WWE taped next week’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown over a full week early, and although it looks light on story, there’s a lot of in-ring action to look forward to.
The December 27 edition of SmackDown will see three members of The Shield in singles matches, gives the tag team division a platform to make an impact and also features WWE Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton in one-on-one competition.
As per usual, WWE’s holiday content doesn’t really give us any indication as to their creative direction for their next pay-per-view, the Royal Rumble. Despite that, this is a show that certainly looks worth watching.
The taping took place in Corpus Christie, Texas, and below are full spoilers, courtesy of wrestlinginc.com.
- John Cena opens the show and says he wants his rematch against Randy Orton. The Shield hit the ring and beat Cena down, but Mark Henry and Big E Langston make the save. Kane comes out and announces Roman Reigns vs. Henry, Seth Rollins vs. Cena and Dean Ambrose vs. Langston for later tonight.
- The Usos are defeated by Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. After the match, Bray Wyatt hits Sister Abigail on one of the Usos.
- Randy Orton is in a backstage interview but is interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. Kane then makes a match between the two.
- Antonio Cesaro beats Cody Rhodes.
- The Prime Time Players defeat Ryback and Curtis Axel.
- Randy Orton gets a pinfall victory over Dolph Ziggler, then hits Ziggler with another RKO after the match.
- Daniel Bryan defeats Damien Sandow. The Wyatt Family come out and Bray tells Bryan to join them.
- Dean Ambrose is beaten by Big E Langston.
- Roman Reigns defeats Mark Henry.
- The show closes with John Cena getting a victory over Seth Rollins.
Believe in Roman Reigns
The three main matches of the show all involve members of The Shield, but the only hound of justice that finds victory is Roman Reigns.
It always seemed likely that Reigns would find success in the WWE, but only at Survivor Series did we get a glimpse of how seriously the company is taking him right now.
Ever since then, the second generation superstar has essentially been the focal point of The Shield—he’s been making all the impact and been protected from all the losses.
This trend continues on the December 27 episode of SmackDown, as Reigns gets a big victory over Mark Henry, while Ambrose and Rollins aren’t able to overcome Big E or Cena.
With January around the corner, expect big things out of Roman Reigns for 2014’s Royal Rumble.
The Show Off Gets Some Spotlight
Dolph Ziggler has been sliding down the card ever since he tragically lost his rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank back in July.
Lately we’ve seen him in mini-feuds with the likes of Damien Sandow and Fandango, and more often than not he’s come up on the losing end.
For the first time in what seems like forever, Ziggler is given a chance to actually steal the show, as he goes head to head with the WWE Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton.
The two have had many bouts in the past, and their rivalry in 2012 produced some great matches.
As is to be expected, Orton gets the win over Ziggler here, but hopefully this is a sign that WWE will begin to take Dolph a little more seriously, rather than place him in a series of silly gimmick matches.
Battle of the Beards
WWE continues Daniel Bryan’s feud with The Wyatts when Bray Wyatt once again beckons Bryan to join his wicked family.
Their rivalry is interesting, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that WWE doesn’t really know where it’s going with it, and as such there are some glaring logical inconsistencies.
Why did they let Bryan free after they kidnapped him on the Raw after Survivor Series? Why didn’t they kidnap him again after they defeated him at TLC?
It seems as though the company is just trying to give the Submission Specialist something to do until WrestleMania season.
Still, their match at TLC was great, and a one-on-one bout between Bryan and Bray seems inevitable, so even if the story is muddled, at least we have that to look forward to.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @dvanboom
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