The show started as footage from last week was shown where Seth Rollins forced John Cena to reinstate The Authority. What should have been a celebration for Edge, Christian and the WWE Universe turned into a nightmare of the highest order. Seth Rollins seized the ultimate opportunity on “The Cutting Edge Peep Show” and exploited the neck injury that ended Edge’s career to force John Cena to do the unthinkable. With the assistance of Big Show and J&J Security, Rollins incapacitated Christian and threatened to administer a potentially life-endangering Curb Stomp to Edge unless Cena caved in and reinstated The Authority. Having no choice, Cena made the sacrifice for his former rival and agreed to bring Triple H & Stephanie McMahon back to power. The couple made their return then and there, watching with glee after Rollins gave Cena the beating he’d intended for Edge and raising a glass to 2015 in WWE. It was a development, it must be said, that sat quite well with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman, who celebrated Cena’s destruction alongside The Authority atop the ramp.
Edge and Christian received a message from The Authority – While the WWE Universe braced itself for the return of The Authority this Monday, the first SmackDown of 2015 reeked of awesomeness with Edge and Christian at the helm and a main event that ended in a gigantic mess.
Michael Cole opened SmackDown by elaborating on the multimillion dollar lawsuit that Edge and Christian were reportedly bringing against WWE, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon as a result of the turbulent events on Monday’s Raw – specifically citing “breach of contract,” “assault and battery” and “loss of consortium.”
Before the two former World Champions could kick off the blue brand with themselves in charge, J & J Security drove into town to read a prepared statement from The Authority. The statement claimed that The Authority had no knowledge of Seth Rollins or Big Show’s actions from earlier in the week and that they did not condone or support them. It also stated that they apologized for what happened. However, it went on to state that while they recognized Edge and Christian’s contractual right to host SmackDown, J & J Security would remain there as official observers and would document any wrongdoing.
Pushing forward, Edge and Christian made two huge matches for the night: Ryback vs. Big Show and Roman Reigns vs. United States Champion Rusev!
Match 1 – Bray Wyatt def. Erick Rowan – Going head-to-head with Erick Rowan, Bray Wyatt laid waste to his former Wyatt Family disciple with a Sister Abigail out of nowhere. He then addressed his post-match comments to Dean Ambrose, making it clear that he was ready to dispose of The Lunatic Fringe in the first Raw Ambulance Match this Monday night.
Match 2 – The Usos & R-Truth def. Gold & Stardust & Adam Rose – On the heel of Jimmy Uso’s earth-shattering kick, Jey Uso hit the Samoan Splash on Adam Rose to earn a huge six-man tag team victory. The new WWE Tag Team Champions then put a quick end to a post-match counterassault by the Rosebuds.
Match 3 – Big Show def. Ryback by Count-out – In the midst of the impressive showdown between Big Show and Ryback, a major distraction by Rusev allowed the giant to deliver the KO Punch on The Big Guy, knocking him to the ringside floor and ending the match in a the favor of The World’s Largest Athlete. But when Rusev looked to deliver a post-match assault to Ryback, The Big Guy escaped the Accolade to send him packing.
Match 4 – Cesaro & Tyson Kidd def. Los Matadores – In the final moments of a high-octane tag team tag team contest, Cesaro hoisted his masked opponent high above his shoulders, setting up Tyson Kidd to flip over them both to bring his prey crashing down on the canvas for another impressive victory.
Match 5 – Dean Ambrose vs. Curtis Axel never happened – Taking down Curtis Axel outside the ring in an out-of-control onslaught before the bell could even ring, Dean Ambrose quickly turned his attention to Bray Wyatt, explaining to The Eater of Worlds exactly what he will do to him in Raw’s first Ambulance Match. Without a doubt, he seemed ready to take his foe on a Happy New Year Highway to Hell.
Match 6 – The Ascension defeated local opponents
Laying waste to their opposition for the second time this week, Konnor & Viktor finished off their outmatched foes with the devastating Fall of Man. WWE’s tag team division just got a whole lot tougher.
Main Event – Roman Reigns def. Rusev by Disqualification – In the height of Roman Reigns’ match against Rusev, Big Show stomped down to the ring, instantly taking a Superman Punch from his black-clad adversary for his efforts. But then, just when it looked like Reigns would become the first Superstar to pin Rusev, The World’s Largest Athlete roared back and yanked him from the ring. Faced with the wrath of a very angry giant, the fierce Reigns literally turned the tables on Big Show’s post-match onslaught, sending him over the SmackDown announce table, then overturning the entire structure on top of him.