Two nights before the Royal Rumble, the 597th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH. Just two nights before they defend their respective titles at the Royal Rumble, WWE Champion The Miz would team with the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Dolph Ziggler, to face the reunited team of World Heavyweight Champion Edge and the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Randy Orton in a tag team battle of champions and challengers! Also, after a mysterious attack on last week’s SmackDown, the General Manager of SmackDown, Theodore Long, has been hospitalized due to apparent head trauma and SmackDown would see an update on the condition of Theodore Long, as well as the continuation of the reign as acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero!
- LayCool def. Kaitlyn & Kelly Kelly by Michelle McCool pinning Kaitlyn following a big boot.
- Drew McIntyre def. JTG by pin following the Future Shock DDT.
- Royal Rumble Exhibition Match
- Alberto Del Rio elim. Seth Allen (jobber)
- Alberto Del Rio elim. Mike Stevens (jobber)
- Kofi Kingston elim. Kane & Alberto Del Rio
- Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston def. Kane & Alberto Del Rio by Kofi Kingston pinning Alberto Del Rio following Trouble In Paradise.
- Big Show def. Heath Slater by pin following the chokeslam.
- Champions And Challengers Tag Match: Edge & Randy Orton def. The Miz & Dolph Ziggler (with Alex Riley) by Edge pinning Dolph Ziggler following the Spear.
One week after taking over as the acting General Manager of SmackDown and being responsible for The Corre’s attack on World Heavyweight Champion Edge, the show kicks off with the girlfriend of Dolph Ziggler and the acting General Manager of SmackDown, Vickie Guerrero, who informs everyone that Theodore Long will not be in the arena and that she is in charge! Vickie would then wish Theodore Long a “speedy recovery” before being interrupted by the arrival of the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, “The Viper” Randy Orton! Orton states that he is there to show his “appreciation” for being invited to SmackDown before stating that he does not know her very well, so Vickie will have to “excuse” him for what he is going to do to her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler, in the main event, just like The Miz will have to “excuse” him when he takes the WWE Title back at the Royal Rumble! Orton would then put his arm around the nervous acting GM and tell Vickie she has “nice hair” before saying that, for Vickie, there is “no excuse”! Vickie would pull herself away from Orton before Vickie’s boyfriend, the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Dolph Ziggler, would come out and tell Orton that no one can talk to the acting General Manager like that before asking if Orton has any “idea” who Vickie is and who he is! Orton then reminds Dolph that he beat him two weeks ago on RAW before Dolph states that he is the guy who will be the World Heavyweight Champion this Sunday, so Orton will show Dolph “respect”, as well as Vickie! Dolph would then proclaim that Orton will “never again disrespect” him, Vickie, or anyone who stands behind them and, after the main event and, after the Royal Rumble, Orton will have “no choice” but to show him “respect”! Orton would then tell Dolph that, in the WWE, you have to “earn” respect before Orton plants the brash Dolph Ziggler with the RKO! What will happen in the Champion And Challengers tag match in the main event when Randy Orton teams with World Heavyweight Champion Edge to face WWE Champion The Miz and Dolph Ziggler?
Two nights before they challenge Natalya for the Divas Title in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match at the Royal Rumble, Layla & Michelle McCool would be in action on SmackDown as LayCool would face the team of the winner of NXT Season Three, Kaitlyn, and Kelly Kelly, but before the match, Kaitlyn & Kelly Kelly would attack LayCool from behind and would attack the two Divas before throwing LayCool into the ring to start the match! In the end, it was Layla distracting Kaitlyn long enough for Michelle McCool to blast Kaitlyn with a big boot en route to picking up the win! With the 2-on-1 advantage this Sunday at the Royal Rumble, can LayCool regain the Divas Title from Natalya?
With Kelly Kelly seated at ringside, “The Chosen One” Drew McIntyre would go one-on-one with “The Brooklyn Baller” JTG just two nights before the two Superstars are two of 40 participants in the Royal Rumble Match! At the end of a hard-fought match, it was Drew McIntyre countering a backslide into the Future Shock DDT on JTG en route to picking up the win! After the match, Kelly Kelly would enter the ring, but, seemingly unaware of Kelly Kelly’s presence, Drew McIntyre would exit the ring!
After having his nose shattered by the metal knee brace of Rey Mysterio during their match last week, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, appearing with his back to the camera, would reveal that he will require “reconstructive surgery” to fix his broken nose and deviated septum and that the doctors have informed him that he will be unable to compete in the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match this Sunday night! Rhodes then emotionally asks if he is going to “keep fighting” before stating that, upon entering the arena, a young fan told him that he was not “dashing” anymore before stating that the fan was “right”! What effect will the injuries to his face have on Cody Rhodes?
After shaking hands with and introducing himself to Michael Tarver backstage, “The Mexican Elitist” Alberto Del Rio would make an appearance on SmackDown to present a Royal Rumble Exhibition Match just two nights before Alberto Del Rio takes part in the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match! Before the Exhibition Match, Alberto Del Rio states that he is not going to “tell” everyone that winning the Royal Rumble Match is his “destiny”, he is going to “prove it”! Del Rio then reveals that he has found 39 “fighters” from all over the world where he will face one fighter and, every 30 seconds, another one will come out! The first “fighter” to face Alberto Del Rio would be a preliminary wrestler by the name of Seth Allen as Del Rio would easily eliminate Allen seconds before the second competitor, Mike Stevens, would come out, but as Del Rio eliminates Stevens, the match would come to a halt when the record holder for the most elimination in a Royal Rumble Match would come out as “The Big Red Monster” Kane would come out! As Kane would look to eliminate Alberto Del Rio, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston would come out and would eliminate both Kane and Del Rio! After their elimination, Kane and Alberto Del Rio would re-enter the ring ready to attack Kofi, but Rey Mysterio would rush out to even the odds before acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero comes out and announces a tag match between the four Royal Rumble Match participants!
Two nights before all four men compete in the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match, “The Ultimate Underdog” Rey Mysterio would team with Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston to face the team of “The Big Red Monster” Kane and “The Mexican Elitist” Alberto Del Rio! During the match, Kane would get knocked off of the ring apron and, after Kane was not on the ring apron for the tag, Alberto Del Rio would put his hands on Kane and Kane would respond by delivering a vicious big boot to Del Rio, which would allow Rey Mysterio to hit the 619 on Del Rio, which would be followed up by Trouble In Paradise by Kofi Kingston en route to Kofi pinning Del Rio to pick up the win for his team! Could one of these four Superstars win the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match this Sunday night?
Two nights before being one of, and the largest, participant in the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show would make an appearance on SmackDown as Big Show states that, as a giant and former World Champion, he is made a “target” just like he was by the debut of The Corre two weeks ago! Big Show then states that The Corre accomplished two things; first, they made him “angry” and, second, they reminded him of what it is like in the Royal Rumble Match! Big Show continues that he has never won the Royal Rumble Match, but as Show was set to vow victory in the 40-Man Royal Rumble Match this Sunday, The Corre would interrupt as Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, & Ezekiel Jackson would surround the ring as Big Show would challenge any one of the four Corre members to face him one-on-one, but as Big Show challenges Ezekiel Jackson to come in the ring, Heath Slater would chop block Big Show, setting up an impromptu one-on-one match! In the end, Big Show would deliver the chokeslam to Heath Slater en route to picking up the win, but, after the match, the other three members of The Corre would enter the ring and Big Show would fight off Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel, but the powerhouse Ezekiel Jackson would level Big Show with a clothesline, allowing all four Corre members to stomp away at Big Show! As The Corre looked ready to deal out the same damage to Big Show that they dealt out two weeks ago, Big Show gets sufficient backup as United States Champion Daniel Bryan, R-Truth, Chris Masters, and WWE Tag Team Champions Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov as the slew of Superstars, along with Big Show, would outnumber The Corre and would send all four group members packing! What will happen in this Sunday’s 40-Man Royal Rumble Match when it will be every Superstar for themselves with a title match at WrestleMania on the line?
Before competing in the Champions And Challengers Tag Match, WWE Champion The Miz, along with his “apprentice” Alex Riley, would make an appearance on SmackDown as The Miz proclaims that Randy Orton’s RKO to Dolph Ziggler earlier means “absolutely nothing” and that, the “only voice” that Randy Orton will hear after their match this Sunday at the Royal Rumble and it will be his voice proclaiming that he is “awesome” after he successfully retains the WWE Title!
Then it was time for the main event as World Heavyweight Champion Edge would reunite with his former tag team partner, the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Randy Orton, to face WWE Champion The Miz and the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Dolph Ziggler, in a special Champions And Challengers Tag Match! At the end of a chaotic and hard-fought match, it was Edge hitting the Spear on Dolph Ziggler en route to picking up the win! Immediately after the match, acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero would make the major announcement that, this Sunday at the Royal Rumble, the Spear will be “banned” from the match and, if Edge uses the move this Sunday, he will be disqualified and lose the World Heavyweight Title! Edge would respond to this news by delivering the Spear to Dolph Ziggler off of the ring apron before delivering a second Spear to Dolph Ziggler on the arena floor! Edge would then look to spear acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero, but Vickie would move out of the way and Edge would blast Dolph with a third Spear! With the Spear now banned from the World Heavyweight Title match this Sunday at the Royal Rumble, can Edge find another way to retain the World Heavyweight Title or will Dolph Ziggler be crowned the new World Heavyweight Champion?