Congratulations to making it to another Rusev Day, dear readers!
It’s the go-home edition of Smackdown Live leading to Sunday’s Clash of Champions event.
Last Week’s Smackdown:
We almost had a full opening segment without Shane McMahon. With new best friends Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens kicking off the show with a wonderful technical explanation of where “ringside” is, all looked to be 50-year-old man free for the first part of Smackdown Live. Heck, I was even happy to see Randy Orton and his weirdly long hair deliver an RKO to Owens; I thought it was a great moment to build to their future match at Clash of Champions. I also thought it would be our only taste of the feud last Tuesday, with WWE showing a rare bit of restraint in the build to a main event.
Lo and behold, the commissioner arrived to make his mark.
And it included Randy Orton.
Orton faced Zayn in the nights main event, Orton hit an RKO, and Shinsuke Nakamura was arranged to team with the Viper at Clash of Champions.
Rusev and Aidan English continued to delight, and were added to the tag team championship match at Clash of Champions. This is wonderful news, and there’s really not much more to say about it. The newly-made fatal four way has the potential to steal the show on Sunday, and nearly everyone is happy about it.
In minor news, Charlotte Flair faced Tamina in a match that literally no one will remember, the Bludgeon Brothers continued to bludgeon (and have one of my favourite entrances), and we didn’t receive the long-awaited return of James Ellsworth.
State of the Belts:
After WWE completed their tour of India last weekend, AJ Styles will stand face-to-face with Jinder Mahal prior to their meeting at Clash of Champions. It certainly doesn’t bode well for the Maharaja that he was beaten by Triple HHH in the main event of India’s live event last Friday; one would think that if he had a shot at the championship, he would have beaten the Game.
The Smackdown Tag Team Championships will be defended in a fatal four-way on Sunday; while nothing has been announced for tonight, I can boldly tell you that I will predict Rusev Day to win the tag-team championships on Sunday. If the world was fair, the most entertaining team would be on top, and that certainly has been the tandem of Rusev and Aidan English. It takes a lot to upstage the New Day, but they’re doing it.
I’ll go on record that I hate lumberjack matches; however, we’ll have one at Clash of Champions as Daniel Bryan announced last Tuesday that Charlotte Flair and Natalya’s championship match would have the added stipulation. It’s always seemed to me like a lazy way to get people involved; it also screams of interference during the match. I’m of the belief that this program has run it’s course; with any mercy, we’ll get a conclusive finish and an end to the feud.
You can’t make me care that Dolph Ziggler is in this United States title feud with Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode, and I feel terrible saying that. A great wrestler, and I’m sure a great guy, but he feels so randomly included in here that I can’t help but not care. You wish he was genuinely treated better by WWE; I don’t know how, but he’s too talented to be booked this poorly.
Here and There:
What’s the over/under that Shane McMahon opens the show? As Prince mentioned in Friday’s edition of This Week in Wrestling, Mr. O’Mac certainly hogs the spotlight for a guy in the Land of Opportunity. While still involved in entertaining storylines, it feels like Shane has been involved with the main event scene since, well, he returned nearly two years ago. Let’s hope that tension between McMahon and Smackdown G.M. Daniel Bryan comes to a head soon.
Kevin Owens will face off against Shinsuke Nakamura, with Sami Zayn and Randy Orton in their ally’s respective corners. It’s right in line with WWE’s tradition of having tag team combinations face off in meaningless matches before a PPV. It will be a good-to-great match, but I’d be completely okay with them holding off on the matchup until Sunday.
While nothing official has been announced, it’s the go-home show for Clash of Champions, so expect segments to further the builds for the tag team and women’s championships.
Three Things to Watch For:
- Tye Dillinger. Watch for Tye Dillinger. He’s coming this week, I can feel it in my bones.
On a 1-10 scale, guess how disappointed I’ll be if he doesn’t show.
- While I’ve been bang-on as far as Paige‘s return and Absolution, the Riott Squad hasn’t clicked quite as well as their RAW brand counterparts. How will WWE further the trio’s quest for dominance over the women’s division - especially leading to their inclusion in Sunday’s lumberjack match?
- What’s next for the Hype Former-Bros? Rawley and Ryder look to be on the outs, but there hasn’t been much follow up on Mojo’s apparent heel turn. Will either show up this week?
And I’m tapped out! Watching? Get ahold of us in the comments section, or head to @WCSportsCA and let us know your thoughts!
WWE: Last Five
- Monday Night Hayden - Predictions for the 11/12/17 Edition of RAW
- This Week in Wrestling: December 8th
- NXT Preview and Predictions: December 6th
- Smackdown Live Preview: December 5th
- This Week in Wrestling: December 1st