WWE SmackDown returns tonight (Dec. 18) from Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. Tonight they are on FS1 instead of Fox (so set your DVRs accordingly). This is the go home show for this Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view (PPV).
Tonight is a good chance to make a new star in the women’s division.
In general both Raw and SmackDown have a pretty good women’s scene. But it seems like the top of the card is often occupied by familiar faces. Bayley, Sasha Banks, Asuka, Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Alexa Bliss have all spent a good amount in the spotlight. And that’s not alone a bad thing. Those are all very talented women.
But take a look at the list of the various Raw and SmackDown Women’s champions. A lot of familiar names repeated. Sure there are some that aren’t in the above list. For example, Carmella had a run with the SmackDown Women’s title. And she’ll be trying for that against Sasha Banks at TLC this Sunday, with her new character and even a sommelier. It would be a change of pace, but it wouldn’t be new blood.
Tonight, SmackDown can take a step in establishing an individual who can be a big star in the women’s division in the near future. And that’s Bianca Belair.
Belair hasn’t been doing this for too long, with only about four years under her belt, but she’s already come a long way. She’s got a superb look, a ton of charisma, and combination of size and athleticism that makes her a total package. Bianca has “future champion” written all over her.
Tonight, Belair will face Bayley one on one. This is a chance to help build her star power. Bayley is just coming off the longest title reigns in SmackDown women’s history. Putting over the Knoxville native would go a long way in raising Bianca’s status.
It’s possible they book this in a way to actually run it on the TLC card or it’s part of a longer program. So Bianca not winning straight up tonight doesn’t mean she’s not going to get the eventual rub. But it should eventually end in a way that helps add the name Bianca Belair to the list of women’s champions in WWE.
The Title Scene:
Roman Reigns may have made a mistake when he spoke directly into the camera and addressed Kevin Owens’ family after beating the crap out of the Prizefighter. Roman does not like when people talk about his family. KO is no different. He justified an entire heel run with the rationale that he had to put food on the table. I expect an Owens full of righteous anger tonight.
Sami Zayn defeated Big E via count out last week, using his standard cheap tactics. I expect Big E to get an Intercontinental title match sooner than later, but not sure how he gets it now given he did lose to the Great Liberator last week.
The Street Profits defend their SmackDown tag team championships against Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler. I have nothing to say about this.
I don’t think that SmackDown is going sniff a chance at the Women’s tag team championships for awhile.
Other things to keep an eye on:
- Chad Gable took the pin in a tag match with Otis last week, but he claimed that it was all part of a teaching moment. Unfortunately, this feels like another person who is going to burn Otis in a year that’s happened a lot.
- Billie Kay could not pick up a tag team win alongside Natalya, which kind of undercuts her resume’s claim she’s a tag team expert. That’s OK, keep trying Billie!
What will you be looking for when SmackDown returns tonight at 8 PM ET on FS1?