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Preview for the September 20, 2013 episode of WWE Smackdown: Hybrid believer

Catch up on recent events, find out what's being hyped for tonight, read some thoughts on a trio of current champions and one former one, then join in a discussion about it all...right here in this week's 'Smackdown' preview!

Previously on SmackDown

It was the last show before Night of Champions, and all through the house, not a Giant was getting paid, not even The Big Show. Because he pissed off Triple H and got triple powerbombed by his personal attack Hounds.

The Shield had a busy night, too. After sending Steph's reluctant man-servant home via the trainer's room. United States champion Dean Ambrose lost a match to Dolph Ziggler to set-up The Show-Off's failed attempt to win the belt on the pay-per-view (PPV). The Uso twins saved Ziggy from a triple beating, but came up short in a three-man tag, and then weren't able to earn a title shot on Sunday's kick-off show. As Jimmy Buffet says though, come Monday...

We got quite a few meaningless segments last Friday, but hey! At least most of them weren't entertaining either. AJ Lee provided more tense commentary moments before taking "finishers" from the women she would beat in the fatal fourway for the Divas championship. Miz-co Inferno won a dance off that helped set-up one of Sunday's impromptu matches.

"WWE Superstar Ryback here!" was pretty great though, and not just because he was bullying interviewing an indy darling. The man he'd soon become allied with, Paul Heyman, no sold the PPV. And I'm glad Santino's back, even if he shouldn't be pinning the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) Money in the Bank briefcase holder.

The star of SyFy's Haven lead into his show with The Cutting Edge to close out Smackdown. Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan cut solid promos, but it was all for a belt that no one holds as of tonight...the WWE championship.


(NOTE: This show was taped on Tuesday for broadcast tonight. Previews are spoiler free, but results are available here)

From the bane of my pro sports existence and home of chili with spaghetti.

In an era where what happens on Raw actually carries over to Friday nights on SyFy, what will the ramifications be for those who came to Daniel Bryan's aid on Monday?

The corporate website is crowing about a "major match" that General Manager Vickie Guerrero will be making that is good for business...could it be tied to retribution for Monday's uprising, or the suspended WWE title?

On a night of proclamations, Divas champion AJ will try to re-kindle what seemed like a hot angle just a few short weeks ago with an announcement aimed at Total Divas. She's also scheduled for a match against rival Naomi, who just so happens to be a cast member of the E! reality show.

After smooching on Monday and helping the Intercontinental champ retain on Wednesday, what's next for the WWE's newest power couple - Heyback? And is Alberto Del Rio just going to hold the WHC forever?

Expect to pop for:

The Shield. I don't know what else there is to say, but I know I've got nothing but praise for them. The knock was that they were directionless, but the rise of the regime sure has taken care of that. And given them the opportunity to open, close or do whatever the hell the COO needs them to do on each and every WWE program.

Who's the most entertaining? Who's the best worker? Who will have the most titles on their stat sheet when all is said and done on their careers? I don't know (although I lean toward the standard Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns answers, respectively). Part of what makes them so much fun, gives fans so much to be excited about, makes them so damn unique in that they debuted as and have stayed a unit for going on a year, with no signs of stopping.

There's no "who's the Jannetty?" talk because they're too talented, but also because there are three of them. This is a new paradigm, one The Wyatts are attempting to emulate a modified version of now, but will forever forward be known as "a Shield".

In fact, the only downside to the trio's debut is that they've set the bar so high for everyone else who follows. Not just teams or factions, but everyone. We might have thought that Fandango was doing well for himself, having won a WrestleMania match so early in his career instead of already writing him off as enhancement talent. Or that the buzz created Bray Wyatt was something special, rather than savaging him for a sub-par match that was gimmicked out the whazoo and against a 40 year old man.

But that's not their fault. They're too busy being part of the best segments on every show WWE airs.

The heat is on:

Kaitlyn. Not many people miss her, In an era where there are a bunch of ways for Divas to get on WWE television (many that don't involve a lick of wrestling ability) the previous standard bearer for the division can't even get into a crowd scene?

For crying out loud, Aksana is seeing the most screen time of her career as a result of the AJ Lee versus Total Divas story. The Hybrid Diva can't show up backstage?

You keep her off of the E! show because she's not that charismatic and can't act naturally, I guess. But if you thought she was good enough to be Divas champ, why keep her out of a program that is so lacking in pro grappling ability that it can make a pro like Natalya look like crap?

The only possible explanation is that they want to keep her separate from AJ given their recent kayfabe history. But alignment seems to be secondary in this story, and you could either use their real-life friendship to reconnect them or their on-screen issues to cast her opposite the Pint-Sized Powderkeg.

I'm left without a clue, and frankly without much of a care. And that might be the real problem for Kaitlyn in the future...not only has she been kept out of the largest women's movement in a long while, but nobody has noticed she's AWOL.

Will the battlelines for Battleground be any clearer after tonight's show?

Let's hear from you in the comments, and head on back this evening and enjoy the show with your favorite Cagesiders in the Open Thread!

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