Four days after a shocking conclusion to Raw saw Seth Rollins betray his Shield teammates and apparently become the newest member of Evolution, SmackDown hits the SyFy airwaves and the former Hound of Justice is in the house.
What will Rollins have to say about his actions Monday night? Will Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose make an appearance and wage war with their longtime friend?
Returning to WWE for the first time since his loss to John Cena Sunday night at Payback, Bray Wyatt will likely have plenty to say. Who will he target? Is his program with Cena over? Where does he go from here?
Bad News Barrett will have the opportunity to get a measure of revenge on both Rob Van Dam and Cesaro following Monday's Raw when he meets them in a Triple Threat match.
Tag team champions The Usos will be in action, as will the destructive Rusev and the unstable Alicia Fox.
With the tapings for this week's broadcast in the can, find out what went down as WWE rolled into the Queen City for SmackDown, courtesy of our friends at WrestlingInc.com.
US Bank Arena in Cincinnati
Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield
- Triple H and Seth Rollins kicked off the show with a promo. Dolph Ziggler interrupted and Triple H booked Rollins in a match against Ziggler, something the former architect of The Shield did not expect.
- Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler.
- Big Show approached Rollins and Triple H backstage. Show called the former a sellout and Triple H responded by booking Show against Randy Orton later in the night.
- WWE Tag Team champions The Usos defeated Ryback and Curtis Axel in a non-title match.
- Rusev defeated Xavier Woods.
- Intercontinental champion Bad News Barrett defeated Rob Van Dam and Cesaro in a Triple Threat match.
- Bray Wyatt cut a promo in which he said Sister Abigail warned him about all of this.
- Natalya defeated Alicia Fox; Fox threw a fit at ringside after the match.
- Bo Dallas defeated Santino Marella.
- Big Show defeated Randy Orton by disqualification when Seth Rollins attacked; Rollins and Orton laid out Show to end the night's festivities.
The New Evolution
After turning on Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins needed two things to happen to make an immediate impact as the newest member of Evolution: He needed to cut a strong promo explaining his actions, and he needed to demonstrate his in-ring abilities as a singles heel.
By all accounts, he does just that this Friday, kicking off the show alongside Triple H and talking about his shocking betrayal before defeating Dolph Ziggler in what should be a highly competitive bout.
Ziggler is the perfect first opponent for the freshly turned Rollins. He can sell all of the signature offense and, at the same time, work with the "architect" of The Shield to deliver an outstanding bout.
Friday night, the spotlight shines brightly on Rollins, as it should. How Ambrose and Reigns react come next Monday night, when they will share the arena with their former partner for the first time, remains to be seen.
Tag Team Action
The Usos have been nothing short of spectacular thus far in 2014. Their matches with The Shield, the New Age Outlaws, the Brotherhood and the Real Americans have helped fuel tag team wrestling in World Wrestling Entertainment.
One of the teams responsible for bringing the best out of Jimmy and Jey is Ryback and Curtis Axel, more simply known as RybAxel. Friday night, the teams meet in a non-title match.
RybAxel has developed into a really good tag team. They are showing a better understanding of tag team psychology and are developing stronger chemistry with every passing match. The raw power of Ryback and the technique of Axel make for a strong dynamic that meshes well with the frenetic and energetic offense of The Usos.
After dropping a non-title bout to Luke Harper and Erick Rowan of the Wyatt Family on Monday, Jimmy and Jey are in need of a bounce-back victory, and they get it Friday night in what should be a very entertaining clash.
Bray Wyatt Returns
After suffering a defeat to John Cena at Payback in a Last Man Standing match, Bray Wyatt will return to SmackDown a cornered, wounded dog. With his back against the wall and pressure mounting, how will he respond?
One of the best promo men in the history of the industry, Wyatt will have to deliver a strong performance that hints at the next step he takes and, at the same time, recaptures some of the momentum he had heading into Payback.