8 Ups & 2 Downs From WWE SmackDown (Dec 22 - Results & Review)

AJ Styles gets dark; 2 tag-teams return to SmackDown; More big WWE comebacks teased!

Roman Reigns AJ Styles

Something special is brewing on the blue brand.

A lot of praise has been hurled Triple H's way since he seized control of creative. Generally, Hunter's approach is more traditional pro wrestling than Vince McMahon's, and there's way less silly b*llocks on WWE TV than under the Vin-man. Of course, it's Christmas, so SmackDown was always going to feature a little festive silliness.

That was kept to a minimum though. The real purpose of this week's show was to ready fans for three things: A massive triple threat to determine who works Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble, this United States Title contendership tournament final, and possibly even another major return to kick off the new year.

SmackDown didn't mess around too much, and this definitely wasn't a placeholder show. WWE creative didn't sit back, stretch and say, 'This is pre-taped - let's phone it in'. Far from it. Instead, they pushed key angles forward, built towards the Rumble nicely, and even found time to line up some new alliances.

Things are looking good then. A few fleeting negatives certainly couldn't detract from what was an excellent, excellent two-hour helping of banging wrestling telly. Here's everything you need to know!


Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood.