TJR WWE News 12/12/17: Smackdown Tonight, Triple Threat for Universal Title Likely at Royal Rumble

It’s 12/12 day, which means the British people that get mad at me for listing the date as month/day/year instead of day/month/year will not complain about it today! Yes! As a Canadian, we use American and British things in our lives, so I like to think of myself as diverse.

Here’s what is advertised for Smackdown tonight from the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati in terms of matches and segments from the preview for the last Smackdown before Sunday’s Clash of Champions show.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens 

I think Nakamura will go over with the story being that Owens and Zayn each lost singles matches to Orton and Nakamura in back to back weeks. I fully expect Zayn and Owens to beat Orton and Nakamura at Clash of Champions to avoid being fired as well. Easy story to tell. Also, these two have wrestled many times and have good chemistry, but it does feel repetitive after a while. At least Nakamura is on the show in a prominent role.

The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan) vs. Carmella, Tamina & Lana

This will be bad if it goes more than five minutes. Please keep it short. The new heel trio vs. three other heels also isn’t a good idea in terms of getting the fans to care. The Riott Squad should win.

The Usos vs. Rusev & Aiden English

This is not for the Usos Smackdown Tag Team Titles, so it wouldn’t shock me if Rusev and English win one week after beating New Day. It’s all about giving credibility to Rusev and English as a team. I think Usos or New Day will win at Clash of Champions. I haven’t decided on my pick yet.

AJ Styles will go face to face with Jinder Mahal

At least WWE has ditched doing contract signings, so now it’s just an advertised “face to face” between them. Mahal may get the upper hand here. I doubt Styles loses at Clash of Champions.

Fashion Files with Breezango

These segments are still going on. From “Tonight, Tyler Breeze & Fandango will honor their best friends in A Very Special Fashion Files. How will The Fashion Police pay tribute to Konnor & Viktor?” I’m sure it will be riveting.

That’s all for Smackdown this week other than more hype for the Clash of Champions matches. Most episodes have four or sometimes five matches, so there may be another one or two matches announced during the broadcast.




Last night’s Raw ended with Braun Strowman and Kane battling to a countout in a match that bored the hell out of me after five minutes of action.  The reward for winning that match was supposed to see the victor get a Universal Title shot against Brock Lesnar the Royal Rumble. Since there was no winner, nothing was announced.

The expectation is that it will be a triple threat at the Royal Rumble with Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman and Kane. It was mentioned by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio that it’s the decision made by Vince McMahon, so it’s likely going to be announce next week although it’s not official yet.

If that match happens all I will say is it better be short. Kane looks like a 49 year old with how slow he is and he should probably think about retiring next year. I say with all the respect in the world too. It’s time to move on.

– Speaking of Lesnar, he is advertised to be at next week’s Raw along with Paul Heyman.

That should lead to some Heyman shocked faces to try to sell the idea that Lesnar may lose the Universal Title to Strowman or Kane.


– Roman Reigns praised Cesaro for their awesome match on Raw.

The great Steve Austin did too.

– Braun Strowman did a long interview with Metro UK where he talked about WWE boss Vince McMahon liking his look a lot…obviously.

“Vince is very keen on the larger than life human beings, especially because of the shock and awe value. Even before I was a WWE Superstar, when I walk into a room I don’t care who is in there, I take focal point. People stop what they’re doing to look at me when I walk in, and now they can put a name to it. That’s been a huge factor in WWE since the beginning of the company. It’s a huge favour for me that I’m larger than life and having these genetics and the look that Vince likes.

“But it’s more than a look, there’s a lot of guys that look big and tough but being able to put that into play in WWE is difficult. Being able to go out there night after night and work with people and not injuring and hurting people, that was a big thing when I first came in that I had beat into my head from developmental. I have to be one big strong rough and tough guy, but at the same time, I have to be safe. If I’m not safe no-one is going to want to work for me.

“Vince has seen how hard I want to be good at this, and how much I want to succeed. I’m going to be a WWE Hall of Famer when it’s all said and done, in my mind that’s what I want to do. I want to main event Wrestlemania, and I think that shows through to Vince, and is why he’s been in my corner, because he knows I want to be the best I can be. I’m not a fly by night guy, I want to be remembered forever as Braun Strowman, the monster among men.”

There’s plenty more in the interview, so check it out here.



– Here’s John Cena with some inspirational words:

“Never give up. I have failed tens of thousands of times and I’ve only had a few limited true success stories. The reason I got to the finish line only a few times through all that failure is because through that failure, I get back up, dust off the old jacket and get back in the fight. Never give up.”

Well said, JC. It comes from this video.

John Cena's Words of Wisdom: Ferdinand and WWE Star Shares His Inspirational Advice

– It’s Hannukah today, so I hope it’s a great day for those of you celebrating. Here’s Drew Gulak trying to get other WWE superstars to play dreidel with him.

WWE Superstars play dreidel for Hanukkah

– WWE posted a Top 10 video of best moments from their Tribute to the Troops shows.

Wildest Tribute to the Troops moments: WWE Top 10, Dec. 11, 2017



Here’s my WWE Raw Deal review for the week. Pretty good show for matches, but some boring moments during the night too.

I wrote a column about Sami Zayn as the best choice to win the 2018 Royal Rumble. I don’t know if it’s going to happen (“GOD DAMN PAL he’s not muscular enough” is what some people might say), but I’m here to tell you why it should happen! The article is exclusive to With Spandex on UPROXX, so please check it out.



Since I mentioned Paul Heyman, I figured I would share one of my favorite Paul Heyman promos from ECW One Night Stand 2005. It was pretty amazing.

Paul Heyman lets loose at the Hammerstein Ballroom: ECW One Night Stand 2005

That’s all for today. I’ll be back tonight for the live Smackdown review and back tomorrow at this time for another news update. Have a good one.