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WWE Smackdown preview (August 22, 2014): Who we'll make the journey with, and where we'll go

What you need to know

The hearts and minds of a million smarks soared when Flight of the Valkyries came across the loud speakers in Las Vegas on Monday night.  But it wasn't Daniel Bryan (that philanderer), it was Stephanie McMahon and Nikki Bella, out to troll his wife.  Nikki turned on her sister at SummerSlam because she's jealous of her, and because she feels that Brie is always looking out for herself.  The freshly heel-fied Bella would go on to slap her sister and collect a win over Emma on Main Event.

The World's Largest Strongest Team has also had a busy week.  As a unit, Mark Henry and Big Show took out the Wyatt Family, and Show went on to pull out a win against Erick Rowan on Tuesday night.  Henry stood up for America when Rusev and Lana were out to celebrate Mother Russia and Papa Putin on Raw.  In addition to thwoing the Bulgarian around like a rag doll, he told his social ambassador to zip her lip.

Ric Flair has a bad memory, as he doesn't remember that Randy Orton used to go around killing legends or that he gave his finisher to The Miz.  Neither man's interaction with the Nature Boy provided much luck either, as the Viper had to tag with Rybaxel and put over the random babyface trio of Roman Reigns, Rob Van Dam and Sheamus while Miz technically got a win over Intercontinental champ Dolph Ziggler, but it was via countout so he didn't get his belt back.  And he got Zig Zagged afterwards.

It was a bad week for a lot of champions, as Paige and the Usos also lost on Monday night.  Paige to Natalya following a distraction by AJ Lee, and Jimmy & Jey to the Dust Brothers following...midcardchampionitis (which is either similar to Punkbitchitis or it's John Laurinaitis' second cousin).

Sheamus fared better: winning as part of the six-man tag and then defeating Curtis Axel on the Network.  After that match, Cesaro made it clear that he finally had a direction - reclaiming the United States championship from the Celtic Warrior.  The Swiss Superman also got a win over his former Real American partner.  Jack Swagger then got a pep talk from Bo Dallas.

Everything is going WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar's way.  He's got a new title belt, a manager to deliver kick ass promos for him, and the rest of the month off before he has to rematch a dude he just destroyed at the next pay-per-view (PPV).

Fierce rivals Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins spent Monday night focused on the other's head.  Dean helped Seth contribute to a good cause when he nominated him for and helped him complete the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Then Seth put Dean on the shelf and on the run with a curb stomp onto some cinder blocks.

What to look out for

WWE stayed in the desert, but moved southeast a ways toward Phoenix, Arizona to tape Smackdown.  Spoilers are here, if that's your thing.

Two matches were announced in advance.  Randy Orton takes on Rob Van Dam, because RVD has to do something and they must have rubbed each other the wrong way during that six-man.  On Tuesday night, Rollins declared himself free of his Ambrose problem and announced that he was going to deal with another loser from SummerSlam on Friday, when he faces off against the Zeb Colter-less Jack Swagger.

Other than that, expect more of the same.  Champions losing, more Mark Henry and Big Show  than you ever knew you wanted and maybe some Adam Rose.  We haven't seen the Exotic Express in a while.

(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing.  We still don't want to risk spoiling anything, but as releases more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, I'll update it here)

What they should do

Don't look now, but there are a lot of tag teams running around WWE.

So many that we definitely don't need "creative has nothing for you" pairings like Henry and Show, but, whatever, let's include them in the mix.  There's room for everyone if they actually pay attention to booking an entire division and not just focus on the champs and whoever's turn it is to challenge them.

Who am I kidding, they haven't focused on the champs since...I don't know when?  But with the Usos, The Dusts, Rybaxel, SLATERGATOR, Los Matadores, World's Largest/Strongest, the Wyatts...keep Kofi Kingston & Big E together, bring back Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel, maybe call up The Ascension and/or Kalisto & Sin Cara from've got plenty of depth to have a title feud and at least one other complete program going at the same time.

The recent booking of the Divas division proves it's possible, and with six hours of television to fill every week, there's plenty of opportunity.  The only reason not to is ignorance or stubbornness.

Which I think is also known as Kevindunnitis.

What we're afraid they will do

I thought the deal was that Hornswoggle got shaved and broken off from 3MB to make him all serious for his movie, Leprechaun: Origins.  If we're going to have an animal mascot, can we have a certain bird of prey aligned with the currently solo Jack Swagger, and not a little person dressed as female livestock that I have to worry might be the subject of sexual harassment from another little person dressed as male livestock?

Chiquita, baby indeed.

Enjoy one more Cena-free episode (on TV, anyway) before his big return on Raw!

And enjoy it with your fellow Cagesiders, in our open thread and reactions post!

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