WWE News: 12-man tag team match and Dolph Ziggler vs. Apollo Crews announced for SmackDown Live
This episode promises to be as exciting as the last.
What’s the story?
SmackDown Live! emanates from the home state of General Manager Daniel Bryan this Tuesday, and a number of matches have been announced for the go-home show ahead of Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
2017 Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton will take on WWE World Champion John Cena in a non-title main event, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if the match changed at some point during the evening.
In addition to this, WWE has announced that Apollo Crews will finally get the newly-heel Dolph Ziggler in the squared circle, as the two are set to square off one-on-one for the very first time on the episode. A 12-man tag team match has also been announced, with the six teams taking part in Sunday’s Tag Team Turmoil match involved.
The bout will see SmackDown Tag Team Champions American Alpha team up with former champs Heath Slater & Rhyno as well as Breezango to take on The Usos, The Ascension and The Vaudevillains.
In case you didn’t know...
The quick turnaround of WWE’s pay-per-view schedule means that Elimination Chamber is taking place just two weeks after the Royal Rumble, and a number of key stories are likely to be addressed this evening.
The prospect of Randy Orton and John Cena facing off in yet another title match at WrestleMania is mind-numbing, to say the least, and as such it would be expected that plans will change regarding the status of the WWE World Championship.
The heart of the matter
The meat of the show will be taken up with the 12-man tag and Crews/Ziggler matches, two contrasting examples of SmackDown Live’s strengths and weaknesses, since the return of the brand split in July 2016. Ziggler’s heel turn was long overdue, and in being the first to truly stand up to the newly-aggressive Ziggler, Apollo Crews has finally begun to display something approaching a personality.
On the flipside of this is the SmackDown Live! tag team division, a division full of talented performers but little in the way of focus. American Alpha are deserved champs, but with the possible exception of The Usos there seems to be little in the way of clear challengers for the straps.
The Tag Team Turmoil format allows for surprises, but it is unlikely that WWE will take a chance on a division that lacks any sort of momentum.
The show tonight takes place in Seattle, Washington, so expect Daniel Bryan to get a true hero’s welcome. The Elimination Chamber sells itself to a large degree, so one wouldn’t expect too much to happen on tonight’s show. The chaotic nature of the match will be exacerbated, and all six men involved will more than likely stand off at some point.
Whilst we would gladly never see another John Cena vs. Randy Orton match, the prospect of Crews vs. Ziggler is enticing, to say the least. SmackDown Live! is still clearly the better of the two WWE main brands, and we hope to see more consistency from the blue brand tonight.
Send us news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org