The show opened with SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long in the ring introducing the new World Champion Randy Orton, who came out to a huge pop, and told the crowd that he knows that they are used to seeing SmackDown open with Christian whining and crying, begging for one more re-match against him. But instead, he told the crowd that would not be happening, because his beating Christian at SummerSlam was so severe that Christian can’t even stand up, let alone show up on SmackDown – and that his battles against Christian are now over and that he is now ready to start anew. Teddy Long then announced that a new #1 contender for Orton’s World Title would be determined on the show by way of a 20-man battle royale!
Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase then came out and said that they know Orton’s strengths and weaknesses – only to have Randy Orton deliver an RKO to DiBiase out of nowhere. Teddy Long then made a match between Ezekiel Jackson and Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship.
Intercontinental Title rematch – Champion: Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel Jackson.
Although Jackson dominated early on in the match, Rhodes was again able to hit the Cross Rhodes to retain the Intercontinental title via pinfall in a surprisingly easy 3:38.
Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd
Gabriel came out to snazzy new music and in a match filled with lots of speed and lots of kicks from both participants. Gabriel ended the match by hitting Kidd halfway across the ring with what was his most amazing 450 splash I have ever seen at 4:34.
WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio made a surprise appearance on SmackDown. He stepped into the ring and spoke to the crowd holding aloft the WWE title belt telling them that his destiny had been fulfilled. He then boasted about the fact that he has now beaten Mysterio not only on the night he debuted in WWE last year, but again for his 1st title defense on the most recent Monday Night Raw and provided the footage showing it. He then issued an open challenge to any SmackDown superstar brave enough to face him. Daniel Bryan then came out to accept Del Rio’s challenge, calling Del Rio “pathetic” for cashing in his Money In The Bank suitcase the same boring way everyone has.
The two battled in an excellent back and forth match that had the crowd buzzing. It ended when Del Rio was somehow able to avoid Brayn’s dreaded Labelle Lock finisher, reversing it into his arm bar finisher and Daniel Bryan had no choice other than to quickly tap out at 16:16. Del Rio continued the assault after the match until Sin Cara hit the ring to make the save!
Divas Tag Team Match: Kelly Kelly & A.J. vs. Natalya & Alica Fox
Kelly Kelly hit Alica Fox with a vicious scissors kick at 6:06 to score the win. After the match, an enraged Natalya attacked Fox with the sharp shooter.
20-Man Battle Royale Match For the #1 Contender spot For The World Heavyweight Championship
The competitors were Sheamus, Mark Henry, Jinder Mahal, The Great Khali, Ted DiBiase, Wade Barrret, The Usos Ezekiel Jackson, Cody Rhodes, Justin Gabriel, Yoshi Tatsu, Daniel Bryan, Tyson Kidd, Zack Ryder, William Regal, Sin Cara, Dolph Ziggler, Johnny Curtis, and Heath Slater. Randy Orton was at ringside to see who would become the #1 contender for his championship. Mark Henry won the battle royale at 10:11. After the match, SmackDown ended with a stare down between Orton and Henry.