WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Dec. 5

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterDecember 5, 2017

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Dec. 5

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE SmackDown spent the night tweaking, bolstering and tinkering with the Clash of Champions lineup. The brand made a number of big moves regarding the pay-per-view on Dec. 17 during its trip to San Diego.

    Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are now on the card. They will square off against Randy Orton and any partner he chooses.

    Rusev and Aiden English earned their way into a title match at the PPV. The Riott Squad and other Superstars from the blue brand's women's division will encircle the ring as lumberjacks during Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya.

    Tuesday's show didn't offer any great matches, but it was a night filled with consequential moments. SmackDown left its audience with plenty to talk about and reshaped the Clash of Champions event for the better.

    Read on for a full breakdown of the show from KO's opening statement to the main event.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn Kick Off SmackDown

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    Owens claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy perpetrated by the McMahons. He and Zayn recalled the history of the McMahon family's feuding with wrestlers. KO then bragged about beating Orton last week.

    And after Zayn explained the loophole he exploited during Owens vs. Orton, The Viper attacked The Prizefighter.

    Shane McMahon stepped out to announce Zayn and Owens would face Orton and a partner of his choosing at Clash of Champions. The commissioner also booked a Zayn vs. Orton match for later in the night where Owens would be handcuffed to the ring rope.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Don't mind them. They don't matter."—Owens about the fans.
    • Owens mocks Shane McMahon's signature dance.
    • Orton hits a surprise RKO on Owens.

         

    Grade

    C-

         

    Analysis

    The opening segment dragged a bit. Zayn's heel act is fun, but explaining the definition of ringside is far from the best way to show that off.

    Owens' paranoid delusions have become repetitive. There have to be ways to mix up how he makes his points. Chris Jericho's trip to Washington in 1998 is a perfect example.

The New Day vs. Rusev and Aiden English

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Aiden English sang about the 12 days of Rusev. The New Day interrupted before he could finish, however.

    After struggling to lift Big E, the crooner found himself getting knocked around by the powerhouse and Kofi Kingston.

    The heels eventually took over, slowing down the bout and punishing Kingston. A flurry from Big E wasn't enough to change The New Day's fortunes. Kingston took a tumble off the top rope and a superkick to the mouth. Rusev pinned him to score the upset.

    WWE later announced Rusev and English will now be a part of the Clash of Champions tag title bout.

         

    Result

    Rusev and English win via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant "Rusev Day!"
    • The New Day throws giant pancakes into the crowd.
    • English sings while holding Kingston in a chinlock.
    • Rusev hurls Big E into the ring steps.

         

    Grade

    B+

         

    Analysis

    Fun stuff all around from the heels. English and Rusev are growing into quite the entertaining pair. And a win here against the former champs has them looking dangerous.

    The New Day will now be heading into Clash of Champions with lingering self-doubt. It would be wise of WWE to play that up heading into the PPV tag team title match.

Daniel Bryan Changes the Women's Title Match/Mojo Rawley Promo

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    In one segment, Mojo Rawley explained that he was the bigger star of The Hype Bros. He showed no regret in turning on Zack Ryder.

    Soon after, Carmella, Lana and Tamina tried to persuade Daniel Bryan to give them a title match. The Riott Squad demanded better treatment from the general manager, as well.

    Bryan announced all six women would surround the ring during Flair vs. Natalya in a lumberjack match.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Carmella calls the Money in the Bank contract "Frankie."
    • "He's dead weight."—Rawley on Ryder.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Analysis

    WWE tried to cram a number of stories into the show here with quick segments.

    Rawley seemed fine as a heel, but there was little to dissect. He only had a handful of lines. The true test will be what he looks like trading verbal shots with a foe live in the ring.

    The Riott Squad and the rest of the women's division serving as lumberjacks isn't the ideal use for anyone, but it at least puts all those Superstars on the Clash of Champions stage. And WWE Creative's options multiply with so many personalities looming around the ring.

The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Adam James and Josh Carr

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    The Bludgeon Brothers ran over the jobbers. They toyed with them a bit before driving Adam James into the canvas to finish things off.

         

    Result

    Luke Harper and Erick Rowan win via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Harper slaps Rowan.
    • "These two mean business, and hurting people is their business."—Corey Graves.

         

    Grade

    B-

         

    Analysis

    The announcers played up how dominant and fearsome these fellows are. The squash furthered that idea. These kinds of beatdowns aren't exactly thrilling, but they help create an aura for the repackaged team.

    And it's smart not to run through all the legit competition right away.

    So far, The Bludgeon Brothers reboot has been a hit. The two bruisers look revived, and the tag team division has a powerhouse duo on its hands.

Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Roode

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    Backstage, Baron Corbin, Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler bickered about their upcoming United States Championship match.

    The Showoff then sat in on commentary as Corbin and Roode collided. The U.S. titleholder pounded on Roode with right hands.

    Ziggler stepped in during the action and laid out both competitors.

         

    Result

    Match ends in no-contest.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Mathematically, your odds just dropped to zero."—Ziggler.
    • Roode and Corbin knock each other out with simultaneous clotheslines.

         

    Grade

    D

         

    Analysis

    Ziggler's inclusion in the title match is puzzling. Roode pushed past him during their feud, which should be over now. Ziggler hasn't won enough bouts of late to earn a championship opportunity, either.

    Roode and Corbin's feud has no legs as of yet. This meeting did little to change that.

    There's no story between them at the moment, and WWE has little time to rustle one up before Clash of Champions.

Charlotte Flair vs. Tamina

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Natalya and Lana looked on from ringside as this bout unfolded.

    Tamina's power earned her the early advantage over Flair. She kept The Queen grounded in a slow-paced match.

    A superkick shifted things Flair's way, and the champ was quickly able to clamp on the Figure-Eight to get the victory.

    The ring area soon grew crowded as The Riott Squad arrived. Tamina went after Sarah Logan as everyone else tried to calm the situation.

         

    Result

    Flair wins via submission.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant "We want Lana!"
    • "The Riott Squad is here for your feature presentation."—Ruby Riott.
    • "No one is safe when a riot is about to break out."—Liv Morgan.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Analysis

    Flair and Tamina's chemistry was poor. Tamina didn't offer much in a bland bout.

    The aftermath was the more interesting part of the equation.

    Although Liv Morgan and Logan's mic work was below par here, the group came across as a big deal and a trio to reckon with. They are sure to be major X-factors in the title bout. Their presence will make the latest Natalya-Flair clash something fresh.

Randy Orton vs. Sami Zayn

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Zayn and KO tried to beg their way out of this stipulation, but to no avail. Owens watched the match from ringside, handcuffed to the bottom rope.

    Orton stalked Zayn in the ring and battered him with no mercy.

    The Viper grew distracted by KO's barking, opening the door for Zayn to make a comeback. The heel tried to use bolt cutters to free his friend but failed. Owens was able to break himself free with the tools, however.

    Interference from Owens wasn't enough to keep Orton down. He rolled up Zayn for the win.

    KO and Zayn assaulted him after the bell. That is until Shinsuke Nakamura arrived. The former NXT champ cleared the scoundrels from the ring.

    McMahon revealed he will be the guest referee during Owens and Zayn's PPV match. And if the heels lose, they will be fired from the company.

         

    Result

    Orton wins via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Orton throws Zayn over the announce table.
    • Zayn flips out of a suplex that would have landed him on the announce table.
    • "Where's your RKO now, Randy?"—Owens.
    • "We got a jailbreak!"—Orton.
    • Orton floors both Zayn and Owens with RKOs; Nakamura hits both men with the Kinshasa.

         

    Grade

    B+

         

    Analysis

    There goes the mystery. It sure looks like Nakamura will join Orton at Clash of Champions. WWE sure didn't wait long to reveal that.

    And while the PPV tag match sounds like standard TV fare, the additional stipulations make it significantly more important.

    The handcuff angle was a fun addition to the main event. It ended up allowing Zayn to look crafty as he once again figured out how to circumvent the rules. It's odd that didn't result in a victory, however.