WWE United States Champions Match
Baron Corbin (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode
The three of these guys have been going at it individually for months now, in one variation or another, so I guess they just decided to throw them all together rather than pursue uncharted territory with a brand new program. Two weeks ago Ziggler laid out both men, interfering during a one-on-one television bout, and just this past week Roode returned the favor with a pair of Glorious DDTs.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Well you’ve heard the old adage a thousand times before; the champion doesn’t have to be pinned or even involved in the finish of a triple threat match to lose the title. That presents an opportunity to get the belt off Corbin without really hurting him too much, if that’s the direction they wanted to go in. I don’t get the feeling his time is up though, and Roode’s shine is starting to wear off outside the extravagant entrance.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: One thing I’ve enjoyed about Corbin’s title reign is that he’s picked up a handful of decisive victories without actually having to cheat. He’s a heel, and gets plenty of heat no matter who he’s in the ring with, but he can still get the job done when it counts. John Cena withstanding… Corbin should exit 2017 as United States Champion, and I’d like to see him get a big win by actually pinning Ziggler or Roode here.
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. Benjamin/Gable vs. Rusev/English
Similar to throwing the U.S. title programs together to escape having to do any real creative flexing, with the war between The Usos and The New Day finally over it seems like Smackdown’s just putting together anyone with momentum as they bide time for the rest of 2017.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Chad Gable in particular has had a ton of momentum recently, displaying a vicious mean streak no matter who he’s in the ring with. It’s been enough that he and Benjamin have scored some big wins, and that “ruthless aggression” has even rubbed off on the Gold Standard at times. I see the World’s Gablest Tag Team taking the gold tonight, especially since The Usos don’t have to actually be involved.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: As much as I’ve loved The Usos, and currently have them sitting on top of my Best Tag Teams of 2017 list, I think it’s finally time to step away. Those “day one” boys and their rival New Day foes have controlled tag team wrestling on the Smackdown brand this year, and as they’re fond of telling people, they’ve beaten everyone there is to beat. Unless there are plans to bring new blood to the brand from NXT or otherwise, it might be time to get The Usos away from the titles altogether, in favor of building up a new, credible threat.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Tyler Breeze & Fandango
I’ve quite enjoyed watching Harper and Rowan toss around grown men like sacks of flour for the last few weeks. Not unlike when Ryback was ripping through jobbers left and right, sometimes two or three at a time. I question why they needed to jump right into a match against a somewhat “established” tag team, but here we are…
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: The match will definitely be longer than their 45 seconds squashes on Smackdown recently, but I don’t see this going longer than 5-6 minutes. And it shouldn’t.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: The Fashion Police should get a few moves of offense in; make it seem like they’re more credible than the jobbers Harper and Rowan have been dealing with recently, but not by a whole lot. Let it go a few minutes, give Deputy Dango and Breezy a nice comeback spot, and let the Bludgeon Brothers go wild to get a solid victory on PPV.