WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for Feb. 7

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WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for Feb. 7
Credit: WWE.com

Randy Orton's gauntlet continues on the Feb. 7 edition of WWE SmackDown.

The world champ has to face each of the opponents who will be gunning for him inside the Elimination Chamber. After losing to Daniel Bryan on Monday's Raw, Orton must now face Christian. 

Fans in Des Moines, Iowa have already witnessed that match and the show's other clashes. Everyone else must either scroll through spoiler reports or wait until Friday to see it all unfold.

The night's lineup includes a rematch of a masterpiece from last July, a meeting of two of WWE's most bizarre personalities and Orton facing yet another old foe. The following is a look at what bouts to expect on Friday's SmackDown, with the results omitted.

 

Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston vs. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose

It's usually Reigns and Seth Rollins who work together in traditional tag team bouts, but perhaps Ambrose and Reigns are looking to work out their issues. It's been those two members of The Shield who have been most testy with each other.

Ambrose tried to eliminate Reigns at the Royal Rumble. He then snatched away a pinfall from his partner on the Feb. 3 edition of Raw.

Ziggler and Kingston have to pray for some infighting between their opponents, as it's the best hope for winning. Kingston's momentum after defeating Orton last month has slowed. Ziggler is starving for any momentum at all.

He expressed great frustration about his current run in an interview with Tom Phillips. Will this new pairing result in a spark for both men, or is this simply a case of offering The Shield a fresh set of prey?

 

Sheamus vs. Ryback

After defeating Curtis Axel on Raw, Sheamus now looks to take down Ryback. Axel tried his best to brawl with "The Celtic Warrior," but he ultimately couldn't last.

Ryback then jawed with Sheamus on the outside. 

Ryback's power gives him a better chance to defeat the Irishman than his partner, but not by much. 

Sheamus is in need of a string of victories before entering the Elimination Chamber, as he's been out for months due to a torn labrum. Wins like the one he had against Axel will not only get him back in wrestling shape, but they will give fans fresh images of his victims.

Ryback will fight to not fall into that category, but it will take a major upset for him to legitimately best Sheamus. He does potentially have Axel in his corner, something that could lead to a less honest victory.

 

Antonio Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan

Orton and Christian aren't the only two men competing in the WWE title Elimination Chamber match who will battle on SmackDown. Cesaro will go one-on-one Bryan, who left it all in the ring in his win against Orton on Monday.

Cesaro has a chance to overpower a drained foe here. Fans have a chance to see excellence again.

When these two met in July last year, the result was magic.

There's little doubt that Bryan and Cesaro are capable of something just as captivating this time around. How much time they get to do battle will play a major part in if they do or not.

Even a truncated clash between the uppercutting Cesaro and the frenzied Bryan is sure to please, though.

 

AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella

The Divas champ faces someone she's tangled with many times over the last year. Naomi has been asserting herself as the No. 1 contender to AJ's championship, but Nikki could usurp her here with a clean victory.

AJ has no challenger set for Elimination Chamber yet. This match could determine whom she faces.

Fans will be eyeing this contest to see if it feels like more of a one-off or the precursor to something more. Pay attention to the commentary as well. More talk of Naomi than Nikki hints at The Funkadactyl stepping up as the next challenger.

 

Goldust vs. Bray Wyatt

The eccentric meets the disturbed in this battle.

Goldust and brother Cody Rhodes have been unable to win back their Tag Team Championships from The New Age Outlaws. He gets a break from that endeavor to face a man capable of forcing him to leave on a stretcher.

In his match against Bryan at the Royal Rumble, Wyatt displayed the type of viciousness that is usually only found in one's nightmares. He can build on that with a strong showing here.

Goldust has a long list of things to worry about during this match: Wyatt's aggressiveness, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan prowling at ringside and The Shield potentially tearing through him in order to get to Wyatt.

 

Randy Orton vs. Christian

One of the best feuds of 2011 gets revisited when the recently returned Christian looks to follow Bryan's lead. Fans will expect Orton to bounce back with a win here, but Christian will be no pushover.

"Captain Charisma" is hoping to enter the Elimination Chamber red-hot with momentum. He's twice beaten Jack Swagger recently and now steps up to a higher tier in terms of foe.

Expect the announcers to play up Christian and Orton's long history while speed and skill are displayed in the ring.

Triple H announced that Orton will have to face John Cena on the Feb. 10 episode of Raw. The Viper certainly can't afford to go into that showdown limping, suffering a two-match losing streak. He'll have to ride his mercilessness and his RKO to best a man desperate for glory as his career winds down.

That is the crux of one of many intriguing matches on the docket for Friday's SmackDown, an episode that provides plenty of inspiration to stay at home and tune in that night.

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