Nine nights before WWE Payback, the 720th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, NY. Since his debut a few weeks ago, the newest “Paul Heyman Guy” Curtis Axel has scored a questionable victory over Triple H and has twice scored a count-out victory over WWE Champion John Cena, thanks to Ryback, and, on SmackDown, the third-generation star would square off with another tenured veteran as Curtis Axel would go one-on-one with six-time former World Champion and the first Undisputed WWE Champion in history and the man who will go one-on-one with another “Paul Heyman Guy”, CM Punk, in Punk’s hometown of Chicago at Payback, “Y2J” Chris Jericho! Also on SmackDown, “The Awesome One” The Miz would present Miz TV, with his special guests, “The Viper” Randy Orton, and the increasingly dysfunctional Team Hell No!
- Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman) def. Chris Jericho by roll-up.
- Kane def. Ryback by DQ after Ryback powerbombs Kane through a table.
- Fandango def. Zack Ryder by pin following the leg drop off of the top rope.
- Non-Title: Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan def. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns by DQ after Dean Ambrose attacks Daniel Bryan.
SmackDown kicks off with Miz TV as “The Awesome One” The Miz makes his way to the ring, wasting no time in introducing his guests, first bringing out the nine-time former World Champion, “The Viper” Randy Orton, who joins The Miz in the ring. Miz then brings out the former tag team champions, the dysfunctional Team Hell No, Kane & Daniel Bryan. With all his guests in the ring, The Miz first addresses Daniel Bryan, asking Bryan about his mentality that he is the “weak link” of Team Hell No. Daniel Bryan says that he has had a lot of time to think about what happened on RAW, saying that he realizes that Orton did not mean to hit him and that Kane is the “best partner a guy could ask for”, saying that he pushed him away when he needed him the most. Kane asks if it means that Daniel Bryan is going to let go of the “weak link” obsession, but Bryan says that he would not go that far. The Miz asks Daniel Bryan if he feels that he is getting the “respect” that he deserves and Bryan says “sometimes”.
Miz then asks if Bryan thinks that people look at him like a “goat-faced, vegan troll” and Orton warns Miz that Bryan is pretty “messed up” in the head up. Bryan argues that his head is not messed up, but Kane disagrees, resulting in Bryan saying that he wants his partner to “respect” him. Kane tells Daniel Bryan that he does respect him and so does everyone else and Orton adds that he respects Bryan less when Bryan “whines” about being the weak link. Daniel Bryan then tries to blame Orton for their loss on RAW and Miz asks Orton how he feels that Bryan blames him, but Kane urges Orton not to answer, trying to get Daniel Bryan to leave. Bryan then shouts at his tag partner, saying that Kane is his partner and he is supposed to have his back. A frustrated Kane says that he does have Bryan’s back, but he is getting really tired of Bryan not trusting him. Bryan accuses Kane of leaving him alone to fight The Shield and not sticking up for him. Bryan continues, saying that the “dirty little fact” is that Kane was “forced” to team with him and Kane would have rather formed a team with a Randy Orton or a John Cena. Fed up, Kane tells Daniel Bryan that he has lost his mind, telling Orton that he is on his own before storming out of the ring!
The Miz then asks Daniel Bryan if they have just witnessed the break-up of Team Hell No and Daniel Bryan says that everyone is going to blame it on him before Bryan starts screaming “no”. SmackDown Senior Advisor Theodore Long then comes out, saying that Daniel Bryan will have a chance to prove himself later tonight against The Shield in tag team action, but since Kane wants nothing to do with Daniel Bryan right now, he has no choice but to pair Daniel Bryan with Randy Orton!
Nine nights before he goes one-on-one with a fellow “Paul Heyman Guy” in CM Punk at WWE Payback, “Y2J” Chris Jericho would go one-on-one with the undefeated third-generation star Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman a guest on commentary. With Chris Jericho moments away from handing Curtis Axel his first loss, Paul Heyman would stand on top of the announce table, shouting “it’s clobbering time” and pointing to the stage! CM Punk’s music then blares throughout the arena, but it would turn out to be a clever ruse as Curtis Axel snatches up a distracted Y2J, surprising Jericho with a roll-up to pick up the win! After the match, a livid Chris Jericho would refuse to be embarrassed as Y2J rushes back to the ring, hammering Curtis Axel with right hands and laying the “Paul Heyman Guy” out with the Codebreaker, sending a clear message to Paul Heyman and CM Punk!
Backstage, an already frustrated Kane is confronted by Ryback as Ryback says that Kane probably wants to put Daniel Bryan through a table like he did on RAW. Kane does not back down in the slightest, daring Ryback to try to put him through a table. Ryback tells Kane that “Ryback rules”, but Kane says that he has tombstoned a priest, set people on fire, and buried his own brother alive, so Ryback’s “rules” do not apply to him!
The #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title was in action on SmackDown as “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, would go one-on-one with one-third of 3MB, Heath Slater, with Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre in his corner. However, before the match can begin, all three members of 3MB attack Alberto Del Rio, but Del Rio would fight 3MB off before locking in the cross armbreaker on Heath Slater, forcing Slater to tap out! With Ricardo Rodriguez lending a hand, Del Rio would take it to the two remaining 3MB members, taking Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre to the outside before Rodriguez dives out on top of them!
However, Alberto Del Rio then gets an unexpected surprise as World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler appears via satellite. Dolph says that “stealing the spotlight” is kind of his thing before revealing that he has just been informed that he has been cleared to compete and he will be returning to “show-off” in Del Rio’s face this Monday on RAW!
After their intense confrontation backstage, the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Ryback, would go one-on-one with “The Big Red Monster” Kane. During the match, Ryback would slide a table into the ring, but Kane would not allow “The Sin City Cyborg” to use it, fighting back against the monster, drilling Ryback with a chokeslam. However, Ryback was able to grab the bottom rope to prevent the defeat. The angry and frustrated Kane then sets his sights on the table in the ring, setting it up with the intent of putting Ryback through it. However, Ryback delivers a thumb to the eye of Kane, allowing Ryback the opportunity to hoist the 300 pounder up and drive him through the table with a powerbomb!
After being embarrassed by Sheamus for the last two weeks, Damien Sandow would appear on SmackDown, saying that Sheamus has “failed” every single one of his challenges and Sheamus will never be his “intellectual equal”. Sandow continues that he has no intellectual equal, saying that all of them are “checker people living in a chess world”. Sandow then presents a super computer called “Deep Blue”, an electronic master of chess. Sandow then vows to defeat Deep Blue in a game of chess, admitting that it will take some time, but they will all sit back, watch, and learn. Sandow then makes his first move of the chess match, but the chess match is interrupted by “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus, who says that this is Sandow’s most impressive challenge yet. Sheamus then bets that he can beat the super computer with just one move, but Sandow warns Sheamus not to “embarrass” himself. Sheamus would persist and Sandow would allow him to make his move, which after a short time of thinking it through, Sheamus makes his “move”, shattering the super computer with the Brogue Kick! Sheamus then knocks the table over, ready to fight Sandow and Sandow catches Sheamus off-guard with a right hand, hammering “The Celtic Warrior” before tossing him into the table and repeatedly ramming Sheamus’ head into the table! Sandow then delivers a kick to the skull of Sheamus before screaming “you’re welcome” at Sheamus.
Backstage, Randy Orton confronts Daniel Bryan before their tag match against The Shield and Daniel Bryan vows that he will take out The Shield by himself, warning Orton to stay out of his way. Orton responds by saying that they may be teaming together tonight, but they are not partners, saying that he does not like partners and he does not like Bryan.
Before he and The Miz challenge Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Title in a Triple Threat Match at Payback, “The Dancing Enigma” Fandango, with Summer Rae in his corner, would go one-on-one with Long Island’s own Zack Ryder, with The Miz a guest on commentary. In the end, it was Fandango hitting his leg drop off of the top rope on Zack Ryder en route to picking up the win.
Then it was time for the main event as the unlikely team of Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan would face WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns of The Shield in a non-title match. During the match, Randy Orton would drop Roman Reigns with the RKO, but would find himself in the corner at the mercy of Seth Rollins. Daniel Bryan would take a run at Rollins with the intent of hitting a dropkick, but Rollins would move out of the way and Bryan would inadvertently hit Orton! Shortly after this, Daniel Bryan would have the No Lock locked in on Seth Rollins, but before Rollins could tap out, Dean Ambrose jumps in the ring, attacking Daniel Bryan. Ambrose & Rollins would then try to double team Daniel Bryan, but Bryan would take it to both men, launching Rollins over-the-top rope to the outside on top of Ambrose! When Daniel Bryan turns around, however, he is dropped with an RKO by Randy Orton!
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