We’re finally on the Road to WrestleMania.
After Sunday’s Clash of Champions, all roads now lead to January’s Royal Rumble, and that fact should frankly excite any wrestling fan. It’s always a highlight of the wrestling calendar, even when Roman Reigns enters at #30.
Even just looking at this makes me 12% angrier.
However, we’re still five weeks away from WWE’s next Big Four event, and there’s a lot of work to do on the blue brand. Admittedly, this writer didn’t watch Clash of Champions live, and I think that says something about the storytelling on Tuesday nights. While the main event scene - still prominently featuring Shane McMahon - rolls along smoothly, there’s very little outside of it that’s compelling. Many stories have seemed to be in a holding pattern for the past few weeks - something that’s hopefully been remedied by getting past Sunday’s PPV.
Enough with the rambling, let’s get to the action - I’m @SpennyLove, and welcome to your official Smackdown Live preview for December 19th!
Last Week’s PPV:
A lot of the fallout from Clash of Champions can be read below, as there wasn’t a ton of storyline development at the event. However, one major piece of storytelling was told in the development of Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon’s drama. The story between Bryan, McMahon, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn has dominated the main event for the last few months, and for the first time since Zayn’s heel turn, I’m truly intrigued. After McMahon refused to count a pinfall that Zayn made on Shinsuke Nakamura, Bryan gave the team the win with a (ridiculously) fast count. Some are event speculating that this represents a heel turn for the “YES!” man himself, but tonight should answer some questions.
Some quick results from Sunday’s event:
- Owens/Zayn defeat Nakamura/Orton
- AJ Styles retains his WWE Championship
- The Usos retain their Tag Team Championship
- Dolph Ziggler wins the United States Championship
- Charlotte Flair retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship
- Bludgeon Brothers defeats Breezango
- Mojo Rawley defeats Zack Ryder
State of the Belts:
I think we can finally say with confidence that the Jinder Mahal experiment is over after the Maharaja lost clean to WWE Champion AJ Styles at Clash of Champions. As of now, there’s no clear challenger for Style’s title belt; will someone new emerge tonight? Heading into a major PPV, I’d assume a big name will be challenging for the belt - could we finally see Randy Orton turn heel and go after the Phenomenal One? We’ll have to see - Mahal, Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura are slated to challenge Styles, Owens and Zayn tonight.
Charlotte Flair retained her Smackdown Women’s Championship, but the story coming out of Sunday was Natalya. After her loss, she cut a promo “turning her back” on the women’s division and the fans. While some speculated it was a retirement promo, that doesn’t appear to be the case. However, between Natalya’s betrayal and the recently announced Women’s Royal Rumble, could this all lead to the debut of
He truly showed the world - and this writer - as Dolph Ziggler captured the United States Championship on Sunday. It really did come out of nowhere; his inclusion to the match seemed random, and I didn’t see anyone who really gave him a shot. He’s scheduled for a championship celebration tonight, which as always I’m sure will go smoothly and without interference.
Sadly, Rusev Day failed to capture the Tag Team Championships in their fatal four way match at Clash of Champions. However, the four teams involved did prove two things we all knew - number one, it would be the match of the night. Two - Rusev is a babyface waiting to happen. You can bet that he and Aidan English will get involved in tonight’s Usos/Gable & Benjamin match.
Here and There:
Speaking of tag teams, the Bludgeon Brothers have run roughshod over the division since debuting roughly a month ago. After defeating Breezango at CoC, they’re poised for a bump up the card. Could they enter the title scene tonight?
The only thing mentioned about the Daniel Bryan/Shane McMahon storyline is that it will be addressed tonight. I’m thoroughly excited for the fallout; the whole storyline has led me to believe something major will come out of it, and I think that whatever it is is coming soon. Could we even see Bryan fired in a heel turn by McMahon?
What’s next for the Riott Squad as they prepare for the Women’s Royal Rumble? Hopefully, something better than what they’ve done since debuting. I’m quickly losing faith in the Ruby Riott-led faction, but considering how much I like her, I’m still willing to give them a shot.
Three Things to Watch For:
- I said it last week , but watch for Tye Dillinger - not only for the fact that he’s a favourite of mine, but because I’m genuinely concerned for his safety. We haven’t seen him in ages.
- After his win on Sunday, does Mojo Rawley move on from his feud with Zack Ryder? Rumour has it that WWE is high on Rawley, and he’s improved leaps and bounds since his heel turn - albeit in limited appearances. What does he have in store for tonight?
- Now that the mystery of the Fashion Files has been solved - FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T CANCEL FASHION FILES!
WWE: Last Five
- BREAKING: Top Tag Team Set to Return Tonight
- Over the Top Rope – Clash of Champions Predictions
- This Week in Wrestling: December 15th
- NXT Preview and Predictions: December 13th
- Smackdown Live Preview: December 12th