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WWE Smackdown preview (October 17, 2014): Not this again

What you need to know

John Cena opened and closed Raw by patting Dean Ambrose on the head and saying, "you're a spunky little feller, aren't you?" - or at least it felt that way, considering how things were booked (and the affectations Cena used for the Georgia crowd).

The Authority had a couple of different schemes for dealing with the dueling duo, who each want nothing more than to get their hands on Seth Rollins.  First, it was a triple threat tag match against the current and former tag champs.  Cena and Ambrose stayed out of each other's way enough to win that by pinning the Dust Brothers, because LOLCHAMPSLOSE.  So Triple H paid his wife a dollar (the least fan-fiction worthy side bet EVER) and booked Dean and John's planned pay-per-view (PPV) contract on a pole match for Monday's main event.

Total Divas was running wild across all of WWE's many platforms this week.  Brie Bella pinned her sister on Raw in our weekly six-woman tag match designed to hide Cameron and/or Rosa Mendes (this week, it also burned off a Nene Leakes appearance), but their feud is far from over, as we learned Tuesday on  Tyson Kidd and Natalya's marital distress has followed the former tag champ from E! to NXT and is now costing him matches on Main Event.

In Divas of the non-Total action, AJ Lee is a one woman wolfpack.  Her latest tag partner, Layla, walked out on her assignment of teaming with the champ against Paige & Alicia Fox.  But Lee took out her rivals, and then took out her partner on the ramp.

A really good match between Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler lasted long enough for the Twitter-verse to collectively discover RKO Vines, and when the Viper struck at the Show-Off with a truly impressive version of his finisher, the rest of the internet discovered them.  Seth Rollins didn't star in any memes these week, but he did take care of former World Heavyweight champ Jack Swagger in a solid match of his own.  After each of those bouts, the non-participating Authority wrestler showed up to show up his rival...a theme of the evening, considering Randy asked for the loser other guy out of the Ambrose/Cena pole dance.

More from the good match - weird story department, as Rusev returned to feuding with Big Show after a short break for Rocktober, and a kayfabe trip to anger management for the World's Largest Athlete.  Show probably would have been the latest American to pass out in an Accolade, but his buddy Mark Henry got him disqualified first.  Then the two patriots showed the Putin-lover that nobody outcheats a 'Murican when they knocked Rusev out with a sucker-WMD.  The big Bulgarian bounced back on Tuesday night with his favorite pastime, defeating an African-American, when he tapped out Big E (again).

The most welcome bits of news were also the least surprising.  The Wyatts have awesome vignettes - the latest heralding the return of Bray himself - and Damien Sandow is the most entertaining thing on WWE television.  If his usual Miz impersonation on Raw didn't convince you, he doubled the United States champ on Tuesday as Damienus Mizdow.

Ambrose won the contract to face Rollins at Hell in a Cell.  That's the important thing.  The less we focus on his only winning it because Cena was busy never giving up against the combined might of The Authority, the better.

What to look out for

Staying way south of the Mason-Dixon line, WWE rolled its trucks and buses into Birmingham, Alabama on Tuesday - mostly to tape the show that you'll watch tonight on SyFy.  If you want to know what happened, we've got all the details for you right here.

Last week may have been the big anniversary celebration, but tonight brings us a very Smackdown-y match-up, where the "tag team, playa" concept gets a heavy dose of WWE's current fave, alternating mid-card title feudmates!  Tag champs the Dust Brothers will team up with U.S. title challengers The Miz to face off with perennial tag challengers the Usos and Sheamus in six-man action.  The good news is that not all of the champs can lose, because they're on different teams!

Other than that, who knows?  Oh, who am I kidding?  We all know.  Dolph will probably lose to someone - Seth Rollins or Kane seem like likely choices, since he's already enhanced Orton and Rusev.  A match featuring Ambrose and/or Cena will end in a disqualification due to Authoritiference.  A Bella will probably win a match, and a small alligator will be humiliated by either a small bull or a large rabbit.

(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing - that will be posted behind spoiler text in the comments. If releases more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, that'll be updated here)

Kick off the beginning of Smackdown's 16th year with your fellow Cagesiders tonight in our live blog tonight, then hang out with us all weekend long for reactions and just general pro wrestling fun!

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