SmackDown Recap: December 5, 2017
S2017 episode 955 Aired on December 5, 2017

Even as a handcuffed Kevin Owens found a way to break free and help his friend Sami Zayn in a showdown against Randy Orton, The Viper still emerged victorious in SmackDown LIVE’s main event. Then, after the bell, Shinsuke Nakamura joined the party, stopping a 2-on-1 assault to unleash bedlam and become the partner of WWE’s Apex Predator at WWE Clash of Champions.

Still employed on SmackDown LIVE, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn kicked off the latest episode of the blue brand by welcoming one and all to “The Sami and Kevin Show!” Describing SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon’s “vendetta” against them to be just another in a long line of McMahon vendettas over the years, they proceeded to gloat over KO surviving – and winning – a No Disqualification Match against Shane’s “vessel of destruction” Randy Orton one week earlier, as the crafty Zayn got around being “barred from ringside” by only attacking The Viper on the entrance ramp with a steel chair.

The outspoken pair were completely silenced, however, when Orton suddenly slid into the ring and dropped Owens with an RKO outta nowhere. Orton’s strike left Zayn trapped between The Viper and Shane McMahon, who emerged on the entrance ramp and announced that Zayn & Owens would battle in a tag match against Randy Orton and a partner of his choosing at WWE Clash of Champions.

Shane-O-Mac followed up by placing Sami into a SmackDown LIVE showdown against WWE’s Apex Predator and ordered that Owens be handcuffed to the ring rope for the main event match!

Looking to defuse a potentially volatile situation in the locker room, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan decided to use the rising tension inside the Women’s division by turning the SmackDown Women’s Championship Match between Charlotte Flair and Natalya at WWE Clash of Champions into a Lumberjack Match. This move would bring the likes of The Riott Squad, Carmella, Lana and Tamina into the pay-per-view equation.

In response, Charlotte looked to send a message to the Lumberjacks-in-waiting by forcing Tamina to tap to the excruciating Figure-Eight Leglock in their one-on-one match on Team Blue.

After the bell, Natalya, Carmella and Lana all climbed up on the apron to give The Queen a taste of what is in store for her at the Dec. 17 pay-per-view. But before they could, The Riott Squad decided to make their presence known as well. The intimidating trio stood toe-to-toe with the rest of the Women’s division until Tamina opted to unload on Sarah Logan, and the two competitors brawled before being separated.

With Kevin Owens being begrudgingly handcuffed to the ring post, Sami Zayn was left to battle Randy Orton, the Superstar he attacked with a steel chair one week earlier, all by himself. But when Zayn reached the bolt cutters and helped to get them to Owens so his friend could free himself, it appeared the numbers game would overwhelm The Viper. Nevertheless, Orton refused to give in, and after avoiding the Helluva Kick, he rolled up his adversary for the pinfall.

Before he could catch his breath, though, Owens and Zayn launched a 2-on-1 post-match onslaught until Shinsuke Nakamura suddenly emerged to even the odds! As he and Orton dismantled their adversaries with two Kinshasas and a pair of RKOs, it became very clear that The Artist would be the partner of WWE’s Apex Predator at WWE Clash of Champions.

Back in the locker room, Shane raised the stakes even further, making himself Special Guest Referee for the tag team match. He also informed Daniel Bryan that if Owens and Zayn lost, they would be finished in all of WWE.

In other action … Rusev & Aiden English def. The New Day … Bobby Roode def. Baron Corbin via Disqualification … and The Bludgeon Brothers def. Adam James & Josh Carr.

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