Only five days away from the TLC pay-per-view on December 15, World Wrestling Entertainment rolled into the Moda Center in Portland for this week's SmackDown.
The last stop before this weekend's event, headlined by John Cena versus Randy Orton for the Unified Championship in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, should prove interesting.
Current WWE champion Orton will be in attendance, and given the conclusion of Raw, which saw him accidentally knock Stephanie McMahon down and nearly out, he will have to answer for his actions.
Orton's TLC opponent Cena will also be in the house, as will Daniel Bryan, the Wyatt Family, Big Show and The Shield.
What will WWE's top Superstars be up to when SmackDown hits the SyFy network airwaves this Friday night?
Let's take a look at all of the action that goes down, courtesy of our friends at WrestlingInc.com.
Moda Center in Portland, Ore.
Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield
- Daniel Bryan defeated Erick Rowan via disqualification when Bray Wyatt interfered
- Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro defeated WWE Tag Team champions Goldust and Cody Rhodes in a non-title match
- Bad News Barrett appeared
- Mark Henry beat Damien Sandow by count-out
- Divas champion AJ Lee and Tamina defeated the Bella Twins
- John Cena cut a promo hyping Sunday's match
- Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated The Usos; CM Punk cut a promo on the Titan Tron afterwards
- The Big Show defeated Ryback
- Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio never took place as Miz attacked Kingston prior to the bell
- Randy Orton issued an apology for his actions on Raw and Triple H accepts
Randy Orton apologizes
As if he has not been poorly booked since turning heel back at SummerSlam in August, Orton once again comes across as a subservient employee of his big, bad boss by apologizing for accidentally knocking Stephanie McMahon down on Raw.
This, despite the fact that if Triple H had been a good, chivalrous husband, he would have protected his wife and gotten her to safety in the first place.
The WWE champion apologizing to the COO and asking for forgiveness (what will be) two days before the biggest match of his career does nothing to make him appear to be a legitimate threat to World Heavyweight champion John Cena at the pay-per-view.
A bad bit of booking that further devalues Orton as a heel competitor.
Tag team wrestling
With only a handful of matches announced for TLC and a wealth of talent to fit onto the remaining show, WWE did what it has done consistently throughout 2013 and relied on its tag team division.
Matches such as the Real Americans' non-title win over WWE Tag Team champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust, as well as Big Show's thrashing of Ryback, have set up a Fatal Four Way title match for Sunday's pay-per-view.
Rhodes and Goldust have been outstanding champions and will probably leave Houston with their titles intact, but the aforementioned Real Americans, as well as Ryback and Curtis Axel, and Big Show and Rey Mysterio, will provide stiff competition in what has the potential to be a show-stealing match.
The Shield rolls
After U.S. champion Dean Ambrose's loss to CM Punk on Monday night, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns got The Shield back on track, scoring a big win over the very game Usos.
After the match, CM Punk cuts a promo, though what is said was not included in the report.
It should be very interesting to see how Reigns interacts with Ambrose, given their subtle hints of dissension within the group over the last two weeks.
The match itself allows The Shield to get back to its winning ways en route to a big pay-per-view handicap match against former WWE champion, and Best in the World, Punk.
Bryan escapes Wyatt's family
This week's show kicks off with Bryan scoring a win over Wyatt Family member Erick Rowan in a match that ends when Bray Wyatt himself attacks Bryan. A tenacious fighter, Bryan escaped from the grasps of the trio just days before a scheduled three-on-one handicap match.
The storyline has faltered significantly, thanks to uneven booking.
For example, if the Wyatt Family wanted Bryan so badly, why did they release him in a parking lot the same night they took him back after Survivor Series?
There is likely some big angle development awaiting this feud come TLC and if there is not, the last month will go down as a major missed opportunity for WWE given all of the talent they assembled in a given match.
AJ gets back to her winning ways
It has been a rough couple of months for AJ Lee who, despite her status as Divas champion, has been stuck in the shadows of the Total Divas and consistently losing nearly every match she has been involved in.
That changes this week as she teams with Tamina Snuka in a victory over 2013 Divas of the Year (according to the TOTALLY unbiased Slammy Awards) the Bella Twins.
The win helps AJ regain some much-needed momentum as she prepares to defend her title against Natalya this Sunday.
WWE SmackDown can be seen on the SyFy network at 8 p.m.!
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