“The Hounds of Justice” continued their reign of all-out dominance over WWE, as SmackDown featured two championship showdowns, a submission specialist on the edge, challenges that left the competition in knots and a gutsy message from the newest “Paul Heyman Guy.”
Before challenging Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship, The Miz once again brought the “most must-see talk show in WWE History” to Friday night, with special guest Fandango and his dance partner, Summer Rae.
However, when a verbal exchange began between the two competitors – centered around the dancing Superstar's unorthodox actions during a Tag Team Match on Raw Monday night – the Barrett Barrage interrupted. The British brawler immediately showed disdain for both his outspoken No. 1 contender and Fandango – for leaving Barrett to fend for himself four days earlier. And within moments, Miz and Barrett lunged at each other, lighting the fuse on their imminent title contest.
With Fandango joining the SmackDown announce team, The Miz attempted to separate The Barrett Barrage from his coveted Intercontinental Title. But, when Fandango and Summer Rae broke into a dance in the middle of the heated showdown, Miz dropped Fandango to the ringside floor. The dancing Superstar returned the favor moments later, though, smacking Miz and bringing an end to the match by disqualification.
While Fandango and Barrett worked together to deliver a post-match beat down on The Awesome One, the bare-knuckled brawler broke that would-be alliance in painful fashion with the help of a crushing Bull Hammer Elbow on the “prancing” grappler.
Prior to his match against Jack Swagger, Daniel Bryan was still struggling with Team Hell No's loss of the WWE Tag Team Titles to The Shield at Extreme Rules and whether or not he was the “weak link.”
This would carry into his match against the “Real American.” For, after making Swagger tap out to the “No!” Lock in an explosive back-and-forth contest, the erratic submission specialist reapplied the maneuver after the bell and had to be dragged off his prey by Kane.
After weeks of watching Sheamus and Mark Henry engage in various tests of strength, Damien Sandow aimed to present a more intellectual exercise to the WWE Universe, namely the puzzle of “Gordian’s Knot.” He gave WWE mic-extraordinaire and former teacher Matt Striker the challenge of trying to untie that which most likely couldn't be untied.
When Striker proved unable to complete the task, The Celtic Warrior emerged to attempt to overcome the quandary himself. After Sheamus also failed, Sandow presented his own solution – smugly producing a pair of clippers and cutting the rope apart.
Sheamus answered back with a congratulatory Brogue Kick attempt on The Intellectual Savior of the Masses. When Sandow ducked out of the ring, the Irish Superstar decided to demonstrate “Newton’s Law” to the WWE Universe, showing that whatever comes up must come down by launching Striker through the ropes and onto Sandow.
In a fierce match between former Unified Tag Team Champions “Jeri-Show,” the out-of-control action eventually spilled through the ropes to the ringside floor.
However, when The World's Largest Athlete tried to ram Jericho into the ring post, Y2J countered and sent the giant slamming into the unforgiving steel. Then, before the WWE Universe could catch its breath, the six-time World Champion followed up with one of his most powerful Codebreakers ever, sending his towering opponent crashing over the ring barricade.
While Big Show couldn't answer the count in time to stop his defeat, he tried to use a steel chair to deliver a post-match assault. But The Ayatolla of Rock n’ Rolla turned the tables – or, rather, the chair – using the weapon to send Big Show packing in painful fashion.
After debuting Curtis Axel on Raw, Paul Heyman and his newest client journeyed to the blue brand to address the WWE Universe. Making reference to Triple H collapsing during their main event match on Monday night, Axel claimed that, “in one day, [he] did more than his legendary father and grandfather ever did” and that it was only “day 1 in building the brand of Curtis Axel.”
In the matchup that followed against Sin Cara, Axel backed up those strong words, ducking out of the way when the high-flyer soared at him from the top rope and hitting his masked opponent with a swinging neckbreaker for the three-count.
In his first United States Championship defense against former titleholder Kofi Kingston, Dean Ambrose chose to come to the ring without his fellow Shield members, WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
Still, when The Wildcat gained the advantage and attempted to drop in on his black-clad opponent from the top rope, Rollins and Reigns did attack after all, prompting the disqualification and a three-on-one post-match onslaught.
That disadvantage would not last long, though, as Randy Orton and Sheamus quickly joined the fray, causing Senior Advisor to the SmackDown General Manager, Theodore Long, to transform the one-on-one contest into a Six-Man Tag Team Match.
When Sheamus hoisted Dean Ambrose up for White Noise in the final moments of absolute SmackDown Six-Man madness, Roman Reigns delivered an earth-shattering spear to The Celtic Warrior from out of nowhere.
Reigns ultimately paid for his interference with an RKO outside the ring, courtesy of The Viper. In spite of this, however, Kofi Kingston became yet another victim of The Shield's masterful use of the number's game. Amidst the chaos, a distraction from Seth Rollins allowed Ambrose to slam The Wildcat's head into the canvas and pick up another huge win for the undefeated “Hounds of Justice.”
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) defeated Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton & Sheamus (14:10)
Other on-screen talent
The Miz v Wade Barrett
Daniel Bryan v Jack Swagger
Damien Sandow’s “Gordian Knot Challenge”
Chris Jericho v Big Show
Curtis Axel v Sin Cara
Kofi Kingston v Dean Ambrose
The Shield v Kingston, Orton & Sheamus
- WWE Smackdown #718 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [Smackdown #718 on WWE Network]