Ah, the annual ‘throw everyone into the ring and see what happens’ PPV. I’m not feeling too respectful at this point, what with temporary paralysis and it being nearly 5am, so you can enjoy a fairly irreverent attempt at some predictions, if you’d like. Bit more sweary than usual, too, but sod it, it’s early. Without any more ado: the Rumble.
Hello and welcome to SmackDown Live! Unfortunately, I have two and a half days off work and my body has decided to respond by making me ill, so there’s every chance that I’ll be a little extra critical of events tonight.
Welcome to a somewhat delayed SmackDown Live!
Welcome to SmackDown Live! Following TLC, we open on a video recapping the events that led to AJ Styles retaining his championship – James Ellsworth’s interference costing Dean his shot. AJ makes his way to the ring when we start things off for real, wearing a walking boot over his jeans. Is it bad taste to say that I hope this time he’s also wearing underwear? Probably.
Welcome to TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs! While it is a very pleasant summer’s day here in Australia I have just had three night shifts in a row so I can’t promise that this recap won’t be bordering on esoteric from time to time.
The new brand split means that pay-per-views are coming at a fast clip – faster than we can keep up with them! This upcoming SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view is an excuse for the blue brand to get down and dirty and hit each other with a variety of weapons. So without further ado – let’s get to it!
Welcome to SmackDown Live! James Ellsworth is part of the opening sequence now, which is either new or I just haven’t noticed it before! The ramp is decorated with a number of tables, ladders and chairs in honour of the upcoming PPV of the same name. Renee Young starts us off in the ring, wearing a very cute leather jacket in preparation for a contract signing for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Welcome to SmackDown Live! We open tonight’s show with a recap of Survivor Series, and then Shane O’Mac comes out to talk to us. He reassures us first of all that he’s okay, even if Roman tried to Spear him right out of his shoes, before he goes on to give kudos where it is deserved to both RAW and SmackDown’s teams. Bray and Randy really brought it, despite being the ones he’d expect to collapse the team, but Dean and AJ really didn’t.
Well, we’re told that tonight, fantasy warfare gets real. Got to say, my idea of fantasy warfare doesn’t start with a two hour pre-show, but I’ve got a cup of tea in my hand, so I guess that’s some sort of English fantasy right there. Personally, my idea of fantasy when it comes to wrestling involves Seth Rollins doing Charlotte Flair’s entrance, complete with splits. It’s just a thing.
So, here we are, the one night a year where Raw and SmackDown Live compete, and while the Raw team have been threatened with the loss of their jobs if they fail, The Undertaker has literally promised to take the souls of a losing SmackDown team, and bury them. Without even stipulating a casket match! Unprecendented.