Four days after falling prey to another three-on-one beatdown at the hands of the Wyatt Family, Chris Jericho looks for revenge as he rolls into SmackDown for a huge singles match against Erick Rowan. Will Y2J be able to avenge the assault by knocking off the Wyatt Family's strongman, or is the toll from Monday's attack too much for the future Hall of Famer to overcome?
Monday night, Randy Orton left Roman Reigns lying in a heap, a position the juggernaut-like Superstar has never experienced. Friday night, The Viper returns to SmackDown to address his actions from Monday night and his plans for the future. Could a match with Reigns be on the horizon? Will Kane have anything to say about it considering the not-so-friendly nature of his relationship with Orton?
Could Reigns make his presence felt far sooner than anyone could have expected?
With SummerSlam mere weeks away, the tension within the WWE locker room is sure to be at a fever pitch. Which Superstars will leave their mark as they gear up for the annual summertime spectacular on August 17?
Find out now, courtesy of our friends at WrestlingInc.com!
American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas
Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield
- Jack Swagger defeated Cesaro with the patriot lock. After the match, Rusev and Lana issued a challenge for a match at SummerSlam, a challenge Zeb Colter accepted on Swagger's behalf.
- Randy Orton cut a promo on Roman Reigns, ending by challenging him to a match at SummerSlam.
- R-Truth defeated Bo Dallas via disqualification when Dallas would not break on the referee's five count. After the match, Dallas beat Truth down and cut a promo.
- AJ Lee defeated Rosa Mendes; After the match, Paige laid out AJ on the stage. Officials checked on AJ as Paige skipped away. AJ was put in a neck brace and stretchered to the back.
- Kane and Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose via disqualification in a Handicap match when Ambrose blasted Kane with a steel chair; Rollins ran away after the match.
- Diego defeated Fandango after a distraction from Layla and Summer Rae.
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler with the cross armbreaker when The Miz, who was on commentary, provided a distraction.
- Chris Jericho defeated Erick Rowan with the codebreaker; As a result of the win, Rowan is banned from ringside at SummerSlam.
The August 1 episode of SmackDown puts the focus on many of the programs outside of the SummerSlam main events.
After dominating Tuesday's Main Event, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins' feud spills over into SmackDown with a huge two-on-one Handicap match pitting Rollins and Kane against the Lunatic Fringe. As the company continues to mold Ambrose into a top-flight babyface, they focus on the never-say-die attitude of the Ohioan.
That he has the wherewithal to retrieve a steel chair and use it on his opponents, regardless of whether it costs him a win or not, is strong booking that puts Ambrose over as an unpredictable, yet resourceful, performer who may get beat up but always finds a way back into the fight.
Randy Orton's promo on Roman Reigns should be interesting to see come Friday night in that the third-generation star reverted back to his Viper ways, brutally and violently assaulting Reigns before leaving him lying following two consecutive RKOs on the announce table.
His challenge to Reigns is symbolic of him rediscovering his intestinal fortitude and refusing to hide behind The Authority any longer, something fans have waited nearly a year for.
Chris Jericho's victory over Erick Rowan is no real shocker, but the stipulation banning the bearded ginger from ringside at SummerSlam is a new development. Expect to see some sort of similar stipulation bout between Y2J and Luke Harper at some point over the next week.
Paige's attack on AJ Lee, which leaves the Divas champion in need of a neck brace and stretcher, is exactly the sort of thing the Anti-Diva needs at this point in her career. Being cute or portraying a mentally unstable character does not fit her. An angry, intense and dangerous persona is exactly what she needs as she continues to chase the title she feels is rightfully hers.
Based solely on the results from Tuesday night's tapings, Friday's broadcast does any excellent job of furthering rivalries and shaping the undercard for the August 17 SummerSlam pay-per-view.
Whether Raw can continue to build on the momentum generated by SmackDown remains to be seen, but for the second week in a row it appears as though the blue brand is more than just a placeholder on the television schedule.