Survival of the Smartest?
The 743rd edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Phones 4 U Arena in Manchester, England. Nine nights before they square off at Survivor Series with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line, World Heavyweight Champion John Cena and #1 Contender Alberto Del Rio would come face-to-face on SmackDown as the rivals would put their strength to the test in an Arm Wrestling Contest.
- Luke Harper & Erick Rowan def. The Usos by Luke Harper pinning Jey Uso following the Discus Clothesline.
- Natalya def. Tamina Snuka (with AJ Lee) by submission to the Sharpshooter.
- 6-Man Tag: R-Truth & The Prime Time Players def. The Union Jacks by R-Truth pinning Heath Slater following the What’s Up.
- Arm Wrestling Contest: John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio
- The Funkadactyls def. The Bella Twins by Naomi pinning Brie Bella following the Rear View.
- 2-on-1 Handicap Match: The Great Khali def. Hunico & Camacho by The Great Khali pinning Hunico following the Punjabi Plunge.
- CM Punk & Daniel Bryan and Ryback & Curtis Axel fight to a No Contest after The Wyatt Family appears.
After a huge brawl that also involved The Shield, The Usos, Goldust, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, & Daniel Bryan and, nine nights before they face CM Punk & Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series, The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper & Erick Rowan kick off SmackDown as, with their leader, Bray Wyatt, in his signature rocking chair at ringside, Harper & Rowan would face The Usos in tag team action. In the end, it was Luke Harper putting Jey Uso down with the Discus Clothesline en route to picking up the win for himself and Erick Rowan. After the match, Bray Wyatt would enter the ring with a microphone in hand, but Jimmy Uso would launch himself at Bray, trying his best to save his brother. However, the three-on-one disadvantage would immediately result in Jimmy Uso being neutralized as Wyatt blasts Jimmy with right hands to the face before Bray puts Jimmy out with the Sister Abigail. After Luke Harper & Erick Rowan toss Jimmy Uso out of the ring, Bray Wyatt says that, at Survivor Series, CM Punk & Daniel Bryan will “never” be able to “forget the taste of tragedy”, advising Punk & Bryan to “run”.
After being unceremoniously “dumped” as a “Paul Heyman guy” on RAW, Ryback tells Curtis Axel in the backstage area that, if Axel is still a “Paul Heyman guy”, then he won’t team with him tonight, calling Axel a “suck-up”. Axel claims that he is “no longer a Paul Heyman guy”, saying that he doesn’t need Paul Heyman and neither does Ryback.
The Divas were in action on SmackDown as, after Tamina Snuka got involved and cost her the Divas Title against AJ Lee on Main Event, Natalya would go one-on-one with Tamina Snuka, with Divas Champion AJ Lee in her corner. During the match, AJ Lee would get on the apron, but Natalya would dodge an oncoming Tamina and Tamina would inadvertently knock the Divas Champion off of the apron. Natalya would then lock the Sharpshooter in on Tamina, forcing Tamina to tap out to pick up the win.
In their continuing effort to try and suck up to the UK crowd, 3MB would embrace their alter-egos, The Union Jacks, as they would face the team of R-Truth & The Prime Time Players in 6-Man Tag action. In the end, it was R-Truth hitting the What’s Up on Heath Slater, pinning Slater to pick up the win for himself and The Prime Time Players.
In a challenge made by Alberto Del Rio himself, the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Alberto Del Rio, would appear on SmackDown to take part in an Arm Wrestling Contest against World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Del Rio says that he is “proud” to be the “greatest Mexican athlete in history” and he is “proud” of what he did to John Cena on RAW. Del Rio continues, saying that, unlike Cena, he does not “steal” things, he “earns” them, vowing to be the World Heavyweight Champion again come Survivor Series. The #1 Contender then demands that Cena come out there to face him and, with his left arm heavily taped, the World Heavyweight Champion would make his way to the ring. Cena calls Del Rio a “desperate man” and that Del Rio knows that the “champ” is here before demanding that they get the Arm Wrestling Contest under way. Using his good arm, the World Heavyweight Champion soundly defeats the #1 Contender in quick fashion not once, but twice. However, Del Rio would spot the opportunity for a cheap shot, clocking Cena with a punch to the face. Del Rio follows this up with a kick to the taped-up arm of Cena and a second kick, this time to the face. Del Rio then grabs a steel chair, but Cena gets the chair away from Del Rio, swinging and missing wildly. This would allow Del Rio to catch Cena with a spinebuster, driving the champion through the arm wrestling table!
In Divas tag action, The Bella Twins, Brie & Nikki Bella, would face The Funkadactyls, Cameron & Naomi, on SmackDown. In the end, it was Naomi hitting the Rear View on Brie Bella, pinning Brie to pick up the win for The Funkadactyls.
In a 2-on-1 Handicap Match, the returning Hunico & Camacho would have the unenviable task of trying to combat The Great Khali on SmackDown. In the end, it was The Great Khali putting Hunico down with the Punjabi Plunge, pinning Hunico for the win.
Then it was time for the main event as, nine nights before they collide with The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper & Erick Rowan at Survivor Series, CM Punk & Daniel Bryan would face the now former Paul Heyman guys, Ryback & Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel, in tag team action. In the middle of the match, Daniel Bryan would lock Ryback in the Yes Lock, but the lights would go out in the arena, signifying The Wyatt Family’s arrival. However, when the lights come back on, The Wyatt Family are surprised to find that CM Punk & Daniel Bryan are nowhere to be found! Curtis Axel would cautiously slide into the ring, looking to assist Ryback, but Ryback would shove the Intercontinental Champion into Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. This would immediately make Axel a target as Harper & Rowan would maul Axel, putting the Intercontinental Champion down with a big splash, followed by a big boot. After rolling Axel out of the ring, Harper & Rowan take to targeting Ryback, as well, as Harper blasts Ryback with a big boot, eventually tossing the big man out of the ring, as well. With Harper & Rowan’s backs turned, CM Punk & Daniel Bryan would pick their spot as Bryan catches Rowan with a chop block while Punk catches Harper with a kick to the head, quickly hopping out of the ring before The Wyatt Family could get their hands on them!
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