Before TLC 2013 crowns a unified champion, WWE SmackDown will offer final hype for the pay-per-view.
Fans in the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. have already witnessed Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry and The Shield in action for WWE's blue brand. The rest of us have to either wait for Friday or dig around for spoilers.
Tag team matches highlight the upcoming go-home edition of SmackDown. Superstars will look to claim one last victory before entering the ring at TLC on Dec. 15.
Who will Bryan face to gain momentum? Who will challenge the Tag Team champs? What will be Damien Sandow's big test before his Intercontinental Championship bout?
The following is a look at all of the matches for this week's SmackDown, with the results omitted.
Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan
Bryan takes on Rowan once more. As imposing as Rowan has been recently, this singles match will feel far less overwhelming than the challenge awaiting Bryan at TLC.
The entire Wyatt Family will battle Bryan on Sunday. For now, Bryan gets a crack at a single member.
Can he damage the big brute before the upcoming uneven bout? Will he instead be the one who leaves the ring limping, wincing and in need of attention from the trainer?
The last time these two clashed it was a compelling bout. The two warriors of differing sizes will look to outdo that performance.
The Real Americans vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust
For Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro, wrestling the likes of The Great Khali or Los Matadores must now feel like a distant memory. The Real Americans left the comedy role behind and have recently been booked as legitimate tag team contenders.
They will get another shot to impress against the Tag Team champions.
A win for Cesaro and Swagger likely earns them a future title shot. Will that come at TLC or some other time?
Rhodes and Goldust have been upset a few times lately and will look to ride their cohesiveness and quickness to get them to start adding to their win column.
Four talented wrestlers lock horns in what, at least on paper, looks to be the best bout on the SmackDown card.
Mark Henry vs. Damien Sandow
In preparation for his match at TLC with an imposing former powerlifter, Sandow has to face a man who fits that bill like no other. If Sandow can do well against Henry, that should give him some confidence in facing a similar foe in Big E Langston.
Henry is without a match at TLC. Fans will be looking to see if WWE has him collide with someone on SmackDown, leading to Henry being added to the card.
Henry and Langston have been teaming up recently. "The World's Strongest Man" now has a chance to help his new partner by weakening Sandow before Sunday.
Can Sandow avoid falling victim to "The World's Strongest Slam," and can he even lift Henry for his You're Welcome finisher?
AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka vs. The Bella Twins
On Monday's Raw, Tamina knocked AJ off the ring apron by accident.
It appears those two are still amicable enough to wrestle as a tag team. Perhaps their hatred for The Bella Twins is the perfect fix for their issues.
Natalya, AJ's challenger at TLC, has been piling up the wins, including a submission victory over Alicia Fox on Wednesday's Main Event. AJ hasn't been as successful lately.
A win here gives her back some confidence. A loss will create some doubt as to whether AJ can retain the Divas Championship at TLC.
The Shield vs. The Usos
Some matches get booked again and again but manage to maintain their excitement. That's the case with The Shield's many battles with The Usos.
Fans know they're getting a blend of speed, power and intensity when these two teams collide.
What will be worth keeping an eye on is the growing tension between Dean Ambrose and his teammates. Is there a schism developing, or will their unity be back to what it was?
CM Punk fans will be hoping for more dissension within the team. He has to face all three members at TLC. Should the members of The Shield go into that battle having worked out their issues, Punk is going to be in danger of ending the night at a local medical facility.
Big Show vs. Ryback
Ryback takes a night away from his new partner, Curtis Axel, to try and fell a giant. Big Show offers an enormous challenge, one that Ryback has been unable to overcome in the past.
Does "The Big Guy" get a huge win here, or does his singles record continue to mirror the Houston Texans' 2013 season?
Fans are promised a surplus of power and size in this contest. They are not promised a decisive finish, however.
Axel could turn this into an impromptu handicap match at any moment, and Ryback has made a habit of backing out of matches he doesn't think he can win.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
After two big losses to Sin Cara, Del Rio is going to be happy to see his name next to Kingston's on the night's lineup.
Del Rio has dominated the series against Kingston. Kingston is going to have use every drop of athleticism he has to escape Del Rio's injurious moves and come away with a win.
WWE.com reported that Del Rio suffered a concussion after Monday's Raw. Either he recovered quickly or it was a work. The end result is one of SmackDown's most consistent performers getting back in the ring.
It's a matchup fans have seen several times over, but it's one that has promise because of the talents involved.
Last week, SmackDown supplied fans with a show overflowing with great wrestling, outdoing Raw in that department. There's an excellent chance of history repeating itself here with Del Rio, Bryan, the Tag champs and The Shield all getting opportunities.
Friday's action looks to have WWE fans sufficiently pumped for the last pay-per-view of the year.
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