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In an epic confrontation to end SmackDown, just nine days before Royal Rumble, CM Punk looked to stand up against all of his foes at once, and received a thundering Big Red chokeslam for his efforts. Meanwhile, The New Age Outlaws followed up their Monday night crimes against The Second City Saint with a Friday night win over WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Goldust.
When SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero interrupted Friday night’s opening tag team match, titleholders Cody Rhodes & Goldust found themselves down and out at the hands of The New Age Outlaws.
Moments after Cody nailed Billy Gunn with a Disaster Kick, signaling that a win may be in the sights of the brothers Rhodes, The Queen Diva interjected. Vickie reminded the WWE Universe — and the participants of the bout — that the Royal Rumble Match is an every-man-for-himself affair, one that could even come down to brother against brother. With Cody’s attention sufficiently diverted, Gunn used the distraction to roll him up for the three-count, resulting in a huge victory over the Tag Team Champions.
With The Miz sitting in on commentary, however, an “awesome” night of SmackDown action still laid ahead.
With the imminent Big Show/Brock Lesnar battle at the Royal Rumble event looming, Paul Heyman came to SmackDown, looking to apparently rewrite the circumstances of his client’s recent Raw confrontation with the angry giant. He also made the chilling announcement that The Beast Incarnate will appear on WWE’s flagship show this Monday. Despite Big Show’s attacks on both Lesnar and Heyman in recent weeks, the former ECW head honcho warned that he does not fear The World’s Largest Athlete as long as he walks at The Anomaly’s side.
Never one to be intimidated, though, Big Show arrived, and chased the advocate from the ring. The giant went on to roar a response to Heyman — “At Royal Rumble, I’m knocking Brock Lesnar out!”
Since his January return to in-ring action, Alberto Del Rio has continued to impress. In recent weeks, The Essence of Excellence has frequently called out Batista, the former World Champion scheduled to come home to Raw this Monday. Looking to garner more momentum ahead of The Animal’s return, the haughty Del Rio battled the highflying Rey Mysterio on SmackDown, just days after Del Rio’s Raw victory over The Master of the 619 and post-match missive aimed at Batista.
Before the bout commenced, Mysterio responded, telling Del Rio that he should stop worrying about The Animal, and instead worry about The Ultimate Underdog. Mysterio went on to back up his big words in a fast and furious back-and-forth battle, finally trapping his opponent with an out-of-nowhere roll-up for the quick pinfall.
After the bell, however, Del Rio once again attacked Rey, locking him into the devastating Cross Armbreaker. How will Batista respond when he makes his monumental return this Monday?
Coming off a Monday night tag team loss to Divas Champion AJ Lee & Tamina, one-half of The Funkadactyls, Naomi, battled the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka on SmackDown. And with NXT’s own Emma in attendance, Naomi scored a big win over Tamina with an incredible moonsault into a cover — helped in part by Cameron’s aggressive suppression of an attempted distraction by AJ.
In the wake of Daniel Bryan’s Monday night display of defiance in the face of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt delivered a highly anticipated diatribe, aimed directly at his former family member.
The Eater of Worlds ended his eerie missive with one of his most cryptic promises yet: “Daniel Bryan was given every chance to walk with the reapers, and now he will burn with the saints.”
In a battle of two Royal Rumble Match participants, despite an extremely aggressive display by Fandango, Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston continued to tear through the opposition, dismantling the dancing Superstar in a one-on-one match that was capped off by The Big Ending.
Acknowledging the fact that they may well end up in opposition during the every-man-for-himself Royal Rumble Match in nine days, all three members of The Shield promised that, no matter what happens, the faction will always remain united.
After finding himself on the wrong end of a Big Show KO Punch Monday on Raw, the always obnoxious Zeb Colter arrived on SmackDown in a wheelchair and donning a neck brace.
Despite brandishing bandages of their own due to injuries suffered during Raw’s Steel Cage Match, the surging Samoan brothers dropped Colter’s Real Americans in an all-out tag team melee of a match – as Jimmy hit the Splash on Jack Swagger, just moments after ramming Zeb and his wheelchair head-on into Antonio Cesaro.
After The New Age Outlaws left CM Punk holding the bag during their Six-Man Tag Team Match against The Shield Monday on Raw, a furious Second City Saint called out all of his enemies at once — The Shield, The Outlaws, The Authority and anyone else he could think of.
However, just as The Voice of the Voiceless launched into a diatribe against The Game himself, Triple H, both The Hounds of Justice and The New Age Outlaws surrounded the ring. When order was about to break down, however, Director of Operations Kane came out to quell the tensions.
Telling Punk that his anger is misplaced, Kane tried to assure The Best in the World that The Authority is actually on his side and that Kane’s top directive is to make sure the former WWE Champion is treated fairly. Punk wasn’t buying it, however, and when The Big Red Monster attempted to exit the ring, The Second City Saint struck with a vicious verbal assault that led to a ring-shaking chokeslam to The Best in the World as SmackDown went off the air.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & The Road Dogg) defeated The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes & Goldust)
- Rey Mysterio defeated Alberto Del Rio
- Naomi (w/ Cameron) defeated Tamina Snuka (w/ AJ Lee)
- Big E. Langston defeated Fandango (w/ Summer Rae)
- The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger) (w/ Zeb Colter)
- Dark Match: CM Punk defeated The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
Other on-screen talent