This Friday night, fans will get a treat while honoring the brave souls who fought for the country as this week’s WWE SmackDown will be a special Tribute to the Troops edition. On this night, the WWE Universe will witness two first-round matchups in the “United States Championship Tournament. Two of the best ever to lace it up go one-on-one.

Plus, the return of the “Voice of the Voiceless” to the blue brand. WWE looks to end the year strong and the latest installment of WWE Friday Night SmackDown is a strong indicator of the promotion’s plans for the final few stops for 2023.

With all that out of the way, it’s Friday night fight night! Here’s a preview of WWE SmackDown. Let’s run it down.

Full WWE SmackDown Match Card:

  • United States Championship Tournament – 1st Round: Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar
  • United States Championship Tournament – 1st Round: Bobby Lashley vs. Karrion Kross
  • Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka
  • CM Punk Returns

The U.S. Championship Tourney Commences

The ‘Maverick’ and current WWE United States Champion Logan Paul returned to SmackDown for the first time since prying the title away from the legendary Rey Mysterio back at Crown Jewel. Paul immediately got to the point and said that he wanted to be a fighting champion, and as such, organized a tourney, with the help of SmackDown GM Nick Aldis, to determine his next opponent.

The field consists of heavy hitters like Bobby LashleySantos EscobarKarrion Kross, and Dragon Lee, four men who will have their first-round matchups this week. Apart from them, an unidentified NXT superstar will be competing in this tourney, along with Grayson WallerAustin Theory, and Kevin Owens.

It seems like Logan Paul is all in when it comes to being the United States Champion and is willing to defend the title against the best of the best. Among Kross, Lashley, Lee, and Escobar, which two superstars will advance to the next round and be one step away from being the number one contender?

Back for Some Unfinished Business

On a special Tribute to the Troops edition of WWE SmackDown, the ‘Best in the World’ CM Punk makes his grand return to the Friday night brand after a decade-long absence. On last week’s WWE Raw, Punk made it crystal clear that he is now ‘finally home,’ and it’s the WWE Universe’s unrelenting support that brought him back into the dance.

However, as Punk alluded to on Monday night, not everyone is happy to have him back. Regardless, he’s back for himself, the fans, and, as he stated on Raw as it was going off the air, a big payday. This Friday night, CM Punk looks to put everyone on Smackdown’s roster on notice, similar to what he did to the members of the Red brand.

What will CM Punk have in store for SmackDown and its superstars? Find out this Friday night on an extremely exciting ‘Tribute to the Troops” episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown on Fox!

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