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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Aug. 16, 2016): Going out in style

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The blue brand sets up shop in Texas’ capital, where they’ll try to keep Austin weird on their way to Brooklyn.

The Headliner(s)

There’s been a fair amount of talking in the WWE World title feud between champion Dean Ambrose and challenger Dolph Ziggler. And tonight, there’s gonna be some more.

To be fair, the Show-Off won the SummerSlam shot with a clean win over AJ Styles (and kept it with another over Bray Wyatt), and Ambrose did plant Dolph with a Dirty Deeds after they won their tag match over the Wyatts last week. And the talking has been good, with Dean channeling a lot of fans’ reaction to Ziggler getting the opportunity by questioning whether he’s ready to take the next step, and the former World champ shooting back that it’s now or never for him - regardless of what anyone else thinks.

And since they’re going to do their talking this time on Miz TV, a segment that often leads to tag matches, fisticuffs or both, there’s a good chance we’ll get more than just promos in the last chance to see these two before Sunday’s pay-per-view (PPV).

Here’s hoping they keep stoking the fire that’s turned this feud from ‘meh’ to ‘must see’ for many.

The Title Scene

Will the man who’s coming for Miz’s Intercontinental belt make his presence felt during the main eventers chat with the Awesome One? Sunday’s match is a spotlight moment for Apollo Crews, but so far he’s a bit player in the road to his first one-on-one WWE title match.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- We still haven’t seen a full preview for tonight’s show from WWE (as of midnight Eastern), but the company did announce two things in advance for a change. In addition to Miz TV, John Cena faces Alberto Del Rio. The Mexican Aristocrat doesn’t have a match on Sunday - nor has he done much since the Draft - but Cena has the latest and perhaps final chapter of his Summer long program with AJ Styles for which to prepare.

- Both AJ & Cena were headed to New Zealand last week, so whatever they do will be the official follow-up to their much talked about promo battle where the Phenomenal One baited the Face That Runs the Place into a match, and listened to “the Champ” question his love of their profession along the way.

- He may not have earned the IC title #1 contender battle royal, but Baron Corbin has made quite an impression on Tuesday nights - including by bullying Kalisto backstage.

- SmackDown’s women’s division is waiting for title, and for Eva Marie to actually wrestle. At least NXT draftees Alexa Bliss & Carmella got their first main roster matches, and wins, last week.

- The tag scene also needs some belts. In the meantime, American Alpha may get a steady diet of jabronis.

- His PPV opponent made a statement by destroying Heath Slater (who unknowingly walked away from a contract readied by General Manager Daniel Bryan last Tuesday); expect Randy Orton to respond in some form or fashion.

It’s the SummerSlam ‘go home’ show!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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