SmackDown LIVE’s final episode of 2016 is also one of its most anticipated. They are calling this “Wild Card Finals,” whatever that means. We’ll be in Chicago, which should ensure a lively crowd. There will be three title matches and John Cena returns to WWE television after a couple of months away. Coming off last week’s outstanding show, the bar has been set high.
No reason to beat around the bush. Here are five reasons to watch SmackDown LIVE.
1. The Time Is Now
John Cena makes his return on tonight’s show. Will someone confront him and start a short-term program? Presumably, Cena will make his future storyline intentions known. There are two logical ways that can go. One is he will challenge for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. Two, he will enter the Rumble match itself and attempt to win #16 at WrestleMania. I still bank on the latter. While a lot will be going on at Mania this year, Cena looking to tie Flair’s record would figure to stand tall. Besides, I have a different idea for AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble. Speaking of Styles…
2. Triple Threat For The WWE Title
As I stated in last week’s show review, I’m glad that a potential Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler WWE Title Match has morphed into a Triple Threat with Baron Corbin included. Nothing bores me more than Ziggler as a solo challenger for a title he is not going to win. Corbin won’t win either, but at least he’s fresh. I really hope Ziggler takes the fall tonight.
After Styles inevitably goes over here, who will be his next challenger? I could be wrong, but I smell a surprise Undertaker appearance tonight. A Styles-Undertaker program would actually allow Styles to work full heel as opposed to an alleged heel that gets cheered every week.
3. Bliss-Lynch Rematch
I loved that “La Luchadora” angle last week as a set up to this. It was a bit of a callback to the “Spider Lady” angle from 1985, though the goal accomplished here is significantly different. Both Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch play their roles well on a consistent basis, so it’s tough calling for someone to lose. But I think it’s too soon to switch the title back to our babyface contender. Bliss has performed too well. Plus, the women will need something to do at the Rumble, so I can just see tonight being a setup for a rematch there. Regardless, I hope that this is given its proper allotment of time.
4. Four Corners Match for Tag Titles
With the Wyatt Family being pushed as dominant champions, they won’t be losing their title anytime soon. This was supposed to be a defense against the Hype Bros, but Zack Ryder injured his knee. So, instead of establishing a new #1 contender, we are just doing a Four Corners Elimination Match. Your challengers will be American Alpha, The Usos, and Heath Slater/Rhyno. The Wyatts have invoked the old “Freebird Rule,” but no word on what combination – Orton/Wyatt, Wyatt/Harper or Orton/Harper – will defend here.
Slater & Rhyno are headed for a breakup, so expect that storyline to be continued. The Usos were not even in the Battle Royal two weeks ago, so it’s nice to see them back in the fold, even though they have clearly been deemed #2 in the pecking order on the heel side. I still think Alpha will eventually win the titles, but not anytime soon and certainly not here.
So, I guess I’m saying no new champions tonight despite three title matches.
5. What Else?
There were two other hot angles on last week’s show. I anticipate we’ll see fallout from both this week.
Renee Young slapped The Miz after he called her out for sleeping with Dean Ambrose. Angles such as this don’t often work, but with the Young-Ambrose relationship no secret, this one definitely has a chance. It can obviously be a backdrop for a Miz-Ambrose IC Title program or do we even do a mixed tag with Ambrose/Young vs. Miz/Maryse?
Natalya revealed herself as Nikki Bella’s attacker last week. It was a surprise in the sense that it was no surprise. Given Natalya’s promo last week, you have to wonder if this “bleeds” into the Cena return.
I have some real high hopes for this show, so I’m looking forward to tonight’s review. Talk to you again then.