With ladders adorning the stage, SmackDown kicks off with “The Yes Man” Daniel Bryan, who would address his plans for WrestleMania. Bryan says that, ever since Fastlane, he has come out there week after week and try to ignore the WrestleMania sign, but he cannot ignore it any longer. Bryan then says that he is just going to have to “accept” that he cannot repeat what he did last year when the Yes Movement took him all the way to the main event of WrestleMania. Bryan continues, saying that when one door “closes”, another door “opens”, saying that he thought about his “heroes” when he was a kid watching WrestleMania. Bryan then lists off Mr. Perfect, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, & “Macho Man” Randy Savage, saying that they were all Intercontinental Champions at WrestleMania and their WrestleMania matches were more exciting than anything going in the main event title scene. Bryan then says that, in his time in WWE, the only title that he has not won is the Intercontinental Championship, saying that he cannot repeat last year’s WrestleMania moment, he can create a new one. With that, Daniel Bryan officially announces that he will be joining Dean Ambrose, R-Truth, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, and defending champion Bad News Barrett in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match at WrestleMania!
Still without possession of his title belt, Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett comes out to the ring, saying that, despite what everyone thinks, he is still the Intercontinental Champion. Barrett then says that, after WrestleMania, he will still be the Intercontinental Champion, saying that he will be Bryan’s “new hero”. Dolph Ziggler then comes out, saying that Barrett is his “hero” because he has never met someone so “delusional” and “desperate to be relevant” in his entire life. Dolph then says that Barrett is not even able to hold onto his Intercontinental Title belt now, so how is Barrett going to hang onto the belt when he has to defend it against six other Superstars in a Ladder Match at WrestleMania, saying that he and Bryan are two guys that are “crazy”. The ring then begins to fill up as Luke Harper makes his way to the ring, pointing to the WrestleMania sign and saying that he wants his WrestleMania moment. Harper then gets in the face of Daniel Bryan before Dean Ambrose joins the gathering, saying that if they think that they can all get into a fight without inviting him, then they should all be “locked up for observation”. Ambrose says that he is always “ready for a fight” and he has no problem fighting with any of them.
With a fight ready to break out in the ring, the bizarre and unpredictable Stardust comes out to ringside, desperately looking around the ringside area for the Intercontinental Title belt. Stardust then asks where his “ivory enterprise” is before R-Truth comes out with his burlap sack, which contains the Intercontinental Title belt. Truth asks if they are looking for the title belt, saying that he knows that Bad News Barrett is the champion, but he is going to hang onto the title belt for “safe keeping”. Truth then says that, even though he is afraid of heights, he is going to climb a ladder at WrestleMania and become the new champion. Truth continues, saying that possession is nine-tenths of the law, which makes him the “Big Boss Man”, daring Barrett to “come and get it”. Barrett then shoves past Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler, which sparks a brawl between the six men in the ring. Bad News Barrett and Stardust are sent from the ring, followed shortly by Luke Harper, leaving Bryan, Ambrose, & Ziggler at a stand-off in the ring and Stardust, Harper, & Barrett on the outside of the ring.
The opening match of the night would be a big 8-Man Tag Match as The Usos, with Naomi in their corner, would join forces with The New Day’s Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston, with Big E in their corner, as they would face WWE Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Tyson Kidd, with Natalya in their corner, and Los Matadores, with El Torito in their corner. Chaos would ensue during the match with Cesaro catching Kofi Kingston with an uppercut from the outside, followed by Uso dropping Cesaro with a super kick on the outside. One of Los Matadores then tags himself into the match, but is immediately hit with Trouble in Paradise by Kofi Kingston. However, when Kofi goes for the pin, Tyson Kidd distracts the referee, which allows El Torito to pull the hurt Matador out of the ring as the other Matador comes in behind the referee’s back. Taking advantage of their identical appearance, the illegal Matador would hit the Back Stabber on Kofi Kingston, pinning Kofi to pick up the win for his team.
Seventeen nights before they take part in the Second Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, SmackDown would see “The Big Guy” Ryback go one-on-one with The Miz, with Damien Mizdow nowhere to be found at the behest of The Miz, who claimed moments earlier that he didn’t need Mizdow’s help. Shaking off an injured shoulder suffered during the match, Ryback would still hit Shell Shocked on The Miz, pinning the self-proclaimed “A-Lister” to pick up the win.
For the first time since hearing the disparaging remarks from WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman on RAW, the #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, Roman Reigns, would appear on SmackDown. Roman says that, every week, Paul Heyman comes out there and claims that he knows Roman and his family. Reigns then says that Heyman takes every opportunity to tell Roman that he “can’t”, but he will prove that he “can” at WrestleMania when he makes his family proud by beating Brock Lesnar and becoming the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
However, Roman Reigns is then interrupted by an unexpected Superstar as, for the first time since November, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry makes his way to the ring! Henry says that he had to come out there because Roman is either a “comedian” or he’s been hit on the head by one too many coconuts. Henry continues, saying that he doesn’t like anybody talking about his heritage either before telling Roman that he “can’t”. Henry then says that he has an “identity” and he knows who he is, unlike Roman Reigns, saying that he has been in the ring with Brock Lesnar and Lesnar broke his arm. Henry then says that Roman is not “ready” for what Brock Lesnar brings, saying that Roman has to “earn” his respect in WWE. Henry continues, saying that nobody is going to give Roman respect before Roman tries to leave. However, Henry stops Roman, saying that “young bucks” like Roman Reigns think they know it all, but they haven’t done anything yet. Mark Henry then shoves Roman Reigns and Roman responds by blasting Henry with the Superman Punch! Roman Reigns then stands tall in the ring as Mark Henry slowly rolls to the outside, but Roman was not done with Mark Henry as Reigns exits the ring, gaining a head of speed before blasting Mark Henry with a Spear through the ringside barricade! Roman then stands on top of the announce table, saying “to hell with I can’t” before declaring that he “will”, telling everyone to “believe that”.
Before they team up to face The Bella Twins in just over two weeks at WrestleMania, Paige & AJ Lee would be in action on SmackDown, facing Cameron & Summer Rae, with Eva Marie in their corner, with The Bella Twins guests on commentary. In the end, it was Paige locking in the PTO on Summer Rae, making Summer tap out to pick up the win for herself and AJ Lee. After the match, Paige & AJ Lee would taunt The Bella Twins on the outside with AJ Lee having to hold Paige back while Brie Bella has to hold Nikki back.
After being sent through the ringside barricade with a Spear by Roman Reigns earlier in the night, Mark Henry was getting medical attention backstage when he was asked to comment on Roman Reigns. Henry says that Roman Reigns made a “believer” out of him, saying that he “pushed” Roman and Roman “pushed back”. Henry then says that he is not saying that Reigns will beat Brock Lesnar, but he “believes” that Roman can, saying that there have been a lot of men who have come before him and he just wanted to see if Roman could “honor” that.
In an exclusive sit-down interview with Michael Cole, “The Viper” Randy Orton would comment on his vicious assault on Seth Rollins on RAW. Orton says that, for the four months he was out of action at the hands of Seth Rollins and The Authority, all he could think about what getting his “vengeance”. Orton continues, saying that he wove his way back into The Authority and got The Authority to trust him, all while he waited for the perfect opportunity to strike, saying that the mind games were “fun”. Orton then admits that he “used” Roman Reigns in his plan, saying that he would use anyone if it meant getting his hands on Seth Rollins. Orton then says “fear motivates men” and he saw the fear in Seth Rollins’ eyes, saying that he enjoyed every moment of his assault on Rollins and it was a “relief” when he put Seth Rollins through the announce table with the RKO. Orton then admits that he expects there will be “hell to pay” from The Authority, but he is ready for that because his revenge was “worth it”. Michael Cole then asks what Randy Orton is going to do when he shows up for RAW this coming Monday night and Orton says that, he is going to find Seth Rollins, spit in his face, and challenge him to a match at WrestleMania!
Then it was time for the main event as, after a six-man brawl earlier in the night, six of the seven men in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match at WrestleMania would face off as Daniel Bryan would team with “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose and “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler to face the team of Stardust, Luke Harper, and Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett in a 6-Man Tag Match. At the end of a wild 6-Man Tag Match, it was Dolph Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag on Luke Harper before Daniel Bryan tags himself into the match, catching Luke Harper with the running knee, pinning Harper to pick up the win for himself, Dolph Ziggler, & Dean Ambrose. After the match, Michael Cole would head into the ring for a post-match interview with Daniel Bryan, congratulating Bryan on the win. However, Dolph Ziggler interrupts, saying that Bryan “stole one” from him for the team, but he gets it. Dolph then says that, at WrestleMania, it will be “every man for himself” and Bryan should remember that. Dean Ambrose then says that Dolph Ziggler doesn’t think he is as good as Daniel Bryan and that bothers him. Ambrose then says that everyone in the back knows the “truth” about Daniel Bryan, calling Bryan a “turd”. Ambrose then leaves the ring before Ziggler grabs the microphone, saying that he agrees with Ambrose, also calling Bryan a “turd”! Ziggler then leaves the ring as Daniel Bryan laughs in disbelief.
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