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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Aug. 28, 2018): Unambiguous

WWE’s sticking around for another day in Canada to promote 2019’s Biggest Party of the Summer in Toronto, and put on another episode of SmackDown.

The Headliners

Everybody’s still talking about Becky Lynch’s words and actions from last week. Is she a heel? Will anyone boo her? Should they? WWE and Lynch seemed to be sending some mixed signals, but they have a chance to provide a definite answer tonight if they choose.

That’s because Charlotte Flair will defend the Women’s Title she pinned Becky for at SummerSlam against former champ Carmella. The Princess of Staten Island informed General Manager Paige she’d be exercising her contractually obligated rematch clause on the Aug. 28 episode.

Mella’s title reign got mixed reviews, and it seems destined to head into the history books as a footnote in the Lynch/Flair rivalry. How important a footnote? That depends on Becky’s actions tonight.

She doesn’t need to form a faction with Carmella or anything, but in the likely event she runs in during or after this match, pro wrestling 101 tells us it will be to do one of three things:

  1. Attack Charlotte.
  2. Defend Charlotte.
  3. Take out everyone.

Course of action #1 is actually the most ambiguous. Sure, she’s made clear her intentions to take out her former friend, and we’re all waiting for the announcement of their next one-on-one match... probably for Sept. 16’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV). But whether the Lasskicker joins a Carmella sneak attack, or accepts Mella’s help in a beatdown she initiates, will tell us a lot. It would signal a pretty clear heel turn, whereas an altercation which just happens to occur outside Flair’s match is the one thing which would leave us guessing for another week.

If it’s #2, with Carmella catching the champ off guard after a clean loss or DQ, that would be an obvious signal we’re back to an at least honorable if still pissed off version of Bex.

The third option is probably the one most of us are pulling for - the bad ass neutral fighter here to prove to the world she’s the best, and taking out anyone else who could possibly make that claim.

Will we get a sign as to Lynch’s alignment? Do we even want one, or are we having too much fun talking about the possibilities? We’ll be able to address those questions after we find out if WWE wants to answer them tonight.

The Title Scene

After WWE Champ AJ Styles vowed to keep his cool for his family’s sake, Samoa Joe put him to sleep again. We already know these two are rematching in San Antonio next month. Will things escalate to force Paige to add a Cell stip?

It’s a big night for new five-time Tag Team Champions The New Day, and the entire division. Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E will be celebrating as only they can, which probably means a breakfast food will be involved. Meanwhile, The Bar battles Gallows & Anderson and The Colons as a mini-tournament to determine their first challengers begins.

Other than declaring himself a sovereign nation, United States Titleholder Shinsuke Nakamura didn’t do a whole lot after retaining his belt against Jeff Hardy at SummerSlam. We’ll have to see if a new challenger emerges this week.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Speaking of Hardy, the Charismatic Enigma snapped - and didn’t show any signs of the injuries he says he’s struggling with - when he beat Randy Orton all around Barclays Center last Tuesday. Look for The Viper to respond this week.

- Regarding possible U.S. Title challengers, Luke Harper is free with his Bludgeon Brother on the disabled list. Another heel, Andrade “Cien” Almas is probably ready to move on from Rusev. Aside from alignment issues, both would be fun match-ups should they invade the United States of Nakamura.

- All is well in Greater Bulgaria, where Aiden English’s assistance helped Lana & Rusev get their win back over Almas & Zelina Vega on last week’s SmackDown. Happy Rusev Day!

- She’s everywhere these days, but before she works a tag match with her twin on Raw next week, Brie Bella will probably be back by Daniel Bryan’s side to build toward her mixed tag at Hell in a Cell. Rumors say Maryse will be around more often too, so expect lots of Total Bellas vs. Miz & Mrs. action over the coming weeks.

- After escaping catering, Naomi ran right into DAT NUMBERS GAME when she fell to Peyton Royce of The IIconics. Should she recruit some back-up?

Three weeks until Hell in a Cell!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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