Smackdown update and Reaction from 12.08


On Friday Night Smackdown, the WWE celebrated their 21st "WWE Tribute to the Troops" with compelling storylines to set things up for the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. John Layfield (known as JBL) and Vince McMahon created the event to support the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is emotional for me as I, a veteran, witnessed the superstars' sacrifice for the men and women while fighting the battle for freedom. Randy Orton, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, the United States Championship Tournament, and more built the excitement, leading to a suspenseful finish.

CM Punk cut a promo detailing his acknowledgment with superstars and the business. Punk explained that he would decide on which brand on Monday Night Raw. He continued mentioning and asking the fans if they wanted him to throw 29 other superstars, climb the turnbuckle, and point at the sign. This means Punk is entering the Royal Rumble with Cody Rhodes for a chance to be in the main event of WrestleMania 40. The spicy CM Punk stated the following:

"Who do you want me to talk about?" - CM Punk

1. Cody Rhodes - "I can tell you some stories"

2. Roman Reigns - Somebody who is not here or sounds of it that is never here. Punk acknowledged Roman Reigns but added, "Do not forget who Paul Heyman's OG is." Don't forget that he was my wise man first."

3. Jimmy Uso - If Punk scraps with Jimmy, Jimmy has a lot of cousins.

4. Randy Orton and LA Knight - Can Punk trust Orton. Punk would like to partner with LA Knight.

5. Kevin Owens - Owens would be interesting. He could fight Owens. How can Punk work with Owen's behavior of punching people in the face?

6. Everyone enjoying Punk's return except one guy. There is always one bad apple. Punk gave hints that that superstar is not even the man in his own household. (Seth Rollins)

CM Punk is back; as he stated, he is the monkey-wrench of other superstars' plans. People want to finish their stories, but Punk is back to finish what he started: shots fired at every superstar in WWE, including Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, and more. On January 27, 2024, Royal Rumble will be ecstatic, epic, and suspense-driven to discover the winner and main event of WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Other match card activities:

United States Championship Tournament:

Santos Escobar defeated Dragon Lee

Bobby Lashley defeated Karrion Kross

Cody Rhodes appeared to thank the military members in attendance. He introduced the Army Drill team.

Orton paid Nick Aldis overpaid his fine from RKOing the General Manager last week. Aldis questioned the amount, and Orton responded, "The next time."

Asuka defeated Charlotte Flair.

Question: Bayley created Damage CTRL. But why is she being left out of decision-making? Will Bayley move on from Damage CTRL? Bayley has not listened to any requests given by Kairi Zane. Bayley has tried to be a team player, but there is a development friction. More to follow on the HHWShow Podcast.

Randy Orton and LA Knight defeated Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso.

The result of this match triggers the Universal, Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns to appear next week. Expect Orton and Reigns face-to-face.

And, more on Damage CTRL drama to include Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Shotzi.