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SmackDown Five-Point Preview: June 29, 2012

Can The Celtic Warrior crack the numbers game?

Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio - No. 1 Contender's Contract-on-a-Pole Match: Raw, June 25, 2012

Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio compete for a title opportunity against Sheamus.

The No. 1 Contender’s Contract-on-a-Pole Match descended into chaos on Raw SuperShow Monday, creating confusion about whether Dolph Ziggler or Alberto Del Rio would challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship on SmackDown. Thankfully, Sheamus cleared up the uncertainty by announcing that both Superstars would concurrently face him with the championship gold on the line in a Triple Threat Match.

The Great White seemingly relished the opportunity to defend his coveted title against both The Showoff and The Mexican Aristocrat, but the odds remain stacked against him given the bout’s format. He survived challenges from multiple opponents at Elimination Chamber and WWE Over the Limit, but – with only a 33 percent chance of victory and because he doesn’t need to be directly defeated to lose the championship gold – his luck could very well run out against the two worthy adversaries he’ll face on SmackDown.

Is AJ setting her sights on Daniel Bryan?

Divas Summertime Beach Battle Royal: Raw, June 25, 2012

The Divas compete in a Battle Royal.

WWE Champion CM Punk and Kane appeared to speak from the heart recently regarding their respective feelings for the mischievous AJ on Monday’s Raw SuperShow, but it was her actions following the Divas Summertime Beach Battle Royal that left the WWE Universe once again scratching their heads.

After she secured victory by hurling this week’s Interim General Manager Vickie Guerrero to the ringside floor, AJ proceeded to celebrate by pointing skyward and shouting “Yes!” in the spirit of her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Bryan. Was she paying tribute to her former flame, or is she looking to get the vegan grappler’s attention by swiping his signature gesture? In either case, it will be interesting to see if the off-the-wall Diva will expound on her actions toward the submission specialist tonight.

Who will qualify for the other Money in the Bank Ladder Match?

Kofi Kingston in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania XXV: WrestleMania - April 5, 2009

Kofi Kingston battles it out for the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania XXV.

Serving as the Interim General Manager of Raw and SmackDown this week, Vickie Guerrero clarified that the only participants in the WWE Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match will be former WWE Champions themselves. That opens the door for John Cena, Chris Jericho, Big Show and Kane – and closes it for several other Superstars who aspire to one day become a World Title holder themselves.

Their championship gold ticket may still be available in the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match, however. That bout’s combatants have yet to be determined, which leaves the playing field wide open for many promising competitors to make their mark at the upcoming pay-per-view. Will Ryback earn a chance to one day cash in the contract for a World Title opportunity? Can Damien Sandow seize the moment? Could Kofi Kingston emerge at Money in the Bank later this month with the contract that guarantees a fight for the title that’s presently around Sheamus’ waist?

What can Vickie Guerrero do for an encore?

No doubt benefitting from her prior experience at the helm, Vickie Guerrero certainly stirred things up while serving as the Interim General Manager of Raw. From the Triple Threat Elimination Match that opened the show to the No. 1 Contender’s Contract-on-a-Pole Match to reinstating Brodus Clay on Raw, WWE’s resident Cougar showed no trouble at sinking her claws into a job that she openly admitted to wanting on a full-time basis.

So what other tricks does Guerrero have up her sleeve for SmackDown? Can she show the skills that helped her remain the SmackDown GM for nearly two years? Or, will her affection for Dolph Ziggler cost her the chance at staying in charge in the same way that her relationship with WWE Hall of Famer Edge did in 2009?

Will The All-American American get his “Swagger” back?

Jack Swagger begs Vickie Guerrero for a United States Championship Match for Raw: WWE.com Exclusive, June 25, 2012

Jack Swagger goes to Vickie Guerrero for a chance at Santino's United States Championship.

Jack Swagger’s had a rough go of it lately, what with his inability to take the United States Title from Santino Marella on Raw SuperShow and with Dolph Ziggler taking away Vickie Guerrero’s attention. Seeing Swagger beg for a title opportunity against The Cobra reeked more of desperation than a belief that he could still achieve greater glory.

Still, one of The All-American American’s greatest accomplishment to date remains his World Heavyweight Championship reign – a run that only became possible after he won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania XXVI. Since Swagger cashed in the contract for that title opportunity on SmackDown, could another dominating performance on the best show on Friday night help him get back on track? 

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