Five nights after the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble, the 650th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, NE. With WWE Elimination Chamber just a couple of weeks away, the participants in the Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship would be revealed. After being taken out of action by Wade Barrett back in December, “The Viper” would be out for revenge as Randy Orton goes one-on-one with Wade Barrett in a No Disqualification Match.
- Non-Title: Sheamus def. Cody Rhodes by pin following the Celtic Cross.
- Non-Title: Primo & Epico (with Rosa Mendes) def. Santino Marella & “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan by Primo pinning Santino Marella following the Back Stabber.
- Beth Phoenix & Natalya def. Tamina & Aksana by Beth Phoenix pinning Aksana with the Glam Slam.
- No DQ: Randy Orton def. Wade Barrett by pin following the RKO on a steel chair.
The show kicks off with SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long announces the participants for the SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match as Daniel Bryan will defend the World Heavyweight Title against Wade Barrett, Big Show, Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, and Randy Orton inside the Elimination Chamber. The GM wishes all six participants luck in the match before “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry makes his way to the ring. Henry tells Long that he is not liking the match as the odds are against him in the Elimination Chamber Match and he does not “deserve” it, but Long tells Henry that, after Henry lost at the Royal Rumble, he should be lucky that he is giving Henry another shot. Henry tells the GM that he is the “meal ticket” for Long before demanding that he be taken out of the Elimination Chamber Match and give him a one-on-one shot at the World Heavyweight Title against Daniel Bryan. The GM shows no fear as he pokes Henry in the chest as he tells Henry that he is taking Henry out of the Elimination Chamber Match and he will not be giving Henry a title match! Henry tells Long that Long is “replaceable” before he says he is “demanding” a title match before Henry puts his hands on Long. The GM then asserts himself by informing Henry that, for putting his hands on him, Henry will be “indefinitely suspended”!
As Mark Henry looks to do more damage to Theodore Long, the winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble Match, Sheamus, comes out to the ring and, while Henry is arguing with Long, Sheamus blasts “The World’s Strongest Man” with the Brogue Kick! As Mark Henry makes his way to the back, Long informs him that security will be waiting to escort him out. Long then asks Sheamus which title “The Great White” will be challenging for at WrestleMania, but Sheamus reveals that he has not decided yet and that he will be waiting until after WWE Elimination Chamber to make his decision. Sheamus is then interrupted by one of the six participants in the Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title, Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, who says that he is out there to “warn” Sheamus that he should not let success go to his head. Rhodes continues that no one is going to remember Sheamus winning the Royal Rumble Match, but everyone remembers that he got the most eliminations and lasted over forty minutes in the Royal Rumble Match. Rhodes then says that he is going to use that momentum heading into the Elimination Chamber Match, where he will be the first Superstar since The Ultimate Warrior to hold a World Title and Intercontinental Title simultaneously. For his intrusion, Theodore Long puts Cody Rhodes in an impromptu match against Sheamus!
Per the orders of SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, the winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble Match, Sheamus, went one-on-one with Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes in a non-title match. In the end, it was Sheamus pulling the Celtic Cross out of his arsenal in order to defeat Cody Rhodes.
After losing to Sheamus, Cody Rhodes remains at ringside as the show continues with Justin Gabriel going one-on-one with Hunico, with Camacho in his corner. Before the match can begin, however, Cody Rhodes attacks Justin Gabriel before Hunico and Camacho join in, making it a three-on-one assault. However, The Great Khali would have none of it as “The Punjabi Giant” makes his way to the ring, sending all three Superstars out of the ring. Hunico would try to take another shot at the giant, but was easily dispatched with the Punjabi Plunge.
Backstage, Theodore Long tells Drew McIntyre that McIntyre needs to find another way to impress him and consider himself lucky to still be employed. In his continuing quest to find a tag team partner, Assistant to the General Manager Santino Marella brings in Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and the General Manager reluctantly puts Santino & Duggan in a non-title match against WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico.
After failing to succeed with Yoshi Tatsu last week, Santino Marella teams with Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to face WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico in a non-title match. In the end, it was a timely distraction by Rosa Mendes that allowed Primo to hit the Back Stabber on Santino Marella en route to picking up the win.
After overcoming the odds at the Royal Rumble by escaping the Steel Cage to retain the World Heavyweight Title against both Big Show and Mark Henry, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan was interviewed by Michael Cole on SmackDown. Cole admits that Bryan proved something to him and everyone else at the Royal Rumble as Bryan did win the match before admitting that he was “wrong” about Bryan. Cole then extends his hand, but Bryan instead takes the microphone as the champion says that everything is not about Cole, it is about him. Bryan then excuses Cole from the ring before Bryan brags that he proved at the Royal Rumble that he is a “great champion”, adding that he is also a “great role model”. Bryan continues that he urges the fans to be like him, to be a “vegan”, telling the fans to “stop eating meat” because, by eating meat, they are killing innocent animals. Bryan then says that the people of Omaha are some of the “worst offenders” before saying that, because he is a vegan, he is healthier than everyone in the arena. Bryan continues that he will never have the “diseases” that some of them are carrying right now before saying that he will not stand for “prejudice” against him as he should not have to defend the World Heavyweight Title in an Elimination Chamber Match, especially against five other Superstars and especially against the man he has “dominated” in four prior title matches, Big Show. Bryan then says that Big Show has “consistently failed” before saying that Show ran over his girlfriend, A.J. and calling Show a “failure” as a competitor and as a human being, thus he should not be in a title match. Bryan continues that, if Theodore Long does not remove Big Show from the Elimination Chamber Match, then he will take his case to the WWE Board of Directors and Theodore Long will join John Laurinaitis in the “unemployment line”.
Daniel Bryan is then interrupted by “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show, who tells the champion that he would have interrupted earlier, but he was in the back enjoying a nice, big steak. Show tells Bryan that a role model does not tell everyone what to do before calling Bryan a “pompous, arrogant, little ass”. Show then says that, after WWE Elimination Chamber, Bryan will still be a pompous, arrogant, little ass, but he will no longer be the World Heavyweight Champion, adding that there is no escape for Bryan inside the Elimination Chamber. Bryan admits that he may not be the World Heavyweight Champion after the Elimination Chamber Match, but the new champion will certainly not be Big Show, adding “once a loser, always a loser”. Bryan then pokes a finger in Show’s chest, but that is the last straw for “The World’s Largest Athlete” as Big Show attacks the champion before planting Bryan with a chokeslam. For the first time since being inadvertently injured several weeks ago, A.J. makes her way to the ring in a neck brace. Then, as Big Show is ready to deliver the W.M.D. to Daniel Bryan, A.J. grabs Show’s arm, allowing Bryan to escape before A.J. and Bryan embrace on the outside of the ring.
After picking up an upset victory over Natalya last week, Aksana teamed with Tamina to face Natalya and the Divas Champion, Beth Phoenix. In another dominant victory, it was Beth Phoenix hitting the Glam Slam on Aksana en route to picking up the win for herself and Natalya. As the Divas Champion exits the ring, Natalya tries to lock the Sharpshooter in on Aksana, but Tamina steps in, hitting the Superfly Splash on Natalya.
After getting himself indefinitely suspended by Theodore Long earlier in the show, Mark Henry was pulled from the Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title, but his spot will be filled by a former World Heavyweight Champion in “The Punjabi Giant”, The Great Khali as Khali will join Wade Barrett, Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Big Show, and champion Daniel Bryan as they all vie to be the champion heading into WrestleMania!
Then it was time for the main event as “The Viper” would be looking for revenge as Randy Orton went one-on-one with the man who took him out of action for a month, Wade Barrett, in a No Disqualification Match. It does not take long for things to get extreme as Orton brings a table into the ring, but Barrett quickly makes Orton the victim as Barrett shoves Orton off of the top rope and through the table. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, Barrett would then hone in on the previously injured back of Orton, but Orton fights back before Orton and Barrett fight through the crowd before resuming the fight at ringside where Barrett sends Orton into the steel steps before rolling Orton back into the ring and grabbing a steel chair. Barrett then uses the chair to deliver four sickening chair shots to the back and mid-section of Orton before Barrett sets the steel chair in the ring and is ready to deliver Wasteland to Orton, but Orton fights back before getting ahold of the steel chair. Orton then delivers some chair shots of his own before Orton props the chair up in the corner of the ring, sending Barrett head-first into the chair! Orton then delivers a dropkick that sends Barrett to the outside before throwing Barrett over the announce table. Back in the ring, Orton looks for the RKO, but Barrett counters with the Winds of Change. However, Orton puts his foot on the bottom rope, narrowly keeping the match going. Barrett then grabs the steel chair again, using it to jab the injured back of Orton before going for a pumphandle slam on the chair, but Orton counters with the RKO. Intent on destruction, Orton delivers a second RKO, this time on the steel chair, en route to picking up a hard-fought win!
Backstage, Theodore Long informs Daniel Bryan that he will be going one-on-one with Randy Orton on next week’s SmackDown. Bryan responds by saying that he is not afraid of giants and he is not afraid of snakes. Bryan then leaves A.J. with the GM as he goes out to the ring to celebrate in front of a perplexed Randy Orton. What will happen next week when World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan goes one-on-one with one of his Elimination Chamber challengers, Randy Orton?
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