SmackDown Recap: December 19, 2017
S2017 episode 957 Aired on December 19, 2017

After SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan made a controversial three-count at Sunday’s WWE Clash of Champions to award Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn a job-saving victory over Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura, Bryan and SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon came face-to-face to kick off Team Blue.

Shane and Bryan’s conflict revolved around Bryan’s fast-count on Sunday, which The “Yes!” Man claimed he did to protect Shane from himself after he made some questionable officiating decisions earlier in the contest. After a somewhat-heated discussion that saw Bryan tell Shane that he was on the verge of turning into his father, Mr. McMahon, cooler heads prevailed. The Commissioner opted to take off for the night and leave Bryan in control, and the two shook hands before Shane made his exit.

Earlier in the night, Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were really trying to get into the Christmas spirit by handing out pancakes and New Day shirts, but they were interrupted by Rusev & Aiden English, dressed as Santa Claus and a snowman, respectively.

Rusev, or Rusev Claus, declared that the only shirt anyone wanted for Christmas wasn’t The New Day’s, but Rusev Day’s. Rusev then doubled down on the insults by stomping on one of The New Day’s pancakes. This, naturally, led to a tag team match against Kingston and Woods.

With the spirit of Saint Nick and fallen flapjacks at their backs, The New Day weathered the best from The Bulgarian Brute and The Picasso of Pain (including an attempted attack that included pie), putting the duo away with a dazzling top-rope elbow drop from Woods onto the now pie-faced English for the win.

What a crummy way to celebrate Rusev Day.

In a star-studded main event, WWE Champion AJ Styles teamed with Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura to take on Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, with The Singh Brothers lurking at ringside in a thrilling rematch from Tribute to the Troops.

With wounds still cutting deep in the aftermath of WWE Clash of Champions, all six Superstars came in with tempers boiling and ready to pop off with punches. The integrity of the barnburner contest was compromised when The Singh Brothers tried to get involved even after they had been ejected from ringside. The Singhs got a double DDT from Orton for their efforts (just after The Modern Day Maharaja ate an RKO from The Viper), Owens felt the effects of a Phenomenal Forearm from Styles (with Orton adding to The Phenomenal One’s mid-air momentum with a shove) and Zayn was felled by a bone-crushing Kinshasa from The King of Strong Style, who scored the 1-2-3 to give his squad the main event W.

In other action … Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable def. The Usos … Charlotte Flair & Naomi def. Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan … and Dolph Ziggler’s Championship Celebration ended in bizarre fashion.

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