About Last Night

WWE SmackDown 12/05/17: Just Getting Warmed Up

The tensions between Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon are starting to sizzle

by Owen Douglass | December 06, 2017

About Last Night is a quick reflection on the matches and segments, or random observations, from a wrestling show that sticks out to us the morning after we watch them. If you would like to get your comments featured, chime in below in our comments section or tweet us. You can also help support us on Patreon.

About The 12 Days of Rusev...

He is so stoked about that shirt.

Everyone knows the best day of the year is Rusev Day. Fortunately that's every day, and they even put out a shirt to celebrate it. Aiden English tried to sing The 12 Days of Rusev, and I was excited to hear about all the great gifts, but The New Day had to ruin it with their giant pancakes. Seriously, are they going to release a pancake mix now with Booty O's cereal in them?

Regardless, Rusev & Aiden English took on Kofi Kingston & Big E, and apparently The New Day are the key to getting a shot at the Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions. First they defeated Gable & Benjamin to be added to the match, and new they lost here to add Rusev & English to the match. The most interesting part of this is the rules for the Fatal 4-Way tag match here is having 4 active men and them only tagging their own partners, instead of having two active who can tag anyway. It should cause some fun chaos.

About The Riott Squad...

Same, Daniel Bryan.

Absolution is crushing it on Raw. They seem to have found a good balance with them, having the focus on a veteran Paige while the other two have smaller parts as they develop. However, The Riott Squad are all fairly green in the WWE system and having equal balance on all of them is hurting the entire group. Liv Morgan feels completely out of place, Sarah Logan can't seem to form words that sound like a human saying them, and Ruby Riott does not feel like a convincing leader. They had a backstage interview and a post-match promo/attack after Charlotte Flair took on Tamina, and I wasn't a fan of any of it. Naomi and Becky Lynch's absence felt very prominent on this show, as the who dynamic of the Women's Division is off.

About Mojo Rawley...

Heel Mojo might actually be good

Mojo Rawley finally turned heel last week when he attacked Zack Ryder after their second loss to the Bludgeon Brothers. This week he had a backstage interview to explain himself, and he came off as an asshole who actually has good motivations for what he did. The Hype Bros. were on the cusp of winning tag gold before Zack got injured and threw it all away. When Mojo was solo, he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania (remember that?). When Ryder returned, they fell back into being a lower tier tag team that wasn't going anywhere. So he needed to get out and go back to his successful singles run, and having this new heel fire under him may help him reach even greater heights. I'm excited to see where this goes if they handle it properly and not just forget about him.

About The United States Championship...

I couldn't even find anything interesting to GIF

Over the weekend they decided that it'd be better to use social media to make matches for Clash of Champions instead of using up the little television time they get each week. The match for the tag titles made sense, but then they announced Baron Corbin vs. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship. I'm sorry, but where did Ziggler come from in all of this? Sure, he had a feud with Roode last month, but that feels like years ago with Survivor Series happening. He's been missing on television lately, so inserting him into the title picture felt very bizarre. Corbin and Roode weren't fans of it either in their backstage segment before having a singles match on SmackDown.

Dolph Ziggler was on commentary for the match, and while he did a decent job putting both men over it was super obvious where this was headed. As the match was wrapping up, he went into the ring and Zig Zagged Roode, and then gave one to Corbin. I was left shrugging my shoulders, because this whole story has no sizzle behind it. But that makes sense when it involves a boring Baron Corbin, a going-nowhere Dolph Ziggler, and a should-be-a-heel Bobby Roode.

About Shane McMahon Being a McMahon...

That stare though

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are tragic characters on SmackDown. They're likable assholes that don't always do what's best for anyone except them, but they're very entertaining at their job. However, they keep ruining Shane McMahon's plans so he has to act like a McMahon, which was touched upon on the opening promo. Because they won't stay in line with Shane's vision of the show, he keeps putting them in unfair situations to punish them. Owens and Zayn respond by finding creative ways to still play within these stipulations and still find a way to succeed, which only makes Shane angrier.

Last night Shane decided to put Sami against Randy Orton, his personal hitman it seems, with Kevin Owens handcuffed to the rope at ringside so he can't interfere and has to watch. Owens tries to ask Daniel Bryan off-camera for help but gets an "I'll consider it" that ends up being futile. Sami Zayn gets creative with bolt cutters to break Owens free, and it works but still results in him losing. The result is we get Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura taking on Owens & Zayn at Clash of Champions.

The most interesting part of this is that as the show is closing, Daniel Bryan asks if this is enough punishment and Shane McMahon will lay off of them now. Shane responds by saying it's "just getting warmed up" and inserts him as the referee of the tag match with the added stipulation of if Owens and Zayn lose they are fired from the entirety of WWE. Daniel Bryan does not look happy at this, and it feels even stronger than ever that Bryan is going to turn on Shane, and it will happen during this match at Clash of Champions. Shane seems to be going way off the deep end with this vendetta and I'm not even sure if he will leave this as the face anymore. But Bryan can't be the face if he's siding with heels, unless there is another piece that is missing. This is exactly the intrigue factor needed to make the pay-per-view worth watching outside of good wrestling.

What did you think of this week's SmackDown? Let us know in the comments!

About Owen Douglass

Owen Douglass is a co-founder of ProWrestling.Cool and one of the hosts of the Heel Turn podcast. With over 20 years of wrestling experience, there isn't much that shocks him these days.



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