In the first SmackDown of 2014, The Best in the World CM Punk and the high-octane Usos reigned supreme over a Shield trio who couldn't seem to get on the same page. Plus, WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Goldust withstood the formidable challenge of The Wyatt Family and Bray Wyatt himself delivered a creepy message about Daniel Bryan joining the fold.
At the opening of SmackDown, United States Champion Dean Ambrose addressed recent speculation about possible dissention in the ranks of The Hounds of Justice – informing CM Punk, in particular, that he couldn't divide and conquer them. Roman Reigns added that there was no weak link to divide and Seth Rollins said that any setbacks they had were temporary, since in the end, they would do what they do best – come together and dominate.
Ambrose then joined the SmackDown announce team as his cohorts battled The Usos. However, when it looked as if Jimmy & Jey might close the door on their black-clad adversaries, Ambrose intervened – bringing an abrupt end to the match by disqualification.
The Shield's post-match attack would be thwarted when The Straight Edge Superstar emerged to even the odds and helped to send the Hounds packing. SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero would then create a huge SmackDown main event showdown on the WWE App: Ambrose, Reigns & Rollins vs. Punk & the Samoan warriors!
At the height of R-Truth's fast-paced matchup against Fandango, Xavier Woods opted to expand his role as guest SmackDown commentator, breaking into dance on top of the announce table and encouraging The Funkadactyls to do the same at the top of the ramp.
This impromptu busting-of-the-move caused enough commotion for Truth to hurl his opponent into the canvas face first for the three-count. The Rapping Superstar then joined Woods, Naomi and Cameron for a post-match celebration dance.
With Bray Wyatt and the newest Wyatt Family member Daniel Bryan noticeably absent, fellow disciplines, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan, absolutely punished Cody Rhodes for the majority of their championship opportunity.
However, in the end, Rowan failed to see Goldust tag himself into the bout – a mistake that cost him huge and allowed The Bizarre One to roll him up for the pin.
Successful in blocking out the turmoil facing his sister Brie and Daniel Bryan over The Beard's decision to join the Wyatt Family, Nikki Bella overcame Aksana in impressive fashion.
Speaking of impressive, Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston picked up an extremely powerful victory on the first SmackDown of 2014, overcoming former titleholder Curtis Axel with The Big Ending.
Bad News Barrett once again offered his special brand of disconcerting news to the WWE Universe, informing them that all their New Year's resolutions would result in them being as fat, unhealthy and unproductive as they were when the year began! “Decorum please!”
With an absence of teamwork and apparent communication problems between The Shield in the final moments of a huge SmackDown main event, The Usos helped CM Punk take down Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. This cleared the way for The Best in the World to overcome Dean Ambrose with the GTS for the victory.
Just when it looked like the lights were about to go out on another turbulent SmackDown, Bray Wyatt turned up the dark with a frightening message about The Beard.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) (w/ Dean Ambrose) by Disqualification (10:21)
- R-Truth (w/ Xavier Woods) defeated Fandango (w/ Summer Rae) (2:48)
- Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) defeated The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (12:34)
- Nikki Bella defeated Aksana (3:39)
- Big E. Langston defeated Curtis Axel (4:09)
- CM Punk & The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) (13:01)
Other on-screen talent