The crowd in Detroit was loud and proud last night for Friday Night SmackDown, a pleasing sign which proved to make the show even better than it actually was. A huge number one contenders match for The Fiend‘s Universal Championship at Royal Rumble was on tap for the night, bringing plenty of hope to the show. Here are the highlights.
Braun Strowman has his momentum back
Something that was lost in the past year was the momentum of Braun Strowman. Serious momentum that at times seemed to have him on the fast track to being a world champion. Whether it was meeting a Brock Lesnar who was not going to be losing the championship, turning heel, or teaming with a kid at WrestleMania because there were somehow no other plans. But then the “Monster Among Men” entered Detroit and teamed with The New Day. In doing so, he was the one most over on the night. Even more than Daniel Bryan. He ended up pinning the Intercontinental Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, meaning he should be in line for a chance at his first singles title. If WWE is smart, they run with Strowman now.
Mustafa Ali sets his sights on bringing the light in 2020
It has been a few weeks since Mustafa Ali has appeared on SmackDown, last being seen as tag team partners with Chad Gable. Now, he was seen in a backstage promo talking about his 2019 that saw some of the darkest moments in his career. From his chance of being in the Elimination Chamber that propelled Kofi Kingston to the top, being just inches away from the Money in the Bank before Brock Lesnar made his way out and stole it, or being tricked out of the Intercontinental Championship. Ali made clear, however, that the darkness does not affect him as he looks to the light instead. He made the statement that 2020 will be a new year for Ali, a year where success will be had by the young star.
SmackDown MVP: Daniel Bryan
SmackDown was an adventure when it came to the triple threat match between Daniel Bryan, King Corbin, and The Miz. It was scheduled to start on two other occasions besides the main event but never got to the point. Eventually, it was on as all three men went head to head but it was not long before Corbin was taken out of commission by Roman Reigns, leaving Miz and Bryan as the two who would decide Bray Wyatt‘s opponent. The Miz fought hard but the “YES Movement” led Daniel Bryan had the fans behind him to have the will to tap The Miz out in the middle of the ring with the YES Lock. Following the match, Bray Wyatt appeared to inform Bryan that if he wants to defeat The Fiend, he will have to let him in.
The final SmackDown of the year and the decade was a solid overall effort, giving hope for the coming weeks as the build to the Royal Rumble hopefully gets stronger and stronger.
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