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WWE SmackDown preview (Dec. 3, 2021): The WrestleMania main event begins to take shape

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SmackDown airs tonight (Dec. 3) live from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. This is the second SmackDown episode during the six week build towards Day 1 on January 1, 2022.

The WrestleMania main event begins to take shape

Brock Lesnar’s suspension is over! The Beast Incarnate returns to SmackDown tonight. Roman Reigns and Adam Pearce are not happy with the news, which was announced immediately following Sami Zayn’s victory in a Battle Royal that earned him the next shot at Roman’s Universal championship.

So, when will Sami get his match against Roman? The answer to that question was rendered pointless as soon as Brock’s suspension was lifted. Let’s face it, everybody knows Sami isn’t a threat to the Tribal Chief.

The more pressing question in the short term is, who gets to fight Roman at Day 1? Up to this point it’s been largely assumed that Brock Lesnar would remain suspended until closer to Royal Rumble 2022. But Brock is back earlier than anticipated, which means a championship rematch against Reigns at Day 1 is possible. If WWE is planning yet another WrestleMania main event between Lesnar and Reigns, perhaps Lesnar fails to win the title at Day 1 but then wins the Royal Rumble match, setting up the WrestleMania main event.

If Lesnar is not planned for a title mach at Day 1, who else might be in the mix? There’s really only Jeff Hardy, who seemingly had last week’s Battle Royal won before Sami Zayn threw him out.

Another question that needs some clarification is, who made the decision to end Brock’s suspension? It’s someone who has more power than Adam Pearce. Will Vince McMahon show up tonight to reveal himself as the person who made the call to bring Brock back?

The rest of the title scene

SmackDown women’s champion Charlotte Flair doesn’t think Toni Storm deserves a shot at her title. It’s hard to argue with Flair after she smashed a couple pies in Storm’s face and the babyface just stood there humiliated, unable to do anything about it.

SmackDown tag team champions Jimmy and Jey Uso don’t have any obvious opponents lined up for their next title defense. They are waiting for someone to emerge among the teams of Los Lotharios, Viking Raiders, and Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs. The New Day will jump right to the top of the list whenever Kofi Kingston returns to action.

Speaking of Nakamura, the Intercontinental champion remains focused on tag team wrestling, which means his own championship gold has been placed on the back-burner. Nakamura has mastered the art of not defending the title, which is a very effective way to hold on to it.

Carmella and Zelina Vega are the Women’s tag team champions, but they have yet to appear on SmackDown since they won the titles. It’s at least possible that Sasha Banks & Naomi could team up if WWE needs a babyface pair to pursue the gold on Friday nights.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- It looks like one of the authority figures on SmackDown doesn’t like Drew McIntyre, because he was inexplicably left out of last week’s Battle Royal to determine the next Universal championship challenger. There’s no doubt Drew will be looking for answers tonight.

- Ridge Holland debuted on SmackDown with a three minute loss against Cesaro. The guy didn’t even get his own entrance music, and was quickly established as nothing more than a lackey for Sheamus.

- Shotzi didn’t appear on the show last week, but it would be surprising if she has already moved on from her issues with Sasha Banks.

- Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss tried eliminating each other from last week’s Battle Royal, leading to Madcap’s elimination at the hands of his ally. Both men treated it all as one big joke they can share a laugh over, but you never really know what might be simmering underneath that facade.

- Naomi finally got one over on Sonya Deville last week after she was victorious in a tag team match against Shayna Baszler and Natalya. How will Sonya respond?

- WWE continues rolling out video packages for Xia Li ahead of her debut on SmackDown.

- Ricochet is looking for a way to stand out on the SmackDown roster. He’s failing to do that so far, as he has yet to win a match. He’s at least been successful in drawing Aliyah’s attention away from Mustafa Ali.

- It’s pretty much a given that the quality of tonight’s show hinges on the presence (or absence) of Shanky.

What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?