SmackDown Five-Point Preview: Jan. 25, 2013

SmackDown Five-Point Preview: Jan. 25, 2013

1. What will happen when The Rock and CM Punk address The Shield?

The Shield attack The Rock: Raw, Jan. 21, 2013

The Shield make The Rock their next target in their battle against "injustice" as WWE Champion CM Punk watches from inside his skybox.

Just two days before their WWE Championship Match at Royal Rumble, The Rock and WWE Champion CM Punk have each made it clear that they will journey to SmackDown tonight at 8/7 CT on Syfy. The Straight Edge Superstar has stated that he will call out The Shield on the blue brand, while The People’s Champion will address being attacked by Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns on Monday’s Raw.

After being brutalized by Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns on Raw Monday, The Great One will no doubt have strong words for the triple-powerbombing trio.

But what about Punk? The Straight Edge Champion — who is a staggering 432 days into his WWE Championship reign — was informed on Raw by WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon that he will be stripped of his precious title if The Shield interfere Sunday. While he has repeatedly declared that he has no connection to the dangerous faction, will that latest stipulation change Punk’s tune? Or is he simply setting himself up to suffer a three-on-one assault, just two days before one of the biggest battles of his life?

2. Will Big Show launch a preemptive assault on Del Rio before Sunday’s showdown?

Zack Ryder vs. Big Show: Raw, Jan. 21, 2013

Big shows faces Zack Ryder in the ring and then gives the WWE Universe a preview of what he will do to Alberto Del Rio in the Last Man Standing Match at Royal Rumble.

There is no love lost between World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and his irate No. 1 contender Big Show. If it wasn’t enough that Del Rio captured the giant’s illustrious championship gold, Del Rio has made constant attempts to humiliate the giant ever since, causing their rivalry to grow more and more bitter by the moment. With their World Title Last Man Standing rematch at Sunday’s Royal Rumble looming, The World’s Largest Athlete could very well be rapidly reaching his breaking point, as he displayed by decimating Zack Ryder on Raw.

Last week’s “Fiesta Del Rio” left Big Show all wet, so a dangerous and embarrassed giant may be looking to be the “last man standing” not only on Sunday, but also on Friday night.

3. Is Team Hell No going soft at the wrong time?

Team Hell No graduates from anger management: Raw, Jan 21, 2013

Team Hell No become the first-ever WWE Tag Team Champions to graduate from anger management..

It has been a rough road, but on Monday’s Raw, WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No graduated from Dr. Shelby’s anger management program —  Kane and Daniel Bryan not only “hugged it out,” but they also led the WWE Universe in a worldwide  hug fest.

Still, one could make the argument that the duo’s anger issues have played a crucial part in their WWE Tag Team Title reign. So are they going soft at the wrong time?

A title defense at Sunday’s Royal Rumble against the very dangerous Team Rhodes Scholars will demand many things of the improbable twosome, but hugging is likely not one of them. In addition, both competitors will be out to reign supreme in the Royal Rumble Match, a contest in which unpredictable rage can often be a Superstar’s only friend. Will Team Hell No re-establish themselves as a force of pure intimidation on SmackDown?

4. How will Sheamus gain momentum as he seeks back-to-back wins in the Royal Rumble Match?

Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett - Beat the Clock Challenge: Raw, Jan. 21, 2013

Sheamus and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett compete in the Beat the Clock Challenge until Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee, & Big E Langston come to ringside and make things a little more difficult for the international Superstars.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan … Sheamus?

At Sunday’s Royal Rumble Match, Sheamus will have an opportunity to engrave his name next to true legends of the squared circle, when he vies for an incredible repeat win in the annual over-the-top-rope classic. After falling just short to Dolph Ziggler’s time in Raw’s Beat the Clock Challenge, The Celtic Warrior will be looking to regain momentum heading into Sunday’s much-anticipated 30-man melee. Tonight, he'll get another crack at the Superstar who gave him such a tough match on Raw - albeit with a timely distraction from Ziggler, AJ Lee and Big E Langston: Wade Barrett.

Will Sheamus stay focused on the prize? Or might he seek retribution on The Showoff and AJ Lee, following their actions on Raw. Can The Celtic Warrior continue his string of SmackDown successes when he needs it most?

5. Will the war of words between The Miz and Cesaro turn volatile?

SmackDown Five-Point Preview: Jan. 25, 2013

Between being the host of “the most must-see show in sports-entertainment,” “Miz TV,” strutting around the ring with Ric Flair and doing commentary for WWE Main Event on Wednesdays, The Miz is one busy Superstar.

On this week’s WWE Main Event, The Awesome One was in the announce booth for the match between Ryback and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, who Miz will face Sunday during the Royal Rumble live-stream Pre-Show on, and at 7:30 ET/4:30 PT.

Miz not only had plenty to say about his Swiss adversary, but he also threw Cesaro back into the ring to the ravenous Ryback after he tried to flee from the bout. With Miz scheduled to face Darren Young tonight, will Cesaro return the favor to his Royal Rumble opponent?

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