The aftereffects of WrestleMania 30 will still be reverberating when the April 11 edition of WWE SmackDown kicks off.
Lafayette, La., hosted the new WWE world champ, the recently returned Rob Van Dam and the newest "Paul Heyman guy" for the latest SmackDown tapings. The action those men produced won't air until Friday.
WWE continues what it began at WrestleMania, building towards Extreme Rules. Rivalries will blossom, and Superstars will gain ground on the first SmackDown after the biggest event of the wrestling calendar.
For fans who have managed to avoid the spoilers, the following is a look at all the matches to expect on Syfy. The results are omitted.
Kofi Kingston vs. Bad News Barrett
After being inactive for months, Barrett will be in search of his second consecutive win.
He stepped out from behind his podium to climb into the ring against Rey Mysterio on Monday's Raw. The Bullhammer did Mysterio in, allowing Barrett to celebrate a victory for the first time in ages.
To keep that streak going, he has to face another athletic dynamo, one who he is very familiar with.
Kingston and Barrett battled for the Intercontinental Championship on many occasions in 2013. With neither man currently in a feud, does WWE place these two men in a rivalry together again, or is it setting up the Englishman for something bigger?
Santino Marella vs. Fandango
The feud without a story continues.
Santino and Fandango have traded wins over the last few weeks with no real reason to keep fighting. Whether they clash in mixed-tag matches with Summer Rae and Emma as partners or in singles action, they haven't produced anything memorable together.
The dynamic of this rivalry is set to change, though. Fandango broke up with Summer on Twitter on Tuesday.
One will expect Summer to react poorly to this news, either on this SmackDown or sometime soon. That's worrisome for Fandango.
She's shown just how good of a slapper she is before—just ask Natalya.
Damien Sandow vs. Rob Van Dam
In a rematch from Monday's Raw, Sandow looks to avoid going 0-2 against the former ECW favorite. So far, 2014 has not been kind to "The Intellectual Savior of the Masses" as he has racked up losses.
Van Dam returned from a six-month hiatus, defeating Sandow with little trouble on the night after WrestleMania.
"Mr. Monday Night" remains the favorite here. He can begin his latest WWE run with another win, pushing ahead to whatever WWE has planned for him next.
Fans will be curious to see if a feud develops between these two foes or if Sandow is just a stepping stone.
Curtis Axel and Ryback vs. Los Matadores
The teams that occupied the background of the WWE Tag Team Championship match on the WrestleMania pre-show go at it once more.
Both RybAxel and Los Matadores lost out to The Usos in their Fatal 4-Way Elimination bout in the Superdome. One of those teams now gets a chance at a consolation victory.
There is also a bit of revenge up for grabs here. The bullfighters earned a win over Axel and Ryback on the March 24 Raw, thanks to a distraction from The Shield.
With The Real Americans now split up, the race to the No. 1 contender's spot is a less crowded one. Both of these teams will be looking to get another title shot, and a win here would get them closer to that goal.
Big Show vs. Cesaro
Now with Paul Heyman at his side, Cesaro looks to catapult himself to a top spot in the company. He goes into this battle having ditched The Real Americans and outlasted everyone in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. In what have been busy days for the Swiss Superstar, he also defeated Jack Swagger via count-out.
Big Show serves as a massive test for him.
Fans will see just how confident in "The King of Swing" WWE is based on how he is booked against the giant. A dominant win sends a message that Cesaro is on a Roman Reigns-like track. Anything else suggests that Cesaro's supporters temper their expectations some.
An interesting subplot here is that Cesaro last eliminated Big Show to win the Battle Royal at WrestleMania. "The World's Largest Athlete" has motivation aplenty to prove that defeat was just a fluke.
In fact, it looks as if that group is becoming a combination of The Corporation and Evolution. Orton and Batista are apparently willing to work together and under Triple H in order to stop Bryan.
They attacked Bryan on Monday's Raw before he was supposed to defend the championship for the first time.
Thanks to that growing animosity and all the talent involved here, this match has the potential to be a memorable one. It will also give fans insight into the direction this story of Bryan vs. The Authority is going.
Will one of the men in that group challenge Bryan for the title, or will we see some large-scale battle of two groups inside a cage?
How this bout answers that question, what steps Cesaro takes toward the mountaintop and if Barrett can maintain his momentum are the elements of Friday's SmackDown that make it most intriguing. Having Van Dam back in action doesn't hurt either.
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