Styles, questioning why The Phenomenal One was letting “The New” Daniel Bryan run roughshod through the house he built. The Chairman went on to say that he and Styles were a lot alike, that they both had black holes in their hearts, as a confused Styles listened.
Mr. McMahon then began poking Styles in the chest, demanding to see the animal within The Phenomenal One before slapping the former WWE Champion in the face. Apparently, that woke up Styles’ inner animal, as The Phenomenal One decked Mr. McMahon with a big right hand, sending The WWE Chairman crashing to the floor. Styles let out a primal scream as he stood over Mr. McMahon, officials rushing to check on The Chairman. Mr. McMahon said he was OK after the surprise attack, as a smile crept across his face, leaving many to wonder why The WWE Chairman wanted to see this side of Styles.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) defeated SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain) & The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) (w/ Eric Young) in a Eight Man Tag Team Match
Other on-screen talent
Daniel Bryan has no patience for celebrations
Mustafa Alia vs. Andrade Almas
The Usos & Gallows & Anderson vs. The Bar & SAnitY
Shane McMahon teams up with The Miz
Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy
Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
- WWE Smackdown Live #1010 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #1010 at WWE.com
- Smackdown #1010 on WWE Network