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WWE Smackdown preview (August 29, 2014): Muscle for the middle

What you need to know

Hulk Hogan loves John Cena.  Hulk Hogan believes in John Cena.  Even more than John Cena does apparently, but while the champ who is no longer The Champ might have his doubts, he's going to shout about kicking Brock Lesnar's ass at Night of Champions.  Later on, he'll give Attitude Adjustments to all three members of the Wyatt Family.  Which is the ancient language of squashing translates to "I'm going to kick Brock Lesnar's ass at Night of Champions".

The war between Russia and the United States is, for now, being fought strictly with hosses.  Rusev busted Jack Swagger in the chops until he couldn't breath, scoring another victory for Lana and her beloved Vladimir Putin.  Bo Dallas would then seek to score a victory for his BOlievers by busting Swagger's balls about the loss, after scoring one for himself over Kofi Kingston.

It was not a banner night for feminism in WWE.  First, Paige scored a clean but sloppy looking victory over Natalya, and then AJ Lee came out to play "mind games" with Divas champ by teasing that she's interested in her sexually.  Later on, Nikki Bella turned into the world's worst sister when she expressed her wish that her sister had died in their mother's womb.  Brie didn't have to turn into anything - she just remained the worst actress in the world.

Seth Rollins and his good buddy Corporate Kane wanted to get in on the whole evil-doer thing, and delivered a eulogy for Dean Ambrose, celebrating the Architect's curb stomp that sent Dean off to be a movie star from last week.  Roman Reigns couldn't stand by and watch them mock his friend, or listen to Seth's B-movie villain laugh, any more, and came to the ring to put a stop to it.

With The Authority away, Kane and Seth saw their chance to deal with the Big Dog the same way they'd dealt with the Lunatic Fringe.  But their two-on-one act backfired on them this time, as did the old "cinder blocks under the ring bell" trick.  Kane ended up knocked out by a Superman punch, while Seth barely missed a head-on collision with a flying brick.

United States champion Sheamus has a new #1 contender, as Cesaro beat Rob Van Dam to officially earn that designation.  Intercontinental champ Dolph Ziggler seems to have the same old challenger, but at least Miz hired a stand-on, Damien Mizdow, to loss for him this week.  The tag champs have a problem, as their old respectful rivals the Rhodes-now-Dust Brothers snapped and seem to be coming after their belts as heels now.

It's a good thing this section isn't called "what you missed" anymore, or it would have been blank.  Monday night was kind of rough.

What to look out for

We're still out west, and this show was taped Tuesday night in lovely Ontario, California!  Previews are spoiler-free, but you can find out what happened in advance by clicking here.

Mark Henry and the Big Show were Cena's good buddies on Raw, and now they'll get another shot at the Wyatt Family when they square off against Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.  The title of most spoiler posts around the internet was 'Reigns vs. Wyatt', so that's probably happening.  And it makes the odds of a Teddy Long special six-man tag about 2-to-1.

Based on Tuesday night, we should also be on the lookout for more Rollins vs. RVD, since their match came to a pretty indecisive finish and the Whole F'n Show is due for more time off after this show.

And Goldust and Stardust's heel turn should be complete after they beat Los Matadores and assaulted El Torito, but expect it to be furthered tonight, with an eye toward an eventual announcement that they're getting a tag shot at Night of Champions.

(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

It wasn't the wrong call to use someone at Bray Wyatt's position on the card to build Cena back up (whether it was the right time to start that rebuilding project is another issue).  It won't be the wrong call if someone in Bray's position serves that purpose for Reigns tonight.

The problem is that almost no one else who occupies that position.  WWE has Wyatt, and Randy Orton as heels that can be served up to a main event babyface before a big match one else.

It's not much better on the other side of the alignment scorecard.  That's why it's important to think about how you are going to rebuild someone like Bray after using them like this, because there aren't a lot of others like him - guys that are over enough to have some uppercard PPV experience on their résumé.

Enhancement talent comes in all shapes and sizes.  But if you don't cultivate it the same way you do headliners, you won't have anything worthwhile to feed to your headliners.

Ask Ryback.

What we're afraid they will do

Anything other than having Roman single-handedly Spear all three members of the Wyatts

Can Smackdown help WWE bounce back from a lousy Raw?

Watch along with all of your Cageside pals in the open thread!

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