A more harmonious Bloodline continued to wreak havoc on Raw and Smackdown this week, as Solo Sikoa placed Matt Riddle on the sidelines and The Usos successfully defended their Undisputed Tag Team Championships twice.
However, Sami Zayn’s projected exit from the group could be approaching with Roman Reigns making his first appearance since Survivor Series next week.
Welcome to the WWE Weekly Round-up, where The Inner Sanctum will take you through this week’s most pivotal moments on WWE television and preview what shapes to be a huge period ahead.
Number one contender’s match set for Raw Women’s Championship
The women’s division on Monday Night Raw took centre stage this week, as a number one contender’s match for Bianca Belair’s championship was determined through two triple threat clashes.
All six women involved in these encounters were former titleholders, with the victors advancing to a singles match next week for the right to face the E.S.T. at a later date.
Bayley progressed by securing a much-needed win against Rhea Ripley and Asuka, while Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch and Nikki Cross after the Man was planted through the announce table by Damage CTRL.
Considering her consecutive title losses to Belair at Extreme Rules and Crown Jewel, Bayley was the right woman to win her respective match. Although it could be said that Ripley should have obtained the victory, a contest between the Eradicator and E.S.T. should be saved for a bigger stage like WrestleMania next year.
While an argument could also be made that Lynch should have advanced to the number one contender’s match, a meeting between her and the Role Model for next week is too early. Given that their feud just ignited on last week’s episode of Raw, the rivalry still needs time to tell a story before they collide in the ring.
Bliss winning her match was the correct decision for not only that reason, but it could potentially indicate that her desperate heel turn is on the horizon. It has been teased with images of Bray Wyatt’s logo constantly appearing behind her during backstage interviews and entrances, while her attitude when accompanying Belair has changed.
Therefore, Bliss should become the number one contender next week and be given a Raw Women’s Championship opportunity against the E.S.T to make her possible turn a reality.
She may also receive assistance from Becky Lynch, considering that IYO SKY and Dakota Kai cost the Man in the main event. It only makes sense for her to retaliate by interfering in Bliss’ advantage to further intensify her feud with Bayley.
Matt Riddle expected to be sidelined for six weeks
This week’s edition of Monday Night Raw was supposed to commence with The Usos defending their Undisputed Tag Team Championships against the team of Matt Riddle and Elias. However, the match was cancelled after Elias was brutally assaulted by The Bloodline before the show.
Even though his partner was not medically cleared to compete, the Original Bro insisted that the title defence was still going to happen and replaced Elias with Kevin Owens. Despite a valiant effort from Riddle and the Prizefighter, Jimmy and Jey successfully retained their championships in an entertaining match.
After his loss, Owens decided that he still had unfinished business with The Bloodline and chased them out of the arena with a steel chair. A battered Riddle was left in the ring and suffered the same fate as Elias, enduring a devastating assault from Solo Sikoa.
The Enforcer laid waste to the Original Bro, driving himself into the former United States Champion after placing a steel chair around his neck. Riddle was then stretchered out of the arena and confirmed by WWE on Twitter that he will be out of action for six weeks.
Ever since his rivalry with Seth Rollins concluded, Riddle has lost his momentum and a write-off could be served as a reset for WWE to re-evaluate his character.
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“Real big night” planned for Sami Zayn on next week’s Smackdown
In a backstage segment on Friday Night Smackdown, The Bloodline were celebrating Jimmy and Jey’s second successful title retention of the week.
The Undisputed Tag Team Champions defeated Sheamus and Butch earlier in the night with another assist from the Honorary Uce, when he prevented the Celtic Warrior from breaking the pinfall that won The Usos the match.
As The Bloodline were leaving their locker room, Jey held Sami Zayn back and informed him that Roman Reigns will be returning on next week’s Smackdown in his first appearance since Survivor Series.
Jey told the Honorary Uce that since he has consistently proven his loyalty to the family faction, next week is going to be a, “real big night” for him. The tag team champion asked Zayn to dress for the occasion, by trimming his long hair and beard.
Zayn was confused and seemed to disagree, but next week’s segment is shaping up to be an interesting and potentially emotional view.
It feels like WWE are heading towards one of two paths; Sami will either be removed from The Bloodline or he will be officially accepted into the group for what he has done since Survivor Series.
The first option is one that inevitably will happen, but next week is too early to execute and doesn’t make sense after how much the Honorary Uce has assured his allegiance to The Bloodline. However, a trimmed look for Zayn has fans talking that he will turn into a babyface and recapture his old gimmick.
LA Knight accuses Bray Wyatt of attacking him
Bray Wyatt and LA Knight’s unexpected rivalry has greatly intrigued the WWE Universe and is progressively building each week.
Ever since he slapped Wyatt three weeks ago, Knight has been the victim of a series of backstage attacks and addressed the situation on this week’s episode of Friday Night Smackdown.
Knight was seeking justice and accused Wyatt that he is behind the continuous onslaughts, although the former WWE Champion has denied that he was responsible. Knight provided footage that he believes it is Wyatt, spotting masks that have appeared in the background before and after the attacks commenced.
An Uncle Howdy vignette then interrupted Knight, before he said he was going to find Wyatt backstage. Knight later entered a room on his quest and when it turned pitch black, a figure with the same mask that Wyatt wore in his return at Extreme Rules emerged.
It seems like this rivalry is going to bleed into the new year, as the answers behind who specifically is attacking Knight should become clear in the coming weeks. Whether it is Wyatt or Uncle Howdy remains to be seen, but a match is looking likely to take place at Royal Rumble.
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