On the final stop before one of the most important pay-per-views of the year, Superstars and Divas alike kicked it into overdrive in a furious Friday night struggle for momentum.
Two days before they will compete in the highly anticipated Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match, Daniel Bryan squared off against Christian.
And in an incredible back-and-forth contest that pushed both Superstars to the limit, WWE's submission specialist caught his opponent coming off the top rope – using Captain Charisma's forward motion to help cinch in the “Yes!” Lock and secure yet another huge victory over a WWE titan.
After Vickie Guerrero was fired on Raw, the Senior Advisor to the SmackDown General Manager took decisive action to make sure that he wouldn't be next.
In order to keep Dolph Ziggler from attacking World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio – two days before their World Title Match at Money in the Bank – Teddy Long ”requested” that The Showoff take off.
Fully prepared to challenge the WWE Tag Team Champions alongside his brother this Sunday at Money in the Bank Kickoff, Jey Uso battled one-on-one with Seth Rollins on SmackDown.
After Roman Reigns dropped Jimmy outside the ring, the distraction he created allowed Rollins to knock Jey onto the top turnbuckle and then stomp him into the canvas with authority for the three-count.
After handing Curtis Axel his first loss since beginning his association with Paul Heyman this past Monday on Raw, Chris Jericho once again locked horns with the Intercontinental Champion on SmackDown.
In the height of the heated confrontation, Y2J hit a Codebreaker on the titleholder, sending him flying out of the ring. Axel couldn't answer the count in time – resulting in his second loss of the week to the six-time World Champion!
Following the match, a flabbergasted Axel tore up the ringside area. Will he pull it together in time to put his title on the line against No. 1 contender The Miz this Sunday?
After an apparent knee injury caused Ryback to stop his match against The Miz two weeks ago on Raw, The Awesome One got another opportunity to wreck The Human Wrecking Ball on the blue brand.
While it looked as if the recurring leg damage might once again cause Ryback to end the competition early, the intense Superstar instead used the momentary pause in the action to clothesline the former WWE Champion and hit Shell Shocked for the important pin fall.
With the majority of the Divas Division surrounding them, Divas Champion AJ Lee and Kaitlyn emerged to make their Money in the Bank Title Match official.
After both battling beauties affixed their names to the title contract for this Sunday's pay-per-view showdown, AJ proceeded to reveal a series of embarrassing text messages that the Hybrid Diva had once supposedly sent to her “secret admirer” – some of which badmouthed the Divas present in the ring.
When Kaitlyn fired back, promising to recapture the butterfly-emblazoned title this Sunday and send her unhinged adversary to the loony bin, AJ slapped her. In response, the powerful No. 1 contender broke loose, pushing AJ and the entire conference table into the corner and unleashing an explosive attack. When Big E Langston pulled Kaitlyn away, she slapped him and speared AJ for the second time in a week.
With their World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match opponents Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger joining Zeb Colter at the SmackDown announce table, Fandango battled Wade Barrett. This came four days after Barrett sucker punched the dancing Superstar on Raw.
However, moments after Team Rhodes Scholars emerged and kicked the dust-up outside the ring, Fandango took advantage of the commotion and rolled up The Barrett Barrage for the quick victory.
Two days before he puts the World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio was supposed to face Sin Cara. Instead, it appeared as if Ziggler – dressed as the high-flyer in order to get around Teddy Long's order to stay away from the titleholder – attacked before the bell! The would-be Sin Cara hit the Zig Zag, sending a strong message that he is coming to get his title back.
As the dust cleared, Vickie Guerrero surprised the WWE Universe by emerging from the crowd. The recently fired Queen Diva was forced to buy a ticket and was now opting to cause a down-right screeching scene. So Teddy Long had one word for her: “Security!”
In the back, Long attempted to admonish who he thought was a masked Ziggler for his disruption. However, as he laid down the law, the actual Showoff showed up at the same time, leaving the Senior Advisor completely perplexed.
In the SmackDown main event, Money in the Bank All-Stars Sheamus and Randy Orton went head-to-head in an absolutely off-the-hook slugfest.
And when both Superstars spilled outside the ring in the match's final moments, Daniel Bryan made a surprise appearance. Utilizing a ladder from under the ring, the scruffy Superstar knocked both The Viper and The Celtic Warrior to the canvas. While his actions brought an end to the official competition, a fierce post-match struggle quickly erupted to see who could get to the top of the ladder and claim a symbolic victory heading into Sunday's Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match.
The action moved to the next rung, however, when Christian joined the fray and didn't stop until Orton blasted Bryan with a thunderous RKO before climbing the ladder and staking his claim to Money in the Bank success.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Christian (9:38)
- Seth Rollins (w/ Roman Reigns) defeated Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso) (4:08)
- Chris Jericho defeated Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman) by Count Out (7:21)
- Ryback defeated The Miz (5:53)
- Fandango defeated Wade Barrett (1:48)
- Randy Orton vs. Sheamus ended in a No Contest (9:42)
Other on-screen talent
Daniel Bryan v Christian
Seth Rollins v Jey Uso
Chris Jericho v Curtis Axel
Ryback v The Miz
Divas Championship Contact Signing
Fandango v Wade Barrett
Sin Cara v Alberto Del Rio
Randy Orton v Sheamus
- WWE Smackdown #725 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [Smackdown #725 on WWE Network]