Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring for the contract signing. Bryan introduces Cena and then Styles.
AJ says he and Bryan are cut from the same cloth, they’ve wrestled in high school gym’s and done things the right way. He says Cena isn’t like them, he leaves for 6 months at a time to make movies, so why does her get a title shot?
Bryan says he gets it but SmackDown beat Raw in the ratings last week and that was largely because of AJ Styles and John Cena. Bryan says it is the match that everyone wants and it is the match they’re going to get. He says he doesn’t know why AJ is bothered, he’s already beaten Cena three times! Bryan leaves.
AJ says Cena is just lucky, he got a title match from the guy who is basically his brother-in-law. AJ says it doesn’t matter because we need to do what is best for SmackDown and himself. He says the tables have turned because this time last year, Cena was Champion and told him that he needed a win in order to prove he wasn’t just an indy flash-in-the-pan. Well now Cena needs the win to prove he still belongs.
AJ goes on to say that SmackDown beat Raw in the ratings and it is because he in the Champion, not because of him. John Cena says he respects AJ but Styles cuts him off. AJ brings up the time that Cena was on Talking Smack and says he was wrong about The Rock but Styles says he was right and now those words about The Rock being a lazy part-timer are true about Cena. He says he will give him credit, Cena has been great for WWE but the emphasis is on the has been.
AJ tells Cena to look at him and says he knows when he looks in the mirror that he will never be as good in Hollywood as The Rock, and when it comes to the ring he will never be as good as AJ Styles. AJ signs the contract, takes the belt off and talks trash to Cena as the crowd actually chant for John.
Cena grabs the mic and says part of being a man is being humble enough to admit when you are wrong and to apologise. He says a big part of being a man is pushing back when someone pushes you over the line. He says AJ just made the biggest mistake of his life because he pissed off John Cena. However AJ is right, he does need a win to prove it to guys like him that think he’s already gone.
Cena says he has lost all respect for him and that he thinks he is a punk bitch. Cena says the reason people are excited for the Rumble is because certain fans think that AJ is actually going to replace him but he’s made a career out of making those people eat their words. He reiterates his passion for WWE, coming back from a year-long shoulder injury within 4 months. He says anyone else in his position would already have gone to Hollywood but he’s still here and that’s passion. The fans chant for him again.
Cena says he needs this match, AJ needs the match, and the fans need the match. Cena says AJ is no different from the people who chant Cena sucks but even on their best day they all realise that they could never be him. He says AJ should bring his family and his friends to the Rumble, as well as his A game, but he’s still going to kick his ass and take the Championship. Why? Because he’s John Cena, recognise.
Out comes Baron Corbin, who reminds us that he won the Andre The Giant Battle Royale on his first night. Corbin lets us know that he is entering and winning the Royal Rumble. He says he doesn’t care who is Champion because he is walking out of WrestleMania as the Champ. Cena gets excited and says finally someone that will have a fight with him, and Corbin says he’ll knock his teeth out. Cena takes off his shirt and AJ blindsides him with an enziguiri. AJ leaves and Corbin mocks Cena.
Maryse is backstage and she approaches Renee Young. Maryse says on behalf of her husband, and slaps Renee hard. Young is crouched down holding her face and Maryse tells her never to touch Miz again.
Carmella Vs. Aliyah
Aliyah is making her SD Live debut tonight in this match. They lock-up and Carmella applies a headlock. Aliyah reverses the hold and goes for a snapmare, but Carmella lands on her feet.
Carmella takes her down by the hair and mounts her for some left hands to the face. A bronco buster gets Carmella a 2-count. Aliyah starts to build some momentum and hits a northern lights suplex for another 2-count. She backs Carmella to the corner and drives her body into Carmella’s stomach.
Ellsworth causes a distraction, allowing Carmella to hit a superkick. She locks in the Code of Silence for the win.
We’re getting some tag team action after the break!
American Alpha vs. Breezango
Tyler Breeze tries to give Gable a fashion ticket, so Gable suplexes him into the corner. Jordan tags in and hits two running shoulders in the corner before hitting Grand Amplitude for a really quick win.
Winners: American Alpha
The Wyatt Family comes on the screen to taunt the new champions after the match.
After the break, Nikki Bella and Natalya are in the ring to talk about their issues. Nikki says she feels bad for Natalya for being bitter toward her.
She says Nattie has been living off her family’s legacy while she has been working with Brie to make their name mean something. Natalya says she is better than Bret ever was and Nikki has only gotten where she is because of what she looks like. She says Cena will leave her when her looks fade, so Nikki lays her out with a huge forearm and walks away.
Ambrose is interviewed backstage and asked about Miz, to which he says he’s going to take the most important thing from Miz and that isn’t his wife. Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring for his title opportunity!
Intercontinental Championship Match
(C) The Miz Vs. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose tackles Miz and starts punching him as soon as the bell rings. He chases Miz around the ring. Dean hits some hard chops in the corner while the crowd chants Woo. He goes for Dirty Deeds, but Miz rolls out of the ring to regroup.
The Miz keeps leaving the ring every time Ambrose chases him back in. Ambrose turns his back, but when Miz tries to attack, Ambrose kicks him. The spill out of the ring and Ambrose throws Miz into anything that will hurt.
He ends up throwing Miz over the announce table before bringing him back in the ring. Maryse gets in his face, allowing Miz to dropkick him through the ropes and toss him into the steel steps.
We return to see Ambrose counter The Miz’s corner clothesline with a back drop to the floor. Ambrose heads to the top rope and hits a flying elbow. The Miz goes after the leg to set up for the Figure Four. He gets kicked away and rolled up for a near-fall. Ambrose follows up with a neckbreaker for another close fall.
The Miz cuts Ambrose off on the top rope and climbs up for a superplex. Ambrose fights him off with some headbutts. Maryse gets on the apron to distract Ambrose. The Miz grabs him as he comes off the top rope and hits the Skull Crushing Finale, but only gets a 2-count. Miz starts to hit the Yes kicks to mock Daniel Bryan, but like always, he misses the last big kick.
Ambrose turns him inside out with the lunatic lariat, but he is too hurt to capitalize. Ambrose hits a suicide dive and Maryse hits him outside the ring. Ambrose begs with the ref not to disqualify The Miz and kick her out instead. He agrees and tells Maryse to leave. The Miz uses the title as a weapon and hits Ambrose while the ref has his back turned. Dean barely kicks out at two.
Miz goes for his finisher again, but Ambrose reverses it into Dirty Deeds and he gets the win to become the new IC champion.
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Dean Ambrose
That’s it for the first SmackDown Live of 2017! What did you think of the show? Are you happy with Dean Ambrose as your new Intercontinental Champion? Where does Miz go from here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, follow me on Twitter, and be sure to come over and check out 205 Live!