The World Heavyweight Championship has been a staple of pay-per-view cards since its creation in September 2002.
In recent years, it has settled into the midcard of those events and is typically accompanied by really good, solid wrestling matches.
It was the one championship that Superstars just outside the main event scene could regularly challenge for and hopefully gain some added exposure as a result.
With that title on the verge of being unified with the WWE Championship on December 15 at the TLC pay-per-view, there will be an enormous gap left on the card, but there will be an opportunity for Superstars to step up and make an impression.
The absence of the title does allow for talent to be spread more evenly throughout the card though, as is evidenced by next Sunday night's lineup. This allows for interesting matchups and fresh feuds to take center stage.
Rather than lazily throwing together a title match, the creative team will have to put added focus on crafting stories the audience can invest themselves in.
Whether they are capable of that or not remains to be seen, but the success of every pay-per-view going forward may very well depend on it.
With that in mind, here is a look at some of the best feuds they have come up with in the meantime that are poised to fill the gap left in the middle of the card by the unification of heavyweight championships.
CM Punk vs. The Shield
The Shield has been the one consistently great element of WWE programming and CM Punk is, arguably, the most complete performer in WWE today. So the three-on-one handicap match scheduled for the show should, at the very least, be really good.
The story surrounding it is an intriguing one, even if it does seem somewhat rushed.
For months, speculation about Punk's eventual involvement in the Authority angle has run rampant. When would he stand up to Triple H and Stephanie? How would he interject himself into the angle? Would he be a top contender to the WWE title?
We got the answer to one of those questions when Roman Reigns leveled Punk with his patented spear, then followed it up by joining partners Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins for a triple powerbomb on the self-proclaimed Best in the World.
While fans have not been privy to the actual motivation behind the assault, the fact that Punk and Stephanie McMahon interacted on Raw and The Shield not-so-coincidentally made their presence felt shortly thereafter indicates that is the direction the story is headed.
It is a high-profile angle that will have heavy implications on the upcoming road to WrestleMania XXX, making it the most important feud, outside of the main event, on the card.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family
While Punk vs. The Shield feels like a wrestling angle, Bryan vs. the Wyatt Family feels like an entertainment angle in the same vein as some of those involving Undertaker and Kane from years gone by.
And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have played their roles of cult leader and followers, respectively, expertly, and the gimmick has thrived as a result. The devotion to the character that Wyatt, in particular, demonstrates is outstanding and makes it that much easier for fans to buy into.
Bryan, on the other hand, is a dynamic ball-of-energy that pops the crowd based solely on his superb wrestling ability. He is one of the most over stars on the roster, and that will go a long way in helping elevate the discomforting trio.
Why the Wyatts abducted Bryan, and what the former WWE and World Heavyweight champion endured while in captivity is unknown at this point. The fact that he was right back to wrestling this past Monday on Raw hurt the story a bit but, as has been the case with the Wyatt Family since their debut this past summer, fans remained captivated by the act.
It should be interesting to see what, if any, developments unfold in the feud when Bryan meets all three Family members in the second of two handicap matches on the show.
No, not X-Pac, Justin Credible and Albert. Get your mind out of the gutter, wrestling fan.
The X-factors are Superstars without any matches officially announced but who figure to play significant roles come showtime.
Those Superstars include former World and WWE champions such as Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Mark Henry, not to mention current tag team champions Goldust and Cody Rhodes.
Those men are marquee stars and are regularly featured on marketing materials and merchandise. It seems implausible that most of them will not be involved in some form or fashion.
While there is not adequate time for a proper feud to develop, perhaps creative can throw something together that adds significant star power to the show, while helping to fill the vacancy left by a lack of a second major title.
A Mysterio-Del Rio feud would be a nice placeholder, and it can easily play on the history between them to set up the match.
Rhodes and Goldust vs. the Real Americans or Ryback and Curtis Axel, as has been hinted at this week, would be suitable and probably result in an really good match based on the tag champions' track record in 2013.