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WWE Smackdown preview (April 9, 2015): Play ball!

From's "WWE inspired basedball teams". I'd have called them the Aberdeen Bearded Clams, but that's probably why I get fired a lot.
From's "WWE inspired basedball teams". I'd have called them the Aberdeen Bearded Clams, but that's probably why I get fired a lot.

What you need to know

There's a lot of good reasons why you shouldn't leave a man who likes to set people on fire (and who's been accused of much worse) in charge of your wrestling show. For one thing, he's not very good at making decisions and sticking to them. When Randy Orton came out on Monday night and made some jokes at The Authority's expense, Kane decided it was time for a triple threat to determine the #1 contender to Seth Rollins' WWE World Heavyweight Championship - even though we all already know it's The Viper.

Since that wasn't punishment enough (for Randy or the audience), The Corporate Demon booked each of the triple threat participants in singles matches, starting with Kane vs. Orton. That ended about how you would expect with Kane getting disqualified. The other contenders at least won clean, with Ryback  taking out Luke "Destroyer of Deans" Harper and Roman Reigns canning and willing his way to victory over the Big Show.

The champ didn't get the night off, and he was given all he could take (including a kick in the dong) from a fellow indy stalwart, but in the end, Neville took a curb stomp or two just like everybody else. Meanwhile, another champ continued his open challenge series, and United States kingpin John Cena Springboard Stunnered Stardust right back to outer space.

Continuing on with life after AJ Lee, the Divas division needs a new #1 contender. While Naomi seemed to position herself nicely for that role with a pin of champ Nikki Bella in a tag match, Kane was tempted by the wiles of the Total Divas cast into calling for a battle royal to determine who gets the next shot at the butterfly belt. And speaking of divas, The Miz and his former stunt double/personal assistant finally went one-on-one, and The Awesome One won. But it was by roll-up with a handful of tights, so it probably doesn't count.

Not sure what alignment anyone is in the tag scene, but there are multiple feuds and angles cooking, so who cares!?!? The suddenly babyface Primetime Players are teasing The Ascension back into relevance, while the positive-but-totally-evil New Day took another loss to Lucha Dragons. At least we can be sure that Kalisto is 100% técnico.

On the subject of turns, the now villainous Celtic Warrior and his stupid look announced that he's continuing his war on underdogs by targeting Dolph Ziggler. Lamenting the lack of people his own size to pick on brought out Mark Henry. A mohawk isn't much of wig though, so it was the World's Strongest Man who ended up split on the altar of Sheamus' push. Bray Wyatt hasn't changed his look like the Irishman, but he's taken the new face of fear title with or without a win over Undertaker at WrestleMania. Other than that, his promo wasn't too clear, though, so feel free to guess who he's targeting next here.

Finally, it was main event time. And to everyone who thought Ryback was just there to take a were totally right. You're probably the same folks who thought that Orton was winning because they already announced that he'd be facing Rollins at Extreme Rules. You all are right a lot. But don't worry Roman fans, he looked strong. Stronger maybe even than the Apex Predator, who ended up with his face between Seth's boot and the mat after his RKO victory.

What to look out for

Tonight surely won't be as exciting as WrestleMania (star), but it was taped close to where that show will happen. WWE hit Big D on Tuesday night before whoever was left caught a plane across the Atlantic. If you want to find out what happened right now, you don't have to wait - you can click right here!

We were promised a tag match featuring Sheamus & Bad News Barrett against Dolph Ziggler & Daniel Bryan. And while Team Previews avoids spoilers, even we see things if enough people bitch about them on Twitter. So, for the second week in a row, look for a different version of that promised match to go down as WWE builds toward Barrett vs. Bryan for The Beard's Intercontinental championship at the next pay-per-view (PPV).

A special edition of Miz TV is on tap, and will almost certainly involve Damien Mizdow...and a plug or two for the host's Hollywood projects. The Eater of World's ankle must be doing better, because he'll follow up on his Raw promo with his first match since being finished by The Dead Man in California when he faces former follower Erick Rowan.

Neville continues to soar onto the main roster, with spending a full page of their Smackdown preview hyping him without even listing his opponent. Then the tag division confuses me even more when it comes to heel/face, as some combination of the clapping not snapping Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods take aim at tag champs Tyson Kidd & Cesaro.

(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)

The gang left on a jet plane after filming this show - will it feel a little less mailed in than the one that competed against college basketball on Monday night?

Only one way to find out, and that involves watching. But don't worry, you don't have to do it alone. Jump in our live blog and enjoy it with your pals at Cageside Seats!

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