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SmackDown In A Nutshell: Let’s Set Up The Royal Rumble

This week's SmackDown In a Nutshell has a big but obvious focus: let's set up the Royal Rumble, the looming January PPV!

It’s another Friday, which gives us another SmackDown In A Nutshell. This week, let’s set up the Royal Rumble!

Wait, what? Why now, why just this week?!

OK, so it’s not just this week that we would be setting up the Royal Rumble.

However, considering that this week’s RAW gave the red brand a pretty big match for the January event, the blue brand is on the clock.

So yes, let’s set up the Royal Rumble. That motive should give us a great SmackDown in a Nutshell.

And from the looks of it, we may be getting to take in a gauntlet match to set up Roman Reigns’ Rumble opponent.

Of course, there is more to SmackDown (and this Nutshell) than a major Rumble title match. This week gives us an Intercontinental Championship match, too.

If that title match isn’t enough, there’s an actual SmackDown Tag Team Championship match too!

So, it’s time to get into this week’s edition…

set up royal rumble
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SmackDown in a Nutshell:Let’s set up the Royal Rumble!

It’s time to crack open this Nutshell!

Best Match of the night:

It’s almost not fair, but when you get a gauntlet match, especially with the participants we had for this week?

The gauntlet match was the best of the week, and it wasn’t really close.

I mean, I enjoyed the tag title match too…but gauntlet match for the win.

Worst match of the night:

So, here’s the down side of a lengthy gauntlet match…

Not many other matches.

However, I am instead going to pick on the very first part of that match. I have to believe they are taking Zayn somewhere, but having him basically lose fast at the start is a puzzling move all the same.

Like, why job him out to Rey…why not give someone else the rub?

Star of the Night

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Roman Reigns (and his family) continue to dominate. Reigns also continues to shine.

Also, I’d be bad if I did not give Shinsuke Nakamura especially some props. Basically worked like, 98% of the gauntlet match.

Strong match from him, liked the respect shown between he and Bryan…perhaps there’s more coming from this one down the road.

Spot of the Night:

I’d say we lacked a signature spot for the evening, all things considered.

Jobber of the Night:

Hmm…we could go a few ways here.

Sami Zayn, for losing way too fast to open the gauntlet match? Perhaps.

Adam Pearce AND Shinsuke Nakamura? Maybe.

Pearce, of course, WON the gauntlet match, but was abused by Roman and Jey Uso before the tossed his lifeless body on top of Shinsuke’s.

How’s THAT for setting up the Royal Rumble?!

Upset of the Night:

I think Adam Pearce winning the shot at Roman Reigns qualifies.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Also, another opportunity for an Adam Pearce mention.

Like, maybe this is the reward for being the face during the last few months, but wow, Reigns and Uso pummeled Pearce before allowing him to pin Nakamura and win the shot at the Universal Champion at the Royal Rumble.

I have a feeling Pearce won’t make it, of course.

LOL Moment of the night:

For me, seems silly, but I loved how Pearce sold the first super kick he took from Uso.

Like he was shot dead.

Noteworthy Moment:

We have NEW tag champions. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode defeated the Street Profits.

Well, as of the close of SmackDown…Adam Pearce has a date with Roman Reigns later in January.

Not a mis-print for the time being, though I truly expect this to change, somehow or other.

It will be interesting to see how, and who…but for now, it’s Pearce-Reigns at the Royal Rumble.

Overall lowlights:

One complaint, and it’s a relatively minor one I think.

RAW ended big, trotting out Goldberg-who’d previously been tied to Reigns at the Rumble.

So, SmackDown answered with…Adam Pearce. OK, truly this has to be seen as a cliffhanger…but just felt meh.

For now it’s a lowlight, but the payoff will determine if it remains one.

Overall highlights:

Two good title matches, with one set of belts changing ownership.

Nakamura was in a position to be turned babyface again, and I was on board for it. I was a big fan of NXT face King of Strongstyle…

Apollo may be turning, and it could be a smart move. I wonder if they’d somehow figure a way for him to be like, an extension of the Hurt Business?

After the final bell:

Not quite the ending I would have wanted, but given how things went…I should have expected it.

While I said “let’s set up the Royal Rumble”, only one match seemed to have been locked in by show’s end.

And really, who among us expects Adam Pearce to actually work that match? I mean, there has to be a curve coming, there’s just no way around that.

My question now is…would that curve be bigger than Goldberg?

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