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Photo Credit: fandom.logos.com | wwe.com

SmackDown Sampler: Two Big Matches Announced for Friday

Hello AW Universe,

Well, the WWE Draft is over, with the roster talent split not-so-evenly between Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown, we head into what is theoretically a new era as USA Network and FOX take over their respective brands. The first episode of the latest post-Draft WWE begins with this week’s edition of SmackDown, and we’re already getting an idea of how the show is going to go, with WWE announcing the first slate of matches that are to take place, two matches with championship implications. The first to determine the #1 contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

This should be an entertaining match, though multi-person matches can sometimes be a mess. It’s interesting that in a match that is meant to feature the best of the women’s division doesn’t include the best of them, Alexa Bliss, and instead her tag team partner Nikki Cross. It makes me wonder if they have something else planned for Bliss, or that she’s hurt again. Either way, this match for Friday should be good, and if I have to guess I would say Lacey Evans will be the winner. She’s been getting the biggest push out of all these wrestlers, looked good in her feud with Nattie, and seemed to get a bit of a babyface rub tagging with her against The Kabuki Warriors on Raw, so that would make sense if they’re booking her opposite new Heel Bayley. But, I’d watch for a surprise Mandy Rose win too.

The other announced match is a title bout, with the Intercontinental Championship on the line.

An unexpected booking, as it had zero heat before the draft. But WWE is quickly trying to change that via the power of social media.

Let’s ignore the blatant dick joke that Reigns is throwing in there, and just consider the feud for a second: is this angling for an extended program between the two, or just injecting a little bit of juice into a nothing feud to have it seem bigger than it is so Reigns doesn’t just go over Shinsuke out of nowhere. History tells us that a title change is exactly what happens on one of these shows to pop the crowd and the Internet (for better or for worse), so would not be surprised to see Reigns walking out of Indianapolis with the white IC belt.