|Friday Night Smackdown|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||March 16, 2012|
|Transmission||Taped (Mar 13, 2012)|
|Event reference||Smackdown #656|
|Special event details||2 hr episode|
|Previous episode||March 9, 2012|
|Next episode||March 23, 2012|
Prior to competing in the SmackDown main event, Chris Jericho refused to apologize for comments he made about CM Punk’s father on Raw SuperShow (WATCH). Instead, he expounded on the highly personal attack in order to explain why he is “the best in the world at what he does” while The Second City Saint “only pretends to be.”
With World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and AJ watching at ringside, an extremely heated main event between WrestleMania World Title No. 1 contenders Jericho and Sheamus eventually spilled out onto the ringside floor. There, The Great White threw his opponent in the direction of Bryan. Moments later, when the referee’s back was turned, The Celtic Warrior’s Show of Shows adversary answered back, hitting him with a vicious kick that ultimately caused cost him the match by count-out.
As Bryan escaped to the top of the ramp, Sheamus delivered a fierce post-match Brogue Kick to the celebrating Jericho, pulling WrestleMania momentum from the jaws of defeat.
Four days after the announcement on Raw Supershow that he would be a member of Team Johnny – in WrestleMania’s 12-Man Tag Team Match to determine which GM will control both Raw and SmackDown – Mark Henry laid waste to Yoshi Tatsu with The World’s Strongest Slam.
One week after board-appointed SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis signed Drew McIntyre to a one year contract – a document that included a "no cut" clause in it – a smiling SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long put The Chosen One into a match against Big Show.
And just as the referee had stopped the Scottish Superstar’s match against Hornswoggle last week, he once again called for the bell after The World’s Largest Athlete annihilated Drew with an earth-shattering WMD. Is the giant ready to overcome his past WrestleMania misfortune and capture the Intercontinental Title in Miami?
Making it clear that he is fully prepared to match Kane’s wrath at any time, The Viper called out The Big Red Monster, looking to find out why he has been pursued by his monstrous foe. The Devil’s Favorite Demon proceeded to show a clip from the July 22 edition of SmackDown, in which the two warriors battled each other in a Street Fight. After Orton won, Kane had shaken his hand.
Fast-forward eight months to the present, where the horrific Superstar made it clear that he had been obsessing about that moment ever since and was now seeking closure from that time when he showed a humanistic side that no long exists. WWE’s Apex Predator called him to the ring, but Kane instead challenged him to a match at WrestleMania.
Set to battle Big Show for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania on April 1, Cody Rhodes demonstrated his ability to overcome another giant, defeating The Great Khali with his patterned springboard kick.
Following an unflattering comment about the way his girlfriend AJ looked in a dress that he bought her, Daniel Bryan informed the spitfire Diva that he had set up a match for her, one that could help her get a Divas Title opportunity if she won.
Moments after Bryan made his own entrance in an excessive celebration that seemed to steal the spotlight, AJ took on Nikki Bella. When the Bellas tried to use “Twin Magic” to switch places in a critical moment of the match, the World Heavyweight Champion stopped it, paving the way for AJ to counter her opponent and pick up the quick win.
When Christian interfered in the match between Kofi Kingston and David Otunga, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long personally informed the referee, who promptly ejected him from ringside.
Then as the referee, Teddy and John Laurinaitis were arguing, Otunga tried to use his belt as a weapon. After Team Teddy captain Santino Marella stopped him, Otunga knocked him from the apron. This opened the door for Kofi to deliver Trouble in Paradise for the victory.
Christian welcomed two special guests to “The Peep Show” – SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long and Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis – offering them both the opportunity to court him to their team at WrestleMania. While Teddy refused to beg, “Mr. Excitement” stated that if the outspoken Superstar competed on his team and they won, he would get “one more match” for the World Heavyweight Title. Christian proceeded to join Team Johnny.
Long attempted put Christian in a match, but Laurinaitis stated that he was still not medically cleared to compete. So instead, Teddy informed David Otunga that he would face the newest member of Team Teddy at The Show of Shows, Kofi Kingston.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Brodus Clay defeated Epico
- Kofi Kingston defeated David Otunga (6:00)
- AJ (w/ Daniel Bryan) defeated Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) (2:27)
- Cody Rhodes defeated The Great Khali (3:13)
- The Big Show defeated Drew McIntyre (1:49)
- Mark Henry defeated Yoshi Tatsu (1:36)
- Chris Jericho defeated Sheamus by Count Out (15:20)
- Dark Match: Randy Orton, Sheamus & The Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan & Mark Henry in a street fight
Other on-screen talent