WWE Smackdown Live Results: Analysing and grading each segment (December 20th)
A stellar episode of Smackdown Live!
With the Royal Rumble still six weeks away, this week’s Smackdown Live focused on building towards the final episode of 2016 which takes place next week as a special ‘Wild Card Finals’ show. Producing a stellar episode, the blue brand once again blew Raw out of the water in terms of quality.
This was arguably one of the best episodes since the brand split, with most segments being well-received by fans. AJ Styles decimated James Ellsworth to open the show, but Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin interrupted his celebration.
The Miz defeated Apollo Crews to retain his Intercontinental Title, and dropped a bombshell on Renee Young about Dean Ambrose, post-match. Natalya finally confessed that she attacked Nikki Bella, berating the Fearless one in a vicious, splendid promo.
Dean Ambrose was laid out by the Wyatts after defeating Luke Harper, and the Miz came out to add insult to injury. Becky Lynch beat Alexa Bliss in a non-title match, although she wasn’t in her normal attire.
Mojo Rawley beat Curt Hawkins in a largely forgettable contest.
Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin clashed in the main event, although a double countout and vicious assault from AJ Styles on both men led to a big announcement from Daniel Bryan to close the show.
These segments combined to create another wonderful episode of television from the blue brand, but which segments stole this week’s show?
Let’s find out, as I analyse and grade each segment from the 20th December edition of SD Live.
AJ Styles vs. James Ellsworth (WWE Championship):
Result: AJ Styles defeats James Ellsworth very quickly with a series of strikes to retain the title.
This was everything it needed to be, as Ellsworth was swiftly decimated on his way out of the main event scene. Ellsworth shouldn’t have stood a chance against Styles, and he didn’t, losing in extremely quick fashion and then being decimated after the match.
Styles received huge cheers from the crowd for his assault and came away from this looking very strong after months of Ellsworth gaining the upper hand on him. Ellsworth should now move to a lower position on the card, as Styles moves on to bigger and better things after removing the Chinless Wonder from the world title scene.
Dolph Ziggler confronting Styles was necessary due to their encounter on next week’s show, and their showdown was great. Baron Corbin making his presence known was an excellent choice here from WWE management, as he should be clashing with SD Live’s top superstars sooner rather than later.
This was also a smart way to set up the main event for later on. Overall, a splendid opening segment that saw Styles look great by destroying Ellsworth, with Corbin and Ziggler’s confrontation planting the seeds for their clash later in the night.
Check out the match here: