WWE SmackDown: Burning Questions to Address After Jan. 10 Show

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJanuary 11, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

Impending darkness and danger created the biggest questions to come out of Tuesday's WWE SmackDown.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hosted the blue brand as The Wyatt Family nearly shattered live on the air. Dolph Ziggler unleashed more of the viciousness lurking inside him. Carmella looked to be setting a trap for her new love interest.

Will Bray Wyatt watch his clan burn to ashes? Is Ziggler's newfound villainy the secret to unlocking his potential?

Is Carmella going to devour James Ellsworth at some point?

The latest SmackDown offered hints about where these tales are headed, making sure to give just enough to create intrigue. The following is a look at those, digging into SmackDown's unanswered questions.


Has WWE Found the Key to Rejuvenating Ziggler?

Ziggler continued his rage-fueled descent on Tuesday night.

After losing a match to Kalisto, The Showoff became unhinged. He attacked the luchador after the bell and soon throttled Apollo Crews as well. Ziggler smashed both babyfaces with chair shots in a compelling stretch of furor.

This transition to heel status suits him. His character suddenly has momentum.

And he has looked recharged since shifting toward the dark side.

The move isn't a cure-all, though. Ziggler didn't exactly hit it out of the park with his promo on Talking Smack after the show.

Bryan Alvarez of Figure Four Online criticized Ziggler's rant:

Ziggler will have to find his footing on the verbal front to maximize his heel turn. He's been telling a much different story for so long. He's reinventing himself, and it's expected that the transition won't be perfect.

Overall, however, Ziggler has shone since his eruption last week. WWE has found an avenue for The Showoff to go charging down—one that will make him more relevant in the coming months.


What Does Carmella Have Planned for James Ellsworth?

Ellsworth aided Carmella during her defeat of CJ Lunde. He was hoping for a kiss as a reward afterward, but she sidestepped his advance.

The Princess of Staten Island changed the subject and told Ellsworth he had to be patient. For now, he would have to settle for a shopping trip.

The look in Carmella's eye during her interaction with Ellsworth suggested something is amiss here. Is Carmella using him? Is she set to betray him at some point?

This may look like a simple, silly story at first glance, but it's likely the precursor to something dastardly. Carmella can earn all kinds of heel points by breaking Ellsworth's heart and/or legs. 

That's the kind of payoff this angle needs.


What's in Store When the Women Step into the Steel?

Becky Lynch will get another crack at Alexa Bliss. And this time, there will be a barrier to hopefully prevent further interference from the mysterious La Luchadora.

SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan announced on Tuesday that Lynch will face Bliss in a Steel Cage match for the Women's Championship next week.

It's a welcome sight for SmackDown to finally get a chance to host a groundbreaking bout. That has been Raw's territory for the most part, as Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks battled in a variety of gimmick matches. 

This won't be the first women's cage match, but it is still a rarity.

Fans will be watching to see if Lynch and Bliss are allowed to be as savage to each other as that kind of match demands. This can't be a diluted cage match—a held-back contest like we saw from Nikki Bella and Carmella in their No Disqualification clash at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view last year.

Banks and Flair tore each other apart in various contests. Now, it's SmackDown's turn.

Hopefully WWE books the match to be hard-hitting and intense, allowing these women to tell a violent story befitting of the cage. 


How Much Longer Can The Wyatt Family Hold Off the Collapse?

Randy Orton and Luke Harper almost came to blows again.

The Wyatt Family nearly reclaimed the SmackDown Tag Team Championships from American Alpha, but infighting between Orton and Harper distracted the challengers. After the bell, Bray Wyatt had to step between his followers to prevent a full-scale meltdown.

Tension has been brewing for months. Orton and Harper look more than ready to oust the other from the group.

Daily DDT foresees an implosion:

That's looking more and more likely. But can WWE stretch this story out, or is the new-look Wyatt Family going to be scrapped before its time?

A slow-burn pace would have benefited this angle in a big way. That doesn't look to be where WWE is headed, though. It's on the verge of rushing things and moving on too quickly.

Unless we're in for weeks upon weeks of a teased split, only to watch The Wyatt Family survive longer than expected.

If WWE doesn't have a great plan in place for Wyatt, Harper and Orton outside of this faction, it should just leave these guys together. The breakup tale can happen at any point down the road.


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