The 667th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, LA. After a revolving door of steel chair assaults between them, as well as Daniel Bryan, over recent weeks, there would be a rare occurrence on SmackDown as, for the first time in four years, the WWE Championship would be defended as CM Punk defends WWE’s top prize against former WWE Champion and former World Heavyweight Champion “The Big Red Monster” Kane! Also, after being out of action since Survivor Series due to injury, the sensational high-flying Sin Cara would return to Friday Nights!
- Sin Cara (in his in-ring return) def. Heath Slater by pin following a tilt-a-whirl armbar takedown.
- Damien Sandow def. Ezekiel Jackson by pin following the straight jacket neckbreaker.
- 2-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match: Ryback def. Chris Lyons & Ryan Shelton by pinning Ryan Shelton folllowing the double Machine Buster.
- Non-Title: Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler (with Jack Swagger) by pin following the Brogue Kick.
- Santino Marella & Zack Ryder def. Darren Young & Titus O’Neil by Santino Marella rolling up Darren Young.
- Cody Rhodes def. Tyson Kidd by pin following Cross Rhodes.
- WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) & Kane fight to a No Contest after Daniel Bryan attacks both men. As a result, CM Punk (c) retains.
With his title defense against Alberto Del Rio just a couple of weeks away at No Way Out, SmackDown kicks off with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus. The champion states that, when he laid Del Rio out with an axe handle on the stage last week, he was setting a tone as he intends to “kick” Del Rio’s “rear-end” at No Way Out. Sheamus continues that money cannot buy you everything and it certainly cannot buy you the World Heavyweight Championship. The World Heavyweight Champion is then interrupted by the man he defeated on RAW as John Laurinaitis’ legal advisor, David Otunga, makes his way to the ring. Otunga explains that he is out there on behalf of General Manager John Laurinaitis, bringing up the issue from two weeks ago on RAW where Sheamus shoved Laurinaitis on his way to the ring. Otunga continues that Sheamus declined to apologize to Eve last week, so he is “ordering” Sheamus to apologize for his treatment of the GM. Sheamus then tells Otunga that, if the GM wants an apology, then Laurinaitis should drive his scooter down there and get one himself. Otunga tells Sheamus that the champion may be the “whitest bulb”, but he is not the “brightest”. Before the confrontation can continue, the #1 Contender interrupts as “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio makes his way to the ring. Del Rio calls Sheamus a “street hooligan” before saying that people like Sheamus work for people like him and Otunga. Del Rio continues that, after No Way Out, Sheamus will be “sorry” as he will be the new World Heavyweight Champion. Otunga says that Laurinaitis has authorized him to let Del Rio pick the opponent for Sheamus for later on in the evening. “The Great White” responds to this news by blasting David Otunga with the Brogue Kick as Del Rio narrowly escapes! Sheamus then tells the #1 Contender that Del Rio should “never trust a hooligan”.
Over six months after his last in-ring appearance, “The International Sensation” returned to SmackDown as Sin Cara went one-on-one with Heath Slater. In the end, it was Sin Cara hitting a tilt-a-whirl armbar takedown on Heath Slater en route to picking up the win.
Damien Sandow was scheduled to be in action on SmackDown against Ezekiel Jackson, but before the match, Sandow referred to Jackson as an “ignoramus”, refusing to take the match. However, “Big Zeke” would bring the self-proclaimed “Intellectual Savior of the Masses” into the ring! In the end, it was Damien Sandow hitting the straight jacket neckbreaker on Ezekiel Jackson en route to picking up the win.
The undefeated juggernaut was in action on SmackDown as Ryback faced two unknowns, Chris Lyons & Ryan Shelton, in a 2-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match. In another dominant display, Ryback hoists both Lyons & Shelton up, delivering a double Machine Buster en route to piling the two up, pinning Ryan Shelton to pick up the easy win.
Vickie Guerrero was set to do her patented introduction of Dolph Ziggler, but Dolph himself interrupts the intro, snatching the microphone out of Vickie’s hand, simply saying that he is going to beat the World Heavyweight Champion. With John Laurinaitis granting him the opportunity to pick Sheamus’ opponent, Alberto Del Rio’s hand-picked opponent, “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler went one-on-one with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus in a non-title match. During the match, Sheamus was ready to deliver the Brogue Kick to Dolph Ziggler, but Jack Swagger gets on the ring apron. Sheamus knocks Swagger off of the apron, managing to counter Dolph before blasting Ziggler with the Brogue Kick en route to picking up the hard-fought win.
The self-proclaimed “Primetime Players” were in action on SmackDown as Darren Young & Titus O’Neil faced the team of United States Champion Santino Marella and “The Long Island Iced Z” Zack Ryder. In the end, it was Santino Marella catching Darren Young with a roll-up to pick up the win. After the match, as Santino and Ryder celebrated their win, a towering threat appeared behind them as “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show got his hands on Santino and Ryder. The United States Champion was victimized first as Big Show sent Santino face-first into the WWE logo set piece before the unstoppable giant then sets his sights on Zack Ryder, sending Ryder into the ringside barricade and into the steel steps. As Ryder tries to crawl away from further destruction, Big Show disassembles the ring steps, laying the larger bottom portion of the steps down on the ramp. Ryder tries to mount an offense, but Big Show is undaunted as Show slams Ryder on the steel steps before dumping Ryder off of the steps. Show then drags the steps to the staging area where Show gets a hold of Santino Marella, grinding Santino’s skull into the steps and torturing the United States Champion with the Colossal Clutch before putting Santino out of his misery with the W.M.D.!
With Intercontinental Champion Christian a guest on commentary, former champion Cody Rhodes went one-on-one with Tyson Kidd. In the end, it was Cody Rhodes hitting Cross Rhodes on Tyson Kidd en route to picking up the win.
Then it was time for a rare SmackDown main event as, for the first time in four years, SmackDown hosted a WWE Championship match as CM Punk defended the WWE Title against “The Big Red Monster” Kane! During the match, CM Punk’s new admirer, A.J., makes her way to ringside. During the match, Daniel Bryan makes his way to ringside, but A.J. was able to inform CM Punk of Bryan’s arrival as Punk takes Bryan out on the outside. Back in the ring, CM Punk counters a chokeslam attempt by Kane, hitting the elbow drop on Kane, but Kane kicks out! Kane then gets a hold of CM Punk again, ready to deliver the chokeslam, but Daniel Bryan comes off of the top rope, kicking both Punk and Kane in the face, bringing an abrupt end to the match. Bryan then sets his sights on CM Punk, delivering several kicks to the WWE Champion, but Punk fights back. Punk then hoists Bryan up for the GTS, but Kane re-enters the ring, dropping both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan with a huge double chokeslam! RAW & SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis then makes a brief appearance, making the announcement that CM Punk will defend the WWE Title in a Triple Threat Match at No Way Out against both Daniel Bryan and Kane!
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