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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Aug. 9, 2016): Hustle, Loyalty, Feelings

Enzo Amore on Instagram

Still no official preview for the latest Tuesday night live show from Bakersfield, California... but we did alright last week without them, so...

The Headliner(s)

John Cena and AJ Styles appeared in dark segments on Raw, but their feud remains one of the principle storylines on SmackDown Live. Last week’s angle, which saw the Phenomenal One bait Cena into a singles match for SummerSlam, got a lot of people talking - including General Manager Daniel Bryan.

His rant probably didn’t win the Face That Runs the Place any new fans in the smark community, but that hardly matters at this point. Everyone will still be chanting “Let’s Go AJ” or “Let’s Go Cena” with as much gusto as they did when Styles turned heel to start this storyline back before the brand split. And the news of another hiatus for the host of American Grit’s second season on Fox has added a lot of intrigue to the outcome of their rubber match in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar talked about their extensive history - and the different things it means to each of them - in separate interviews which aired on Monday night. A run-in by the Beast Incarnate is really unlikely to happen this week, but expect some build for their money match at the August pay-per-view (PPV). Question is... will it be a replay of Raw’s videos, or something fresh from the Viper?

The Title Scene

Fueled by doubters, Dolph Ziggler put his shot at Dean Ambrose’s undisputed WWE title on the line against Bray Wyatt last week - and won. Will those who question whether he deserves the opportunity, including the Lunatic champ, take him seriously now?

He wasn’t able to turn his upset win in the July 26 battle royal into a world championship match, but Apollo Crews did defeat Baron Corbin and Kalisto for a chance to take the Intercontinental championship away from The Miz. Unfortunately, the Lone Wolf kind of ran through everyone after his victory last week. Can Crews get momentum on his side for a SummerSlam battle with the Awesome One?

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- The women’s division failed to launch for a second consecutive week. Can Becky Lynch force Eva Marie to fight, or will All Injured Everything keep trolling? Can Natalya & Carmella take their fight to the ring? Has anyone seen Alexa Bliss (we know Naomi was at Carnival with Total Divas)?

- For a hot free agent, Heath Slater is having a hard time getting a job. If he wants to work for the blue brand, he’ll need to take out the rising star of the Michigan political seen - and master of the Gore - Rhyno.

- There’re no belts for them to fight over (yet), but Chad Gable & Jason Jordan made a heck of a first impression in their main roster debut last week.

Two weeks until SummerSlam!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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