WWE Smackdown Preview for Tonight: IC Title Match, Women’s 6-Pack Challenge, 8-Man Tag Team, Miz TV

The third episode of WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Fox takes place tonight in Indianapolis.

This is the first edition of WWE Smackdown since the WWE Draft was completed, so hopefully that means nobody from Raw will be on the show and we can settle in as viewers of the WWE product with the brand split in place.

The first match that will take place tonight on Smackdown will see Shinsuke Nakamura defending the Intercontinental Championship against Roman Reigns.

There will also be an 8-man tag team match featuring these teams: The New Day and Heavy Machinery vs. The Revival and Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler.

Also in women’s action there will be a 6-woman matchup where the winner gets to challenge Bayley at a later date for a shot at the Smackdown Women’s Championship. The six women in the match are: Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Nikki Cross, Sonya Deville, Carmella and Lacey Evans. It is apparently a one fall match.

Alexa Bliss is a former Raw and Smackdown Women’s Champion, but she’s not in the match even though she’s on Smackdown. Bliss tweeted support for her friend Nikki Cross.

It was also announced that Bayley will be a guest on the Miz TV talk show.

They have not advertised WWE Champion Brock Lesnar or Cain Velasquez for the show. They are advertised for next week.

A normal Smackdown usually has four or five matches, so they could add one or two before the show or during the show as we see regularly in WWE.

TJR Thoughts

Some quick predictions on the matches:

Nakamura vs. Reigns for the IC Title

* I think Nakamura should retain the IC Title against Reigns. When Reigns won secondary titles like the IC Title and US Title, it wasn’t that interesting because it always led to a feeling that he was only going to hold it short term and move on to a bigger title. This is the time of year, though, where Reigns might win before he loses it early next year on the road to WrestleMania.

The reason why a title change may happen is because WWE has done title changes on the first two Smackdown on Fox episodes with Lesnar winning the WWE Title two weeks ago and Bayley winning the SD Women’s Title last week. If WWE feels like the title change is needed to build up excitement on the show then it might happen.

My prediction is Nakamura retains thanks to interference from Zayn. I like Nakamura as a long term champion and I want his reign to continue. A title change wouldn’t surprise me too much, though.

Women’s 6-Way Match to Earn a Smackdown Women’s Title Shot: Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, Nikki Cross, Sonya Deville, Carmella and Lacey Evans

* Smackdown is lacking in top babyface women since Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair on Raw, so who steps up? I’m thinking will be Lacey Evans, who may have turned face on Raw when she teamed with Natalya on Raw against the Kabuki Warriors although it wasn’t really done in a way that made it stand out. It’s certainly possible that any of the other women win since Carmella is a former champion that hasn’t been pushed much as a face. Rose or Deville could easily turn face and get over that way. Cross is already a face that’s had a push in a tag team with Bliss. I just think WWE has big plans for Evans and since she’s a former US Military woman, they are going to use that to have her win over the fans. It’s going to need a gimmick change for her because the 1960s “southern belle” gimmick doesn’t work that well.

It was not announced when the winner of this match faces Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Title. It likely won’t be at Crown Jewel since they are not allowed to do women’s matches in Saudi Arabia as most of us know.

The New Day and Heavy Machinery vs. The Revival and Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler

* It could go either way, but normally when the champions like The Revival are in a match like this you’ll see the champions on the losing end or at least their team will lose. I think WWE wants to keep building Heavy Machinery, so I’ll say Otis or Tucker pins either Dawson or Wilder.

Miz TV with Bayley

* I think the point of this will be to further establish the heel persona after she ripped on the fans last week. It should be more of that this week.

I plan on being around for a live Smackdown review right here on TJRWrestling tonight. Join me for that during the show or after it’s over.