1/11 WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review: Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro, Sheamus vs. 3MB, and Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship highlight Smackdown
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review
Taped 1/8 in Miami, Florida.
[Q1] The WWE Narrator put over The Rock’s return to Smackdown after 10 years, and also spoke about Alberto Del Rio’s focus on the World Heavyweight Championship. Lilian Garcia stood in the ring and introduced Booker T. Mathews put over the fact that rumors have been swirling about a major Booker T announcement all week. Booker welcomed the crowd to Smackdown, and promised 2013 would start off with a bang. He said Raw was off the hook this week, but he knew Smackdown could do better.
Booker said the way he saw it, Raw gave fans Ziggler vs. Cena, so he was going to give them Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton. He then said Raw delivered the great one, but Booker said he would also give them The Rock inside the ring. Booker then said he would give the fans and World Heavyweight Championship match between Booker T and Alberto Del Rio, and it would be a Last Man Standing Match. Big Show then charged his way down to the ring and told Booker the title match was a horrible idea. Show grabbed a mic and accused Booker of having a personal vendetta.
Show asked him if he was bitter that he was retired and Show was not? He then asked what problem Booker had with him as champion. Show then said he only made that match because they were in Miami, and he wanted to give the latino fans a reason to get behind Alberto Del Rio. He then went on an odd racially charged promo about how there are no Latino Heroes, and that the inferior people of Miami didn’t deserve a hero or a title match. Just as Show was threatening Booker T physically, Del Rio made his way down to the ring and cleared Show to the outside with kicks.
They then showed a highlight from September 13th, 2001, where The Rock defeated Sean Stasiak in about 10 seconds. They will be showing more highlights of The Rock on Smackdown throughout the show. They also said a CM Punk pipe bomb would air, and said Orton vs. Cesaro was next…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: So, apparently Big Show resorts to demeaning latinos in order to get Del Rio over, and the crowd didn’t buy it one bit. They didn’t even particularly cheer Del Rio when he made the save. Maybe something didn’t translate to television or the crowd wasn’t mic’d well. Or, perhaps that segment caught the crowd off guard as it did me.
[Q2] Randy Orton’s music hit and he made his ring entrance. Antonio Cesaro then did the same. A video aired during his entrance where he announced his entrance into the Royal Rumble.
1. Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesario: They traded punches and kicks early. Orton dumped Cesaro to the outside and followed up with a huge clothesline on the floor. Orton re-entered the ring…[c]
Cesaro worked a chin lock mid ring, but it didn’t last as Orton elbowed out. Cesaro hit a clothesline and covered for two. He then picked up Orton in a gut wrench and tossed him over for a suplex. He followed up with a pin for another two count. Cesaro continued the assault in the corner with punches and kicks, and then went back to a chin lock. He then tossed Orton into the corner and charged, but Orton avoided and rolled him up for two.
Cesaro regrouped and hit a clothesline of his own, and then taunted Orton with a paintbrush slap to the back of the head. Orton responded and fired up with a clothesline and a powerslam. Cesaro counted an Orton charge by pressing him into the air and hitting a European uppercut. Orton recovered and hit an inverted backbreaker. He then hit a hung DDT, and fired up the crowd for an RKO. Just as Cesaro recovered, The Shield interfered and put a beating on Orton, including a three man powerbomb…[c]
Randy Orton defeated Antonio Cesaro by DQ at 9:24.
Barnett’s Brief: Well, that was a well wrestled match, and I’m glad it had a messy finish, as it keeps Cesaro from showing too much ass. The press uppercut is always a great spot, and Orton sold it well there. The Shield need another promo to re-establish their motives, as they have been running off that debut vignette for a while now.
[Q3] A recap of the previous segment aired, and Mathews and JBL argued over the beat down. They then put over the main event last man standing match. 3MB then showed up backstage with Matt Striker, and they talked about how Slater’s mom said they have a 10% chance to win the Royal Rumble. They then said they would beat Sheamus like an Irish Drum. The announce crew then introduced a message from CM Punk.
CM Punk was then shown from Sunlife Stadium in Miami. Punk pointed out it was the location Rock’s last match and the home of the Miami Hurricanes Football Team. Punk then said he was a huge fan of The Rock and his college football career, and then put one of Rock’s Miami Hurricane Jersey’s. Punk then pointed out that the place where he actually played football was torn down, just like the WWE he competed in was torn down. Punk then said The Rock would stand in front of his friends and family with the People’s Microphone and the People’s Ring and say that he was finally back home. The Punk then said he would show The Rock at Royal Rumble that he could never go home.
Dolph Ziggler made his ring entrance with AJ and Big E, and a clip aired of the conclusion of his match with John Cena on Monday…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: Punk was very good there, and he wasn’t too over the top. He continues to make strong metaphors that don’t stretch credulity at all. 3MB is still terrible, if you were wondering.
Alberto Del Rio cut a promo with Matt Striker and said that Big Show was a bully and didn’t understand the Latino Community. Del Rio said he would show Big Show what “La Familia” meant and that he would leave Miami the World Heavyweight Champion. The Great Khali made his entrance with Natalya and Hornswoggle.
2. Dolph Ziggler and AJ vs. The Great Khali and Natalya: Lots of ridiculous slaps from Khali onto Ziggler, and then he rolled away and tagged AJ. AJ jumped on Khali, but Natalya pulled her off and slammed the back of her head into the mat. Natalya then went for the Sharpshooter, but AJ bit her knee like a psychopath. Natty continued on offense, but AJ bit her face until the ref broke them up. AJ then hit Sliced Bread from the corner and got the pinfall.
AJ pinned Natalya at 2:30.
[Q4] After the match, Big E and Ziggler put a beating on Khali. Hornswoggle then got his, as Big E hit his finisher on him. Ziggler and crew smiled up the ramp. More CM Punk comments were then shown. Punk said he thinks Rock has convinced himself that he’s a hero that will save the people. Punk said the people don’t deserve to be saved, as they deserve to rot in hell. Punk said he’s better thank the people, and he’s better than The Rock. Heyman then took over and asked Rock if it bothered him if Punk was better than him. He said it shouldn’t, because Punk is better than everyone. Heyman then said that the People’s vision was that The Rock would return as the conquering hero, but that wouldn’t happen, because CM Punk is the best in the world.
The announce crew hyped The Rock’s return as next, and then showed more clips of The Rock’s Smackdown career. This time, it was highlights of The Rock and Sock connection…[c]
The Rock’s music hit and he made his way to the ring to a huge ovation. He mouthed the word home several times from the top of the ramp, and then soaked up cheers from the ring. He then threw up the Miami U to further fire up the crowd. The Rock grabbed a mic and did his finally shtick. The Rock said he had a very special night in store. The Rock did a shout out to Flo Rida, and then said he was back on his Show in front of his home town. He said he was excited to be in his home town in front of his family and friends. He then claimed he wanted to continue what he started on Monday, and that he was disappointed that Punk didn’t show up.
[Q5] The crowd yelled Cookiepuss, and The Rock said he didn’t care of CM Punk wanted to run down his home town and his University. He said he cherished his memories and his brothers from Miami Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp. Rock then said his home and his family mean everything to him, and that all CM Punk was doing was delaying the inevitable when he kicked his Cookiepuss ass at the Royal Rumble. The Rock said he would have fun whether or not Punk showed up, and then Team Rhodes Scholars interrupted him.
Sandow asked to beg The Rock’s indulgence. He introduced himself as the intellectual savior, and he then introduced his tag team partner and best friend Cody Rhodes. Sandow said he was out there not only to help him, but correct him. Rhodes grabbed the mic and said they would be champions, but The Rock would not. He then said the Rock didn’t deserve the titles like they did, and that he should get out of the ring before he didn’t have any choice. The Rock asked to let him get it straight. He did more shtick ripping on Team Rhodes Scholars, and called Cody’s mustache a dead caterpillar.
The Rock then said “Sweet Tapdancing Jesus, what is on your face.” Cody said that he was an adult and he could do what he wants. Sandow then offered The Rock a wager. He then explained his 3 questions bit and asked The Rock if he would do it. If he answers the questions correctly he can stay, and if not he has to leave. Cody said he wasn’t sure if he could answer them, since he went to Miami. Sandow asked The Rock who the 19th president was. He answered, “Rutherford B. Hayes, bitch!” They then asked him which film won best picture in 1993. The Rock answered Schindler’s correctly. He then told Cody he should know something about lists, since he looks like he spends 20 hours a day on Craigslist.
The Rock then asked if he could ask a final question. He asked Sandow what you get when you mix an aggregate of minerals with it’s lowest form. Sandow answered Rock Bottom, and then ate one from the Rock. Cody then tepidly got fired up and charged The Rock, who hit a spinebuster and a People’s Elbow. He then finished the segment by asking the crowd if they smell what he’s cooking…[c]
Barnett’s Brief: Fun segment from The Rock and Team Rhodes Scholars. There was some good humor there, and Cody’s mustache is a character all by itself.
[Q6] 3MB rocked out their air guitars in the ring. Sheamus then made his ring entrance.
3. Sheamus vs. 3MB in a handicap match: Sheamus charged and all 3 guys bailed up the ramp. Sheamus argued with the ref who started a 10 count. All three guys ran towards the ring, but Slater entered and the other two stopped. Slater ate a brogue kick and took a pinfall…[c]
Sheamus defeated 3MB at :38.
Barnett’s Brief: To quote Charlie Brown, “Good Grief!”
The Prime Time Players were shown in the ring. Team Hell No then made their entrance.
4. The Prime Time Players vs. Team Hell No: The Players took turns taking shots at Daniel Bryan’s injured knee. Bryan finally got his legs up in the corner to hit a charging Titus, and made the tag to Kane. Kane sent Titus out of the ring, and hit Darren Young with a side slam for a two count. The Prime Time Players tried to double team Kane, but Bryan came off the top and hit them both with a knee. Kane then followed up with a chokeslam for the pin.
Team Hell No defeated The Prime Time Players at 2:14.
Barnett’s Brief: Meh. Not much to say there. Bryan at least sold the same knee from Monday, and the match didn’t overstay it’s welcome.
[Q7] The announce team announced Eve vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas Title on Monday’s Raw. Lilian announced the Main Event and the rules of a Last Man Standing match. Big Show then made his ring entrance…[c]
Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Alberto Del Rio and got the crowd fired up for him. Lillian then gave Big Show his introduction, and the crowd booed louder than Del Rio got cheered.
5. Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show: They traded kicks and punches to start, with Show slapping Del Rio in the chest and hitting a body slam to take control. The ref counted to four after the body slam. Del Rio hit a side kick, but couldn’t mount any serious offense. Show hit another slap to the chest, and set up a Table at ring side. Show then pulled Del Rio to ringside and body slammed him onto it. The ref counted to six before Del Rio got up. Show then grabbed a chair from behind the announce booth, and tossed it and Del Rio into the ring.
Del Rio kicked Show in the chest and grabbed the chair from him. He hit him in the back and legs several times with it. Show fell to a knee, but not enough to count him. Del Rio then jabbed Show in the ribs with the chair, but again he just went to a knee. Del Rio went for a cross arm breaker, but Show powered him up over his head. Show went to toss him over the top rope, but Del Rio hung on and locked in the cross arm breaker. Show eventually worked free and Del Rio crashed to the floor. The ref counted to seven before Del Rio got to his feet…[c]
[Q8] Show and Del Rio traded kicks and punches at ringside. Show eventually tossed Del Rio back in the ring. A moment later, Del Rio drop kicked Big Show through a table that was setup in the corner. Show got up quickly. Del Rio locked Big Show in a sleeper hold for quite a while, and then hit several clotheslines. Show recovered and sent Del Rio into the corner. Del Rio jumped to the top rope and tried a double axe handle, but Show caught him and hit a choke slam. Del Rio answered the ref’s count at eight.
Big Show tossed Del Rio to the outside. He then speared him through the time keepers area. Del Rio stirred and answered the count at nine. Show tossed Del Rio back in the ring and methodically climbed in himself. Show signaled for a KO punch and dropped Del Rio. Alberto rolled off the apron and Del Rio used the ring to hold himself up on the floor to break the ref’s count. Show loosened the ring steps and grabbed the top portion. Show ran at Del Rio, but he avoided and Show ran into the ring post with the steps.
Del Rio grabbed the steps and rammed Show in the shoulder. He then hit him a second and third time, the last of which knocked him down. Del Rio then tipped the announce table over and pushed it on top of Big Show. Del Rio picked himself up to his feet using the ring again, and Show couldn’t answer the ten count. Del Rio wins the World Heavyweight Championship.
Alberto Del Rio defeated The Big Show at 17:55 to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Barnett’s Brief: Well, I’m not a huge fan of the story they told tonight, but that was a fun if not methodical match that the crowd really woke up for at the end. Del Rio looked tough as nails, and Big Show looked good as well, albeit a victim of circumstance and a clever challenger. Overall, this was another Smackdown that didn’t overwhelm us with content, but delivered a lot of time to a few stories and managed to do some good with them. I’ll have more to say with Chris Shore in our Smackdown Podcast available for all Dot Net Readers tomorrow morning.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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