It feels strange going this long without a WWE pay-per-view, doesn't it? Well, get used to it because apparently, WWE's schedule will be a lot lighter in 2018 than it has been this year. Nevertheless, going into this week's SmackDown Live, we were less than two weeks away from the final event of the year, Clash of Champions. For the most part, it feels like it may be a lackluster show, which is unsurprising considering the time of year. Maybe WWE will change that though, and there were certainly some major changes made to Clash of Champions during this week's show.
5. The Ramp Does Not Count As 'Ringside'
Last week's SmackDown Live main event featured Kevin Owens and Randy Orton. Even though Sami Zayn was banned from ring side The Underdog still made his presence known and attacked The Viper with a steel chair. Well, Zayn and Owens opened this week's show by explaining to Shane McMahon exactly why Zayn's actions weren't in violation of any rules. When he interjected last week, he didn't venture any further than the top of the entrance way. Zayn went about explaining that the ringside area doesn't technically begin until a Superstar is at the bottom of the ramp. While he was doing that, Orton appeared and delivered an RKO to Owens. McMahon then emerged and announced that not only will Owens and Zayn take on Orton plus a partner of his choosing at Clash of Champions, but Zayn would have to face The Apex Predator in one on one action later that night.
4. It Was A Very Happy Rusev Day
At Clash Of Champions, The New Day will get a chance to become five-time Tag Team Champions as they take on not only The Usos but also Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable. Well, as of Tuesday night, you can add Rusev and Aiden English to that already crowded match up. The main proponents of Rusev Day took on two of the three members of The New Day, and shockingly, they were successful. English and The Bulgarian Brute worked like a well-oiled machine and once Rusev managed to land a superkick on the back of Kofi Kingston's head, that was all she wrote. Shortly after the match, it was announced that the victors had been added to the title match at Clash of Champions making it a four-way affair.
3. You're All Going To Be In A Lumberjack Match, Playa!
While Daniel Bryan has done a tremendous job as the SmackDown Live General Manager over the past year and a half, he still isn't the most notable blue brand GM of all time. That accolade goes to Teddy Long. Most of you will recall what Teddy loved most, and that was making tag team matches. Well, it would seem WWE is pretty adamant on Bryan having a signature match of his own. For some reason, whenever he sees the slightest opportunity to do so, he books a lumberjack match. He did it again this past Tuesday. At Clash of Champions, Charlotte Flair will defend the SmackDown Women's Championship against Natalya, and the ring will now be surrounded by the rest of the women's division. Well, at least those who have been left standing by The Riott Squad.
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2. Dolph Ziggler Still Doesn't Like Bobby Roode
Since joining the SmackDown Live roster, the only man that Bobby Roode has really had the chance to pit himself against is Dolph Ziggler. Well, now The Glorious One is embroiled in a rivalry with United States Champion, Baron Corbin. Surprise surprise though, The Showoff is still very much involved. In fact, at Clash of Champions, it will be all three of them competing for the United States Title. On Tuesday night though, it was just Roode and Corbin in the ring. Well, that was until Ziggler, who had been watching from the announce position, decided to interject. Ziggler delivered Zig Zags to both men, thus bringing the match to an early and inconclusive end.
1. The Stakes Have Been Raised At Clash Of Champions
Not only will #SDLive Commissioner @shanemcmahon be special guest referee for @FightOwensFight & @SamiZayn's #WWEClash match... if they lose, they'll be fired from ALL of @WWE! pic.twitter.com/H3e9XWIiaj— WWE (@WWE) December 6, 2017
As was made clear at the beginning of the evening, the night's main event featured Randy Orton versus Sami Zayn with Kevin Owens handcuffed to the ropes at ringside. The match went ahead as planned but once again Owens and Zayn found a way around Shane McMahon's imposed obstacle. Owens somehow got his hands on a pair of bolt cutters and freed himself. The Viper still managed to pick up a win via a roll up though, but then found himself at the mercy of a maddened Owens and Zayn. Lucky for Randy though Shinsuke Nakamura came to his rescue and helped him take care of his attackers. Clearly, it'll be The King of Strong Style accompanying Orton at Clash of Champions, but that's not all. Before SmackDown Live went off the air, McMahon revealed that he will be the special guest referee for the tag match, and if Owens and Zayn lose they will be fired from all of WWE.