Clash of Champions Fallout: Latest Rumors, Preview for WWE SmackDown Dec. 19

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterDecember 19, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

WWE SmackDown is poised to address the confusion that lingered after Sunday's Clash of Champions pay-per-view.

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon bickered as referees during Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn's win over Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura. The SmackDown commissioner showed a clear bias against the heels. Bryan, meanwhile, delivered a fast-count that cost Orton and Nakamura the match.

Animosity is now set to boil over between Bryan and Shane-O-Mac with KO and Zayn right in the middle of it all.


What is the relationship between @shanemcmahon and @WWEDanielBryan following controversy at #WWEClash of Champions? Find out TOMORROW NIGHT on #SDLive at 8/7c on @USA_Network! https://t.co/qj5y22kQZo

The Usos will be in action, The New Day will have some Christmas-themed fun and the new United States champ has some gloating ahead of him when SmackDown heads to Newark, New Jersey.

What else is on tap for Tuesday's show? Read on for an early look at the latest episode with help from news updates, the SmackDown preview for WWE.com and projections.


News, Rumors

SmackDown fans are going to have to be patient about Becky Lynch's return. She has been away filming a movie and may not be back until 2018.

Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported: "Lynch is being figured into creative plans on the SmackDown brand for early January."

Tuesday's show won't feature any John Cena either. Although the free agent fought for Team Blue at Survivor Series, he's headed back to Raw next week. WWE announced on Monday that Cena will appear on the Christmas edition of the show.

Wrestling Observer @WONF4W

John Cena returning to WWE Raw on Christmas Day https://t.co/y9HDzMCCJN https://t.co/vbCodaREHm

But is that a one-time deal? Joseph Currier noted for Figure Four Online "Next Monday should tell whether he's just being added to give Raw a boost on Christmas or if he'll be on the brand more often as we head into Royal Rumble season."

Tuesday's SmackDown may see some preparation for the Mixed Match Challenge. Nia Jax and Alicia Fox have already given some thought to who they want their partners to be. The blue brand's teams may include some husband-and-wife pairings.

Pro Wrestling Sheet founder Ryan Satin reported: "There's been talk of pairing up real-life married couples Jimmy Uso/Naomi and Lana/Rusev."


SmackDown Streaks

The Bludgeon Brothers continue to overwhelm the opposition. Harper and Rowan blasted Breezango at Clash of Champions in their latest show of power.

The behemoths have now won five straight and have put together a 4-0 mark on SmackDown since re-debuting, per CageMatch.net. It's obvious WWE is looking to give them all sorts of momentum, as the company has portrayed them as unstoppable destroyers thus far.

Tye Dillinger, meanwhile, can't even get onscreen to get his face crushed a la Tyler Breeze.

The Perfect 10 hasn't wrestled on SmackDown since Oct. 3, per CageMatch.net. He has since failed to compete in 10 straight episodes. Dillinger has been relegated to the dark match the past three weeks.

With Sunday's PPV over, though, some fresh storylines are bound to emerge, possibly leading to his doing something other than warming up the crowd before the show airs.


Clash of Champions Aftershocks

The New Day is set to do a holiday-themed segment. The trio failed to capture the SmackDown Tag Team Championship on Sunday, but Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods will shift their focus to Christmas and spreading cheer.

Dolph Ziggler will apparently have a party of his own.

The Showoff claimed the United States Championship in a Triple Threat match at Clash of Champions. Now, it's time to bask in that victory. The WWE.com SmackDown preview noted: "He has a special celebration planned in honor of his big win."

A far different mood will mark Natalya's appearance on SmackDown. After failing to defeat Charlotte Flair on Sunday, the former women's champ promised to turn her back on the WWE Universe.

Usually, that's code for a heel turn, but The Hart Dungeon Diva is already a villain. She may be undergoing another kind of character shift or taking some time off.


.@NatbyNature officially turned her back on the @WWEUniverse at #WWEClash... so, what's next? https://t.co/13SGLwm0Mt

SmackDown will also lean heavily on tag team wrestling.

First off, The Usos will be in non-title action against Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. The champs have now twice been able to fend off Gable and Benjamin. The suplexing squad will now get a chance to prove it deserves another crack at the gold

The night's biggest match will see Orton, Nakamura and AJ Styles team up against Jinder Mahal, Owens and Zayn. That suggests Styles vs. Mahal isn't quite over despite The Phenomenal One's decisive victory against him on Sunday.

Credit: WWE.com

Bryan and McMahon's issues are poised to figure into this matchup and the show as a whole. What's next for those men was the biggest question coming out of Clash of Champions.

And fans won't have to wait long for the answer.