WWE ‘SmackDown’ Preview: Becky Lynch To Defend Against Flair With Special Stipulation, & Two World Cup Bouts

The Big Show will make his in-ring return for the first time in over a year in a World Cup qualifier match, and Jeff Hardy will also be making an in-ring return.

WWE SmackDown poster of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
WWE

The Big Show will make his in-ring return for the first time in over a year in a World Cup qualifier match, and Jeff Hardy will also be making an in-ring return.

WWE SmackDown Live airs Tuesday on the USA Network, just days removed from Super Show-Down. SmackDown Live comes to us this week from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the WWE has announced three matches for the event.

Crown Jewel will air live on the WWE Network on November 2 from the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. At the Crown Jewel pay-per-view, the WWE will host the first-ever World Cup tournament. It’s still unclear on what the winner will receive or what the World Cup represents, but it should be entertaining nonetheless. Regarding this week’s SmackDown, the WWE website announced that there will be two qualifying matches for the World Cup.

The Big Show vs. Randy Orton

On SmackDown, The Big Show makes his in-ring return to face “The Viper” Randy Orton, and the winner will advance to the World Cup tournament at Crown Jewel. Randy Orton seemingly finished his feud with Jeff Hardy, and he looks to be in a feud now with Tye Dillinger. On last week’s SmackDown, Orton savagely beat down Dillinger. Time will tell if Tye makes his presence known in the match, possibly costing “The Viper” his shot at the World Cup.

The last time the Big Show saw in-ring action was over a year ago — on September 4, 2017, on Raw. On that episode of Raw, “The World’s Largest Athlete” faced “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman inside a steel cage. Impressively, Strowman picked up the giant and power-slammed him in the center of the ring for the three-count. After the match, Strowman slammed The Big Show through the steel cage. This was a way to get “The World’s Largest Athlete” off TV for a while, as he required hip surgery.

Though most fans will likely expect Orton to win this bout, it’s possible that The Big Show will go over — especially if the WWE uses this SmackDown match as a way to have Dillinger get revenge on Orton. Plus, The Big Show is an absolute spectacle to see live, and the WWE may want him featured in the tournament in front of the audience in Saudi Arabia. We’ll find out on Tuesday.

Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe

In the second World Cup qualifier match on SmackDown, Jeff Hardy will take on Samoa Joe. Joe tapped out to AJ Styles at Super Show-Down, marking the third match where Joe failed to win the WWE Championship. It’s possible that the WWE will use this tournament as a way to get Joe over and to keep him in the spotlight.

SmackDown will mark the return of in-ring action for Jeff Hardy, having been MIA since he lost to Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match at the WWE pay-per-view of the same name. While he is still very talented, most fans agree that Hardy’s best days are behind him, as his devil-may-care in-ring style looks like it has really caught up to him. Most fan speculation says that this is simply a match made to place “The Samoan Submission Machine” in the World Cup.

WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship

Becky Lynch is arguably the hottest superstar on the entire WWE roster right now, and the company has really been booking her solidly. After she failed to win the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam, Becky Lynch turned heel on Charlotte Flair after the match — and the fans lost it. Flair and Lynch had a rematch at Hell in a Cell, and “The Irish Lass Kicker” successfully beat “The Queen” to win the title.

At Super Show-Down, Lynch intentionally got herself disqualified against Flair to retain the championship. The WWE recently announced that there will be a rematch on SmackDown Live between the two superstars for the Women’s title — and if Becky Lynch gets disqualified against Charlotte Flair, then this time she will lose the championship.