Every week, WWE puts out so much content that it can be overwhelming to keep track of what’s going on, so every week, we provide a breakdown of what to expect from Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, NXT, and more. This week features Raw Tag Team Championship action, the ends of friendships, and more.
Monday Night Raw (12.4.17)
This week, Monday Night Raw kicks things off with three big matches. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose get their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships, Paige makes her in-ring return against Sasha Banks, and there is a Fatal Four-Way Match to determine who will face Rich Swann in a #1 Contender’s Match next week.
The Raw Tag Team Championship rematch stems from the brand warfare of Survivor Series. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) were having their rematch for the titles and a distraction from The New Day gave Sheamus the perfect opportunity to Brogue Kick his way to his and Cesaro’s third Raw Tag Team Championship reign this year. Now that the “battle for brand supremacy” is over, Ambrose and Rollins look to bring two more titles to the Shield.
Paige’s in-ring return is probably the most notable match of the night. For at least a year, the former Divas Champion was rehabbing from an injury that kept her out of action throughout most of the “Women’s Evolution.” She returned a couple weeks ago alongside the debuting Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville as a group known as Absolution. Paige wants the credit for helping to start the modernization of women’s wrestling, and she wants to prove it by taking out one of the Four Horsewomen, Sasha Banks.
The last advertised match for Raw this week involves the mostly forgotten Cruiserweight Division. Last week, General Manager Kurt Angle admitted that the division has been getting very little attention, so he decided to create two Fatal Four-Way matches to determine the new #1 Contender to Enzo Amore’s Cruiserweight Championship. Rich Swann won the Fatal Four-Way match last week and now Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, Mustafa Ali, and Cedric Alexander try and do the same thing. The winner faces Swann next week in a #1 Contender’s match.
There are still a couple of questions to answer: How does Absolution’s presence affect the Raw Women’s Championship picture? How will Roman Reigns respond Samoa Joe’s attack last week? Finally, how will the feud between Braun Strowman and Kane continue?
SmackDown Live (12.5.17)
Unlike Monday Night Raw, there aren’t any previously announced matches for SmackDown Live. Instead, we look at last week’s episode to figure out what is going to happen this week.
Of course, there is the ongoing story with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan, and Shane McMahon. McMahon wants both of them fired, but Bryan knows their value and wants to “punish” them through competition. Bryan put Owens in a No Disqualification Match against Randy Orton last week, which Owens won thanks to the help of Zayn. Perhaps they will ramp up the punishment this week.
While there wasn’t anything announced for SmackDown this week, there were three matches announced for the blue brand’s next Pay-Per-View, Clash of Champions. Along with AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal, Charlotte will defend her title against Natalya, Baron Corbin will defend the United States Championship against Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode, and The Usos will put the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line against the New Day and the team of Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. Expect the follow-up to these announcements this week, probably with singles matches involving the tag teams.
Finally, there are still some unanswered questions. Jinder Mahal attacked the Singh Brothers last week, so is this the end of their alliance? Mojo Rawley turned on Zack Ryder, so what is next for the former Hype Bros? Lastly, what will the Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan) do next?
205 Live (12.6.17)
With all of the important Cruiserweight action taking place on Raw, it is interesting to see what they will do with 205 Live. Perhaps Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher will receive more attention among others, and every week gets closer to the debut of Hideo Itami.
WWE NXT (12.7.17)
Now that the filler NXT episodes are over, it is time to look forward to NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia in January. General Manager William Regal has announced four singles matches that will lead to a Fatal Four-Way #1 Contender’s Match, with the winner facing Andrade “Cien” Almas for the NXT Championship.
Here are the planned qualifying matches:
- Killian Dain vs. Trent Seven
- Kassius Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream
- Lars Sullivan vs. Roderick Strong
- Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black
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