It's the day after Christmas, so Samckdown has to open with Ho Ho Hogan. Hulk Hogan comes out and says dude and brother a lot before he's cut off by Seth Rollins, who is with J&J Security. Seth claims that he is the future, which leads Hogan to say that maybe the guy who beat him at Survivor Series and last week on Smackdown, Dolph Ziggler is the future. Dolph comes out, thanks Hogan and badmouths Seth. This leads to Big Show coming out, who says that he's simply going to knock out Hogan and Ziggler. Before he can do that, Roman Reign's theme hits. This is a lot isn't it? No action goes down though as Hogan just makes a tag match for the main event. It's like Teddy Long never left playa?
Our opening contest is a rematch of what was my least favorite match at TLC, Ryback vs. Kane. This didn't have the Chairs match stipulation, but it still wasn't very good. Something about these two doesn't click well. As Ryback seems to be near victory, Rusev's theme music hits to distract the Big Guy, but it was kind of useless as he ends up beating Kane anyway. Rusev goes to the ring and they go at it until Rusev forces him to pass out in the Accolade. I wonder when they're going to have their first singles match, as I truly believe that Rusev needs to crush Ryback. After Rusev and Lana leave, Hulk Hogan finds them backstage and demands that Rusev defend the title tonight.
We move into Divas action as former Total Diva Naomi takes on new Total Diva Alicia Fox. This was your standard Divas affair as Naomi won in about three minutes. The Miz is seen watching and cheering on backstage. Another match that doesn't really matter is next as R-Truth faces Adam Rose. I always forget that R-Truth is employed. Rose was without the Bunny, who he attacked on Raw, and won another short match. In between this, we also got the weekly Raw Rebound. Those seem to get longer by the week.
Rusev is out for his United States Championship defense. Lana pouts and says that this is not fair, especially since he doesn't know his opponent. When it is revealed to be Dean Ambrose, the crowd pops hard. Michael Cole and JBL sell the fact that Ambrose is the longest reigning United States Champion in WWE history at just over 350 days. This would probably be the match of the night. It got over eleven minutes and both participants managed to look strong throughout. As the fight spills outside, Bray Wyatt comes out to attack Dean Ambrose and cause the disqualification. I still don't know why they're fighting, even after Bray won two of their three matches. Well three of four if you count the DQ win at Survivor Series. Ambrose ends up running off Bray.
Time for another rematch as The Miz faces an Uso for what has to be the seventh or so time since November. He beat Jey last week and loses to Jimmy this week after Naomi distracted him. The Ascension are set to debut next week and we also get a wacky Stardust and Goldust promo. Moving right along, our main event is up next. Roman Reigns and Dolph Ziggler made for a popular tag team and the match itself was solid. My biggest gripe with the whole thing was that Seth Rollins was pinned by Roman Reigns. Look, I'm all for Smackdown ending in a clean finish but couldn't Big Show have eaten the pin here. Seth Rollins should be protected more than Show at this point.
Overall, I didn't expect much from this Smackdown. It was recorded last week before Raw, so I knew there wouldn't be much in the way of angle advancement. However, the main event was cool and the Ambrose/Rusev match was good. It wasn't the best episode of Smackdown, but for something recorded so far in advance, it was decent. 5/10.