The year is 2048. It’s the 4,000th episode of Smackdown Live. “Here Comes the Money” blares over the loudspeakers. Yet again, Shane McMahon opens the show.

This week’s edition of Smackdown Live airs from Bakersfield, California tonight, headlined by Dolph Ziggler(?) taking on Baron Corbin (?!) for the right to challenge for the WWE Championship at Fastlane (!!?!?)

Let’s get to the inexplicable decision making of the Smackdown commissioner – I’m @SpennyLove, and this is Win Column’s official Smackdown Live preview for February 13th.

Last Week’s Smackdown:

It was another rousing edition of the Shane O’Mac/Daniel Bryan show last week, as the commissioner and general manager argued about, well, the same things they’ve argued about for months.

I can’t be the only one who’s this sick of the two of them, right? Who would have thought that any WWE fan could be sick of Daniel Bryan? Yet, here we are, nearly a full year later, dealing with another authority figure storyline. When McMahon returned prior to WrestleMania 33 and was subsequently named Smackdown’s commissioner, he promised change, and a “land of opportunity” for the Superstars on the blue brand. Apparently, he meant opportunities for a wrestler who’s no longer medically cleared to wrestle, and for a 48-year-old man with a death wish to jump off of tall things every so often.

This has reached “2014 Authority” levels of tired, and this time there’s unfortunately no Sting to come and save us.

Oh, all of this led to the pre-announced Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn #1 contenders match, which was absolutely fantastic – until, of course, the action spiralled out of control, and Bryan made his final appearance of the evening to announce that at Fastlane, Styles would defend his WWE Championship in a triple threat against Zayn and Owens.

More Quick Hits:

  • Charlotte Flair defeated Liv Morgan.
  • Bobby Roode defeated Rusev to retain the United States Championship. Afterwords, Aiden English, Rusev and Roode were all hit with RKO’s by Randy Orton.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers defeated local talent
  • After returning the Bludgeon Brothers favour from the week prior and heading to the ring early, the Usos cut another killer promo.
  • Gable & Benjamin defeated the Ascension
  • Bryan debuted the first-ever Smackdown Top 10 list in underwhelming fashion. The only notable events were Tye Dillinger being selected at #10, the Usos finishing one spot behind the New Day, and no Rusev. How can there be no Rusev!

State of the Belts:

SportsKeeda

As it stands, AJ Styles is set to defend his WWE Championship in a triple threat match at Fastlane. However, that’s set to change tonight as either Dolph Ziggler or Baron Corbin will be added to the match; more on that later. However, how will Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens respond after another intervention from management? What will Shinsuke Nakamura have to say about it after challenging Styles to a WrestleMania match? We wait.

It’s been announced that Ronda Rousey will officially be signing with Monday Night Raw at Elimination Chamber. I’m not sure if that means that Charlotte Flair is safe from a WrestleMania challenge from WWE’s latest signee, but Flair is occupied in the meantime. Tonight, she faces Sarah Logan in singles action following her win over Liv Morgan last week. At the very least, I’m glad the women are getting singles matches again.

Bobby Roode is still your United States Champion after defeating Rusev last week, and on Rusev Day of all days. However, his celebration was short lived after Randy Orton hit an RKO (Outta Nowhere!) on both the Glorious One and the team of Rusev Day. Roode is scheduled to host an open challenge for his title tonight; will Orton answer the call?

WWE is building towards an Usos/Bludgeon Brothers feud, and I couldn’t be more excited. After the  Brothers of Bludgeon came down slightly early for a scheduled match after the Usos cut a promo two weeks ago, the (actual) brothers returned the favour lat week. While I wasn’t a fan of the change in gimmick to start, the Bludgeon Brothers have grown on me. I’m a huge Luke Harper fan, and I think a match between the former-Wyatts and Rikishi’s sons would be fantastic.

Here and There:

WWE.com

We can finally end the incredibly popular and highly lucrative #DolphWatch, as Dolph Ziggler returns tonight to face Baron Corbin in what may be the most underwhelming return match of all time. I’m a huge fan of Ziggler, but this certainly doesn’t seem like anything has changed since before he left. I really hope that this is a quick match, and used to elevate Ziggler to something bigger and better; prior to his RKO spree last week, I was hoping for a Ziggler/Randy Orton feud – it’s something we haven’t seen since 2013, and could benefit two stars who couldn’t be colder right now.

Three Things to Watch For:

  • The New Day will take on Gable & Benjamin tonight in tag-team action
  • After debuting last week, will we see any more of the Smackdown Live Top 10? Hopefully not – I was excited about the idea at first, but it’s obvious it doesn’t matter. For example, neither Ziggler or Corbin appeared on the list. Why are they getting a chance at a championship?
  • Tye Dillinger, where art thou? We miss you.

There it is! Are you watching tonight? Let us know your thoughts at @WCSportsCA or in the comments!

WWE Last 5

Smackdown Live Preview: February 13th
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Spencer Love

Once stood in front of Cedric Alexander in line at a hotel. Slightly big deal.

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