The 549th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI. With WrestleMania just 30 days away, seven Superstars would be hoping to join RAW Superstar Christian in punching their ticket to WrestleMania and competing in the annual Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match as three Money-in-the-Bank Qualifying Matches would take place as CM Punk would go one-on-one with Shelton Benjamin, Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre would face Kane in a non-title WWE Elimination Chamber rematch, and, in a Triple Threat Match, John Morrison, R-Truth, & Dolph Ziggler would all compete for spots in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match. Ever since Mickie James inadvertently dumped cottage cheese on Vickie Guerrero a few weeks ago, the SmackDown Consultant has had it out for Mickie James and, on SmackDown, Vickie has made a match where Mickie James will defend the Women’s Title against former champion Michelle McCool, but the “x-factor” will be the Special Referee as Vickie Guerrero herself will serve as the referee.
- Money-in-the-Bank Triple Threat Qualifying Match: Dolph Ziggler def. John Morrison & R-Truth by pinning R-Truth following Starship Pain by John Morrison; As a result, Dolph Ziggler qualifies for the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania.
With this win, Dolph Ziggler joins Christian in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania.
- Women’s Championship: Special Referee- Vickie Guerrero: Michelle McCool (with Layla & Vickie Guerrero) def. Mickie James (c) by pin following a big boot to win the Women’s Title.
The end of the match saw Michelle McCool pin Mickie James, but Vickie Guerrero, somehow, fell out of the ring. With McCool distracted by Vickie’s fall on the outside, Mickie rolled up McCool. After slowly re-entering the ring, Vickie slapped Mickie to set up for McCool’s big boot en route to McCool regaining the Women’s Title.
- Money-in-the-Bank Qualifying Match: Kane def. Drew McIntyre by pin following a low big boot to end Drew McIntyre’s undefeated streak and qualify for the Money-in-the-Bank Qualifying Match.
- Money-in-the-Bank Qualifying Match: Shelton Benjamin (with Rey Mysterio) def. CM Punk (with Luke Gallows & Serena) by pin following Pay Dirt to qualify for the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania.
Following a distraction by Luke Gallows, CM Punk hoisted Shelton Benjamin up for the GTS, but Rey Mysterio rushes to the ring and pulls Gallows off of the apron. Punk is distracted by Mysterio’s actions and Benjamin takes advantage; hitting the Pay Dirt en route to winning the match and qualifying for the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania.
- Non-Title: Edge def. The Miz by pin following the Spear.
Just under a month before he defends his title against Edge at WrestleMania, the new World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho kicks off the show! The proud new champion proclaims that, after fifteen months, he has finally returned to where he “belongs”! Jericho then states that RAW was supposed to be his “inauguration ball” as the new champion, but that it was “taken away” from him by Edge; an act that Jericho claims he did not “deserve”! The World Heavyweight Champion was then interrupted by the man who will challenge him for the title at WrestleMania, Edge, who says he has to “congratulate” Jericho on his title victory! Jericho says that he is the “best in the world at what he does”, which Edge responds by saying that Jericho is the “best at getting speared by him” and states that he sees “doubt” in Jericho’s eyes! “The Rated-R Superstar” tells Jericho that he gets the feeling that he is in Jericho’s “head” and says he wants Jericho’s best at WrestleMania! Edge continues by saying that, if Jericho has doubts about WrestleMania, then Jericho will suffer “one more Spear” by Edge and then it’s “all over”! Jericho responds by vowing that Edge will “never Spear” him again before hitting a cheap shot on the #1 Contender! Jericho tries the Codebreaker, but Edge was prepared and blocked the move, followed by another Spear to the World Heavyweight Champion! For the second time this week, Edge has laid out the new World Heavyweight Champion with a Spear. Will Edge hit the Spear again at WrestleMania en route to being crowned the World Heavyweight Champion? Is Edge in the head of Chris Jericho?
With his NXT Rookie, David Otunga, accompanying him, R-Truth would vie for a spot in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania as R-Truth, John Morrison, & Dolph Ziggler would all compete in a Triple Threat Match with the winner earning a spot in the match. In the end, it looked like John Morrison would punch his ticket to WrestleMania after hitting Starship Pain on R-Truth, but the opportunistic Dolph Ziggler pulled Morrison off of the pinfall attempt and pinned R-Truth himself en route to earning a spot in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania! Christian & Dolph Ziggler have qualified for the match, but who else will compete for the Money-in-the-Bank title opportunity?
Next up was the match for the Women’s Championship where Mickie James would make her first defense of the championship since winning the gold at the Royal Rumble and she would defend it against former champion Michelle McCool, but, by the order of the SmackDown Consultant Vickie Guerrero, Vickie herself would serve as the Special Referee for the title match. Despite the assistance of Layla, Mickie James looked to have the match in hand after Mickie rolled up Michelle McCool, but Special Referee Vickie Guerrero delivered a vile slap to the face of Mickie! Following the slap, McCool hit a big boot on Mickie and three seconds later, McCool had her hands raised by Layla & Vickie Guerrero as the new Women’s Champion! How will Mickie James respond to losing the Women’s Title in such a controversial manner?
Though was unsuccessful in winning the Intercontinental Title from Drew McIntyre at WWE Elimination Chamber, Kane would get a non-title rematch against “The Chosen One” as the two Superstars would compete for the third spot in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania. Before the match, Drew McIntyre proclaims that he is “undefeated” and says that no one in the WWE has been able to beat him. McIntyre then says that he will defeat Kane and, by winning the Money-in-the-Bank title opportunity at WrestleMania, the “prophecy” will be fulfilled!
After his bold words, Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre went one-on-one with “The Big Red Machine” Kane in a non-title match with the winner earning the third spot in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania. After escaping from the Future Shock DDT, Kane was able to hit a vicious kick to the head of Drew McIntyre en route to ending the undefeated streak of the Intercontinental Champion and earning his spot in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania! After the match, a furious and unstable Drew McIntyre stared up at the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase hanging high above the ring before snatching his Intercontinental Title belt, pounding on the announce table, shouting at commentator Matt Striker, and marching backstage with the first loss in his WWE career still renting space in his head!
United States & Unified WWE Tag Team Champion The Miz made an appearance on SmackDown and reminds the fans that he and Big Show, as the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions, can appear and defend the tag titles against any team on RAW or SmackDown. Miz then states that he and Big Show do not have a match at WrestleMania and says that they “need challengers”! The Miz then calls on SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long to name their challengers for WrestleMania! The GM comes out and states that he will take Miz’s suggestion “under advisement”, before saying that, if Big Show was in the arena, then he might make ShowMiz defend the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles on SmackDown! Theodore Long continues that, since Big Show is not there, then he is putting The Miz in singles action against none other than the winner of the 2010 Royal Rumble and #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Edge! Can The Miz defeat Edge so close to WrestleMania or will Edge temporarily shut the mouth of The Miz?
Two Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match veterans went one-on-one on SmackDown as two-time, back-to-back Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match winner CM Punk, with The Straightedge Society in tow, faced the newest SmackDown acquisition, “The Gold Standard” Shelton Benjamin with a spot in this year’s Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania. Following a distraction by Luke Gallows, CM Punk sets up Shelton Benjamin for the GTS, but Rey Mysterio rushes to the ring and takes Gallows off of the ring apron! Rey’s actions distract CM Punk and Shelton Benjamin takes advantage by hitting Pay Dirt en route to earning his spot in the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania! Shelton Benjamin has been in four of the five Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Matches, but has not won the Money-in-the-Bank contract; will this year be the year that Shelton Benjamin finally wins it? How will CM Punk and The Straightedge Society react to the interference by Rey Mysterio?
Then it was time for the main event as the 2010 Royal Rumble Winner and #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania, Edge, went one-on-one with United States & Unified WWE Tag Team Champion The Miz in a non-title match. In the end, it was Edge blasting The Miz with a Spear en route to picking up the win! Will Chris Jericho suffer the same fate at WrestleMania? Will Edge win the World Heavyweight Title come WrestleMania or will Chris Jericho retain the gold on “The Grandest Stage of Them All”?