Nine nights before the Royal Rumble, the 596th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK. One week after being assaulted by the #1 Contender for his World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble, Dolph Ziggler, who delivered the Zig Zag on the steel steps to the champion, World Heavyweight Champion Edge would appear on SmackDown to respond to the attack! Also, one week after leading an attack to dismantle “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show, Wade Barrett and his new group of Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, & Ezekiel Jackson would appear on SmackDown!
- Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) def. R-Truth by submission to the cross armbreaker.
- Beth Phoenix def. Layla by pin with the Glam Slam.
- Rey Mysterio def. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes by pin following the 619 and Splash.
- Amateur Wrestling Challenge: Jack Swagger def. Kofi Kingston
- Drew McIntyre def. Trent Barreta by pin following a double underhook superplex.
- Non-Title: Justin Gabriel (with The Corre) def. Edge by pin following a clothesline by Ezekiel Jackson.
One week after systematically dismantling “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show, SmackDown kicks off with Wade Barrett and his new group of Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, & Ezekiel Jackson! Barrett starts off by proudly proclaiming that Big Show will not be a part of the show, so he decided to take the time to “introduce” himself and his new group! Barrett introduces himself and states that he “assisted in revolutionizing Monday Night RAW” as the leader of The Nexus until he was “dismissed” from the group before stating that The Nexus should have never been just about him and it should have been about the entire group! Barrett then states that his new group will be just that and that they will be known as “The Corre”! The powerhouse of the group, Ezekiel Jackson, then introduces himself and states that he is “proud” to be a member of The Corre! Heath Slater then introduces himself and states that one of the reasons that The Nexus was so “dominant” was because of him before stating that the fans have not seen anything yet! Justin Gabriel then introduces himself and calls SmackDown his “home” and The Corre his “family”! Corre leader Wade Barrett then proclaims that what The Nexus has done on RAW will “pale in comparison” to what The Corre has in store for SmackDown!
Barrett is then interrupted by the arrival of SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, who states that he is not “naïve” before sternly telling the group that he is the General Manager of SmackDown and that means he is in “charge” before saying that, if the group starts “playing outside the rules”, then they have got a “problem”! Barrett then states that they know who Long is and they “respect” him as an authority figure before stating that they thought that Long would be “happy” to see them there because they will be representing SmackDown in the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match and it is because they want to work “with” Theodore Long and not “against” him before stating that the GM could make history by being the GM of SmackDown who presided over SmackDown as a part of The Corre! Long then states that he does not “believe” what Barrett is talking about and states that he is not going to stand by and let Barrett “lead” that group! Barrett then interrupts and states that there is “no leader” of the group, they are all “equals”! Long then states that he is not an “anonymous General Manager” and he is not some “chirping computer” before stating that Barrett will not “bring that” to SmackDown before stating that last week, they came together for the “first time” to dismantle Big Show, but if they do something like that again, it will be their “last time”! Ezekiel Jackson then states that they are “extremely disappointed” Long did not accept them as The Corre could take SmackDown to “another level”! Long then gives The Corre the ultimatum to either “like SmackDown” and follow the “rules” or they can “leave SmackDown”! The GM would then make his exit before “The Mexican Elitist” Alberto Del Rio would make his entrance and introduces himself to The Corre before saying that The Corre needs to realize that SmackDown is his show and it is his “destiny” to win the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match! How will The Corre respond to the ultimatum given to them by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long?
After telling The Corre that it is his “destiny” to win the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match in nine nights, “The Mexican Elitist” Alberto Del Rio would face a familiar adversary in fellow Royal Rumble participant R-Truth! In the middle of the match, the cameras cut to the backstage area where doctors rush to the office of Theodore Long where Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero, and former Nexus member Michael Tarver is at the side of an unconscious Theodore Long as the doctors check the pulse of the GM and call for paramedics! What is the status of Theodore Long? Is this a result of the ultimatum Theodore Long gave to The Corre?
Unaware of the unresponsive state of SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, the match between Royal Rumble participants Alberto Del Rio and R-Truth would continue as the paramedics load the still unconscious Theodore Long onto a stretcher and wheel the GM out of the office! Meanwhile, the match in the ring continued as Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, would distract R-Truth long enough for Del Rio to lock in the cross armbreaker, forcing Truth to tap out to pick up the win! Is it truly Alberto Del Rio’s “destiny” to win the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match?
Backstage, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long is loaded into an ambulance before the ambulance departs the arena! With a history of heart problems, what is the status of Theodore Long? What does The Corre have to do with it, if anything?
Backstage, the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Dolph Ziggler, and the now acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero return to their locker room to discover The Corre waiting for them as Justin Gabriel states that they had “nothing to do” with Theodore Long’s “head trauma” before Wade Barrett states that they are there if Vickie needs them! Vickie then jumps on the opportunity by informing The Corre that one of them will go one-on-one with World Heavyweight Champion Edge and that she hopes to see The Corre “live up” to their reputation! With Vickie Guerrero in charge of SmackDown, what does The Corre have in store for Edge?
The Divas were in action on SmackDown as one-half of the Slammy Award winning LayCool, Layla, with Michelle McCool in her corner, would go one-on-one with “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix! In the end, it was Beth Phoenix hitting the Glam Slam on Layla en route to picking up the win!
Nine nights before they are two of the 40 participants in the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match, the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble, Rey Mysterio, would go one-on-one with “Dashing” Cody Rhodes! In the end, it was Rey Mysterio hitting the 619, and inadvertently hitting “Dashing” Cody Rhodes in his face with his metal knee brace, and following it up with the splash en route to picking up the win!
Backstage, SmackDown interviewer Todd Grisham was set to deliver an update on Theodore Long when Alex Riley interrupts and tells Grisham they should talk about people who “matter” like WWE Champion The Miz, who states that he can do “whatever” he wants and, after what he did to Randy Orton on RAW, he has to “share it” with everyone on SmackDown!
Backstage, a WWE doctor is checking on “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and informs Rhodes that his nose has been broken! How will this injury affect the looks-obsessed “Dashing” Cody Rhodes?
Then it was time for a special Amateur Wrestling Challenge as “The All-American American” Jack Swagger would face Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston in his specialty in a challenge where whoever gets the most points for takedowns and escapes would win the challenge! In the end, it was Jack Swagger scoring ten points to Kofi Kingston’s nine points to win the Amateur Wrestling Challenge! After the challenge, Swagger would attack Kofi, but the Intercontinental Champion would battle back and hit the Trouble in Paradise and a crossbody on Swagger!
One week after picking up an upset victory over Drew McIntyre, the rematch would take place on SmackDown as “The Dude Buster” Trent Barreta would go one-on-one with “The Chosen One” Drew McIntyre! In the end, it was Drew McIntyre hitting a double underhook suplex off of the top rope en route to picking up the win over Trent Barreta! After the match, Drew McIntyre would extend his hand to Trent Barreta, but Barreta would attack McIntyre, prompting McIntyre to fight back, but as McIntyre was set to deliver the Future Shock DDT to Barreta, Kelly Kelly would come out and stop the attack before tending to Trent Barreta, prompting McIntyre to angrily exit the ring!
Four nights after he and Alex Riley assaulted and left #1 Contender Randy Orton laid out on RAW, WWE Champion The Miz and his “apprentice”, Alex Riley, would make a special appearance on SmackDown as Miz would proclaim that “awesome is as awesome does” and he proved it by assaulting Randy Orton! The WWE Champion would then be interrupted by the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge, who calls Miz a “RAW reject” and states that what he did to Randy Orton came after a match with Dolph Ziggler! Miz then tells Edge that what he did to Randy Orton is “nothing” compared to what he will do to Edge on RAW! Edge responds by saying he will “deal” with The Miz on RAW, but he has plenty to worry about with Wade Barrett and The Corre before telling Miz to “get out” of his ring! The Miz would then exit the ring, but Miz’s “apprentice” Alex Riley would have second thoughts and would confront Edge only to be laid out with the Spear! The Miz would then get on the ring apron, but would opt to avoid a confrontation with Edge! What will happen this coming Monday night on RAW when World Heavyweight Champion Edge faces WWE Champion The Miz in a Champion Vs. Champion Match?
After delivering the Spear to Alex Riley and sending WWE Champion The Miz packing, World Heavyweight Champion Edge, by the orders of acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero, would go one-on-one with one of the members of The Corre, but before the match begins, acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero comes out to present a special guest commentator for the match, none other than the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title and Vickie’s boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler! It is then decided amongst the members of The Corre that Justin Gabriel will be the one to go one-on-one with World Heavyweight Champion Edge! In the end, it was interference from The Corre that would distract the referee long enough for Ezekiel Jackson to blast Edge with a clothesline, allowing Justin Gabriel to pin the World Heavyweight Champion to pick up the win! After the match, the four members of The Corre would enter the ring and surround Edge and, realizing what awaited him, Edge would fight back against The Corre, but Ezekiel Jackson would knock down Edge, allowing The Corre to assault Edge as Heath Slater would hit his modified neckbreaker on Edge, followed by Wade Barrett hitting the Wasteland, and, finally, Justin Gabriel hitting the 450 Splash on the World Heavyweight Champion! The Corre would then exit the ring as Dolph Ziggler would enter the ring and place his foot on the chest of Edge in a sign of victory and dominance! What is the status of Edge following this attack by The Corre? With only nine nights before the Royal Rumble, has Dolph Ziggler secured his spot as World Heavyweight Champion?