WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for Sept. 6
Triple H's tyranny intensified on Monday, which means every WWE Superstar not named Randy Orton is going to have to be careful heading into Friday's SmackDown.
Daniel Bryan faces a member of The Shield, Big Show gets a chance to release some of his frustrations and Orton and Rob Van Dam look to deliver another great match together.
Fans who have managed to avoid the spoilers before SmackDown airs will be tuning in for hints of how the Night of Champions card will expand and what happens next in the story of Triple H's regime closing in around the WWE roster.
WWE has been advertising that Triple H will be leading a "town hall meeting" during the episode. Will Superstars speak up against his recent merciless actions or remain silent and passive?
Here is the lineup of matches for this Friday's episode with the results omitted.
Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam
The last time these two faced off on SmackDown the result was one of the best matches of August. Van Dam gets another shot at the WWE champ, but he better hope he doesn't end the night like Orton's last opponent.
The Viper defeated Cody Rhodes in a career-threatening match on Monday's Raw to send him off into the proverbial sunset.
Van Dam looks to gain momentum heading into his world title match at Night of Champions. Defeating the WWE titleholder would do that in a major way.
Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler
On Monday's Raw, Ziggler didn't have a chance against Ryback because Dean Ambrose mauled him before the opening bell. Ziggler held on against the powerhouse the best he could, but he was too beat up to truly compete.
Friday's SmackDown offers Ziggler a shot at revenge.
Ryback and Ziggler are both without a Night of Champions match at the moment, so a strong showing by either man could lead to gaining a spot on the card.
Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston
The Intercontinental champ goes up against a man trying to get back into the spotlight.
This doesn't look to be a match that can further Axel's feud with CM Punk, but it offers him a chance to look strong with a win as that Night of Champions match nears.
Since returning from injury, Kingston has mostly traded wins with Fandango. Beating the IC champion could be his ticket to the midcard title scene, where he has resided for so much of his career.
Naomi vs. Brie Bella
AJ Lee can sit back and watch two of her three Night of Champions opponents go at each other.
Naomi and Brie collided in one-on-one action on July 15, a match that Naomi won with a crossbody. There's more at stake this time around as the two Divas look to position themselves as the challenger AJ should fear the most.
Though history tells us this match won't be a lengthy one, it's refreshing to see WWE put some work into a Divas feud. In recent weeks, the company has elevated the animosity between these foes, and SmackDown could continue that.
The Usos vs. The Real Americans
The Prime Time Players' recent roll ended on Wednesday when the Wyatt Family pinned them to end WWE Main Event. That opens the door for one of these teams to climb the tag team rankings.
Let's do work Minneapolis!! #USOOO— The Usos (@WWEUsos) September 3, 2013
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are still without challengers for Night of Champions, and a dominant win from either The Usos or The Real Americans would be a sign that one of those teams is heading for that position.
At the very least, fans should expect some high-flying action and some of Cesaro's gorgeous uppercuts.
Big Show vs. 3MB
After reluctantly knocking out Daniel Bryan on Monday, Big Show must clear his head and get ready for a fight against three men.
Even though Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater have the clear numbers advantage, Big Show is the favorite thanks to his size and those guys' jobber status. That will be even truer as Big Show will likely head into this matchup angry and frustrated by how Triple H and Stephanie McMahon embarrassed him on Raw.
Keep an eye on the story surrounding the big man, as he could either be on his way to becoming Triple H's lackey or the man that begins the revolt against him.
Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan
On paper, this looks like a main event to get fans salivating.
In their previous battles as members of The Shield and Team Hell No, Rollins and Bryan have shown off great chemistry. This should be a clinic in speed and energy.
Rollins has joined his partners and Orton in beating down Bryan in previous weeks, so expect Bryan to come even more fiery than usual. Rollins gets a shot to shine in the main event, and Bryan looks to break the trend of ending recent WWE shows flat on his back with his eyes closed.
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