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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Dec. 4, 2018): Role reversal

The blue team (or at least the members of it not paying Tribute To The Troops) does Austin on Tues., Dec. 4.

The Headliners

We needn’t worry about the chemistry between The Miz and his guest on Miz TV this week. Talking segments & promos delivered to & about one another have given the A-Lister & WWE champ Daniel Bryan some of the signature moments of the past few years worth of WWE television. But when they sit down tonight, will we see a different dynamic than ever before? Each man’s circumstances have certainly changed considerably since the last time DB was a guest on Miz’s show-within-the-show.

First and foremost, this is the New Daniel Bryan - a bigger change than even the fact he’s carring the strap over his shoulder for the first time in years. Lke Old Daniel Bryan, this version is still committed to chasing his dreams, but he’s willing to cut some corners to achieve them... and he’s not willing to sacrifice his body or kowtow to the fans.

Sound familar?

An alliance between the bitter rivals would make sense at this point, right? Not so fast. The star of The Marine franchise (the head Marine-r?) hasn’t turned face or anything, but he is strangely focused on representing SmackDown as co-Best in the World with commissioner Shane McMahon. That’s led to one in-ring team-up between Shane & Miz, and a few pep talks for Shane from the Awesome One. Which would be weird enough, if McMahon and Bryan hadn’t been kayfabe business partners for a couple years and actually teamed up in the ring at WrestleMania 34 a few months back.

Will Miz applaud Bryan’s new attitude, and if so, how will the champ respond? Are we going to see a crucial building block to a ‘Mania WWE title bout? Will it include any Talking Smack-esque promos? Will Shane O’Mac get involved, and if so, on whose side?

Even without the rumors of Miz and Shane getting in on WWE’s turn train, there’d be a lot of interesting possibilities to the latest episode of Miz TV. And that’s before we even wonder about AJ Styles. You know, Bryan’s opponent at TLC in a couple weeks? He’s not mentioned in the official preview, just a week after delivering a scathing promo about the man who hit him below the belt to win the belt.

We’ve seen this scene a 1000 times, but it’s hard not get excited for this edition of Miz/Bryan.

The Title Scene

Speaking of scenes we’ve seen before, SmackDown will host a contact signing this week. Last Tuesday’s show ended with a staredown between the participants in the historic Tables, Ladders & Chairs match happening at the pay-per-view (PPV) in San Jose on Dec. 16. How will things go when Women’s champion Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka are in the ring with pen & paper - and probably a table and some chairs - tonight? There will definitely be microphones, which is always good when The Man comes around.

At TLC, their teams will all battle for the tag team titles currently held by The Bar. Before we get to that Triple Threat, we’ll have a singles version featuring members of each squad. Who will get the upper hand when Cesaro faces Jey Uso and The New Day’s Xavier Woods?

It seems like the last match which needs to be booked for the PPV, but given how Shinsuke Nakamura’s United States championship reign, maybe creative will just forget he jumped Rusev? The Bulgarian Brute is unlikely to forget the pair of Kinshashas he took, though.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Samoa Joe was the man who crashed his 20th anniversary party, but Jeff Hardy is booked into a match with his old foe Randy Orton tonight. Unless they’re at Ft. Hood, a Teddy Long special with Joe and the guy Orton’s been tormenting, Rey Mysterio, seems like a real possibility here.

- Will the ladies who came up short in the battle royal Asuka won have anything to do this week? The PPV card is already full, but there’s been a considerable amount of time given to Mandy Rose on the microphone lately, and her former Absolution partner was booked like a badass in last week’s main event.

Two weeks until TLC!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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