Numbers Game Played.
Nine nights before Extreme Rules, the 766th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. After Jack Swagger cost Cesaro his Semi-Final match against Rob Van Dam in the #1 Contender’s Tournament on RAW, “The King of Swing” has to be seething and, on SmackDown, the former tag team partners would face off as Cesaro, with Paul Heyman in his corner, would go one-on-one with Jack Swagger, with Zeb Colter in his corner.
The losing streak that Goldust & Cody Rhodes have been on as of late seems to be getting to Cody Rhodes as Cody shoved his brother and stormed out of the ring after their loss to The Usos on RAW. As a rift begins to show between the brothers, Goldust & Cody Rhodes would be looking to end their losing streak when the brothers face off against two of the scariest and most unpredictable Superstars in the WWE when they face The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper & Erick Rowan.
RybAxel seems to be destined for a shot at the WWE Tag Team Titles in the near future and, on SmackDown, one-half of RybAxel, Curtis Axel, will go one-on-one with one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, Jey Uso. Also on SmackDown, two second-generation Divas would face off as the #1 Contender for the Divas Title at Extreme Rules, Tamina Snuka, would go one-on-one with Natalya.
- Cesaro (with Paul Heyman) def. Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) by pin following the Neutralizer.
- Tamina Snuka def. Natalya by pin following a super kick.
- Curtis Axel (with Ryback) def. Jey Uso (with Jimmy Uso) by pin following the Axel Cutter.
- Luke Harper & Erick Rowan (with Bray Wyatt) def. Goldust & Cody Rhodes by Luke Harper pinning Goldust following the Discus Clothesline.
- 5-on-3 Handicap Match: The Shield def. Ryback, Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow, Alberto Del Rio, & Bad News Barrett by Roman Reigns pinning Damien Sandow following the Spear.
SmackDown kicks off with SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, who speaks on behalf of The Authority, announcing that The Shield will be in action tonight as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns will compete in an 11-on-3 Handicap Match. The GM then points out the men joining her in the ring as Paul Heyman, with Cesaro by his side, and Zeb Colter, with Jack Swagger by his side, would take part in “The Great Debate”. Zeb Colter speaks first, saying that he was ambushed by a “change of plans” on behalf of Cesaro and Paul Heyman. Colter continues, saying that ten months ago, nobody knew who Cesaro was and Swagger convinced Colter to bring him into the fold. Zeb then takes credit for shaping Cesaro into what he is today, but Zeb was stopped by the buzzer that signified that it was time for Paul Heyman to speak. Not surprisingly, Paul Heyman’s argument was nothing more than Heyman repeating that his client, Brock Lesnar, ended the undefeated streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania. After repeating this fact for a sixth time, the buzzer sounds to end Heyman’s turn. Zeb says that he doesn’t care about Brock Lesnar, he cares about Cesaro. Colter then says that Heyman would rather “climb a tree to tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth”. Zeb then asks Heyman why Heyman “stole” Cesaro from him and even gives the rest of his speaking time to Paul Heyman for the explanation. Heyman explains that he is the “one” behind the one in 21-1 and, at WrestleMania, his guy won, asking Colter when the last time that Jack Swagger won a match was. Heyman continues, saying that the last time a “Zeb Colter guy” won anything was when Cesaro won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania. Zeb says that Heyman is “wrong” and Heyman agrees, saying that Cesaro was already a Paul Heyman guy at WrestleMania.
Much like he did for his other client, Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman touts the success of his client, repeating that Cesaro won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania. After repeating it for the third time in a row, Heyman’s time was up and it was Zeb’s turn to speak. Colter says that he is the one who got Cesaro entered into the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, so technically, he is the one who is responsible for Cesaro’s victory at WrestleMania. Zeb continues, saying that he has known Paul Heyman for a very long time, saying that he knew that he would not get any answers from Heyman when he agreed to this debate. Colter then knocks over his podium before getting into the face of a grinning Paul Heyman, saying that the issue is not between Cesaro and Jack Swagger, telling Heyman that they should settle their differences “man-to-man”. However, Heyman fires back that they are one man short for that and the bickering leads to physicality once Colter shoves Heyman, but a referee enters the ring and helps Cesaro and Jack Swagger in pulling their respective managers apart as Colter and Heyman continue to shout at each other!
After their managers’ debate led to physicality moments earlier, the opening match of the night would see former tag team partners face off as “The King of Swing” Cesaro, with Paul Heyman in his corner, would go one-on-one with Jack Swagger, with Zeb Colter in his corner. In the end, it was Cesaro using the Cesaro Swing to disorient Jack Swagger, following it up with the Neutralizer, pinning Swagger for the win. After the match, Cesaro and Paul Heyman would exit as the three members of The Shield would arrive on the scene. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns would surround Jack Swagger, who would rise to his feet and find himself in a dire situation as The Shield would attack, dropping Swagger with the three-man powerbomb. Reigns then let everyone know that they are just “getting started”.
Nine nights before she challenges Paige for the Divas Title at Extreme Rules, Tamina Snuka would go one-on-one with Natalya on SmackDown. In the end, it was Tamina Snuka catching Natalya with a super kick, pinning Natalya for the win.
Backstage, The Shield continues to target men who are set to face them in the main event as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns come face-to-face with 3MB. Heath Slater comes face-to-face with Roman Reigns and is frozen in place, not flinching as Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins take out Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre behind him. Slater then tries to beg off The Shield, but he is met with the Superman Punch of Roman Reigns!
In her office, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero is on the phone with The Authority as Vickie is informed that she is being given the night off! This brings in RAW General Manager Brad Maddox, who says that Vickie does not know how to handle The Shield, so The Authority is having him run the show tonight.
In the continuation of their budding rivalry, one-half of RybAxel, Curtis Axel, with Ryback in his corner, would go one-on-one with one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, Jey Uso, with Jimmy Uso in his corner. In the end, it was Curtis Axel hitting the Axel Cutter on Jey Uso, pinning the tag champion for the win.
After their destruction of John Cena on RAW, The Wyatt Family would appear on SmackDown inside a Steel Cage like the one Cena and Bray Wyatt will face off inside at Extreme Rules. Bray Wyatt says that love is a “delectable experience”, saying that love cannot be “defined” and you have to “feel it”. Bray continues, asking Cena how it feels to know that he has lost the fans’ love. Bray then says that, on RAW, Cena’s “people” could have given him a fair fight, but they didn’t and it is time that Cena stop “underestimating” him. Bray then says that he is “everywhere” and he is “everything”, saying that his words are “razor blades” that cut deeply and they are working. Bray continues, saying that he and Cena have a “date with destiny” inside a Steel Cage and they are just a couple of “modern day gladiators” and Cena’s people have brought him there. Bray says that Cena’s nightmares have become his “dreams” and, in his dreams, he sees all of Cena’s fans following him. Bray then climbs to the top of the cage before leading the crowd in singing “He’s got the Whole World in his Hands”.
With their leader, Bray Wyatt, in their corner, The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper & Erick Rowan would face Goldust & Cody Rhodes on SmackDown. During the match, Luke Harper would shove Goldust into Cody Rhodes, knocking Cody off of the top rope into the barricade. Harper would then follow this up with the Discus Clothesline, pinning Goldust to pick up the win for himself and Erick Rowan.
Backstage, RAW General Manager Brad Maddox is confronted by The Shield as Roman Reigns hurls the GM into the concrete wall of the office before Dean Ambrose dives on top of Maddox, wailing away with wild lefts and rights! The Shield then exits the office, having done the damage to The Authority’s General Manager.
SmackDown was set to feature a Mixed Tag Match pitting Fandango & Layla against Santino Marella & Emma, but in the middle of Fandango & Layla’s entrance, The Shield arrives on the scene. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns surround Fandango as a frightened Layla backs away. The Shield then beats down the dancing Superstar before dragging Fandango to the edge of the stage where they drill Fandango with their three-man powerbomb off the side of the stage through two tables!
As the main event is set to begin, Michael Cole informs everyone that Curtis Axel was found incapacitated in the backstage area. Then it was time for the main event as The Shield were scheduled to face Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Titus O’Neil, & Bad News Barrett in an 11-on-3 Handicap Match, but after The Shield took out Curtis Axel, Fandango, 3MB, & Jack Swagger throughout the night, only five of the eleven were able to compete as Ryback, Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow, Bad News Barrett, & Alberto Del Rio would face The Shield in a 5-on-3 Handicap Match! During the match, Roman Reigns would set up for the Spear on Damien Sandow, but Alberto Del Rio & Bad News Barrett would enter the ring. However, Del Rio & Barrett would have second thoughts about facing the wrath of The Shield and would try to walk out of the match, but as Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins take out Ryback & Damien Sandow at ringside, Bad News Barrett makes a quick exit, leaving Del Rio to be blasted with the Superman Punch by Roman Reigns on the stage! The Shield then saunter back to the ring where Damien Sandow is the only able-bodied Superstar. However, that is quickly remedied as Reigns blasts Damien Sandow with the Spear, pinning Sandow to pick up the win for The Shield. After the match, The Shield would take out the rest of Evolution’s backup as Titus O’Neil is taken out with the Spear as well! Ambrose & Rollins then roll Ryback into the ring as Reigns dolls out a Spear to Ryback as well! The Shield then picks Ryback up, dropping Ryback with the three-man powerbomb in the center of the ring! The Shield then stands over the broken bodies of their opponents, having sent a clear message to Evolution.
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