With this week’s SmackDown airing on Christmas Day, the episode was recorded in advance on Tuesday night.
The record was led by Big E defeating Sami Zayn in a forestry match to win the Intercontinental Championship. Big E then celebrated with a few woodsmen to close the show.
This is the second time that Big E has held the Intercontinental title during his career. He previously held the championship from November 2013 to May 2014.
Forester’s predictions have been due to winning Zayn’s matches several times in recent weeks. When Zayn and Big E faced off in an untitled match on SmackDown earlier this month, Zayn defeated Big E with an outout. Zayn had entered the ring during the match and Big E had followed him. Big E held on to Zayn’s leg to try to stop him from hitting the counter, but Zayn burst out and returned to the ring for the victory.
Zayn Vs. Big E was announced for SmackDown this week after Big E scored Zayn during an eight-person match in Sunday’s TLC pre-show. There was also a segment on SmackDown last week, where Big E destroyed Zayn’s “first annual Sami awards.”
In total, three title matches took place at SmackDown. Friday’s SmackDown will also include Roman Reigns defending his Universal Championship against Kevin Owens in a steel cage match, along with women’s team champion Tag Asuka and Charlotte Flair defending their first title. The episode will air on Fox at 8 pm Eastern Time.
Like the live episodes of WWE television, SmackDown recordings included a virtual crowd on the WWE ThunderDome screens.