It was almost as if someone suggested the final SmackDown Live before Christmas should be a tag team special because that was the focus of the show with every match consisting of teams. Some had a history as partners and others were put together for the first time.
The show also included a few interesting choices including stretching out the drama between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan and adding a completely unexpected twist by having Dolph Ziggler seemingly abandon the U.S. Title.
Here are your winners and losers for SmackDown Live December 19, 2017.
Loser: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan
The idea that this drama is going to keep dragging out has both its positives and negatives. The WWE is planting a seed and Daniel Bryan teasing Shane McMahon might turn into Vince if he’s not careful is an intriguing idea. The fact that Shane has warned Bryan to watch his back also adds another layer. The segment itself wasn’t as dramatic as one might have expected but it served its purpose.
All this said, the only reason this is qualified as a loser is because the story between these two has taken much of the attention away from other parts of the show and SmackDown Live was always supposed to be about the in-ring action. It feels in some sense that WWE is just holding off on anything substantial because Daniel Bryan hasn’t been officially cleared.
Winner: Gable and Benjamin Pick Up the Win
The Usos always seem to put on an excellent match, and Tuesday was no exception. Still, it was nice to see Benjamin and Gable pick up a clean win over the tag champs and solidify themselves as a legitimate threat in the tag team division.
It looked as though for a while Gable and Benjamin were the forgotten team, but things seem back on track. Perhaps Gable’s performance at Clash of Champions had something to do with that.
I’m not sure if WWE gave her the ok to use the term “chicken head” on television and knew what it meant or if this was just one of those things that slipped on by, but it’s bound to get noticed now since the crowd started chanting it at the other females. If you take a look at the Urban Dictionary you’ll quickly come to learn that the term “chicken head” is probably not something that should have been approved, especially when said towards the women of the blue brand.
It will be interesting to see if Naomi catches any flack for using the term and if it starts something at the next few shows. If it does, it will be interesting to see how the WWE handles it.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
If Dolph Ziggler isn’t actually leaving the company, he and the WWE sure did a good job of making fans think something is amiss. Ziggler was alive in his character, confident and told the truth about his past and present status as a WWE Superstar. The fans respected him for it. Then, he simply laid down the title and left.
It’s a unique piece of writing that is either one of the most memorable ways to leave the company or it’s a creative direction that the WWE hasn’t tried before. Either is intriguing and one can only hope the latter (Ziggler not leaving) is the real deal here.
Loser: Alexa Bliss
Why does Alexa Bliss make this list? Really, it’s for only one reason. If the bomb that got dropped on SmackDown Live on Tuesday is a correct description of what’s happening between the winner of the Rumble and Charlotte, it means the winner of the first-ever female Royal Rumble is going to take on SmackDown Live at WrestleMania. If what comes after the Royal Rumble is this black and white, Bliss is left as the odd-woman-out and will have to find her own opponent for the biggest show of the year.
There could be more to this news because it seems odd that the Raw Women’s Champion would be irrelevant in all of this. It could be that the female who wins takes on the champ of her respective show but that’s sure not what it sounded like. What does that mean for Bliss at the Royal Rumble?
How can anyone not suggest Rusev deserves a giant-sized push now? He was easily the most entertaining part of the broadcast on Tuesday (the jury is still out on whether or not that was the plan) and Rusev has proved how diverse he can be with this character. His personality is magnetic and clearly, the fans are digging what’s going on here.
The entire match was funny and that’s not often the case with these costume gimmick type affairs. Rusev in a Santa Claus suit is not something anyone would have ever envisioned. Somehow, he made it work.
Loser: Tag Matches
Why the WWE felt the need to make an entire show out of tag matches is an interesting question. Were they going for “safe” booking? Were they not sure how to move forward any of the feuds that required explanation or start new battles between foes? There had to be some sort of logical explanation.
Tag matches definitely have their place in WWE and matches like the Usos versus Gable and Benjamin are great, but to have the main event here be a six-man tag after an entire show of other tag matches was too much teaming up and not enough moving forward.
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