WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER 12/18: Final TLC Hype, Ziggler & Roode Want Gold, No Hugs for Bianca, Carmella’s Champagne Toast, Sami Awards

BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
DECEMBER 18, 2020
TAMPA, FL. IN THE AWARD WINNING, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, THUNDERDOME CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR THE WWE UNIVERSE AT TROPICANA FIELD
AIRS ON FS1 NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

AIRING ON FS1 TONIGHT

As a result of the Pac-12 Championship game between Oregon and USC airing on Fox tonight, Smackdown will air on FS1.

Match Results and Segments from Last Week

  • Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and Carmella hyped their match at TLC to open the show, which led to them having a match for the title in the main event of Smackdown.
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated ½ of the Smackdown Tag Team Champion Street Profits Montez Ford.
  • Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn defeated Big E via count out in non-title match,
  • Kevin Owens addressed his challenge to Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship in a TLC match at the upcoming aforementioned named PPV. Reigns’ cousin Jey Uso attacked Kevin until he came back. Roman came out with his council Paul Heyman when Paul talked him out of attacking Kevin once Jey was neutralized.
  • The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan) defeated Natalya & Billie Kay.
  • Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Chad Gable & Otis after a video was shown with Gable training Otis.
  • King Corbin acknowledged Steven Cutler & Wesley Blake as his “Knights of the Lone Wolf.”
  • Carmella defeated Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks via DQ when Sasha failed to break a referee’s count. Carmella attacked Sasha after the match and smashed a champagne bottle on her.

Items Advertised by WWE

Tonight’s edition of Smackdown will be the last WWE TV before TLC this coming Sunday, the final PPV/network event of 2020. Thus far two matches are advertised, which we knew from watching last week’s episode. I was Wade Keller’s co-host on the post show. If you haven’t listened to that episode, I encourage you to do so along with listening to episode #1 of my PWTorch VIP podcast WWE Then and Now. I had Pro Wrestling Torch columnist Greg Parks as my cohost, and we broke down the first TLC PPV from 2009 and the relevancy of that show today. We then looked at the major stories from last year’s show and how the characters involved have progressed over the past year. That said, here’s what’s advertised for tonight:

  • The Street Profits to battle Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode in SmackDown Tag Team Title Match.
  • Bayley to take on Bianca Belair.
  • Smackdown to host Carmella’s Champagne Toast.
  • Don’t miss The First Annual Sami Awards on SmackDown.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Street Profits (champs Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode are going to look to cash in recent victories and try to capture their first Smackdown Tag Team Championship by taking on the Street Profits, currently in their “first” reign. The Profits became Raw Tag Team Champions back in March but exchanged the titles with New Day when the Profits were drafted to Smackdown and the New Day were drafted to Raw. Ziggler & Roode held the Raw Tag Team Championship from September of 2019 for a month. They recently defeated the Profits in a non-title match in addition to Ziggler’s victory over Ford last week.

Here’s Roode & Ziggler in a WWE exclusive:

Frank’s Analysis: If either of the tag team championships meant something, it’d be worth making a prediction. I could see the Profits retaining since they lost the non-title match and Ziggler’s win, but it could go the other way. It really doesn’t matter.

Bianca Belair vs. Bayley

Bianca Belair goes one-on-one with former Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley tonight. Two weeks ago, Bayley tapped out to another former champion in Natalya when she applied her signature Sharpshooter with Bianca on commentary. Here’s a little trash talk on Twitter between both women:

https://twitter.com/BiancaBelairWWE/status/1339032912650510341?s=20

Frank’s Analysis: Talk about defining down a champion that held a title for over a year. I don’t know what a victory over Bayley does for Bianca if Bayley is tapping out to Natalya, who loses to everybody. It’s sad to be so negative about this feud because it should just be the bee’s knees, but it’s not. Bayley might as well have never held the title the way they’ve treated her recently.

Carmella’s Champagne Toast

Raise your glasses folks! Tonight, Carmella will have a champagne toast ahead of her challenge of Sasha Banks for the Smackdown women’s championship. They had a match on Smackdown last week that ended in a DQ when Sasha refused to break a hold. They were originally supposed to only sign the contract, but during the signing Sasha dared Carmella to come to the ring and get the title “tonight.” Carmella talked about playing chess and Sasha spewed out a bunch of lines in a mostly incoherent useless segment that by definition of the word, was better than two weeks ago. That’s setting the bar REALLY low.

It’s not the first time they’ve had celebratory segments for Carmella. They had two Mellabrations in 2018 after she defeated Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown title. Here are those segments, the first of which was interrupted by Charlotte and the second by Asuka:

Frank’s Analysis: I probably should have been harder on the segment on the post show last week, but as I mentioned it was better than two weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean I thought it was good. It’s sad to say, but Carmella is better in her role than Sasha is in hers. I don’t think they’re putting the title on Carmella, but I can’t rule it out. I can see Vince being more into Carmella carrying the title around in this version of her (which isn’t really different from that) than Sasha being champion. He’s never shown a desire to keep the title on Sasha for an extended period of time.

The Sami Awards

Next week on the WWE Network, WWE will host the Slammy Awards for the first time since 2015. The first Slammys were held in 1986 and was an on-and-off tradition with the most consistent period happening from 2008-2015. Here’s a link to WWE’s website and in particular the page in which they list the award categories and the eligible wrestlers:

https://www.wwe.com/shows/wwe-slammy-awards/article/the-slammy-awards-return-wednesday-dec-23-on-wwe-network

Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn has an issue with the Slammys and indicated as such on Twitter:

Does Sami’s t-shirt introduced last week get consideration for “Merch of the Year” if there were such a category?

Frank’s Analysis: I want a Sami Award. Actually, we should have awards here at the Torch. Would it be a Wadie Award? Maybe a Torchie?

Other Expectations and Final Thoughts

It’s amazing how the Roman Reigns story is covering for a lot of bad writing on Smackdown. It’s not all bad because I think Sami Zayn is providing great material and I don’t think it’s appreciated enough. They’re not featuring the women in the best light and the tag division is a joke, I’m sorry. Overall, I still look forward to Smackdown because of Roman and Sami. Kevin Owens is holding up his end as well although I didn’t think his segment was extraordinarily strong last week. He still made me feel like the Universal Championship was important to him. Roman addressing Kevin’s family saying he puts food on their table was just pure gold. Most important, let’s look to see how they set up the final show before TLC.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!

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