Two nights before he faces Seth Rollins in a Tables Match with his #1 Contendership for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line at WWE TLC, SmackDown kicks off with the fifteen-time former World Champion John Cena. However, Cena is barely able to get a sentence out before he is interrupted by his WWE TLC opponent, Seth Rollins, who is flanked by J&J Security. Rollins says that, almost every time Cena says he is going to do something, he does them, but after this Sunday, Rollins will be the guy who always makes good on his promises. Rollins then says that there is no “future” without Seth Rollins before telling Cena that Cena’s “time is up” and his “time is now” and all he has to do is do what he’s done the past two weeks by putting Cena through a table.
Cena tells Rollins that, after Rollins loses this Sunday, Rollins will look in the mirror and realize that he is just “not ready”. Cena continues, saying that Rollins is “good”, but he is not ready to go “face-to-face with the guy who runs this place” before saying that, for over ten years, there has been no safer bet on Sunday than John Cena. Cena then says that the “future” is not now and the future is not even next year because John Cena is here. Rollins says that he is the “embodiment of the future” and every step that he has taken in the last two years leads to this Sunday and WWE TLC marks the “beginning of the end” for John Cena. Rollins continues, saying that, after this Sunday, Cena becomes a “ghost” and Rollins becomes the new “standard bearer” in WWE. Cena admits that Rollins has a bright future in WWE, but WWE is his life and, if Rollins thinks that he is going to shove Cena out of the door, then Rollins will have to get in line behind the countless others who thought they were going to do the same, but failed. Cena then proclaims that, for over a decade, Cena has survived because of his “passion” and his decree to “never give up” and, at WWE TLC, Cena is going to lodge his foot in Seth Rollins’ ass!
With WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz & Damien Mizdow guests on commentary, the #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Titles, The Usos, would face Cesaro & Tyson Kidd, with Natalya in their corner, in the opening match of the night. During the match, The Miz would claim to get a call from his agent regarding his agent’s interest in Naomi, so The Miz & Damien Mizdow would leave ringside to find Naomi as the match continues. At the end of a back-and-forth match, it was Jimmy Uso hitting the Superfly Splash on Cesaro, pinning Cesaro for the win.
After the match, The Miz & Damien Mizdow would confront Jimmy Uso’s wife Naomi backstage. The Miz would tell Naomi that he doesn’t know why her husband is mad at him, trying to encourage Naomi to make a mark in Hollywood. However, Naomi sees right through The Miz’s ruse, saying that the only reason that The Miz is doing all this is to try and get inside her husband’s head before WWE TLC. The Miz says that he just got a call from his agent and he said that his agent is considering taking Naomi’s offer off the table because Naomi and Jimmy Uso are so “drama prone”. The Miz then says that he was able to keep the deal on the table, saying that nobody wants to spend their time and money on a “beautiful, talented girl” like Naomi with a “jealous husband problem”. Naomi argues that her husband is not jealous before The Miz says that he is putting his reputation in Hollywood on the line for Naomi before saying that he really thinks that she is “talented” and it is not about her husband.
Backstage, Jimmy Uso catches up with his wife, Naomi, saying that he is happy for how she handled the situation with The Miz. However, Naomi says that Jimmy made her doubt herself, saying that she is capable of making her own decisions and she is a “strong woman”. Naomi then storms off and Jey Uso convinces his brother to let Naomi cool off and Jimmy tells Jey that he knew that The Miz was going to get in her head. Jey says that Naomi might have a point, which sparks an argument between the brothers with Jey telling Jimmy that he needs to “focus” and get his “mind right” before WWE TLC, telling his brother that The Miz is “playing” all of them.
With the Slammy Award winner for Diva of the Year, AJ Lee, a guest on commentary, Divas Champion Nikki Bella, with Brie Bella in her corner, would go one-on-one with Alicia Fox in a non-title match. In the end, it was Nikki Bella hitting the Rack Attack on Alicia Fox, pinning Alicia for the win. After the match, Nikki Bella would look right at AJ Lee as she delivers a second Rack Attack to Alicia Fox.
Before The New Day faces Gold & Stardust on the WWE TLC Kickoff this Sunday night, The New Day’s Big E, with Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston in his corner, would go one-on-one with Goldust, with Stardust in his corner. In the end, it was Big E hitting the Big Ending on Goldust, pinning “The Bizarre One” for the win.
With the opportunity to take the United States Title away from Rusev and avenge his friend and manager Zeb Colter at WWE TLC this Sunday, “The Real American” Jack Swagger would go one-on-one with Titus O’Neil on SmackDown. In the end, it was Jack Swagger locking in the Patriot Lock on Titus O’Neil, making Titus tap out to pick up the win. After the match, the Russian flag would unfold behind Jack Swagger before Rusev & Lana come out to the stage as Rusev holds up the United States Title belt, reminding Swagger of the important of this Sunday’s title match.
Then it was time for the main event as, with tables, ladders, chairs, and stairs lining the stage and ramp, WWE TLC opponents would face off as “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler would team with “The Big Guy” Ryback and “Big Red” Erick Rowan to face Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper, Kane, and “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show in a big 6-Man Tag Match. At the end of a hard-hitting match, it was Ryback planting Luke Harper with Shell Shocked, pinning the Intercontinental Champion for the win. After the match, Kane would attack Ryback with a steel chair, but a super kick from Dolph Ziggler would allow Ryback to turn the tables. Ryback then repeatedly attacks Kane with the chair while Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan use a ladder to knock both Kane and Luke Harper out of the ring. Then, with Ryback and Rowan holding the ladder in place, Dolph dives off of the ladder, taking out Kane, Luke Harper, & Big Show on the outside! Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, & Erick Rowan then regroup in the ring, celebrating their win and sending a clear message to their respective WWE TLC opponents.
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