WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for Aug. 22

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterAugust 21, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

A battle of the bizarre and Roman Reigns' second crack at The Miz highlight the Aug. 22 edition of WWE SmackDown.

Goldust and Stardust lock horns with a team as odd as them, while Reigns, Jack Swagger, Paige and Randy Orton all look to taste victory. The US Airways Center in Phoenix hosted those Superstars and more for the first SmackDown after SummerSlam.

WWE taped all the action on Tuesday, but it won't air on Syfy until Friday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

Discovering the winners and losers early is easy, thanks to the multitude of spoiler reports available on the Internet. Where's the fun in that, though?

The following is a preview of all the matches set for Friday's SmackDown with the results left out.

Jack Swagger vs. Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins created one of the most unsettling images on WWE programming this year when he stomped Dean Ambrose's head into a stack of cinder blocks. That removed his chief rival for the time being.

After a confrontation on Tuesday's Main Event, Rollins aims his sights at Swagger next.

Swagger will be looking to rebound after losing to Rusev at SummerSlam and Cesaro on Monday's Raw. The latter defeat saw the Oklahoma native receive some consolatory words from Bo Dallas.

Was that just a one-time meeting or is Dallas going to be Swagger's next rival? The announcers will clue in fans during Swagger vs. Rollins.

Bringing up Dallas during the bout likely signals that a feud is brewing between him and The All-American American.

Rusev vs. Sin Cara

Sin Cara is set to experience deja vu. 

Stretching all the way back to NXT on Jan. 9, he has lost five straight televised matches against Rusev, per CageMatch.net (link contains spoilers). The contests weren't competitive either.

Add that to the fact that the luchador hasn't been in action much recently and he enters as a significant underdog.

Rusev, meanwhile, hopes to keep up his winning ways. Only a few men have been able to slow him down, but no one has toppled him yet.

Will he just tear through Sin Cara or is there a major upset on tap for Friday's SmackDown?

Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton

Orton and Rob Van Dam met several times last year in pursuit of the No. 1 contender's spot for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. They collided again as a part of opposing tag teams on Monday's Raw.

Van Dam followed up his SummerSlam victory over Cesaro by scoring the win for the good guys in six-man action.

Should Mr. Monday Night add a pinfall over Orton to this run, he'll thrust himself into the spotlight and perhaps title contention.

Orton, though, will be fueled by rage. Reigns took Orton's best shots and still left the Staples Center in celebration mode. Suffering another one of Reigns' spears on Monday night is only going to make him more enraged and dangerous during his bout against Van Dam.

The clash between Orton and Reigns in the tag match on Monday's Raw suggests that their battles aren't done. Friday's SmackDown then may either serve as a way to get Orton rolling once more or make for a good time to insert an unsanctioned post-match brawl between him and Reigns.

Paige vs. Natalya

This one pits the newly crowned Divas champ, Paige, against the division's best technical wrestler.

As is often the case with Divas matches, the quality of the action will depend on how much time WWE affords the performers. Paige's aggressive style paired with Natalya's mat skills should equate to excellence.

Knowing how many Divas bouts run just two or three minutes, fans' expectations won't be high.

However, the audience will expect AJ Lee to get involved. Paige was battling Natalya on Monday's Raw when the woman she defeated at SummerSlam came skipping onto the scene. That allowed Natalya to roll Paige up for a non-title win.

WWE has made it clear that it is in love with the cheap distraction finish, so few will be surprised to see it play out yet again. 

If the company avoids that overused tactic, though, there's a great chance of a memorable match here. Paige's reign will need some highlights, and this could well be one.

Goldust and Stardust vs. The Wyatt Family

There is no clear top contender for the tag team titles. 

Either of these two strange duos can work their way into that role with a win here. Stardust and Goldust already own a non-title victory over The Usos after surprising them on Monday's Raw.

Erick Rowan and Luke Harper didn't have as much success that night. Big Show and Mark Henry bested them in definitive fashion.

Stardust and Goldust knocking off The Wyatt Family makes it clear where WWE is heading with the next big tag title match. Harper and Rowan brawling their way to success makes the title picture far more cloudy.

The talent involved and juxtaposition of styles give this bout a great shot of being the highlight of the show.

Roman Reigns vs. The Miz

For the second straight SmackDown, Reigns and The Miz collide.

Last time out, The Miz carried the WWE Intercontinental Championship to and from the ring. Dolph Ziggler pinning him at SummerSlam changes that.

Reigns will look to smash The Miz's "moneymaker" and spear him off his feet as he did last week. It's going to take all kinds of cunning, luck and underhanded techniques for The Awesome One to avoid history repeating.

The first round of Reigns vs. The Miz was solid. As Reigns continues his climb to marquee status, he's going to need to show that he can thrive in longer singles bouts.

WWE looks to be giving him an opportunity to do that here, affording him the headline spot again. 

Will Reigns flourish in that spot? What rivalries will catch fire? What men will announce themselves as contenders?

Friday's SmackDown is set to answer those questions as WWE heads to the Valley of the Sun.


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