The Fourth of July edition of WWE SmackDown features an international flavor.
An Irishman defends the United States Championship and both a Swiss strongman and a Puerto Rican wrestler playing a Spanish bullfighter are in action. The show also welcomes back AJ Lee, who snatched back her Divas title from Paige on Monday's Raw.
The first SmackDown after Money in the Bank on Tuesday will continue adding tension between foes who clashed at that pay-per-view on Raw the next night.
What rivalries will increase in temperature? Which matches will WWE build toward for July's Battleground?
Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, hosted the taped show that won't air until Friday on SyFy. Until then, one can either search the Internet for spoilers or peruse the following spoiler-free preview.
Big E vs. Cesaro
An eye injury didn't stop Cesaro from climbing into the ring on Tuesday's Main Event. He teamed with Ryback and Curtis Axel against Big E, Dolph Ziggler and Rob Van Dam in a collision of men who will meet in the Battle Royal for the Intercontinental Championship at Battleground.
Big E and Cesaro will first clash in a one-on-one affair with momentum for that upcoming bout on the line.
Fans should pay attention to which wrestler in that Battle Royal field WWE focuses on more. The brightness of the spotlight will provide clues about who will emerge from that battle as the new IC champ.
After falling to Rusev for two straight pay-per-views, Big E needs this win more than his SmackDown opponent. A quick loss here signals that he'll play a minimal role come July 20.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus (United States Championship)
Sheamus put out a challenge for someone to try to take his belt from him. Del Rio stepped up.
Looking for his first reign as U.S. champ, Del Rio has to go through a rival he knows well. These two met several times in 2012 with the World Heavyweight Championship at stake. They had some solid matches during that feud, so there's reason to be hopeful for a good showing here.
After both failed to win Money in the Bank's main event, it's unclear what direction WWE has in mind for either man.
A vicious match here points toward a renewal of their bad blood, especially if there is a title change. Del Rio is already an official entrant in the IC title Battle Royal, so The Celtic Warrior will likely have to look elsewhere for a more long-term foil.
Bo Dallas vs. Diego
Dallas won't be lacking confidence as he seeks his 11th consecutive win.
The grinning, victory lap-taking motivator thinks so highly of himself that he gave Daniel Bryan advice on recovering from neck surgery. His latest matchup promises to be fast-paced, as Diego is sure to bring energetic offense to the ring. An injury to his partner forces Diego into singles competition here.
He can shed the also-ran label should he be the one to end Dallas' undefeated streak.
Fans have yet to see a lengthy match from Dallas on the main roster or see him tested much. Does that happen for the first time on Friday's SmackDown, or does the up-and-comer easily dismiss the bullfighter?
AJ Lee vs Eva Marie
This isn't the match fans were pining for when envisioning AJ's return to the ring. The two-time Divas champ will eventually face Paige in a sustained bout, but until then, it looks as if AJ is starting at the bottom of the division.
Eva has flopped in her previous efforts in the ring. She's been awkward, showing just how raw and inexperienced she is.
Will we see any improvement here?
Going up against a talented wrestler such as AJ will certainly help her chances of having a good showing. Hope that Eva doesn't win, though. Of all the options WWE has available to it, a feud between these women is one of the least appetizing.
Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose
After colliding as members of The Shield and Evolution, Ambrose and Orton lock horns again in a singles showdown.
Ambrose angered Seth Rollins, Triple H and the entire WWE corporate machine by preventing his former partner from cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Monday's Raw. This match may serve as punishment from on high.
Expect both Triple H and Rollins to be lurking and for Ambrose to be even more unhinged.
The feud with Rollins has amplified his unstable nature. Each week, he seems to become more frenetic, more uncontrolled. He will hope to turn that wildness into a big victory here, trying to knock off a former WWE champ.
This bout is sure to provide a clearer idea of where Ambrose's story is heading. He has yet to receive an official match against Rollins at Battleground, but that's the expected outcome. Fans will be watching to see if the story steps toward that and how Ambrose performs in the main event Friday night.
The show is sure to celebrate the United States' independence, just as it will showcase violence and drama from a varied group of performers.
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