This week’s Smackdown opens with a recap video for WWE Payback, last Sunday’s pay per view that gave us new Divas, Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Champions.
In the arena, Michael Cole welcomes us and “Ride of the Valkyries,” bringing Daniel Bryan shouting “YES!” on his way to the ring. Cole reminds us that Bryan was pinned on Sunday night and had his match against Randy Orton stopped on Monday Night Raw.
Bryan takes the microphone. The crowd chants “YES!” along with the bearded Goat. Bryan says that in the thirteen years he has been wrestling, he has NEVER had a match stopped due to injury. He told the doctor that he could continue but the WWE officials didn’t agree with him. They claim that they were concerned for his health, but Bryan thinks they stopped it because they think that he’s the weak link. The worst person involved in the entire situation is Randy Orton: Bryan is furious that after the match was stopped, Orton helped Bryan up and took pity on him. Bryan is furious. “Instead of fighting to keep that match going... Orton picked me up and patted me on the head like I’m his little brother or some sort of little dog.” Tonight, Bryan doesn’t care what the doctors think: he will prove that he is not the weak link. He wants to beat Randy Orton tonight.
“I Hear Voices” hits and Randy Orton makes his way down the ramp. Orton shakes his head at Bryan. Orton says that Bryan has it all wrong--that match was stopped because people were concerned for Bryan’s well-being. Orton says that he respects Bryan for fighting through the injury. When he helped him up it wasn’t out of pity, it was because of respect.
Bryan thinks he’s being patronized. He says Orton pities him. Bryan is going to prove how tough he is: he’s going to take Orton’s respect and shove it down his throat.
Orton says Bryan is way out of line. He agrees: tonight they’ll fight... and Orton is going to hurt him. Tonight, when the officials stop the match, Bryan will be carried out. “Respect that!”
Orton leaves the ring and Bryan shakes his head. We’ve got Bryan vs Orton, one-on-one, tonight! Also tonight: Chris Jericho vs the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto del Rio in a non-title match and Wade Barrett challenges Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship!
“Too Many Lies” hits and the Celtic Warrior makes his way to the ring for our first match of the night! The crowd pops huge for Sheamus.
“Smoke and Mirrors” hits and Cody Rhodes is ready for action, accompanied by his Rhodes Scholars partner, Damian Sandow.
MATCH ONE: Cody Rhodes w/ Damian Sandow vs Sheamus
Cody comes out swinging and kicks Sheamus into the corner. Sheamus fights back, overpowering his smaller opponent. Sheamus hits a Vertical Suplex for a nearfall. Rhodes goes back to kicks but Sheamus hangs him on the top rope... for a Snapmare Takeover from the top rope! Rhodes rolls to the outside to recuperate. Cody takes some cheap shots on the outside and sends Sheamus into the barricade. Sandow shouts at Sheamus to “stay down!” Sheamus beats the referee’s count into the ring and Rhodes goes back to the attack. Rhodes bends Sheamus’ left arm back over the ropes. Sheamus unloads with his right arm, but Rhodes hits an Armbreaker and a running knee to a fallen Sheamus. JBL reminds us of Rhodes’ history as a Tag Team Champion and an Intercontinental Champion. Sheamus fights back and charges Cody in the corner but Rhodes sends him shoulder-first into the turnbuckle. Rhodes keeps working over the left arm of the Celtic Warrior. Sheamus fights back and tries a Springboard Battering-Ram but Cody catches him and locks in an Armbar! Sheamus gets to his feet and starts running through Cody. Sheamus hits his Rolling Senton and sends Rhodes into Sandow, who had jumped up on the apron.
Sheamus locks in a beautiful Cloverleaf and Rhodes taps out!
As soon as Sheamus’ music hit, Sandow attacked him from behind. A suited Sandow beats Sheamus down in the corner and retrieves his partner from the ring.
We see another promo for the Wyatt Family. “We’re coming.”
“Perfect Son” hits and the new Intercontinental Champion approaches the ring for his first title defense! Curtis Axel smiles his way to the ring, accompanied by Paul Heyman.
Back from commercial and Wade Barrett is already in ring.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Wade Barrett vs Curtis Axel w/ Paul Heyman
The Miz has joined the commentary team and Barrett and Axel lock it up. Miz says that he feels like Axel stole the IC Title from him, but Axel was smart to do what he did.
Barrett is angry at the new Champ and stomps away at Axel in the corner. Barrett heads off the ropes and runs into a beautiful dropkick from the Perfect Son. Axel beats Barrett down against the ropes and drops an elbow across Barrett’s throat for a nearfall. Axel hammers on Barrett with ruthless aggression.
Barrett turns the tables and lands some shots, pausing to shout at Heyman on the outside. Now, Axel and Barrett are trading heavy shots until Barrett hits a Snap Suplex. Barrett hangs Axel on the second rope and delivers three heavy knees to the face, followed by a big boot that sends Axel to the outside. Barrett is getting some babyface pops in this match. Barrett pauses to trash talk Miz at the outside and Axel gets the upper hand. Axel sets up for the PerfectPlex but Barrett reverses into a big boot to the face. Barrett goes for a second-rope Elbow Drop but Axel dodges and hits a running Swinging Neck Breaker for the three-count.
WINNER: The Intercontinental Champion, Curtis Axel
The Miz gets in the ring and takes off his coat and tie, ready for a fight. Heyman leads Axel out of the ring and Axel tells Miz he’ll see him later.
We get a recap of the amazing Mark Henry hoax from Monday Night Raw.
We’re told that Vickie Guerrero made it official: At Money in the Bank it’s Mark Henry challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship!
“Light it Up” hits and the Divas Champion skips to the ring, accompanied by Big E Langston. She’s in action next.
Back from commercial and Natalya is in the ring.
MATCH THREE: Natalya vs The Divas Champion, AJ Lee w/ Big E Langston, non-title match-up
No Dolph Ziggler on the sidelines, as they attempt to extricate the Show-Off from the AJ/Langston unit. Natalya goes on the offensive right away, locking in an inverted Crossover Leglock. AJ fights out and locks in a Sleeper hold to a standing Natalya. Natalya backs into the corner to get a break but AJ kicks her to the mat for a nearfall.
Back from commercial and Natalya hits a Vertical Suplex and tosses Lee to the mat for a nearfall. Natalya shouts at Lee that she has “no respect!” Natalya picks Lee up and spins her for a powerslam but AJ squirms out and maneuvers her way into the Black Widow for the submission!
WINNER: The Divas Champion, AJ Lee
Cole says that Lee has alienated herself from the locker room and JBL says “Who cares? She’s Champion!”
In the back, Aksana insults Kaitlyn and Layla and Kaityn beats Aksana down, throwing her in the trash. The other divas break up the fight but Kaitlyn refuses to calm down.
“Break Down the Walls” hits and the man with the nicest jacket in North America, Y2J, Chris Jericho takes the stage. Jericho heads to the ring to a huge pop. Jericho is set to take on the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Lillian Garcia introduces Alberto del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez introduces the new World Heavyweight Champion en espanol. Del Rio enters to a chorus of boos, having pulled off one of the smarter heel turns in a while.
MATCH FOUR: Chris Jericho vs The World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez, non-title match-up
Del Rio lost Monday Night Raw’s main event against CM Punk by count-out, walking away from the ring--only to be attacked by Dolph Ziggler, the man that del Rio took the Title from!
In the ring, the bell rings and Jericho and del Rio lock it up. Del Rio hits a shoulder block, a float over, and runs right into a Dropkick from Y2J. Jericho lights up del Rio with chops against the ropes and chokes the Champion on the middle rope. Jericho hits a running knee against the ropes and gets a nearfall. Cole reminds us that this is del Rio’s second reign as World Heavyweight Champion and is also a two-time WWE Champion. Del Rio turns the tables and stomps Jericho on the mat as the crowd boos. Del Rio begins kicking at Jericho’s left arm, targeting him for the Cross Armbreaker. Del Rio dives at Jericho on the ropes and misses; Jericho follows up with a Springboard Dropkick, then a running Baseball slide to the outside. Jericho rolls del Rio back in the ring but when he steps through the ropes, del Rio hits a side-kick to Jericho’s head.
Back from commercial and Jericho dives for a splash in the corner but misses and spills to the outside. On the outside, del Rio hits a running kick--and another--to Jericho’s cranium. Del Rio rolls Jericho back in the ring for a nearfall. Del Rio hits shoulderblocks in the corner and Jericho is hurting. Del Rio misses a running shoulderblock and hits the ringpost.
Jericho tries to get rolling with running shoulder-tackes and a top rope Double Axehandle. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho but del Rio counters and kicks Jericho’s head off for a nearfall. Del Rio is getting frustrated and hits five headbutts to a fallen Jericho. Del Rio goes for an Enzuguiri but Jericho dodges and hits a top rope Crossbody followed by a running Bulldog and a HUGE Lionsault. Del Rio fights back with kicks to the midsection and calls for the Cross Armbreaker. Jericho reverses--del Rio goes for a Sunset Flip but Jericho counters into the Walls--which del Rio turns into the Cross Armbreaker... until Jericho fights through and locks in the Walls of Jericho!
Rodriguez gets on the apron and Jericho attacks him and brings him in, locking the Walls on Rodriguez! Suddenly, Dolph Ziggler hits the ring and attacks del Rio, causing a disqualification.
WINNER: The World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto del Rio
After the match, Jericho hits a Codebreaker on Ziggler! Del Rio and Rodriguez return to the ring after Jericho leaves. Rodriguez holds Ziggler from behind and del Rio Superkicks Ziggler in the face. Del Rio celebrates.
Back from commercial and 3MB are in the ring, rockin’ out.
“Just Close Your Eyes” hits and Christian makes his return to Friday Night Smackdown!
MATCH FIVE: Christian vs Drew McIntyre w/ Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal
Right off the bat, Christian sends McIntyre to the outside, followed by a big baseball slide. Back in ring, Christian hangs McIntyre on the middle rope and leaps to the outside to slap his face. Back in the ring and McIntyre hits a big boot for a nearfall. McIntyre works Christian over in the corner and runs into a boot from Christian. Christian hits a diving middle-rope back elbow then knocks Slater off the apron. McIntyre attacks Christian from behind but Christian wraps up with and hits the Killswitch for the quick victory.
That’s two big wins for Christian this week--Captain Charisma is rolling. Christian takes the mic: after ten long months, it feels “damn good” to be back on Smackdown! He loves his peeps. They know why he came back: for that one... more... match... for the World Heavyweight Championship!
Suddenly, “Hounds of Justice” hits and The Shield are surrounding the ring! Christian is surrounded... he attacks Seth Rollins but The Shield beat Christian down in the ring. The United States Champion and the Tag Team Champions hit a Triple Power Bomb on Christian. The Shield stands tall with their Titles over the fallen Christian.
Renee Young is backstage with Paul Heyman asking if he was involved in Lesnar’s attack on CM Punk back on Raw. Heyman mocks Young for gossiping. Asks her how her relationship is with her father. Heyman continues to goad the Canadian blonde and keeps asking her about why she broke up with her fiance. “It’s not fun talking about your personal life on TV, is it?” Heyman said that anything that happens between Heyman and Punk is personal and he’s not going to air their dirty laundry on television. He wonders why she didn’t ask about Curtis Axel defending the IC Title for the first time. Heyman leaves and Renee is upset.
“I Hear Voices” hits and we’re ready for the match we’ve been waiting for! The Apex Predator makes his way to the ring, looking focused. JBL and Cole talk about Orton and Bryan teaming with Kane to beat The Shield and now they’re at each other’s throats.
MATCH SIX: Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton
As soon as the bell rings, Bryan charges Orton into the corner, kicking away. Orton spins him around and lands some headbutts. Orton raining blows on Daniel Bryan--these men are angry. The crowd is hyped up for both men as Orton begins the Garvin Stomps on a fallen Bryan. Bryan fights back out of the corner with fists and kicks. Now Bryan is punching Orton in the corner. Orton blocks a Snap Suplex and hits a Vertical Suplex of his own. Orton stomps on Bryan’s face and circles his prey. Orton missing a jumping kneedrop and Bryan goes for a DragonWhip submission! Orton fights out and locks a side Headlock. Bryan fights out with a Kneebreaker and goes for the No Lock... Orton fights out. Bryan tries to get the No Lock on the other arm and Orton hits a back Suplex to evade the move. Orton hangs Bryan up on the top rope and drags Bryan for a Vertical Suplex to the outside--but Bryan fights out. Then, Orton Hot-Shots Bryan’s head off the top rope and hits a Back Body Drop to the outside!
Back from commercial and we see Orton hit a huge Dropkick for a nearfall. Bryan looks dazed and Orton sits Bryan on the top rope. He unloads right hands and sets up for a Superplex! Bryan blocks the Superplex and headbutts Orton for the long fall to the mat... top rope Missile Dropkick from Bryan! The ref counts as both men are flat on their backs. Bryan is fired up! He hits a running Dropkick to a fallen Orton in the corner for a nearfall. Bryan looks intense and begins screaming to Randy that he’s not the weak link. Orton whips Bryan into the corner but Bryan backflips off the turnbuckles! Bryan runs the ropes and gets caught in a huge Powerslam for a nearfall! Orton is frustrated and Bryan grabs a backslide for a nearfall, followed up by NINE huge kicks to Orton’s chest and head. Orton barely kicks out at two and both men are exhausted. Bryan goes to the top rope and Orton crotches him on the turnbuckle. Orton sizes Bryan up for a big punch to the jaw and sets up for the Superplex again... and hits it! Huge Superplex but Bryan still kicks out!! Orton is stunned!
Orton is in firm control and plants Bryan with a big DDT. Orton calls to the crowd who pops for an RKO. Orton sets up but Bryan rolls out of the ring. Orton pursues him and hits a Back Suplex onto the barricade--the same move that ended the match on Monday. In a desperation move, Bryan shoves Orton into the barricade and runs off the apron for a huge knee lift to the face!
Bryan rolls back in the ring and goes for a Suicide Plancha! The very move that almost broke Bryan’s neck on Monday, but he catches Orton flush and Orton is down! Bryan crawls into the ring but the referee counts to ten and Orton is counted out!
WINNER: Daniel Bryan
Bryan is furious and begins screaming “NO!” He says he doesn’t want a count-out victory and the match should be restarted. The referee refuses to restart the match and Bryan keeps screaming as Smackdown goes off the air.
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