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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Feb. 21, 2017): Out of the ring

Ontario, California probably won’t get The Rock (he was here filming Fighting With My Family over the weekend), but they will get everybody’s favorite blue-hued WWE brand!

The Headliners

It’s nice when the Royal Rumble is so devoted to you and your cause that he opts to not challenge you for your WWE World championship. That’s the situation in which Bray Wyatt finds himself. It’s less nice if you’re General Manager Daniel Bryan and you still need a WrestleMania main event.

So while conveniently not addressing whether or not Randy Orton could opt to challenge for Raw’s top title, Team SmackDown will go ahead and hold a battle royal to determine the #1 contender for Bray’s belt.

Both the men Bray defeated last week, John Cena & AJ styles have another shot in this one... and we know AJ isn’t happy about not just being given the Mania main event (could that lead to issues with management...hmmm?). Exiled Wyatt Family member Luke Harper will be as well, which should provide the main tie-in to the story or Orton and the champ.

Otherwise, it’s an incubator for other angles in the singles scene (and that we’ll touch upon below) - The Miz, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Apollo Crews, Kalisto, Mojo Rawley and Dean Ambrose.

Battle royals (battles royal?) are messy propositions, but this one has a great story behind it and should anchor another solid Tuesday night.

The Title Scene

After eliminating him in the Chamber, Intercontinental titleholder Ambrose’s been a whipping boy for Corbin. With the Lunatic Fringe looking everywhere for him last week, the Lone Wolf snuck up on the champ and darn near electrocuted him. Ambrose will continue looking for revenge tonight.

Naomi’s dream-come-true turned into a potential nightmare when she discovered she’d injured herself while winning the Women’s championship. The wrestler she defeated, Alexa Bliss, has given her until tonight to give her her rematch or hand over the belt.

Tag champs American Alpha managed to get the best of The Ascension twice last week, but the Usos were lurking around both times. At some point, Chad Gable & Jason Jordan are going to have to deal with those guys, two-on-two.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- In tonight’s other marquee match-up, GM DB has declared things between Nikki Bella & Natalya have to end, so he’s booked them in a Falls Count Anywhere match! Considering how much of their feud’s taken place outside the ring... this plan just might work.

- Mickie James & Becky Lynch traded wins last week, but it might have been 2 - 0 Bex if Mickie hadn’t taken a page out of Little Miss Bliss’ double-jointed, injury-faking playbook.

- The... friendship? Love affair? Let’s just go with... relationship between James Ellsworth & Carmella continues to get screen time. Surely, it’s going somewhere.

- Not only is Dolph EVIL, but he also doesn’t like those darn kids Kalisto & Crews and their sad thinking.

Six weeks until WrestleMania 33!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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