WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for Oct. 4
Final preparations for battle occur on Friday's WWE SmackDown.
The go-home episode before Battleground features the Big Show in a match where he is extremely outnumbered, the world champ taking on the man he won it from and Los Matadores in their second televised WWE match.
This SmackDown is the Superstars' last shot at acquiring momentum, taking cheap shots and mouthing off against their rivals before the pay-per-view.
Without spoiling the results, here are the matches fans can look forward to on Friday's SmackDown from a handicap match to a man looking to kick Fandango's smirk off his face.
Big Show vs. Randy Orton and The Shield
Punishment awaits the giant.
After threatening to knock Triple H out on Monday's Raw, Big Show is set to face off against four men. He has little chance to win despite his size advantage and a significant chance to end the night in pain.
Orton will show off his newly reborn vicious side one last time before Daniel Bryan gets to experience it firsthand.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins get a warm-up match before facing Cody Rhodes and Goldust at Battleground. Even as lopsided a win as it would be, a victory over Big Show would offer them momentum heading into Sunday.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
What Ziggler would give to be facing Del Rio at Battleground for the world title.
Instead, he gets a chance to show off against the world champ on SmackDown. Del Rio and Ziggler are not far removed from feuding so even if there isn't a current storyline to work with between them, animosity should be at a high level.
Each man's opponent at Battleground could get involved here as well.
Rob Van Dam could be looking for some pre-pay-per-view brawling and Damien Sandow isn't above attacking Ziggler to gain an advantage for Sunday.
Ryback vs. R-Truth
The source of Paul Heyman's adoration seeks destruction before facing Punk at Battleground. He is the clear favorite here, even without Heyman's assistance.
An upset would be huge for R-Truth who faces another Heyman guy, Curtis Axel on Oct. 6.
As both opponents seek a pre-Battleground jolt of momentum, look for Axel to get involved as he has ties to both combatants as well as the slimy weasel rolling around in a Rascal scooter.
Kofi Kingston vs. Big E. Langston
No pay-per-view implications in this one as neither Kingston nor Langston is on the Battleground card.
Langston hasn't seen much action since SummerSlam and now gets an athletic opponent who could help him compose an impressive match. Speed goes up against power in a fresh matchup with a ton of potential.
With each of these men in need of a rival, sparks flying between them could lead to WWE pitting them against each other more often. They seemed to be heading in that direction when Langston was still a part of Ziggler's crew so perhaps WWE is revisiting that thought.
Brie Bella vs. Aksana
Heading into her match with AJ Lee for the Divas Championship, Brie must face a larger, more powerful opponent.
The smart money is on Brie to take the victory here, looking strong for her title bout. It's not certain, though, as Orton's violent actions against her fiance could be enough distraction to have her stumble before Battleground.
This is WWE's chance to build the Divas title match through what is said on commentary and any shenanigans that may happen before or after the bout.
Los Matadores vs. 3MB
A rematch from Monday's Raw has the recently debuted Los Matadores taking on WWE's wanna-be rockers once more.
Their buddy in a bull costume, El Torito, was the highlight of the last match, flipping around the ring in impressive fashion. This is another shot for Fernando and Diego to shine in spite of the silliness of the bullfighter gimmick.
3MB looks to be serving as the Jacksonville Jaguars of the WWE once more, providing an easy win for the other team.
Rob Van Dam vs. Fandango
Van Dam's competition is going to escalate in a hurry going from Friday's SmackDown to the inaugural Battleground. The high-flyer faces the ballroom dancer before battling for the World Heavyweight Championship against Del Rio.
Fandango seeks a huge resume-changing win against a man who should be focused and hungry.
Van Dam has done well in just about every bout since his return at Money in the Bank and Fandango will likely benefit from facing "Mr. Monday Night" again, win or lose.
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