Playing by his Own Rules.
Nine nights before Extreme Rules, the 716th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the PNC Arena at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Before he challenges John Cena for the WWE Title in a Last Man Standing Match in a little over a week at Extreme Rules, the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Ryback, would be a guest on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel! Also, before he and Alberto Del Rio join World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler in a Triple Threat Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Title at Extreme Rules, “The Real American” Jack Swagger would go one-on-one with Dolph Ziggler’s right-hand man, Big E. Langston.
- Non-Title: Kofi Kingston def. Cody Rhodes by pin following Trouble in Paradise.
- Dean Ambrose (with Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) def. Daniel Bryan (with Kane) by DQ after Kofi Kingston attacks Dean Ambrose.
- Big Show def. Tensai by pin following the K.O. Punch.
- Chris Jericho def. Ryback by DQ after Ryback racks Chris Jericho on the steel ring post.
SmackDown kicks off with “Y2J” Chris Jericho as Jericho introduces his guest for The Highlight Reel, the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Ryback, just nine nights before he challenges John Cena for the WWE Championship in a Last Man Standing Match at Extreme Rules. Jericho says that he typically likes to “stir things up”, but in this case, he sees where Ryback is coming from in the case of John Cena. Ryback says that he does not need Jericho’s approval, but Y2J says that it is his show, so Ryback will have to listen to him. Jericho then says that “Ryback’s rules” are that he will do “whatever it takes” to get to the top and become the WWE Champion, which is what he had to do to succeed and ultimately become a six-time World Champion. Jericho says that he is not “judging” Ryback, but it sounds like the fans are judging him, saying that the fans are booing him because they understand the difference between a Superstar beating The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin on one night to become champion and a Superstar who beats a one-legged John Cena to become the champion. Jericho continues, saying that Ryback has a good chance of beating Cena for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules, but even if he does, he will not have the respect of the fans. Ryback gets in Jericho’s face, asking what makes Jericho think he won’t drop him right now, but Jericho does not back down, saying that he can see it in Ryback’s eyes that he will not do a “damn thing”! SmackDown Senior Advisor Theodore Long then comes out, making the announcement that the main event of SmackDown will see Ryback square off, one-on-one, with Chris Jericho! With Jericho’s back turned, Ryback would then pop Jericho with a cheap shot to the head before walking out of the ring.
The opening match of the night would see United States Champion Kofi Kingston go one-on-one with the second-generation star, Cody Rhodes, in a non-title match. In the end, it was Kofi Kingston catching Cody Rhodes with Trouble in Paradise en route to picking up the win.
Before he joins Alberto Del Rio and World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler in a Triple Threat Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules, “The Real American” Jack Swagger, with Zeb Colter in his corner, would go one-on-one with Big E. Langston, with AJ Lee & World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler in his corner. Before the match can even begin, Alberto Del Rio gets up from his seat at ringside, getting a ladder and sliding it into the ring! Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger would both go for the ladder at the same time, but Swagger would catch Dolph with a kick to the head (that would ultimately concuss the champion). Langston and Swagger then struggle for control of the ladder, but a distraction from Zeb Colter would allow Swagger to take control as Swagger takes Langston out of the ring. Dolph then re-enters the ring, using the ladder to take both Swagger and Colter out of the ring! Del Rio then targets the World Heavyweight Champion, swinging the ladder, taking Dolph down with the steel implement. “The Mexican Aristocrat” then heads to the outside where he hurls the ladder at Swagger! Del Rio then sets up the ladder in the center of the ring, grabbing the World Heavyweight Title belt and holding it up high in what could by symbolic of what happens a week from Sunday at Extreme Rules.
After Daniel Bryan was assaulted by The Shield on last week’s SmackDown, the WWE Tag Team Champion would be looking for revenge as Daniel Bryan, with Kane in his corner, would go one-on-one with Dean Ambrose, with Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in his corner. During the match, Daniel Bryan would lock in the No Lock on Dean Ambrose, but Seth Rollins would try to jump in the ring and, as Kane pulls Rollins back out, the referee is distracted and Roman Reigns breaks the No Lock. The Shield begins to overwhelm Team Hell No, but Kofi Kingston rushes out and, together with Kane & Daniel Bryan, Kofi takes The Shield out of the ring, sending the trio packing!
After pulling a full-size tractor trailer with nothing but his own, brute strength earlier in the day, “The World’s Strongest Man” would be looking to do the unthinkable as Mark Henry would attempt to pull two full-size tractor trailers! Before attempting the feat, Mark Henry tells Matt Striker that he is going to pull the tractor trailers just like he will pull Sheamus to all four corners in their Strap Match at Extreme Rules. Mark Henry then barks at Striker to get out of the way so he can attempt the feat. Mark Henry visibly struggles, but when faced with the doubt of the fans and of Matt Striker, an emotionally-charged Mark Henry gives it another go, achieving the unthinkable by using his own strength to pull both full-size tractor trailers over the line! However, upon completing the feat, Mark Henry collapses on the concrete as EMT’s attend to Mark Henry, who soon gets to his feet on his own, exhausted but successful!
Before he faces Randy Orton in an Extreme Rules Match at Extreme Rules, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show would go one-on-one with Tensai, with Brodus Clay & The Funkadactyls in his corner. Surprisingly, Tensai would dominate Big Show, but Big Show would land one K.O. Punch on Tensai out of nowhere and that would result in a victory for Big Show. After the match, Brodus Clay would tend to Tensai, but Big Show would pick a fight with “The Funkasaurus” and, while Brodus would get a few shots in, Big Show would take Brodus down with a Spear. Big Show would then wind up for a K.O. Punch to Brodus, but Randy Orton would rush out, catching Big Show with the RKO!
Then it was time for the main event as the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback, would go one-on-one with six-time World Champion “Y2J” Chris Jericho. During the intense match, Ryback would go for Shell Shocked on Chris Jericho, but Jericho was able to counter into the Walls of Jericho. However, Ryback would manage to make it to the ropes to break the hold, but Jericho would not let up as Y2J hits the Codebreaker on Ryback, who falls out of the ring. Jericho then heads to the outside, but Ryback had since been able to recover and Ryback would toss Jericho into the ringside barricade. “The Sin City Cyborg” then lifts up Jericho, “splitting” Jericho on the steel ring post, leaving the referee no choice but to disqualify Ryback. Ryback was not done with Jericho, however, as Ryback would come back to ringside, clothesline Jericho over the announce table!
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