WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for May 23

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterMay 22, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

Hulkamania and the "Bo-lieve" movement power the May 23 edition of WWE SmackDown.

London's O2 Arena hosts a show where Hulk Hogan serves as emcee and Bo Dallas leaves NXT for the main roster once more. Batista, The Wyatt Family and Sheamus are all in action as well.

WWE continues Payback's stories, Batista looking to make a statement and "The Celtic Warrior" in search of a challenger.

All the matches were taped earlier in the week, but won't air on SyFy until Friday. For those who have avoided reading the spoilers, the following is a preview of all the matches lined up for the show, with the results omitted. 


Dolph Ziggler vs. Batista (No Disqualification)

When these two met on last Friday's SmackDown, Ziggler won, but not in a way that left him celebrating. His victory came via disqualification when Batista tagged him in the onions.

"The Animal" followed that up by pummeling Ziggler, smashing him into the barricade and powerbombing him outside the ring.

Ziggler gets his shot at revenge in a bout that will not end the same way as the last. Heading into Payback, Batista will look to show The Shield how destructive he can be. Ziggler, meanwhile, looks for an upset that would be his biggest win of the year.


Funkadactyls vs. Eva Marie and Nikki Bella

Nikki gets a new tag team partner as four of the women from Total Divas collide. Eva has performed poorly in her previous efforts, so much so that WWE cut her match from a SmackDown broadcast in February.

She looks to improve her resume in a showdown with the athletic Funkadactyls. 

Summer Rae is the bout's special guest referee. The recently-returned Diva is likely to impact the match, but in whose favor? Both of these teams have been portrayed as fan favorites, while Summer is one of the division's clear-cut heels.


Bo Dallas vs. Sin Cara

It's time to find out if Londoners are "Bo-lievers." The former NXT champ makes his way back to the main roster, re-debuting as a grinning, overly positive and patronizing new version of himself.

His real-life brother, Bray Wyatt, has made a major impact on WWE after first flopping as Husky Harris. It's now Dallas' turn to make the most of his second chance.

His opponent hasn't been a consistent part of WWE TV and certainly doesn't have a wealth of signature wins in 2014. For that reason, the match is likely to showcase Dallas and Sin Cara enters the bout as the underdog.


Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus

Del Rio's 2014 hasn't looked anything like his 2013. World champion last year, he's now struggling to add to the win column. Facing the red-hot Irishman in the U.K. is not the best remedy for that.

Sheamus has not only been winning as of late, but producing some of the most entertaining brawls each week. Against Titus O'Neil, Ryback and Cesaro, Sheamus has made the most of his ring time, delivering hard-hitting action each time out.

He tries to keep that momentum going against a familiar opponent. Del Rio and Sheamus spent much of 2012 pounding on each other.

Both men are without a Payback opponent for now. A non-title win for "Mexico's Greatest Export" inserts him into contention for the United States Championship and perhaps entry onto the pay-per-view card.


Erick Rowan and Luke Harper vs. The Usos

Future championship opportunities are possibly at stake in this match as well. The Usos don't have a No. 1 contender chasing them down, but will spend Friday's SmackDown battling two beastly men who could soon serve in that role.

The Usos have been John Cena's unofficial sidekicks in his feud with The Wyatt Family. On last Friday's SmackDown, for example, the tag champs made sure that Cena's clash with Rowan remained a one-on-one situation.

That interference is sure to anger Harper and Rowan, and inspire them to put an extra pop in their right hands. 

Wyatt is sure to be close to the action. The Usos will have to keep their eyes on him during the course of this battle. The backwoods trio has shown no aversion to ambushes or disqualifications.

This main event follows a SmackDown highlighted by rematches, a re-debut and "The Hulkster" returning to the blue brand.