5 Takeaways From WWE SmackDown (12/26)

WWE SmackDown aired live from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL on 12/26/17. Here are 5 takeaways from this week’s episode of SmackDown:

5Gable & Benjamin Earned Another Shot At The Titles

SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan kicked off this week’s episode of SmackDown and made his way down to the ring as the Chicago crowd chanted “yes!”. Bryan rolled footage of Dolph Ziggler’s speech last week in which he left his United States Championship in the ring and walked away. Bryan said that he has been trying to contact Dolph all week but Ziggler has not responded. Daniel claimed that due to Dolph’s actions last week, it appears that Ziggler has relinquished his title. Bryan said that Ziggler was one of the all-time greats and wished him well. Bryan then announced a tournament to crown a new United States Champion.

Bryan announced Baron Corbin versus Bobby Roode as a first round matchup. Gable and Benjamin interrupted and asked what Bryan was going to do about the tag title situation. The crowd broke out in a “Rusev Day!” chant. Bryan brought up Gable and Benjamin just having an oppurtunity at Clash of Champions. Gable and Benjamin complained about it being a Fatal 4-Way and another “Rusev Day!” chant broke out.

Aiden English and Rusev then came down to the entrance ramp and a third “Rusev Day!” chant broke out. English then sang a tune about deserving to face The Usos for the titles. New Day joined the party to a great reaction from the crowd. New Day started throwing pancakes into the crowd and Chicago chanted “New Day rocks!”. Woods claimed that the other teams are out here wasting his time. Big E called Shelton Benjamin “old Jason Jordan” and noted that they were the team that was pinned by The Usos at Clash of Champions. New Day added that they pinned English and Rusev last week.

Rusev shouted “shut up!” as New Day was dancing with Daniel Bryan. Another “Rusev Day!” chant broke out in the crowd. Rusev asked if Bryan had to ask his mommy Shane McMahon to announce the #1 contenders. Bryan stated he could make this decision on his own and announced a Triple Threat match and the winners will face The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

The Usos joined commentary for the match. Woods, Gable and English started off the match in the ring. Woods and Gable got into a shoving match while English stood in the corner. Gable bumped into Rusev and Rusev shouted at him. A brawl broke out outside the ring between Big E, Rusev and Benjamin. Woods Clotheslined English out of the ring and then leaped onto everyone. Woods brought English back into the ring and kneed him in the face for a two count.

Big E was tagged in and he Powerbombed Woods onto English’s chest for a two count. Woods climbed to the top rope but Rusev shoved him to the floor. Gable planted both English and Big E with a German Suplex at the same time and unsuccessfully tried to pin them both. Benjamin was tagged in and he and Gable stomped on Big E in the corner.

Benjamin connected with a Suplex to Big E for another two count. Rusev was tagged in to a big ovation from the crowd. Rusev stomped on Big E in the corner but Gable tossed Rusev out of the ring. Benjamin and Gable kneed Big E in the face for a two count. English was tagged back in and started beating down Big E in the corner with Chad Gable. Big E launched out of the corner and connected with a double Clothesline to English and Gable.

Woods got back into the match and launched English into the ropes and Dropkicked him in the back. Woods booted Gable in the face and leveled him with a Clothesline. Xavier hit a rolling elbow to English’s face and went for the cover but Gable broke it up. Benjamin was tagged back in and launched English into Rusev’s midsection. Shelton connected with a Spinebuster to English and tagged Gable back in.

Chad Suplexed Woods but turned around right into a boot to the face courtesy of Aiden English. Rusev was tagged back in and he leveled both Woods and Gable with kicks as the crowd erupted. Rusev then leveled Benjamin and Big E with kicks and the crowd chanted “Rusev Day!” once again. Gable caught Rusev on the apron and English tagged back in. Gable planted Rusev with a German Suplex and then Woods hit a Dropkick off the top rope to English for a two count.

Big E tagged back in and slammed Gable into Woods’ knees for a Backstabber for a two count. Woods tagged in and climbed to the top rope but jumped into a knee from Benjamin. Gable followed it up with a ridiculous Moonsault onto Woods for a two count. Shelton tagged in but was dropped with a boot from English. Woods planted Gable with a DDT and English slammed Woods to the canvas and went for the cover but Benjamin broke it up.

Benjamin perched English up on the top rope and Gable joined them there. Benjamin and Gable went for a Superplex but Rusev planted them both with a Powerbomb off the top and English was able to hold onto the ropes. English connected with a Frog Splash off the top rope onto Gable for a two count. Rusev tagged back in and stomped on Gable’s back. Rusev booted Woods in the side of the head and Xavier fell right beside Gable. Rusev placed Woods on top of Gable and then locked in the Accolade on them both at the same time. Benjamin booted Rusev in the face to break the hold and the crowd booed.

Benjamin then tagged in and knocked English off the ring apron. Big E tagged in as well and Speared Benjamin off the ring apron to the floor outside the ring. Big E brought Benjamin back in the ring and went for the Big Ending but Shelton escaped. Benjamin kneed Big E in the face on the top rope. Benjamin lifted Big E onto his shoulders and Gable leaped onto Big E and slammed him to the canvas for the pinfall victory. Gable and Benjamin are the new #1 contenders and have earned another shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Championships next week on SmackDown.

SmackDown’s tag division has some serious momentum right now. Aiden English and Rusev are very popular and should be in the tag title picture in the near future. Gable and Benjamin deserve another shot at The Usos and I cannot wait to see it next week on SmackDown. Tonight’s SmackDown opened with a bang and it is great to see tag team wrestling back in a big way on Tuesday nights. The Bludgeon Brothers dismantled Breezango once again tonight. The Ascension came to Breezango’s rescue and brought them backstage.

The Ascension then said that Breezango were challenging the Bludgeon Brothers once again next week. Breeze and Fandango wanted no part of another match but Konnor and Viktor took it out of their hands. It is only a matter of time before The Bludgeon Brothers find themselves in the title picture as well.