SmackDown Recap: December 26, 2017
S2017 episode 958 Aired on December 26, 2017

It just hasn’t been Baron Corbin’s month.

The former titleholder tried to get back on track in a first-round bout of the United States Championship Tournament against Bobby Roode, but it was to no avail, as The Glorious One prevailed in the hard-hitting contest by defeating Corbin with an amazing, and sudden, rollup. A furious Corbin seethed in the ring after the bell, and Roode celebrated his glorious advancement in the tournament.

Jinder Mahal was looking to carve out a new path on Team Blue, while Tye Dillinger was attempting to make a major name for himself on SmackDown LIVE in one night, making this United States Championship Tournament First-Round Match mighty interesting.

Flanked by The Singh Brothers at ringside, The Modern Day Maharaja attempted to use his size and strength advantages over Dillinger to wear him down. However, The Perfect 10 refused to quit, firing back every chance he could on the former WWE Champion. Despite Dillinger’s most diligent efforts, the ring-rattling power of the Khallas was too much for him, and Mahal earned the victory to advance in the tournament.

It’s probably fitting for the last SmackDown LIVE match of 2017 to end in absolute chaos. WWE Champion AJ Styles and Kevin Owens (with Sami Zayn in his corner) threw down in this chaotic main event.

During the match, Styles went to dive onto Owens on the outside the ring, though KO got out of the way, and AJ instead connected with Zayn. With Styles gearing up for the Phenomenal Forearm moments later, Zayn got on the apron to try and prevent AJ’s attack. Styles swung and missed at Zayn, who hopped off the apron, which prompted SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon to hit the scene to get the official to eject Zayn from ringside.

As Shane-O-Mac, Sami and the official had words, Styles caught Owens in a small package that very well could have scored him the victory. However, since the referee was preoccupied with Zayn and Shane, AJ relinquished the small package to try and regain the official’s attention. The distraction left Styles vulnerable, and KO turned the tide by rolling Styles up for the win. After the contest, Owens and Zayn celebrated as The Phenomenal One shot a look to the Commissioner as he exited up the ramp, though Shane appeared to offer an apology to the WWE Champion.

The war is clearly ongoing, but the final battle of 2017 was awarded to Owens & Zayn.

In other action … Daniel Bryan made major title-related announcements … Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable def. The New Day and Rusev & Aiden English … The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango ends in a no contest … and Ruby Riott def. Naomi.

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