What a busy week it was last week on SmackDown. We dealt with the fall-out from the No Mercy PPV, and GM Michael Cole found himself at the center of attention again. We discovered that the WWE Title match at Money in the Bank would be a fatal-4-way elimination match!
This week’s show includes the first Beat the Clock challenge match that pits Santino Marella against Ricardo Rodriguez. Depending on the time he posts, Marella might be able to choose the stipulation for his Intercontinental Title rematch at Money in the Bank.
What will happen this week? There’s only one way to find out. Let’s head to the arena for this week’s Friday Night SmackDown!!
In-ring promo with John Cena
The show starts with pyros and we cut to ringside.
Matthews: “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight is a huge night for a lot of superstars on the SmackDown brand, but first up, we’re going to hear from a battered and bruised John Cena.”
As soon as Matthews stops talking, Cena’s music hits and he comes out to a typical reaction. He's sporting a bandage covering stitches in his head. His elbows and fists are taped up too as he sells the injuries from the beating he took from Jericho at No Mercy. Cena gingerly makes his way to the ring and grabs a mic from Tony Chimel.
Cena: “At No Mercy, Chris Jericho gave me one of the biggest ass-kickings I’ve ever had in my life. I underestimated him. I thought he had lost a step. I thought he was more of a dancer and a rock-star than a wrestler. He proved that he’s still one of the best in the world, and he kicked my ass.”
His statement gets a mixed reaction.
“Without a doubt, Jericho proved he can still hang, but there’s one thing that he shoulda done above all else. He shoulda finished the job. Instead, he’s made the worst mistake of his life. Make no mistake about it Jericho, I’m coming for you. What you did to me was nothing. The next time we tear it up, I’m gonna tear you apart! I’ll make sure that…”
Before Cena can finish, he’s interrupted by SmackDown GM Michael Cole, who comes out on stage.
Cole: “John, I’m glad that the doctors have cleared you to appear here tonight, and I know that you want to get revenge on Jericho, but that’s not gonna happen.
You see, until Money in the Bank, I plan to keep you and Jericho as far away from each other as I can because I need to protect my main event. Your rivalry might be important to you, but my only objective is to make sure that SmackDown’s main-event outshines Raw’s.
Therefore, you will be in action tonight… but it won’t be against Chris Jericho.”
The crowd boos Cole.
“However, you’ll face a man that you’ve got history with: a man who also feels hard done by and who wants revenge for what happened to him at No Mercy. Tonight John Cena, you’ll go one on one, with CM Punk!”
The crowd explodes.
Cena: “Cole, I promise you this. If Jericho comes anywhere near me before Money in the Bank, your fatal-4-way match will become a triple-threat. Jericho talks about a revolution coming, but he’s got no idea about what he’s got coming to him!”
With that, Cena’s music blares out of the PA system as he drops the mic and leaves the ring.
Matthews: “Matt, we’ve got a PPV caliber main-event here tonight on SmackDown. John Cena against CM Punk, right here on SmackDown! Can you believe that?!”
Striker: “It’s decisions like that which make SmackDown the most must-see brand in WWE.”
Matthews: “The action doesn’t stop there. Up next, the first of our Beat the Clock challenge matches sees Santino Marella take on Ricardo Rodriguez. Will Santino get revenge for what happened two weeks ago? We’ll find out when we come back.”
Beat the Clock Challenge—Santino Marella v Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo now comes out to some small heat, he walks out in wrestling trunks and an Alberto Del Rio t-shirt.
Matthews: “Wow, Ricardo almost looks like a real wrestler here!”
Santino’s music hits now as he comes out to a big pop. He tells the crowd that the Intercontinental Championship is coming home to him as he makes his way to the ring.
Striker: “I still can’t believe that Cole gave Santino another chance at the belt. It doesn’t seem fair to me. There’s heaps of other guys waiting who should have been given a chance.”
Both men are in the ring now, and Ricardo’s shaking his head at Santino, who just shrugs his shoulders as the bell is rung. He hits Ricardo with a massive clothesline and quickly makes the cover—1...KICK OUT!
Santino looks surprised now as he picks up Ricardo and nails him with lefts and rights. Ricardo’s leaning on the ropes in order to stay up. Santino Irish whips him off the ropes and lands another massive clothesline and covers him—1...2…KICK OUT!
Santino drags Ricardo up again, but Ricardo lands a thumb to his eye, and Santino stumbles backwards. Ricardo hits a left hand, then a right and bounces off the ropes before hitting a spear! He covers Santino—1...KICK OUT!
Santino sits up stunned and Ricardo lands a boot to the head knocking Santino down again. Ricardo goes for another cover—1…KICK OUT! Santino throws Ricardo off of him and tries to get to his feet. Santino lands a boot to the mid-section of Ricardo and sets him up for a suplex and connects. Santino goes for the cover—1…2...KICK OUT!
Matthews: “Ricardo’s doing much better than I thought he would in this match!”
Santino shakes his head and goes to the top rope. He sits perched, waiting for Ricardo to get to his feet as he’s amping up the crowd. Ricardo slowly gets to his feet, and Santino jumps going for the cross body.
Ricardo ducks out of the way, and Santino connects with the referee!
Striker: “Oh no, the referee is down now!”
Santino gets to his knees, realizes what’s happened and goes over to check on the referee. Ricardo slinks out of the ring and slides back in. Santino turns around to find Ricardo swinging a chair at him! Santino blocks it and hits Ricardo with the chair instead. He disposes of the evidence before the referee comes around.
Matthews: “Some might say Ricardo got what he deserved for trying to cheat in the first place!”
Santino now covers Ricardo, but the referee doesn’t move. Santino goes over and checks on him again.
Suddenly, the crowd reacts as Alberto Del Rio runs down the entrance ramp with the title. Santino sees him as he slides into the ring, but he can’t stop Alberto from nailing him with the belt! He pulls Ricardo on top of Santino and throws the referee close to them. Alberto hot tails it out of the ring and back up the ramp now.
Striker: “The champ was here to protect his ring announcer and his title interests here tonight. Santino deserved that for cheating with the chair.”
The referee groggily crawls towards the two men as he begins to count. 1…2...3!
Winner: Ricardo Rodriguez (Time not registered due to Santino’s loss)
Matthews: “Alberto screwed Santino again, hopefully Mick Foley gives Alberto what he’s got coming to him next week on SmackDown!”
Kofi Kingston vs Ezekiel Jackson
We get a recap of what happened during last week’s tag match between Air Boom and the hastily thrown together team of Swagger & Jackson, where they decimated the tag champions. Kofi has asked for this match here on SmackDown tonight.
Jackson comes out first to a chorus of boos. The crowd is all over the big powerhouse, but he laughs it off as he makes his way to the ring. Kofi Kingston’s music hits, and he stands at the top of the ramp to acknowledge the fans.
He doesn’t look like he’s here to party though, and he makes his way to the ring looking focused.
As the ref rings the bell, they lock up and Zeke pushes Kofi away then he poses. Kofi then connects with a series of kicks and forearms as he backs Zeke into the corner. Kofi leaps into the corner, but Zeke pushes Kofi away. Zeke then connects with a forearm to Kofi’s back, followed by a hard bodyslam. Zeke Irish whips Kofi into the turnbuckle, but Kofi bounces straight out and connects with a huge flying clothesline.
He covers Zeke. 1…2…KICK OUT!!
Kofi follows-up his pinfall attempt with a forearm, then a drop-kick that sends Zeke over the top rope to the outside. As Zeke gets back to his feet, Kofi connects with a baseball slide that knocks Jackson into the announce table. Kofi then tries to slingshot over the top rope into a cross-body, but Jackson catches him and slams him into the ringpost!
Matthews: “You can hear Kofi’s spine smashing off the steel! That’s not supposed to happen!”
In a tremendous show of strength, Jackson doesn’t roll Kingston back in to the ring. Instead, he carries him up the ring-steps and starts pressing him up and down above his head before launching Kofi over the top rope like a lawn dart!
Striker: “Josh, I hate to see anyone give up, but Kofi might be best to just stop this thing and live to fight another day. Big Zeke looks frightening when he’s in this mood!”
With both men back in the ring, Jackson licks his lips and starts stalking Kofi. He pokes at him with his feet, but Kofi’s limp and can’t get up. Big Zeke picks Kingston up and sets him up for a sit-down powerbomb. With Kofi on his shoulders, Zeke doesn’t slam him to the mat.
He walks towards the ropes and launches Kofi into the turnbuckle instead, turning him inside out!
The crowd reaction says it all as they chant: “Holy Sh*t! Holy Sh*t! Holy Sh*t!”
Jackson turns to the crowd and starts laughing as the ref checks on Kofi. He’s starting to come around and says he wants to continue. Jackson slowly moves towards Kingston and picks him up. He sets up Kofi for a Jackhammer and connects.
He nonchalantly puts his foot on Kofi’s chest for the cover as the referee counts 1…2…3!
Winner: Ezekiel Jackson (Match Time – 5:12)
After the match, Jackson demands a mic.
Jackson: “You see that? (He points to the destroyed Kofi Kingston). That’s just a taste of what I can do. It’s about time you people realized that I’m a monster that can’t be stopped.
I’m the personification of domination. I’ve got muscles in places most people don’t have places, and I’ve got NO weaknesses.
Simply put, I love beating people up and I’ll do what I want, when I wanna do it for however long I wanna do it. I’m putting the WWE Universe, and the SmackDown locker-room, on notice that Big Zeke always gets what he wants!”
With that, Big Zeke’s music hits and he leaves the ring as the referee and medics check on Kofi.
Chris Jericho promo
We get a video package of Chris Jericho’s assault on John Cena at No Mercy when we hear “Break the Walls Down” blasting out of the PA system. Jericho appears on stage and smirks at the fans as he makes his way to the ring with a mic in hand.
Jericho: “Did you see that? All of Cena’s talk, all of his crap, it wasn’t enough to stop me from handing him the biggest ass-kicking of his life at No Mercy. He couldn’t touch me. That’s why I’m the best in the world at everything I do. Let me make one thing perfectly clear to all you sycophants and wannabes in this arena. I DON’T NEED YOU. YOU NEED ME. Without me, John Cena would be running this show.
Well guess what, I came back to make a statement, and I think I’ve made it pretty clear. I told Cena that a revolution was coming, and now you all know that. There’s a brand new revolution coming your way and you’ve got no idea what’s about to hit the WWE.
This revolution will dominate the entire landscape of this brand and this company, and it’s started with me.
And tonight, there’s one more unfortunate wrestler who’s going to feel what Cena felt, and his name is Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler might be a show-off, but without me, this show is nothing. Once again, in tonight’s main-event, I’ll show why I’m untouchable, inside the ring and out of it.
The revolution continues tonight and Dolph Ziggler will be the next casualty!”
With that, Jericho drops the mic and leaves the ring.
Matthews: “Matt, what the hell is Jericho talking about? He’s talking in riddles. A revolution? What revolution?”
Striker: “Josh, if I knew the answer to that, I’d tell you. Jericho has always been an innovator. While we don’t know what he’s talking about right now, I’ve got a funny feeling that it won’t be long until we find out!”
Matthews: “Ladies and gentlemen, coming next, we’re going to have that HUGE tag-team match where it’s winner takes all in the Light Heavyweight Division. Who’ll come out on top? We’ll find out, NEXT!”
Richie Steamboat & Zack Ryder vs Christian & Heath Slater (Winner takes all match)
The team of Richie and Zack are in first to a decent pop. They slap the hands of all the fans on both sides before diving into the ring. In next are Christian and Heath Slater who are both instantly boo'ed as they taunt the fans and warm up on the way down to the ring.
Zack and Christian start off the match. Christian immediately sends Ryder into the turnbuckle and runs at him. Ryder lifts up a leg and connects with Christian’s face. He staggers back and tags in Slater, who runs straight at Ryder, spearing him to the floor.
Christian unleashes shots to the Ryder’s head as he’s on the mat before the referee pulls them apart. Heath pushes the ref out of the way and continues the onslaught until he’s pulled off again. Slater bounces off the ropes and connects with a legdrop. He grabs Ryder and drags him towards his corner.
Slater then tags in Christian and the two of them lift up Ryder and set him up on the ropes. They shake the ropes with Ryder on them! After the ref reaches a four-count, Christian pulls Ryder off the ropes.
Matthews: “This match has been ALL Slater and Christian so far. We could see a new champ crowned again tonight if Richie can’t get into the ring!”
Christian tags Heath back in and they double team Ryder, whipping him off the ropes and flap-jacking him onto the top rope. They both taunt the crowd as Richie looks on from the side. The two lift up Ryder again and send him face down into the mat. Heath tags Christian back in.
Striker: “Well they’re working well together as a team so far. Richie could lose his belt here without doing a thing!”
Matthews: “That's true Matt.”
The crowd starts booing as they see Yoshi Tatsu making his way to ringside to the announce desk. Tatsu puts on a headset and takes a seat.
Striker: “Yoshi, how do you explain your actions at No Mercy?”
Tatsu: “Matt, all the time I’ve been away from SmackDown, I’ve been practicing, planning and thinking. I wanted to pick my spot when I came back and wait until I could make a statement. It’s just a shame for Steamboat that I’ve chosen to make my return right now!”
In the ring, Slater is taunting Richie. He throws his arms out and yells at Richie. He turns his attention back to Ryder and locks in a rear chin lock in the center of the ring!
Ryder is struggling but can't find the ropes.
Richie has had enough though. He climbs into the ring and kicks Slater’s head so that he releases the hold and gets back out of the ring. Slater gets to his feet and tags in Christian. Christian kicks Ryder in the gut a few times and then stands in the corner.
Striker: “He's looking to wrap up the LHC belt now. Its Kill-Switch time!”
Tatsu: “But is Christian brave enough and clever enough to pull this off?”
Christian waits as Ryder gets to his feet. Christian turns Ryder around, but Zack breaks free and hits a neckbreaker! Both men are down!
Matthews: “Ryder needs to make a tag for his team to have any chance of winning. He’s taken a LOT of punishment from Slater and Christian though!”
Christian is slowly getting to his feet while Ryder is still down. The crowd is chanting a mixture of “Let’s Go Ryder” and “We Want Richie!” Ryder crawls over to his corner as Christian struggles to his feet and he manages to tag in Richie! Richie jumps straight into the ring only to be sent crashing down by a huge dropkick from Christian.
Richie is down and Christian is clutching his leg. Richie uses the ropes to get to his feet, and Christian staggers back up. Richie lands an enziguiri on Christian and heads to the top rope. Slater tries to pull Richie off only to be sent crashing from the apron!
As Christian gets back to his feet, Richie jumps from the top and connects with a crossbody! Richie follows up with a pin! 1…2…KICK OUT! Somehow, the former champ kicks out!
Striker: “Richie nearly had the match won there! That was close!”
Tatsu: “Yes, but he didn't and that's all that matters. If that was me, I would have ended this contest there and then!”
Richie looks towards Tatsu at the announce table and they glare at each other. With Richie distracted, Christian stumbles to his feet. As Richie turns round, Christian tries for a Kill-Switch, but Steamboat breaks free!
Christian sends Richie into the turnbuckle and runs at him, but Steamboat moves out of the way. Richie tries a monkey flip, only to be kicked in the head by Christian.
With Richie down in the middle of the ring, Christian once more heads to the corner looking for the Kill-Switch, but Slater pats Christian on the back and tags himself in! Christian looks on in utter-shock and then fury. He kicks Slater between the legs and as he’s bent over, Christian hits a Kill-Switch on his protege.
Christian leaves the ring and walks up the ramp, out of the arena!
Striker: “What have we just witnessed? It seems as if not only is Christians two month reign with the belt over, but so is his partnership with Heath Slater!”
Tatsu: “Fools. They’ve wasted their chance, so now it’s up to me to take mine!”
In the ring, Richie gets to his feet and notices the downed Slater. Picking him up, Richie lands the flying dragon and gets the 1...2...3!
Winners: Richie Steamboat & Zack Ryder (Match Time - 14:21)
Richie celebrates as his title is handed to him. He climbs to the top rope and celebrates, holding the belt up high before climbing down and shaking hands with Zack Ryder. Ryder leaves as Tatsu puts down his headset.
Richie turns to Tatsu and grins before going to the top rope again.
Matthews: “Well it was an interesting match, but in the end Richie and Zack wanted it more!”
Striker: “That's true! Christian wouldn't have walked out if he wanted that belt! Oh My God! What is Tatsu doing?!”
Tatsu slides into the ring behind Richie. Steamboat turns round into the neckbreaker to shoulder move! Tatsu once more picks up the belt. This time he puts it on his shoulder.
He picks up a mic and crouches down next to Richie.
Tatsu: “You see Richie, you don’t call me out. I pick my spots and do what I want, when I want. The move I’ve just done to you Steamboat, it’s called the Flashing Lights, because after you’ve taken it, all you’ll be seeing, are Flashing Lights!!!”
With that, Tatsu drops the mic and places the belt on Richie before leaving the ring and the arena.
In-ring promo with Alberto del Rio
Ricardo now walks onto the stage to some good heat.
Ricardo: “It is my honour to introduce to you here tonight… the greatest Intercontinental Champion in history…. ALBERRRRRTO DEEEEEEELL RIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!”
Alberto’s music hits now as he walks out with the title strapped firmly around his waist and the crowd boos him out of the building!
Striker: “Ah, Alberto is still the champion and all is right within the WWE. He won a terrific match at No Mercy to retain his title against not one but two challengers!”
Matthews: “Are you kidding me? He picked up the scraps from Santino. Not only did Santino win the match, but he should be the new Intercontinental Champion!”
Alberto: “Ah, and it is morning in America again (he chuckles to himself). I, Alberto Del Rio, successfully defended MY Intercontinental Championship at No Mercy in a triple threat match against the joke, Santino Marella, and Cody Rhodes. I am on my way to becoming the best wrestler in the WWE of all time.
I have already become the greatest Intercontinental Champion ever because it was my destiny! There is nobody in the WWE that can even come close to me. My in-ring skills and my charisma make me the best champion ever.
I’m the longest reigning champion on SmackDown, and that proves that the brand should be built around me, because I know how to get the job done. I now look forward to facing new challenges here on SmackDown and never having to see that joke San…”
Santino Marella’s music hits now as the crowd pops massive for him, he walks down the ramp with a microphone in hand.
Santino: “Alberto, I’m sick and tired of playing these games with you. If you actually followed the rules, you would have never become champion in the first place. Every single championship match I’m involved in, it ends up with me being screwed out of the title. I’m sick to death of it.
You want a new challenge? How about you fight me in a No Disqualification match for the title, right here tonight!”
Alberto: “I don’t think so Santino. You’ve had your chance at the title. It’s time to move along and get out of my ring now, but if you want to fight, I'm sure Ricardo over here wouldn’t mind getting a piece of you!”
Alberto looks at Ricardo, who looks shocked that he was mentioned and looks straight at Santino. The Titantron comes on and Michael Cole appears.
Cole: “Alberto, while you may be the longest-reigning champion on SmackDown, Santino has a point. I’m sick of the foul play and shenanigans going on around the prestigious Intercontinental Title.
At Money in the Bank, Santino will get another shot at your title, however, we’re going to have a little 'Beat the Clock' challenge. Whoever beats their opponent in the quickest time will choose the stipulation for the match. So, next week, we’re going to see Santino taking on Ricardo, and the week after, we will see Alberto taking on…. any ideas Santino?”
Santino: “It’s funny you should ask me that Michael. I’ve got someone perfect in mind. I just talked to him tonight, and he said if I ever needed something to call him, so in two weeks, Alberto Del Rio is going to be facing off against my personal friend, Mrs. Foley’s baby boy, Mick Foley!”
Matthews: “Whoa Matt, can you believe it? Mick Foley is going to be here in two weeks!”