4 Predictions for WWE SmackDown Live: January 17, 2017
SmackDown Live has given fans another title match to look forward to this week. What else will be in store as we near closer to the Royal Rumble Match?
SmackDown Live did not disappoint last week with John Cena returning to action and the tag team championship being put on the line. With little performance from two to SmackDown’s top heels, AJ Styles and The Miz, SmackDown’s growth as their own independent show continues to flourish. It is something to be said when you can consistently put on an entertaining show week after week. Before getting into the predictions for this Tuesday, let’s recap some of the action which occurred last week.
The show opened up with an episode of the Ambrose Asylum with the Miz as Dean Ambrose’s guest. The Lunatic Fringe gave Miz a taste of his own medicine after handing him the same participation award he had given Ambrose just a few weeks prior. The segment would culminate with Maryse accidentally slapping Miz after Ambrose had ducked out of the way. Also, Dolph Ziggler is now 0-1 since his heel turn after losing to Kalisto last week. After attacking both he and Apollo Crews after the match-up, expect a rematch this week.
John Cena came back to in-ring action last week against The Lone Wolf, Baron Corbin. Cena proved that he is indeed not yet finished with his career as he defeated Corbin after an Attitude Adjustment. Cena is still Cena. The Wyatt Family too, proved to be unsuccessful in their rematch for the Tag Team Championships against the upstart, American Alpha. Luke Harper once again interfered with Randy Orton, costing them the championships for a second consecutive time. Expect some more fallout this week after Harper accidentally kicked his leader, Bray Wyatt. Subsequently, Wyatt left ringside in clear frustration.
Steel Cage Match: Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Becky Lynch
SmackDown will make history this week as they will have their first ever Women’s Championship match inside a steel cage. I believe this week will mark the last time Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch will meet inside the ring for the Women’s Championship for the time being. This has been a rivalry ongoing since before No Mercy. Bliss has continuously found ways in which to defeat Lynch and or walk out with the title around her waste. If Lynch is not able to take home the title this week, this feud will have been drawn out enough for now.
Most likely, La Luchadora will make an appearance once again and cost Lynch the title once more. I have a feeling she will come out from under the ring and hit Lynch in the face with the door of the steel cage or something along those lines. In which case, Lynch should have this feud with whomever La Luchadora is. I still think she will turn out to be Eva Marie. If Becky Lynch wins, that is fine, however, if not, this feud needs to be ended this week.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kalisto
As mentioned in the opening, Dolph Ziggler is now 0-1 since his apparent heel turn, which has opened eyes for the WWE Universe. Most had thought this would be a great way for Ziggler to perhaps build a winning streak. That was in fact not the case last week. It did however, help to build on his heel / bad guy persona after he had attacked both Kalisto and Apollo Crews with a steel chair. I would expect another match-up between Ziggler and Kalisto this week. Ziggler should want to avenge his loss.
I could also see an angle of having a backstage scene with Crews and Kalisto with Crews offering help for his friend. Kalisto will respectfully decline. Ziggler should win this week and set up a feud with Crews as we head towards the Royal Rumble. I could see Ziggler perhaps losing yet again and completely going off in a rage of terror, much like he did a few weeks ago. Regardless, this heel turn will come full-swing in the coming weeks.
Cena – Styles Turmoil
AJ Styles was at ringside last week on SmackDown for John Cena’s and Baron Corbin’s match-up, which Cena would ultimately win. Styles did not really get involved in the match-up, which was somewhat surprising. Styles also did not compete last week, which would lead me to believe he will have a match this week with someone just to get him on the card. Arguably the top performer in all of WWE should not be left off of the card for two consecutive weeks.
Styles should compete in a tune-up match of sorts with somehow getting Cena involved. Cena will likely be at ringside as well for this one. If SmackDown does elect to leave Styles off of the card, then he should interfere somehow in a match-up with Cena. I could see Cena having a rematch with Corbin this week. I don’t foresee Corbin taking his loss last week lightly, despite it coming to a 15-time WWE Champion. Cena and Styles will butt heads in some way this week as we inch closer to their Royal Rumble match for the WWE title.
Natalya vs. Nikki Bella
After weeks of bickering and bad mouthing one another, Nikki Bella and Natalya were finally slated to have a match-up last week on SmackDown Live. However, the match-up never got underway. Natalya had ambushed Bella backstage just prior to their match. Bella then made her way down to the ring after Natalya and immediately speared the former champion. They would then exchange blows before the refs ultimately broke them up. It had the crowd chanting ‘let them fight!’
The match should once again be put on the card for this Tuesday night. These two will have to meet together inside the ring one of these days. Perhaps, their unfinished business will take place here. The match could in either count out of disqualification. I do not believe we will have a clear cut finish this week. This is an excellent feud to elevate both of these women in the division. Also, in the women’s division this week, can we expect to see James Ellsworth interfere in another one of Carmella’s matches?
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