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WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, From Dec. 22 – Styles Returns

3 Key Points: Highlights from WWE SmackDown Results Holiday Showdown

  • AJ Styles’ Dramatic Return: After a hiatus, Styles confronts Solo Sikoa in a feud’s gripping conclusion.
  • U.S. Title Tournament Semifinals: Intense clashes in the tournament with Bobby Lashley vs. Santos Escobar and Kevin Owens vs. Carmelo Hayes.
  • NXT North American Championship: Dragon Lee defends his title in a compelling match against Butch.

WWE SmackDown Results

AJ Styles vs. Solo Sikoa: The Main Event Showdown
The long-awaited return of AJ Styles to the WWE SmackDown ring culminated in a gripping main event against Solo Sikoa. This feud, which began in September, saw The Tribal Heir sidelining The Phenomenal One, setting the stage for an intense showdown. Styles, donning his classic all-black attire, reminded fans of his TNA Wrestling days. Despite a spirited effort, the match concluded with Styles winning by disqualification, as Roman Reigns‘ interference led to a chaotic brawl involving Randy Orton and LA Knight. This action-packed conclusion set a promising tone for future matches.

Rating: 3/5

United States Title Tournament Semifinals: A Night of Unexpected Results
The semifinals of the United States Title Tournament added to the night’s excitement. Kevin Owens and Carmelo Hayes clashed in a contest that showcased Hayes’ burgeoning stardom, despite Owens’ victory. Bobby Lashley’s match against Santos Escobar ended in an upset, with Escobar capitalizing on a distraction for a surprising win. These matches not only delivered in-ring action but also set intriguing plotlines for future episodes.

Owens vs. Hayes Rating: 4/5, Lashley vs. Escobar Rating: 3/5

Holiday Havoc: A Festive and Chaotic Encounter
The Holiday Havoc 8-Woman Tag Team Match was a spectacle of festive chaos. Teams led by Shotzi and Bayley engaged in a holiday-themed street fight, with Michin pinning Iyo Sky, hinting at future championship opportunities. The match, while familiar in its holiday chaos, introduced fresh dynamics with the return of Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre, revitalizing the women’s division.

Rating: 2.5/5

NXT North American Championship: Dragon Lee’s Impressive Defense
Dragon Lee’s defense of the NXT North American Championship against Butch was a showcase of his rising star power. Lee’s resilience and skill shone through as he successfully retained his title, hinting at more significant challenges ahead for both competitors.

Rating: 3.5/5

Building Tensions and New Alliances
One of the night’s most compelling developments was the brewing tension between SmackDown’s top contenders and the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns. The opening segment, featuring AJ Styles, LA Knight, and Randy Orton, was charged with ambition as each star expressed their desire to dethrone Reigns. This segment, masterfully orchestrated by SmackDown General Manager Nick Aldis, set the stage for a high-stakes Triple Threat Match in the upcoming “New Year’s Revolution” episode. The audience’s strong support for Knight highlighted his growing popularity and the effectiveness of WWE’s storytelling under Triple H’s guidance.

Segment Rating: 4.5/5

Emerging Stories in the Women’s Division
The women’s division witnessed significant WWE Smackdown results developments during the Holiday Havoc match. The return of Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre injected new life into the division, hinting at upcoming confrontations with the Kabuki Warriors. This match not only provided entertainment but also laid the groundwork for intriguing rivalries and potential title matches in 2024. The synergy between the performers and the ongoing storylines exemplified WWE’s commitment to evolving its women’s division.

Story Development Rating: 3.5/5

Spotlight on Dragon Lee and Butch
Dragon Lee’s successful title defense against Butch was more than just a championship match. It was a testament to Lee’s growing connection with the WWE universe and Butch’s ongoing character evolution. The match showcased Lee’s in-ring prowess and Butch’s transformation, potentially setting up a return to his “Pete Dunne” persona. Their performances demonstrated how WWE is adept at using in-ring action to progress character narratives.

Character Development Rating: 4/5

Backstage Politics and Power Plays
A notable backstage moment occurred when Roman Reigns confronted Nick Aldis, asserting his dominance as the Tribal Chief. This interaction added a layer of political intrigue to the show, showcasing the complexity of WWE’s character dynamics. Reigns’ authoritative presence and Aldis’ confident response highlighted the nuanced storytelling WWE is capable of delivering, adding depth to the show’s narrative fabric.

Backstage Segment Rating: 4/5

The Significance of Styles’ Return and SmackDown’s Direction
AJ Styles’ return to SmackDown, marked by his clash with Solo Sikoa, signified more than just a thrilling main event; it was a pivotal moment for both the superstar and the brand. Styles’ resilience, despite the overwhelming odds and Reigns’ intervention, set a tone of determination that resonates with the WWE Universe. The involvement of Randy Orton and LA Knight in the concluding brawl underscored the show’s direction towards more intense and interconnected storylines, promising an exciting build-up to the Royal Rumble.

Main Event Impact Rating: 4/5

Revolutionizing Women’s Division with New Rivalries
The Holiday Havoc match not only provided a festive spectacle but also revolutionized the women’s division with the introduction of new rivalries. The return of Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre, coupled with the potential matchups against the Kabuki Warriors, signifies a refreshing change in the narrative, steering away from repetitive match-ups. This strategic move by WWE Creative enhances the anticipation for women’s matches in the upcoming year.

Women’s Division Development Rating: 4/5

The Future of United States Title Tournament
The United States Title Tournament semifinals set a dynamic stage for the future of the championship. Kevin Owens’ victory over Carmelo Hayes and Santos Escobar’s upset win against Bobby Lashley have effectively reshaped the landscape for the title. These matches not only showcased the athletic prowess of the superstars but also hinted at future feuds and storylines, keeping the audience engaged and guessing.

Tournament Progression Rating: 4/5

Overall Show Rating and Implications for Future Episodes
This special holiday edition of SmackDown was a blend of high-octane matches, compelling character developments, and intriguing plot twists. The show successfully balanced entertainment with the progression of key storylines, setting a promising trajectory for the coming weeks. The creative decisions taken in this episode reflect WWE’s commitment to delivering a mix of traditional wrestling action and innovative storytelling.

Overall Show Rating: 4/5

WWE SmackDown Results Winners and Losers of the Night:

  • AJ Styles defeated Solo Sikoa (via disqualification)
  • Kevin Owens defeated Carmelo Hayes
  • Santos Escobar defeated Bobby Lashley
  • Dragon Lee defeated Butch (retained NXT North American Championship)
  • Michin, Bianca Belair, Zelina Vega, and Shotzi defeated Damage CTRL (Bayley, Kairi Sane, Iyo Sky, and Asuka)

This episode of WWE Smackdown results not only entertained but also laid the groundwork for intriguing developments in the WWE universe. The return of AJ Styles, the shake-up in the United States Title Tournament, and the evolving narratives in the women’s division are just a few highlights that promise an exciting future for WWE fans. As we look forward to what lies ahead, the WWE continues to prove its prowess in delivering a compelling mix of in-ring action and storytelling.

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