With nine days until Money in the Bank, fireworks erupted over SmackDown's main event between CM Punk and World Champion Alberto Del Rio. Plus, Kaitlyn chased Divas Champion AJ Lee off the blue brand, Randy Orton battled it out with fellow Money in the Bank All-Star Christian and Dolph Ziggler showed exactly why he is The Showoff.
CM Punk kicked things off with a rare SmackDown appearance, explaining how he deeply relates to the Fourth of July concept of independence. He also cited his two immediate goals: getting his hands on Brock Lesnar and winning the Money in the Bank All-Star Ladder Match so he could once again become WWE Champion.
Punk was soon interrupted by World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, however, who insisted that “The Best in the World” was standing on “his” show. Del Rio then went on to insult Punk, Dolph Ziggler and the traditions of millions of celebrating Americans.
Though Punk seemed more than ready to take on Del Rio right there, SmackDown Senior Advisor Theodore Long quickly hit the brakes, instead placing the two competitors in a SmackDown main event showdown.
Dispelling speculation that they may be at odds in the upcoming World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes reaffirmed their friendship by saying, simply, “May the best man win.” Despite their comradery, they couldn't stop Jimmy & Jey Uso from delivering an incredible double splash off the top rope for the tag team victory.
However, the celebration was interrupted by The Shield on the TitanTron. Though The Usos & Christian beat them one week ago in six-man tag team action, The Hounds of Justice warned their No. 1 contenders that Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns would walk out of Money in the Bank still the titleholders and Dean Ambrose would become Mr. Money in the Bank.
Though Kaitlyn kicked the distracting Divas Champion AJ Lee off the ring apron, Alicia Fox seized the moment and rolled up the No. 1 contender to the butterfly-emblazoned title for the quick three-count.
Determined not to wait for their Divas Title Rematch at Money in the Bank, a fuming Hybrid Diva charged after AJ after the bell, chasing her up the ramp.
This Monday, the wait is finally over. The creepy Wyatt Family is apparently coming to Raw, and WWE may never be the same again.
Both poised to win the Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder Match in nine days, longtime rivals Randy Orton and Christian went head-to-head in a knockdown, drag-out battle for momentum.
At the height of the action, Christian miraculously avoided the RKO, but WWE's Apex Predator quickly rebounded, charging toward the turnbuckle to foil Captain Charisma's imminent aerial follow up. And in the split second that Christian tried to regroup, The Viper went for his devastating finishing maneuver again, this time connecting for the pinfall.
With AJ Lee and Big E Langston long gone – fleeing the arena to escape the wrath of a pursuing Kaitlyn – Dolph Ziggler took a moment before his match to address the WWE Universe. Characterizing World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio as a phony, Ziggler pledged to once again defeat The Mexican Superstar for the World Title at Money in the Bank.
Then, after overcoming Drew McIntyre with the Zig Zag, The Showoff “showed up” two separate post-match attacks by 3MB, brashly ”zigzagging” all around the ring without picking up so much as a scratch.
After running out on his match against Sheamus on Raw, Fandango danced back into the victory lane by defeating the high-flying Justin Gabriel with a thunderous leg drop off the top rope.
With Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger flanking him on either side, Zeb Colter expressed another contentious pre-recorded message, once again citing his controversial agenda. “We the People!”
Earlier on SmackDown, Paul Heyman urged CM Punk to let him stand in his corner at Money in the Bank, but “The Best in the World” responded by requesting that his friend stay out of things altogether. However, Teddy Long would later order Heyman to join the SmackDown announce team for the main event match between Punk and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
When the match spilled outside the ring, Del Rio looked to use the announce table as a weapon. Though Heyman tried to talk him out of it, The Mexican Superstar knocked the ECW founder to the ringside floor. Seeing this, Punk snapped, viciously attacking Del Rio until the referee counted out both Superstars.
After the bell, The Straight Edge Superstar refused to relent, executing the GTS on his opponent. He then helped his war-torn friend away from the chaos 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 Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) (2:17)
- Alicia Fox defeated Kaitlyn (w/ Layla) (2:46)
- Randy Orton defeated Christian (10:18)
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Drew McIntyre (w/ Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal) (3:51)
- Fandango (w/ Summer Rae) defeated Justin Gabriel (1:37)
- Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk ended in a Double Count Out (8:12)
Other on-screen talent
Conflict between Punk & Del Rio
The Usos v Team Rhodes Scholars
Alicia Fox v Kaitlyn
Randy Orton v Christian
Dolph Ziggler v Drew McIntyre
Fandango v Justin Gabriel
Alberto Del Rio v CM Punk
- WWE Smackdown #724 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [Smackdown #724 on WWE Network]