What you need to know
Curtis Axel and Ryback were finally earning some respect in the tag team division. A win over Big E and Kofi Kingston was supposed to propel them toward a title shot, and everybody knows that on your way to a title shot, you beat the champs in non-title action, right? Well, not the Big Guy and the Axe Man. A little of that old twin magic got the Usos a win over their maybe #1 contenders.
Your new Intercontinental champ is none other than The Miz, and he took to Smackdown to commemorate his latest accomplishment. He flew in his family for the occasion, and even though he's got a lot of great support from people like his Mom (wven with her weird sense of humor), his wife and their dogs - the most important thing is his moneymaker.
Bo Dallas thinks that maybe he should be on that list, because the only reason he won the IC belt is because he BOlieved. Dolph Ziggler thinks they're both full of crap, especially the guy who hid on the floor during the Battleground battle royal for the Intercontinental title. If this all sounds like set-up for a three-way feud for that championship...you'd be right. Bo beat Dolph thanks to a Miz distraction, Ziggler superkicked him during his victory lap and the champ tossed the Show-Off into the post.
In a match designed to make sure they didn't have the same outcome as on Raw, when ended in a disqualification when Dean Ambrose took a steel chair to Cesaro's shoulder, the Friday night rematch was no DQ. Of course, that was also an invitation for Ambrose nemesis (and possible Cesaro Authority ally?) to get involved. But Dean took care of him with a clothesline and somehow survived a deadlift superplex onto some chairs to sneak away with a roll-up win. It didn't stop the bad guys from hitting their finishers on the Lunatic Fring post-match, though.
Paige doesn't understand all this talk of her "turning", because she and Divas champ AJ Lee are still friends despite the beatdown she laid on her Monday night. The Anti-Diva has even taken to skipping in honor of her pal. Face or heel, she made quick work of Naomi when Cameron's music hit at the outset of their contest, and left without stopping the self-annoited "star" from tossing her former partner around the ring area.
Speaking of stars, Stardust and Goldust continue to say cool sounding stuff about a cosmic key. Not sure how it translates into wrestling, yet, though. Somebody else who says cool stuff that does translate into wrestling (if not winning wrestling matches) is Bray Wyatt, and he laid out R-Truth on Smackdown to prove the Chris Jericho is no savior. Truth was one of the first men to Y2J's side after The Wyatt Family attacked him, but he was nowhere to found when Little Jimmy's friend needed a hand.
Finally, Alberto Del Rio got "get a good match out of Roman Reigns" duty for the night, and did just that for ten minutes. In the end, the Big Dog won because, well, he's the Big Dog.
What to look out for
Last week, Paul Heyman said a lot of cold-@$$ $#!+ about what his client, Brock Lesnar, was going to do to WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Well, Lesnar isn't going to be in Houston tonight, but the champ. Is. There. And he will surely have something to say to the Beast and his advocate.
Stephanie McMahon had a serious case of the Mondays all week last week. Her lawyers have suggested she not talk about it, but Brie Bella is still holding legal action for her slap against her. And the boss lady can't be happy that her husband stuck around to run Raw while she was in a Miami holding cell.
They may have won on Main Event, but everyone is waiting to see what Xavier Woods has to say about his new stable/team of Big E and Kofi Kingston. While the suddenly sharp-dressed man enlighten us to his plans at all tonight?
Cesaro's plan seemed to be to ditch Paul Heyman and align himself with The Game. But despite the beating he laid on Ambrose on Smackdown, he still hasn't taken care of the one thing Trips asked him to in order to join The Authority? What will the Swiss Superman try tonight? And will it do anything to dissuade Dean from attacking Mr. Money in the Bank whenever possible?
The Eater of Worlds spent last week tormenting Chris Jericho as repayment for the Sexy Beast's pay-per-view (PPV) victory. Y2J is scheduled to be in Houston...verbal fireworks are guaranteed, will fists fly as well?
All that and a whole lot more (that will sometimes feel like less) starts at 8PM Eastern time on USA Network.
What they should do
There's been a lot of talk about Cesaro in the wake of last week's unceremonious uncoupling from Heyman. With his flirtations with The Authority and insertion into the Ambrose/Rollins issues, the answer is staring all of us right in the face.
Folks like to compare Seth Rollins to HBK. Well, Shawn Michaels had some muscle behind as he started out toward the main event as a solo heel, and the Architect should, too. Why shouldn't he have a Swiss assassin watching his back whose only mission is to keep his former Shield-mate off it?
You could play up their shared independent background, or not, depending on the goal of the partnership. I'd have it be part of Seth's pitch to Cesaro, but anything that puts the King of Swing over his shoulder in a sharp suit with some mirrored shades is a win.
That way, we get Ambrose vs. Cesaro now and the promise of Rollins vs. Cesaro later, too. Who doesn't want that?
What we're afraid they will do
Have him lose a United States title feud with Sheamus and start yodeling again? It's not funny. At this point, nothing in how they book Cesaro would surprise me.
Will tonight bring jokey John or serious Cena back from the movie set?
Find out the answer to that question and maybe even a few more tonight! Watch along with your fellow Cagesiders in the open thread, and then listen to Matt Roth and myself on the post-show videocast!