What you need to know
Chris Jericho just wanted to chat with his old pal Randy Orton before leaving to tour with Fozzy, but the Viper had to bring his pals in The Authority to the Highlight Reel. After some witty-ish, slightly homophobic banter, Triple H got down to business and said that he would be pulling John Cena out of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Night of Champions against Brock Lesnar for Cena's own good.
Well, ja wohl!, the "champ" wasn't having that, and even threatened to sue WWE if they pulled his rematch. Orton, Seth Rollins, Kane and Y2J state their cases for why they should get to
be murdilated face Brock. Eventually, Roman Reigns saunters down to the ring, too. So The Game gives them all a chance to impress him in a six-man tag main event!
Good thing The Miz un-fired his stand-in, Damien Sandow after last week's Raw, because Mizdow took a Zig Zag from the Intercontinental champ and let his boss hit the Skull Crushing Finale to pin Dolph Ziggler and win he & Cesaro's tag match against Ziggy and Sheamus. Dolph did get a win back over Damien one-on-one to kick off Main Event.
Nikki Bella's smear campaign against her sister Nikki impressed Stephanie McMahon into giving her a shot at Paige's Diva championship. The former champ, AJ Lee and the Anti-Diva weren't thinking that was a valid reason for a title shot, but in the end, they could only join the audience in shaking their head that is the train wreck of the Bellas acting mad at each other. At least it was better than the six-woman tag match that ended in disqualification when the cast of Total Divas all ran-in at the same time. And at least Rosa Mendes didn't lose her shorts like she did on Tuesday night...
The Wyatt Family's Erick Rowan continues to impress, this time with a body slam of Big Show. An attack on Show's tag partner Mark Henry by Rusev resulted in the Wyatts taking yet another loss - but that was probably about to happen anyway since Luke Harper was set to take a World's Strongest Slam.
Lana's man went on to squash Zack Ryder, while his old nemesis Jack Swagger welcomed back his uncle Zeb and earned a win over Curtis Axel before being gloriously taken apart by Bo Dallas. The Real American has let down all of us little Real Americans...and all because Jack doesn't BOlieve.
We're heading toward a tag match between SLATERGATOR and Adam Rose &...his rabbit? Yep. Meanwhile, in the tag title scene, Goldust & Stardust keep racking up wins over The Usos in singles competition, but still haven't been granted a tag title match for their heelish ways.
In the main event, Cena almost killed Mr. Money in the Bank with a German Suplex, was kind enough to allow Reigns to pin Kane and then AA'd Rollins like it weren't no thang while jawing with a guy he's not even feuding with in Triple H.
LOL...you know the rest.
What to look out for
As usual, the show was taped Tuesday night - this time in Lincoln, Nebraska. We try to preview the show with fresh eyes, but if you like spoilers, we've got them for you here.
If you turned off your television on Monday night and said, "Dang, I wish there had been more Bellas!" - tonight, you're in luck! Brie attempts to put aside her familial strife and take on the holder of the butterfly belt herself, Paige.
We know that the "champ" will be here, so will we just get a rehash of Monday night's festivities with The Authority and other guys who may have a semi-legitimate claim at a title shot? Maybe we'll roll up the Wyatts, Cesaro and Sandow into one big squash party?
(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 WWE.com 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
Surprise us! Is there anyone who watched Monday's show and sees who is billed for tonight (or who just read any of the above) and doesn't feel like they can connect the dots on tonight's show?
Geno's talked about this show becoming numbingly formulaic. If it weren't for this gig, I'd probably be tapping out of the WWE product in general right now. Granted, we're a certain kind of fan, and ones that WWE knows that they can, for the most part, count on right now. But while it may happen slowly, we're the fans that they could count on to tune in on Friday nights, and we're starting to tune out.
Do something to make the blue brand feel like you can't miss it (and, no, a Cena appearance doesn't count). Have a smark favorite like Ziggler score an upset win over Orton. Pay Batista to show up for one episode and screw over Triple H in some way. Something to get the chatter heading into the weekend and Raw buzzing with "did you see what happened on Smackdown?"
Right now, Friday night's are "easy to skip TV".
What we're afraid they will do
The sad thing is, I'm not even scared. I'm resigned to the same meaningless one-off or 50/50 matches in the mid-card. And Cena and/or Reigns standing tall.
And I'll probably read about it here and watch a few clips of it on Hulu or YouTube rather than throwing a rating SyFy's way, too. How is that best for business?
Is Smackdown still appointment watching for you? What keeps you coming back, or what could they change to bring you back?
Chime in below, and discuss the show - either tonight in the open thread or tomorrow in the Reactions - with your fellow Cagesiders!