WWE SmackDown: 5 Things to Watch for During This Week's Show
The events of Night of Champions certainly promise to shake things up on SmackDown, so this week's edition of the show promises to be much different than it has been in recent weeks.
Most WWE fans would probably agree that the blue brand has been a bit lackluster as of late, but hopefully that will change beginning this Friday.
World heavyweight champion Sheamus defeated Alberto Del Rio once again on Sunday, which means their feud has in all likelihood come to an end.
Sheamus and Del Rio have dominated SmackDown for the past several months, so it will be refreshing to see someone new thrust into the spotlight.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of SmackDown this week is that a WWE Hall of Famer, the Rated-R Superstar Edge, will be hosting the show, according to WWE.com.
Edge had expressed his desire to stay away from wrestling for the most part, but his fans will undoubtedly be thrilled to see him.
SmackDown is essentially a clean slate right now, since so many angles seemingly came to an end at Night of Champions. Therefore, there is most definitely reason to tune in this week.
Here are the top five things you should keep an eye on during the show.
Edge Returns to WWE as SmackDown Host
It has been nearly a year and a half since Edge was forced into retirement due to a serious neck injury, and many of his fans are still in disbelief that their favorite superstar was taken away from them.
Edge may not be able to wrestle any longer, but he has made sporadic appearances for the company and will do so again this week as he will serve as the host of SmackDown in Philadelphia.
Although it's unclear precisely what Edge will be involved with on the show, I'm sure he'll thrive in any capacity. Many consider Edge to be one of the best all-around superstars in WWE history because he had a great character, could go in the ring and could handle himself on the mic.
He was truly the total package, but he'll only need to put his speaking skills on display this week in all likelihood.
With Christian off television for the time being, we probably won't see a reunion between he and Edge. However, Edge has history with plenty of guys on the roster.
His last feud before retiring was against Alberto Del Rio, so I wouldn't mind some interaction between them. Del Rio lost to Sheamus on Sunday, so he's a bit down on his luck and Edge could certainly send some verbal jabs his way.
Who Is Next in Line for a World Heavyweight Championship Shot?
Sheamus has been world heavyweight champion since beating Daniel Bryan for the strap in 18 seconds at WrestleMania. Almost immediately after that, he began a program with Alberto Del Rio.
There were a couple of interruptions during the feud, but it has essentially lasted for Sheamus' entire reign as champion. With that being said, after Sheamus' win over Del Rio at Night of Champions, the WWE's stalest feud appears to finally be over.
Del Rio has lost cleanly so many times that I can't imagine he could possibly get another opportunity at the title. The issue, though, is that there aren't a lot of credible contenders on the roster.
The main-event heel crop is pretty scarce, but anyone other than Del Rio would be an upgrade at this point. One rumored opponent is Big Show, who has been off television for a month, but I would prefer Wade Barrett who recently returned from an elbow injury.
Failing that, the WWE could pull the trigger on a Randy Orton heel turn.
The Viper is important to the upper midcard as a face, but making him a heel and pitting him against Sheamus would definitely heat up the world title scene.
I wouldn't have Dolph Ziggler feud with Sheamus, since he holds the Money in the Bank contract. However, if the writers want to totally flip the script, I wouldn't be against Ziggler cashing in Money in the Bank against Sheamus in the near future.
Are Kane and Daniel Bryan Set to Begin Their First Feud as Tag Team Champions?
Kane and Daniel Bryan have been the most entertaining superstars on Raw and SmackDown for the past several weeks.
Now that they are tag champions, I'm sure that will continue.
The dysfunctional duo beat Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the bronze belts at Night of Champions and proceeded to retain them in a rematch on Raw despite several instances of miscommunication.
The WWE tag division has been in dire straits for a long time, but two popular guys like Kane and Bryan should be able to return it to prominence.
They aren't the only positive in the tag division right now, either. Credible challengers like Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, Kofi and Truth and The Prime Time Players could be future contenders.
Even lower-level teams like Primo and Epico, The Usos and Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel could put on some great matches as well.
However, Kane and Bryan have the star power, so it was a great decision to give them the titles. Hopefully they can now keep their own momentum and the momentum of the tag division going.
With six weeks until Hell in a Cell, we may not see No. 1 contenders emerge this week, but perhaps the tag division will get sorted out to some degree on SmackDown.
What Is Next for Wade Barrett?
Wade Barrett made his return from an elbow injury a couple of weeks ago by squashing Yoshi Tatsu on SmackDown, but he hasn't done much of anything since.
Barrett defeated Justin Gabriel on Raw and has cut a couple of quick promos, but nothing has been done to suggest that he is next in line for a world heavyweight championship shot.
Barrett would be the perfect opponent for Sheamus, however, so hopefully there is some movement on that front this week.
Barrett is one of the best all-around talents in the WWE. He has a menacing look, very sound in-ring skills for a man his size and he is among the best promo men on the entire roster.
Most importantly, he seems like a guy who could pose a legitimate physical threat to Sheamus. The WWE is drawing on Barrett's background as a bare-knuckle fighter, so he isn't likely to back down against The Great White.
If the WWE decides against that, though, Barrett would have to feud with Randy Orton.
Right now, Orton is the only face outside the main-event scene who could really put Barrett over and make him look strong if he were to lose to him.
Barrett had just ended a feud with Orton back when he got injured, so I wouldn't mind seeing a reprisal if it ultimately leads to Barrett feuding with Sheamus.
Will the Mystery of Kaitlyn's Attacker Be Solved?
Kaitlyn won a battle royal to become the No. 1 contender for the Divas championship several weeks back. She was scheduled to face Layla in a title match at Night of Champions, but was attacked while warming up and was deemed unfit to compete.
Eve, who has been suspiciously nice as of late, checked on Kaitlyn and reported her findings to SmackDown general manager Booker T.
Booker decided that since Eve was the last person eliminated in the battle royal, and since she has done so well as his assistant, she deserved the title shot in place of Kaitlyn.
Eve took advantage as she defeated Layla on Sunday and became the new Divas champion. Every fan is fully aware that Eve was behind the attack on Kaitlyn, but it remains to be seen who else was responsible.
Eve couldn't have done it since she was talking with the Prime Time Players when it happened. That means Eve is in cahoots with either another diva or perhaps a superstar.
I wouldn't necessarily count on it being solved this week, but Booker's adviser, Teddy Long, is obviously very wary of Eve. Therefore, I'm sure he'll take steps toward figuring things out this week.