WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for Nov. 1
The first WWE SmackDown in November will be John Cena's first appearance on the show since winning the World Heavyweight Championship.
Will the champ be able to fend off his challengers as he did on Monday? More importantly, will he be able to boost SmackDown's ratings?
Friday's episode in Tampa, Fla. features less matches than usual, a total of only four clashes. Each bout features a number of Superstars, though. The tag team division will be highly emphasized, and Cena and the man who nearly took his title from him, Damien Sandow, will face off as part of a six-man tag match.
After a number of episodes where Santino Marella, The Great Khali and Los Matadores were major parts of the show, WWE appears to have a more serious and more focused Friday lined up for the audience to savor.
With the results left out, here's what to expect on Friday's SmackDown.
The Usos vs. The Shield
The two teams who failed to dethrone Cody Rhodes and Goldust at Hell in a Cell face off once more. These foes are extremely familiar with each other at this point.
Expect signature moves to be countered and for these opponents display their anticipation skills. Count on a good match as well.
The Usos' best work of their career has been against The Shield.
A win likely means upward movement in the tag team rankings, the victors here becoming the unofficial No. 1 contenders for the Tag Team Championships. There are two other squads that will try to force their way into the discussion as well.
The Wyatt Family vs. The Prime Time Players
Who knows how much Luke Harper and Erick Rowan care about championships, but should they get a win here, their chances for a title shot increase. The division is deeper and more exciting thanks to their presence, and they pose a legitimate threat to whoever is champion.
Titus O'Neil and Darren Young have slid down the tag team ladder since their title shot at Night of Champions. Beating Harper and Rowan would help reignite their momentum. The Prime Time Players should head into this battle with extreme caution, though.
Monday's Raw saw The Wyatt Family attack Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, showing off just how dangerous they are.
Is another set of Superstars next on the list, or will Bray Wyatt's followers just focus on the action in the ring?
Alicia Fox, AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka vs. The Bella Twins and Natalya
The tension between the Bellas sisters and AJ and Tamina clearly hasn't cooled.
The Divas champ enlists the help of Alicia in a six-Diva tag match against some of the Total Divas cast. More than personal animosity, a position as challenger for the Divas Championship is at stake.
Brie earned her recent title shots partially based on pinning AJ in non-title matches. Can Natalya or Nikki do the same thing?
The Bellas and Natalya aren going to have to avoid Tamina's power, though. She's been especially intimidating as of late, the Diesel to AJ's Shawn Michaels.
The Real Americans and Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes, Goldust and John Cena
This pairing is telling.
WWE having The Real Americans go up against Rhodes and Goldust so soon after upsetting them on Monday's Raw is a sure sign that Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro are serious contenders. Sandow getting involved here means that he's not through with Cena.
Should the heels get a win in this six-man bout, the argument for either Sandow or The Real Americans to get a title shot becomes far more valid.
Watch for how Cena's arm holds up. Will he be booked as he if he's mostly healed from surgery and Sandow's attack, or will it continue to be his weakness?
Either way, SmackDown will look a lot different with Cena as its main champion. Will that continue into 2014, or will Sandow's era begin soon?
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