SmackDown had a big episode last week with all things considered. A solid tag team title match, a great debut of sAnity, and Rusev got his first singles opportunity for the WWE Title and his biggest opportunity in seemingly years.
With that all said, the key will be for SmackDown to keep the ball rolling, and here are a few things you could expect SmackDown Live to focus on tonight!
1) The Miz vs Daniel Bryan
Miz TV this week may open a lot of doors into the future plans for a couple of people.
Last week, SmackDown Live held a gauntlet match to determine a new number one contender for AJ Style’s WWE title at Extreme Rules. Daniel Bryan, who was involved in the the match, was attacked by the Bludgeon Brothers (Harper & Rowan). This would cost him the bout, as he was eliminated by the Miz right after.
The Bludgeon Brothers, who will be featured on Miz TV tonight, will most likely reveal the reason for their attack on Bryan. Their reason? Most likely, it was orchestrated by The Miz, as he may have just found his new henchmen, who he will use to insulate himself from all threats. Namely, Daniel Bryan.
The Bryan/Miz feud, which dominated SmackDown Live last year, was solely done through shoot style promos. Due to Bryan not being cleared for competition at the time. Fans were begging for a proper blow off to their feud, but this could not be satisfied with Bryan not being allowed to step between the ropes. However, that has all changed as of earlier this year.
Bryan is officially a full-time superstar, and the long awaited bout between the two can finally happen! It is our prediction that tonight will be the start of that feud, which could spread into late summer. Coming to a climax at SummerSlam.
2) SmackDown Live Tag Team Division
While the Bludgeon Brothers may find themselves tied up in a Miz/Bryan storyline, they are still the Tag Team Champs, and their division just added yet another solid team.
sAnity made their presence known last week, and they haven’t even had an official match yet; as the team of Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe and Eric Young laid waste to the USO nation before the match could even start. We talked about the SmackDown Live tag team division before, and basked in its deep pool of quality tag teams, now with sAnity involved, what is next for the titles and the division itself?
Most likely, sAnity will have another squash performance, as they will dismantle some poor local team or an attack on a low rank team. While most likely no official matches will be made, look for the SmackDown Live GM to possibly come up with a short tournament to decide who faces the tag champs at extreme rules.
3) Lets hear it for the girls!
Despite our upbeat title for this section, there actually isn’t much to talk about. Currently, the only booked Women’s Division match/segment is for Becky Lynch to face off against Peyton Royce after defeated the other half of the IIconics last week. Lynch will most likely continue her winning ways, but for all we know, this match could disintegrate into a six woman tag, as this has become the norm for the women on SmackDown Live who aren’t fighting for a title.
Other than that, there isn’t much to speculate. Auska might have a quick match, just to show off her dominance, after being pinned for the first time ever by the Princess of Staten Island. With that, look out for antics from SmackDown Live Women’s Champ, Carmella and her lackey James Ellsworth.
4) US Title Match – Jeff Hardy vs ???
As just announced by WWE at the top of the 5 o’clock hour, Shinsuke Nakamura will NOT be cleared to compete tonight against Jeff Hardy. Thus, Hardy will have an open challenge for his US Title.
This match was made official earlier this week by SmackDown Live GM Paige. The two have only squared off once, but the bout ended in DQ with Nakamura delivering a low blow before the match could end.
However, now with Nakamura being sidelined tonight, someone else will have to fill in.
As reported by us and other outlets, Hardy is supposedly dealing with a nagging injury, a pinched nerve. With that, Hardy may be looking to take some time off to heal, with someone else in meantime defending the US title. However, Hardy has just seemed to embraced a darker, almost-but-not-quite “woken” side. Shown by his return to his intense face paint. Would WWE have him do this just to leave right away? Maybe, but its questionable.
Our prediction is that Hardy will retain, as to wait for a future match with Nakamura
Nakamura needs a win after losing his feud with AJ Styles, plus – he’s hungry for a title, any title at this point. With Nakamura being a main event star, he could elevate the US title. A heel champ Nakamura with people like: Hardy, Tye Dillinger, Shelton Benjamin, Randy Orton and others chasing him? There are some solid, and potentially great, matches that could come from him winning the gold tonight.
5) The Phenomenal One VS Rusev Day!
While it is still a bit too early for predictions regarding this match, Rusev still has to prove that he’s on the level of AJ Styles for WWE to have any believably in this match up. Right now, Style’s stock is monumentally larger than Rusev’s, despite his growing fan base of…dare I say…Rusev Maniacs.
Look for Rusev to shine tonight, and for him to also show his ruthless nature in the ring. While the fans love his, at times, silly personality, Silliness doesn’t win you championships. Tonight, he is scheduled to face Xavier Woods, a bout he must not only win, but completely – dare I say – CRUSH HIM!
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