WWE Smackdown results: Dolph Ziggler challenges Luke Harper for the Intercontinental Championship as Daniel Bryan is in charge

Ziggler beat Luke Harper via count out

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The Independent Online

Miz TV kicked off Smackdown with the WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz & Damien Mizdow welcoming The Big Show as their special guest.

Big Show told the crowd that he was not sorry for his betrayal of Team Cena at Survivor Series, which cued Daniel Bryan's music. The former WWE Champion said that he was this week's manage of Smackdown and made a 20-man Battle Royal for Rusev's US Championship, which Big Show, Miz and Mizdow will be part of.

Show had a stand off with Erick Rowan, which his new rival came out on top of by throwing "The World's Largest Athlete" over the top rope to eliminate him. Rowan didn't have long to capitalise though, as Rusev tossed him over the top straight after. The final three competitors were Rusev, Cesaro and Jack Swagger, which the Champion came out as the victor in. Swagger eliminated Cesaro before Rusev bumped "The Real American" off the apron to retain his title.

Emma took on Nikki Bella, who was accompanied by her sister Brie in a non-title match. The match was however put to rest early as the Divas Champion hit Emma with the Rack Attack for the win inside two minutes. Following the match, Nikki grabbed a microphone to tell AJ Lee that she's sick of hearing her sob story as she herself has worked harder than anyone. AJ ran down to the ring to attack her foe but Nikki rolled our of the ring for the former champion to attack Brie instead. Both twins managed to vacate the danger zone for the rivalry to continue till another day.

A New Day made their debut in the form of Big E, Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston. The trio dressed in bright coloured robes as they danced their way to the ring to gospel music. Slater Gator and Curtis Axel had the task of taking on the three but their aims of spoiling the party were shot down. The finish came with Big E collaborating with Woods to land a Big Ending/Diving Elbow double team to win. The debutants celebrated their winning start by dancing with the audience around the commentators desk

Ryback took on Seth Rollins in a match that was created by Bryan as the temporary general manager. Ryback dominated Rollins throughout the match and signalled to win as he launched "Mr Money in the Bank" on his shoulders for the Shell Shock. "The Big Guy" was however unable to hit the finish as Kane ran in with a steel chair for the referee to finish the match in disqualification. Kane proceeded to repeatedly attack Ryback with a steel chair in response to his frustrations of being given the role of "Concessions Kane".

The main event of the night saw Dolph Ziggler challenge Luke Harper for the Intercontinental Championship. Ziggler landed the Famouser but was unable to make a pin right away so Harper was able to regroup and land a sit down Powerbomb. Ziggler kicked out of the pin and the match made it's way to ringside. Harper threw his challenger into the commentators desk as the referee started his count to ten. As Ziggler found his feet, Harper was met with a Superkick to the chin for "The Show Off" to roll into the ring before the referee reached his count to ten. Ziggler won the match via count out but this meant that he didn't win back his gold. Harper went for an attack after the match with the title in his hands but Ziggler was able the dodge and land the Zig Zag to close the show.

The midcard is shaping up to be strong following Survivor Series with the secondary titles achieving a strong presence on the show. The fans are very interested in the Miz and Mizdow's contrasting personas, Rusev looks unstoppable and Rowan & Ziggler fought for the title like it was the WWE Championship. Monday's Raw will shed some light on the main event scene with Beay Wyatt and Dean Ambrose raring to go at each other at TLC and John Cena entering a new angle.

Results:

Rusev wins the 20-man Battle Royal

Nikki Bella defeats Emma

Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & Big E defeat Heath Slater, Titus O'Neill & Curtis Axel

Ryback defeats Seth Rollins via DQ

Dolph Ziggler defeats Luke Harper via count out

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