A Friend in Need…
Two nights after WWE TLC, the 696th edition of WWE SmackDown was a special, commercial-free Super SmackDown LIVE, which emanated, live, from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. After launching herself into the arms of Dolph Ziggler and planting a long kiss on “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” before leading the monstrous Big E. Langston to the ring later in the night to lay waste to John Cena, AJ Lee would certainly have a lot of questions to answer when she joins Dolph Ziggler as a guest on Miz TV! “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” would have a busy night, however, as Dolph Ziggler would team with World Heavyweight Champion Big Show to face the team of John Cena and “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus.
- Damien Sandow (with Cody Rhodes & The Shield) def. Sin Cara by pin following the Terminus.
- Santino Marella def. Tensai by pin after Tensai misses the Senton Bomb.
- 6-Man Tag: Kofi Kingston & Team Hell No def. Wade Barrett & The Prime Time Players by Kane pinning Darren Young following the chokeslam.
- Non-Title: Ryback def. Antonio Cesaro by pin following Shell Shocked.
- Divas Championship: Kaitlyn def. Eve (c) by DQ after Eve (c) refused to let go of the referee. As a result, Eve (c) retains.
- Tryout Match: Brodus Clay def. Brad Maddox by pin following the Funkasplash. As a result, Brad Maddox does not get a WWE contract.
- John Cena & Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler & Big Show by DQ after Big E. Langston attacks John Cena.
The commercial-free Super SmackDown LIVE kicks off with the self-proclaimed “Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE History” Miz TV as The Miz says that he is going to get answers from his guests tonight before bringing out the apparent new couple of “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler & AJ Lee, with their new ‘bodyguard’ Big E. Langston in tow. The Miz asks AJ Lee “why”, but AJ says that The Miz should ask John Cena why he toyed with her heart. AJ continues that she got fired as the General Manager of RAW because she wanted to keep Cena’s “good name” clean and, based on their kiss last month, she thought that she had succeeded. AJ then says that Cena was just playing with her heart and her emotions, saying that she even made Cena gifts, showing a clip from three weeks ago on RAW where Vickie Guerrero hands Cena a couple of custom bows. Thinking that Vickie made them herself to try and push the AJ scandal, Cena calls the gift a “hack job”. AJ continues that Cena does not care about anyone but himself, but she did care about him and she wanted to support him. AJ then shows another clip, this time from RAW two weeks ago where Cena insists that AJ stay backstage while he competes. AJ says that Cena was trying to keep her hidden, like a “dirty, little secret”, saying that Cena was supposed to be different than the other guys, like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. AJ continues that Punk and Bryan treated her like “trash” before saying that Cena “broke” her heart, so she helped Dolph Ziggler “break” John Cena at WWE TLC. Not impressed by AJ’s explanation, The Miz turns his questioning to Dolph Ziggler, reminding Dolph that he actually called AJ “trash” a couple of weeks ago before asking if Ziggler is “all aboard the crazy train”. Dolph & AJ’s protector, Big E. Langston, does not take kindly to The Miz’s probing questions and gets in the face of “The Awesome One”, so Miz changes his question from “why” to “who” with AJ informing Miz that the large, unflinching individual is Big E. Langston. AJ continues that Langston is a “really good friend” of hers and Langston does not like it when people call her “crazy”.
Dolph Ziggler then enters the conversation, calling The Miz “clueless” and saying that AJ is not “crazy”, she is “passionate” and he learned that on RAW when Big E. Langston came in and laid waste to John Cena, not to mention their kiss earlier in the night. Dolph continues that Cena can have the Superstar of the Year award, because he does not need any Slammy Awards, saying that, not only did he keep his Money-in-the-Bank contract at WWE TLC, he stole the show and Cena’s girlfriend. The Miz says that Dolph and AJ deserve each other, calling Ziggler the “sixth member of One Direction”. However, Ziggler gives the nod to Big E. Langston, who takes The Miz down before hitting his modified powerslam on The Miz, leaving Miz laid out in the middle of the ring!
Backstage, Senior Advisor Theodore Long comes to SmackDown General Manager Booker T with a young prospect that Long advises be given an opportunity on SmackDown. The young prospect is none other than Brad Maddox, who is refused a hand shake from the GM before Booker pulls his Senior Advisor aside and tells Long that he wants nothing to do with Maddox, given Maddox’s track record as a crooked referee and being just plain “creepy”. The Senior Advisor says that Brad Maddox is very popular on social media, asking Booker if the GM is afraid of a little “controversy”. Long continues to press the issue, saying that he thinks that Maddox has got “talent” and he is just there to get a tryout match and nothing more, asking Booker what harm it could do, adding that, of all people, Booker should understand that a man deserves a “second chance”. Booker reluctantly gives in and grants Maddox a tryout match on SmackDown, telling his Senior Advisor that Maddox will find out who his opponent is when he gets out there.
One night before they challenge Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Titles on WWE Main Event, Team Rhodes Scholars appeared on Super SmackDown LIVE as “The Intellectual Savior of the Masses” Damien Sandow, with Cody Rhodes in his corner, went one-on-one with “The Masked Sensation” Sin Cara. The man who was supposed to be in Sin Cara’s corner, Rey Mysterio, was nowhere to be seen, however, despite his music playing. During the match, with Damien Sandow on the outside of the ring, The Shield emerges through the crowd as Roman Reigns tosses Rey Mysterio’s mask into the ring at the feet of Sin Cara, letting the masked man know why his tag team partner is not out there! Concerned for the safety and well-being of his mentor, Sin Cara takes his mind off of the match and that works to the advantage of Damien Sandow, who hits the Terminus on Sin Cara en route to picking up the win. After the match, The Shield hits the ring, stomping away at Sin Cara before Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns hold Sin Cara in place as Seth Rollins comes off of the top rope, driving his knee into the right leg of Sin Cara, leaving the masked man writhing in pain! Proud of their actions, The Shield then leaves the scene as an EMT checks on Sin Cara.
After mocking Tensai on RAW, Santino Marella would go one-on-one with the super heavyweight, Tensai, on Super SmackDown LIVE. During the match, Tensai would go for his signature Senton on Santino Marella, but Santino moves out of the way before pinning Tensai, picking up a major upset over the big man.
In 6-Man Tag action, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston would team with WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No to face the team of “The Bareknuckle Brawler” Wade Barrett & The Prime Time Players. In the end, it was Kane drilling Darren Young with a chokeslam en route to picking up the win for his team.
With Paul Heyman in tow, the sixth longest reigning WWE Champion of all-time, CM Punk, appears on Super SmackDown LIVE. Punk reminds everyone that his 394-day reign as WWE Champion is the longest reign of the modern era, saying that, when historians look at CM Punk as the “greatest Superstar of all-time”, it will be shown that the WWE fans could not make an unbiased decision by naming him the 2012 Superstar of the Year. The WWE Champion continues, saying that the fans turned the Slammy Awards into a “sham of a popularity contest” by voting for John Cena as the Superstar of the Year. Punk then says that, what last night proved was that, not only should women not be allowed to vote, but men should not be allowed to either! Punk continues, saying that Cena knows that CM Punk is the better man and that the Superstar of the Year award belongs to Punk. Punk says that Cena “sucked up” by giving his Slammy to Ric Flair, saying that he wants the fans to cheer for the “relics” that occasionally show up to collect a paycheck so they can pay their “alimony and child support”, saying that the only thing more impressive than winning sixteen World Titles is winning a World Title and not losing it for nearly 400 days! Punk then says that he is a “winner” and Flair is a “loser” and, when it comes to title matches, he does not lose, saying that he is a “real man”. Punk continues, saying that he is the “gold standard” in the WWE and that no one else would even leave their home following an emergency knee surgery, but he dragged himself to Pittsburgh to entertain them because that is his job. The WWE Champion then says that, unlike the Pittsburgh Penguins, he does not go on “strike” and he does not have an “off-season”. Punk continues, saying that he carries the WWE on his back and he is the man that they all pay to see, saying that no one is ever going to beat him for the WWE Title.
Having heard enough from CM Punk, “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback makes his way to the ring to confront the injured WWE Champion. CM Punk holds his crutches out to try and keep Ryback at bay as Paul Heyman tells Ryback that Punk is not medically cleared to compete and Ryback is aware of that fact. Ryback argues that, according to doctors, Punk will be cleared to compete in just a few weeks. Ryback then reveals that he has his sights set on the first RAW of 2013, saying that he will get his shot at the title and he will become the new WWE Champion!
After walking out on his match against Ryback on RAW, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro would face “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback in a rematch on Super SmackDown LIVE. In the end, it was Ryback putting Antonio Cesaro down with Shell Shocked en route to pinning the United States Champion for the non-title win.
Backstage, AJ Lee catches up to her ‘friend’, Kaitlyn, wishing her luck in her match. Kaitlyn rolls her eyes at AJ and tries to avoid the issue, but when AJ asks about it, Kaitlyn says that AJ makes it difficult to be her friend. AJ then breaks down in tears, but the unhinged Diva stops crying on a dime and Kaitlyn says that she does not have time to deal with it because she’s got a title match. AJ takes offense to this, saying that Kaitlyn is choosing a title match over her “friend”, but Kaitlyn corrects AJ, saying that she is choosing a title match over the “lunatic” standing before her! Then, when Kaitlyn turns her back to head to the ring, AJ smashes her water bottle into the back of Kaitlyn’s head, tossing her into a soda machine as the two Divas brawl before referees are able to separate the two.
Despite her brawl with AJ Lee backstage, Kaitlyn would still make her way to the ring to challenge Eve for the Divas Title on Super SmackDown LIVE. During the match, Kaitlyn was moments away from winning the Divas Title, but in an act of desperation, Eve would latch onto the ankles of the referee and, while Kaitlyn tried to break Eve’s grip on the referee, the referee eventually takes a fall and the referee calls for the disqualification, allowing Eve to keep her Divas Title.
Before his tryout match on Super SmackDown LIVE, Brad Maddox comes out, repeating his own name, saying that no one is ever going to forget his name after he wins his tryout match and becomes a WWE Superstar. In order to do this, however, the confident and controversial Brad Maddox would have to defeat “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay. In the end, it was Brodus Clay flattening Brad Maddox with the Funkasplash en route to picking up the win, dashing Maddox’s lofty dreams once more. There was no time for a celebration, however, as The Shield hits the ring, mauling Brodus Clay before driving the super heavyweight down with their three-man powerbomb in the center of the ring! After assaulting Brodus Clay and taking Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara out of action all on the same night, who will The Shield target next?
Then it was time for the tag team main event as, with AJ Lee and Big E. Langston in his corner, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler would team with World Heavyweight Champion Big Show to face AJ’s estranged ex-boyfriend, John Cena, and “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus. During the match, all hell would break loose between Big Show and Sheamus as the two bitter rivals would battle on the outside of the ring before brawling all the way to the backstage area! This leaves John Cena and Dolph Ziggler alone to finish the match and Dolph would hit the Zig Zag on Cena, but Cena would kick out. As Ziggler is arguing with the referee, Cena would take advantage, hitting the Attitude Adjustment on Dolph, but before Cena can capitalize, Big E. Langston enters the ring, again attacking Cena and leaving him laid out for the second time in two nights with the modified powerslam!
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