SmackDown Five-Point Preview: Sept. 21, 2012

What effect will Sheamus & Orton vs. Del Rio & Ziggler have on the World Title picture?

In the weeks leading up to Night of Champions, the dangerous Alberto Del Rio scored huge victories over Randy Orton, Kane and John Cena, before falling to World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus at Night of Champions.

Likewise, Dolph Ziggler has excelled in recent months, winning the Money in the Bank contract, playing an intricate role in Chris Jericho leaving WWE and engaging in a fierce rivalry with WWE’s Apex Predator, Randy Orton. But at Night of Champions, he would fall, too, feeling the sting of The Viper in an explosive showdown.

While these pay-per-view losses were definitely costly, they also may fuel both competitors into a new level of title competition. Tonight, Del Rio & Ziggler have a true chance to get back on track and channel their frustration, in a tag team showdown against Sheamus & Orton. And if they can reign supreme in the explosive match, it clearly would have a major impact on the World Title picture.

Certainly, Mr. Money in the Bank would be in a perfect position to cash in his contract if he sensed The Celtic Warrior was weakened enough. As for Del Rio, the questionable circumstances surrounding SmackDown General Manager’s reinstatement of the Brogue Kick, just moments before his title match Sunday, has left The Mexican Aristocrat with a sour taste in his mouth and a true yearning to get another opportunity at championship gold. Without a doubt, he will look to take advantage of tonight’s contest in any way he can.

And what of Randy Orton? Though he will fight alongside Sheamus tonight, he is on record as having a great deal of interest in facing The Great White for the World Heavyweight Title. Considering his serpentine personality, could The Viper use the opportunity to strike his own partner and make a statement?

What will happen when Friday night turns Rated-R at the top of tonight’s show?

Earlier this week, the inaugural tweet by the 11-time World Champion Edge revealed that he will appear on SmackDown tonight, walking onto the blue brand for the first time in more than a year. Just what is bringing The Rated-R Superstar home? (FOLLOW EDGE ON TWITTER @EdgeRatedR)

In his time on SmackDown, The Ultimate Opportunist always made headlines, whether in legendary battles over the World Heavyweight Championship, during his tumultuous marriage with Vickie Guerrero or hosting his controversial talk show, “The Cutting Edge.” So, when he takes the mic at the top of the show tonight, who knows what the WWE Universe is in for?

Will the new WWE Tag Team Champions make SmackDown a happy place?

Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston - WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Raw, Sept. 17, 2012

Newly crowned Tag Team Champions Kane & Daniel Bryan defend their titles against the former champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth.

Four days ago at Night of Champions the unlikely pairing of Kane & Daniel Bryan captured the WWE Tag Team Championships from R-Truth & Kofi Kingston. The next night on Raw, they again overcame their predecessors in a confusing rematch, battling each other almost as much as their challengers.   

The dysfunctional duo continues to wrestle through their anger management issues, with the help of Dr. Shelby — going back and forth between hugging it out and screaming in each other, “I am the Tag Team Champion.” Is the good doctor’s “psychological experiment” destined to go sour? If so, taking into consideration the amount of time that Bryan and Kane have been spending on SmackDown as of late, could their union implode tonight? And if it does, what will happen to the WWE Tag Team Titles and the tag team division as a whole?

Did new Divas Champion Eve have anything to do with the attack on Kaitlyn at Night of Champions?

Beth Phoenix vs. Eve: Raw, Sept. 17, 2012

The Divas of WWE go one-on-one.

On Sunday, the No. 1 contender to the Divas Title, Kaitlyn, was mysteriously attacked. The resulting injury prevented her from challenging Divas Champion Layla. Needing a challenger, SmackDown General Manager Booker T decided Eve would get the nod to replace her, a move that led to the Assistant to the SmackDown GM capturing the title.

On Raw, former champion Layla voiced a stronger suspicion that Eve herself might have had something to with the attack. Will the current champion and Assistant to the SmackDown GM have a response when Layla takes on Natalya tonight? 

Will United States Champion Antonio Cesaro fare against former titleholder Santino Marella?

This Sunday, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro continued his current surge through the competition — defeating Zack Ryder following Long Island Iced-Z victory in a Night of Champions Pre-Show Battle Royal to become No. 1 contender. 

Now tonight, the Swiss Superstar will once again take on former champion, Santino Marella. Despite his antics, Santino is not one to be taken lightly. One slip by the champion and The Italian Stallion would find himself back in contention for the championship.

On the other hand, will Santino have the weapon to overcome the champion? His dreaded Cobra seems to have a particular Kryptonite in the form of Aksana, who is never far from her boyfriend. If The Milan Miracle can’t overcome this setback, he may be tasting defeat in five languages.   


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