The 602nd edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH. After his big return and epic face-off with “The Game” Triple H on last week’s RAW that would lead to a WrestleMania showdown between the two legends, “The Deadman” would return to Friday Nights as “The Last Outlaw” The Undertaker would return to SmackDown to address his WrestleMania opponent just four nights after Triple H’s bold words and emphatic assault on King Sheamus! With WrestleMania less than five weeks away, the World Heavyweight Title match for the epic event would be made official as World Heavyweight Champion Edge and #1 Contender Alberto Del Rio would face off in the ring as the official contract signing for the World Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania would take place!
- Non-Title: Edge def. Drew McIntyre by submission to the modified Sharpshooter.
- WWE Tag Team Championship: Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel (c) (with Wade Barrett & Ezekiel Jackson) def. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov by Heath Slater (c) pinning Santino Marella following Sweetness to retain.
- LayCool def. Beth Phoenix & Rosa Mendes by Layla pinning Beth Phoenix following a protective boot shot by Michelle McCool.
- Big Show def. Kane (with The Corre) by DQ following a steel chair shot.
- Jack Swagger def. JTG by submission to the ankle lock.
Before his official contract signing for his World Heavyweight Title defense against Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania later in the night, the show kicks off with the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge! Edge states that he is “looking forward” to the contract signing so that Del Rio can look into his eyes and see what it’s like to be a champion and to main event WrestleMania! Edge continues that he has a “bone to pick” with Del Rio as well because Del Rio interrupted his sendoff of Vickie Guerrero last week before stating that he will continue where he left off with his sendoff, but before Edge can do that, Drew McIntyre rushes the ring and tries to attack Edge only for Edge to send McIntyre to the outside! SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long then comes out and states that they all owe Drew McIntyre a “debt of gratitude” because McIntyre was partially responsible for Vickie Guerrero getting fired and Long states that, if McIntyre does not get in the ring, then McIntyre will get the same treatment that Vickie received! Edge then leads the crowd in a chant of “thank you, Drew” before McIntyre gets into the ring!
Following an attempted attack against the World Heavyweight Champion, “The Chosen One” Drew McIntyre would go one-on-one with World Heavyweight Champion Edge in a non-title match! In the end, it was Edge hitting the Spear on Drew McIntyre, but would opt to not pin McIntyre as Edge would decide to punish McIntyre and send a message to Alberto Del Rio by locking in his modified Sharpshooter, forcing McIntyre to tap out to give Edge the victory! What will happen later in the night when Edge and Alberto Del Rio are in the same ring for the official contract signing for the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania?
One week after a hellacious assault by “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, with some help from Cody’s Hall of Fame father Dusty Rhodes, “The Ultimate Underdog” Rey Mysterio would appear to return as his music would play, but instead, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes would come out wearing Rey Mysterio’s mask, but would take it off revealing that he is still wearing the protective mask from his reconstructive surgery! Cody Rhodes would then state that he knows all about “disappointment” like the fans thought when they heard Rey Mysterio’s music because he has been “reduced to this”! Rhodes continues that it “felt good” to rub Rey’s face on the steel grate and removing the mask of Mysterio before saying that it was the “right thing” to do and he does not want a “side show freak” like Rey Mysterio keeping him from being World Heavyweight Champion! Rhodes then issues a challenge to a one-on-one match against Mysterio at WrestleMania and vows that, if Rey does accept the challenge, then he will remove the mask of Rey Mysterio on “The Grandest State of Them All”! There is no doubt that the proud Rey Mysterio will readily accept the WrestleMania challenge of “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, but the question remains, will Cody Rhodes remove the mask of Rey Mysterio again, this time on the grand stage of WrestleMania?
Backstage, “The Big Red Monster” Kane is confronted by The Corre before Kane’s match against Big Show as Wade Barrett states that Kane’s “greatest victory” came with some major assistance from Barrett and the original Nexus, referring to The Nexus helping Kane bury The Undertaker alive back in October, but Kane tells Barrett and The Corre that he did not “need” their help then and he does not “need” it now! Justin Gabriel then says that they just want him to beat Big Show and Ezekiel Jackson tells Kane to “think about it”! Will Kane cooperate with The Corre or will Kane make an enemy out of the group?
After losing the titles to Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel at WWE Elimination Chamber, Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov would get their rematch for the gold on SmackDown as the former champions would challenge Corre members Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel, with Wade Barrett & Ezekiel Jackson in their corner, for the WWE Tag Team Titles! In the end, it was a distraction by Wade Barrett & Ezekiel Jackson that would allow Heath Slater to hook up Santino Marella and deliver Sweetness en route to retaining the WWE Tag Team Titles for himself and Justin Gabriel!
The big announcement was made on SmackDown that, on next week’s show, “Captain Charisma” himself will return to Friday nights as Christian will return to SmackDown! What does Christian have in store for SmackDown and the man who put him out of action, Alberto Del Rio?
Then it was time for a legendary return to Friday nights as, for the first time since October, the one and only “Last Outlaw” The Undertaker would return to SmackDown to address the comments made by his WrestleMania opponent, Triple H, on RAW when “The Game” vowed that he would end the undefeated WrestleMania streak of The Undertaker or “die trying”! The Undertaker would then make his long and legendary entrance to the ring as Undertaker would state that he finds it “mystifying” that the “strongest of the strong and the greatest of the great don’t know how to leave well enough alone” before stating that there are “mountains that can not be climbed, seas that can not be sailed, and streaks that can not be broken”! Undertaker continues that he can not disagree with a lot of what Triple H said on RAW as they are the “last of an era” and a “dying breed” before saying that Triple H is “everything” he says he is and “more” and that he is one of the greatest champions seen in the last fifteen years! The Undertaker then said that Triple H has found out the way to make Undertaker disappear “forever” and that is to defeat Undertaker at WrestleMania, but that it is “easier said than done”! Undertaker continues that Triple H intends to “go for broke” at WrestleMania and, if he succeeds, then Triple H will be “herald” as “The Game” and “The King of Kings”, but if he loses, which Undertaker says he “will lose”, then Triple H will become “nothing more than a statistic” and a “name on a list” of people who have tried to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania! The Undertaker states that he “plays no game” and he “bows down to no man” and, at WrestleMania, Triple H will “find out” that he is “The Last Outlaw” and will also find out what it’s like to “rest in peace”! Both Triple H and The Undertaker have displayed their respect for the other, but neither man is even considering giving an inch, but something has to give at WrestleMania when these two go head-to-head in an epic showdown! Will Triple H do what nineteen other Superstars have failed to do in the past twenty-six WrestleMania events and end the undefeated streak of The Undertaker or will Undertaker make Triple H just another “name on a list”?
The Divas were also in action on SmackDown as “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix would team with Rosa Mendes to face LayCool; Layla & Michelle McCool! In the end, it was Michelle McCool hitting Beth Phoenix with her protective boot, allowing Layla to pin Phoenix for the win! After a tumultuous couple of weeks for the duo, is all well between Layla and Michelle McCool?
Then it was time for a monster’s brawl as, one week after wielding a steel chair and taking on The Corre, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show would go one-on-one with “The Big Red Monster” Kane! In the middle of the match, The Corre would march down to the ring as Wade Barrett would slide a steel chair in to Kane, who would use it on the back of Big Show, giving Big Show the win via disqualification! The Corre would then begin their attack on Big Show, but Big Show would shove Justin Gabriel back and Gabriel would inadvertently make contact with Kane, prompting Kane to waylay Justin Gabriel in the back with the steel chair, leading to The Corre abandoning their attack as Wade Barrett looked at Kane with a perplexed expression! How will The Corre respond to Kane’s unusual actions against the group?
Just under five weeks before the self-proclaimed “Voice of the WWE” Michael Cole squares off with Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler at WrestleMania, the “trainer” for Michael Cole would appear on SmackDown as “The All-American American” Jack Swagger would be set for action on SmackDown, but before Swagger’s match, Michael Cole would enter the ring and would reveal that, on RAW this coming Monday night, he will reveal the Special Referee for his match at WrestleMania! Cole describes the mystery individual as being “flamboyant” and “simply awesome” before stating that the Special Referee is one of the “all-time greats in the WWE” and, along with himself, Jack Swagger, and LeBron James, the Special Referee thinks that Cleveland “stinks”! Who is this mystery individual who will be the Special Referee? Michael Cole’s hints seem to indicate that WWE Champion The Miz could be the Special Referee, but is this the case?
After being revealed as the “trainer” for Michael Cole for Cole’s match against Jerry “The King” Lawler at WrestleMania on RAW, “The All-American American” Jack Swagger would go one-on-one with “The Brooklyn Baller” JTG! With a cocky and maniacal Michael Cole shouting at ringside, Jack Swagger would lock in the ankle lock on JTG, forcing JTG to tap out to pick up the win, prompting Cole to enter the ring to celebrate with his “trainer”! Can Jack Swagger really coach Michael Cole to a win in Cole’s first match against Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler at WrestleMania?
With thirty days to go until WrestleMania, the official contract signing for the World Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania would take place as SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long would mediate the signing as World Heavyweight Champion Edge and #1 Contender Alberto Del Rio would be in the same ring at the same time to make their match official! Before Edge comes out, Alberto Del Rio would “welcome” everyone to his WrestleMania contract signing “ceremony” before having his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez sing the Mexican National Anthem, but the singing would stop with the arrival of World Heavyweight Champion Edge as the champion enters the ring for the contract signing! Edge would set his World Heavyweight Title belt on the table before getting in the face of Alberto Del Rio, but with the pleading of the General Manager, the champion and challenger would reluctantly take their seats! Edge would warn Alberto Del Rio that Del Rio does not know that it’s “like” to compete on the grand stage of WrestleMania while he is an eleven-time World Champion, but Del Rio states that the contract represents the “next chapter of the WWE” and represents his “destiny”! Edge jumps in and states that “destiny” can change in the “blink of an eye” as Del Rio could become the “fastest rising star” in the WWE or Edge could make Del Rio a “flash in the pan” and Del Rio would respond by saying that, once he signs the contract, it will be the “beginning of the end” for Edge as Del Rio signs the contract!
Edge would then sign the contract to make the match official for WrestleMania before telling Theodore Long that he has Long’s “answer” as to whether or not they can have a civil contract signing and, upon seeing the look on Edge’s face, Long would make a hasty exit as Edge would attack Del Rio! Edge would plant Del Rio with his signature DDT before setting up for the Spear, but Ricardo Rodriguez would hold onto the leg of Edge, allowing Del Rio to get his shots in on Edge before locking in the cross armbreaker on the World Heavyweight Champion! Del Rio would then throw a bloodied Edge to the outside where Del Rio would continue the assault on the already injured arm of Edge before having Ricardo Rodriguez grab a steel chair as Del Rio would set to do what he has done to so many others as Del Rio would place the chair around the injured arm of Edge and was set to send the steel-wrapped arm into the steel ring post! Having experienced a very similar assault several months ago that left him sidelined, Christian would rush out to prevent any further injury to his good friend as Christian would pummel Del Rio in and out of the ring before referees were finally able to separate the two Superstars! How will Alberto Del Rio respond to Christian’s attack? What kind of condition is Edge in after yet another assault on his arm by Alberto Del Rio?
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