Big E. Backup.
Five nights after WWE TLC, the 748th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. After successfully retaining the WWE Tag Team Titles in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Tag Match at WWE TLC, the WWE Tag Team Champions would be in action on SmackDown as Goldust & Cody Rhodes would face The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in a non-title match.
- Non-Title: Big E. Langston (with Mark Henry) def. Jack Swagger (with Antonio Cesaro) by pin following the Big Ending.
- Brie Bella def. Tamina Snuka by pin after Tamina Snuka misses the Superfly Splash.
- Sin Cara def. Drew McIntyre by pin following the Swanton Bomb.
- Tensai (with Xavier Woods & The Funkadactyls) def. Brodus Clay by roll-up.
- Non-Title: Luke Harper & Erick Rowan (with Bray Wyatt) def. The Brotherhood by Luke Harper pinning Cody Rhodes following the Discus Clothesline.
- Damien Sandow def. The Miz by roll-up.
- Fandango def. Kofi Kingston by pin following the leg drop off of the top rope.
- 3-on-2 Handicap Match: CM Punk & John Cena def. The Shield by DQ after The Shield refused to leave the ring.
For the first time since he defeated John Cena in a TLC Match to become the Champion of Champions and the first ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WWE TLC and four nights after he used a low blow to avoid being pinned or made to submit by Daniel Bryan on RAW, SmackDown kicks off with the “undisputed face of the WWE” Randy Orton. The new WWE World Heavyweight Champion says that, at WWE TLC, he cemented his “legacy” by defeating John Cena to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Orton continues, saying that The Authority did “nothing” to reward him for his historic win, saying that Triple H & Stephanie McMahon decided to put him in a match against an “undeserving troll” in Daniel Bryan. Despite losing via disqualification, Orton claims that he beat Daniel Bryan on RAW and, when John Cena came down to “save the day”, he left Cena laid out as well. Orton then states that he just does not “give a damn” before the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is interrupted by the man he defeated at WWE TLC and planted with the RKO on RAW, John Cena. With Cena looking for a fight, Orton keeps his distance from Cena, telling Cena that it is his “spotlight” now. Cena says that he is out there to stop Orton from looking like a “fool”, saying that every Superstar wants to be the champion and Orton is the center of the universe as the champion. Cena continues, saying that Orton cannot get away with anything anymore, asking Orton how he wants to be remembered, as the Champion of Champions or a “giant coward”!
Randy Orton says that he did what he had to do to win on RAW, but John Cena corrects the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, saying that Daniel Bryan won by disqualification. Cena then says that Orton showed up as a “real man” at WWE TLC and he got the job done, congratulating Orton on being a man for “less than one day”! Cena continues, saying that it only took one night, but Orton returned to “taking the easy way out”. Orton argues, saying that Cena does not deserve to stand in the same ring as him and Daniel Bryan does not deserve another shot. The champion is then interrupted again, this time by Daniel Bryan, who says that he gets why Orton did what he did on RAW and he understands why Orton will not give him a rematch. Bryan says that Orton is afraid that he will tear down all of the “myths” about Orton being better than everyone before telling Orton that he is not better than him. Bryan then says that Orton does not “deserve” to be called the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but says that he has come to terms with that because he knows that, when Cena gets his rematch, Cena will take the title from Orton and Cena will give him a fair shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Title. However, Orton argues that The Authority will not allow anything of the sort to happen because he proved on RAW that he is the “face of the WWE”. Bryan, along with the crowd chanting “no”, tells Orton that he is not the face of the WWE.
As Randy Orton slowly slithers out of the ring, The Shield make their entrance into the arena and John Cena and Daniel Bryan prepare for a fight, but as The Shield approaches the ring, Cena & Bryan are joined by CM Punk, who is ready to fight off the men he defeated at WWE TLC! This brings out SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, who says that The Authority has asked her to come out there and announce the blockbuster main event as The Shield will face the team of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, & John Cena in a 6-Man Tag Match!
The opening match of the night would feature the Intercontinental Champion as Big E. Langston, with Mark Henry in his corner, would go one-on-one with Jack Swagger, with Antonio Cesaro in his corner and Zeb Colter a guest on commentary, in a non-title match. During the match, Antonio Cesaro would get on the ring apron, but would quickly get dispatched by Mark Henry. Meanwhile, in the ring, Big E. Langston would plant Jack Swagger with the Big Ending en route to picking up the win.
With Divas Champion AJ Lee a guest on commentary, AJ Lee’s bodyguard, Tamina Snuka, would go one-on-one with Brie Bella, with Nikki Bella in her corner. In the end, Tamina Snuka would miss the Superfly Splash and it would allow Brie Bella to get the quick pin over Tamina for the win. After the match, Brie Bella would hop out of the ring and push AJ Lee down at ringside.
After recent back-to-back victories over Alberto Del Rio, Sin Cara was in action on SmackDown as the high-flyer would go one-on-one with 3MB’s Drew McIntyre, with Jinder Mahal in his corner. In the end, it was Sin Cara landing the Swanton Bomb on Drew McIntyre, pinning McIntyre for the win.
After abruptly severing his partnership and friendship with Tensai on RAW, the former Tons of Funk teammates would go to war on SmackDown as Tensai would go one-on-one with the self-proclaimed “Main Event Playa” Brodus Clay. During the match, Brodus Clay would have things well in hand against Tensai, but Xavier Woods would come out dancing with The Funkadactyls, enraging and distracting Brodus long enough for Tensai to catch Brodus with a roll-up for the win. Furious over the loss, Brodus Clay would attack Tensai after the match, but Xavier Woods would rush down to the ring and, with some help from Tensai, Xavier would send Brodus Clay packing.
The WWE Tag Team Champions were in action on SmackDown as The Brotherhood, Goldust & Cody Rhodes, would face The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper & Erick Rowan, with Bray Wyatt in their corner, in a non-title match. During the match, Goldust would dive off of the apron onto Erick Rowan, taking Rowan out on the outside, but as soon as Goldust stands up, he is put back down with a vicious boot from Luke Harper. With the referee’s attention on the other side of the ring, Bray Wyatt quickly gets out of his rocking chair, shoving Cody Rhodes face-first into the steel ring post. Luke Harper then drags Cody Rhodes into the ring, hitting the Discus Clothesline en route to picking up the win. After the match, Bray Wyatt would get into the ring, but before Bray could do the damage, Daniel Bryan would rush to the ring with steel chair in hand. Bryan would catch Luke Harper with a jab to the mid-section with the chair, followed by a shot to the leg of Erick Rowan. Daniel Bryan then takes Bray Wyatt down, pummeling Bray until Erick Rowan gets involved, allowing Bray Wyatt enough time to escape.
Before he portrays “Bad Santa” in a match against “Good Santa” Mark Henry this coming Monday on RAW, Damien Sandow would go one-on-one with The Miz on SmackDown. In the end, it was Damien Sandow surprising The Miz with a roll-up, picking up the win.
With Summer Rae in his corner, Fandango would go one-on-one with Kofi Kingston on SmackDown. In the end, it was Fandango scoring with a leg drop off of the top rope, pinning Kofi Kingston for the win.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan is on his way to the ring for the main event when he is halted by Renee Young, who was looking to interview Bryan. However, Renee would wisely abandon the interview when she spots Luke Harper ominously standing behind Daniel Bryan. Bryan would then turn to see Erick Rowan on his other side before Bray Wyatt calls out to Daniel Bryan, distracting Bryan long enough for Harper to strike from behind. Harper & Rowan then ravage Daniel Bryan, dragging Bryan away as Bray Wyatt kneels in the foreground, singing “ashes, ashes, we all fall down” as Harper & Rowan shove Daniel Bryan off of a ledge in the parking lot area as a disturbing crash is heard on the concrete below!
With Daniel Bryan receiving medical attention in the parking lot following the assault from The Wyatt Family, the originally scheduled 6-Man Tag match would instead be contested as a 3-on-2 Handicap Match as John Cena would team up with “The Best in the World” CM Punk to face all three members of The Shield, United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns. The match would ultimately break down into a brawl with The Shield getting disqualified after the trio refused to leave the ring, continuing to stomp away at CM Punk. With the match concluded, all hell would break loose with Cena and Punk doing their best to combat The Shield, but a Spear from Roman Reigns would put Cena down. With Cena down, The Shield would put the boots to CM Punk, shoving Punk out of the ring before focusing on Cena as The Shield drills Cena in the center of the ring with a three-man powerbomb. Despite facing a three-on-one beat down, Punk would jump back into the ring, but would immediately find himself overwhelmed by the trio. Before The Shield could take Punk out of commission, Big E. Langston interjects himself, sprinting to the ring and tossing The Shield out of the ring with relative ease! However, the Intercontinental Champion would then find himself face-to-face with Roman Reigns as the two powerhouses were set to lock horns, but Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins would convince Reigns to back off and, after CM Punk enters the ring with a steel chair, Reigns would take heed to the warning as The Shield retreats through the crowd.
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