While this week’s episode of WWE Raw featured Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose, WWE SmackDown will be headlined by recently-returned veteran Chris Jericho and recently-debuted veteran A.J. Styles. While full SmackDown spoilers are currently available, a spoiler-free preview follows. Along with Jericho and Styles, WWE has also advertised the inclusion of The Wyatt Family, The Dudley Boyz, WWE Divas Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, WWE United States Champion Kalisto with Lucha Dragons teammate Sin Cara, and much more.
In addition to a spoiler-free match list, a further exploration of WWE’s “Five-Point Preview” for SmackDown is included as well. This episode of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown airing on the USA Network on February 11 was taped in Portland, Oregon, on February 9.
— WWE Music Group (@WWEMusic) February 5, 2016
- This week’s WWE SmackDown kicks off with a Chris Jericho promo regarding his match with A.J. Styles.
- A.J. Styles vs. Chris Jericho
- The Dudley Boyz address their recent actions towards The Usos.
- Goldust approaches R-Truth once again about being tag team partners.
- Sasha Banks vs. Naomi
- The Wyatt Family delivers a promo.
- Six-Man Tag Team Match — The Lucha Dragons and Neville vs. The Cosmic Wasteland (Stardust & The Ascension)
- Without giving away any spoilers, there is at least one additional match on the card, and an appearance by the Social Outcasts.
WWE.com’s official SmackDown preview points to five narratives that the WWE Universe can expect to be addressed on this week’s episode.
A.J. Styles vs. Chris Jericho II
Knowing that he is well past his prime, Chris Jericho has done a great job of using his experience to help newcomers get a kick-start to their WWE careers. He was the first major opponent in WWE for Daniel Bryan and he put Fandango over in his debut at WrestleMania. Now, he’s working a program with A.J. Styles as The Phenomenal One adjusts to life in the WWE.
Y2J had had a career that appeals to both the true wrestling fan and the members of the WWE Universe that tune in every week for the characters and charisma that true sports entertainment brings. If A.J. Styles hopes to do well in the WWE, a program with Jericho is a great place to start.
Will the Dudleys table their concerns?
The Dudley Boyz are currently the tag team division’s version of Chris Jericho. While they have long-since hit their peak as professional wrestlers, they are able to perform well enough in the ring and on the mic to remain relevant. At the same time, their experience and history make them a perpetual threat for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
With their apparent heel turn, it seems unlikely that WWE will have them chasing down The New Day and the tag titles right now. Perhaps Bubba Ray and D-Von will serve as a holding place for The Usos.
Are Sasha & Becky an effective Divas duo?
Most members of the WWE Universe are aware of the Four Horsewomen and the history of Sasha and Becky (along with current champions Charlotte and Bayley). With the recent disbandment of both Team B.A.D. and PCB, will a bond between Lynch and Banks form and last?
Follow the carnage
At the Royal Rumble, The Wyatt Family were responsible for Brock Lesnar’s elimination — and have yet to suffer the consequences. In the meantime, they have continued to destroy some of WWE’s toughest characters, including Kane, Big Show, and Ryback.
Will Bray and his minions return their attention to the Beast Incarnate? Or are there other members of the WWE roster that they have their sights set on?
High-flying inside The Cosmic Wasteland
While WWE makes no mention of the League of Nations being at SmackDown, WWE United States Champion Kalisto competes with returning tag team partner Sin Cara and fellow high-flyer Neville to face off against Stardust and The Ascension.
WWE seemed to be starting a program between Stardust and Titus O’Neil that didn’t involve The Ascension. Is that done with now, or is this just a temporary sidebar?
Where To Watch
USA airs WWE Thursday Night SmackDown at 8/7c. While they are not made available on the WWE Network for several weeks after they air on USA, replays of WWE SmackDown are made available on-demand with a Hulu Plus subscription starting Friday.
[Image via WWE]