No Stopping Reigns?
Two nights before Money-in-the-Bank, the 775th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. After Kane destroyed several of the competitors in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match on RAW, WWE COO Triple H added “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” as the surprise eighth participant into the match and Roman Reigns would waste no time in making a statement by dropping Kane with a Spear! Now on SmackDown, the seemingly unstoppable Roman Reigns would go one-on-one with “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” Kane just two nights before they join six other Superstars in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match.
Speaking of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match, Roman Reigns and Kane would not be the only two participants in that match squaring off on SmackDown as United States Champion Sheamus would go one-on-one with the demonic leader of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, in a non-title match.
- Non-Title: Dean Ambrose def. Bad News Barrett by pin following Dirty Deeds.
- Non-Title: Paige def. Cameron by pin following the Paige Turner.
- Non-Title: Sheamus (with The Usos) def. Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) by DQ after Luke Harper interferes.
- Cesaro & Alberto Del Rio (with Paul Heyman) def. Dolph Ziggler & Rob Van Dam by Rob Van Dam submitting to Alberto Del Rio’s Cross Armbreaker.
- Rusev (with Lana) def. Sin Cara by submission to the Accolade.
- Roman Reigns def. Kane by DQ after Randy Orton interferes.
Two nights before Money-in-the-Bank, SmackDown kicks off with WWE COO Triple H, who stands in the ring with Randy Orton and Seth Rollins. Triple H says that, in WWE, periods of time are frequently called “eras” and he thinks this is “The Authority Era”. The COO continues, saying that history will be made this Sunday night when eight men will compete in an eight-man ladder match to become the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Triple H says that there will also be a traditional Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match before predicting that, after Money-in-the-Bank, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be Randy Orton and the holder of the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase will be Seth Rollins. Triple H then says that, whether they like it or not, that is what is “best for business”. Randy Orton then says that he will ascend the ladder and regain the WWE World Heavyweight Title and he will once again be the “face of the WWE”. Seth Rollins also vows to emerge victorious at Money-in-the-Bank, saying that he will earn himself a guaranteed title opportunity as “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank”. Rollins continues, saying that they always have a “plan B” if things do not go right. This rubs Randy Orton the wrong way and Rollins says that it’s not “unthinkable” that Orton will fail to get the job done and Orton fires back, saying that Seth Rollins might fail without Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns watching his back. Triple H says that there is one “constant” that will never change and that is The Authority, telling Orton and Rollins that they must either “adapt or perish”. Triple H then says that Rollins is the “future” and Orton is the “present” and that is the plan. The COO then moves on, saying that the good news is that they are going to see Dean Ambrose, but the bad news is that Ambrose will be going one-on-one with the Intercontinental Champion, Bad News Barrett.
Before they join five other Superstars in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match, the opening match of the night would see Dean Ambrose face Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett in a non-title match. In the end, it was Dean Ambrose hitting Dirty Deeds on Bad News Barrett, pinning the Intercontinental Champion to pick up the win. After the match, Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter make their way towards the ring, but Jack Swagger decides to target Bad News Barrett, locking in the Patriot Lock. However, Dean Ambrose dives to the outside, taking both Swagger and Barrett out before using a ladder to attack Swagger. Back in the ring, Ambrose and Swagger continue their brawl before Ambrose takes Swagger to the outside, bouncing Swagger off of the announce table. However, this is when Seth Rollins would strike, attacking Dean Ambrose from behind and sending him into the steel steps. Rollins then rolls Ambrose into the ring, hitting the Curb Stomp on Ambrose.
With her Money-in-the-Bank opponent, Naomi, a guest on commentary, Divas Champion Paige would go one-on-one with Cameron in a non-title match. In the end, it was Paige hitting the Paige Turner on Cameron en route to picking up the win. After the match, Naomi would get in Paige’s face, but Cameron would attack them from behind, shoving Paige into Naomi and, when Paige turns her back, Cameron shoves Naomi into Paige. This sparks an argument between Paige and Naomi as Cameron looks on approvingly.
Two of the eight men in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match would collide on SmackDown as United States Champion Sheamus, with The Usos in his corner, went one-on-one with Bray Wyatt, with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in his corner, in a non-title match. In the end, it was Luke Harper attacking Sheamus to bring an end to the match. After the match, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan would tend to Bray Wyatt, but would get taken out by The Usos on the outside. Shortly after this, Bray Wyatt would narrowly avoid the Brogue Kick from Sheamus as The Wyatt Family backs off from a fight with Sheamus & The Usos.
With Paul Heyman a guest on commentary, four of the men in the two major ladder matches this Sunday were in action as Dolph Ziggler would team with Rob Van Dam to face Cesaro and Alberto Del Rio. In the end, it was Alberto Del Rio locking in the Cross Armbreaker on Rob Van Dam, forcing RVD to tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Alberto Del Rio would get in the face of Cesaro and Paul Heyman and would receive the Neutralizer for his troubles.
“The Super Athlete” was in action on SmackDown as Rusev, with Lana in his corner, went one-on-one with Sin Cara. In the end, it was Rusev locking in the Accolade, forcing Sin Cara to tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Big E would confront Rusev, knocking “The Super Athlete” out of the ring.
Then it was time for the main event as Roman Reigns would go one-on-one with “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” Kane. During the match, Roman Reigns would size Kane up for the Superman Punch, but Randy Orton would rush the ring, attacking Roman Reigns. However, Reigns would fight back, hitting the Superman Punch on Randy Orton before walking right into a chokeslam from Kane. Kane would then grab a ladder, setting it up in the middle of the ring before glaring at Randy Orton, backing away from the ladder. With Kane holding the ladder, Randy Orton would cautiously climb to the top, retrieving the two title belts hanging above the ring in what could be symbolic of this Sunday! Kane then disposes of the ladder as Randy Orton holds the title belts high before Orton catches sight of Roman Reigns getting to his feet. Orton would then go for the punt, but Reigns would pop up, drilling Orton with the Spear before dodging Kane and leveling “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” with a Spear, as well! Roman Reigns then stands tall, holding the WWE World Heavyweight Title belts high.
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