NORFOLK, Va. - Michael Cole kicked off SmackDown with Dean Ambrose, who spoke about his victory over Chris Jericho in the first-ever Asylum Match at Extreme Rules and about qualifying for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match on Raw. But fellow qualifying Superstar Kevin Owens brought The Lunatic Fringe’ comment to a sudden close when he ordered Cole out of the ring. He proceeded to lay his own claim to the prized contract — good for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship opportunity whenever the winner wants it.
Sami Zayn, another Ladder Match combatant, soon joined the party, claiming he will triumph at Money in the Bank. Not to be outdone, Alberto Del Rio also interrupted, and he appeared ready to attempt to qualify himself against Zack Ryder. When attention turned to the Essence of Excellence Owens seized the opportunity and attacked Zayn from behind. In response, Ambrose attacked Owens. Zayn reengaged and nearly kicked Ambrose before stopping himself. Perhaps he shouldn’t have restrained himself, though, because moments later, Ambrose tried to hit “The Underdog from the Underground” with Dirty Deeds, reminding him that it will be every man for himself at Money in the Bank on June 19.
SmackDown’s opening contest was a Money in the Bank Ladder Qualifying Match, with Alberto Del Rio going head-to-head with Zack Ryder. After allowing Del Rio to roll out of the ring following a successful Rough Ryder, Ryder was met with a surprise Cross Armbreaker when he tried to reengage his opponent. Del Rio forced Long Island Iced-Z to tap out, and as a result, the winner of the 2011 Money in the Bank contract is in the mix for another!
The always outspoken Enzo Amore returned to SmackDown alongside Big Cass, picking up on the mic exactly where he left off. That was until the Dudleys came calling. A war of words commenced, and by the time it ended, the two tandems had decided to settle things Monday on Raw.
In a United States Championship Extreme Rules rematch, Rusev outfought Kalisto and ultimately made the high-flying former titleholder tap out to the Accolade. He wasn’t done, though. After the bell, The Bulgarian Brute pulled his fallen opponent back into the ring for more. But before he could attack, Titus O’Neil emerged and invited Rusev to take him on instead ... for the title. The United States Champion chose to fight another day and opted to take his leave.
After ordering her own father — two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair — out of “her” ring on Raw, WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte joined the SmackDown announce team for Dana Brooke’s match against Natalya.
As soon as Nattie locked Dana in the Sharpshooter, Charlotte attacked her from behind to bring the match to a close. The Queen of Harts fended off the assault and locked the titleholder in the Sharpshooter. The numbers game eventually caught up with the third-generation Superstar, though, allowing Charlotte and Dana to take Natalya down.
When Fandango pushed Goldust out of the ring in the final moments of The Golden Truth’s latest showdown against Breezeango, The Bizarre One tried to climb through the ropes to get some payback. As the referee worked to keep him out, however, Tyler Breeze hit R-Truth with a surprise kick to the head and allowed Fandango to pick up the easy win. This left The Golden Truth with a 0-2 record as a tag team.
Seth Rollins returned to SmackDown and asked the WWE Universe if they missed him. But after they responded, he threw it back in their faces, dropped the mic and walked off with a big smile.
In a dynamic SmackDown main event, Cesaro challenged The Miz for the Intercontinental Title. Despite The A-Lister attempting to take a walk in the final moments of the intense showdown, The Swiss Superman nearly overcame him with a high crossbody off the top rope.
In a last bit of desperation, however, Miz threw his challenger into an unprotected corner of the ring — exposed after Maryse took off the turnbuckle earlier in the contest. The titleholder then finished off Cesaro with the Skull-Crushing Finale and walked away with the huge win.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder by submission in a Money In The Bank Qualifying Match (9:33)
- Rusev (w/ Lana) (c) defeated Kalisto by submission to retain the WWE United States Championship (8:55)
- Natalya defeated Dana Brooke by DQ (0:44)
- Breezeango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) defeated Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth) (1:36)
- The Miz (c) (w/ Maryse) defeated Cesaro to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship (10:30)
Other on-screen talent