WWE Friday Night SmackDown opens up with a big six-man tag team match featuring The Shield and Daniel Bryan.
MATCH 1: Daniel Bryan, Christian and Sheamus vs. The Shield (WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins)
Christian immediately gets booted by Rollins, who then stomps Christian down. Reigns tags in and nails a headbutt to the gut. He follows up with another to the face. Christian ducks a clothesline and a back elbow before hitting a cross-body. Reigns catches it and goes for a powerslam, but Christian escapes, nails an uppercut and tags in Sheamus. Sheamus nails some rights and throws Reigns to the corner. He hits a few strikes before Reigns comes back with a kneelift and a headbutt. Sheamus runs into a back elbow, but then catches Reigns in a rolling fireman’s carry slam. Sheamus lands a big kneedrop for 2, then nails a pair of European uppercuts. Reigns comes back with a kneelift and an uppercut. Ambrose tags in and hits a few strikes before grinding his forearm across Sheamus’ face. Sheamus recovers and tags in Bryan, who fires up the Yes! Kicks in the corner. He backflips off a corner charge, ducks a clothesline and lands his own. He follows up with a running corner dropkick and a super hurricanrana for 2. Bryan immediately goes into the Yes! Lock, but breaks it when the other members of the Shield enter the ring. Christian and Sheamus do the same, evening things up. The referee gets the ring cleared up, and we’re back to Bryan and Ambrose. Ambrose immediately tags out to Reigns. They lock up, and Reigns backs Bryan into the corner. Bryan ducks a clothesline, hits a few kicks and sends Reigns across the ring. Bryan tries for the dropkick again, but Reigns moves out of the way, sending Bryan crashing into the buckles. Ambrose tags in, and he foot-chokes Bryan in the heel corner before tagging in Rollins, who nails a right to the gut. Rollins applies a modified camel clutch, but Bryan breaks free. Rollins nails him in the back with a kick, then follows up with a double axe handle and a series of kneedrops. He applies a rear chinlock now, but Bryan wills his way back to his feet. Rollins sends him into the buckles, where he misses a splash. Sheamus tags in, does his usual “hot tag” offense, then gets pushed to the floor. Sheamus recovers, jumps on the apron and ties Rollins up for the forearm shots from the apron. Up top, Rollins catches him with a kick to the head. Reigns tags in and hits a running seated dropkick on the apron, knocking Sheamus to the floor.
WINNERS: The Shield.
MATCH 2: Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs. The Miz
The two lock up, and Fandango immediately applies a side headlock. He then shoulders Miz off the ropes. The two crisscross until Miz dropkicks Fandango in the knee. He hits some corner mounted punches, blocks a boot and kicks Fandango in the leg. Fandango shakes it off and nails a clothesline for 2 before stomping Miz in the head. Miz fights back from his knees, blocks a punch and hits the Reality Check. Fandango escapes the neckbreaker half of the move and lands a dropkick for 2 before applying a rear chinlock. Miz elbows out, but then gets caught with a knee. Fandango tries for a back suplex, but Miz flips out, hits a boot in the corner, a couple of clotheslines, another boot, a botched kneelift and the full Reality Check. He signals for the SCF, then decides on the figure-4. Fandango kicks him off, sending him shoulder-first into the ring post. Santino Marella and Emma march their way down to the ring, and Summer Rae steps between them in the ring. Emma shoves her, so Rae slaps Emma, leading to a catfight. In the ring, Fandango dumps Miz outside. Marella nails the Cobra on Fandango behind the ref’s back, and Miz comes back in to hit the Skull-Crushing Finale for 3.
WINNER: The Miz.
Byron Saxton is backstage with Cesaro. He says Cesaro must be excited about EC, and facing Randy Orton tonight one-on-one. Cesaro says everyone thinks the same way the rest of the world does, and that he can’t beat Orton. Tonight, he’ll prove the world wrong, and not only can he become WWE World Champion, but he will be. At that point, that’s when he’ll be excited.
MATCH 3-Fatal 4-Way Match to determine a new #1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship: Mark Henry vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Kofi Kingston
IC Champion Big E is on commentary. Swagger and Mysterio get nailed with Henry clotheslines, and Kofi receives a spinebuster. Swagger gets dumped to the floor, and now Kofi and Mysterio try to double-team Henry before they succeed with a double dropkick. They follow up with a pair of seated dropkicks, sending Henry rolling to the outside. Mysterio trips Kofi, they crisscross, and Kofi nails a big jumping back elbow for 2. Kofi misses a kick and goes for a sunset flip, but Mysterio rolls through and lands a kick to the face for 2. Swagger trips Mysterio from the outside, gets in the ring, misses a clothesline and goes for a powerslam on Kofi. Kofi escapes and Mysterio hits Swagger with a spinning headscissors, sending him to the floor. Kofi levels Mysterio with a clothesline and hits a running somersault plancha on Swagger on the outside. Mysterio hits Kofi with a cannonball from the apron, and now Henry is the only one left in the ring. Swagger re-enters and nails a front chopblock on Henry. He follows up with a pair of Swagger Bombs. Kofi knocks him down with a springboard, and Mysterio hits a dropkick on Kofi. Swagger is in position for the 619, but Swagger pops up with a clothesline for 2. Swagger sets Mysterio up in the corner and nails him with a series of kneelifts. He sets Mysterio on the tope and looks for a superplex, but Mysterio kicks him away and hits another cannonball. He comes off the ropes with a spinning headscissors, nails an uppercut and hits a bodyscissors into a bulldog for 2 as Kofi breaks it up. Mysterio reverses a corner whip from Kofi and charges in, but Kofi moves, and Mysterio crashes shoulder-first into the ring post. Swagger sends Kofi into the corner, but Kofi hits a springboard seated dropkick. He follows up with a clothesline, a double chop and a dropkick. He connects with a jumping clothesline and signals for the Boom Drop, which also connects. Kofi now looks for TIP, then sees Mysterio trying to come back in. Kofi knocks him off the apron, then avoids a charge from behind by Swagger, nailing him with the Pendulum. Up top now, Swagger meets Kofi for a superplex, and that’s when Henry comes in fron behind and powerbombs Swagger. Kofi is still up, and Mysterio re-enters the ring, nailing Henry with forearms. Henry comes back with a big boot, but then gets hit with a double axe handle from the top by Kofi. He shakes it off and nails a big clothesline before going for a powerslam on Swagger. Swagger escapes, chopblocks the knee and applies the Patriot Lock. Henry turns on his back and kicks Swagger off. Mysterio hits a 619 to the gut of Henry, and Kofi follows up with Trouble in Paradise, sending Henry to the floor. Swagger gets booted by Mysterio in the corner, as does Kofi. Swagger comes in and hits a double German suplex on both of them as Kofi blocks a bodyscissors by Mysterio. Kofi gets tossed to the floor and now Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock on Mysterio. Mysterio counters, sending Swagger into the ropes for the 619. As he goes for it, Kofi comes back in from out of nowhere and levels Mysterio with Trouble in Paradise. Kofi goes for the pin, but Henry pulls Mysterio to the floor. Kofi dropkicks him through the ropes and tries to skin the cat on Swagger. Swagger blocks it and applies the Patriot Lock. Kofi rolls through and goes for TIP, but Swagger blocks it and applies the Patriot Lock for the submission win.
WINNER AND NEW #1 CONTENDER: Jack Swagger.
MATCH 4: Goldust, Cody Rhodes and the Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. Rybaxel (Curtis Axel & Ryback) and WWE Tag Team Champions the New-Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & the Road Dogg)
Gunn and Goldust start this match with a Goldust side headlock. Goldust then shoulders Gunn off the ropes. The two crisscross, and Goldust then hits an inverted atomic drop followed by the Goldust Uppercut and an armdrag. Gunn nails a right and tags in Dogg, who runs into a hiptoss for 2. Rhodes tags in and begins assaulting Dogg in the corner. Dogg reverses a corner whip, and Rhodes counters that with an Oklahoma Roll for 2. Dogg nails Rhodes in the gut and hits a forearm to the head. Rhodes comes back with a misdirection clothesline for 2, then applies an armbar. Jimmy tags in and comes off the top with a double axe handle. Jey tags in, and the Usos hit a double-elbow to the gut, followed by a double-elbow drop for 2. Dogg comes back with a kneelift and tags in Axel, who nails a gut shot. Axel hits a right to the head, avoids a back body drop and hits a dropkick. Jey rolls to the apron, and Axel slingshots to the floor, nailinging Jey on the way down. Back in the ring, Axel stomps Jey down in the corner before knee-choking him. Ryback tags in and nails Jey with a series of shots before hitting some shoulder thrusts in the corner. He sends Jey hard across the ring, then stomps him down near the ropes before choking him over the bottom rope. Jey gets thrown to the corner, and Ryback nails a knife-edge. Ryback then does it on the opposite side before Jey comes back with chops of his own. Ryback botches a press-slam, then tags in Gunn. Gunn knocks Jey down with a right for 2, then hits a kneedrop. Dogg back in, and he kicks Jey in the ribs before choking him across the top rope. Jey is hung up in the ropes, and Dogg kicks him to the apron before dragging him back in for 2. Dogg applies a rear chinlock, but Jey breaks it by stomping the foot. Dogg tags in Ryback, and he nails a forearm to the back before hitting a delayed vertical suplex for 2. Ryback applies a modified cobra clutch, but Jey manages to elbow out and hit an uppercut. Ryback recovers and nails a back elbow before tagging in Gunn. Gunn throws Jey to the corner, then knocks him down with a right. He picks Jey up, only to knock him down once more. He goes for a corner splash, but Jey moves out of the way, sending Gunn face-first into the top buckle. Dogg and Jimmy tag in, and Jimmy ducks a clothesline before nailing Ryback with a superkick on the apron. He hits Dogg with a spinning back elbow, then nails Axel with a forearm on the apron. Dogg receives a mule kick and a Samoan drop while Gunn receives a full-nelson bomb. Both Outlaws are slumped in the corners, so Jimmy hits them with a pair of running hip bumps for 2 on Dogg as Axel breaks it up. Rhodes enters the ring, as does Axel. Axel gets tossed, and Rhodes levels him with a plancha on the floor. Ryback throws Rhodes head-first into the barricade, and Goldust takes Ryback out with a somersault plancha from the apron. In the ring, the Usos nail Dogg with a double-superkick, and Jimmy goes up for the Samoan Splash as Jey takes out the heels on the outside with a suicide dive. Jimmy connects with the Splash and gets 3.
WINNERS: Goldust, Cody Rhodes and the Usos.
Renee Young is standing by with Randy Orton. She reminds him of his score in the Chamber Gauntlet. She asks if he’s been treated unfairly. He says no, and understands why the Authority is placing these challenges before him; to make him a stronger champion. He basically calls Cesaro a liar, and the Authority wants “the Viper”, so that’s what they and Cesaro are going to get.
We get another video for Alexander Rusev and Lana.
MATCH 5: Damien Sandow vs. Darren Young
Titus O’Neil is on commentary for this match. Young applies a side headlock, shoulders Sandow off the ropes, crisscrosses and hits an inverted atomic drop. Young then clotheslines Sandow to the floor before taunting Titus. Sandow dropkicks Young in the knee before hitting a side-Russian legsweep into the barricade. Back in the ring, Sandow gets a pair of 2-counts. Young comes back with rights before getting hit with a kitchen sink. Sandow goes for the You’re Welcome, but Young counters with a quick roll-up for 3.
WINNER: Darren Young. Titus nails Young from behind after the match. Young gets back to his feet and tackles Titus before nailing him with a forearm. Young rips part of Titus’ suit, and Titus heads to the back.
Cesaro tries a quick schoolboy for 1, and Orton bails to the floor. Back in the ring, Orton tries the same move, getting 1, then slides out to the floor once again. Back in, Cesaro hits a waistlock takedown, spins around Orton and turns the hold into a bridge for 2. He hangs on and hits a deadlift gutwrench suplex for 2. Cesaro lands the double-stomp for another 2, then hits a series of European uppercuts in the corner. Orton rebounds off a corner whip with a clothesline, then hits a European uppercut of his own. Cesaro shakes it off, hits a few more uppercuts, sends Orton across the ring and hits a running version for 2. Orton bails to the floor, and Cesaro follows him this time. Orton sends Cesaro into the barricades twice, then hits a clothesline before rolling back into the ring. Cesaro beats the count, and Orton meets him with a series of strikes for 2. Orton applies a sleeper, but Cesaro counters with a back suplex for 2. Orton gets hit with another European uppercut, and Cesaro follows up with a jumping elbow for 2. Orton slides to the floor, then asks for the doctor to come check on his arm, claiming he’s hurt. Cesaro heads outside, and Orton boots him in the gut before hitting a back suplex across the barricade. Cesaro gets slammed face-first into the announce desk, then rolls Cesaro back in for 2. Orton applies a rear chinlock, but Cesaro elbows his way out. The two then trade European uppercuts. Cesaro begins to dominate, but then runs into a back elbow that sends him to the floor. Orton heads out and slams Cesaro face-first into the apron. He throws Cesaro into the barricade, but Cesaro shakes it off and runs through Orton with a clothesline. Orton gets thrown back into the ring, and he meets Cesaro with a boot through the ropes. He sets up for the suspended DDT, but Cesaro counters into the Cesaro Swing. Orton gets a rope break, but Cesaro traps him on a second try and swings him around 18 times to a huge pop. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer, but Orton counters with a back body drop. Cesaro lands on his feet, misses a clothesline and gets hit with a powerslam for 2. Orton throws Cesaro to the apron, connecting with the suspended DDT this time, looks up at the Wrestlemania XXX logo, points at it, then coils up for the RKO. Cesaro blocks it with a European uppercut to the back of the head, then nails him with a Very European Uppercut for 2. Orton pulls himself to his feet in the corner, dodges a charge and hits a dropkick for 2. Cesaro rolls to the apron, where Orton picks him up and sends him face-first into the top buckle. Orton pulls Cesaro up and goes for the Ace Superplex. Cesaro blocks it and hits a sunset-flip powerbomb before hitting a rolling European uppercut. He connects with the Neutralizer and gets…and gets 3!
WINNER: Cesaro. Hot damn! I did not see that coming. Huge, huge, HUGE win for Cesaro, and a damn impressive one at that.
End of show.
That main event was excellent, made even better by the big Cesaro win. If that match doesn’t prove to everyone that Cesaro is a big money, main event player, I don’t know what will.
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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