The WWE got a lot of things right on Tuesday with SmackDown Live. A show that was all about setting the stage for Sunday’s pay-per-view Clash of Champions. While almost every roster talent that is employed by the blue brand made it to television, the show focused on a few big names.
Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, and the relationship between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan got the focus of the attention on Tuesday. It makes sense considering they will almost all be a part of what looks to be the main event.
But, WWE did drop the ball in a couple cases. In an effort to point out the best parts of SmackDown Live, here are your Winners and Losers From SmackDown Live – December 12, 2017.
5. Loser: Mojo and Ryder
After what’s been built up for months, the Mojo Rawley heel turn was finally done and it was done well. Rawley looked fierce and ready for his own spotlight. Unfortunately, that spotlight looks like it will shine rather dimly on the pre-show of the Clash of Champions pay-per-view.
It’s the wrong call to take an angle that had so much momentum and hide it in a spot that few fans will get to see it play out properly. Instead, they got bumped by what will probably be a squash match between Breezango and The Bludgeon Brothers.
5. Winner: Daniel Bryan
It was smart not to have Shane McMahon on television on Tuesday because it made the tricky dynamic between him and Daniel Bryan even more interesting. Bryan made some massive decisions when it came to Owens and Zayn’s future and without McMahon there to interject, there was no one to stop Bryan from making himself the second guest referee.
How this goes on Sunday should be interesting. It appears the WWE is setting things for a Shane-O-Mac heel turn, but there’s enough foreshadowing to make it feel like we’re all pointing our guns in the wrong direction.
4. Loser: Ty Dillinger
“The Perfect 10” was one of the few people not to make the show on Tuesday, and it appears the WWE has forgotten about him for the most part. After proving he had the chops to be in the regular picture on SmackDown Live, he’s not anywhere to be found.
At the very least, he could have been included in the U.S. Title picture since that Triple Threat match seems to be thrown together anyway. Dillinger should make an appearance at the Royal Rumble so he won’t be gone too long. Not all is lost.
4. Winner: AJ Styles
The WWE Champion was not made to look like a fool on Tuesday. While the Singh Brothers tried to come out and convince Styles they had left Jinder Mahal after his poor treatment of them, they wanted to back Styles heading into his match on Sunday. Styles was having none of it.
It’s refreshing when the WWE doesn’t treat its babyfaces like idiots. Styles outsmarted the two Mahal lackeys and he’ll go into Clash of Champions one step ahead of his adversary.
3. Loser: Dolph Ziggler
The Ziggler match versus Baron Corbin felt like a match thrown in just to fill time and the company offered the same, often lazy three-way story that made sure all the competitors got into the match. Even though both Ziggler and Corbin took the Glorious DDT from Roode, Ziggler appears the odd-man out and will likely take the pin on Sunday.
There is a chance Roode gets the strap leaving Clash of Champions, but often when the babyface gets the rub a week before the pay-per-view, it means the champ will successfully defend his title. Ziggler will again be left to the side.
3. Winner: Ruby Riott
In her first real singles match, Ruby Riott quickly cemented herself as a female competitor on the SmackDown Live roster that deserves to be in the conversation with the rest of the top-level talent.
The WWE was also smart to show that the trio known as Riott Squad was not indestructible and the returning Naomi drove home the point that a united front on SmackDown Live will give the three NXT call-ups a handful. That’s the way it should be considering just weeks ago these women weren’t a part of the main roster.
PREVIOUSLY: WHY WWE CHANGED RUBY RIOTT’S NAME
2. Loser: Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
Of all the teams that will be showcased in the Fatal 4-Way tag match on Sunday, Gable and Benjamin seemed to have the most potential but are getting the biggest shaft. Perhaps its a way of the WWE sneaking them in and stealing a victory in a match where stealing victories is possible, but it doesn’t feel like creative is on board with that idea.
Instead, Rusev and English have been getting the attention (not that we’re complaining about both finally getting some recognition).
2. Winner: Bludgeon Brothers
The WWE clearly has big plans for the Bludgeon Brothers who just bumped Mojo Rawley versus Zack Ryder to the pre-show of the Clash Of Champions pay-per-view. Even though their match versus Breezango will probably be a short squash match, WWE felt it important enough to put on the main show.
Depending on who walks out of Clash of Champions with the tag belts, expect the Bludgeon Brothers to be nipping at their heels.
1. Loser: Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura
Not often do you have a main event like Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton and no one is talking about Orton and Nakamura. That’s what’s happening here. Of the six people involved in this match (Bryan and McMahon being the others) The Viper and The King of Strong Style are the least relevant factors.
Hopefully, both will get to move onto feuds that are more worthy of promoting their time. At the very least, Nakamura should be getting a prominent push. Perhaps that will come with AJ Styles after the pay-per-view comes to a close and heading into the Royal Rumble.
RELATED: CAREERS RANDY ORTON RUINED
1. Winner: Zayn and Owens
How entertaining are these two on SmackDown Live right now? Honestly, there is nothing on either show that compares to the creativity these two are offering on a weekly basis and introducing the world to the “Yep! Movement” is just another example of how these two can take something incredibly simple and add entertaining layers to what should already be a strong match.
The fact that Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura are remarkably irrelevant in this whole equation tells you just how much the WWE Universe wants to see what happens to these two.
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!