WWE Smackdown preview and predictions for the episode airing May 22nd.
WWE Smackdown Preview & Predictions
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, May 22, 2020
Where: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, FL
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WWE Smackdown 5/22 Show Preview
The Intercontinental(IC) Championship Tournament continues this week on Smackdown with the last two first round matches. Last week, Elias and Daniel Bryan won their tourney matches to advance to the semi-finals. This week’s matches are huge as one re-ignites an old feud while the other continues a new rivalry. Raw superstar AJ Styles will face Shinsuke Nakamura and the newly returned Jeff Hardy to wrestle Sheamus. Both matches are pay per view-level so Smackdown should be an exciting show.
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – First Round Of Intercontinental Championship Tournament
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura are two men that don’t need any introduction to each other. They have wrestled each other all over the world and have even had a spotlighted match at Wrestlemania. They are two of the best to ever wrestle and in 2016, had one of the greatest pro wrestling matches in history. This time they meet in the first round of the IC Title tournament.
After suffering back to back pay per view losses, AJ Styles is in need of a big win. He has been one of the WWE’s top stars since debuting in 2016 and that’s the reason he has been brought over from Raw to compete in this tournament. Although Shinsuke Nakamura was the Intercontinental Champion just a few months ago, he has not been spotlighted in the same manner that Styles has. This is a good time to show why he is still one of the best wrestlers and maybe WWE will realize they should be doing more with him. He was one of the biggest stars in NXT history but for some reason hasn’t has the effect on the main roster. This match alone makes Smackdown a must watch show.
Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus – First Round Of Intercontinental Championship Tournament
Jeff Hardy has returned to Smackdown and has been thrown right into the IC Championship tournament. His first round match is against Sheamus, who has been wanting to kick Hardy’s head off ever since WWE started airing video packages signaling Hardy’s return. Sheamus thinks the company is spending too much time on Hardy and wants to halt his comeback before it can really get started.
This match is intriguing because both men NEED the win. Hardy just returned and to lose his first big match back is probably not the best way to build momentum with him. On the other hand, Sheamus recently returned this year as well but has not been in any high profiled matches since. This is a match that should have been saved for at least the second round. That way, both men could get early tourney wins and then a loss later on wouldn’t hurt their characters as much. But with Hardy just returning and being the more marketable star, I see him pulling off the win in a grueling match.
WWE Smackdown 5/22 Predictions
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10 PT Pick = AJ Styles OVER 1.5 Appearances
9 PT Pick = Shinsuke Nakamura OVER 1.5 Appearances
8 PT Pick = Jeff Hardy + Sheamus – Match Time OVER 10:30 MINS