Rhodes to Nowhere.
Nine nights before SummerSlam, the 729th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL. After being defeated by Christian in a Triple Threat Match to determine the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title last week, the two men who narrowly missed out on being named the #1 Contender would go one-on-one on SmackDown as the WWE Championship Contract “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Randy Orton would square off with “The Whole Damn Show” Rob Van Dam!
- Randy Orton def. Rob Van Dam by pin following the RKO.
- Fandango (with Summer Rae) def. Kofi Kingston by pin following the leg drop off of the top rope.
- Daniel Bryan def. Wade Barrett by submission to the Yes Lock.
- 3-on-1 Handicap Match: Kane def. 3MB by pinning Jinder Mahal following the chokeslam.
- Non-Title: Christian def. Alberto Del Rio by roll-up.
SmackDown would kick off with a clash between two former World Champions as the two men who failed to win a Triple Threat Match to determine the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title on last week’s SmackDown would square off as the WWE Championship Contract “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Randy Orton went one-on-one with “The Whole Damn Show” Rob Van Dam. At the end of an incredible battle, it was Rob Van Dam going for the Five-Star Frog Splash, but Randy Orton would move out of the way, providing the perfect opportunity for Orton to strike with the RKO en route to picking up a big win.
The Official Host of SummerSlam The Miz was then in the ring for the latest installment of Miz TV as “The Awesome One” introduces his guests, the Divas Champion AJ Lee and her friend and bodyguard Big E. Langston. The Miz first asks AJ Lee what the “relationship” is between Big E. Langston and the Divas Champion and AJ says that Langston is there for her and he is such a “good friend”. The Miz remarks that AJ Lee has had a lot of “friends”, including John Cena, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Dolph Ziggler, saying that the problem is not any of those Superstars, the problem is AJ Lee. However, AJ argues that all of those guys “deserved” what they got, saying that they “tricked” her into falling in love with them and then dumped her, saying that she may have no one to turn to, but when she turns “old and gray”, she will still have the Divas Title to keep her warm. AJ continues, saying that the Divas Title will never abandon her like that “small, little man” Dolph Ziggler. Naturally, this brings Dolph Ziggler to the ring as “The Show-Off” makes his way to the ring. Dolph tells AJ that women have never been able to get over him and AJ is just the latest, but the unbalanced AJ argues that Ziggler is just upset that he will never be able to “touch” her again. AJ’s former best friend and the woman that AJ took the Divas Title from, Kaitlyn, then comes to the ring, saying that she can still “touch” AJ, asking why AJ is so obsessed with both her and Ziggler. The two sides then begin to argue, but The Miz shouts that it is his show, bringing a stop to the argument before the Official Host of SummerSlam takes it upon himself to announce a Mixed Tag Match for “The Biggest Event of the Summer”, announcing that the team of Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn will face Big E. Langston and Divas Champion AJ Lee! Kaitlyn is the first to comment on the match, saying that she cannot wait to “slap the crazy” off of AJ’s face. This sparking a brawl between the Divas that Big E. Langston breaks up, but Dolph Ziggler drops the big man with the Zig Zag before Kaitlyn takes the Divas Champion down with the Spear!
In rematch from RAW, “The Spring-Loaded Superstar” Kofi Kingston would go one-on-one with “The Lord of Dance” Fandango, with Summer Rae in his corner. After a major assist from Summer Rae on the outside that allowed Fandango to shove Kofi Kingston skull-first into the steel ring post, Fandango would land his leg drop off of the top rope en route to picking up the win over Kofi.
Nine nights before he challenges John Cena for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, Daniel Bryan, would go one-on-one with the man whose beard he forcefully shaved on RAW, Wade Barrett. In the end, it was Daniel Bryan locking in the Yes Lock on Wade Barrett, forcing Barrett to tap out to pick up the win.
Backstage, the World Heavyweight Championship Contract “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Damien Sandow comments on his rivalry with Cody Rhodes, saying that he is always a “step ahead” of his competition. Sandow then presents a “Sandowized” Money-in-the-Bank briefcase that appears to be indestructible, saying that there is a new, legally-binding contract within the briefcase!
After challenging the leader of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, to a Ring of Fire Match where both men will compete in a ring surrounded by fire, Kane was in action on SmackDown as “The Big Red Monster” would face all three members of 3MB, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, & Drew McIntyre in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. Kane would dominate the trio, tossing all three men from pillar to post before planting Jinder Mahal with a thunderous chokeslam in the center of the ring, pinning Jinder to pick up the win. After the match, Bray Wyatt & The Wyatt Family appear with a message for Kane as Bray Wyatt says that he likes the idea of a Ring of Fire Match. Wyatt continues, saying that Kane has not fully grasped the concept of what is going on, saying that that fire cannot control the “souls” of his brothers, vowing that, at SummerSlam, Kane will be the one trapped inside the fire with a “monster”. The eerie Bray Wyatt then says that Kane’s fire can never “hurt” him, telling Kane that he is “already dead”.
Before he faces CM Punk at SummerSlam, “The Beast” Brock Lesnar took part in an exclusive interview on SmackDown as Lesnar says that that people see the match between him and Punk at SummerSlam as a “personal war” between Punk and Paul Heyman with Brock just serving as Heyman’s muscle. Brock refutes this, saying that the issue is personal between himself and CM Punk, saying that he has “never liked” CM Punk, calling Punk a “joke”. Brock continues, saying that the only reason that he has “allowed” Punk to exist is out of respect for Paul Heyman. Lesnar also takes issue with the match being tagged, “The Best vs. The Beast”, saying that “The Beast” is “The Best”. Lesnar then says that he has “nothing” to be jealous of when it comes to CM Punk or anyone else, saying that he was the Undisputed WWE Champion back when CM Punk was still wrestling on the independent circuit in front of 100 people. Lesnar admits that Punk’s 434-day reign as the WWE Champion was impressive, but says that Punk has never faced anyone like him before because there is no one that is like him. Brock then says that, at SummerSlam, CM Punk will find out what it is like to be “victimized” by Brock Lesnar!
Then it was time for the main event as, nine nights before they face off with the World Heavyweight Title on the line, the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Christian, went one-on-one with World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match. At the end of a hard-fought match, it was Christian catching Alberto Del Rio by surprise with a roll-up, pinning the World Heavyweight Champion to pick up the win! After the match, Alberto Del Rio was livid with disbelief as the champion throws a tantrum at ringside before trying to prey on Christian in the ring, but Christian would fight back, dropping the champion with the Killswitch in the center of the ring! After Christian exits the ring, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Damien Sandow would spot his chance to cash in, but before the match could officially begin, Cody Rhodes rushes out, taking Sandow down before drilling “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” with Cross Rhodes!
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