Two champions collide on the May 30 edition of WWE SmackDown.
The Payback go-home show offers up matches with promise, the chance for Superstars to extend streaks and a stage for two new stars. Bray Wyatt, Kofi Kingston and El Torito are all in action, as are newcomers Adam Rose and Bo Dallas.
The Philips Arena in Atlanta already hosted the rematches and fresh clashes, but they won't air until Friday night, just two days before the latest pay-per-view arrives.
For those who have managed to avoid spoilers so far, the following is a result-free look at all the matches WWE taped for the show, as listed by Mike Johnson of PWInsider.
Jimmy Uso vs. Bray Wyatt
The Usos continue to edge in on the feud between Wyatt and John Cena. When the backwoods clan closed in to attack Jerry Lawler on Monday's Raw, Cena hopped in to save him, and The Usos weren't far behind him.
This time, one-half of the tag team champions will look to slow Wyatt's momentum.
Wyatt looks to charge into his Last Man Standing match with Cena at Payback with a dominant victory over his enemy's ally. He's run over Big Show and knocked off Sheamus in the past, so Wyatt enters this battle as a heavy favorite.
There's little chance that this remains a one-on-one encounter, though. One can expect Jey Uso and Cena to be in Jimmy's corner, and it's a safe bet that Luke Harper and Erick Rowan will be lurking behind Wyatt.
Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston
When these two were battling for the United States title last year, excellent matches were often the result.
Things have shifted dramatically for each Superstar since then. Kingston has fallen out of the spotlight, struggling to even get midcard bouts on a regular basis. Cesaro, now a Paul Heyman client, is on the cusp of becoming a top-tier star.
He looks to prep for his U.S. title match at Payback by knocking Kingston out of the sky with uppercuts. Kingston seeks an upset. The last time he pulled off an upset, defeating Randy Orton in January, he briefly earned more attention from the WWE creative team.
Paige vs. Tamina Snuka
The Divas champ faces a tough opponent for the third time.
Paige bested Tamina at Extreme Rules and once more on the May 22 NXT. She has to either sweep the three-match series or stumble into her Payback clash with Alicia Fox, who already pinned Paige in nontitle action.
Tamina can force her way back into contention by derailing Paige here. Otherwise, she's in danger of falling out of the spotlight, as Natalya, Fox and eventually AJ Lee clog up the top of the Divas division.
Bo Dallas vs. Xavier Woods
Dallas can go 3-0 in his second main-roster go-round with a win over the struggling Woods.
On last Friday's SmackDown, Dallas made his debut. He consoled Sin Cara after beating him.
That may be Woods' fate as well. Woods' jump from NXT has seen him play the victim on many occasions. Rusev, for one, steamrolled him several times.
Although Dallas is far less immense than "The Bulgarian Brute," the fact that WWE is still in the process of introducing/building up the former NXT champ is a bad sign for Woods.
El Torito vs. Jinder Mahal
After wins against Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre, El Torito looks to accomplish the improbable feat of pinning all three members of 3MB. After Hornswoggle ripped out his tail on Monday's Raw, he will enter the third round of this series with fury burning through him.
The miniature bull has been the star of this long rivalry.
His athleticism has provided much of the best action in the various forms of Los Matadores vs. 3MB. WWE has highlighted him more than his bullfighter allies, a trend that will continue on Friday's SmackDown and at Payback.
He gets a chance to leave Hornswoggle bald at that pay-per-view in a Mask vs. Hair match. He must first face "the fun one" from the wannabe rocker group.
Big E vs. Titus O'Neil
Two powerhouses with a contentious history meet once more.
On the May 2 SmackDown, O'Neil trash-talked aplenty as he showed off an especially vicious side of himself. Big E responded with aggression of his own, pummeling "The Real Deal" after the bell.
Big E has since been busy with Rusev. On May 12, he prevented "The Bulgarian Brute" from crushing "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.
Another violent collision with O'Neil points at Big E leaving Rusev alone and entering a feud with him instead.
Adam Rose vs. Jack Swagger
A match many expected to come at Payback is arriving early.
Rose has spent the majority of his time on the main roster pestering Swagger and Zeb Colter with his party-happy antics. When Swagger tried to lay a hand on his entourage, Rose responded with his fists.
This clash could either be the showdown WWE has been building toward or simply an appetizer for a pay-per-view match. Either way, it will be Rose's second match. He has a chance to stretch his record to 2-0 after beating Davy Crockett on Monday's Raw.
Sheamus vs. Bad News Barrett
Before their respective title matches at Payback, champion battles champion on SmackDown.
Sheamus looks to gain momentum before tangling with Cesaro. Barrett wants a win before facing Rob Van Dam. Those challengers will just be hoping that these two bruisers will beat the hell out of each other.
They have had some standout matches together in the past. Regardless of whether it reaches a definitive conclusion, count on reddened chests and the drumbeat of fists on flesh.
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