The Christmas Day episode of SmackDown was a jam-packed one. With three titles on the line, the episode delivered on the promise of being one of the most talked-about two hours of television.
Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens for the Universal Title inside the steel cage was as good if not better than their clash at TLC. The RAW Women's Champion Asuka and Charlotte, the reigning Women's Tag Team titleholders, made their way to SmackDown and wrestled a star-studded Triple Threat elimination match for their titles against the teams of Bayley and Carmella, and Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.
In the main event, Big E took on Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship in a lumberjack match, which ended the show on a cheerful note.
Big E finally dethroned Zayn to become the new Intercontinental Champion at an incredible moment. With that, let's have a look at the four major talking points from this special episode of SmackDown.
#4 Roman Reigns comes on top in the steel cage match on SmackDown with a big assist from Jey Uso
In the first match of this week's SmackDown, Roman Reigns defended his Universal Championship against Kevin Owens inside a steel cage. Just like their stunning clash at TLC, the two pulled off an incredible performance that yet again showed why KO should be the one who should dethrone The Tribal Chief sometime down the line.
The fact that these two men wrestled this bout just a few days after their grueling battle at TLC was also a commendable feat.
With the ending having Reigns escaping the steel cage with the help of Uso, the door is open for another match between the two. The rumored challenger for The Tribal Chief's title, Daniel Bryan, now announcing himself as an entrant in the Royal Rumble match, KO and Reigns could collide at the PPV.
There's no face on SmackDown right now who has the resiliency and fighting spirit of Owens. He's the best by a margin, and the chemistry between Reigns and him is off the charts. Even if WWE has no plans for a longer reign for KO, a short albeit effective run is also welcome.
#3 Big E defeats Zayn for Intercontinental title, ends SmackDown episode on a happy note
As the case has been for the holiday episodes, SmackDown ended on a happy note, with Big E defeating the Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn for the title in a lumberjack match. Now a two-time Intercontinental champ, the New Day member looks like he is on the brink of breaking into the main event scene.
A strong run with the title would give him the momentum to reach the top in a matter of months. While a Royal Rumble triumph is still not out of the question, the company might not take the direction since Owens and Bryan are still in the position to take on the Universal Champion.
An imminent rematch with Zayn is on the cards, and then rivalries with the likes of Cesaro, Gable, and Buddy Murphy could work wonders for him, and also help the aforementioned guys to elevate their position in the company.
An open challenge series on SmackDown might also be a great way to have consistently strong matches on television, while also allowing the mid-card guys to show their worth.
#2 Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair show fantastic tag team chemistry on SmackDown
As expected, Charlotte Flair and Asuka headed to SmackDown seeking challengers for their newly-won Women's Tag Team Championships. The champions wrestled a terrific Triple Threat tag title match against two unlikely teams. The first being Bayley and Carmella, and the second one being SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.
The quality of the bout was not in question considering the talent of the women involved. Everyone got their chance to shine in the match, with Belair being the most impressive. She showed some genuine chemistry with her partner, Banks. The best moment of the contest was when she used her hair to tag herself.
Though the champions retained here, both the other teams would surely be eying the gold. While a singles bout between Banks and Belair is a mouth-watering prospect, a run with for the tag team titles can yield some fantastic contests with Charlotte and Asuka.
The creative can also give Bayley and Carmella more to do now in the tag division, as they worked as a well-oiled duo here with good chemistry as well.
#1 Daniel Bryan is eying a Royal Rumble win after defeating Jey Uso on SmackDown
Daniel Bryan became the first Superstar to officially announce himself as an entrant in the Royal Rumble match after defeating Jey Uso in a hard-hitting bout on SmackDown. The former five-time World Champion was attacked by Uso even before the contest started, giving the former tag team champion an advantage.
The two wrestled a good bout, with the focus being on Uso's injured knee. The injury would play a major factor in the conclusion of the match as Bryan hit the Running Knee to score a big win.
While the expected encounter between Bryan and the reigning Universal Champion Roman Reigns may still happen, it would be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming weeks.
It would also be interesting to see how The Tribal Chief will react to Jey Uso's loss here. Will it result in the Universal Champion teaching Uso a lesson, or will he take on Bryan by himself to end things?Published 26 Dec 2020, 10:49 IST