On the first night of 2010, the 541st edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you on New Year’s Day from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ. SmackDown would see the return of the Beat The Clock Challenge as the Superstars of SmackDown would compete to try and get the quickest win in their respective matches as, whoever does so, will challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. Plus, John Morrison would look to regain the Intercontinental Championship that he lost at WWE TLC as he challenged Drew McIntyre for the gold.
- Beat The Clock Challenge: Time Setting Match: CM Punk def. Matt Hardy by pin following the GTS to set the time to beat at 7:20.
After the match, Luke Gallows assaulted and laid out Matt Hardy.
- Beat The Clock Challenge: Time To Beat- 7:20: Kane & Dolph Ziggler fight to a No Contest when time expires.
As a result, CM Punk’s time of 7:20 still stands.
- The Great Khali def. The Carolina Panther (jobber) by pin following the Punjabi Plunge.
- Intercontinental Championship: WWE TLC Rematch: Drew McIntyre (c) def. John Morrison by DQ after Drew McIntyre (c) shoves John Morrison into the referee; Drew McIntyre (c) retains.
Drew McIntyre exposed the top turnbuckle and threw the turnbuckle pad into the middle of the ring. The referee went to pick up the pad and McIntyre shoved John Morrison into the referee. The referee thought that Morrison did it intentionally so he disqualified John Morrison. After the match, the two brawled on the ramp before being separated by referees.
- Mickie James (with Michelle McCool & Layla) def. Beth Phoenix by roll-up.
Michelle McCool inadvertantly kicked Beth Phoenix during the match, which led to Mickie James rolling up Phoenix for the win. After the match, Mickie & Phoenix cleared the ring of McCool & Layla, but Phoenix ended up laying out Mickie with the Glam Slam, as well.
- Beat The Clock Challenge: Time To Beat- 7:20: Rey Mysterio def. Chris Jericho by roll-up to beat the clock and set the time to beat at 7:19.
- Beat The Clock Challenge: Time To Beat- 7:19: Batista & R-Truth (with Rey Mysterio) fight to a No Contest when time expires.
With just a matter of seconds remaining on the clock, Batista hit the Batista Bomb and pinned R-Truth, but Rey pulled the referee out of the ring and prevented Batista from beating the clock and R-Truth; meaning that Rey was named the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble. After the match, SmackDown Consultant Vickie Guerrero came out and said that Rey was not the #1 Contender and that he must face Batista next week to determine the "true" #1 Contender.
- Rey Mysterio Vs. Chris Jericho
- Intercontinental Championship
- Batista Vs. R-Truth
- CM Punk Vs. Matt Hardy
- Kane Vs. Dolph Ziggler
- Mickie James Vs. Beth Phoenix
- The Great Khali Vs. The Carolina Panther
The first SmackDown of 2010 kicked off with “The Straightedge Superstar” CM Punk and his “Straightedge Follower” Luke Gallows. Punk asks the crowd how many of them have already broken their New Year’s Resolutions. Punk then states the he does not need to make resolutions, because he’s “better”. Punk then asks the crowd to stand up and join him in the straightedge lifestyle and threatens to “beat” his lifestyle into them! Punk then vows to “save a very lost soul” from the audience every week and his “message will grow”. Punk then proclaims that everyone will come together as a “straightedge society”! Punk then makes the bold declaration that he will win the Beat The Clock Challenge and defeat The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble to become a four-time “Straightedge Champion”!
The Beat The Clock Challenge will feature a number of competitors competing in a series of matches. The object of the match is to defeat your opponent as quickly as possible. In the case of the first match in the challenge, whoever wins will set the time for all the other competitors to beat in the following matches. Whoever gains the quickest win will head to the Royal Rumble to challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship.
After proclaiming victory in the Beat The Clock Challenge, CM Punk would go one-on-one with Matt Hardy with the winner setting the time to beat in the challenge matches to follow. CM Punk was able to come one step closer to his proclamation to regain the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Matt Hardy with a time to beat of 7:20! After picking up the win, Punk’s “Straightedge Disciple” Luke Gallows assaulted and laid out Matt Hardy! In the other Beat The Clock Challenge matches, Kane would face Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho would go one-on-one with Rey Mysterio, & Batista would square off with R-Truth! Can any of these six Superstars beat CM Punk’s time of 7:20 or will CM Punk become the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title?
The first two Superstars to step up to the task of beating CM Punk’s time of 7:20 were “The Big Red Machine” Kane and “The Platinum Superstar” Dolph Ziggler. While Ziggler had Kane exactly where he wanted him in the clutches of a sleeper hold, the time expired before either man could get the win, which means that CM Punk’s time of 7:20 still stands! After failing to beat the clock, Dolph Ziggler took his frustrations out on Kane by laying out “The Big Red Machine” with the Zig Zag! Can Batista, R-Truth, Chris Jericho, or Rey Mysterio beat the clock and earn a World Heavyweight Title match at the Royal Rumble or will CM Punk’s time of 7:20 be unbeatable for the four potential contenders?
The Great Khali was in action on SmackDown as “The Punjabi Playboy” picked up a one-sided victory over The Carolina Panther.
In a rematch from WWE TLC, “The Friday Night Delight” John Morrison would look to regain the Intercontinental Championship as he challenged “The Chosen One” Drew McIntyre with the gold on the line. In his first title defense, Drew McIntyre was successful amid controversy as, in the middle of the contest, McIntyre exposed the steel underneath the turnbuckle. McIntyre threw the turnbuckle pad into the middle of the ring, which led to the referee retrieving the pad. With the referee’s back turned, McIntyre shoved John Morrison into the referee! Thinking that Morrison did it intentionally, the referee called for the disqualification; meaning that McIntyre would retain his Intercontinental Championship! After being cheated out of the Intercontinental Championship, John Morrison attacked McIntyre on the ramp and the two Superstars brawled until a slew of referees were finally able to separate the two of them! With the level of intensity in this rivalry, what measures will these two Superstars go to in order to get a piece of one another?
With Women’s Champion Michelle McCool & Layla at ringside cheering Beth Phoenix on, Phoenix went one-on-one with the target of McCool & Layla’s recent torment, Mickie James. The end of the match came when McCool & Layla got on the apron to try and assist Beth Phoenix, but an errant kick by Michelle McCool found it’s way to Beth Phoenix! Following this inadvertent assist, Mickie rolled up Phoenix to pick up the win! Post-match, Team Lay-Cool assaulted Mickie James, but Beth Phoenix made the unlikely save for her former rival! After Mickie & Phoenix sent McCool & Layla packing out of the ring, the two Divas came face-to-face. However, Phoenix wanted no part of any partnership with Mickie James as “The Glamazon” left Mickie lying with the Glam Slam! What will 2010 have in store for these four SmackDown Divas?
Before facing Rey Mysterio in a Beat The Clock Challenge match, Chris Jericho stated that SmackDown isn’t “big enough” for him! Jericho then proclaims that he is “bigger” than the WWE and vows to defeat D-Generation X on RAW and regain the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions! Jericho then claims that, after he and Big Show regain the titles, he will be the face of the entire WWE and that his New Year’s Resolution is to win every championship in the WWE! Jericho then states that, in 2010, he will become the “epicenter” of the WWE!
The time for talk was over as Chris Jericho would face one of his prominent rivals in 2009, Rey Mysterio, in a Beat The Clock Challenge match where one of them must beat CM Punk’s time of 7:20 to advance in the Beat The Clock Challenge for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. Both Superstars gave each other everything they had and then some, but in the end, it was the unreal quickness of Rey Mysterio that allowed “The Ultimate Underdog” to roll up Chris Jericho to win the match with one second remaining! Rey Mysterio has beat the time of CM Punk and eliminated Punk from the Beat The Clock Challenge with a time of 7:19; can Batista or R-Truth beat Rey Mysterio’s time or is Rey on the fast track to getting a second title shot against The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble?
Rey Mysterio would be at ringside as his former friend and intense rival, Batista, went one-on-one with R-Truth in the final phase of the Beat The Clock Challenge as both men would try and beat Rey’s time of 7:19. With a minute left on the clock, Batista had R-Truth beat, but with Rey Mysterio at ringside, Batista decided to rub it in the face of his former friend as he watched Mysterio while delivering the Batista Bomb to R-Truth. With just mere seconds remaining on the clock, Batista pinned R-Truth, but Rey had a plan in mind to repay Batista for Batista costing Rey the World Heavyweight Title last week as Mysterio pulled the referee out of the ring at the very last second to prevent Batista from beating the clock and ensuring that Mysterio would be the one to challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship! Per the rules of the Beat The Clock Challenge, Rey had survived to become the new #1 Contender. However, SmackDown Consultant Vickie Guerrero had a different view of the title picture. After telling Rey that everyone on SmackDown must obey the rules, Vickie made the surprise ruling that Rey is not the #1 Contender! Vickie then announced that, on next week’s SmackDown, Rey Mysterio and Batista will go one-on-one with the winner of that match being the “true” #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship and will face The Undertaker for the gold at the Royal Rumble! Can Rey Mysterio beat Batista like he did two weeks ago and become the #1 Contender for the third time in a month or will Batista defeat Rey and challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Title at the Royal Rumble?