WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER 12/6: Corbin promises to humiliate Reigns, Reigns faces Dolph Ziggler, plus what happened to Daniel Bryan under the ring, will TLC hype begin

By Frank Peteani, PWTorch Specialist

PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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DECEMBER 6, 2019

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

Arena, Top 10 Moments of Last Week’s Show, and Items Advertised by WWE

WWE Smackdown returns to the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C. for the first time in about five years. The arena first started hosting WWE events in 1996 and once hosted a Tribute to the Troops event in 2011. Impact Wresting also ran a few tapings in this location several years ago.

Here is the YouTube clip of the top 10 moments of last week’s show:

We head towards TLC on December 15 but don’t have any matches set up as of yet. They’ll likely start putting things in place for that tonight. Here’s what’s advertised for the show:

  • King Corbin vows to humiliate Roman Reigns
  • Roman Reigns to face Dolph Ziggler as struggle for Smackdown supremacy continues (weren’t we done with this crap already?)
  • What happened to Daniel Bryan?

Matches & Segments

  • Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
  • Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler

The ongoing feud between Roman Reigns and King Corbin continued last week when Corbin interrupted Reigns as he cut a promo in the opening segment. He was expressing gratitude for the support he had received over the past year, and also bragging about how his team won the men’s triple threat Survivor Series match. Corbin said it was his leadership that got the job done, and Roman turned on the team by spearing him causing him to get eliminated. After more back and forth, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler came out and Reigns took on Roode. Reigns defeated Roode, speared him through the front row after the match and flipped the announce table onto him (Braun Strowman must be suing for gimmick infringement). As Roode was being taken out on a stretcher, Reigns flipped it in this WWE.com exclusive:

After several weeks of dog mascots, chihuahuas barking on the Titantron, and high school banter Corbin is set to take on Reigns tonight one-on-one. WWE on FOX’s Twitter account announced that Reigns is also set to take on Dolph Ziggler. WWE.com is billing this as the “battle for control of Smackdown.” Here’s a tweet from Ziggler:

Frank’s Analysis: I’m not sure why Reigns has to pull double duty, but awwlrighty then! The Target Center in Minneapolis, MN., the host of this year’s TLC, is advertising Reigns vs. Corbin in a TLC match. That’s the direction I thought they were going, but it’s interesting that Reigns is getting involved with Roode & Ziggler as well. They could always do a six-man tag and involving Shorty G and Mustafa Ali if they wanted. They did a match on Smackdown a few weeks ago, and it wouldn’t hurt Shorty G & Ali to do a match like this. I’m fighting myself and feel bad for thinking this way, but I don’t mind the trio of Corbin & Ziggler & Roode. If they’re going to be a stable, which I doubt they will be by the way, but if they are, they need to establish why they’re together and discuss their mission statement.

Storyline Follow-Up

Daniel Bryan

Last week, Universal Champion Bray Wyatt was to introduce a new character to the Firefly Funhouse. Instead, he invited Daniel Bryan to “play with him again,” on the heels of defeating him at Survivor Series and retaining his championship. Later on, Kayla Braxton asked Bryan if he would accept the “invitation,” but was interrupted by Bray doing the Muscleman Dance in the Funhouse. The Miz later approached Bryan and cautioned him against dealing with Bray, saying they couldn’t afford to lose him, to which Bryan gave him a look and walked away.

At the end of the show, Bryan came out to the ring and talked about how nervous he was going into the match considering what happened to Finn Balor and Seth Rollins after they got involved with Bray. He ultimately brought back the “Yes!” movement by telling the fans they made him realize the person he should have been the whole time and accepted his invitation. As he was chanting “Yes! Yes!” with the fans, Bray appeared from the Funhouse. He talked about how Bryan changed him and how he built this place, and then the Fiend character appeared from under the ring and pulled Bryan under. As he held Bryan, he pulled out wads of his hair to close out the show.

Bryan must be alright, because he tweeted out a photo of his new action figure a few days ago. Tonight, we switch back to storyline mode and find out what is going on with how things closed out last week.

Frank’s Analysis: Was Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake hanging out under the ring and standing by to cut Bryan’s hair? Anyway, I’m curious to see what they do as I don’t expect Bryan to win the title. I was thinking this could have TLC potential as does Corbin-Reigns, but they won’t do two matches from Smackdown. Also, if Bryan can’t beat Bray in a gimmick match, what kind of damage does that do to Bryan? It’s a curious call continuing this feud.

Numerous Returns

Last week, we got multiple returns.

Sheamus returned to WWE after not being on television since right after WrestleMania. He talked about the locker room not being hungry or having a backbone. He said there’s a bunch of misfits and cowards including a Fiend, a King, and a Shorty G “whatever the hell that is” (exactly Sheamus!). He vowed that Smackdown will be his. Sheamus is a multiple-time World/WWE Champion, U.S. Champion, and Tag Team Champion. He’s also a King of the Ring, Royal Rumble, and Money in the Bank winner.

Alexa Bliss made her return helping her good friend Nikki Cross. Nikki defeated Sonya Deville, but then was attacked after the match by Deville and her Fire & Desire partner Mandy Rose. Bliss held the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship earlier in the year with Nikki before dropping the titles to the Kabuki Warriors. Bliss and Cross were drafted to Raw in October but were traded to Smackdown shortly thereafter.

Elias made his return as well. He hadn’t appeared on television since September, when he was pulled from the King of the Ring tournament. He interrupted Drake Maverick, who was hitting on Dana Brooke (in a real creepy way, storyline or not). He played a song and got Dana to dance, while Drake walked away. I guess he still hasn’t consummated his marriage yet. I didn’t see him silence his cell phone at the request of Elias.

We can nonetheless expect to see more of the returning talent tonight.

Frank’s Analysis: It looked like Sheamus’ mohawk was gone, so for me the rest is gravy. He provides a big boost on either side of the pond. I’d actually make him a babyface, but heel would be just fine. It looks like Alexa will be a babyface, but we’ll see how that goes. Just a few months ago she was having Nikki to her dirty work, so she should explain why she’s changed her ways. Elias’ return is what it is. It’s a comedy act at best, but a component of the show.

Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week

  • Mustafa Ali defeated Drew Gulak
  • Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley & Sasha Banks complained about what happened in the women’s triple threat match at Survivor Series, including taking a shot at Lacey Evans. Lacey came out and said they couldn’t lead a chicken dance at a garden party. She gave Bayley a Woman’s Right. Who does the chicken dance anymore anyway? My wife and I banned it at our wedding.
  • The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) retained the Smackdown Tag Team Championship over Cesaro & Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura.

Closing Thoughts

We have two Smackdowns and one more Raw until TLC, and no matches are announced yet. I’m don’t know if they’re trying to sort things out after Survivor Series or they’re just not sure what they’re doing, but they run the risk of nobody caring about TLC if they can’t bother to talk about the event. I look forward to joining long-time PWTorch columnist Greg Parks on Wrestling Night in America this coming Sunday to preview TLC as well as the other happenings around the wrestling business.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!

CATCH UP… LECLAIR’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 11/29: Alt perspective, detailed coverage of New Day open challenge, Daniel Bryan and The Fiend, Returns, Sasha & Bayley address the women’s division, more

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