This week’s Friday Night SmackDown opens with Michael Cole in the ring as he introduces the WWE’s COO, Triple H. Trips and Cole sit down, and Cole immediately asks about what happened with the Big Show on RAW. Trips hopes Show is proud of himself. The actions of Show resulted in six people being fired by Stephanie McMahon-Levesque this morning. Show has also apparently filed a lawsuit, so Trips and his wife have been advised by their lawyers not to make any further comments.
Show is still fired, and is irrelevant. Trips is focused on Hell in a Cell, so let’s focus on that. Cole asks about Show appearing at HIAC or tonight. Trips cuts him off and says not to ask about Show, especially when Cole knows Trips can discuss him. Cole moves onto the World Championship match instead. Trips can’t wait for the return of John Cena this coming Sunday. He knows what it’s like to come back from an injury like that, and he can’t wait to see Alberto Del Rio defend the title. Cole moves onto the WWE Championship match now, including Shawn Michaels being named the special referee. Trips is thrilled with HBK guaranteeing a new champion. He wants nothing more than that, and HBK is the right man for the job, as he knows what HIAC is about better than anyone. Cole brings up the disagreements between Trips and Daniel Bryan, who HBK trained. Trips says he and Shawn have been friends for 20 years, and during that time, they’ve also been competitors. However, they share a lot of similar beliefs, and one of those is how the WWE should operate and what’s best for business. Trips knows that, when it’s all said and done, HBK will do the right thing. Cole asks what the right thing is.
Before Trips can answer, Daniel Bryan makes his way down to the ring. Cole leaves the ring, and Bryan takes his mic. He says the right thing to do is to let himself and Randy Orton settle this thing once and for all. And regardless of what anyone does, inside HIAC, no one gets in or out until there is a definitive winner. He knows HBK is Trips’ best friend, but he’s also his own man. HBK won’t favor either competitor, and he’ll do what’s best for business. When he does, after everything Trips has said to Bryan, he is going to prove Trips wrong. And when he does, he is going to become the new WWE Champion, and as much as Trips might hate it, the new face of WWE. Yes! Yes! Yes! As Trips tries to leave, Bryan turns him around and continues the Yes! chant in his face.
MATCH 1: The Usos (Jey and Jimmy) vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt)
Rowan starts the match with Jimmy. Jimmy ducks a clothesline and nails Harper on the apron before Rowan knocks him down. He beats Jimmy down in the corner and tags in Harper. Harper sends Rowan into the corner for an avalanche, and Rowan turns around and sends Jimmy into a big boot. Harper applies a side headlock before throwing Jimmy into the corner and hitting a Michinoku Driver #2 for a 2-count as Jey breaks up the pin. Jimmy manages to tag out, and Jey hits a shoulderblock from the top rope. He avoids a corner charge, hits a mule kick and a Samoan drop. Jey follows up with a running hip bump in the corner and goes for the pin, but Rowan breaks it up at 2. Jimmy mule kicks Rowan before the Usos send him to the floor. Harper gets thrown as well, and Jey hits a suicide dive on Rowan. Jimmy goes for the same thing, but eats a forearm from Harper. Harper then levels Jey on the outside with a big boot. He rolls Jey back into the ring as Wyatt gets out of his seat. At this point, Miz leaves the announce desk and boots Wyatt in the face. Rowan runs after him, chasing him to the back. In the ring, the Usos hit a double superkick on Harper and Jey gets the 3.
WINNERS: The Usos.
MATCH 2: Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) vs. WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee (w/Tamina Snuka; non-title)
AJ applies a rear chinlock before shoving Nikki away. Nikki comes back with a drop toe-hold and a Thesz Press. AJ rolls to the floor behind Tamina. She gets back on the apron, where she hits a hotshot on Nikki for 1. Nikki gets knee-choked across the middle rope, and AJ follows up with a neckbreaker for 1. AJ applies a sleeper, but Nikki rams AJ back into the buckles before snapmaring her off. Nikki hits a pair of clotheslines and a back elbow before hitting a Dropsh*t. Nikki hairmares her across the ring, but misses a bronco buster, injuring her knee in the process. Outside, Brie tries to attack Tamina, but Tamina just throws her into the steps. In the ring, AJ applies the Black Widow and gets the submission win.
WINNER: AJ Lee.
We see Bray Wyatt in the back, and he has something to show us. The camera follows him down a dark path in the back, and we see Harper and Rowan flanking the Miz, who is beaten up on the floor, handcuffed to a metal structure, wearing Rowan’s goat mask, with the word “LIAR” painted on his chest. Wyatt says he tried to warn Miz, but he fears Miz will now truly understand what it means to follow the buzzards.
MATCH 3: Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater (w/Jinder Mahal) vs. Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando (w/El Torito)
Before the match starts, the Real Americans make their way onto the stage. Drew starts the match with Diego. Diego snaps off a hurricanrana, then applies an arm wringer. Drew counters with a jawbreaker and tags in Slater, who hits a kneelift and a jumping kneedrop for 2. Drew tags back in, and the heels hit a double slingshot suplex for 2. Drew applies an armbar, then hits a kneelift. He misses a charge in the corner, and Fernando tags in. He hotshots the arm and hits a flying forearm. Another forearm connects, followed by a corkscrew version off the middle rope. He knocks Slater off the apron before Drew goes for a back suplex. Fernando backflips and falls into his corner, where Diego tags himself in. Diego leaps over Drew and hooks him around the neck. Fernando comes in, and Los Matadores hit a combination forearm to the back/complete shot for 3.
WINNERS: Los Matadores. After the match, Mahal tries to charge at Torito. Torito moves, and Los Matadores pick him up and ram him into Mahal, sending him to the floor. Torito follows up with an Asai moonsault before celebrating with his team. Zeb Colter gets on a mic, calls them “border-hopping bandidos”, then says he didn’t risk his life in Cambodia so an illegal could assault him in a rear. He then accuses Los Matadores of kidnapping El Torito and forcing him into a bull’s costume. At HIAC, justice will prevail when the Real Americans defeat them.
Paul Heyman and Ryback make their way out for their match, but before it starts, Heyman tells us we are about to bear witness the teamwork they will see this Sunday in the very first 2-on-1 Handicap HIAC Match. He then introduces us to their opponent tonight, CM Skunk. Some guy in Punk’s gear comes out.
MATCH 4-No-Disqualification 2-on-1 Handicap Match: Paul Heyman and Ryback vs. CM Skunk
Apparently, this guy is an indy worker named Danny Todd. Skunk hits a couple kicks to the leg until Ryback blocks one and shoves Skunk down. He picks Skunk up and rams him into the corner from across the ring before hitting a powerbomb. Ryback deadlifts Skunk for another powerbomb, then Heyman asks to be tagged in. Heyman goes under the ring and grabs a kendo stick. Heyman repeatedly cracks Skunk with the stick, then orders Ryback to finish him off. Ryback nails a Meat Hook, then hits Shell Shocked. Heyman then covers Skunk with one foot for the 3.
WINNERS: Paul Heyman and Ryback. After the match, Heyman says that, for those who want to boo and say that was a parody of CM Punk, he assures the fans they are deadly serious about this Sunday. Ryback will use every inch of that cell to his advantage, grinding Punk’s face over every inch. Then, Heyman will step inside the ring and once again pin Punk 1-2-3 and prove to everyone including Punk that his name is Paul Heyman and he is the best in the world.
We see Vickie Guerrero watching this on a monitor and laughing when Big E. Langston walks in. Langston says that, since the Miz is down, there’s a spot open in the main event, and he wants in. Vickie asks why he deserves that spot. He says that everyone has been saying he’s a young rookie. He is young, but he’s also hungry, and he wants a spot. She says that’s fair, and she’ll run it by Triple H. Langston says he thought she was in charge here, and maybe he accidentally walked into the office of Brad Maddox. Vickie then allows Langston to take that spot before telling him to never compare her to Maddox ever again.
Alberto Del Rio makes his way onto the stage and says that, this Sunday, he’ll prove to everyone that John Cena is fooling himself. Cena isn’t ready to face the World Champion. He knows Cena thinks he’s like Superman, but he’s losing his mind. ADR is a real-life Mexican Superman. He stands for loyalty, justice and the Mexican way. At this moment, they’re throwing parades for ADR, building statues of his likeness and “naming childs” after him. Latin and Mexican people just love him. He doesn’t speak for all of them, though; only those sharing his class and sophistication. That’s exactly why he doesn’t speak for anyone in this crowd. Plus, they have their own hero, John Cena, with his blue eyes and pale skin. He’s the perfect representation of a gringo. That’s why this Sunday at HIAC, ADR will put him in the cross-armbreaker and never let go. These gringos and the Mexican peasants have one thing in common: they all can kiss his *wink*.
We get a video for R-Truth shilling WWEShop.com. Santino Marella then takes over for him.
MATCH 5: The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle and Natalya) vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
Fandango ducks a clothesline and hits a chop. Khali no-sells it and hits a forearm to the head. He sets Fandango in the corner and hits an open-hand chop. The same thing happens in the adjacent corner, and Fandango gets knocked to the apron. He manages to hit a kick to the head from here, then pounds Khali down in the corner before running into a back elbow. Khali hits a big boot and a pair of clotheslines. Rae jumps on the apron and distracts Khali, allowing Fandango to chop-block him. Nattie confronts Rae, and Rae slaps her. Nattie chases her into the ring and the two have a catfight. Fandango pulls Rae off, then turns around into a Khali brain chop.
WINNER: No contest.
MATCH 6-8-Man Tag Team Match: Daniel Bryan, Big E. Langston, and WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The Shield (WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) and Randy Orton
Rhodes and Ambrose start the match, with Ambrose backing Rhodes into the corner. Rhodes fights out with rights, then stomps Ambrose down before sending him across the ring and hitting a back body drop. Rhodes applies an arm wringer, and Goldust tags in to apply one as well. He hits a kneedrop off the ropes for 1, then hits a couple of uppercuts before landing a running clothesline off the ropes. Rhodes tags back in, hits a kidney shot and throws Ambrose to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Rollins and Langston are legal, and Rollins hits a few chops to the chest before running into a belly-to-belly suplex. Rhodes tags back in. Rollins reverses a corner whip, and Rhodes counters into a sunset flip for 2. Rollins blocks a clothesline in the corner, turning it into a complete shot into the middle buckle. Reigns tags in and headbutts Rhodes in the gut, then sends him to the corner across the ring. Rhodes blocks the charge and tags in Bryan, who fires off the Yes! Kicks before hitting a dragon-screw. Bryan goes for a surfboard stretch, but instead just stomps both knees. Langston tags in and hits a body blow before shouldering Reigns in the corner. Goldust tags in and gets a 1-count before throwing Reigns into the adjacent corner. Reigns turns things around and sends Goldust into the corner, but Goldust blocks the charge and hits a twisting cross-body from the top for 2. Rhodes tags in and hits the Goldust Uppercut for 2. Reigns gets back to his feet and rams Rhodes into the corner, where Ambrose tags in. Ambrose grinds Rhodes’ face across the top rope, then tags in Orton. He mounts the corner for some punches before Rhodes begins to fight back. Orton headbutts him, but Rhodes comes back with a high knee for 2. Rhodes hits a standing gourdbuster for another 2, then stomps Orton in the chest. Goldust tags in and hits a series of uppercuts in the corner for 1, then tags Rhodes back in, who knocks Orton down with a right for 1. Orton rakes the eyes in the corner, then hotshots Rhodes across the top rope. He knocks Rhodes to the floor with a right hand before tagging in Ambrose, who hits a side-Russian legsweep into the barricade. Back in the ring, Ambrose hits a jumping stomp for 2, then tags Orton back in. Orton misses a jumping kneedrop, and Rhodes capitalizes with some mounted punches in the corner. Orton escapes and hits a suspended 3.0 from the middle rope. Commercials.
WINNERS: Daniel Bryan, Goldust, Big E. Langston and Cody Rhodes.
End of show.
Really fun main event this week, and I gotta tell you, working with all of these main eventers is improving Langston’s performances dramatically. He looked damn good here, and didn’t look out of place like he might have in the past.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below: