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WWE Smackdown preview (January 15, 2015): Thursday? YES!

Celebrating over fifteen years of...stuff like this...on Thursday & Friday nights
Celebrating over fifteen years of...stuff like this...on Thursday & Friday nights

What you need to know

Forget hustle, loyalty and respect.  John Cena had a plan.  Sure, it involved doing what Brock Lesnar has been doing for the last four months or so - holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship yet never appearing on WWE television - but it would be different if Cena did it.  If the face who runs the place stopped showing up, The Authority would have to hire back Erick Rowan, Ryback and Dolph Ziggler.

Don't get ahead of yourself, said Triple H.  You're not winning the title at Royal Rumble against Lesnar and Seth Rollins, but you can win your pals job back tonight.  All you have to do is beat Rollins in a lumberjack match!  Unfortunately, one of the lumberjacks will be Big Show, and he's gonna punch you in the face.  Sorry Red, Mr. Back and Zigglypuff.

With that win under their belts. The Authority looked to dole out more punishment.  Naomi had to wrestle Alicia Fox one-handed because her husband and his brother didn't like last week's firings.  Dean Ambrose had to see a psychologist for teaming with Roman Reigns on Smackdown.  The Big Dog had to recite fairy tales in front of an audience of millions.  And Daniel Bryan has to wrestle before the Royal Rumble match against the man who put him on the disabled list - Kane.

Of the former Shield-mates, Reigns made out better than his brother.  Roman defeated Luke Harper while his nemesis Show looked on...Ambrose got knocked unconcious by a Super-kick from U.S. Champion Rusev.  At least he turned the tables on the doc and got cleared for the Rumble match, though!

Good thing Miz has friends like Golden Globes Lifetime Achievement Award winner George Clooney, because his stunt double looks to be getting a little uppity.  Mizdow may be secretly filming his boss for a documentary, but he still helped him get a win over Jey Uso, so they're good for now.

The same maybe can't be said for a bunch of other teams.  Adam Rose, Cesaro & Tyson Kidd are feuding with The New Day across a couple of shows, but can't stay on the same page long enough to get a win.  The Dust Brothers are likewise losing and bickering, to a team with a small bull on the squad, no less.  And Kidd is embroiled in more drama than the average episode of Total Divas, costing Paige her match against Brie Bella on Raw.

Bray Wyatt is going to win the Rumble, he says, and then...something will happen.  The Ascension are working on a formula that trash talking legends + squashing local athletes + x = getting over, yet they haven't solved for x yet.

The WWE World Heavyweight Champ graced us with his presence, and his advocate had several words for us.  A lot of them involve discerning fantasy, like that Undertaker's WrestleMania streak would never be broken, from reality, like Brock Lesnar ending Taker in New Orleans last year.

That disdain collided with Rollins' arrogance and Cena's...Cena-ness in the main event contract signing.  When the dust settled, the deal was inked, and the Architect's boot-print was imprinted onto the faces of his rivals after he curb stomped them both.

What to look out for

Tuesday night at the Baton Rogue, Louisiana River Center will be playing the part of Thursday for the WWE's little chapter play tonight.  If you'd like to avoid any cliffhangers, we have spoilers for you right here.

You know it's a big show (not THE Big Show, although he'll probably be there) when they pre-announce two different matches.  Sure, one of the involves Sin Cara, but this is the new guy who doesn't botch as much and who has a pretty good power game to go with the acrobatics.  Anyway, WWE is letting you know that their move to Thursday nights is kind of a big deal, especially since one of those two matches is the first time we'll see new Raw announcer Booker T's boy D-Bry wrestle for the first time since last May.

The Beard will face off against the Corporate Demon in a match The Authority is doing its darnedest to convince you is a risky proposition, since Kane put Bryan on the shelf in kayfabe.  It should be a nice chance to see how DB is adapting his style after some time off, and with someone he knows will protect him (really, not in story) in his old Team Hell No buddy the Big Red Monster.

Giving Sin Cara a title match may look like a bit of a laugher, but the Faceless One did beat Bad News Barrett last week in the Brit's first outing since winning the title a fifth time.  Now that the belt's on the line, can he do it again?

Those bouts, plus a Divas match probably, and Konnor & Viktor because...they're gonna get over, dangit!

We know from spoiler headlines alone that booking will occur for Royal Rumble, and considering it's a little over a week away, the sooner the better.  See who else signs themself up for the 30-man main event, and what other matches might fill out the three hour show, tonight!

(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)

WWE wants you to welcome Smackdown to Thursday - are they offering enough to get you fired up?

Let your voice be heard, both here and in the live blog tonight!

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