Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin: Latest Rumors, Preview for WWE SmackDown Feb. 13

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin: Latest Rumors, Preview for WWE SmackDown Feb. 13

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Either Dolph Ziggler or Baron Corbin will force his way into the Fastlane 2018 main event by the end of Tuesday’s WWE SmackDown.

Ziggler’s first match back since his odd exit in December didn’t look like much at first. He was set to face Corbin once more, a man he’s tangled with in the past. But what would have just been a midcard contest transformed when SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon announced that the winner will join the WWE Championship match at the Fastlane pay-per-view on March 11.

Now, either The Showoff or The Lone Wolf will join Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in challenging AJ Styles for the WWE title.

Bakersfield, California, will host that match and the rest of the SmackDown lineup as the blue brand slowly builds toward Fastlane. Both the United States and women’s champs will be in action. The New Day will step into the ring as well.

The following is a look at what to expect on Tuesday’s show with help from news updates, the SmackDown preview on WWE.com and storyline projections. The latest SmackDown will then kick off at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.

News, Rumors

Tamina will be out of action during WrestleMania season. The powerhouse was dealing with a shoulder injury and revealed on Instagram that she underwent surgery:

That means the blue brand’s babyfaces will have one less heel to clash with.

Over on the men’s side of things, Ziggler should provide a heel foil for SmackDown Superstars for a long while. The Showoff had previously talked about his WWE contract expiring soon, but that may have been taken care of.

On his podcast, indy wrestler Bin Hamin claimed that Ziggler re-upped with a lucrative deal. “He was already kinda two feet out the door, and it was at the eleventh hour that they made him another offer he can’t refuse,” Hamin said.

According to PWInsider (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc), due to the fact that the HBO documentary on Andre the Giant will premiere soon after WrestleMania 34, there is talk of pushing the Battle Royal named after him harder than before. 

It’s a bit early to see hints of what’s ahead for that bout just yet, but there’s a chance previous winners Mojo Rawley and Baron Corbin start bragging about their victories more on SmackDown.

SmackDown Streaks

The Bludgeon Brothers continued their winning ways with another steamrolling last week.

Harper and Rowan finished off another pair of jobbers to extend their winning streak. The two bruisers are now 8-0-1 since they adopted their new gimmick, per CageMatch.net.

A showdown with the SmackDown tag champs seems inevitable at this point. Perhaps that’s the direction the brand goes for WrestleMania.

Mike Kanellis, on the other hand, is atrophying on the bench. WWE has done next to nothing with him since bringing him aboard last June.

He hasn’t competed on SmackDown since Oct. 3, per CageMatch.net. That means Kanellis has missed 18 straight episodes and counting.

Preview

Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable will resume their quest to get back to the SmackDown Tag Team Championship picture. After failing to dethrone The Usos at the Royal Rumble, the two former amateur wrestlers knocked off The Ascension and Breezango in the past two weeks.

Next up: The New Day.

The New Day takes on Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin on Tuesday’s SmackDown.Credit: WWE.com

While not officially a No. 1 Contender’s match, The New Day vs. Benjamin and Gable is sure to impact the tag title race. If the squads are giving a decent amount of time, the match promises to be a barnburner. 

Tuesday’s SmackDown is also set to feature a United States Championship match as Bobby Roode is set to issue another open challenge.

There’s a good chance Randy Orton gets involved. Last week, an unprovoked Orton nailed the champ with an RKO. That could well be a less-than-subtle hint of what’s next for Roode.

The SmackDown women’s champ, meanwhile, will go up against another member of The Riott Squad.

After the faction ambushed her a few weeks back, Charlotte Flair got a measure of revenge by defeating Liv Morgan. She will now get a crack at Sarah Logan.

The night’s biggest bout, though, will be Ziggler vs. Corbin thanks to its added stakes.

WWE has not followed up on The Showoff’s sudden departure last year when he relinquished the US title. Tuesday is a good chance to do just that, to reveal Ziggler’s motivations for coming back. Perhaps he just feels that the US title is beneath him and it’s WWE Championship or bust.

If so, he’s one win away from a fight for that prize at Fastlane, something that few would have predicted when Ziggler revealed his new anti-gimmick shtick.

Breaking Sports News

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February 13, 2018 at 09:05AM

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