‘WWE SmackDown LIVE’ Preview: Title Match, Plus John Cena And Nikki Bella In Action — January 10, 2017

With Royal Rumble 2017 just around the corner, last week’s WWE SmackDown Live confirmed three matches for this week’s episode, including a title match and John Cena going one-on-one with Baron Corbin. American Alpha will give The Wyatt Family a rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, although it’s still unclear which two members will step up to face Jordan and Gable. In addition, John Cena’s girlfriend Nikki Bella takes out her recent frustrations on her new nemesis, Natalya.

WWE SD Live: Nikki Bella, Natalya
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya on SmackDown LIVE [Image by WWE]

Baron Corbin is the only competitor from the SmackDown LIVE roster to officially throw their name in the hat for this year’s Royal Rumble Match. With seven wrestlers from the red brand already making their announcement — and more likely to make similar declarations before the next episode of SmackDown — it seems likely that at least a few members from the blue brand will join Corbin on Tuesday night. Of course, the winner of this year’s Royal Rumble Match could earn the right to face the winner of AJ Styles vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 33 for the WWE Championship.

Defending their titles less than three weeks before the WWE’s January PPV, it doesn’t seem likely that American Alpha — or The Wyatt Family, should they earn the titles back — will have to put them on the line at Royal Rumble 2017. That being the case, it seems likely that all three members of The Wyatt Family, and both Jason Jordan and Chad Gable of American Alpha — will eventually be named as competitors in the Royal Rumble Match.

While it’s still unclear whether any of the women from the SmackDown LIVE roster will be involved at Royal Rumble 2017 in any official capacity, there’s certainly plenty going on in their division to be addressed on SmackDown this week. For starters, Nikki Bella vs. Natalya has been booked, allowing the star of Total Bellas to get some revenge for Natalya’s attack at Survivor Series. Additionally, former SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch still hasn’t found out who was disguised as La Luchadora when Alexa Bliss defeated her, and she’ll clearly continue to search for answers on Tuesday night.


Updated WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Card

  • AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena — WWE Championship Match
  • Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Baron Corbin, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, The New Day and 22 others TBD — Royal Rumble Match
  • Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Bayley — Raw Women’s Championship Match
  • Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns — WWE Universal Championship Shark Cage Match

As of Sunday evening, four matches had been confirmed for WWE Royal Rumble 2017 and only eight participants confirmed for the Royal Rumble Match. The next WWE PPV will feature stars from both WWE Raw and SmackDown LIVE. Royal Rumble 2017 will air live on Sunday, January 29, from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. As more information is confirmed, it will be updated at WWE’s official Royal Rumble preview page.

WWE SD Live: Bray Wyatt, Chad Gable
American Alpha vs. The Wyatt Family on SmackDown LIVE [Image by WWE]

Where To Watch WWE

The WWE Royal Rumble 2017 will air live on the WWE Network on Sunday, January 29, at 8/7c. The Royal Rumble Kickoff Show will begin at 7/6c.

The show 205 Live, featuring the best of WWE’s Cruiserweight Division (but technically a part of the Monday Night Raw brand), airs weekly on the WWE Network at 10/9c on Tuesday nights. immediately following SmackDown. Replays of WWE 205 Live are available to stream immediately.

WWE SmackDown LIVE airs Tuesdays on the USA Network at 8/7c. Replays of WWE SmackDown aren’t made available on the WWE Network until several weeks after the original air date. However, a replay of SmackDown LIVE is available to stream on-demand Wednesdays via Hulu. WWE Talking Smack begins at 10:45/9:45c on the WWE Network and is immediately made available to stream on-demand.

[Featured Image by WWE]