In the wake of WWE Payback, Seth Rollins addressed his stunning Raw betrayal of The Hounds of Justice on SmackDown, only to raise the ire of both Dolph Ziggler and Big Show. Plus, Bray Wyatt declared himself reborn and a Triple Threat Intercontinental Title Match lit up Friday night.
After turning his back on his “brothers” Monday with the help of a brutal chair assault, Seth Rollins kicked off SmackDown with WWE COO Triple H by his side, offering no explanation for his shocking treachery on Raw, instead choosing to hold his motives close to his black vest.
Dolph Ziggler – who predicted he would “catch a beating” for what he was about to say – hit the stage to tell The Architect that he “sold out.” In response, The Game, noting that The Showoff must be Nostradamus, announced an impromptu showdown between the former World Heavyweight Champion and the Shield turncoat.
As WWE COO Triple H proudly watched from ringside, Seth Rollins battled Dolph Ziggler in SmackDown's explosive opening bout.
Although The Showoff pushed his Friday night opponent to the brink of defeat – causing some noticeable unrest to The King of Kings – in the end the black-clad Superstar finished off his bleach blonde adversary with an authoritative Peace of Mind.
Ryback & Curtis Axel sought to strengthen their claim as the top challengers to the WWE Tag Team Titles with a non-title match against the reigning titleholders on SmackDown. However, The Usos, looking to rebound from a tough loss to Luke Harper & Erick Rowan on Raw, had other plans for their determined foes.
In the end, after mounting some momentum, the Samoan warriors capitalized on a fallen Axel when Jimmy Uso delivered a high-flying top rope Splash to the former Intercontinental Champion for the victory.
Rusev – who proudly donned his new Golden Star Medal from Mother Russia that was awarded to him Monday night – continued to destroy the competition in another dominating showing on SmackDown.
The Hero of the Russian Federation made quick work of Xavier Woods, who despite his best efforts to win one for the US, was forced to tap to The Bulgarian Brute's Accolade submission. And as Rusev stood tall in triumph, the colors of the Russian flag hung high above.
Following Cesaro's ambush on Bad News Barrett and Rob Van Dam on WWE Main Event – cutting short their Intercontinental Championship rematch – all three rival Superstars squared off on SmackDown in a thrilling Triple Threat Match for the illustrious title.
Although RVD and The King of Swing did their best to capture the coveted prize, with Paul Heyman joining the SmackDown announce team, the Intercontinental Champion once again showed that no one delivers bad news quite like the British brawler. Following a Five-Star Frog Splash from Mr. Monday Night to the Swiss Superstar, the titleholder caught an unsuspecting RVD with the Bad News Bull Hammer Elbow for the win.
Leading up to the best show on Friday night, many wondered what effect Bray Wyatt's WWE Payback defeat at the hands of John Cena in a treacherous Last Man Standing Match would have on the leader of The Wyatt Family. After his cryptic address Friday night, it's clear that The Eater of Worlds is not done delivering his mysterious message.
In his creepy SmackDown soliloquy, The New Face of Fear declared that he is reborn. The question remains, what does the rebirth of this backwoods preacher mean for the WWE Universe?
Natalya, unfazed by Alicia Fox's bizarre behavior, pinned the unstable Diva with a crafty counter in their hard-hitting Friday night contest. As you can imagine, the emotionally erratic Fox didn't take the loss very well, stalking a startled Lillian Garcia in another strange post-match meltdown.
Just prior to their SmackDown showdown, Santino Marella appeared to be a Bo-Liever, enjoying the inspirational Bo Dallas’ pre-match message to the WWE Universe. However, The Milan Miracle seemed to touch a nerve in the former NXT Champion when he performed his own version of the young Superstar's ringside celebration.
The wide-eyed Superstar instantly employed relentless aggression as he pummeled the former U.S. Champion on his way to another victory via his signature Running Bo-Dog. The positive Superstar then embarked on another victory lap around the ring before delivering to Emma his motivational post-match motto to “Bo-Lieve.”
Earlier in the night, Big Show condemned Seth Rollins’ actions Monday night, calling the former Hound of Justice a “slimy piece of trash.” As a result, Triple H put The World's Largest Athlete in a huge SmackDown main event match against longstanding adversary Randy Orton.
In the match's final moments, it seemed as though the driven giant had The Viper on the verge of defeat, even when The Game decided to get involved. While Big Show would get his hands on both of them, a vicious knee from The Architect took out the former WWE Champion. As a result, the massive Superstar felt the black-clad Superstar's Peace of Mind onto a steel chair.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler (10:35)
- The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated RybAxel (Curtis Axel & Ryback) (3:10)
- Rusev (w/ Lana) defeated Xavier Woods (0:35)
- Bad News Barrett defeated Cesaro (w/ Paul Heyman) and Rob Van Dam in an Intercontinental Championship match (6:20)
- Natalya defeated Alicia Fox (3:20)
- Bo Dallas defeated Santino Marella (w/ Emma) (2:10)
- The Big Show defeated Randy Orton by DQ (4:30)
Other on-screen talent
Seth Rollins responded to questions about turning on The Shield
Seth Rollins v Dolph Ziggler
The Usos v RybAxel
Rusev v Xavier Woods
Bad News Barrett v Cesaro and Rob Van Dam
Natalya v Alicia Fox
Bo Dallas v Santino Marella
The Big Show v Randy Orton
- WWE Smackdown #772 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [Smackdown #772 on WWE Network]