Two nights before SummerSlam, the 625th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, CA. With SummerSlam just two nights away, World Heavyweight Champion Christian will appear on SmackDown to make an announcement, an announcement that Christian wants the COO of the WWE, Triple H, to hear personally. Also, two nights before they square off for the World Heavyweight Title in a No Holds Barred Match at SummerSlam, both World Heavyweight Champion Christian and former champion Randy Orton were in action on SmackDown. For the first time since being powerbombed through a ladder by Sheamus at Money-in-the-Bank, the high-flying “International Sensation” Sin Cara returns to Friday Nights. After weeks of vignettes using his play-on-words, the winner of NXT Season Four would finally make his debut as Johnny Curtis competes on SmackDown for the first time.
- Non-Title: Sheamus def. Christian by intentional count-out.
- Divas of Doom (Natalya & Beth Phoenix) def. A.J. & Kaitlyn by Beth Phoenix pinning A.J. following the Glam Slam.
- Sin Cara (in his in-ring return) def. Tyson Kidd by pin following the Lionsault.
- Alberto Del Rio def. Daniel Bryan by submission to the cross armbreaker.
- Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes (with Ted DiBiase) def. Ezekiel Jackson (c) by pin following Cross Rhodes to win the Intercontinental Title.
- Mark Henry def. Johnny Curtis (in his in-ring debut) by pin following the World’s Strongest Slam.
- Randy Orton def. The Great Khali (with Jinder Mahal) by pin following the RKO.
Two nights before he serves as the Special Referee for the Undisputed WWE Title Match at SummerSlam, the show kicks off with the Chief Operating Officer of the WWE, Triple H. The COO states that, about a month ago, he was just hanging out in the back, but now he is not only the COO, but he is the Special Referee for the Undisputed WWE Championship Match before reiterating that there will be “one” WWE Champion this Sunday. “The Game” states that the “pressure” that comes with the COO position is “off the charts”, but he is “loving it” before vowing that both RAW and SmackDown will be as “exciting and unpredictable” as possible. Triple H then announces that, on SmackDown, the Intercontinental Title will be on the line as Ezekiel Jackson will defend the Intercontinental Title against Cody Rhodes. Not only that, but for the first time in history, Money-in-the-Bank winners will face off as RAW’s “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Alberto Del Rio will go one-on-one with SmackDown’s “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Daniel Bryan.
WWE COO Triple H continues with the big match announcements as “The Game” announces that the challenger for the World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam, Randy Orton, will go one-on-one with The Great Khali. Before Triple H can announce the opponent for World Heavyweight Champion Christian, the champion himself interrupts and makes his way to the ring. Christian states that he told Triple H that he would be making a “major announcement” and the COO should have gave him a call, but Triple H replies that he was going to, but he doesn’t “give a crap”. The World Heavyweight Champion then tells Triple H that he is going to “sue” the WWE because he has “medical documents” that state that Randy Orton has “serious anger management issues”. Christian continues that, if the No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Title goes ahead, then the COO will be putting the World Heavyweight Champion in an “unsafe work environment”. The champion then threatens that, if Triple H does not pull the stipulation from the title match, then he is going to file a “multi-million dollar lawsuit”, suing Triple H, his family, WWE executives, and even the fans attending and watching SummerSlam!
After hearing all of this, COO Triple H states that the No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Title is still on before explaining that Christian has a contract with the WWE, meaning that, per the terms of the contract, if Christian refuses to compete in a given match, then the World Heavyweight Champion is in “breach of contract”. Triple H continues that he would then be within his rights to “fire” Christian and take the World Heavyweight Title away from him before giving Christian the choice to be fired or defend the World Heavyweight Title in a No Holds Barred Match against Randy Orton at SummerSlam. An emotional and frustrated Christian then pleads with the COO asking him “why” he is doing that to him and Triple H explains that he “used to respect” Christian, but the way that Christian won the World Heavyweight Title changed that as neither he nor the fans “respect” him anymore! Triple H then tells Christian to stop “whining and crying” and defend the World Heavyweight Title in a No Holds Barred Match against Randy Orton this Sunday and “earn” his respect. Triple H then exits the ring, but Christian stops him and proclaims that he will “drop the lawsuit” and defeat Randy Orton to retain the World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam and he will also defeat whoever his opponent is tonight, which turns out to be Sheamus!
Per the orders of WWE COO Triple H, the opening match of SmackDown saw World Heavyweight Champion Christian going one-on-one with “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus in a non-title match. During the match, Sheamus looked poised for victory as “The Celtic Warrior” set up for the High Cross, but Christian narrowly escaped the ring, opting to get intentionally counted out instead of continuing to fight Sheamus. What will happen this Sunday at SummerSlam when there are no disqualifications and no count-outs when Christian defends the World Heavyweight Title against Randy Orton in a No Holds Barred Match?
After their recent attitude change directed at Divas like Kelly Kelly and A.J., the two Divas now referring to themselves as Divas of Doom, Natalya & Beth Phoenix competed in tag team action against A.J. & Kaitlyn. In the end, it was the Divas of Doom picking up a dominant win over A.J. & Kaitlyn with Beth Phoenix planting A.J. with the Glam Slam en route to picking up the win for the D.O.D. After the match, the D.O.D. continued the assault as Natalya delivered a kick to the head of her former protégé, Kaitlyn, before locking the NXT Season Three winner in the Sharpshooter. Can any of the Divas stop this tandem of Natalya & Beth Phoenix known as the Divas of Doom? Can Beth Phoenix usher in a new era in the Divas division by defeating Kelly Kelly for the Divas Title at SummerSlam?
Backstage, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long is confronted by NXT Season Three contestant, Aksana, as the Lithuanian Diva, sporting a new look, asks the GM why he is “Long”, adding that the GM might be “Long” because she is in the room. A flustered Theodore Long suggests they “keep it professional”, but the flirtatious Lithuanian says that she is “professional”, adding that she wants to “do professional business”. Aksana then asks Long if the GM wants to “do me with business” and the GM responds that he needs to go check on his car, before the stuttering GM tries to find the words to express his point by saying that he needs to check on his “tires”, but decides on “headlights” before finally saying that he has to go check on his “stick shift”. As Theodore Long leaves the room, Aksana tells the GM that she knows how to “ride stick shift”.
After being put out of action via a powerbomb by Sheamus at Money-in-the-Bank, “The International Sensation” Sin Cara returned to action on SmackDown as the high flyer went one-on-one with Tyson Kidd. In the end, it was the buffed up Sin Cara hitting the Lionsault on Tyson Kidd en route to picking up the win.
Then it was time for a first time ever match as the winner of the RAW Money-in-the-Bank briefcase, Alberto Del Rio, went one-on-one with the winner of the SmackDown Money-in-the-Bank briefcase, Daniel Bryan. In the end, it was Alberto Del Rio locking in the cross armbreaker on Daniel Bryan, forcing the SmackDown Money-in-the-Bank winner to tap out to pick up the win. The punishment on Daniel Bryan was not over, however, as after the match, Bryan’s SummerSlam opponent, Wade Barrett, comes out and delivers a boot to the skull of “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” before planting Daniel Bryan with Wasteland. What will happen this Sunday at SummerSlam when Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan go one-on-one?
The Intercontinental Title was on the line on SmackDown as Ezekiel Jackson defended the gold against Cody Rhodes, with Ted DiBiase in his corner. In the end, it was Ted DiBiase taking a clothesline from Ezekiel Jackson that distracted Ezekiel long enough for Cody Rhodes to hit the Beautiful Nightmare Kick and following it up with Cross Rhodes en route to pinning Ezekiel Jackson to win the Intercontinental Title! After the match, Cody Rhodes grabbed a paper bag from ringside and had Ted DiBiase place it over the head of Ezekiel Jackson. However, Ezekiel Jackson recovered and, as Cody Rhodes makes a hasty exit, leaving Ted DiBiase high and dry, the former Intercontinental Champion took his anger out on DiBiase as Ezekiel planted DiBiase with the Book of Ezekiel before hoisting DiBiase up over his head and hurling DiBiase over the top rope with DiBiase landing hard on the arena floor, leaving Cody Rhodes in a state of shock and fear!
After weeks of vignettes, it was finally time for NXT Season Four winner Johnny Curtis to make his in-ring debut on SmackDown, but unfortunately for the young Superstar, Curtis’ first match on SmackDown was against the destructive “World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry. As expected, Mark Henry made easy work of the NXT Season Four winner, planting Johnny Curtis with the World’s Strongest Slam en route to picking up the win. After the match, Mark Henry was set to do to Johnny Curtis what he done to Kane, Big Show, and Vladimir Kozlov and do serious damage to the ankle of the young Superstar. Luckily for Curtis, however, Sheamus rushed out and made Mark Henry think better about it as “The World’s Strongest Man” opted to leave the ring. Sheamus then tells Mark Henry that Henry keeps telling everyone how tough he is, but Henry keeps running away from him before challenging Mark Henry to face him right now! Mark Henry then marches to the ring, but decides to stop at the apron of the ring and pull Johnny Curtis out of the ring before delivering the World’s Strongest Slam to Curtis on the arena floor. What will happen this Sunday at SummerSlam when Sheamus and Mark Henry finally go head-to-head?
Then it was time for the main event as, just two nights before challenging Christian for the World Heavyweight Title in a No Holds Barred Match at SummerSlam, Randy Orton would have a tall task to overcome as “The Viper” went one-on-one with “The Punjabi Nightmare” The Great Khali, with Jinder Mahal in The Great Khali’s corner. Despite the size and power of The Great Khali and interference from Jinder Mahal, Randy Orton was still able to land a huge RKO on the seven-footer en route to picking up the big win.
After the match, World Heavyweight Champion Christian came out to provide some “information” before the champion tells Randy Orton that, at SummerSlam, “it’s going to change everything”! Christian continues that he “cannot wait” for their No Holds Barred Match because he’s got the “best thing going”! What is Christian talking about when he says “it’s going to change everything” and he has got the “best thing going”? What does the World Heavyweight Champion have in store for Randy Orton in their No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Title this Sunday at SummerSlam?
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