The 623rd edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. After his first night as Chief Operating Officer of the WWE on RAW saw the return of Jim Ross, John Morrison, and the crowning of two new WWE Champions, as well as the shocking return of CM Punk, “The Game” Triple H would appear on SmackDown as the new COO shakes up Friday Nights.
- Non-Title: Christian def. John Morrison by pin following the Killswitch.
- 6-Diva Tag: Alicia Fox, Tamina, & Rosa Mendes def. Natalya, A.J., & Kaitlyn by Alicia Fox pinning A.J. following the Fox Kick.
- Mark Henry def. Bobby Howard (local competitor) by pin following two World’s Strongest Slams and a backbreaker.
- WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Nexus (c) def. Jimmy & Jey Uso by Michael McGillicutty (c) pinning Jey Uso following the McGillicutter to retain.
- 2-on-1 Handicap Match: Non-Title: Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase def. Ezekiel Jackson by Cody Rhodes pinning Ezekiel Jackson following the Cross Rhodes.
- R-Truth def. Randy Orton by DQ following a steel chair shot.
After shaking things up on his first night on the job on Monday Night RAW, the show kicks off with the new WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H. “The Game” states that the more things you try to “fix things”, the “more screwed up” they get, but he was once told that you “start at the top and work your way down”. Triple H states that, on RAW, they have two WWE Champions in John Cena and the returning CM Punk before revealing that he re-signed CM Punk to a contract late Monday night, adding that both men have “legitimate claims to the WWE Championship” as Punk is a “current titleholder” and Cena was “cheated out of his deserved rematch”. Triple H then states that he will have an answer for the WWE Championship situation Monday night on RAW before moving onto the World Heavyweight Championship, which brings out the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, Christian. The champion “congratulates” the COO on his new position before saying that he has had to go through “turmoil” the last few months with SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, who “sucks up” to Randy Orton and the fans, adding that Triple H must want to have a “close, working relationship” with him as he is the World Heavyweight Champion. Triple H responds by saying that he has no interest in that before saying that he does not have “the patience of a saint” like Vince McMahon, adding that he looks at an interruption as a “slap to the face”. Triple H continues that he can “slap harder” than Christian before announcing that, at SummerSlam, Randy Orton will get his rematch for the World Heavyweight Title and that rematch will be No Holds Barred!
Christian immediately starts to argue the decision when R-Truth interrupts, proclaiming that he is “back on SmackDown”. Truth continues that they are going to “pick up where they left off”, stating that there is a “conspiracy” against him before telling Triple H that, this Monday on RAW, the conspiracies better be “straightened out”. Triple H responds by informing R-Truth that Truth will be going one-on-one with the former World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton on SmackDown and, when Christian starts to offer advice to R-Truth, the new COO reveals that he brought someone with him from RAW and Christian will face this individual as the World Heavyweight Champion will go one-on-one with John Morrison in the opening bout!
Per the orders of new WWE COO Triple H, the opening match of the night saw World Heavyweight Champion Christian going one-on-one with RAW’s “Prince of Parkour” John Morrison in a non-title match. In the end, it was Christian hitting the Killswitch on John Morrison en route to picking up the win. Can Christian achieve a similar result at SummerSlam when he defends the World Heavyweight Title against Randy Orton in a No Holds Barred Match?
Backstage, WWE COO Triple H is walking with SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, when they are confronted by Zack Ryder as Ryder tries to pitch ideas to the COO and the GM. Triple H states that he is tiring of Ryder pestering him with his ideas before making the ruling that Zack Ryder will serve as the assistant to Theodore Long! How will Zack Ryder and Theodore Long co-exist as a decision making team on SmackDown?
Wade Barrett makes an appearance on SmackDown as Barrett states that he left England to come to the United States to make “a lot of money”, but he “lost track” of that over the past year. That was until last week when he saw “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Daniel Bryan “gloating” about cashing in the Money-in-the-Bank title opportunity at WrestleMania, adding that Bryan stands to make a lot of money for competing at WrestleMania, a “paycheck” that should be his. Barrett continues that Daniel Bryan is “overhyped” and “in over his head” before Barrett is interrupted by “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” himself, Daniel Bryan. Bryan tells Barrett that, last week, Heath Slater came out and said almost exactly the “same thing”, but Barrett interrupts that he was the one who took Slater, Bryan, and the rest of the NXT Season One “misfits” and “molded” them. Bryan interrupts and tells Barrett that, once Barrett sensed a “threat” in Bryan, he was “gone” from The Nexus, but they have done a lot since then and he will “main event WrestleMania”. Barrett responds to this by delivering a right hand to Daniel Bryan. Wade Barrett then picks up the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase before getting in the face of Daniel Bryan, but Bryan grabs the arm of Barrett, locking the LeBell Lock in on Barrett, forcing Barrett to immediately tap out!
Backstage, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry confronts SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long and his new assistant, Zack Ryder, as the GM tells Henry that no one wants to go “near” Mark Henry given Henry’s path of destruction, but Ryder assures “The World’s Strongest Man” that he will find an opponent for Mark Henry.
Three nights before all six Divas are part of a #1 Contender’s Diva Battle Royal on RAW to crown a new #1 Contender for the Divas Title at SummerSlam, Natalya teamed with her protégés, A.J. & Kaitlyn to face Alicia Fox, Tamina, & Rosa Mendes in a 6-Diva Tag Match. In the end, it was Alicia Fox hitting the Fox Kick on A.J. en route to picking up the win for her team.
After being told by Theodore Long’s new assistant, Zack Ryder, that he would have an opponent on SmackDown, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry faced local competitor Bobby Howard, who had to be talked into taking part in the match by Zack Ryder. Mark Henry made short work of the local wrestler, planting Bobby Howard with two World’s Strongest Slams and a backbreaker before finally pinning his victim to pick up the easy win. After the match, Mark Henry dragged the young wrestler to the corner of the ring before heading to the outside of the ring to grab a steel chair. Just like he did to Kane & Big Show, Mark Henry placed the chair around the ankle of Bobby Howard, but before Henry can do the damage to the local competitor, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long rushes out, telling Henry then he cannot let Henry “compete” anymore as Mark Henry continues to demand “competition”.
As Mark Henry backs Theodore Long into the corner, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus comes out and says he will “fight” Mark Henry before saying that Mark Henry is “just big”. Sheamus then tells Mark Henry a story about an Irish king who was turned into a “425 pound bag of crap”, alluding to that man being Mark Henry. Mark Henry then shouts at Sheamus that Sheamus “talks too much”, but Sheamus slaps Mark Henry before sending Mark Henry over the top rope to the outside. Sheamus then grabs a steel chair and dares Mark Henry to come back into the ring, but Mark Henry throws the steel steps before eventually walking away from Sheamus. Has Mark Henry finally found the competition he has been looking for in Sheamus?
The WWE Tag Team Titles were on the line as The New Nexus, David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty defends the gold against the second-generation team of Jimmy & Jey Uso. In the end, it was David Otunga knocking Jey Uso off of the top rope that allowed Michael McGillicutty to take advantage, hitting the McGillicutter on Jey en route to picking up the win and retaining the WWE Tag Team Titles for himself and David Otunga.
In a match set up by Theodore Long’s new assistant, Zack Ryder, Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson faced both Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. In the end, the numbers game caught up to the Intercontinental Champion as Cody Rhodes was able to hit the Cross Rhodes on Ezekiel Jackson en route to picking up the win.
Then it was time for the main event as, per the orders of WWE COO Triple H, the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Randy Orton, went one-on-one with RAW’s R-Truth, with World Heavyweight Champion Christian watching from the staging area. During the match, both combatants found themselves on the outside of the ring and, while Christian distracted the referee, R-Truth used a water bottle as a weapon against Randy Orton. However, this set Randy Orton off as the former champion pummeled R-Truth before grabbing a steel chair and delivering a shot to the mid-section of Truth, ending the match in a disqualification win for R-Truth. After the match, Randy Orton dismantled the SmackDown announce table before delivering a monitor shot to the skull of R-Truth. Orton then dragged R-Truth on top of the announce table, delivering the RKO to Truth on the table in a clear cut message to Christian, leaving a look of fear on the World Heavyweight Champion’s face. Randy Orton then spotted Christian on the staging area and, as a scared Christian looked on, an unsettled Orton came back to deliver a second RKO to R-Truth on the announce table! Is this the fate that awaits Christian when Christian defends the World Heavyweight Title against Randy Orton in a No Holds Barred Match at SummerSlam?
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