Battle Lines Drawn.
Five nights after the Royal Rumble, the 754th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Huntington Center in Toledo, OH. SmackDown would mark the long-awaited return of a two-time World Heavyweight Champion as “Captain Charisma” Christian would make his return to the WWE! What will Christian have his sights set on now that he is back on the active roster?
Also, three of the five challengers for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship inside the demonic Elimination Chamber were determined on RAW as John Cena, Sheamus, & Daniel Bryan will join defending champion Randy Orton in just a few weeks and, on SmackDown, the world would find out just who would be joining Randy Orton, John Cena, Sheamus, & Daniel Bryan as two Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches would take place to determine who would take those two sought-after spots!
- Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Antonio Cesaro def. Dolph Ziggler by pin following the Neutralizer to qualify for the Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
- Fandango def. Xavier Woods by pin following a sit-out facebuster.
- Ryback & Curtis Axel def. The Prime Time Players by Curtis Axel pinning Darren Young following the Axel Cutter.
- Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Christian def. Jack Swagger by pin following the Frog Splash to qualify for the Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
- Kofi Kingston def. Damien Sandow by pin with the S.O.S.
- Cody Rhodes (with Goldust) def. Road Dogg (with Billy Gunn) by pin following the Disaster Kick.
- 6-Man Tag: The Shield def. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, & Rey Mysterio by Roman Reigns pinning Rey Mysterio following the Spear.
After The Wyatt Family cost all three of them their spots in the Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on RAW, SmackDown would kick off with The Shield as United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and the man who dominated the Royal Rumble Match on Sunday with an unreal twelve eliminations, Roman Reigns. Ambrose says that The Authority and Randy Orton know that, if they were a part of the Elimination Chamber Match, one of them would have walked out as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Roman Reigns nods his approval and Ambrose asks Reigns if he thinks he would walk out as champion and Reigns says that he “knows” that he would. Ambrose says that he is not going to “apologize” for trying to throw Roman Reigns out of the Royal Rumble Match and Reigns says that he is not going to apologize to Ambrose for actually throwing Ambrose out, saying that it was “every man for himself”. Ambrose says that, maybe next time, he will do it right to Reigns’ face. This leads to a face-off between Ambrose and Reigns that has to be broken up by Seth Rollins, who says that the WWE is their “yard” and they have “intruders”, saying that The Wyatt Family cost them their spots in the Elimination Chamber Match. Rollins continues, saying that he does not care to hear why they did what they did, but they must be “dealt with”. Rollins then says that Ambrose is the “greatest United States Champion” he has ever seen, saying that no one has the guts to even challenge him for the title. Rollins then addresses Reigns, saying Reigns has been spearing people since day one. Ambrose then says that, if none of them are going to get the chance to be in the Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, then wiping The Wyatt Family off the face of the planet is the “next best thing”, telling The Wyatt Family to consider that a “challenge”!
This brings out SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, who says that Dean Ambrose had a great idea before saying that she is going to make “history” here tonight. However, before the GM can make her announcement, she is interrupted by WWE COO Triple H, who decides to handle the matter personally. The COO makes his way to the ring to confront the men who has often served as his ‘personal security’. Triple H says that The Wyatt Family cost them all a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but it is “water under the bridge” and they should just “let it go”! The COO continues, saying that there is no “profit” in it and there is “nothing to gain”, saying that all that can come out of it is “more problems”. Seth Rollins says that, with all due respect, he has to look at it from their point of view. Triple H tells Rollins that, with all due respect, what he is telling them is not a “request”. Roman Reigns then gets in the face of his boss, saying that they are not asking for Triple H’s “approval”! Triple H says that he can tell by looking at them that they are not going to let it go, but if a battle between The Shield and The Wyatt Family is going to take place, then he might as well profit from it. The COO then says that he is going to do what is “best for business”, announcing that, at WWE Elimination Chamber, all three members of The Shield will face all three members of The Wyatt Family! Triple H then warns The Shield that he hopes that they know what they are getting into.
The opening match of the night was the first of two Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches as “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler would go one-on-one with one-half of The Real Americans, Antonio Cesaro, with Zeb Colter in his corner. In the end, it was Antonio Cesaro planting Dolph Ziggler, pinning Ziggler to earn his spot in his very first Elimination Chamber Match as Cesaro will join John Cena, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, and champion Randy Orton in the Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
With R-Truth a guest on commentary, Xavier Woods, with The Funkadactyls in his corner, would go one-on-one with Fandango, with Summer Rae in his corner. In the end, it was Fandango hitting a facebuster suplex on Xavier Woods, pinning Xavier for the win. After the match, Fandango would look to further damage to Xavier Woods, but R-Truth would make the save, taking Fandango out before R-Truth & Xavier Woods dance with The Funkadactyls.
In tag team action, The Prime Time Players would face Ryback & Curtis Axel on SmackDown. Ryback & Curtis Axel would make quick work of The Prime Time Players as Curtis Axel hits the Axel Cutter on Darren Young, pinning Young for the win as Titus O’Neil stands on the apron, not helping his partner. After the match, a frustrated Titus O’Neil would confront Darren Young, ready to walk out on his tag team partner. Bloody mouth and all, Darren Young grabs a microphone, telling Titus that they are more than just partners, they are like “brothers”, like “family”. Titus says that, ever since he partnered with Darren, he’s been known as a “loser”, saying that he came to the WWE to be a “champion”. Titus then says that he is getting rid of the “dead weight” off of his back. Titus then blasts Darren Young with a boot to the face, blasting Darren with right hands before kicking Darren to the outside! “The Real Deal” was then set on destroying Darren Young, grabbing Young by the head and neck and slamming Darren into the barricade not once, but twice! Titus then leaves his former tag partner laid out at ringside.
Then it was time for the final Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match as the returning “Captain Charisma” Christian would go one-on-one with Jack Swagger, with Zeb Colter a guest on commentary. In the end, it was Christian earning his “one more match”, hitting the Frog Splash on Jack Swagger, pinning Swagger to qualify for the Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, joining John Cena, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Antonio Cesaro, and defending champion Randy Orton.
After a short stint in the Royal Rumble Match this past Sunday and a losing streak over the past few months, Damien Sandow would be looking to get his career back on track as Sandow would go one-on-one with Kofi Kingston. In the end, it was Kofi Kingston hitting the S.O.S., pinning Damien Sandow for the win.
Before they challenge The New Age Outlaws in a Steel Cage Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles on RAW, Goldust & Cody Rhodes were on SmackDown as Cody Rhodes, with Goldust in his corner, would go one-on-one with one-half of the new WWE Tag Team Champions, Road Dogg, with Billy Gunn in his corner. During the match, Goldust and Billy Gunn would get into it on the outside with Gunn taking Goldust down, but when Billy Gunn gets on the ring apron, he is knocked off with the Disaster Kick by Cody Rhodes. Rhodes would follow this up with the Disaster Kick to Road Dogg, pinning the tag champion for the win. After the match, the two teams would brawl in and out of the ring before The New Age Outlaws narrowly make their escape.
Before The Shield was in action in the main event, the trio would be confronted with a message from The Wyatt Family as Bray Wyatt, with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan behind him, appears on the Tron. Bray says that normal men would lose sleep at the mere thought of “dancing with reapers”, saying that “justice” is “hell’s game”. Wyatt says that “war” is his favorite game. Luke Harper then says that “you reap what you sow”, saying that The Shield picked a “beautiful hill to die on”. Bray continues, saying that The Shield should be careful when they invite the “devil” into their backyard because he may like it and “decide to stay”. Erick Rowan then concludes with one simple word for The Shield, “run”.
After learning earlier in the night that they will face The Wyatt Family at WWE Elimination Chamber, The Shield, United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns would face the team of Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, & Rey Mysterio in a 6-Man Tag Match on SmackDown. In the end, it was Roman Reigns catching Rey Mysterio with the Spear, pinning Rey to pick up the win for The Shield.
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