Friday's WWE SmackDown is the last chance to seize momentum before Night of Champions.
Champions looking to continue their dominance and challengers looking to gain confidence going into the event do battle one last time before Sunday's pay-per-view.
Ottawa fans who attended this week's SmackDown taping already know what went down, but the rest of us will wait to see how the go-home episode plays out. The tag team champs get a warm-up match, the world champ faces his former ring announcer and to balance out all the violence and hatred, there's a dance-off as well.
Even though Triple H threw Edge out of the building on Monday, Edge is still slated to host his Cutting Edge segment.
In an interview on WWE.com, Triple H called Edge "a cancer," but announced that "The Rated-R Superstar" will host Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan on Friday night. The chances of that segment not escalating into violence is nil.
Bryan and Orton's hate has grown for each other over the past few weeks and tension is going to be high between them. That's what will best sell their WWE title match at Night of Champions.
As for the matches on the docket for Friday, here they are without spoiling the results.
Aksana, Layla and Alicia Fox vs. Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella
AJ Lee enters Night of Champions outnumbered. She's wisely put together a crew of allies to battle the Total Divas cast. The Divas champ will be watching this match closely, hoping that Aksana, Layla and Fox can hurt the women going after her title on Sunday.
Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella each have the chance to gain some momentum here.
Should one of them get the decisive pin or submission on SmackDown, they'll look strong heading into their title match.
Fandango vs. R-Truth (Dance-Off)
WWE has taken to doing dance-offs so often, one has to wonder if crowning a dance-off champion belt is the company's next step.
Fandango's grace and precision goes up against R-Truth's wild energy in a dance competition sure to be better than Fandango and The Great Khali had earlier this year.
Neither R-Truth or Summer Rae's dance partner have a match at Night of Champions, but Fandango's recent feud with Miz may end up spilling over onto that card.
Santino Marella vs. Damien Sandow
Santino returned from hiatus on Monday's Raw, knocking off Antonio Cesaro despite getting spun around for what seemed like half an hour.
The cobra-wielding funnyman could really punctuate his return with a win over the current Mr. Money in the Bank. Sandow is just hoping to right his ship.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Roberto Rodriguez
Former allies, friends and employee/employer face off before Rodriguez backs his new client, Rob Van Dam.
Del Rio vs. Rodriguez could have been a feud on its own, rivaling what Ted DiBiase and Virgil did together in 1991. The hate between them would create some great drama.
The world champ can use this match as a warm up before defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Van Dam. Rodriguez can shock the world with a victory over the champ.
Van Dam getting involved before, during or after this bout is highly likely. It's WWE's last shot at adding heat to this rivalry before Night of Champions.
Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler
A match that many expect to see at Night of Champions, even though it has yet to be announced, happens for free on Friday.
WWE can pack a story into a small space here if it has Ziggler and Ambrose's animosity increase here. Ambrose has been attacking Ziggler from behind and now has to face "The Show-Off" in a face-to-face scenario.
Does Ziggler get some measure of revenge or does Ambrose leave him hurting once more?
The preview of the possible United States title bout is followed by a six-man tag match involving both men, so take that for what it's worth.
The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler and The Usos
This match sounds great on paper, but the questions it raises are just as interesting as the action set to air on Friday.
Does this match mean that Jimmy and Jey are more likely to win the Tag Team Turmoil match at Night of Champions? Does it guarantee that Ziggler vs. Ambrose will be added to the card?
It'd be mighty surprising to have the main event of the go-home episode not have major implications for the pay-per-view. Be alert as WWE puts the final touches on the upcoming event.
Even knowing the lineup, there's plenty of motivation to tune in on Friday and see what's in store for the home stretch toward Night of Champions.
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