Five nights after SummerSlam, the 626th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, CA. Five nights after a punishing and destructive No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, Randy Orton returns to SmackDown as the new World Heavyweight Champion, having brutalized and defeated Christian to win his ninth World Title.
- Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) def. Ezekiel Jackson by pin following Cross Rhodes to retain.
- Justin Gabriel def. Tyson Kidd by pin following the 450 Splash.
- Non-Title: Alberto Del Rio def. Daniel Bryan by submission to the cross armbreaker.
- Kelly Kelly & A.J. def. Natalya & Alicia Fox by Kelly Kelly pinning Alicia Fox following the K2.
- #1 Contender’s 20-Man Battle Royal: Mark Henry def. Trent Barreta, Yoshi Tatsu, Johnny Curtis, Zack Ryder, Cody Rhodes, Ezekiel Jackson, The Great Khali, Heath Slater, William Regal, Justin Gabriel, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Jinder Mahal, Ted DiBiase, Tyson Kidd, Wade Barrett, Sheamus, & Sin Cara to become the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title.
Just five nights after a grueling victory over Christian in a No Holds Barred Match at SummerSlam, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long kicks off the show as the GM introduces the brand new World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton. The new champion states that he “sure as hell” is not Christian, who has kicked off the show “whining and complaining” trying to get “one more match” over recent weeks. Orton continues that he beat Christian so “brutally” at SummerSlam that the former champion cannot even “stand”, much less be at SmackDown. Orton states that he used to “respect” Christian, but then Christian began to “annoy” him before he began to “despise” Christian, adding that, now, it’s “all over”. The new champion then tells Theodore Long that he is ready to begin “anew” and the GM responds by announcing that the main event of SmackDown will be a 20-Man Battle Royal with the winner becoming the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title!
Before Theodore Long can continue, the GM and the new World Heavyweight Champion are interrupted by the new Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase as the three men formerly known as Legacy stand at odds in the middle of the ring. Rhodes proclaims that is “Legacy reunited” before saying that he and DiBiase were considered “lesser sons of a greater sire”, adding that, like Randy Orton, he is a champion too. Rhodes continues that, unlike Orton, he did not have to use “barbaric” means to win his title before saying that he is not happy with just being the Intercontinental Champion, revealing that he is going to win the 20-Man Battle Royal and get a shot at the World Heavyweight Title. Cody Rhodes then allows Ted DiBiase to speak as DiBiase tells Orton that they know Orton “better than anyone else” and they know Orton’s “strengths” and “weaknesses”, but they have not forgotten how many times Orton “used” them. Having heard enough from his former protégés, the World Heavyweight Champion would strike suddenly and unexpectedly with an RKO to Ted DiBiase!
World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton then exits the ring as Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes orders SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long to “do something” about what Randy Orton just did. The GM mocks Rhodes’ demands, saying he is going to march to the back and make Orton stand on one leg and make Orton write 100 times that he will not RKO Ted DiBiase. The GM then tells Cody Rhodes that, since Ted DiBiase is unable to compete, then Cody Rhodes will take his place and Rhodes opponent will be the former Intercontinental Champion, Ezekiel Jackson. Not only that, but the Intercontinental Title will be on the line!
Per the orders of SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, the opening match of the night saw a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship as the new Intercontinental Champion, Cody Rhodes, makes his first title defense against the former Intercontinental Champion, Ezekiel Jackson. In identical fashion to the end of his title match last week, Cody Rhodes delivered the Beautiful Nightmare Kick, following it up with Cross Rhodes en route to successfully retaining the Intercontinental Title. After a successful title retention, can Cody Rhodes win the 20-Man Battle Royal to become the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title?
Backstage, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long is confronted by the flirtatious Lithuanian, Aksana, as Aksana asks the GM is he would like to watch her “with 20 men”. Long responds by saying that he would rather watch her, but corrects himself, saying he’d rather watch the 20 men, before settling on saying he’d rather watch it alone.
The pride of Capetown, South Africa was in action on SmackDown as the high-flying Justin Gabriel went one-on-one with Tyson Kidd. In the end, it was Justin Gabriel hitting the 450 Splash en route to picking up the win over Tyson Kidd.
Five nights after taking advantage of Kevin Nash’s surprise return and laying out of CM Punk to cash in and become champion at SummerSlam, the new Undisputed WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio made a special appearance on SmackDown. Del Rio states that he has been talking about “destiny” for months and he has proven that “destiny is real” as he is the Undisputed WWE Champion. Del Rio continues that he made his WWE debut in Bakersfield last year, where he defeated Rey Mysterio and, last year, they all “hated” him, but now the fans “love” him. Del Rio then states that he defeated Rey Mysterio in his WWE debut and defeated him again on RAW in his first defense of the Undisputed WWE Title. Del Rio continues that he is a “real champion” before laying out an open challenge to anyone who is “man enough” to face him. The challenge is then answered by “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Daniel Bryan as Bryan asks Del Rio why he thinks he is so “special” when he cashed in Money-in-the-Bank just like everyone else has, in “predictable” fashion.
In a rematch from last week, the new Undisputed WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio went one-on-one with “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Daniel Bryan in a non-title match. At the end of a hard-fought match, it was Alberto Del Rio locking in the cross armbreaker on Daniel Bryan, forcing “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” to tap out. After the match, Alberto Del Rio looked to do some more damage to Daniel Bryan as he locked in the cross armbreaker again, but, thankfully for Bryan, Sin Cara rushes out, delivering a hurrincanrana to Del Rio, sending Del Rio to the outside before diving onto the Undisputed WWE Champion on the outside.
Five nights after retaining the Divas Title against Beth Phoenix at SummerSlam, Divas Champion Kelly Kelly teamed with A.J. to face the team of Natalya & Alicia Fox in Divas tag action. In the end, it was Kelly Kelly hitting the K2 on Alicia Fox en route to the Divas Champion picking up the win for her team. After the match, Natalya and Alicia Fox argued over their loss, but when Fox exited the ring, Natalya knocked Fox off the ring apron before locking in the Sharpshooter on Alicia Fox on the outside of the ring.
With World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton at ringside, it was time for the main event as “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus, Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Jinder Mahal, The Great Khali, Sin Cara, Ezekiel Jackson, Wade Barrett, Trent Barreta, Justin Gabriel, William Regal, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, Tyson Kidd, Johnny Curtis, Yoshi Tatsu, & “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry all competed in a 20-Man Battle Royal with the winner being named the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title. It did not take long for Mark Henry to make an impact as “The World’s Strongest Man” eliminates Trent Barreta, followed by Yoshi Tatsu. Wade Barrett then eliminates Johnny Curtis before Sin Cara eliminates Zack Ryder. Ezekiel Jackson then gets a small measure of revenge over Cody Rhodes by eliminating the Intercontinental Champion, followed by The Great Khali eliminating Ezekiel Jackson, per the orders of Jinder Mahal. In a clash of powerhouse super heavyweights, Mark Henry went head-to-head with The Great Khali with the unbelievable strength of Henry sending Khali over the top! Sheamus then delivers a Brogue Kick, eliminating Heath Slater, but after Slater’s elimination, Mark Henry was on the outside of the ring, but still in the Battle Royal as “The World’s Strongest Man” avoided going over the top rope, Henry dropped Slater face-first on the steel steps.
The next elimination saw Sin Cara eliminating Justin Gabriel, but just like he did with Heath Slater, Mark Henry attacked the eliminated Gabriel, hurling Gabriel over the ringside barricade. Shortly after this, Sheamus eliminates both Jimmy & Jey Uso and, again, Mark Henry attacks, sending one of the Usos into the ringside barricade and hurling the other Uso through the announce table before Mark Henry re-enters the ring! Mark Henry then eliminates Jinder Mahal and Ted DiBiase before Sin Cara eliminates Tyson Kidd, leaving only Mark Henry, Sheamus, Sin Cara, & Wade Barrett in the match. With Sheamus and Wade Barrett battling on the apron, Sheamus delivers a Brogue Kick to Wade Barrett, eliminating Barrett from the match. Sheamus then looked ready to eliminate Sin Cara, but Mark Henry came from behind, picking Sheamus up and dropping him over the top rope. Then it came down to Mark Henry and Sin Cara, but Sin Cara’s speed was no match for the power of Mark Henry as “The World’s Strongest Man” hits the World’s Strongest Slam on Sin Cara before tossing Sin Cara out of the ring to win the Battle Royal and become the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title! Mark Henry then heads to the outside as World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton comes face-to-face with his next challenger, Mark Henry. Is Randy Orton the next victim of Mark Henry or will Randy Orton find a way to stop the seemingly unstoppable Mark Henry?
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