WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for Jan. 24

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterJanuary 23, 2014


As the Royal Rumble nears, Superstars get one last chance at victory, momentum and confidence-building on the Jan. 24 edition of WWE SmackDown.

Grand Rapids, Mich. hosts a show heavy on tag teams, and one that looks excellent on paper. The Real Americans, The Wyatt Family, The Usos, Cody Rhodes and Goldust as well as The Shield are all scheduled to compete.

Fans will be curious to see who goes into the Rumble match fresh off a win and who gets added to the match's lists of entrants.

With the results left unspoiled, here is a look at the matches to except on Friday's SmackDown.


Big Show and Rey Mysterio vs. The Real Americans

Before Big Show trades blows with Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, he will reform his recent tag team with Mysterio. The master of the 619 and the other two wrestlers will be looking to snare some momentum heading into the Rumble match.

Will Big Show use Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger as warm-ups, or does some combination of European uppercuts, the Patriot lock and the heel teem's mat skills mean they will end up celebrating a victory?

Mysterio will be glad not to be facing Alberto Del Rio, the man who has been wrenching his arm back with the Cross Armbreaker in their last few meetings. The high-flyer would be a good fit as Big Show's more permanent partner post-Rumble, two aging stars who are better off sharing in-ring duties.


AJ Lee vs. Cameron

As Naomi closes in on a title shot, her fellow Funkadactyl Cameron gets a crack at putting a hurt on the Divas champ. Should Cameron get a win over AJ Lee, she too would be in line for a future championship match.

AJ recently broke Maryse's record as the longest-reigning Divas champ and has had little resistance as of late.

She will look to prove her dominance by overwhelming Cameron right in front of the woman likely to be her next challenger. Having Tamina Snuka at her side, willing to skirt the rules at any time, will certainly help her do that.


The Miz vs. Brodus Clay

Two men who have had little in-ring action as of late get a chance to go to work between the ropes once more.

The Miz has been mostly an announcer, and Clay followed up his heel turn and brief feud with Xavier Woods with a spot on the sidelines. Can the big man reestablish himself with a win over a former WWE champ? 

Miz, who is among the Superstars announced for the Rumble match, will do everything he can to avoid going into the big event with a loss. He has a disadvantage in terms of size and strength here, something that would make this victory seem more significant despite Clay's low spot on the card.


Los Matadores vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel

A battle of two low-ranking tag teams pits a pair of bullfighters against Axel and his increasingly unstable partner. Ryback spent much of last week's Main Event stomping around the ring with a wide-eyed, bizarre look on his face.

Ryback goes nuts at Main Event.
Ryback goes nuts at Main Event.WWE.com

Are we going to see him continue this odd behavior? Are the Los Matadores doomed to just be his victims, the latest subject of his aggressive tweets?

Being pitted against Los Matadores and El Torito usually means assured shenanigans. As much as Axel and Ryback want to get a dominant win heading into the Rumble, there's a very real danger of becoming the punchline to the joke that Fernando, Diego and their little friend could end up telling.


The Prime Time Players vs. The Wyatt Family

Once fingertips away from the Tag Team titles, Titus O'Neil and Darren Young have had little traction in the division lately. A win over the bruisers of The Wyatt Family changes that immediately.

Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have been pounding and punishing their foes, even when they end up losing.

The Prime Time Players have a lot to gain here, but this bout also promises to leave them bruised, sore and thrown off balance. Unlike their opponents on Friday's SmackDown, O'Neil and Young have yet to be announced as Rumble participants.

Fans will be wondering if those Superstars get added to that list during this show or if they'll just be around to serve as Harper and Rowan's victims.


Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango

A win over Randy Orton has changed Kingston's trajectory.

Floating around, seemingly going nowhere, Kingston pinned the world champ on Jan. 13. He's since gone on a mini-roll, one he hopes to continue against Fandango.

The ballroom dancer hopes to put out Kingston's fire with any number of kicks, right hands and underhanded tactics. Heading into his first Rumble having defeated the man who just bested Orton will be his goal.

For Kingston, he's set to distance himself from the midcard, something he could do with an overwhelming win here.


The Shield and The New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes, Goldust, The Usos and Big E Langston

The night's main event will have fans watching for the formation of cracks among these many unions.

The Rumble match will pit brother against brother, partner against partner. Will The Usos, the Rhodes brothers and The Shield come out of this match even more bonded, or is this where WWE provides some hints of dissension among the groups?

The New Age Outlaws will be getting a title shot at the upcoming pay-per-view. They can do some physical damage to the champs here and potentially hurt their confidence by pinning them. 

It's a match loaded with young talent and respected vets. Some of the potential confrontations are mighty exciting, including Langston and Roman Reigns.

With as many bodies as there will be in the ring, and with all the punches flying and boots zooming toward heads, this not only looks to be an enticing way to cap off SmackDown but a preview of the Rumble's chaos.


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