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WWE SmackDown: Spoiler-Free Preview for August 20

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterAugust 20, 2015

Credit: WWE.com

The go-home edition of WWE SmackDown provides a glimpse into what's ahead at SummerSlam.

Traditionally, WWE opts to have the show before WrestleMania or SummerSlam act more like an extended pre-show with recaps and interviews aplenty. That's not the case here. Variants of some of the marquee pay-per-view's biggest matches make up the night's card.

Ryback faces one of his two SummerSlam opponents early, a smaller-scale version of the Divas Elimination match hits the airwaves and SmackDown's main event is essentially a mash-up off three different bouts set for the PPV.

The Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, hosted all the action on Tuesday.

The taped show doesn't air until Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Syfy.

Until then, fans can either seek out spoilers or wait to see who gains momentum en route to SummerSlam. The following preview is for those who choose the latter route, providing a look at the matches set for Thursday's SmackDown with no results revealed.

Big Show vs. Ryback

Before the Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat match at SummerSlam, the champ faces off against one of his challengers.

It's fitting that these two are charged with building hype for the title bout. The focus has pointed squarely on them during this rivalry—the two titans being the center of the story and The Miz playing a largely insignificant role.

Power meets power once again here. Ryback has handled the giant well in recent months. The last time The Big Guy lost to Big Show was back in March.

Look for who goes over here. Going by WWE's usual reverse-momentum pattern, it's likely to be the inverse of what happens at SummerSlam. How much The Miz gets involved will be something to watch for as well. 

El Torito and Los Matadores vs. The New Day

Colorful personalities collide with men in colorful attire as half of the four teams vying for the tag titles on Sunday meet in Green Bay.

There has not been a lot of animosity between the four teams set to battle at SummerSlam other than between The Prime Time Players and New Day. This is WWE's chance to change that. Should a brawl break out or The New Day do something dastardly, there will be another layer added to the story come Sunday.

If not, there is still a chance for some fun action. The tag team division has featured some fast-paced, high-energy bouts as of late.

With El Torito involved, though, count on this leaning toward being a comedy match.

Neville vs. Bo Dallas

The Man Who Gravity Forgot gets warm-up bout as an NXT rivalry is revisited once more.

Neville will team with actor Stephen Amell against Stardust and King Barrett at SummerSlam. Facing one of the lower-rung stars gives him a chance to gain some momentum beforehand. That is unless the grinning loudmouth Dallas can score an upset here.

There's no guarantee that this match goes the distance, however.

It wouldn't be a shock for either Stardust or Barrett to get involved. The two heels would have no issue trying to get an early advantage by putting a hurt on Neville.

Becky Lynch vs. Brie Bella vs. Sasha Banks

The story of the three-team Elimination match at SummerSlam is that Team Bella, Team B.A.D. and PCB are all looking to prove that they are the Divas division's dominant faction. A member of each squad gets a chance for an early start on that.

Lynch and Banks are both coming off wins on Monday's Raw. Lynch knocked off Tamina Snuka, while Banks defeated Nikki Bella in non-title action.

Only one of those women can continue their roll. And Brie will be doing her best to prevent either one of them from tasting victory. She's hasn't found much success as a singles competitor since Battleground.

Brie lost to both Lynch and Charlotte last month.

It's hard to imagine, though, that this match doesn't just descend into chaos. With each of these women's stablemates likely to be at ringside, the chances of this going from official matchup to unsanctioned slobberknocker are high.

Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens, Luke Harper and Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Cesaro

In a collision that has a distinct Survivor Series feel, three SummerSlam matches are merged for SmackDown's main event.

Wyatt and Harper will face Ambrose and Reigns at the event. Orton is set to battle Sheamus that night. Owens and Cesaro will lock horns at the PPV.

WWE SummerSlam @SummerSlam

As announced on #SmackDown, @WWECesaro will BATTLE @FightOwensFight at #SummerSlam! http://t.co/2gR5YAHQMp http://t.co/ac1JxYHVr2

So this eight-man contest sets the stage for some escalating animosity between any of those foes. Will the wrestlers just zero in on their SummerSlam rivals here or hand out punishment to anyone standing opposite them? Will there be any big developments with any of these feuds?

Those are the major questions surrounding the closing bout on Thursday's SmackDown. With so many enemies in striking distance of one another, it promises to be a night that helps build toward SummerSlam.

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