This Tuesday marked not only the go home show to this Sunday's Clash Of Champions pay-per-view, but the go home show to the very last WWE pay-per-view of the year. Now the conjecture among many is that Sunday's show is a little lackluster. It may seem crazy, but believe it or not, WWE can fix that in the space of one two hour edition of SmackDown Live if they so wish. Did they manage to do that on Tuesday though? Here are Five Huge Takeaways from the show and we'll let you be the judge as to whether they have upped the hype for Clash Of Champions or not.
On Sunday night at Clash of Champions, AJ Styles will defend his WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal and there is a very real chance that we may witness the beginning of The Maharajah's second spell with the company's top prize. For a moment, it looked like Mahal would be fighting that battle alone, something the former champion isn't really used to. A couple of weeks ago Mahal beat down his beloved Singh Brothers and on the back of that, Samir and Sunil attempted to align themselves with Styles during the opening segment of this week's SmackDown Live. There was no fooling Styles though, and he saw right through their plan. The champ sent them careening from the ring and Mahal should count himself lucky that he didn't receive the same treatment.
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When a number of women were called up from NXT a few weeks ago, it seemed that the writers were being extremely lazy with their respective angles. Absolution were introduced to us on Raw and then The Riott Squad debuted the following night under almost identical circumstances. The two factions have acted slightly differently since then, that was until this week. Absolution finally got what was coming to them courtesy of the rest of the Raw women's division on Monday and the exact same thing happened to Ruby Riott and co on Tuesday night. The only regular roster member that seems to be on Team Riott Squad is Natalya. Nattie caused Ruby's match with Charlotte Flair to end in a disqualification and after that, when they were going to work on the champ, Naomi and the rest of the women's roster came to Flair's aid.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn looked to once again cause as much disruption to SmackDown Live as they possibly could this week via their newly thought up Yep Movement. Halfway through the show, the two of them attempted to occupy SmackDown but didn't have much luck. Clearly, the Superstars they attempted to recruit weren't all that interested. In fact, the only man that did join them was Daniel Bryan, but it wasn't to help the troublesome pair occupy the show. Instead, the General manager had news for them. In the interest of fairness, Bryan has made himself a special guest referee for this Sunday's tag match involving Owens and Zayn. That means there will be two special guest referees with differing opinions, what could possibly go wrong?
Much like the women, WWE is currently in the business of putting all of SmackDown Live's tag teams into one rivalry together. That's why four of them will be battling over the brand's Tag Team Championships on Sunday night. All four of those teams were present for a tag match this past Tuesday too despite the fact it was only between The Usos and Rusev and Aiden English. The New Day was on commentary while Benjamin and Gable watched from the entrance way. The guest announcers were beaten by Rusev and English last week, it's what earned the celebrators of Rusev Day passage into the championship match. Well, this week, they picked up a win over the champions themselves. Advantage Aiden and Rusev, but can they carry that momentum into Clash Of Champions?
As a warm-up for Sunday's high stakes tag team match, Kevin Owens and Shinsuke Nakamura went one on one in the main event of this week's SmackDown Live. Not only were their respective Clash Of Champions tag team partners watching on at ringside, but General Manager Daniel Bryan was at the announce desk. It's lucky that he was too as later on in the match, the referee was inadvertently knocked unconscious. The GM then took it upon himself to pull on the knocked out official's shirt and take his place in the matchup. From that point on, Bryan called it right down the middle and following a Pop-Up Powerbomb on The King of Strong Style, Owens got the win. It's hard to imagine that counting three will come that easy to Bryan when he's reffing a match with McMahon this Sunday.
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