Results by Mike Hogan of Rajah.com
December 24, 2021
Rosemont, IL – Allstate Arena
Commentary: Michael Cole and Pat McAfee
Quick Match Results
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) defeated Toni Storm via reversing an inside cradle
- 12 Days of Christmas Gauntlet Match: Sami Zayn won, last eliminating Ricochet via Helluva Kick (Participants: Angel, Mansoor, Erik, Shanky, Ivar, Sheamus, Drew Gulak, Cesaro, Ricochet, Humberto, Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn)
- Miracle on 34th Street Fight: Drew McIntyre & The New Day defeated Madcap Moss & The Usos via Claymore by McIntyre on Moss after pouring eggnog on him
Backstage Interview: Paul Heyman
We open with a video package showing us the end of last week’s episode of SmackDown. In it, Reigns questions Heyman’s trustworthiness. Again, Roman interrogates Paul Heyman and demands to know why Heyman is protecting Brock Lesnar from Reigns. Heyman tells Roman, “I’m not protecting Brock Lesnar from you, I’m protecting you from Brock Lesnar.” Reigns didn’t take it well. He told Heyman his love and his honesty and thanked him for forty years of loyalty to the Tribe…then Reigns fired Heyman. Heyman was attacked by Reigns but Farmer Brock returned, laying to waste the Bloodline to save his old advocate. In the process, Lesnar laid out the Universal Champion with an F5.
We cut silently to the back, where a room has been set up in a manner akin to a small talk show studio. Braxton asks Heyman about life after being fired publicly. Heyman accuses her of getting that jab in, and runs down all that happened last week and the fact that it went down publicly. When asked if he regrets telling the truth, Heyman states “No. No, because my role as Special Counsel was to tell Roman Reigns these uncomfortable truths. My role as Special Counsel was not just to protect Roman Reigns as…intellectual property, but as a champion.” He points out that when he was fired, all his bags filled with copious notes, strategy, his belongings–all of it–was tossed out of the locker room and into the hall. Heyman does affirm that Reigns is the greatest Universal Champion of all time, but adds “he needs to be protected from Brock Lesnar.” Braxton asks Heyman what’s next and I do believe we’ve set a record for the most questions successfully asked and answered in a WWE interview! Heyman doesn’t know. He mentions that he could go to NXT and coach the next big thing, but he’s past that stage in his career. Heyman states that maybe it’s time for him to acknowledge that his career is most likely over. We cut to the arena where Cole and McAfee welcome us to our show.
SmackDown Women’s Championship
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Toni Storm
Our first match of the night is our championship bout. The Queen makes her way out to a decent reaction from the crowd, but the digital crowd is nothing but boos. McAfee and Cole hype up the match and the fact that Storm has been asking for a title shot for weeks. Toni Storm is out next. After a commercial break we get the bell and both women lock up, shoving each other in circles around the ring. Flair backs Storm up into the corner and the ref forces the break. Again both women lock up like bull horns, jockeying for position as they push themselves around and into another corner. Again, the ref calls for the break. Both women engage in a sequence, running off the ropes until Storm hits a running cross body and covers for a one.
Storm with a suplex and a basement dropkick, followed by a pin attempt. Flair rolls out of the ring, taking the count to compose herself. The veteran slides in and out of the ring to reset the count at six as the fans boo. The ref forces Storm back and Flair enters. Flair looks for a running Big Boot but Storm ducks under and slams Flair down, covering for two. Flair regains control with a pair of Flair Chops. Flair uses the ropes to assist in a foot choke as the ref warns her. Flair kneels around Storm’s head, squeezes Storm’s head with her legs and rams her face-first into the mat repeatedly. Flair transitions to a leg waist submission. Storm looks to escape but Flair drops the challenger and kips up to her feet. Flair plays up to the crowd, kicking Storm and talking trash all while yelling at the crowd. Flair shuts down another attempt at offense by Storm. Flair maintains control as we go to our second commercial break.
Back from the break. Flair talks a lot of smack to Storm as she kicks her and strikes her. She yells insults and tells Storm she doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring with her, et cetera. Storm looks for a big strike but the champ maintains control. Flair pulls Storm to her feet and slaps her in the face. Toni fires back with a snap suplex. Storm and Flair wind up in opposite corners. Storm streaks across the ring and hits a Hip Attack. Flair fires back with a big right that rocks the challenger. Storm plays possum, however, and hits a German Suplex with a bridging pin attempt for a close two! Flair’s dominated the majority of this match, as Cole reminds us. Flair slams Storm’s face into the middle turnbuckle then drags her into the middle of the ring. Flair walks on and across Storm then rear climbs the turnbuckles. Flair looks for her Moonsault and, as always, the target moved out of the way and, also as always, Flair manages to backflip and land on her feet. Side slam followed by a pin attempt for two.
Flair talks more smack and slaps Storm. Storm escapes a Natural Selection attempt and drives the champion down. Flair almost immediately grabs Storm and slaps on the Figure Four. Flair screams for Toni to tap and the crowd starts a light chant for Storm. Storm manages to roll over, reversing the Figure Four and forcing Flair to break the hold. Storm sits upon the apron, nursing her knee before rolling in. Flair catches Storm with a running Big Boot that sends Storm stumbling to the apron, followed by a second running kick that knocks Storm off the apron. Flair follows outside and Storm shoves Flair into the post. Storm gets a few seconds of offense, throwing a few rights and taking it back into the ring. Flair rolls up Storm and grabs the rope, but the ref catches her. Storm rolls, reversing their position for a close two. Both Flair and Storm engage in a quick sequence of roll-ups, with Flair ultimately picking up the win.
Winner and STILL Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
Backstage: Drew McIntyre & The New Day
McIntyre and the New Day are backstage and talk about how they’re going to beat Madcap Moss & The Usos later tonight. McIntyre says he might beat Moss so bad he won’t make it to their match at Day 1.
Backstage: Xia Li
— WWE (@WWE) December 25, 2021
Xia Li cuts a promo on Natalya.
12 Days of Christmas Gauntlet Match
Angel vs. Mansoor
The winner of this gauntlet match will receive a future shot at the Intercontinental Championship.
Rick Booooooogz & Shinsuke Nakamura, our reigning Intercontinental Champion, make their way out as McAfee drives his voice hoarse. They’ll be at ringside observing this match tonight. We start with Angel Garza of Los Lotharios and Mansoor. Mansoor draws first blood, so to speak, hitting a nutcracker as McAfee calls it. Mansoor hits a beautiful standing dropkick that sends Angel flopping back into the corner. Angel stops Mansoor from ascending the turnbuckles and knocks him down and onto the canvas. Garza takes a brief lead until Mansoor hits a step-up Enziguri. Angel hits the Wing Clipper and picks up the elimination. Mansoor has been eliminated.
Angel vs. Erik
Erik of the Viking Raiders enters the gauntlet. He and Garza clash briefly before we head to break! When we return, Erik counters Angel’s strikes and fires off a few of his own. Erik attempts a whip but Angel reverses it. Erik looks for a bear hug but Angel fights out. Erik hits a big knee to Garza’s face and attempts a pin. Erik attempts another quick cover, garnering two. Boogz and Nakamura watch from the sidelines. Erik attempts a Shotgun Dropkick in the corner but Garza dodges. Garza hits a Wing Clipper on Erik and covers to advance! Erik has been eliminated.
Angel vs. Shanky
Shanky is out next! Angel immediately attacks Shanky as the giant begins to enter the ring. Shanky shrugs off the offense and begins taking Angel apart with slow, powerful slams and strikes. Shanky handles Garza like a toy and slams Angel down hard, picking up the pin. Angel has been eliminated.
Shanky vs. Ivar
Ivar of the Viking Raiders hits the ring and begins slugging it out with Shanky. Both big men battle around the ring for about a minute before Ivar hits a body splash off the top to pick up the win. Shanky has been eliminated.
Ivar vs. Sheamus
Out next is Sheamus! Sheamus comes in swinging and Ivar seems to absorb it all. Ivar takes his turn on offense and sends Sheamus tumbling to the ground as we head to a break!
Back from the break. We return to find Sheamus executing a neckbreaker on Ivar. Sheamus hooks a leg and attempts a cover but barely gets a one. Ridge Holland is shown outside the ring, backing up his role model Sheamus. Sheamus uses a headlock to wear down Ivar for several long moments. Ivar powers to his feet and throws ham-hock sized rights into Sheamus’ side. Ivar fires up his comeback sequence and lays out the Celtic Warrior with a side slam. Running low-angle cross body on Sheamus. Ivar tries to get the crowd to chant “raid.” Ivar hops up as Sheamus charges him and lands sitting on Sheamus, grabbing a close two. Ivar climbs up the turnbuckles but Sheamus is too fast. Sheamus throws rights to slow the big man then picks him up on his shoulders in a Samoan carry! Ivar wiggles free, however. Sheamus misses a clothesline but hits with a Brogue Kick to eliminate Ivar.
Sheamus vs. Drew Gulak
Out next is Drew Gulak. Drew Gulak is eliminated roughly two seconds later. Drew Gulak has been eliminated.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Out next is the other half of The Bar, the Swiss Cyborg Cesaro! Cesaro’s ribs are taped. Cesaro climbs up top and hits a beautiful high-flying body crash onto Sheamus. Sheamus hits a rolling Samoan driver. Sheamus pulls Cesaro up and executes a back suplex before pounding on Cesaro’s ribs on the mat. Sheamus locks the head and transitions to an arm bar/chin lock combination. Sheamus pulls Cesaro up and takes shots at Cesaro’s lower back. Sheamus wastes precious seconds playing up to an indifferent crowd. Cesaro fires back with multiple punches. Cesaro whips Sheamus into the corner. Cesaro with a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle! Cesaro then starts up the King of Swing. Cesaro swings Sheamus four times before his ribs force him to break. Cesaro lays out Sheamus with a clothesline but is distracted by Holland. Sheamus takes out Cesaro with a Brogue Kick. Cesaro has been eliminated.
Sheamus vs. Ricochet
Out next is Ricochet. The two clash and we head to break with the high-flying Ricochet taking an early, commanding lead after a beautiful springboard Moonsault to the ringside, wiping out Cesaro. When we return from break, Sheamus and Ricochet are brawling in the middle of the ring. Ricochet is stopped dead in his tracks by a big back breaker. Sheamus resorts to a headlock, wearing Ricochet down. Cole points out the strategy. Ricochet throws several punches into Sheamus and runs off the ropes. Sheamus catches him on the rebound with a powerslam for a close two count. Sheamus hits the Ten Beats of the Bodhran as the crowd counts with his strikes. Sheamus then drags Ricochet over and climbs up top on a corner that’s pretty far away. Sheamus looks for a diving axe handle but Ricochet dodges and reverses it into a DDT! Ricochet hooks the leg but only picks up two.
Ricochet side steps a charge and sends Sheamus face-first into the turnbuckle. Ricochet looks for a springboard Lionsault but Sheamus gets his knees up and clovers for two. Ricochet and Sheamus battle at the ropes. Ricochet with a beautiful slingshot elbow drop followed by a standing Moonsault for a close two. Ricochet climbs to the top turnbuckle and again, Ridge Holland causes a distraction. Sheamus shoves Ricochet down then drags him back into the ring. The crowd loudly boos Sheamus. Cesaro hits the ring and takes out Ridge Holland. The distraction allows Ricochet to roll up Sheamus! Sheamus has been eliminated!
Ricochet vs. Humberto
Out next is the other half of Los Lotharios, Humberto Carrillo! Ricochet brawls with Humberto for a brief moment. Humberto has been eliminated after Ricochet connects with his new signature.
Ricochet vs. Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal has joined next. He tried to hit the Khallas, but Ricochet countered and rolled him up for the pinfall.
Ricochet vs. Sami Zayn
Back from the break. Our final two combatants, Sami Zayn, and Ricochet are vying for a coveted Intercontinental Championship match. Zayn looks for a cover early on but Ricochet is still too resilient. McAfee and Cole babble on about Zayn’s conspiracy theories. Zayn climbs the turnbuckles and sits upon the top, mock-crying at Ricochet. Zayn talks smack and angers Ricochet who quickly takes Zayn off the top with a standing, leaping Hurricanrana that picks up a close two!
Ricochet starts to hulk up. Zayn looks for a Blue Thunder Bomb but Ricochet escapes and counters with a standing splash. Zayn catches Ricochet off guard and hits the Blue Thunder Bomb! Zayn covers for a close two. Zayn takes Ricochet into the corner and looks for a corner Exploder Suplex. Ricochet attempts to fight it. Zayn looks for it again and again Ricochet manages to fight out of it. Ricochet looks for a huge right hook; Zayn ducks under and reverses it into an Exploder Suplex into the corner. Zayn charges for the Helluva Kick and runs right into a Superkick! Ricochet hoists Sami up and hits the Benadriller! Zayn recovers quick and takes the lead with yet another Exploder Suplex. Zayn successfully manages to hit his Helluva Kick on an exhausted Ricochet. And just like that, Sami Zayn has eliminated Ricochet and has thrust himself back into another title picture!
Winner and NEW Number One Contender for the Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn
Video Package: Paul Heyman
It was a video, a package really, and it covered Heyman’s historic career through multiple promotions and highlighted his service to Reigns’ family for decades. The video is up on the WWE YouTube, or will be right after broadcast. We’re reminded that he started as Paul E. Dangerously in 1991 in WCW, managing “Stunning” Steve Austin. ECW’s history–its original run–was briefly touched on. More time was spent on the ECW (2.0) during the WCW/WWF/ECW invasion triangle at the end of the 20th/early 21st century.
Miracle on 34th Street Fight
Drew McIntyre & The New Day vs. Madcap Moss & The Usos
Corbin and Moss are out first, immediately followed by the tag champs–the Usos, who have been down since, oh, say around day one-ish. After commercials we finally get the New Day and Drew McIntyre to the ring. We start with Xavier Woods and Jey Uso. Woods levels Uso with a big right and attempts an early cover. We’re using a six-man tag format for this match. Woods tags in Kofi and the duo both run off the ropes and hit sliding attacks. Kingston attempts a pin for a two. Jey, in an act of desperation, hoists Kofi up on his shoulder and rams him back into the heel corner. Madcap comes in and looks for a back drop but Kofi floats over. Drew tags in and takes it to Madcap with a right and a chop. Madcap punches McIntyre in the throat and takes the lead, albeit briefly for a few seconds.
McIntyre with a DDT on Moss. McIntyre attempts a pin cover but both Usos hit the ring to make the save. The New Day enter and the tag teams brawl to the outside. Drew hoists Madcap up in the ring but Happy Corbin attacks McIntyre with a candy-cane kendo stick! It’s all legal. The New Day and the Usos brawl up the ramp and send each other crashing through the fake trees and presents at the top of the ramp. We head to break.
When we return we find McIntyre at the mercy of Madcap Moss, who pounds and stomps away at McIntyre in the corner. Outside the ring, the Usos each grab a Christmas Tree and sandwich Kofi in between them. The Usos prepare both trees like lances and charge, ramming King Woods and our brave king has fallen in battle. Madcap continues to stomp away at McIntyre and Cole praises Madcap’s impressive start. Madcap looks for a suplex but McIntyre counters with one of his own. Outside the ring, the New Day and Usos continue to brawl. Woods opens a gift box and finds a steel chair. Woods quickly uses it to hit a Van Daminator! RVD would be proud. Kofi and Jimmy enter the fray. Kofi uses a headscissors to take down Jey when he enters. The ref’s lost control and the New Day continue to brawl with the Usos. Technically there’s no DQ, so the tag format is essentially optional. Kofi climbs the turnbuckles with two trays of cookies and crashes down on the Usos with the Sugar Cookies of Doom! McIntyre and Moss are legal again. McIntyre is ready to put things away, firing up and hitting a neckbreaker before kipping up. McIntyre counts down with the crowd. After Happy Corbin interrupted the first attempt–and found himself between the New Day and Drew–McIntyre is ready to put an end to it, and puts Moss out of his misery with a Claymore to pick up the pin fall! Throughout the end of the match, eggnog, flour, and various foods were used briefly as weapons.
Winners: Drew McIntyre and The New Day