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WWE SmackDown preview (Dec. 16, 2022): Something big is being teased

SmackDown airs tonight (Dec. 16) with a live show from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. This is the third SmackDown episode during the nine week build towards Royal Rumble, which takes place on Jan. 28.

Something big is being teased

WWE has some interesting matches and segments announced for tonight’s episode of SmackDown, but the one thing that has created the most buzz might just be yesterday’s tweet from Rob Fee, who is WWE’s Director of Longterm Creative:

On the one hand, it’s not like the guy who works in a prominent role for WWE is going to tell fans that nothing exciting will happen on SmackDown and they don’t need to tune in. But on the other hand, Fee is not a promoter and he doesn’t regularly make such claims on his Twitter page.

Fans have been speculating on what Fee could be talking about here. There’s always a chance that something must-see will happen in the relationship between Sami Zayn, Roman Reigns, and The Bloodline. Or perhaps he’s referring to a surprise return of Charlotte Flair or Brock Lesnar?

Ultimately, though, Fee has been most closely linked to the creative plans for Bray Wyatt. Wyatt was the hottest name in WWE when he returned with the White Rabbit teases a little over two months ago, but he hasn’t really done much since then other than resist his violent urges and maybe attempt murder a couple of times on LA Knight.

This would be a great night for Wyatt to make a big splash and get everyone talking about him again. Can he recapture his magic from October?

The title scene

Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER puts the gold on the line against SmackDown World Cup winner Ricochet. GUNTHER won the title from Ricochet back in June and defended it successfully against him in a rematch shortly thereafter. GUNTHER will look to beat him for a third time tonight, and it really does feel like a situation where Ricochet will need some outside help from someone like Braun Strowman in order to have a chance to win.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions IYO SKY and Dakota Kai have a title defense tonight against the new team of Tegan Nox and Liv Morgan. The outcome here is harder to predict, given how often Damage CTRL loses and the general volatility of these belts. It seems a bit too soon for a new team like Nox and Morgan to become champions, but a title change could be one way to try to heat them up.

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns has been off television since rupturing his ear drum at Survivor Series nearly three weeks ago, but the Tribal Chief will be in the house tonight. The Usos suggested that Sami Zayn should clean himself up because it will be a big night for the Honorary Uce. Is everything on the up and up here, or has Roman Reigns taken exception to The Usos claim that Sami is the biggest reason why The Bloodline won at War Games? Even if there is no internal drama within The Bloodline, there’s always a chance that Kevin Owens will try to crash whatever special moment is planned for Sami tonight.

There is a triple threat tag team match tonight between Hit Row, The Viking Raiders, and Legado del Fantasma. All it really takes is a victory here for one of these teams to move right into contention for the WWE tag team titles, currently held by Jimmy and Jey Uso.

SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey is trying to eliminate all of her possible future challengers by teaming up with Shayna Baszler to break their arms, elbows, or hands. She has already injured Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi in this manner, and they were arguably her two biggest threats. That being said, the Royal Rumble event is roughly six weeks away, and it looks like Rodriguez is quickly on the mend and can still cause trouble for Rousey as the event approaches. In fact, she cost Rousey and Baszler a tag team match just last week.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Karrion Kross approached Rey Mysterio in the trainer’s room last week and made it pretty clear that he intends to end Rey’s legendary career. Maybe Rey should request a trade back over to Raw, because the clock is ticking.

- Lacey Evans is going back to basics with another repacking. It’s anyone’s guess as to how long these current vignettes will go on for before we see her return to live television.

- Are The Brawling Brutes still looking to get a piece of The Bloodline after all of their recent failures, or is it time to move on?

- New Day are the reigning NXT tag team champions. How will they use their platform on SmackDown to elevate those belts?

- Madcap Moss and Emma are getting closer to each other while trying to figure out how to get some wins in WWE. May I suggest picking a fight with Maximum Male Models?

- Does creative have anything for Shinsuke Nakamura?

- WWE is taping next week’s SmackDown following tonight’s live episode. A double taping could mean it’s all hands on deck. It wouldn’t be surprising to see longer matches than usual to fill out the time, or to see some Raw wrestlers make the trek over to help out. Who knows, even Jinder Mahal might get some TV time tonight or next week.

What will you be looking for on SmackDown?

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