Good evening Bleacher Reporters. It's been a while since I've done a good preview. So in trying something new in celebration of the holiday spirit, here is what I believe we should expect from tonight's live SmackDown.
Tonight marks the return of one of the biggest legends in wrestling. Mick Foley, four-time WWE champion, will be bringing a sense of hardcore holiday cheer to WWE's B show.
I predict that there will, of course, be some fun throughout the night, reminiscent of the days when Foley was the commissioner of the WWE.
Last night's Raw already hinted that there may be some type of interplay with Foley and the Divas. I hope this means something involving a serious match.
Unlike Raw, SmackDown has been giving the Divas of Doom as well as developmental NXT talents, AJ Lee and Kaitlyn, a good arena to perform and more screen time.
They should continue that trend tonight on a live show where the ratings will be higher. It will also help build up the women more, giving Beth Phoenix more competition while pushing fresher-faced Divas into the spotlight.
Similarly, the mid-card division should be allotted more screen time on tonight's show.
Since Dolph Ziggler already had his moment last night with a huge upset win over Randy Orton, I expect Cody Rhodes to get the limelight tonight. Now mask-less, Rhodes can finally be taken seriously as a threat. They need to build up his character and mic skills.
Speaking of Orton, his recent feud with Wade Barrett has been an intriguing one. So far, Barrett has gotten the upper hand with his team's win at Survivor Series in addition to winning several of his latest singles matches.
It's good to see Barrett finally getting some shine again and showing promise after his career as a singles wrestler seemed stagnant for a while.
But, I believe that Orton will have the upper hand over Barrett tonight and even the playing field a bit. After all, Orton is a future Hall of Famer, and his Viper character cannot survive without having the last word.
Last but not least, the main event will be Money in the Bank winner Daniel Bryan taking on Mark Henry for the world heavyweight championship in a steel cage match.
There has been a copious amount of talk centering around the up-and-down push of Bryan after he won Money in the Bank.
My two cents is that Bryan has suffered from a lack of character that has resulted in poor booking and lack of interest.
Most of his huge fans are those who are fans of his independent circuit career. However, the arena/casual fans are not ones to simply get behind a guy just because he is a skilled wrestler with a decorated career in past unknown federations.
No offense to Bryan of course, but it is what it is. WWE has got to start giving this guy a character and building him up. Even the purest wrestlers, like Kurt Angle and Bret Hart, were given characters/gimmicks that fans can latch onto. Bryan has just been floating around.
At least last night's Raw witnessed a different side of Bryan—a side that isn't typical of a face character—as he admitted that he went back on his word and actually defended why he did it.
Coupled with a confrontation with Henry and adding insult to his injuries, the writers seem to be building up Bryan to be another anti-hero of sorts, similar to a CM Punk.
With that being said, I don't expect Bryan to win the match against Henry tonight. WWE is insisting on letting Henry have his long-awaited world title reign. And I just don't see a title change happening on a live cable show.
However, what I do see is Foley playing a role in the matter. I predict that Foley will be guest referee for tonight's main bout.
All in all, I expect another solid live SmackDown showing. I hope WWE doesn't go overboard and do too much with Foley's antics. They made that mistake on Raw with that horrendous "This is Your Life" segment with John Cena.
Tonight should be the night that Foley revives himself from that disaster in helping a live SmackDown show to earn another 3.1 rating.
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You can also check out my new WWE MC Report for November analyzing John Cena and The Rock's showdown at Wrestlemania as well as my other articles http://bleacherreport.com/users/310183-maria-cane.
This is a MUST READ for all WWE and wrestling fans. Join me in a series of articles as I analyze the post-Attitude Era of wrestling and discuss its highs and lows. Start off with the introduction article http://bleacherreport.com/articles/960014-wwes-special-mc-report-life-after-attitude-era-the-introduction . Comment, retweet, like, spread the word!
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