Location: Fayetteville, NC
Date: July 18, 2014
Commentators: Michael Cole and JBL
Two nights before Battleground, the 778th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC. With a one-on-one match against the leader of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, at Battleground, Chris Jericho would be looking to send a message to Bray Wyatt when “Y2J” faces The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper on SmackDown!
For the first time since being assaulted by Randy Orton, Kane, and Seth Rollins on RAW, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose would kick off SmackDown to address The Authority’s attack on him on Monday night, as well as his match against Seth Rollins at Battleground. What kind of condition will Dean Ambrose be in following the assault? What kind of statement will “The Lunatic Fringe” make before he squares off with Seth Rollins?
Also on SmackDown, six of the twenty participants in the Battleground Battle Royal to crown a new Intercontinental Champion would be in action as United States Champion Sheamus would team with “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler to face The Miz and Fandango, in addition to Alberto Del Rio going one-on-one with Kofi Kingston.
- WWE United States champion Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz and Fandango.
- Special Referee- Nikki Bella: Alicia Fox and Eva Marie fight to a No Contest after both Alicia Fox and Eva Marie attack Nikki Bella.
- Chris Jericho defeated Luke Harper (with Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan).
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Kofi Kingston by pinfall.
- WWE Divas champion AJ Lee and Paige defeated Layla and Summer Rae.
- Dean Ambrose defeated Kane by DQ after Seth Rollins’s interference.
Two nights before he goes one-on-one with Seth Rollins at Battleground, SmackDown kicks off with “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose as Ambrose says that all he has heard for the last two years was how “smart” Seth Rollins is. Ambrose then says that, on RAW, Rollins was smart enough to know that he could not handle Ambrose one-on-one so he enlisted the help of Kane and Randy Orton to beat him down. Ambrose continues, saying that, if Rollins thinks that the three-on-one beatdown on RAW was enough to stop him from destroying Rollins at Battleground, then he is sorely mistaken. Ambrose then asks if that is all The Authority has got for him before “The Lunatic Fringe” calls out Seth Rollins. However, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” opts to appear on the Tron, saying that Ambrose has more guts than brains and there is nothing in the world that he would love more than to come down to the ring and Curb Stomp Ambrose’s head into the mat, but he “tweaked” his knee on Monday night and he hasn’t been cleared to compete. However, Dean Ambrose doesn’t buy it, telling Seth Rollins that Rollins is “scared”, but he should “make daddy proud”. Rollins says that he is going to give Ambrose the chance to prove how “tough” he really is because he just talked to WWE COO Triple H and, tonight, Dean Ambrose will have to go one-on-one with “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” Kane!
Before they join sixteen other Superstars in the Battleground Battle Royal to determine a new Intercontinental Champion, the opening match of the night would see United States Champion Sheamus team up with “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler to face The Miz and Fandango in tag team action. In the end, it was Sheamus taking Fandango out with the Brogue Kick before Dolph Ziggler hits the Zig Zag on The Miz, pinning the self-proclaimed “A-Lister” to pick up the win for himself and Sheamus.
Alicia Fox would go one-on-one with Eva Marie on SmackDown and, per the orders of WWE Principal Owner Stephanie McMahon, Nikki Bella would serve as the Special Referee. During the match, an argument would break out between Eva Marie and Nikki Bella before the plan became apparent as Alicia Fox kicks Nikki Bella in the mid-section before both Eva Marie and Alicia Fox beat Nikki down. Alicia would then hit the Axe Kick on Nikki Bella, leaving Nikki laid out and no doubt making Stephanie McMahon happy.
Before facing the leader of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, this Sunday at Battleground, Chris Jericho was in action on SmackDown as “Y2J” would go one-on-one with The Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper, with Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan in his corner. During the match, Chris Jericho would lock in the Walls of Jericho on Luke Harper, but a distraction from Erick Rowan would seemingly give Harper the advantage. However, Jericho would manage to catch Harper in a roll-up, quickly scoring the three-count to pick up the win. After the match, Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan would enter the ring and The Wyatt Family was set to leave Jericho laid out again, but The Usos would rush to the ring, making the save and sending The Wyatt Family packing.
Two nights before Jack Swagger faces Rusev at Battleground, Zeb Colter would appear on SmackDown with Jack Swagger in tow. Zeb says that they are “sick and tired” of Rusev and Lana insulting America and, while he has been critical of the American government in the past, it is his right as an American to discuss American politics. Colter continues, saying that Rusev and Lana are only there because they are allowing them to be there and vowing that, this Sunday at Battleground, Swagger will be “crush-proof”. Zeb then asks the fans in attendance to stand up and proclaim “we the people”. Rusev and Lana then come out to address Colter and Swagger as Lana says that, at Battleground, Rusev will “crush” Jack Swagger. As the crowd chants “USA”, Rusev and Swagger both wave their nation’s flags proudly.
Two of the twenty participants in the Battleground Battle Royal to crown a new Intercontinental Champion were in action on SmackDown as “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio went one-on-one with Kofi Kingston. In the end, it was Alberto Del Rio crushing Kofi Kingston with a double stomp off of the top rope en route to picking up the win.
Battleground opponents would team up on SmackDown as, two nights before she defends the Divas Title against Paige, Divas Champion AJ Lee would team with Paige to face Layla and Summer Rae in Divas tag action. During the match, Paige would have things well in hand, but AJ Lee tags herself into the match, locking in the Black Widow on Summer Rae, making Summer tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Paige would glare angrily at AJ Lee, but the Divas Champion would smile and extend her hand with Paige pulling AJ Lee in for a hug before AJ and Paige celebrate their win.
Then it was time for the main event as, two nights before he goes one-on-one with Seth Rollins at Battleground, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose would have the unenviable task of going one-on-one with “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” Kane. During the match, the battle between Kane and Dean Ambrose would spill to the outside and Kane would get the better of Ambrose before “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” would take the steel steps apart. Kane was then set to deliver the Tombstone Piledriver to Ambrose on the steel steps, but Ambrose would fight out of Kane’s grasp and would take Kane down. However, just as Ambrose began to build momentum against Kane, Seth Rollins would run down and blast Ambrose in the back of the head with the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase, bringing an end to the match. With the match concluded, Kane and Seth Rollins would bring the bottom half of the steel steps into the ring, but Dean Ambrose would take Seth Rollins down, getting a few shots in on Rollins before Kane pulls Ambrose off of Rollins, planting him with the chokeslam. Seth Rollins then instructs Kane to set Ambrose up on the steel steps and “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” complies as Kane holds Ambrose in place so that Seth Rollins can drive Ambrose’s skull into the steel with the Curb Stomp! Seth Rollins then stands over the prone body of Dean Ambrose, holding the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase high as Kane continues to lurk around the ring.