Justice is served.
Nine nights before SummerSlam, the 677th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. As the rivalry between Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler continues to intensify with Jericho determined to beat some respect into Dolph and show Ziggler that he has not lost his touch and things are bound to get intense when Jericho hosts The Highlight Reel with his guests, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler and Ziggler’s manager Vickie Guerrero. Also, per the orders of new SmackDown General Manager Booker T, Cody Rhodes will go one-on-one with “The International Sensation” Sin Cara.
- Sin Cara def. Cody Rhodes by roll-up.
- 2-on-1 Handicap Match: Jinder Mahal def. two unknowns by submission to the Camel Clutch.
- #1 Contenders Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles: The Prime Time Players (with A.W.) def. Primo & Epico by DQ after Kofi Kingston attacks Titus O’Neil. As a result, The Prime Time Players are named the new #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles.
- Christian def. Antonio Cesaro by pin following the Spear.
- Non-Title: Rey Mysterio def. The Miz by roll-up.
On his second night on the job, SmackDown kicks off with the new General Manager of SmackDown and Houston’s own Booker T getting things started with a Spin-a-rooni. Booker says that it feels great to be back in his hometown, but, as the new SmackDown General Manager, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Booker T says that, when World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus stole Alberto Del Rio’s Ferrari for a joyride around San Antonio on RAW, Sheamus “crossed the line”. The GM then demands that the World Heavyweight Champion come out there and apologize for the theft. Sheamus makes his way to the ring, saying that Del Rio said that he was not worthy of being the World Heavyweight Champion and Del Rio took his “dignity”, so he responded by taking Del Rio’s car. However, Sheamus says that what he did was a “crime” before the champion apologizes to Booker, the fans, and Alberto Del Rio. Before the show can go on, Alberto Del Rio interrupts, saying that Sheamus stole his car and Sheamus is a “thug” and a “criminal”. Del Rio says that he has contacted the San Antonio Police Department to file charges against Sheamus. Booker T informs Del Rio that, if legal action is taken against Sheamus, then Sheamus will be unable to defend the title at SummerSlam, but Del Rio says that he does not care. Del Rio continues that, when the champion acts like a “hooligan”, it reflects badly on the General Manager. Sheamus jumps in, saying that he has a “solution” before proposing that they not wait until SummerSlam and they have the World Heavyweight Title match tonight! Booker then leaves the decision with the #1 Contender, Alberto Del Rio, and Del Rio admits that, while everything in his head is telling him to wait for SummerSlam, he cannot and will not wait, saying that Sheamus is on! With SummerSlam coming nine nights early, who will walk out of SmackDown as the World Heavyweight Champion?
Per the orders of SmackDown General Manager Booker T, the opening match of the night saw Cody Rhodes go one-on-one with “The International Sensation” Sin Cara. Throughout the match, Cody Rhodes was obsessed with removing Sin Cara’s mask and it would cost Rhodes in the end as, when Rhodes went for the mask, Sin Cara capitalizes with a roll-up to pick up the win.
Nine nights before he goes one-on-one with Kane at SummerSlam, Daniel Bryan appears on SmackDown, screaming at the fans to stop chanting “yes”. Bryan then asks if they think he is nothing more than a catchphrase, saying that he deserves to be in the WWE Title match at SummerSlam, but instead of that, AJ Lee has ruined his life and put him in a match against Kane. Bryan says that he “deserves” better than being walked all over by “some skipping, Chucks-wearing, broad in a power suit and her overgrown, Frankenstein monster boy toy”. However, the barrage of insults is interrupted by the arrival of Kane, who makes his way to the ring. Both Kane and Daniel Bryan look ready to fight, but RAW General Manager AJ Lee comes out, revealing that Booker T invited her to SmackDown as a “special guest”. Lee states that she made the SummerSlam match because both Kane and Bryan are gifted athletes, but neither her nor Booker T can afford to have them coming out there attacking each other and screaming at the fans every week. AJ then tells Kane that it’s good to see him again, saying that she appreciates how “sweet” and “understanding” Kane was when other people were treating her miserably. The RAW GM then turns her attention back to Daniel Bryan, saying that Bryan should not use the fact that Kane is her friend and the fact that Bryan has never pinned Kane to drive his rage. AJ continues that Daniel Bryan should prove that he is not unstable and that he is a good sportsman before SummerSlam by shaking Kane’s hand. Bryan outright refuses to shake Kane’s hand, but once he is ordered to do so by the General Manager, Bryan extends his hand to Kane as AJ leaves the ring, winking at Kane. Following the wink, Kane delivers a right hand to Daniel Bryan, but Bryan briefly fights back before getting blasted with a big boot. Bryan then makes a quick retreat through the crowd, avoiding Kane for the time being. Meanwhile, on the staging area, AJ is laughing hysterically, saying that the setup was “great”!
In an effort to one-up Ryback, Jinder Mahal would face two unknown competitors in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. After taking some time to mock Ryback, Jinder Mahal would force one of the jobbers to tap out to the Camel Clutch to pick up the win. After the match, Mahal would trap both men in the Camel Clutch, but Ryback would come out. However, Mahal would quickly retreat and Ryback would send a message back to Mahal as “The Sin City Cyborg” levels both jobbers with a double Shell Shocked.
Then it was time for a rare SmackDown occurrence as, for the first time in nearly two years, Chris Jericho would host The Highlight Reel on SmackDown. Before Jericho can even introduce his guests, Vickie Guerrero interrupts, saying that she is out there to speak on Dolph Ziggler’s behalf. Vickie says that Dolph can win the “big one” and he is a future World Heavyweight Champion. Jericho says that, if Dolph is not there, then he has no problem interviewing Dolph’s “mother”. Jericho continues that Vickie looks good for her “age” and, after a screaming match between the two, Vickie threatens to walk off The Highlight Reel, but Jericho does not appear to care. Jericho then says that Vickie needs to relax before Jericho shows footage of him costing Dolph Ziggler his match against Alex Riley on RAW. Jericho says that Dolph cannot even win the “little one”, saying that, while Alex Riley is a great competitor, Riley had only won one match in 2012 prior to RAW. Vickie argues that Jericho does not have the “facts”, saying that it is a fact that Dolph knows that Jericho has lost his touch and Dolph will prove it when Dolph and Jericho go one-on-one at SummerSlam! Jericho says that he does not have to prove himself to anyone, but Dolph said something to him that made him think, saying that his record has not been great lately. Jericho continues that he decided that it was time for a “change” and it was time to bring “Y2J” back! The reinvigorated Jericho then proclaims that he is back, accepting Dolph’s challenge and saying that he will “never, ever” lose his touch again. Dolph Ziggler then rushes the ring, trying to get the better of Chris Jericho, but Jericho takes “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” down. However, a slap from Vickie Guerrero distracts Jericho long enough for Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag on Jericho before Dolph knocks Jericho out with a vicious shot with the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase!
With WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth & Kofi Kingston guests on commentary, new #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles would be named on SmackDown as Primo & Epico face The Prime Time Players, with A.W. in their corner. During the match, A.W. would throw water on the WWE Tag Team Champions, but R-Truth & Kofi Kingston would chase the manager into the ring as the team would attack A.W. and also get a few shots in on Titus O’Neil. This would make A.W.’s plan a success as The Prime Time Players would get the disqualification win, making them the new #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles!
After defeating United States Champion Santino Marella two weeks in a row, “The Swiss Sensation” Antonio Cesaro, with Aksana in his corner, went one-on-one with “Captain Charisma” Christian. During the match, Christian would go for a Spear on Antonio Cesaro, but Cesaro would counter, launching Christian into the air, delivering a vicious uppercut. However, the veteran would battle back, hitting the Spear on Cesaro en route to picking up the win. After the match, Cesaro would blindside Christian, attacking “Captain Charisma” on the outside before driving Christian spine-first into the ringside barricade!
Backstage, Eve again meets up SmackDown General Manager Booker T, but Booker again says that there are no jobs available for her. Booker’s Senior Advisor, Theodore Long, then brings Kaitlyn in, who asks for a job and Booker immediately names Kaitlyn his new assistant! However, Eve brings up contacting the Board of Directors and filing a complaint, but the GM resolves the situation by informing Eve that she will go one-on-one with Kaitlyn on next week’s SmackDown and whoever wins will be Booker’s new assistant!
The Intercontinental Champion was in action on SmackDown as The Miz went one-on-one with Rey Mysterio in a non-title match. In the end, it was Rey Mysterio catching The Miz off-guard with a roll-up to pick up the win over the Intercontinental Champion.
Before the scheduled World Heavyweight Title match can take place, a group of police officers make their way to the ring. While Del Rio originally tells the cops to leave because he wants his title match, the sly Del Rio smirks before instructing the fake police officers to attack Sheamus. While the champion stands his ground against the group assault, the numbers advantage would overwhelm the World Heavyweight Champion. With Sheamus helpless, Del Rio instructs the faux cops to hold Sheamus up as Del Rio repeatedly slaps Sheamus across the face before hitting an enziguiri on the champion. Del Rio then orders his hired guns to leave before Del Rio measures Sheamus, locking in the cross armbreaker on the champion, viciously ripping and tearing at the arm of Sheamus before finally letting go of the hold, leaving the World Heavyweight Champion in a heap in the ring.
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