WWE SmackDown Recap: December 18, 2018
S18 episode 51 Aired on December 18, 2018

In one of the biggest upsets in SmackDown LIVE history, Mustafa Ali got the best of “The New” Daniel Bryan when the newest SmackDown LIVE Superstar teamed up with AJ Styles to take on the WWE Champion & Andrade “Cien” Almas in a major main event on the blue brand.

With a new era being ushered in last night by the McMahon family on Raw, Becky Lynch kicked off SmackDown LIVE with a simple message for the McMahons: She wanted to fight Ronda Rousey.

Lynch, still understandably furious over Rousey costing her the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WWE TLC, was craving to get her hands on Hot Ronda asap … but so was Charlotte Flair. The Queen, also enraged that the Raw Women’s Champion cost her a chance at victory this past Sunday, wasn’t looking to wait behind The Man for her chance to scrap it out with The Baddest Woman on the Planet. However, the Superstar who reaped the rewards of Ronda’s blindside attack, new SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka, hit the scene to remind both that she was now atop the mountain on the blue brand.

All this chaos prompted the arrival of Mr. McMahon, who pondered who should challenge Asuka for her newly won title right here tonight. Before The Chairman could get another word out, though, Naomi hit the scene, making the case that Charlotte and Becky have had their opportunities and that she should be the one to square off against The Empress of Tomorrow tonight. Liking what he heard, Mr. McMahon agreed and scheduled the match … oh, and it would be next!

The Miz attempted to gain Mr. McMahon’s blessing so that he could team with Shane McMahon, but The Chairman suggested that Miz must first prove that he can be trusted after last week’s shenanigans. The WWE CEO then placed The A-Lister in a Mixed Tag Team Match with Mandy Rose against the winners of Mixed Match Challenge Season 2, R-Truth & Carmella.

Truth & Carmella were rolling, showing off their moves with an epic dance break, and Carmella connected flush with a superkick to Mandy. However, in the split second that Truth spent relishing Carmella’s picture-perfect kick, Miz snuck up behind him and nailed the Skull-Crushing Finale for the major win.

Is Miz closer to teaming with Shane-O-Mac?

After WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan earned a victory against AJ Styles at WWE TLC, The Beard arrived on SmackDown LIVE claiming that he destroyed The House that AJ Styles Built and chastising the WWE Universe for destroying the planet. Bryan would look to defend what he now considered to be his house as he teamed with Andrade “Cien” Almas to take on Styles and 205 Live stalwart Mustafa Ali.

Action came early and often in this main event tag team match, with Ali and Almas throwing caution to the wind and scrapping it out like a pair of hungry lions, impressing the WWE Universe and stunning their opponents with their mettle. Finally though, Styles got his hands on Bryan, and the two picked up right where they left off this past Sunday.

The Phenomenal One seemed to have Bryan right where he wanted when he locked in the Calf Crusher, but Almas ran interference and broke up the submission hold. However, once Ali took Andrade out at ringside with a hurricanrana, it was down to AJ and the WWE Champion in the ring. “The New” Daniel Bryan tried to keep Styles down with a barrage of strikes and kicks, but AJ kept rallying back. Styles then tagged in Ali and took out Almas with the Phenomenal Forearm, giving Ali the opening to connect with his dazzling 054 on the WWE Champion and get the pinfall.

Welcome to the new SmackDown LIVE.

In other action … SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka def. Naomi … Samoa Joe’s “apology” to Jeff Hardy quickly turned chaotic … and SAnitY brutally attacked The Usos and Gallows & Anderson.

Season 18 episode guides