Tonight’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown opens with Fandango and Summer Rae in the ring. Damien Sandow is on commentary for what will be the opening contest.
Fandango asks for a test of strength, but gets back body dropped instead. Langston hits a couple of shoulder thrusts in the corner before running into a boot. Fandango slaps him, but then gets shoved through the ropes and to the floor. Fandango recovers and hits a big clothesline before rolling Langston back in the ring for 2. Fandango hits some mounted punches, then lands a few kicks to the head before applying a front chancery. Langston throws him off, then hits a pair of clotheslines. He ducks one by Fandango and catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex. Langston follows up with a Warrior Splash and goes for the Big Ending, but Fandango comes up with a Ghetto Blaster and gets a 2 off a kick to the head. Fandango goes up top, but gets thrown right back down. Langston hits an avalanche on the opposite side of the ring and follows up with the Big Ending for 3.
WINNER: Big E. Langston. After the match, Sandow climbs into the ring, saying that the IC title is his in two weeks at TLC. Langston holds the belt over his head and tells Sandow to come get it.
Later tonight, CM Punk will face one member of the Shield one-on-one.
Randy Orton makes his way down to the ring. He says it will be champion vs. champion in 10 days at TLC, with both the WWE and World titles on the line. In 10 days, he plans to prove he is the champion of champions, as well as overcome what John Cena did to him on RAW. We then see the footage from Monday, with Cena and Orton trading weapon shots until Cena threw him through a table before hitting an Attitude Adjustment through another. Back to the arena, Orton says even though he’s broken on the inside, he’s not out here to whine and cry like everyone else. He’s here to tell us he will prove he is who he says he is in 10 days, and that is the greatest superstar of this or any other generation. He knows he’s not the most likeable of characters, but that doesn’t matter, because he doesn’t like anyone else, especially Cena. He does, however, revere the Authority. They truly know what’s best for business. Sometimes, he doesn’t appreciate all they truly do for him, and takes things for granted. So, he’s out here to publicly apologize to the Authority.
Orton begins to leave, but Daniel Bryan interrupts. He tells Orton he needs to apologize to the fans for impersonating a champion. Out of all the title matches they had, it’s safe to say that not once did Orton ever legitimately beat him. Just because Bryan has been targeted by the Wyatts, don’t think he has forgotten about Orton, and Orton better believe that whoever wins the title unification match at TLC and becomes the champion of champions, they’re going to turn around and see him waiting for a title match. Now, since they’re both out here and Bryan is looking into the face of WWE, he kind of feels like putting a knee right into it. For old time’s sake, why don’t they have a match here tonight? Orton tells him no (while holding the mic like a douche). Bryan asks the crowd if they want a match, which results in a big “Yes!” chant. Orton leaves, shaking his head.
MATCH 2: WWE Tag Team Champions Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback (non-title)
Rhodes and Ryback start the match with a lock-up. Ryback immediately knees Rhodes, then hits a few rights to the head. Rhodes ducks a clothesline, boots Ryback and kicks him in the head before tagging in Goldust. The champs apply a double arm ringer and hit a double boot before Goldust hits an elbow to the back of the head for 2. Ryback recovers and presses Goldust over his head, dropping him across the ropes gut-first. Ryback goes for the pin and gets 2 before hitting a bodyslam and tagging in Axel. Ryback hits a splash from the middle rope, and Axel follows up with an elbow from the same place for 2. Axel shoves Goldust into the corner for some boots. Ryback tags back in, and he whips Axel in for a back elbow before hitting an avalanche for 2. Axel tags back in as Ryback hits some shoulder thrusts, and Axel hits a snapmare before applying a rear chinlock. Goldust tries to fight out, but gets a knee to the gut instead. Axel misses a dropkick, and Goldust jackknifes him for 2 before hitting a powerslam. Rhodes tags in and hits a springboard seated dropkick, followed by the Goldust uppercut. He misses the Disaster Kick, but avoids a corner whip by hitting an Oklahoma Roll for 2. Axel gets sent into the ring post shoulder-first, and now Rhodes goes to the top, hitting a moonsault for 2 as Ryback breaks it up. Goldust clotheslines Ryback to the floor, with the momentum taking him over as well. Rhodes heads to the outside and hits a Disaster Kick off the announce desk onto Ryback. He gets back in the ring, and Axel quickly rolls him up for 3.
WINNERS: Curtis Axel and Ryback.
Bad News Barrett is standing by next to the announce desk. He says it would be very easy to give people the kind of news they want to hear, like they are important or valued. But he’s not going to do that, because he’s got some bad news. These people are none of the above; they are cowardly, gullible sheep who will follow one another to the slaughter. Thank you very much.
MATCH 3: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
As Kofi is playing to the crowd in the corner, ADR nails him from behind, knocking him to the floor. The bell has yet to ring. ADR sends Kofi into the barricade, then stomps him down. ADR rolls Kofi into the ring, then climbs in himself, looking for the thrust kick, which connects. ADR hits him with his scarf (??), then applies a jujigatame. Two referees pull him off and eject him from the ring as they check on Kofi.
WINNER: No contest, as the match never got started.
The Shield are standing by with comments for CM Punk. Roman Reigns says Punk can’t touch them. If it was up to him, he’d hit a spear and break every bone in Punk’s body. Rollins says they want to hurt Punk tonight, but not so bad he can’t make it to TLC. So, whoever faces Punk tonight has a responsibility, and that’s to show Punk why you need to believe in the Shield. Reigns says that whoever faces him needs to be cutthroat and a certified head-buster who can end any match just like that. They’re dealing with the best in the world; it’s going to take the baddest man in the Shield to take him out. Dean Ambrose looks at Reigns and says, “So…in other words, me.” Reigns looks confused as the hint of a Shield breakup continues.
MATCH 4: CM Punk vs. WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose (non-title)
Reigns and Rollins come out with Ambrose, but leave him to go it alone. Punk applies a side headlock into a hip throw. Ambrose counters into a headscissors, and Punk breaks free before hitting another hip throw. Ambrose counters into a side headlock. The two crisscross before Ambrose avoids a roundhouse. He then runs into a big boot, and Punk follows up with a trio of quick legdrops. Punk goes for a suplex, but Ambrose counters with a kneelift against the ropes. He sets Punk in the corner and grinds his forearm into Punk’s face before hitting a short-arm clothesline for 2. Ambrose applies a sleeper, but Punk breaks free and hits a couple of double axe handles. He goes for the GTS, but Ambrose escapes. Punk goes for it again near the ropes, but Ambrose escapes to the apron, where he also dodges a roundhouse by dropping to the floor. He jumps back up on the apron, and Punk knocks him down with a forearm. This happens again on the opposite side of the ring. On a third attempt, Ambrose drops back down to the floor, where Punk dropkicks him through the ropes. Punk heads outside, where Ambrose grabs him and rams him thrice into the apron. Punk gets rolled onto the apron, where Ambrose hits a series of forearms to the chest. In the ring, Ambrose catapults Punk underneath the bottom rope, then covers him for 2. Ambrose stomps Punk before foot-choking him, then mounts the middle rope, mocks Punk, and hits a jumping stomp for 2. He puts his knee into Punk’s back, then applies a rear chinlock before turning it into a neck vice. Punk slithers out, hits some rights on Ambrose, then runs into a spinebuster for 2. Ambrose stomps him in the gut before hitting a power-drive elbow for 2. He hits a few rights for another 2, then applies a crossface chicken wing. Punk elbows out before receiving a quick clothesline for 2. Ambrose pulls Punk to the middle of the ring, then climbs up to the top rope. He misses a flying elbow, and Punk rolls to the apron, hitting a springboard clothesline for 2. He hits the Pepsi Max in the corner, and a short-arm clothesline gets 2. Punk calls for the Macho Elbow, but before he can go up top, Ambrose goes after him. Punk ducks and goes for a swinging neckbreaker. Ambrose reverses, and Punk reverses that into a backslide for 2. Ambrose counters into fujiwara. Punk breaks free and goes for the GTS, but Ambrose escapes and applies a sleeper. Punk counters into the Anaconda Vice, but Ambrose gets a rope break. Punk hits a bodyslam and goes up top. Ambrose is back to his feet, and he cuts Punk off on the turnbuckles. He goes up for a butterfly superplex, which connects. Haven’t seen that since Lord Steven Regal. Ambrose goes for the pin, but only gets 2. He goes right back to the fujiwara, and Punk manages to get his foot on the bottom rope. Ambrose breaks the hold to argue with the referee, and Punk rolls him up for 2. He quickly hits a roundhouse for another 2, then begins to look around the arena before signaling for the GTS. Ambrose escapes and goes for the D-AK47. Punk escapes and goes for the GTS, but Ambrose slides out, throws Punk into the buckles and rolls him up with a handful of tights for 2. Ambrose picks Punk up and goes for the D-AK47 once more, but Punk breaks it with a high kick and hits the GTS for 3.
WINNER: CM Punk. Awesome match tonight.
Renee Young is standing by with Rey Mysterio. Oh, great. She says he’s held both the WWE and World titles. What would it mean for someone to hold both at once? Mysterio says there’s already a ton of pressure to hold either one, but to be the champion of champions is a test for any man’s fortitude. Zeb Colter and the Real Americans interrupt, saying they’d like to see Mysterio take a citizenship test. Zeb introduces himself, and he asks why Mysterio wears a mask. Who’s he running from? As for Mysterio’s titles, since he’s never seen any documentation on Mysterio’s citizenship, he thinks those titles should be stricken from the record. Mysterio calls himself a “619’er”, born in San Diego. The only thing that should be stricken from the arena is these three hypocrites. Zeb then challenges Mysterio to a tag team match tonight, with Mysterio being able to choose his partner.
Bryan/Orton is confirmed for later tonight.
MATCH 5: Natalya vs. Tamina Snuka (w/WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee)
AJ is on commentary for this match. Nattie applies a side headlock, but Tamina throws her off. Nattie applies a waistlock, rolls off from a rope break, then hits a clothesline for 2. She rolls to the apron, where Tamina lands a knee lift and throws Nattie face-first into the top buckle. Nattie falls to the floor, where Tamina rams her into the apron. Back in the ring, Tamina gets 2, then applies a modified surfboard. Nattie breaks it with a flip and kicks Tamina away, but Tamina recovers and rams Nattie into the corner. She misses a splash, and Nattie hits a clothesline, followed by a snapmare and a seated dropkick. Nattie rolls Tamina up in a schoolgirl for 2, then goes for the Sharpshooter. Tamina kicks her way and hits a Samoan drop. Tamina goes up for the Superfly Splash, but misses. Nattie covers her and gets 3.
MATCH 6: The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger, w/Zeb Colter) vs. Rey Mysterio and the Big Show
Show and Swagger start the match, and Show backs Swagger to the corner before hitting an open-hand chop, knocking him down. Mysterio tags in and hits a baseball slide to Swagger’s leg. He follows up with a hurricanrana off the middle rope, ducks a clothesline, kicks the leg again and goes for a bodyscissors. Swagger counters that into a wheelbarrow suplex, then throws Mysterio to his corner for a tag to Cesaro. Cesaro stomps Mysterio down, giving him a Face Wash. Swagger tags back in and distracts the ref as Cesaro hits a hotshot. Swagger applies a front chancery now before shoving Mysterio off. Mysterio fights his way out of the corner, but gets caught by Swagger, who skee-balls him under the bottom rope to the floor. Cesaro tags in and hits a running knee on Mysterio against the barricade. He deadlifts Mysterio up and slides him into the ring for 2. Swagger tags in and hits an elbow to the head. Mysterio fights back, lands a kick and a spinning headscissors into a DDT. Cesaro tags in and goes for a hit on Show, but gets shoved down by his throat. Mysterio makes the tag, and Show hits a pair of clotheslines, followed by a back body drop. Swagger gets shoved to the floor, and Cesaro receives a running hip bump and a spear for 2 as Swagger breaks it up. Mysterio sets Swagger up for the 619, which connects. Show hits the chokeslam on Cesaro, then tags in Mysterio. Mysterio climbs up onto Show’s shoulders and hits a falling splash for 3.
WINNERS: The Big Show and Rey Mysterio.
We get a video package on the upcoming title unification match, covering the histories of the WWE and World titles, including comments from men who won the belts. Really great package, truthfully. Lots of classic footage and comments from legends like Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair, to name a couple. Check it out if you can.
This is followed by yet another sit-down interview with Michael Cole and Triple H. It’s about the title unification match, and Trips basically says there will be no more champions, just one champion. This is one of the biggest moments in WWE history and will be remembered forever. When TLC is over, Trips guarantees there will be one champion.
Bad News Barrett is once again standing at his podium. He’s actually got some good news. After the TLC PPV, we are guaranteed to have only one champion. That man will stand on top of a precipice so high, he will breathe rarified air. He will be the champion of champions. However, for that same man, Barrett has some bad news: that man will have a target painted on his chest. He will be hunted like a rabid wolf. He will be punched and pummeled from every angle. Traps will be laid for this man. He will be the envy of the locker room, and as such, he is doomed to destruction. Thank you very much.
The two lock up, and Bryan backs Orton into the corner. They switch positions a few times until the ref pulls them apart. Orton hits a boot and applies a side headlock before hitting a shoulderblock off the ropes. The two crisscross until Bryan hits a kitchen sink. He hits a series of kicks in the corner before receiving a headbutt. Orton headbutts him again, but Bryan comes back with rights out of the corner. He hits some more kicks and follows up with a pair of shoulder stunners. Orton counters a third with a 3.0 for 2. Orton stomps Bryan in the head, then misses a jumping kneedrop. Bryan begins kicking him in the legs, then misses a roundhouse before recovering and hitting a dropkick that sends Orton to the floor. Bryan goes for the suicide dive, but Orton sees it coming and dives over the barricade into the timekeeper’s area. Commercials.
Back from the break, Orton is back in control, hitting a jumping kneedrop for 2. Orton applies a rear chinlock, but Bryan elbows his way out before running into a kitchen sink for 2. Orton stomps Bryan in the midsection, then follows up with a suplex for 2 before going back to the chinlock. Bryan once again fights out, ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. Orton pulls himself to his feet in the corner, where Bryan hits two running dropkicks and a series of Yes! Kicks. He mounts Orton on the top rope, snapping off a super hurricanrana for 2. Orton blocks a back body drop, but gets low-bridged to the floor immediately after. Bryan follows up with a suicide dive, then rolls Orton back in the ring. Up top, Bryan hits a seated missile dropkick. More Yes! Kicks, but Orton ducks the Buzzsaw and hits a quick powerslam for 2. Orton throws Bryan to the apron for the suspended DDT, which connects. He coils up for the RKO, but Bryan counters into a backslide for 2 before hitting the Buzzsaw. Bryan goes up top once more, but before he can connect with the Flying Goat, the lights go out. When they come back on, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are standing at ringside. Orton slams Bryan from behind and hits an RKO for 3.
WINNER: Randy Orton. After the match, the lights go out once more. When they come on, Bray Wyatt is on the big screen. He doesn’t mean to keep haunting Bryan like this, but how many times must Bryan cross this burning bridge before he realizes he doesn’t have to enter this fight alone. The poison flows through Bryan’s veins. He knows what they are, and at TLC, he will finally realize what he is. Join them.
End of show.
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:
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