Not phased by steel.
Two nights before the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble, the 649th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, AZ. A month after being pushed down a flight of stairs by Wade Barrett, resulting in a herniated disc in his back, “The Viper” returns to Friday Nights as Randy Orton returns from injury with Wade Barrett in his sights. After their match stole the show on last week’s SmackDown, the rematch would take place as Justin Gabriel goes one-on-one with Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes in a non-title match.
- Non-Title: Cody Rhodes def. Justin Gabriel by pin following the Cross Rhodes.
- Sheamus def. Drew McIntyre by pin following the Brogue Kick.
- Non-Title: Primo & Epico def. Santino Marella & Yoshi Tatsu by Epico pinning Santino Marella following the Back Stabber.
- Hunico def. Ted DiBiase by pin following a modified Samoan Drop.
- Brodus Clay def. Alex Riley by pin following What The Funk.
- Aksana (in her in-ring SmackDown debut) def. Natalya by roll-up.
- Big Show def. Mark Henry by Count-Out.
Two weeks after inadvertently knocking A.J. down at ringside, taking A.J. out of action indefinitely, SmackDown kicks off with “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show. Show says that he is sorry before revealing that he already apologized to A.J. in person and she forgave him right away. Show continues that he is having a hard time forgiving himself because, throughout his life, he did not know his own strength and similar things have happened in his childhood. Show then says that, when he came to the WWE, he thought his days of being labeled a “freak” were over, adding that he is finally somewhere where he belongs and that he loves his job. An emotional Big Show then states that, after what happened with A.J. two weeks ago, he does not think he has the “heart” to go on with his career! Show continues that he is “honored and proud” to be a part of the Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble, but after this Sunday, he is really going to have to take a look at his career.
Before Big Show can continue, he is interrupted by the World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan, who says that A.J. is “heavily medicated” and does not remember Big Show visiting, but he remembers everything. Bryan continues that, when he watched the WWE as a kid, he thought it was a place for athletes, not “genetic freaks” before saying that Big Show is “no Andre The Giant”. The champion then says that Big Show is “full of it” because Show has no plans on reconsidering his career and, if Show was really remorseful, he would not be apologizing, he would just “retire”. Bryan then pokes the chest of Big Show, shouting at Show to leave before slapping Show across the face! Bryan then calls Big Show a “monster” before slapping Show again, but Show had enough as Show grabs Bryan by the head, cornering the champion and telling Bryan that what happened to A.J. was an accident before calling Bryan an “arrogant little ass”. Show then throws Bryan to the mat before “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry comes out, saying that he does not care about Big Show’s “hurt feelings” and he does not care about Daniel Bryan’s “Napoleon complex” and he certainly does not care about a 95 pound girl in a “training bra”. Henry continues that Show knows what he is capable of before telling Bryan that, after what happened last week, he is going to tear Bryan’s skin off just on principle. Henry then starts to back the champion into a corner as Bryan tries to explain that he has nothing to do with all the Lumberjacks starting a brawl last week.
SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long then comes out, announcing that the main event will see Wade Barrett going one-on-one with the returning Randy Orton before announcing another main event as Big Show will face Mark Henry, much to the elation of Daniel Bryan. What will happen when these two giants renew their rivalry in a one-on-one match just two nights before they challenge Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Title in a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match at the Royal Rumble?
After their show-stealing match last week, Justin Gabriel went one-on-one with Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes in a non-title rematch. In the end, it was Cody Rhodes hitting the Cross Rhodes on Justin Gabriel en route to picking up the win.
As his career continues to be on thin ice, Drew McIntyre had the daunting task of going one-on-one with “The Great White” Sheamus. In the end, it was Sheamus blasting Drew McIntyre with the Brogue Kick en route to picking up the win and putting yet another loss on McIntyre.
The new tag team combination of the Assistant to the General Manager of SmackDown, Santino Marella, and Yoshi Tatsu faced the WWE Tag Team Champions, Primo & Epico, with Rosa Mendes in their corner, in a non-title match. In the end, it was Epico hitting the Back Stabber on Santino Marella en route to picking up the win.
Backstage, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan confronts Mark Henry and does his best to convince “The World’s Strongest Man” that Mark Henry needs to hurt Big Show because Big Show is a “menace”. Has Daniel Bryan convinced Mark Henry to take Big Show out?
Before facing the man he took out of action a month ago, Randy Orton, Wade Barrett says that there is a lot of “emotion” attached to SmackDown due to the return of Randy Orton. Barrett continues that he has it on “good authority” that Orton’s ego is too big, adding that Orton is a “broken man”. Barrett then calls Orton the “shell of a man” and the only voices in Orton’s head are telling him how vicious Wade Barrett. Before Barrett can continues, Randy Orton interrupts as Orton marches to the ring, pummeling Barrett in the ring before several referees try to break up the fight. The brawl then spills to the outside of the ring as Orton continues to punish Barrett. Theodore Long then appears, signaling for some Superstars to come out and break up the fight as Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, and Trent Barreta come out to pull Orton off of Barrett, but Barrett takes this opportunity to cheap shot Orton. The brawl then resumes in the ring as Jimmy & Jey Uso join the effort to try and break things up. The five Superstars are finally able to restrain Orton as Barrett makes his escape. “The Viper” responds by sending a strong message to Wade Barrett by delivering an RKO, first to Tyler Reks, then to Curt Hawkins, then a third to Trent Barreta and a fourth and fifth to Jimmy & Jey Uso! What will happen when Randy Orton finally gets is hands on Wade Barrett?
Backstage, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan is talking with A.J.’s best friend, Kaitlyn, as Bryan asks Kaitlyn asks her to do a “favor” for A.J. Bryan then asks Kaitlyn to tell Big Show that Mark Henry is going to try and injure him in their match. Suspicious of the champion’s motives, Kaitlyn asks if she is doing A.J. a favor or if she is doing Bryan a favor. Bryan claims that it is for both him and A.J. because A.J. loves him and Kaitlyn says that she will talk to Big Show, but only if Bryan tells her how he really feels about A.J. Bryan dodges the question, saying that he likes to keep things private, adding that the sooner Kaitlyn talks to Big Show, the better.
After suffering a broken wrist and torn cartilage at a Live Event last weekend, Ted DiBiase went one-on-one with Hunico, with Camacho in his corner. After relentlessly working on the broken wrist of Ted DiBiase throughout the match, it was Hunico hitting a modified Samoan Drop on Ted DiBiase en route to picking up the win. After the match, Hunico and Camacho would assault Ted DiBiase, an assault that ends with Hunico stomping the broken wrist of DiBiase into the steel steps!
After bringing William Regal’s dancing to an end with the What The Funk last week, “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay went one-on-one with Alex Riley on SmackDown. In the end, it was Brodus Clay hitting the What The Funk on Alex Riley en route to picking up the win.
After months of appearing and flirting with Theodore Long backstage, Aksana would make her in-ring debut on SmackDown as Aksana went one-on-one with Natalya. In the end, it was Aksana catching Natalya with a quick roll-up to pick up the upset win. After the match, Natalya attacked Aksana, locking in the Sharpshooter on Aksana, but Tamina rushes out, attacking Natalya before hitting the Superfly Splash.
Then it was time for the main event as, two nights before they join champion Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show went one-on-one with “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry. Before the match begins, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan makes his way to ringside for the match. Early on in the match, Mark Henry suddenly collapses in the ring before rolling to the outside of the ring, which ultimately leads to Henry getting counted out. After the match, Daniel Bryan rushes the ring with a steel chair, but Big Show knocks Bryan down before grabbing the chair and stalking the champion around ringside. Bryan then uses the World Heavyweight Title belt to distract Big Show long enough to get a low dropkick in on Show’s knee. Bryan then wears Show out with the chair before locking in the LeBell Lock on Show in the middle of the ring! However, Show manages to break out of the hold before delivering a thunderous chokeslam to Bryan. Big Show is then ready to deliver the W.M.D. to Daniel Bryan, but Bryan manages to narrowly escape the ring. What will happen this Sunday at the Royal Rumble when there is no escape for Daniel Bryan when he defends the World Heavyweight Title against Big Show and Mark Henry in a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match? Is there any way for Daniel Bryan to survive these two giants when he is locked inside the Steel Cage?
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