WWE: The Good, The Bad and The NXT
By Phillipa Hopwood
Last Updated: 07/12/17 8:31am
With Clash of Champions scheduled for next weekend, the WWE finish the 2017 pay-per-view schedule with a SmackDown-only event.
Once again it's been a low-key week of wrestling as the company marked the beginning of the festive season, but there have still been a number of stars who have stood out over the past seven days.
Cesaro and Sheamus (Raw)
It was speculated that Cesaro and Sheamus were set to lose their Raw tag team titles back to former champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose in the main event of this week's Raw, but this wasn't the case.
The duo who call themselves The Bar were able to retain via disqualification before the match was restarted and Samoa Joe stepped in to ensure that The Shield knew they were in his sights.
Sheamus and Cesaro have had a fantastic 2017 after Mick Foley decided to put them together as a team last year, but it seems that holding the titles into the new year could be the icing on the cake for the three-time champions.
Randy Orton (SmackDown Live)
Randy Orton was attacked by Sami Zayn during his match with Kevin Owens last week on SmackDown and returned this week looking for revenge, something commissioner Shane McMahon happily gave him by announcing he would face Zayn with Owens handcuffed to the ring ropes.
Owens found a way out of the handcuffs and helped Zayn to beat down Orton before Shinsuke Nakamura made his return to SmackDown for the first time since Survivor Series to help the former WWE Champion to overcome the odds that had been stacked against him in previous weeks.
The duo will now team together to take on Owens and Zayn at Clash of Champions next weekend.
Johnny Gargano (NXT)
It's been a shocker of a year for Johnny Wrestling, but it seems as though his luck is finally turning around as the year comes to a close.
Hot off the defeat he suffered to United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne back at NXT Takeover: War Games, Gargano was named as the last-minute replacement for the injured Velveteen Dream in his match against Kassius Ohno this week on NXT.
It was a show-stealing match, the likes of which have come to be expected from Gargano over the past few months. He forced Ohno to tap to the Gargano escape, which means that the former tag team champion has now earned his place in the fatal four-way match to crown a new number one contender for Andrade Almas' NXT Championship in a few weeks' time.
Alicia Fox (Raw)
Alicia thought that she had got away from Absolution a few weeks ago when she ran away during their invasion, but Paige finally managed to corner her former best friend this week following her match with Asuka and the three-on-one beatdown commenced.
Foxy was just the next woman in line for Absolution, after what has been an eventful few weeks for the trio, who only debuted on Raw the night after Survivor Series. She has never been pushed to the main event level of the women's division and it seems that once again she has been used as the talent enhancer who has put over stars who are much younger than her, whilst she sits on the sidelines.
The New Day (SmackDown Live)
The New Day have been built up as one of the best trios that the company has over the past few years, but it seems the popular group could have finally overstayed their welcome.
After a huge loss to The Shield at Survivor Series, this week they were defeated by the team of Rusev and Aiden English which now means that Team Rusev Day is part of the fatal four-way match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships at Clash of Champions next Sunday night.
Speculation currently suggests that The New Day could have hinted a break up in the coming weeks, so the future is looking rather uncertain for the former champions heading into 2018.
Kassius Ohno (NXT)
Kassius Ohno main evented this week's episode of NXT, his first showing since his defeat to Lars Sullivan back at NXT Takeover: War Games a few weeks ago. Kassius had the strength and size advantage over Gargano and threw everything at the former champion but he was unable to find a way into the fatal four-way match.
Ohno has been wasted on NXT over the past few months and now after this latest defeat he is left without a storyline heading into the new year.
With NXT Takeover: Philadelphia just around the corner, Ohno will want to pick up some momentum in the coming weeks to ensure that he's a part of the show.