Tonight's episode of SmackDown was filmed on Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio. We've got a spoiler report for you here. If you just want to get ready for the show without knowing who wins and loses, read on!
He loves to overcome, and on Sunday at Royal Rumble, WWE champ Roman Reigns will get to overcome like no one in the company has ever done before when he defends his title in that show's namesake match.
As a warm-up, the Big Dog gets a chance to duel his old rivals the League of Nations in a handicap match. Given his track record of success when facing Sheamus, King Barrett, Alberto Del Rio and Rusev, it's probably safe to assume Reigns will come out of SmackDown's main event intact. He'll probably have a few bruises (who works with the Celtic Warrior and doesn't?), but it will be preferable to the beating he took from the Wyatts on Raw.
The Title Scene
Heading into this week, we assumed WWE World Heavyweight champion Reigns' biggest obstacle on pay-per-view (PPV) was Brock Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate is an issue, for sure, but based on how the go-home episode of Raw was put together, he knows the McMahons are willing to stack the odds against him. Vince and Steph made sure he'll enter the Rumble at #1, and the show was booked to make it clear he should be watching for Bray Wyatt, Chris Jericho, and maybe a few other surprises, too.
Every other title on the card got a match made for Sunday in Orlando, so look for tune-up matches, promos and segments further setting up Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte for the Divas belt, tag champs the New Day battling the Usos, Kalisto's latest shot at U.S. titleist Del Rio and Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose attempting to end their Intercontinental championship issues in a Last Man Standing match.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- Even with a title defense coming up, Xavier Woods, Big E & Kofi Kingston are still dealing with their grief over the loss of Francesca, and might blow up Y2J's bathroom after a trip to Chipotle to get revenge.
- Social Outcasts got a ton of publicity thanks to a Tough Enough winner with poor locker room/social media etiquette. It was probably better publicity than getting punched out by Big Show on Raw so we can remember what a threat the Giant is in Sunday's over-the-top rope elimination match.
- Total Divas came back, so expect more nonsensical booking of the ladies everywhere but the title scene (until a member of the TD cast start chasing the title).
- You still owe us our pre-Royal Rumble brawl, WWE!
(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing - that will be posted behind spoiler text in the comments. If WWE.com releases more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, that'll be updated here)