Cena’s return to Friday night had a definite impact on Del Rio
BOSSIER CITY, La. — With WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs just 16 days away, Sheamus battled Dolph Ziggler in a titanic main event on Friday Night SmackDown. But when the action took a massive turn with the emergence of World Heavyweight Champion Big Show, John Cena stormed the ring to even the odds for The Celtic Warrior.
With the “AJ scandal” hotter than ever following the ex–Raw General Manager’s involvement in a one-on-one match between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler Monday night, the Cenation leader made a rare appearance on the SmackDown stage with a pointed message to The Showoff.
Coming off their epic one-on-one battle, Cena didn’t hold back, calling Ziggler “a man whose greatest accomplishment is being World Heavyweight Champion for two minutes.” Then, claiming The Showoff “hides behind the power of Vickie Guererro,” Cena turned Ziggler’s recent criticisms of the 10-time WWE Champion around, and pointed the finger directly at Mr. Money in the Bank. And with Ziggler scheduled to face Sheamus in the night’s main event, Cena assured the WWE Universe it would be more of a fight than a match.
But Cena’s impassioned monologue was cut short by the sudden interruption of Alberto Del Rio, who told him he shouldn’t worry about Ziggler — he should instead worry about The Mexican Aristocrat. Claiming SmackDown is “his show,” Del Rio told Cena to leave “his ring.”
The Cenation leader answered with a fist to Del Rio’s face, after telling the affluent Superstar that, since he’s already here, he may as well have a match — and it’ll be against Del Rio!
John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio
It was a rivalry renewed, as John Cena battled Alberto Del Rio in an enormous Friday night opening act. With Dolph Ziggler looking on in the back, it was all Del Rio early on in the ring, as The Mexican Aristocrat mocked Cena’s trademark “you can’t see me” hand gesture. Despite the skill and ruthlessness of his opponent, however, Cena turned the tables on Del Rio — setting the stage for a fierce showdown.
In the final moments of the very physical encounter between the two former World Champions, Cena found himself tied up and hanging upside down in the corner. Del Rio seized his opportunity and charged his adversary. Cena dodged at the last second, though, causing Del Rio to eat the steel ring post. Cena connected with a big leg drop off the top rope, covering The Mexican Aristocrat to rack up an impressive blue brand victory.
As Cena celebrated at the top of the ramp, Dolph Ziggler emerged from backstage to ambush the Cenation leader, clocking him from behind with the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Stealing the show, indeed.
Later, with a clearly irate Cena pleading his case about Ziggler’s sneak attack, SmackDown General Manager Booker T told the Cenation leader, “I don’t need my show breaking down tonight.” The five-time WCW Champion went on to ask Cena to let the night’s main event — Sheamus vs. Ziggler — go on uninterrupted. Citing the fact he and Booker go back a long way, Cena agreed not to interfere.
The Great Khali def. David Otunga
After a little fun-loving help from Hornswoggle at ringside, The Great Khali used the Khali Chop to silence the often verbose David Otunga. Following his quick victory over the Harvard-educated attorney, The Punjabi Giant danced with ’Swoggle in the middle of the ring.
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston & WWE Tag Team Champion Team Hell No won a Six-Man Tag Team Match
Kofi Kingston begged Team Hell No to get on the same page
With a Six-Man Tag Team Match against Wade Barrett & The Prime Time Players on tap, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston pleaded with Tag Team Champions Team Hell No to get on the same page. For once, Kane & Daniel Bryan seemed to agree with one another, as Kane and Bryan both answered Kofi with a resounding, YES!”
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston & WWE Tag Team Champion Team Hell No won Six-Man Tag Team Match
Proving Friday night is, in fact, “all right for fighting,” the blue brand faithful were treated to an action-packed Six-Man Tag Team Match that saw Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston & Tag Team Champions Team Hell No battle Wade Barrett & The Prime Time Players.
Barrett & The Prime Time Players worked in perfect tandem, but Kane & Bryan proved they, too, could thrive with a little teamwork.
Facing “Mr. No Days Off” Darren Young, Kane planted him with a Chokeslam. The Devil’s Favorite Demon then puzzled the WWE Universe, opting to use good teamwork and tag in Bryan rather than attempt the victory himself. Bryan connected off the top rope, before snapping in the “No!” Lock and making Young promptly tap out.
Regardless of whether Team Hell No’s ability to work together had anything to do with “The Shield’s” attack on a vulnerable Kane Monday night, one thing is certain: Team Hell No on the same page is more destructive than hell itself.
Damien Sandow def. Tyson Kidd
Sandow sought out an apprentice
Pontificating to the WWE Universe on his thus-far futile attempts to enlighten the masses, Damien Sandow appeared on Friday Night SmackDown with a new approach in mind. Instead of focusing on the multitudes, he would redirect his efforts by sharing his knowledge on an individual basis.
Then, peering into the WWE Universe in attendance, Sandow selected one member of the audience to potentially be his “apprentice.”
With such a “privilege” on the line, Sandow asked the audience member three questions to prove his worth. After the potential apprentice answered the first two, fairly simple quandaries without any trouble, Sandow posed the following head scratcher: “What is the orbital velocity of Jupiter’s moon Europa?”
When the audience member (understandably) didn’t know the answer offhand, Sandow proceeded to call him an ignoramus and dismissed him from the ring.
Damien Sandow def. Tyson Kidd
After dismissing his potential apprentice, Damien Sandow looked to dismiss Tyson Kidd in a one-on-one bout. The self-professed “Intellectual Savior of the Masses” nailed Kidd with the Elbow of Disdain and it looked like the end was near. But Kidd — WWE’s resident workhorse — fought back with everything he had.
Despite the hard-fought effort by the last graduate of the Hart Family Dungeon, the skilled Sandow countered an elbow drop in a crucial moment, following it up with Terminus and scoring another impressive win.
3MB def. The Usos
3MB took their “world tour” to Bossier City, La., where they faced off against the talented tag team of The Usos on SmackDown. With Drew McIntyre at their side, Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal rocked on Friday night, defeating the twin brothers in an exciting back-and-forth battle.
After Mahal scored the pinfall, 3MB celebrated inside the ring, putting the exclamation point on their over-the-top act.
Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler by Disqualification
In an interview with Matt Striker prior to his match, Sheamus said with fire in his eyes, “As far as I’m concerned, I’m not even facing Dolph Ziggler tonight. … Every opponent I’ve been in the ring with, to me, has looked like Big Show.” Seeing The World’s Largest Athlete at every turn, Sheamus seemed primed and ready for a fight.
And The Celtic Warrior made it clear — that is very bad news for The Showoff.
With his Monday night loss to John Cena still sticking in his craw, Ziggler was asked if he has something to prove. In typical fashion, Mr. Money in the Bank deflected the question, and instead spouted off about how Cena is not to be trusted, going so far as to call the Cenation leader the “biggest liar in the history of WWE.”
The Showoff then responded to Sheamus’ comments from earlier in the night, saying The Celtic Warrior won’t be looking at Big Show when they face each other in the main event. Instead, he’ll be looking at the next World Champion.
With his World Title Match against Big Show at WWE TLC just more than two weeks away, Sheamus squared off against Ziggler in a show-stealing main event on SmackDown.
Looking to cap off a busy night, Ziggler was determined to recapture the highs of last week — one of the most impressive seven-day spans in WWE history, which included being the sole survivor in the Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match.
But The Celtic Warrior is always up for a fight, at one point hurling Ziggler into the barricade at ringside. For his part, Ziggler matched the brute-force physicality of the fiery Superstar, and the two engaged in a blockbuster back-and-forth battle that brought the WWE Universe in attendance to the edge of their seats. As the action ramped up, Sheamus came up empty with a Brogue Kick attempt, and Ziggler planted his opponent with a monstrous, leaping DDT. But as he’s shown time and again, Sheamus simply doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit, and refused to stay down.
When Sheamus locked Ziggler in the Texas Cloverleaf, it appeared as though the end was near. But at that moment, Big Show suddenly emerged from backstage and ran down to the ring, causing Sheamus to release The Showoff and the referee to call for a disqualification. Big Show and Ziggler proceeded to team up against Sheamus, but Cena came to the rescue, nailing Ziggler with an AA before he and Sheamus combined to take down The World’s Largest Athlete with a double supplex.
True to his word, Cena didn’t interject himself into the situation until after the bell rung, and his timing couldn’t have been better. An angry giant was left seething outside the ring Friday night, but come WWE TLC, will Big Show once again enjoy the last laugh over Sheamus?