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It’s time to see what the Blue Brand can bring to the table on the day after Christmas. Raw had a pretty good night last night and they’re bringing another show to Chicago and it opened off with a bang that kept up all night.

Opening Segment

Daniel Bryan’s music hit and he was happy to see Chicago while he received an amazing ovation from the Second City. The “Yes” chants were huge and everyone was doing his “Yes fingers.

Daniel immediately brought up Dolph Ziggler and showed the clip of what The Show Off did last week when he left the US Title in the middle of the ring and made us all go, “whaaaa?”

Bryan said it looks like Ziggler vacated his title last week and he’s been trying to call Ziggler all week. People immediately started chanting “Rusev.”

He said a tournament would happen and it starts tonight. The first match is Corbin vs Roode. Then Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable interrupted him and said he needs to figure out the tag team situation.

People started chanting “Rusev Day” which is awesome. Byan said they’ve already got their chance. Rusev was mentioned again and he got a huge pop. Rusev is one of the most over people on the roster in Chicago.

Suddenly, Aiden English’s “hmmmmm” could be heard and the place erupted. When Rusev and English walked out the place broke out in a huge ovation. It was really unprecedented… then I looked down and noticed I was actually wearing my Happy Rusev Day shirt while English sang “you know what day comes after Christmas?” Gable said, “Boxing Day” and he’s not wrong.

Then Rusev said, “no you fool, it’s Rusev Day!” and the entire arena yelled “Rusev Day” it was a huge moment for both Rusev and English. Then The New Day came out and poured pancakes over children at ringside. Seriously, what’s with the pancakes and what did I miss?

The New Day started listing why they should get the tag team title shot because they’ve defeated everyone. Kofi kept replying “true” after everything Big E said. Then Woods got Daniel Bryan swivel his hips while they said “WWE World Tag Team Champions” but Rusev interrupted them by saying nobody wants to see their “spinning hips.”

Rusev asked Daniel if he could make up his mind about the tag team title picture “or do you have to ask your mommy Shane McMahon?” Then Bryan booked a triple threat #1 contender match and it starts right now.

The New Day vs Rusev Day vs Shelton and Gable

The Usos came out and they looked hard AF with their titles in tow clad in their Usos merch. Xavier Woods was dancing pretty hardcore to the Usos theme song too which was a nice thing to catch on television. He acts like his trombone is a guitar and plays it like a rock star during Kevin Owens’ entrance at live shows too.

These teams all wanted it but there was a spot where Gable hit a double German suplex on Big E and Aiden English to take control. Rusev got the tag and he took the boots to Big E in the corner but Gable tossed The Bulgarian Brute to the outside.

Gable and Benjamin double-teamed Big E and got a two count then English came in and he assisted Gable in taking the boots to Big E while “CM Punk” chants broke out which it to be expected in Chicago.

Big E barreled over both English and Gable and Xavier got the tag. He cleaned house a little and hit an Honor Roll on Gable. Woods hit a rolling elbow strike on English for a two count but he was soon taken down while Benjamin got the tag to take down English. Gable got the tag and took Big E off the apron right off the bat. English hit a running boot to the Chad Gable’s face leaving everyone laying in the ring and then Rusev got the tag.

It’s Rusev Day and he cleaned up hitting everyone with Machka Kicks and slams he was on fire. Everyone was chanting “Rusev Day” as Gable caught Rusev with a forearm when he went for a dive. Then English got a tag but caught a missile dropkick from Woods for a two count.

The New Day hit a double-team backstabber on Gable for a two count and the match carried on. Benjamin caught Woods with a knee to the face followed by a sunset flip from Gable for another two count and the near falls were thick in Chicago.

The crowd chanted “Rusev Day” while Benjamin and Gable attempted a double superplex on English but Rusev turned it into a double powerbomb from the top instead. English followed it up with a top rope splash for another two count but the Rusev Day chants didn’t stop.

Rusev got the tag, but Woods rolled him up for a two count then Xavier got his head kicked off with a Machka Kick. Rusev stacked Woods on top of Gable and locked the Accolade on both of them until Shelton Benjamin broke it up. That was an excellent spot.

Big E hit that spear through the ropes on Shelton (that move always scares me to death) but Benjamin fought out of a Big Ending once they returned inside. Big E was perched on top and Benjamin and Gable hit their double team move to win the match.

Winners and new #1 contenders: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable

The SmackDown Tag Team Championship match is going to happen next week on SmackDown Live too, so there’s a chance the Royal Rumble match for the titles might be different.

Backstage Segment

Daniel Bryan was watching on a monitor backstage when Shane walked up to tell him he took exception to being called Mr. McMahon last week. He said it’s important to stay focused on certain things. He said Vince’s managing styles can be ruthless, cold, and he’s one tough SOB but you have to give him credit. Then he put his father over for redefining this business and “at the end of the day, he’s my father.”

Daniel said he wasn’t trying to undermine Vince he just said Shane is throwing his weight around then McMahon said Bryan was doing that and asked why he didn’t just book Roode vs Corbin for the US Title instead of a tournament. Bryan said SmackDown is the land of opportunity.

Then Shane said he didn’t think Kevin Owens deserved the opportunity of facing Styles in the main event and wanted to make sure Bryan wasn’t showing favoritism. Then Bryan said he wanted to end the year with one more match of one of the most heated rivalries of the year.

Then they played a commercial for the Royal Rumble in the middle of an hour of commercial-free programming.

Breezango vs Bludgeon Brothers

Tyler Breeze and Fandango are two guys who are capable of pulling off outstanding matches. But their in-ring role seems to be bludgeoned for now.

Breezango seemed like they had a plan by hitting double dropkicks right from the get-go, but it turned into a manhandling mess from that point onward.

The Bludgeon Brothers soon hit a double sit down powerbomb but pulled his shoulders off the mat to let the punishment continue. It was rather brutal.

But The Ascension ran down and shoved The Bludgeon Brothers off of their friends and carried them to safety while Harper and Rowan’s music played on.

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers via DQ

Backstage, The Ascension said “our best friends are challenging The Bludgeon Brothers to a rematch” and Dango looked rather confused at that announcement.

Ruby Riott vs Naomi

Riott took The Glow down with some right hands and once Naomi took advantage, Liv Morgan jumped on the apron but got taken out. Sarah Logan got on the other apron and Naomi knocked her off too.

Ruby Riott kicked Naomi in the back of the knee and then hit the Riot Kick and got the quick win.

Winner: Ruby Riott via pinfall

After the match, Riott Squad beat Naomi down then Charlotte Flair ran down to help her out but the Riott Squad took her out too.

As the Riott Squad posed in victory, Natalya’s music hit and Nattie came out with Carmella, Lana, and Tamina. This caused the Riott Squad to leave. As the three newcomers walked around the ring, the rest of the Women’s Division jumped out of the ring and laid in some punches before they ran away.

Backstage Interview

Renee Young interviewed AJ Styles about his match tonight against Kevin Owens. He said he’s not worrying about Sami Zayn because everyone he faces is really the underdogs. Styles said if Owens wants to beat him, he’ll have to outwork him and that’s not going to happen because in 2018 SmackDown Live will still be the House AJ Styles Built.

Bobby Roode vs Baron Corbin (US Title Tournament First Round Match)

Baron Corbin took control of the match early on and brought the action outside to use the ring and barricade as a weapon against The Glorious One.

Roode fought back but took a sideslam from Baron for his efforts. Everything Bobby Roode did seemed to result in Baron Corbin inflicting more pain on him. Roode eventually sent Corbin to the floor and hit a flying clothesline from the apron.

Baron Corbin blocked a bulldog but Roode hit a blockbuster from the second rope on the return. The Lone Wolf sent The Glorious One into the ring post but Roode countered out of an End Of Day, Baron ran around the ring post like he likes to do and caught a spinebuster when he ran back in.

Then Baron Corbin hit the Deep Six but Bobby Roode kicked out because everyone kicks out of the Deep Six. Baron put Roode on the top rope and climbed up to join him but Bobby fought him off with some headbutts. Then Roode jumped right into Baron’s choke, Roode reversed out of the chokeslam neckbreaker into a roll-up pin and won the match in Glorious fashion.

Winner: Bobby Roode via pinfall

Jinder Mahal vs Tye Dillinger (US Title Tournament First Round Match)

The Singh Brothers introduced Mahal as “your next United States Champion” which was strange to hear. Tye Dillinger is very over in Chicago and there were plenty of people chanting “10.”

Mahal took advantage early on and kept it up on Dillinger but The Perfect 10 kept kicking out. Dillinger reversed into a DDT but Mahal kicked out.

Then Jinder Mahal hit a Khallas out of nowhere and won the match

Winner: Jinder Mahal via pinfall

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were backstage saying “yep” and Owens had some more champagne and said he has plans to drink it after he beats AJ Styles. He said it’s the same bottle Daniel Bryan wouldn’t take from him last week.

Then Owens brought up how Shane McMahon screwed him out of his last match with AJ Styles

Randy Orton entered the Royal Rumble match and Nakamura showed up to say that was a good idea, “let’s rumble” he said before walking off.

AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens

Kevin and AJ traded some moves for a bit until AJ Styles caught Owens in a Calf Crusher but KO got to the bottom rope and rolled outside.

AJ jumped out to chase Owens as he continued to sell the Calf Crusher. Owens kicked AJ out of the ring and he fell really hard on the outside of the ring through the middle ropes.

Owens tossed AJ back in the ring and hit a running senton for a two count. Then he latched on a headlock. When Styles tried to fight back, Owens hit an elbow drop followed by a kick to the back.

AJ Styles faceplanted KO in order to create some separation but Owens hit a clothesline that turned AJ inside out and followed it up with a stiff looking neckbreaker off his knee.

Owens went for the cannonball but AJ countered into a fireman’s carry neckbreaker. The two hammered on each other and traded punches until Styles hit some kicks and a flying forearm to a seated Owens.

AJ hit a forearm in the corner but KO reversed out of a Styles Clash and then Styles hit the Pele Kick. Owens lifted AJ on the apron but KO caught Styles and hit a gutbuster followed by an elbow drop off for a two count.

AJ slipped under KO on the top rope and hit a bomb on Owens but he kicked out at two. KO rolled outside and AJ hit Zayn with a splash. Styles ran Owen’s head off the post and prepared on the apron for a Phenomenal Forearm but Zayn distracted him. KO hit a Superkick and got a two count.

Shane McMahon came down to eject Sami Zayn from ringside and AJ rolled KO up but there was no referee to count the pin. Then once the referee was paying attention, Kev rolled AJ up for the three count.

Winner: Kevin Owens via pinfall

AJ Styles limped past Shane McMahon and stopped to look him in the eyes before leaving as the Yep Movement celebrated in the ring.