Charlotte Flair vs. Tamina: Latest Rumors and Preview for WWE SmackDown Dec. 5

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterDecember 5, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

The Superstars set for battle at Clash of Champions will have a chance to sharpen their swords on Tuesday's WWE SmackDown.  

Charlotte Flair will face Tamina to gear up for her SmackDown Women's Championship defense against Natalya at the Dec. 17 pay-per-view. Baron Corbin and The New Day are set for preparatory bouts as well.  

SmackDown should also offer some clarity and additions to the PPV card.

As of now, there are just four official matches on tap for Clash of Champions. The Bludgeon Brothers, Kevin Owens, The Riott Squad and others are still waiting to find out who their dance partners will be at the event.

Answers are sure to come as the blue brand visits San Diego. 

The SmackDown preview on WWE.com, backstage news and storyline projections help foresee what's ahead. Read on for an early look at Tuesday's show before it airs on USA Network at 8 p.m.

News, Rumors

Harper isn't hurt or in the doghouse with WWE officials. He left the SmackDown tour early for much happier reasons. 

Harper and Rowan of The Bludgeon Brothers.
Harper and Rowan of The Bludgeon Brothers.Credit: WWE.com

Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported, "Harper of The Bludgeon Brothers missed the remainder of the Smackdown Live events over the weekend as his wife went into early labor, leading to the family celebrating the birth of their son."

And it appears Harper will only take a short time off. He is advertised to be in action Tuesday.

Naomi, on the other hand, is likely going to step away for a while. 

WWE tweeted that she suffered multiple injuries including a separated shoulder at the hands of The Riott Squad. One would assume this is part of the current storyline and a means to write Naomi off TV for the moment. WWE just went that route with Becky Lynch.

Fans excited about the swirling rumors concerning Daniel Bryan need to come back down to Earth. Figure Four Online's Dave Meltzer wrote, "Any reports that he has been cleared to wrestle by WWE as of this afternoon are still inaccurate."

Meltzer noted that Bryan will be a guest referee on the post-Christmas SmackDown.

SmackDown Streaks

Cheating and scheming have produced quality results for Kevin Owens.

On last week's SmackDown, Sami Zayn interfered to assist KO in taking down Randy Orton in a No Disqualification match. That makes four wins in a row for Owens., per CageMatch.net.

In addition, he and Zayn are undefeated as a pair. They have gone 4-0 in tag bouts so far. It wouldn't be surprising to hear those two demand a shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at some point soon.

Naomi wasn't having nearly as much luck record-wise.

Her loss to The Riott Squad last Tuesday was her third consecutive defeat, per CageMatch.net. The former women's champ has fallen short in her last five singles bout,s and she is 3-7 in her last 10 matches. 

Perhaps she'll start regaining momentum once she returns from her presumed storyline injuries.

Preview

If Harper is back with the brand Tuesday, The Bludgeon Brothers will continue to be the tag team division's resident wrecking balls.

Ever since the big bruisers took on this new hammer-wielding gimmick, WWE has portrayed them as unstoppable. They have not only beaten opponents but done so with little resistance. 

More dominance is sure to come, possibly against the well-liked Breezango duo.

Ahead of their Triple Threat match for the United States Championship match, Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode will square off in San Diego. They won't have to worry about the X-factor that is Dolph Ziggler this time around as the two rivals clash in non-title action.

Corbin and Roode's rivalry is still in its early stages, so it's more likely this match is used as a means to stir up animosity than deliver a lengthy match. A brawl erupting before or after the official action is a safe bet.

The New Day will get a warm-up bout of its own when the former tag champs will face Aiden English and Rusev on Tuesday's SmackDown.

At Clash of Champions, The New Day will take on The Usos and Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. The trio will first have to make it through a pair of midcarders. It's not clear how competitive this will actually be, but fans can count on English singing a few bars for added entertainment.

Flair will enter her non-title bout with Tamina as a heavy favorite.

Charlotte Flair will take on Tamina (with Lana) on Tuesday's SmackDown.
Charlotte Flair will take on Tamina (with Lana) on Tuesday's SmackDown.Credit: WWE.com

A number of subplots promise to make things more interesting, however. Tamina's manager Lana has long had issues with Flair. She may stir up some trouble during the contest. 

Furhter, The Riott Squad has laid out every woman in the division since arriving from NXT. That group may be looking to take out the champ here.

Tuesday's SmackDown is also set to feature more of Zayn and Owens' issues with management. SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon banned Zayn from ringside during KO's bout with Orton last week. The Underdog from the Underground, however, skirted the rules and attacked The Viper from the entrance ramp.

Repercussions of some sort are surely coming for the duo that has been the bane of McMahon's existence, but to what end? It's not yet clear what match WWE is building toward with this narrative.

That should come clearer by the end of SmackDown's trip to San Diego.