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WWE Smackdown preview (May 21, 2015): From the home office in Stamford, Connecticut

What you need to know

Back in the innocent time before the NXT champ came out to see John Cena and tear the internet asunder, fans were excited about Stephanie McMahon's return to Raw. That of course spelled show-opening promo, and the queen and her king trolled the people by declaring a Seth Rollins-themed night. Triple H & Steph also got in a few digs at their old nemesis Daniel Bryan, and made it official that his successor as Intercontinental champion would be decided in an Elimination Chamber match on May 31st.

That brought out Sheamus, claiming that he ended Bryan, and Ryback, claiming that he ended CM Punk. That last bit is totally untrue, but would be a great way for The Big Guy to get heat, if he was a heel. He's not, thought, and The Celtic Warrior is, so The Game put them in a match against one another. An uncooperative table didn't stop that from being a pretty decent hoss fight, or keep Sheamus from keeping his winning streak from Payback rolling along, with the help of a feigned eye injury.

What's any good WWE show these days without some Kane? The Authority toast the Big Red Monster saving his job by helping The Architect keep his WWE World Heavyweight title, and the McMahon-Helmsley duo put their Director of Operations in charge of the Rollins movement. That started by dealing with Dean Ambrose. Seth wanted his old partner to go to the back of the line with the other men he defeated at the pay-per-view (PPV), Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. The Lunatic Fringe tried to question The Demon's street cred, but it only got him booked in a match with Kane's old kidnapper.

Renee Young spent some time getting to know Neville, and before the New Sensation's rematch with King Barrett, he got re-acquainted with his old NXT rival Bo Dallas. Strategic targeting of the high flier's knee helped Barrett win via Bullhammer, and after a stint on commentary, Dallas continued applying damage to the leg.

Bi-lingual Rusev knows how to say "I Quit" in at least two languages, and he didn't say it in either of them last Sunday night. Because of her weakness, he TOLD Lana to stay in the back. But when the fans demanded it, the Ravishing Russian appeared to explain that the former Intercontinental champ might be a brute, but he's really misunderstood. She says that she couldn't bear to hear him screaming "I Quit" in Bulgarian...and that was pretty much the last straw for thier relationship.

You could tell because later, after squashing Stardust, Michael Cole jumped in the ring to interview Dolph. Sure, it was ostensibly to inform him he was the last entrant in the IC title chamber match (joining Sheamus, Ryback, R-Truth, Rusev & King Barrett), but it was really so Lana could lay a big smackereeno on him to make Rusev jealous. Seems like a good way to start a relationship. Personal fact about my life: I hit my finisher on my wife's ex before our first date, too.

Before we got to the night's trio of promised title matches, Ambrose and Wyatt met once again, and this one might have been better than any of the matches they had while they were feuding last Fall. Because no one should interrupt their boss' champagne toasts, J & J Security interfered to screw Dean out of a win, but at least no electronics exploded in his face. He'd get some good news before the night was out, too.

Xavier Woods was banned from ringside for Tyson Kidd & Cesaro's latest shot at re-claiming the tag titles from The New Day. Kofi Kingston & Big E found this to be ridiculous, as is the fact that once they defeat The Swinging Cats, they will be the first team to ever defend the bronze belts in a Chamber match (against Best Team Ever, Lucha Dragons, Los Matadores, The Ascension & The Prime Time Players). But thanks to positivity and good old fashioned heeling, they lost the match but still go into the next Sunday night show as champs. An extended double-team got the disqualification, which signaled Woods to run-in, and that lead to all the teams from EC running know how these things are built...

Cena opened things up to United States championship contenders, and then something glorious happened. But you don't need me to tell you about it. Read about it herehere, herehere or here. Lost in the smarkgasm over KILL OWENS KILL was the return of another NXT champion. After Steph sneakily banned Brie from ringside, Nikki kept her Divas title via DQ when she caught a beating from Naomi & Tamina. Paige ran in to make the save - kind of. She really came back to save the butterfly belt, since she locked the champ in a Rampaige to celebrate being done hanging out with Miz back.

The Wyatt Family seems to have mended fences, since Luke Harper & Erick Rowan were tagging - and beating Fandango & Zack Ryder. Hey...Ryder got on Raw! Good for him. So did, Adam Rose, whose Rosebud-less self was backstage making out with a lady who did not look like Mrs. Leppan.

Finally, a main event appreciation ceremony closed out an eventful night. Kane kissed butt and produced a video package, Joey Mercury was quite touching. Until that crazy man Ambrose crashed the party. The champ used his whole team to try to escape his old mate, but Dean took a page from The Architect's designs (and some stuff from his tool shed) to blackmail McMahon into giving The Lunatic Fringe a title shot when he threatened to brain Rollins onto some cinder blocks. Unfortunately for the former U.S. champ, Steph's husband also gave Seth something, which he used when he Pedigreed his Elimination Chamber rival to end the show.

What to look out for

WWE headed across Old Dominion and set-up shop in Norfolk, to film Smackdown on Tuesday night. Which means you can already read the results - right HERE in fact - if that's your thing.

We try to stay away, ourselves, but we can tell you that they've promised to feature one of two men who were conspicuous in their absence on Monday night, Roman Reigns. We'll find out what The Big Dog's next moves might be when he addressed the fans. The guy who actually took the pin at Payback seems to have the week off.

Randy Orton might just want to take the rest of the month off, because with only two weeks between PPV-type events, there's going to be a lot of set-up to do in not a lot of time. Luckily, the two matches set to take place in the Chamber itself build pretty easily. Look for lots of matches between the six teams vying for The New Day's tag titles and the six men who want to become Intercontinental champ.

Diva of the Future, Paige will probably work an official match, or at least cut a promo. My guess would be that EC will get a triple threat for the title, but they could also book a #1 contender's match, seeing as how The Anti-Diva did earn that distinction before Naomi "injured" her on the road to Extreme Rules.

Hopefully not too much else will happen...everyone will pretty worn out from TakeOver and the final Late Show and stuff.

(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)

Looking forward to tonight or still worn out from last? Maybe waiting till Monday when those Entourage guys show up?

Whatever you watch when you're not watching wrestling, make sure to watch Smackdown tonight with the best dang pro wrestling community on the interwebs!

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