Welcome to the Smackdown Review for December 26, 2017. For both this and Raw, I will go over what the big talking points were, pick the match of the night, and look ahead to the next show.
The official word from the WWE is that Dolph Ziggler has abandoned the Untied States Title. Danial Bryan announced that there will be a eight man tournament to decide who holds the belt. We saw the first two matches occur on Smackdown. In the first, Bobby Roode defeated Baron Corbin to advance. Roode looked more comfortable in this match and even had some high flying spots. In the second match, Jinder Mahl was able to pin Ty Dillinger. Mahl also looked more focused, proving that his great performances against AJ Styles was not a fluke.
Three more superstars announced their intentions to enter the Royal Rumble. On the women’s side, Ruby Riott became the first member of the Riott Squad to enter. One can only guess what could happen if the Riott Squad has to face Absolution. Randy Orton has his sights set on Wrestlemania, telling the world that he is not a pawn for other people. Orton was interrupted when his recent tag team partner Shinsuke Nakamura also announced his intention to enter. If these two find themselves alone in January, what might happen?
All is not well for Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. Shane questioned why Kevin Owens was rewarded for his recent behavior by getting a non title match with AJ Styles. Furthermore, Sami Zayn would be allowed at ringside. Bryan talked about opportunity, but one look at Shane’s face told the real story. The match was another great chapter that Owens and Styles always produce. Zayn tried to interfere, which brought out Shane to get him tossed from ringside. This distraction allowed Owens to pin Styles. Will Shane admit his personal vendetta is causing problems? Or will he take the McMahon route of blaming someone else?
Match of the Night
New Day vs. Rusev and Aiden English vs Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin (#1 Contender match for the Tag Team Titles) (Gable and Benjamin win by pin fall)
If it wasn’t already apparent, the strongest part of Smackdown is it’s tag team division. I think it would be impossible for these three teams to have a bad match. Without commercials, these three teams started the show off nuclear hot. Rusev and Aiden English need to be the number one contenders or be wearing the belts already. The crowd was swayed away from the New Day to cheer for them. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin are a great team, but they do not have the personality or crowd reaction of the other two teams.
Something is rotten as the Ascension keeps putting Breezedango against the Bludgeon Brothers. The ladies locker room is more untied against the interlopers then the Raw brand. And Fashion Files is now on wwe.com/fashionfiles. Next week, the Tag Team Belts are up for grabs and the US Title tournament keeps rolling.