SmackDown Five-Point Preview: Feb. 8, 2013
Will Del Rio’s suspension hold?
On Tuesday evening, SmackDown General Manager Booker T made the shocking announcement that World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio has been suspended from tonight’s SmackDown due to his back-to-back assaults on Big Show. The first attack came with a pipe one week ago on the blue brand while the second was in the giant’s own hotel room on Raw. Although it is an extreme punishment from Booker, will the discipline be enough to appease an angry giant?
Perhaps even more importantly, will the suspension actually keep Del Rio off SmackDown? After receiving news of Booker’s decree, the World Champion tweeted, suggesting he might still show up on the blue brand, perhaps even buying his own ticket.
Just nine days away from the World Title Match at Elimination Chamber, the WWE Universe will hold its collective breathe to see if Del Rio and Big Show’s exceedingly bitter and personal rivalry will boil over yet again.
Who else will impress their way into the Elimination Chamber Match?
Booker T has already confirmed that former World Heavyweight Champions Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan will be part of Feb. 17’s World Title No. 1 Contender’s Elimination Chamber Match with a chance to headline WrestleMania 29 hanging in the balance. Since three spots for the golden — and highly dangerous — opportunity remain, who else will impress the powers-that-be enough to warrant entry in the grueling match?
There is no shortage of former World Title holders who could rise to the occasion. It’s clear The Great Khali, Kane, Sheamus and Jack Swagger are all impressive possibilities. After making quite an impact on Raw, could the re-emerging Mark Henry look to interject his massive presence on the title picture? Moreover, it is also entirely possible that other former champions could always appear from left field; the same way Swagger, “A Real American,” did one week ago; like Chris Jericho, Christian, John Cena or, dare we say, even the SmackDown GM himself, Booker T. Perhaps we will find out tonight.
Will Mark Henry reopen the Hall of Pain on SmackDown?
Speaking of Mark Henry, the super-sized competitor made an impressive and destructive return to WWE on Monday’s episode of Raw. Decimating Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, The World’s Strongest Man reminded the WWE Universe just how brutally effective he can be. Given that some of Henry’s most vicious onslaughts came on the blue brand in 2011, is it entirely possible that the furious powerhouse reopens a new wing of the Hall of Pain on SmackDown.
Can the WWE Tag Team Champions get back on the same page?
Kane & Daniel Bryan have certainly had their share of issues, but the last few weeks may have been the WWE Tag Team Champions’ most difficult.
After eliminating each other in the Royal Rumble Match, the dysfunctional duo have interfered in each other’s contests, most recently with Bryan causing Kane to lose to Sheamus on Raw and The Big Red Monster returning the favor during Bryan’s match with Damien Sandow on WWE Main Event. Can Team Hell No sort out their issues or will the increasing ire between the two strange bedfellows see them lose WWE’s twin titles?
What can the WWE Universe expect from Rhodes and Sandow as singles competitors?
On last week’s SmackDown, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow informed Booker T that they were dissolving Team Rhodes Scholars. Although The Essence of Mustachioed Magnificence and The Intellectual Savior to the Masses promised to remain the best of friends, they will henceforth pursue their singles careers.
Since talent, ambition and confidence are not lacking in either Rhodes or Sandow, is it possible that the WWE Universe is looking at one or even two future World Champions? They are definitely two singles competitors to keep an eye on, and tonight’s SmackDown could help establish just how far each might go.