SmackDown Five-Point Preview: Nov. 2, 2012

Can Wade Barrett stop WWE’s Apex Predator?

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett: Raw, Oct. 29, 2012

The Apex Predator goes one-on-one with Wade Barrett.

It’s been a good week for Randy Orton. At WWE Hell in a Cell 2012, he overcame Alberto Del Rio with one of the more impressive RKOs you’ll ever see. ( PHOTOS) He avenged last week’s loss to Wade Barrett on SmackDown ( WATCH | PHOTOS) by scoring an impressive win against the English brawler on Raw. ( PHOTOS) And to cap things off, The Viper led his side to victory over Del Rio & The Prime Time Players in a Six-Man Tag Team Match on WWE Main Event. ( WATCH | PHOTOS)

But considering the ruthlessness of Barrett and the long-standing rivalry between the two brutal Superstars, will the Barrett Barrage succeed against WWE’s Apex Predator where it failed last Monday on Raw? Can The Bare-Knuckle Brawler get the chance to stop Orton’s positive momentum with his devastating Souvenir Elbow? Or will Barrett learn why his longtime rival continues to be WWE’s Apex Predator?

Where does Sheamus go from here?

New World Heavyweight Champion Big Show confronts Sheamus: Raw, Oct. 29. 2012

Sheamus makes an impactful statement on the new World Heavyweight Champion Big Show.

When Sheamus appears on SmackDown this week, it will mark the first time since March that The Celtic Warrior has showed up on the blue brand without the World Heavyweight Championship in his possession. His rematch with the new titleholder, Big Show, is all set for Survivor Series 2012 ( MATCH PREVIEW), but how Sheamus will prepare for the encore battle remains to be seen.

The Irish grappler showed his fighting spirit during Raw last Monday by hoisting up the 7-foot, 441-pound World Champion on his back to execute White Noise. ( PHOTOS) Still, will that feat of strength command the respect of The World’s Largest Athlete? Or does Sheamus need to do more to prove he’s ready for another round with Big Show?

What does The Miz have to say for himself?

The Miz says Kofi Kingston's win at Hell in a Cell was a fluke: Exclusive, Oct. 28, 2012

The Miz vows to be Intercontinental Champion once again.

Perhaps the one Superstar with more to prove than Sheamus is the one who will greet The Celtic Warrior on SmackDown this week. The Miz may intend to interview the former World Champion during “Miz TV,” but the WWE Universe can likely expect to hear The Awesome One’s latest scheme to get back on top.

How will The Miz respond after missing out on his opportunity to reclaim the Intercontinental Championship from Kofi Kingston at WWE Hell in a Cell? ( PHOTOS) Does anyone expect the competitor from Cleveland to gracefully accept defeat and move on? Or will his inclusion on Team Punk at Survivor Series 2012 reignite the swagger of The Awesome One and his aspirations for championship gold?

Are Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara back on track to capture the WWE Tag Team Title?

Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara & Randy Orton vs. The Prime Time Players & Alberto Del Rio: WWE Main Event, October 31, 2012

The rivalry between Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio boils over as they compete in a six-man tag match.

To their credit, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara have only two losses since the acrobatic Superstars joined forces this summer. Unfortunately, their first defeat came in the final round of the WWE Tag Team Championships No. 1 Contenders’ Tournament on Oct. 19 and cost them a title opportunity at WWE Hell in a Cell. ( WATCH | PHOTOS)

That said, the masked luchadores bookended their second-ever loss last Monday with a fast-paced win over The Prime Time Players at Hell in a Cell ( PHOTOS) and a successful effort in a Six-Man Tag Team Match on WWE Main Event. ( PHOTOS) Does their recent victory over Darren Young & Titus O’Neil imply a return to their winning ways? Or did their troubles on Raw in recent weeks imply that Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara may not be ready for the spotlight in WWE’s tag team division?

Does SmackDown General Manager Booker T have his house in order?

Booker T weighs in on the AJ scandal: WWE App Exclusive

General Manager Booker T makes a special appearance on your WWE App to discuss AJ Lee no longer being Raw General Manager.

From the “AJ scandal” to concerns about rogue referees, the WWE Universe would need to be living under a rock to not be aware of the controversies plaguing Raw in recent weeks. And while the newly assigned Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero may have her hands full on Monday nights, that does not absolve SmackDown General Manager Booker T of handling strife.

To resolve the mystery surrounding Kaitlyn’s mystery attacker at Night of Champions that grew to involve both Divas Champion Eve and Layla, Booker T simply placed the three Divas in a match at WWE Hell in a Cell with the championship gold on the line. ( PHOTOS) He also kept Sheamus and Big Show at arm’s length in the run up to last Sunday’s pay-per-view by forcing them to engage in a debate and feats of strength.

Is the five-time WCW Champion displaying the type of leadership on the blue brand that will keep the show above what’s happening on Raw? Or is the SmackDown GM just taking the easy way out instead of trying to resolve the problems at hand?

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