SD Fusion: Leadership By Example
The 23rd September 2011 episode of Friday Night SmackDown! starts with John Laurinaitis standing in the ring, with the ring being surrounded by the SmackDown! Roster. He says that in the absence of Triple H, he has assembled the SmackDown! Roster to discuss the issues that Triple H as COO has perhaps lost control of the WWE.
Laurinaitis says that chaos engulfed Raw and culminated in the dismissal of two Raw Superstars, R-Truth and The Miz (click here for our Raw report). He says that he himself has changed his mind, and that he believes that Triple H has control of the situation.
He says that others may not agree and have their own opinions, but when he looked into the eyes of Triple H and saw the resolve and determination, so when Triple H gets there, he hopes that everyone else sees it too.
Laurinaitis introduces the new World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry, who makes his way to the ring and shakes Laurinaitis’ hand and comments that it has taken him fifteen years to earn the title, and he says that it will be fifteen more before anyone can take it from him.
Henry points out Ezekiel Jackson and says that he didn’t believe, followed by Teddy Long who he says also didn’t believe, but does now. Before he can point out any more people and accuse them of being non-believers, Triple H’s music hits and the COO makes his way to the ring.
Triple H appears to have a job of convincing Henry to hand over the microphone when he approaches him, but he manages to do so. Before Triple H can say anything however, Christian interrupts and asks them to hold on one second, as he enters the ring.
Christian tells Triple H that on behalf of himself and the entire roster, and the entire world for that matter, he’d like to say what a good job Triple H is doing as the COO of the WWE. He says that his treatment of the Superstars on SmackDown! has been exemplary and says that he appreciates it.
He says that Triple H’s credo is “leadership by example”, which as a two-time World Heavyweight Champion he says is also his own credo, but after pointing out Mark Henry and calling him “You-Know-Who”, he wonders if Triple H can really see Henry’s face on a billboard or cereal box, or even reading to some children.
Christian can’t, but Henry doesn’t appear to appreciate what he is saying – Triple H however manages to get him to back away again as he starts to approach. Christian says that he deserves to be the face of SmackDown! and that if they are going to go all the way of it and be the leader he is, then he needs to be the World Heavyweight Champion.
He says that he doesn’t need to remind Triple H that he deserves one more match to become the World Heavyweight Champion, so he says that after Hell In A Cell and after “You-Know-Who” chokes like he has in the past, Christian is going to be the one who takes the reigns, beats Randy Orton, and becomes a three-time World Heavyweight Champion.
Triple H asks if that is all, and comments that it is pretty good, but first turns his attention to thanking the Superstars for coming out there and he assures them that he is in complete control of Raw, SmackDown!, and the WWE.
As for Christian’s thoughts, he says that he really appreciates him stepping up as a leader as he says that it’s great to see. He says that he’s going to give him a chance to lead by example in front of the Superstars out there, as later on those Superstars will surround the ring as their “leader” goes one-on-one for the World Heavyweight Championship against Mark Henry, with the winner facing Randy Orton at Hell In A Cell.
Next up, Heath Slater takes on Sheamus in a match which sees Sheamus get the victory, when he hits Slater with the Brogue Kick for the 3-count.
Going backstage, Christian approaches The Great Khali and acts friendly with him, suggesting that Khali may get a World Heavyweight Championship match in future, and that perhaps he would prefer to face someone smaller – himself for example – as opposed to Mark Henry.
Wondering if Khali can even understand him, Christian comes right out and asks if Khali can help him in his match against Henry later on or not. The Great Khali’s response is to say that he understands that Christian is small, but Christian calls him a card and says that he’ll see him out there, apparently thinking that Khali is going to help him.
Back in the arena, after a video recapping the match between the team of Justin Gabriel and Sheamus against the team of Wade Barrett and Christian, Wade Barrett is pitted against Justin Gabriel in match which sees Barrett get the victory, when he hits Gabriel with The Wasteland for the 3-count.
Now, Matt Striker interviews Randy Orton about his first match since losing the title to Mark Henry (click here for our Night Of Champions report) being later on against Cody Rhodes, asking what has been running through his mind since losing the World Heavyweight Championship.
Orton says that just one thing, and that has been “going to Hell”. However he says that just like the song says, “Hell ain’t no bad place to be”, especially if that is where you go to become the World Heavyweight Champion again.
He says that he will be dragging Henry to depths of Hell with him, or perhaps it will be Christian, who already has a permanent residence, but one way or another, when he comes back from Hell he will be bringing the World Heavyweight Championship with him.
After a video hyping Hell In A Cell, Christian is shown trying to convince another person to help him, this time it is Ezekiel Jackson. Once again, Christian seems to think that he has an agreement, so he says that he will see Jackson out there.
Next, A.J and Kaitlyn go against “Divas Of Doom” Natalya and Beth Phoenix in a match which sees Beth get the victory for her team, when she hits A.J with the Glam Slam for the 3-count.
After a video hyping Cody Rhodes, and a video recapping their match on Raw two weeks ago that Rhodes won thanks to the distraction provided by Mark Henry, Randy Orton takes on Cody Rhodes. The match sees Rhodes get the victory as a result of a disqualification, when he grabs Rhodes’ mask from his face and hits Rhodes with it in full view of the referee. Afterwards, Orton continues to attack Rhodes, giving him a rope-assisted DDT.
Backstage again, Christian approaches Sheamus and hands him a potato as he says he wanted to give him that. Christian says that he knows how much the Irish like potatoes, so it is a kind of peace offering.
Sheamus sarcastically says that they love their potatoes, and that it is all they eat, but Christian clearly misses the sarcasm. Just like earlier on with Khali and Jackson, Christian attempts to convince Sheamus to help him in his match against Mark Henry, pointing out that he would be able to get the first short against him.
Sheamus says that of course he will be out there, and that he can count on him. Christian says that he appreciates it, and says that he has a whole bag of potatoes, with Sheamus thanking him again for the potato before he leaves. After he leaves, Sheamus shoves the potato into his mouth and takes a bite, before spitting out and commenting that it isn’t from Ireland, but that it is from Idaho.
After a video recapping the events involving The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal last week, The Great Khali is pitted against Jinder Mahal in a match which sees Khali get the victory, when he hits Mahal with the choke-bomb for the 3-count.
After a video recapping the stare-down between both Sin Caras last week, Sin Cara goes against Daniel Bryan in a match which sees Cara get the victory, when a second Sin Cara runs to the ring and pushes the first Sin Cara off the turnbuckle to the floor behind the back of the referee. The second Sin Cara hits Bryan with a kick to the head that he then follows up with a senton bomb for the 3-count, with apparently neither Bryan or the referee aware of the switch.
Christian seems to be trying to get all the help he can, as he is shown outside of Randy Orton’s locker room. Before he can knock, “Long Island Iced Z” Zack Ryder exits and Christian talks about how he loved what he did on Raw with Hugh Jackman.
Ryder says that he’d love to “do him a solid”, but he says that he can’t help Christian as it would be a conflict of interest, due to him being the Assistant General Manager of SmackDown!, but Christian says that he could still help him by convincing Randy Orton to help him in his match against Mark Henry.
Ryder’s theme is heard as he answers the phone supposedly to Hugh Jackman, informing Jackman that Orton is in, and walking off after telling Christian that he’ll see him later. Christian seems to weigh up the idea of asking Orton himself as he stands outside his locker room, but ultimately he seems to decide that it is too risky, and leaves instead of knocking.
After a video hyping The Usos, “Air Boom” Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston take on The Usos in a match which sees Bourne get the victory for his team, when Kingston hits one of The Usos with Trouble In Paradise, and Bourne follows it up with the shooting star press for the 3-count.
After a video hyping Mark Henry and a Raw Rebound video recapping the events and match on Monday Night Raw involving Hugh Jackman, Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler, and Vickie Guerrero, Christian is pitted against Mark Henry in a Lumberjack match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The match ends with Henry getting the victory, when Christian seems to have made the decision to leave. He doesn’t get the chance however as Sheamus appears from behind him and throws him back into the ring, straight into a World’s Strongest Slam by Mark Henry for the 3-count.
Henry has little time to celebrate, as Randy Orton’s music hits and he quickly makes his way to the ring and decides to attack Henry. Henry manages to block the RKO attempt by Orton, but Orton blocks his clothesline attempt, and hits Henry with a dropkick that sends Henry out of the ring, much to Henry’s apparent surprise.
Mark Henry and Randy Orton stare each other down from their respective positions, as SmackDown! goes off the air.