A Shoe-In for Gold?
Five nights after SummerSlam, the 679th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, CA. After the World Heavyweight Title match ended in controversy at SummerSlam with Sheamus pinning Alberto Del Rio, despite Del Rio’s foot being on the bottom rope, SmackDown General Manager Booker T would address the World Heavyweight Title controversy on SmackDown.
- Ryback def. Jinder Mahal by pin following Shell Shocked.
- Non-Title: Layla def. Alicia Fox by pin following a kick to the head.
- Heath Slater (with Cody Rhodes) def. Sin Cara by pin following the Bandstand.
- Non-Title: Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) by DQ after Dolph Ziggler uses the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase.
- Non-Title: R-Truth & Kofi Kingston def. Primo & Epico by R-Truth pinning Primo following the Little Jimmy.
- #1 Contender’s Match: Alberto Del Rio def. Randy Orton by submission to the cross armbreaker to become the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title.
With the world still wondering about the status of the World Heavyweight Championship, SmackDown kicks off with a former World Heavyweight Champion in “The Viper” Randy Orton. Orton says that he thrives on “confrontation”, saying that Alberto Del Rio thinks his victory on RAW is “tainted”, but Orton says “too bad” to what Del Rio thinks. Orton continues that he should be the next challenger for the World Heavyweight Title before inviting anyone that disagrees with him to come to the ring and confront him. The first man to take Orton up on his offer is none other than the World Heavyweight Champion himself, Sheamus, who says that he is not out there to disagree with “The Viper” before saying that Del Rio has had several title shots. Sheamus continues that he defeated Del Rio “fair and square” at SummerSlam and Orton defeated Del Rio fair and square on RAW. Sheamus then says that, not only does he think Orton deserves to be the next challenger, he wants Orton to be the next challenger.
This brings out SmackDown General Manager Booker T, who says that Randy Orton’s credentials ensure that Orton will always be in the running for the World Heavyweight Title, but the controversial victory on RAW has to be addressed. Before the GM can continue, he is interrupted by Alberto Del Rio and his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, as Del Rio says that the World Heavyweight Title belongs to him. Del Rio then tells Booker T that Sheamus is a “cheater” and Orton is an “animal”, asking if they are the kind of people that Booker wants in title contention. Del Rio continues, saying that Sheamus “robbed” him at SummerSlam and, the next night on RAW, Sheamus “cheated again” to help Orton win. Del Rio refuses to let the GM speak, saying that Booker does not know anything and Sheamus stole his car a couple of weeks ago and Sheamus stole the title match at SummerSlam. Del Rio says that he never lost the title match and he filed a “protest”, but he is still waiting for an answer. With Sheamus and Orton trying to calm Del Rio down, an irate Del Rio continues on, saying that there is a “conspiracy”. Del Rio then calls Booker T a “criminal” and a “cheater”, saying that everyone is against him. The GM is then finally able to finish what he was going to say, saying that Orton will always be in line for a title shot, but Del Rio deserves the next title match. Booker then says that Del Rio’s interruption and trash-talking has made him change his mind before the GM announces that, in a rematch from RAW, Alberto Del Rio will go one-on-one with Randy Orton with the winner becoming the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title.
With Josh Mathews unable to do his announcing duties due to an attack by Kane at SummerSlam, the Senior Advisor to SmackDown General Manager Booker T, Theodore Long, joins Michael Cole at ringside, revealing that, while he will be joining Cole as a commentator, every match on SmackDown will feature a different guest commentator.
After weeks of games of one-upsmanship, SmackDown would see the culmination of a rivalry as the undefeated “Sin City Cyborg” Ryback went one-on-one with Jinder Mahal. Ryback would dominate Jinder Mahal, hitting the Shell Shocked on Mahal en route to picking up the win.
With the new #1 Contender for the Divas Title, Kaitlyn, joining Michael Cole on commentary, Divas Champion Layla went one-on-one with Alicia Fox in a non-title match. In the end, it was Layla landing a kick to Alicia Fox’s head en route to picking up the win. After the match, Kaitlyn and Layla face-off in the ring, with champion and challenger shaking hands. The assistant to the GM, Eve, then comes out, peculiarly raising the hands of both Divas.
With his rival, Cody Rhodes, a guest on commentary, “The International Sensation” Sin Cara went one-on-one with Heath Slater on SmackDown. With the referee distracted by Heath Slater, Cody Rhodes would impair Sin Cara, twisting the mask of Sin Cara around backwards. This blinds the high-flyer, allowing Heath Slater to hit the Bandstand on Sin Cara en route to picking up the win.
Following a backstage confrontation earlier on in the evening, SmackDown General Manager Booker T would book a non-title match between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler, with Vickie Guerrero serving as the guest commentator. During the match, Dolph Ziggler would narrowly escape the Brogue Kick of Sheamus, but Dolph would have Vickie hand him the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase as Ziggler would use the metal briefcase to blast Sheamus in the skull, ending the match on a disqualification. After the match, Dolph would follow it up with a shot to the spine before Ziggler hands the briefcase to the referee, ready to cash it in, but when an angry Sheamus gets to his feet, Dolph snatches the briefcase away from the referee, preventing the cash-in and making a quick retreat!
After losing the United States Title to Antonio Cesaro on the SummerSlam Pre-Show, Santino Marella says that he feels that he let the fans down before trying to get on the same page as his “cobra”. Santino is then interrupted by the new United States Champion, Antonio Cesaro, and his girlfriend, Aksana, as Cesaro says the word, “winner”, in five different languages. Cesaro then says that, unlike Santino, he knows what it is like to be a winner. This causes Santino to leave the ring as Marella briefly gets the better of the United States Champion, but when Santino’s “cobra” gets distracted by Aksana’s presence, Cesaro takes Santino down, delivering a kick to Marella’s face.
With The Prime Time Players guests on commentary, WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth & Kofi Kingston faced Primo & Epico, with Rosa Mendes in their corner, in a non-title match. In the end, it was R-Truth hitting the Little Jimmy on Primo en route to picking up the win for himself and Kofi Kingston.
Backstage, an interview with WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth & Kofi Kingston is crashed by The Prime Time Players, who say that they deserve to get a shot at the tag titles, but Jimmy & Jey Uso believe they deserve a shot. Primo & Epico then enter the picture, saying they deserve a shot before Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel makes their argument, as well. This results in an all-out brawl between all five teams that has to be broken up by referees and officials!
Backstage, the Senior Advisor to Booker T, Theodore Long, is at a loss for an answer to the GM’s question of who deserves to be the #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles, but Booker’s new assistant, Eve, comes in with a folder filled with stats on all the tag teams in the WWE and Booker’s complete schedule, impressing the GM.
With World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus a guest on commentary, the main event would see “The Viper” Randy Orton go one-on-one with “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, with the winner being named the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title. In the end, it was Alberto Del Rio picking up a major and surprising victory over Randy Orton, forcing “The Viper” to tap out to the cross armbreaker to pick up the win and become the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title. After the match, Alberto Del Rio shoves Ricardo Rodriguez down, taking Rodriguez’s shoe off and throwing it at the World Heavyweight Champion, which sparks a brawl between champion and challenger, but a brief distraction from Rodriguez allows Del Rio to take advantage, blasting Sheamus in the skull with Rodriguez’s shoe! Del Rio and Rodriguez then exit the ring as Dolph Ziggler rushes to the ring, ready to cash in the Money-in-the-Bank contract, but just as Ziggler is about to hand over the briefcase, Randy Orton strikes out of nowhere with the RKO, leaving “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” laid out in the middle of the ring!
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