Prelude to Hell.
Two nights before Hell in a Cell, the 740th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the BJCC in Birmingham, AL. Before they collide inside Hell in a Cell with the vacant WWE Championship on the line with Shawn Michaels as the Special Referee, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan would be in action on SmackDown as Daniel Bryan would team with The Miz and the WWE Tag Team Champions, Goldust & Cody Rhodes, to face the team of Randy Orton and The Shield in an explosive 8-Man Tag Match!
- Jimmy & Jey Uso (with The Miz) def. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan (with Bray Wyatt) by Jey Uso pinning Luke Harper following a double super kick.
- Non-Title: AJ Lee (with Tamina Snuka) def. Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella) by submission to the Black Widow.
- Los Matadores def. Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre by Fernando pinning Drew McIntyre following a double team facebuster.
- No DQ 2-on-1 Handicap Match: Ryback & Paul Heyman def. “CM Skunk” by Paul Heyman pinning “CM Skunk” following Shell Shocked by Ryback.
- Fandango and The Great Khali fight to a No Contest after Natalya and Summer Rae fight into the ring.
- 8-Man Tag: Daniel Bryan, Big E. Langston, Goldust, & Cody Rhodes def. Randy Orton & The Shield by Daniel Bryan pinning Randy Orton following the running knee.
SmackDown kicks off with Michael Cole in the ring as the commentator introduces the Chief Operating Officer of the WWE, Triple H, for a special, in-ring interview. After both men are seated in the ring, Cole asks Triple H about the chaos that ensued involving Big Show on RAW. The COO says that he hopes that Big Show is “proud” of what he did, saying that, because of Big Show’s actions, six people have lost their jobs in the WWE. Triple H explains that two of the technical guys, three production workers, and the woman who set up the satellite feed have all been fired by Stephanie McMahon. Triple H continues, saying that their lawyer has advised them to not offer any comment on Big Show, instead saying that, since Big Show no longer works for the WWE, he is “irrelevant”. Cole then asks about Big Show possibly showing up at Hell in a Cell or tonight on SmackDown and Triple H explains to Cole that he is not at “liberty” to discuss Big Show, passing on the question and asking for the next.
Cole then asks the COO about the Hell in a Cell match for the vacant WWE Championship, saying that the Special Referee, Shawn Michaels, has guaranteed that there will be a new WWE Champion this Sunday. Triple H says that he echoes the desires of his best friend for a new WWE Champion, saying that the Hall of Famer knows all about Hell in a Cell. The COO says that he has been friends with HBK for several years and he knows that Michaels shares his views on what is “best for business” and, this Sunday, Michaels will do the “right thing”. Cole then asks Triple H what the “right thing” is, but before Triple H can answer, the interview is interrupted by Daniel Bryan, who comes to the ring with a smile on his face. After Michael Cole exits the ring, Daniel Bryan confronts Triple H, telling the COO that the “right thing” is to let he and Randy Orton finish what they started, saying that the “right thing” is that no one gets in and no one gets out of Hell in a Cell until there is a “definitive winner”. Bryan continues, saying that Shawn Michaels is not going to show any favoritism before getting in the face of the COO, vowing to prove Triple H wrong by becoming the new WWE Champion and the new “face of the WWE”.
With The Miz a guest on commentary, the opening match of the night was a tag team bout pitting Jimmy & Jey Uso against Luke Harper & Erick Rowan of The Wyatt Family, with Bray Wyatt seated at ringside. During the match, Bray Wyatt would get out of his seat to help Luke Harper back into the ring and The Miz would pick this moment to strike, running around the ring and blasting Bray Wyatt with a kick to the face! This causes Erick Rowan to hop out of the ring, chasing The Miz to the back, leaving Luke Harper alone to combat The Usos, who put Harper down with a double super kick en route to picking up the win.
Before she defends the Divas Title against Brie Bella at Hell in a Cell, Divas Champion AJ Lee, with Tamina Snuka in her corner, would face Nikki Bella, with Brie Bella in her corner, in a non-title match. During the match, Tamina Snuka would get her hands on Brie Bella, tossing Brie into the steel steps. Meanwhile, in the ring, AJ Lee locks the Black Widow on Nikki Bella, forcing Nikki to tap out to pick up the win.
Backstage, Bray Wyatt leads a cameraman back to a secluded location in the arena where Luke Harper & Erick Rowan are standing over a helpless and unconscious Miz, who is tied up, beat-down, and has the word, “liar”, written on his chest. Bray says that he tried to “warn” Miz, but now he will truly understand what it means to “follow the buzzards”.
With The Real Americans watching from the stage, Los Matadores, with El Torito in their corner, would face 3MB’s Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre, with Jinder Mahal in their corner. In the end, it was Los Matadores hitting a double team facebuster on Drew McIntyre en route to Fernando pinning McIntyre for the win.
Before they step inside Hell in a Cell against CM Punk this Sunday, Ryback would team with Paul Heyman on SmackDown as the two men would face a hand-picked jobber named “CM Skunk” in a No DQ 2-on-1 Handicap Match. After Ryback does the brunt of the work, Heyman would beg to get tagged in as the evil mastermind gives “CM Skunk” a caning with the kendo stick before instructing Ryback to “finish it”. Ryback does what he is told, dropping the ridiculous doppelganger with Shell Shocked, allowing Heyman to pin the jobber for the win. After the match, Heyman vows that, this Sunday, Ryback will destroy CM Punk inside Hell in a Cell and he will again pin Punk inside the structure.
Backstage, Big E. Langston confronts SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, requesting to replace the injured Miz in the 8-Man Tag main event. Vickie says that she will run it by Triple H and see what the COO has to say. However, Langston asks Vickie if she is the GM or if she is just a puppet like Brad Maddox, tricking Vickie into putting Langston in the main event!
Two nights before he defends the World Heavyweight Title against the returning John Cena at Hell in a Cell, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio makes an appearance on SmackDown. Del Rio says that Cena is the “perfect representation of a gringo”, vowing to lock in the cross armbreaker on Cena and never let go.
With Natalya & Hornswoggle in his corner, The Great Khali would go one-on-one with Fandango, with Summer Rae in his corner, on SmackDown. During the match, a Divas brawl would ensure between Natalya and Summer Rae and the match would get thrown out after both ladies fight their way into the ring. Khali then puts Fandango down with a chop before Fandango & Summer Rae head to higher ground.
Then it was time for the main event as Daniel Bryan would team with Big E. Langston and the WWE Tag Team Champions, Goldust & Cody Rhodes, to face the team of Randy Orton and The Shield, United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns, in an 8-Man Tag Match. At the end of a chaotic match, it came down to Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, but when Orton goes for the RKO on Big E. Langston, it provides an opening for Daniel Bryan as Bryan catches Orton with the running knee, pinning Orton to pick up the win for his team.
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