The T-era begins.
The 676th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. With AJ Lee running things on Monday nights as the new General Manager of RAW, Friday nights has been lacking leadership, but SmackDown will get its General Manager as WWE Chairman & CEO Mr. McMahon will make a rare appearance on SmackDown to reveal the new man or woman in charge of the blue brand!
- Non-Title: Sheamus def. Tensai (with Sakamoto) by pin following the Brogue Kick.
- Non-Title: Antonio Cesaro def. Santino Marella by pin following the Gotch Style Neutralizer.
- 6-Man Tag: Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, & The Miz (with Vickie Guerrero) def. Chris Jericho, Kane, & Christian by Daniel Bryan rolling up Chris Jericho.
- Darren Young (with AW & Titus O’Neil) def. R-Truth (with Kofi Kingston) by pin following the gutbuster.
- Randy Orton def. Alberto Del Rio by DQ after Ricardo Rodriguez interferes.
The much-anticipated announcement of a new SmackDown General Manager would kick off the show as WWE Chairman & CEO Mr. McMahon made his first SmackDown appearance in nearly three years. The Chairman states that it was difficult to select a new General Manager for SmackDown as the new GM would need to be someone who the fans “respect” and who has “charisma” and “experience”. McMahon continues that the new GM needs to be someone who is “authoritative” enough to make his own decisions and stand by them. The Chairman then introduces the new General Manager of SmackDown, none other than six-time World Champion Booker T! Booker then makes his way to the ring as the General Manager delivers his inaugural address, saying that SmackDown is going to “blow up”, but before Booker can make his first decision as General Manager, he is interrupted by the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam, Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio shakes the GM’s hand and congratulates Booker, saying that Booker must be happy to be working with Del Rio because he will be the next World Heavyweight Champion. Booker interrupts Del Rio, saying that if the #1 Contender is going to “suck up” to him, then he should at least not make it sound like a bunch of crap. The new GM continues that he heard what Del Rio had to say on RAW, that Del Rio believes that Sheamus is “beneath” him and that he will not compete unless it is a World Heavyweight Title match, but Del Rio cuts Booker off again as Del Rio reiterates that Sheamus is beneath him. Del Rio continues, saying Sheamus is nothing more than a “peasant” and a “red-headed hooligan”, but he has the “blood of champions”.
Del Rio is then interrupted by the World Heavyweight Champion, Sheamus, who congratulates Booker and shakes the GM’s hand. The champion says that, unlike Del Rio, he actually means his congratulations before saying that he is “proud” of where he comes from and who he is. Sheamus continues that you will never see him taking three weeks off because he is afraid of breaking a nail. Despite Del Rio’s proclamation to not compete until SummerSlam, Booker T informs both champion and challenger that they will be in individual matches on SmackDown. Del Rio again interrupts the General Manager, saying that he does not care if it is Booker’s first night as GM and he does not care who Booker T is, he is not competing until SummerSlam. Undaunted, Booker T says that money obviously does not make Del Rio hear better because he is the “boss” and the boss is telling him that he will compete on SmackDown and Del Rio will go one-on-one with none other than “The Viper” Randy Orton! After Del Rio storms out of the ring, Booker T brings out Sheamus’ opponent, the scary and near unstoppable Tensai!
Per the orders of new SmackDown General Manager Booker T, the opening match of the night saw World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus going one-on-one with the destructive Tensai, with Sakamoto in his corner, in a non-title match. At the end of one of the most hard-fought matches in recent history, Sheamus was able to come out of nowhere with the Brogue Kick en route to picking up the win.
Backstage, SmackDown General Manager Booker T finds the former Executive Administrator of the Laurinaitis regime, Eve, in his office as the former Divas Champion asks Booker if he has any positions available in his administration. Booker tells Eve that he will let her know if anything comes up. Former General Manager Theodore Long then enters the office and, after congratulating Booker, the new GM wastes no time in making Long the new Senior Advisor to the General Manager! Not realizing that Eve was still standing behind him, Booker asks his new Senior Advisor to escort Eve out of his office, but Eve slaps Long’s arm away, storming out of the GM’s office.
In a rematch from last week’s SmackDown, “The Swiss Sensation” Antonio Cesaro, with Aksana in his corner, went one-on-one with United States Champion Santino Marella in a non-title match. During the match, Santino Marella would connect with the Cobra Strike, but with Antonio Cesaro’s leg under the bottom rope, the referee had to call off the three-count. This lucky break would give Cesaro a second chance in the match as Cesaro would fire back with the Gotch Style Neutralizer en route to pinning the United States Champion for the second week in a row.
SmackDown also featured a big 6-Man Tag Match as Chris Jericho teams with “Captain Charisma” Christian and “The Big Red Monster” Kane to face “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler, Intercontinental Champion The Miz, and Daniel Bryan, with Vickie Guerrero in their corner. During the match, Vickie Guerrero gets on the ring apron to distract the referee as Dolph Ziggler enters the ring with the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase. However, Chris Jericho cuts Ziggler off at the pass, hitting the Codebreaker on Dolph, but this allows Daniel Bryan to take advantage, rolling Jericho up for the win.
“The Sin City Cyborg” was in action on SmackDown as Ryback went one-on-one with Jinder Mahal in a rematch from last week’s SmackDown. Jinder Mahal would again find a quick way out of the match as Mahal pops Ryback with a microphone on the outside of the ring, earning Ryback a disqualification victory, but Ryback was irate over the cheap shot, but Mahal was long gone.
The WWE Tag Team Champions appeared on SmackDown as one-half of the tag champions, R-Truth, with Kofi Kingston in his corner, went one-on-one with Darren Young, with AW & Titus O’Neil in his corner. During the match, AW and Titus O’Neil would get involved in the match, but Kofi Kingston takes Titus O’Neil down before chasing AW to the back. This altercation distracts the referee, allowing Titus O’Neil to interfere, but the interference initially backfires. Kofi then rushes back to ringside, but is caught with a big boot from Titus O’Neil before R-Truth takes O’Neil down. Darren Young is then able to take advantage, hitting the gutbuster on R-Truth en route to picking up the win.
Then it was time for the main event as, for the first time in over two months, Randy Orton was in action on SmackDown as “The Viper” went one-on-one with the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam, “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio. During the match, Randy Orton was set to deliver the RKO, but Ricardo Rodriguez would got involved, causing the disqualification. After the match, Alberto Del Rio would zero in on the arm of Orton, trying to set “The Viper” up for the cross armbreaker, but the veteran Orton would fight back, sending Del Rio out of the ring. However, Sheamus would rush out, tossing Del Rio back into the ring, allowing Orton to hit Del Rio with the RKO!
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