The 594th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown (the first SmackDown of 2011) came to you from the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, AZ. The first SmackDown of the year would ring 2011 in a blockbuster fashion with two huge main event as, after losing the World Heavyweight Title in a Fatal 4-Way TLC Match at WWE TLC, “The Big Red Monster” Kane would get his rematch for the gold as Kane would challenge new champion Edge for the World Heavyweight Title in a Last Man Standing Match! The other huge main event would see the culmination of an intense rivalry that goes back almost five months as “The Ultimate Underdog” Rey Mysterio would go one-on-one with “The Mexican Elitist” Alberto Del Rio in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match!
- World Heavyweight Championship: Last Man Standing Match: Edge (c) def. Kane to retain.
- Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston def. Dolph Ziggler (c) by pin with a high cross body to win the Intercontinental Title.
- Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) def. Dolph Ziggler by pin following Trouble In Paradise to retain.
- #1 Contender’s Fatal 4-Way Match for the World Heavyweight Title: Dolph Ziggler (with Wade Barrett) def. Big Show, Drew McIntyre, & “Dashing” Cody Rhodes by pinning “Dashing” Cody Rhodes following the Zig Zag.
- Michelle McCool (with Layla) def. Kelly Kelly by pin with the Faith Breaker.
- 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: First Fall: Alberto Del Rio def. Rey Mysterio by submission to the cross armbreaker.
- 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: Second Fall: Rey Mysterio def. Alberto Del Rio by roll-up.
- 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: Third Fall: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) def. Rey Mysterio by Count-Out.
The first SmackDown of 2011 kicks off in a major way as the World Heavyweight Title would be up for grabs as “The Big Red Monster” Kane would challenge new champion Edge for the gold in a Last Man Standing Match, where the only way to win is to beat your opponent to the point that they are unable to make it to their feet by the referee’s count of ten! The hard-hitting match would go all over the arena as the two Superstars would fight through the crowd and would brawl throughout the backstage area and, at one point in the match, Kane would symbolically load Edge into a wheelchair and would attempt to send Edge down a flight of stairs in the chair, but Edge would narrowly escape before going back on the offensive as the match continues! Edge and Kane would then fight their way back to the ring and, in the ring, both Superstars would knock each other down and, with both men down, the commentators would reveal that if both men were counted down by the referee, then the match would be restarted, but both Superstars would make it to their feet as the match would roll on! Shortly after this, the match would spill to the outside where Edge would hit the Edgecution on Kane on the steel steps, but Kane would narrowly beat the ten count and would fight back against Edge, ultimately delivering the chokeslam to Edge through the announce table, but Edge would very narrowly beat the ten count by using commentator Matt Striker to get to his feet! A frustrated Kane would then throw a pair of steel chairs in the ring and would climb the top rope with one chair, but Edge would throw the other chair into the face of Kane, allowing Edge to take advantage and deliver a chair shot to the leg of Kane before laying Kane out with the Spear! Not convinced that the Spear would keep Kane down for a ten count, Edge would grab a second steel chair and would deliver his signature con-chair-to to the knee of Kane and it looked like Kane would get back to his feet, but at the count of nine, Kane would try to put weight on the injured knee and the knee would fail Kane, preventing Kane from technically being able to stand on both feet as the referee reaches the ten count, meaning that Edge is the Last Man Standing and is still the World Heavyweight Champion! After successfully retaining the World Heavyweight Title in a grueling match against Kane, who will be the next SmackDown Superstar to step up and challenge Edge for the gold?
After witnessing and intense and hard-fought World Heavyweight Title match, another title would be up for grabs on SmackDown as Dolph Ziggler, with Vickie Guerrero in his corner, would defend the Intercontinental Title against Kofi Kingston! In the end, it was Kofi Kingston proving that he was not just a lifelong “contender” like Dolph Ziggler said several weeks ago by hitting a cross body on Dolph Ziggler en route to pinning Dolph to win his third Intercontinental Title! The new champion’s celebration would be very short-lived as Dolph Ziggler would attack Kofi from behind and hit the Zig Zag on Kofi before Dolph’s girlfriend, SmackDown Consultant Vickie Guerrero, reveals that SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long is not in the arena, so she is in charge of SmackDown before announcing that Dolph will get his rematch for the Intercontinental Title immediately! Despite the pre-match attack and being further ravaged in the match, Kofi Kingston would come out of nowhere and hit the Trouble In Paradise on Dolph en route to defeating Dolph a second straight time to make his immediate title defense a successful one! Kofi Kingston has finally regained the Intercontinental Title from Dolph Ziggler and has defeated Dolph Ziggler in an immediate rematch to boot, so what challenges await the new champion?
Moments after losing the Intercontinental Title and the immediate rematch to Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler is backstage with girlfriend Vickie Guerrero as Dolph tells Vickie that ordering that immediate rematch was a “bonehead” decision, which Vickie responds to by calling Dolph a “two-time loser” before Dolph tells Vickie that, if that is the case, then she needs to find a “new boyfriend” before walking off, prompting Vickie to throw a tantrum! Has Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero’s relationship truly come to an end?
Backstage, Drew McIntyre confronts Kelly Kelly prior to Kelly’s match as McIntyre wishes Kelly “good luck” in her match before stating that the WWE is his “entire life” before revealing that he will have the chance to become the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title when he faces former tag team partner “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show in a Triple Threat Match, but he is not expecting Kelly Kelly to “trust” him just yet, but he wants her to “support” him like he does for her!
After the show kicked off with a Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Title where Kane lost his rematch against champion Edge, it was time to determine a new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title as “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, & “The Chosen One” Drew McIntyre would compete in a Triple Threat Match with the winner earning that right, but before the match can begin, acting General Manager for the night, Vickie Guerrero, comes out and makes the match a Fatal 4-Way Match with the former Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler being added to the bout! At one point during the match, the four competitors would battle on the outside where Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, & “Dashing” Cody Rhodes would send Big Show through the ringside barricade as the match continues! Later on in the match, Big Show would dominate his opposition and would be ready to deliver a chokeslam to end the match, but RAW Superstar and former Nexus leader Wade Barrett would come out of nowhere and, with no disqualifications and no count-outs in the match, Barrett would assault Big Show, seemingly costing Big Show the match as “Dashing” Cody Rhodes would hit the Beautiful Disaster Kick on Big Show, but Show would kick out of the following pinfall attempt, so Dolph Ziggler would hit the Zig Zag on Big Show, but Show would kick out again, prompting Drew McIntyre to hit the Future Shock DDT on Big Show, on for Show to kick out yet again! Big Show would then send Drew McIntyre to the outside and, with Show too weak from all the abuse to do anything about it, Dolph would try and strike up a temporary partnership with “Dashing” Cody Rhodes with the goal being to take Big Show out of the match, but as soon as Rhodes turned his back, Dolph would hit the Zig Zag on Rhodes and would pin Rhodes to pick up the win and become the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title! When Dolph Ziggler gets his shot at Edge’s World Heavyweight Title, can Dolph win his first World Title?
The Divas were in action on SmackDown as one-half of the Slammy Award winning LayCool, Michelle McCool, would go one-on-one with Kelly Kelly! In the end, it was a distraction by Layla on the outside that would allow Michelle McCool to hook up and deliver the Faith Breaker on Kelly Kelly en route to picking up the win! After the match, both members of LayCool would deliver a double-team modified STO on Kelly Kelly before insulting the downed Diva, but Drew McIntyre would come out and scare LayCool off to protect Kelly Kelly!
After interfering in the #1 Contender’s Fatal 4-Way Match for the World Heavyweight Title and attacking Big Show, it was announced that former Nexus leader Wade Barrett will go one-on-one with “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show on next week’s SmackDown! What will go down when these two go one-on-one for the first time ever next week?
Then it was time for the main event as, in a culmination of a five month rivalry, “The Ultimate Underdog” Rey Mysterio would go one-on-one with “The Mexican Elitist” Alberto Del Rio in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match where the first Superstar to score two falls in the match, either by pinfall, submission, disqualification, or count-out, would win the match! Early on in the match, Rey Mysterio would go for the 619 on Alberto Del Rio, but Del Rio would dodge the move and would lock in his cross armbreaker, leading to Rey tapping out quickly in an attempt to prevent substantial damage to his arm, but also putting Del Rio up one fall to zero! Later on in the match, Rey Mysterio would roll Alberto Del Rio up in a cradle roll-up to even the score at one fall for both Superstars! Later on in the match, both Superstars would be battling on the outside of the ring, but after Alberto Del Rio re-entered the ring, Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, would hold the foot of Mysterio long enough for the referee to reach his ten count, costing Rey the match via count-out! After the match, a frustrated Rey Mysterio would take his aggressions out on Del Rio’s personal ring announcer as Rey would attack Ricardo Rodriguez and hit the 619 on Ricardo and followed it up with a splash on the ring announcer! What is next for these two SmackDown Superstars en route to the Royal Rumble?