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WWE SmackDown Preview And Prediction: When And Where To Watch In USA & India – 08th December 2023

7 months ago By Sports Desk

The December 08, 2023 episode of Friday Night SmackDown will be airing live from the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. This is the annual Tribute to the Troops episode where WWE pays honor to the U.S. military service members.

WWE has announced some exciting matchups for this Friday’s show. The headline events include the start of the United States Championship tournament, the return of CM Punk after nearly a decade, and a tag team main event pitting Randy Orton and LA Knight against Jimmy and Jey Uso.

United States Championship Tournament Begins: As announced last week by United States Champion Logan Paul, a tournament will kick off to determine a new number one contender for Paul’s title. The first match in the opening round will see Santos Escobar take on Dragon Lee.

Escobar and Lee have a history of facing each other before. At WWE’s Survivor Series event last month, Escobar came out victorious. Then just last week, the rivalry continued between the two on SmackDown. Many expect Escobar to win on Friday and advance in the tournament based on his recent dominance.

The second tournament match announced will feature former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley battling Karrion Kross. This marks Kross’ return after over two months away. Lashley has been on a roll lately as the leader of The Hurt Business faction. Kross hopes his time off allowed him to refocus his strategy. But Lashley’s momentum and allies may prove too much to overcome. The prediction sees Lashley moving forward in the tournament with a win.

Orton & Knight Team Up Against The Bloodline: Friday’s show is scheduled to close with a huge tag team main event. 16-time World Champion Randy Orton will team up with rising star LA Knight to take on Jimmy and Jey Uso of The Bloodline faction. This follows last week’s show-closing segment that set up the match.

Orton and Knight have developed chemistry as partners lately. They must be at their best to knock off the dominant Usos. Jimmy and Jey have held the WWE Tag Team Championship since July. With cousin Roman Reigns as Universal Champion, The Bloodline controls all the gold on SmackDown.

This looks to be an exciting clash between veterans and upstarts against arguably WWE’s most prominent faction. While The Usos have owned the tag division for months, look for Orton and Knight to score a feel-good win on the special edition show.

CM Punk Returning For the First Time in Years: In what is being promoted as a shocking surprise, former WWE Champion CM Punk will return on this week’s SmackDown. This will be his first WWE appearance since early 2014 when he abruptly left the company.

Punk departed WWE following a high-profile falling out over creative differences and health issues. His return comes after making a name for himself on the independent scene and a run in All Elite Wrestling.

After nearly a decade, what brings CM Punk back to WWE programming? Rumors indicate he may consider signing a Legends contract like other former stars have done. SmackDown authority figure Nick Aldis could approach Punk with an offer on Friday.

But Punk probably won’t commit right away. He may want time to feel out this surprise return first. And the outspoken Punk could find himself confronted by younger talent. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller may interrupt Punk’s segment trying to make a name for themselves against a former top guy. This could even lead to Punk delivering a signature Go To Sleep maneuver at their expense.

Flair and Asuka Set for One-on-One Showdown: In the women’s division, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair looks to gain momentum towards WrestleMania. She’ll take on Asuka in a non-title singles match. While Asuka won’t have her Damage Control partners ringside due to the match stipulation, she still poses a threat.

Asuka and Flair have battled over the title frequently over the past couple of years. This first-time-ever Tribute to the Troops episode figures to see WWE’s top female star score an impressive victory.

With WrestleMania season approaching, Flair will look to enter 2024 still the SmackDown Women’s Champion. Fending off Asuka in what should be a strong match is part of that goal.

How to Watch: Catch all this exciting action on the Tribute to the Troops edition of Friday Night SmackDown at 8 PM EST on Fox. For fans in India, the show will air at 6:30 AM IST on Saturday.

After a hectic week of shows, WWE closes it out by honoring American troops ahead of the holidays. This special episode looks ready to deliver entertainment while setting the stage for storylines carrying into 2024 and WrestleMania.

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