WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for Aug. 16

Ryan DilbertFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2016

The last tune-ups before SummerSlam launches on Sunday happen on Friday's WWE SmackDown.

Fans in San Jose, CA already experienced the go-home episode. Everyone else can get a spoiler-free look at the match listing here.

Captain Charisma tries to add another win, the Divas champ is in tag action and The Shield battles an intriguing alliance of Superstars. Before the main events and championship battles at SummerSlam, here is the action this Friday's SmackDown has to offer, results omitted.


Christian vs. Damien Sandow

The No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship looks to keep his hot streak going against a man who could take away that title at any moment.

Christian has defeated an increasing number of Superstars since his return from injury, including his SummerSlam opponent. Damien Sandow can gain a mountain of momentum with a win here as he heads into a grudge match against Cody Rhodes on Sunday.

More than a warm-up match, this could be a preview of a future world title match.


AJ Lee and Layla vs. Kaitlyn and Natalya

AJ Lee and Kaitlyn's feud pushes on, this time with Kaitlyn's former friend Layla on the opposite team.

Natalya gets in some action before her bout with Brie Bella at SummerSlam. It'll be interesting to see what WWE does with Layla here and going forward. Since turning on Kaitlyn, she hasn't been around much.

This match has outside interference possibilities aplenty. Dolph Ziggler, Big E. Langston or the Bella Twins could all worm their way into the action.


Rob Van Dam, Big Show and Mark Henry vs. The Shield

This would have been a superb match for SummerSlam, but fans get to see it for free just before the big event.

Fans will get a taste of what Rob Van Dam and Dean Ambrose's chemistry is like as well as how The Shield fares against a team with two giants on it.

Keep your eyes open to see if WWE pairs up Big Show and Mark Henry on a regular basis to form a team of behemoths that make Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins' tag title reign far more tenuous.


The Miz vs. Jack Swagger

The host of SummerSlam battles one half of The Real Americans.

Expect Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter to lurk as The Miz steps out of his suit and into the ring. There seems to be no SummerSlam indications with this match, but it has potential to be an entertaining clash.

Will the figure-four or the Patriot lock win out?


Curtis Axel vs. Zack Ryder

Confirmation that Zack Ryder still works for WWE happens when he meets the Intercontinental champ.

A win for Ryder would be huge, suddenly propelling him into the IC title discussion. Curtis Axel, not scheduled for SummerSlam, is going to need an opponent at Night of Champions, but the smart money is not on Ryder to be that man.

Axel's ties with Heyman have this match a potential way to further the Brock Lesnar and CM Punk feud should those men appear at ringside.


Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett

Daniel Bryan made Wade Barrett tap out on Monday's WWE Raw. Can he repeat that feat or can Barrett get off the snide and start winning again?

Barrett has been a surprise element in the John Cena and Bryan feud, as Mr. McMahon's beard-trimming flunky. He either serves as fodder for Bryan's searing momentum here or forces some of the spotlight to shine his way.

With the SummerSlam card seemingly set, this episode appears to be an appetizer before fans chow down on Sunday, devouring Bryan's match against Cena, Lesnar's clash with Punk and any other bouts that may steal the show.