Five nights after WWE Payback, the 722nd edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Wright State University Nutter Center in Dayton, OH. After WWE COO Triple H made the call on RAW to stop the no disqualification match between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan due to concern over Bryan’s condition following a nasty spill to the outside, the rematch would take place on SmackDown as Daniel Bryan, who is now cleared to compete, would go one-on-one with “The Viper” Randy Orton! Also, Payback saw a brand new World Heavyweight Champion as Alberto Del Rio exploited the previously injured head of Dolph Ziggler to wrench the World Heavyweight Title away from “The Show-Off”. What will the new World Heavyweight Champion have to say on SmackDown? Will we hear from the former champion who attacked Del Rio on RAW, Dolph Ziggler?
- Sheamus def. Cody Rhodes (with Damien Sandow) by submission to the Texas Cloverleaf.
- Intercontinental Championship: Curtis Axel (c) def. Wade Barrett by pin following the Axel Cutter to retain.
- Non-Title: AJ Lee def. Natalya by submission to the Black Widow.
- Non-Title: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) def. Chris Jericho by DQ after Dolph Ziggler attacks Alberto Del Rio.
- Christian def. Drew McIntyre (with Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal) by pin following the Killswitch.
- Daniel Bryan def. Randy Orton by count-out.
Before his match with Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan kicked off SmackDown, saying that, in his thirteen-year wrestling career, he has never had one of his matches stopped due to injury. Bryan says that, during the match against Randy Orton on RAW, WWE officials decided to stop the match, even though Bryan had told the referee and the ringside physician that he was fine and could continue the match. Bryan continues, saying that WWE claimed that they were trying to “protect” him, but the real reason that they stopped the match was because they think that he is the “weak link”. Bryan then says that the “worst perpetrator” in the whole situation is Randy Orton, showing the footage from Monday’s RAW where Bryan refused to have the match stopped and refused doctor’s care, but the match was still stopped and, after the match, Orton helped Bryan to his feet. Bryan takes issue with Orton’s actions, saying that Orton treated him like a “little dog”, saying “don’t worry, little Daniel” and he saw nothing but “pity” in Orton’s eyes. Bryan continues, saying that he does not care what the WWE doctors say, he does not care what WWE officials say, and he certainly does not care what Orton says, he will beat Randy Orton tonight!
Randy Orton then interrupts, coming out to confront Daniel Bryan, telling Bryan that the people were concerned for Bryan’s well-being and he was concerned for well-being, but by continuing to fight, he earned Orton’s respect. Orton continues, saying that he helped Bryan up out of “respect”, not pity, but Bryan says that all he sees is “pity” in Orton’s eyes and he will prove that he is no the “weak link” later tonight and he will take all of Orton’s “respect” and shove it down his throat! Fed up, “The Viper” says that he is going to “hurt” Daniel Bryan and he will be “carried out” after their match is over. Orton then tells Bryan to “respect that” before storming out of the ring.
After he defeated Damien Sandow on the Payback Kickoff Sunday night, only to be defeated by Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow in a 2-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match on RAW, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus would go one-on-one with Cody Rhodes, with Damien Sandow in his corner, in the opening match of the night. Late in the match, Sheamus would knock Damien Sandow, preventing Sandow’s interference. Sheamus then locks in the Texas Cloverleaf on Cody Rhodes, forcing Rhodes to tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Damien Sandow blindsides Sheamus, pummeling and stomping away at “The Celtic Warrior”, leaving an angry Sheamus alone in the ring.
After losing the title to Curtis Axel in a Triple Threat Match that also involved The Miz at Payback, Wade Barrett would get his chance to regain the gold as Barrett challenges new Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman in his corner, for the Intercontinental Title, with The Miz a guest on commentary. In the end, it was Curtis Axel hitting the Axel Cutter on Wade Barrett en route to picking up the win and successfully retaining the Intercontinental Title. After the match, The Miz confronts the Intercontinental Champion in the ring, ready to fight. However, Paul Heyman convinces Curtis Axel to not fight The Miz before both Axel and Heyman exit the ring.
Five nights after defeating the emotionally distraught Kaitlyn to win the Divas Title, new Divas Champion AJ Lee, with Big E. Langston in her corner, would go one-on-one with Natalya in a non-title match. In the end, it was AJ Lee locking in the Black Widow on Natalya, forcing Natalya to tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Aksana confronts Kaitlyn backstage, deciding to poke the bear by calling Kaitlyn, “trash”. Kaitlyn responds by bashing Aksana in the back of the head with her water bottle and dumping trash on her, repeatedly pummeling the Lithuanian before several other Divas break up the fight.
Following a five-star classic match against the returning CM Punk at Payback, six-time former World Champion Chris Jericho would go one-on-one with the new World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, in a non-title match. During the match, Chris Jericho would lock in the Walls of Jericho on Alberto Del Rio, but Ricardo Rodriguez would get on the ring apron and Jericho would break the hold, bringing Rodriguez into the ring and locking the Walls of Jericho in on Rodriguez! With the Walls of Jericho still on Rodriguez, Dolph Ziggler would rush the ring, attacking the World Heavyweight Champion, which would result in a disqualification victory for Del Rio! Del Rio exits the ring while an argument between Ziggler and Jericho erupts in the ring, ending with Y2J dropping Dolph with the Codebreaker! With the former champion helpless in the ring, Del Rio picks the bones, delivering a straight kick to Dolph’s skull, putting Ziggler down and out in the center of the ring.
Following his surprise return on RAW Monday night, “Captain Charisma” was in action on SmackDown as Christian would go one-on-one with Drew McIntyre, with Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal in his corner. Despite the interference from both Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal, Christian would still put Drew McIntyre down with the Killswitch to pick up the win. After the match, Christian says that, after ten long months, he can say that it is great to be back on SmackDown and he is back for “one more match” for the World Heavyweight Title. However, “Captain Charisma” was interrupted by the arrival of The Shield as United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns maul Christian, planting the former World Heavyweight Champion in the center of the ring with the three-man powerbomb.
After Brock Lesnar made his surprise return on RAW to lay CM Punk out with the F-5, Paul Heyman would be interviewed about his two “guys” going to nose-to-nose on RAW, but the conniving Heyman turns the questioning around on interviewer Renee Young. Heyman says that, since she thinks it is okay to talk about people’s “personal lives”, is Renee’s relationship better with her father nowadays. Heyman also asks why Renee’s uncle pulled her prom date out of a limousine and why she broke up with her fiancée two months ago! Heyman then says that CM Punk made it clear on RAW that he and Heyman are just “best friends” and, next time, she should consider asking him about the reigning Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel.
Then it was time for the main event as, in a rematch from their match on RAW, Daniel Bryan would go one-on-one with “The Viper” Randy Orton on SmackDown. During the match, Daniel Bryan would dive head-first to the outside, taking Randy Orton and narrowly making it back into to the ring before the ten-count, but Orton would not and Bryan would pick up the count-out victory. However, Daniel Bryan was not pleased with his victory as Bryan grabs a microphone, saying that he refuses to take a count-out victory and, as Orton looks on in disbelief, Bryan demands that the match be restarted, but the referee refuses to restart the match, shouting “no” at Bryan before leaving the ring as Bryan continues to shout “yes” in the ring!
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