WWE SmackDown Live Preview: January 2, 2018
It's safe to say that WWE got lazy with the first episode of Raw. Brock Lesnar and Kane closed out the show with an error-riddled brawl that unsurprisingly had the entire roster at ringside.
The onus is now on WWE SmackDown to make amends and put forth two solid hours of sports entertainment. The build for Royal Rumble continues as the spots for both Rumble matches need filling, apart from the ambiguous titles scenes.
The tag team titles will be on the line as Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable would look to dethrone the Usos weeks before the Rumble. The US title tournament resumes as the final first-round matches are expected to take place.
That, and you AJ Styles, who is still without an opponent for the first big PPV of the year. The stage is set and all that's left is for WWE to deliver the goods. These are the five biggest talking points heading into tonight's episode:
#5 WWE gold for the Gold Standard?
March 20th, 2009. That's the day Shelton Benjamin lost the United States title after holding onto the strap for an impressive 240 days. He subsequently left the WWE and nearly 8 years later, The Gold Standard is on the cusp of winning another title in the WWE.
The Usos have arguably been the best tag team of 2017 and dropping the titles days before the gigantic Rumble would seem like a major misstep. But if WWE can pair up Rollins and Jordan and make them the champions at the expense of The Bar, you can very well bet on another title change happening on tonight's SmackDown Live.
Benjamin and Gable have been working as pseudo-heels and could pick up a dirty win in order to prolong the feud and the Usos face turn.
But if 2017 was anything to go by, The Usos Penitentiary isn't a place that can be easily conquered.