Zim’s 9/13 WWE Smackdown Review: Go-home show features The Cutting Edge with Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, The Shield vs. Ziggler and The Usos, Damien Sandow vs. Santino Marella, six-Diva tag action, and a cameo by an ROH regular
By Zack Zimmerman
Aired September 13, 2013 on Syfy
Taped September 10, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario
The opening video played… Michael Cole welcomed viewers and hyped that Edge would be hosting The Cutting Edge with guests Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan later in the show. The Big Show made his entrance as a recap aired of Monday’s Raw when Show refused to KO Bryan. JBL called it insubordination and unprofessionalism on the part of Big Show.
Show stood in the ring and read word-for-word off a piece of paper. He “humbly apologized” for disobeying Triple H, for being a poor locker room leader, and for letting down the WWE Universe. Triple H’s music hit and he made his way onto the stage. He welcomed everyone to Smackdown and thanked Big Show for his apology, however insincere it may have seemed. He said he wasn’t picking on Big Show, he just wants Show to be a professional. He said in any business, refusing to obey management is grounds for dismissal. Big Show asked Triple H “Please, don’t do this.” Hunter said that he wasn’t going to fire Show, but he was going to suspend him without pay for the night, noting that it stung because “Big Show is broke.”
As Big Show was about to leave the ring, The Shield’s music hit and they made their way to the ring through the crowd. They surrounded and attacked Big Show, but he quickly fought back and had the upper hand. Ambrose was able to hit a dropkick that knocked Show to ringside, so Show climbed up onto the announce table. The Shield went after him with chairs, but Show was able to knock the chair into Reigns and throw Rollins and Ambrose into the barricade. He then dove off the announce table with an impressive spear on Reigns that popped the crowd.
Big Show was slow to get up, but he isolated Reigns in the ring as the crowd chanted his name. Ambrose interfered, but Show goozled both. Rollins came off the top, but Show released the other two to knock him out of the air. He set up for the KO punch on Rollins, but Reigns re-entered the ring with a chair and destroyed Show with repeated chairshots. “This is your fault,” Ambrose yelled at Big Show. The trio delivered their triple powerbomb and stood tall as their music hit. A replay showed the highlights (and lowlights) of the segment…
Michael Cole hyped an interview with Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman coming up later in the show… Brodus Clay warned us not to try this at home, and encouraged everyone to stay funky… [C]
Zim’s Zag: That was a great looking brawl. Despite the fact that Show has looked like a total wuss in recent weeks, he had the crowd behind him and put up a hot fight against the usual numbers game-style attack from the Shield. He took two big bumps that looked like they were a bit rough on him, but his effort can’t be denied. I still don’t get what’s “iron clad” about a contract that they can threaten to terminate at any time, but it’s clear they don’t really care.
Back from break, AJ Lee made her entrance to join the commentary team as Layla, Alicia Fox, and Aksana were already in the ring set to take on Brie Bella, Naomi, and Natalya.
1. Brie Bella, Naomi, and Natalya (w/ Cameron) vs. Layla, Alicia Fox, and Aksana. Brie got distracted by AJ on commentary and the match briefly devolved into a catfight. When it settled, Alicia Fox took control of Naomi until Naomi broke free. Natalya looked to apply the Sharpshooter on Aksana, but AJ ran into the ring after Natalya and the ref called for the bell.
Natalya, Naomi, and Brie Bella beat Layla, Alicia Fox, and Aksana by DQ in about 2:00.
Natalya, Brie Bella, and Naomi surrounded AJ as the commentators reminded viewers that they were the three challangers at Night of Champions. Naomi slapped AJ and Brie hit the X-Factor. They let her get back to her feet before Naomi hit a leg lariat. Natalya went for the Sharpshooter but the other Divas pulled AJ to safety at ringside. The Total Divas stood tall in the ring as the other four backed up the ramp…
Michael Cole hyped Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose coming up later in the show. Vickie Guerrero was shown walking backstage and Cole announced that she had a huge surprise, coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Whoever is overseeing this Diva’s program has no concept of babyfaces and heels. Why are the Total Divas suddenly all getting along? Why are the three “babyface” Divas putting a gang-style beatdown on the “heel” champion? I get that they’re building up to AJ tapping to Nattie’s Sharpshooter, but I think there’s more sympathy on AJ than anyone else in this angle.
Back form break, Lilian Garcia introduced Vickie Guerrero who announced that this would be “Dancing with the WWE Superstars.” R-Truth was out first and JBL was really into his rapping for some reason. Cole dryly told JBL to shut up. Funny. Fandango was out next with Summer Rae. Before Vickie Guerrero could start the contest, Miz’s music hit and he danced onto the stage like a total tool in an afro wig and disco clothes. Cole was cracking up at the absurdity. Miz said you can’t have a dance contest without “Miz-co Inferno.” Rare gem from Miz. Miz took a pink sequin jacket from a fan at ringside and JBL took a shot at Disco Inferno.
Vickie was frustrated, and before she could start the contest, The Great Khali’s music hit and he lumbered to the ring. He took the mic and said “Vickie, I want to dance!” Vickie said the more the merrier, and had R-Truth start. He did the same moves he’s been doing since 2001. Fandango was next and he did his usual number with Summer Rae. Miz-co Inferno was up next and twerked on the ropes. Ugh. Khali was up next and he did his usual dance as well.
Vickie said the winner would be determined by crowd response. Cheers for Truth and Khali, boos for Fandango, and winning pop for Miz-co Inferno. Fandango was upset and told everyone to get off his dance floor. He went for a cheap shot on Miz, but the babyface trio cleared him from the ring in a hurry. Miz and truth danced together in the ring to close the segment…
Michael Cole hyped The Cutting Edge coming up later in the show… [C]
Zim’s Zag: I’ve been accused of being too lenient on dance-offs in my NXT reviews, but as a guy who used to cover this show once said, “this shit is terrible.”
A vignette for Los Matadores aired. Apparently, they have taken down a bull that nobody else was able to. JBL was singing “Ole” back in the arena. Michael Cole then threw to the newest member of the WWE broadcast team, Ryback.
Backstage, Ryback introduced himself as a multi-talented WWE Superstar, a concert pianist, a linguist, and a great interviewer. With that, he welcomed his first interviewee and asked his name. The man had a big smile and introduced himself as Robert Evans (ROH’s “Barrister” R.D. Evans and Chikara’s Archibald Peck look-a-like).
Ryback ran through a series of questions and Evans revealed that he’s from Ottawa, stands at 6-foot-4, weighs 185 pounds, and has aspirations of headlining WrestleMania. Ryback said everyone has dreams, and then slapped Evans hard in the face and kicked him in the gut. Ryback asked if Evans had anything to say, and Evans just groaned into the mic before Ryback threw to the next segment.
In her office, Vickie Guerrero informed Ricardo Rodriguez that for his safety, she didn’t want him at ringside with Rob Van Dam at Night of Champions. Ricardo begged in Spanish and Vickie said if that’s what he wants, tonight will be Rob Van Dam in Ricardo’s corner as Ricardo takes on Alberto Del Rio… Michael Cole hyped his interview with Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman… Damien Sandow made his entrance for action after the break… [C]
Zim’s Zag: It’s always cool to see a familiar face on the big stage. That said, who would make Ryback an interviewer just so he could beat up and berate extras? Why is every authority figure in the wrestling world an illogical heel?
Back from break, Sandow informed the “mouth-breathing” crowd that he was going to beat Santino Marella and “set the crowd free of the inadequacies of their self-impised ignorance, eh?” Funny. Santino made his entrance and power-walked around the ring to a big pop.
2. Damien Sandow vs. Santino Marella. “Show me you’re strong” Santino said as he set up for a test of strength, only to take a knee to the gut. Sandow went on offense, hit the Russian leg sweep, and dropped the elbow of disdain for a two-count. He locked in an abdominal stretch as Santino yelled “that kills.” Funny. Santino reversed with a back suplex and began to fire up. He hit a hip toss and dropped a headbutt, but Sandow knocked him down before the Cobra could strike. Sandow charged at Santino in the corner, but Santino evaded and connected with the Cobra for the upset win.
Santino Marella beat Damien Sandow in about 2:00.
Santino ran to the top of the stage and celebrated in usual fashion... Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel were shown walking down a corridor as Michael Cole hyped his interview with the two, coming up next… [C]
Zim’s Zag: With every loss, I’m more certain that Sandow will be cashing in successfully. I think a vulnerable title reign from a character as entertaining on the mic as Sandow would be really fun.
Michael Cole stood mid-ring and recapped that C.M. Punk would be facing Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman in an elimination handicap match, before the two made their entrance. Heyman’s body language reeked of uncertainty and lack of confidence; his scraggly beard and (incriminatingly) bloodshot eyes added to his disheveled image. Once in the ring, Cole threw to a video package of the history between C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman.
Once it concluded, Cole recapped their fracture and split before asking how Heyman planned on making sure Punk didn’t get his hands on him this Sunday. Axel took the mic and said Heyman was clearly having a hard time. Axel said that Punk won’t get to Heyman because Punk can’t beat Axel. Heyman spoke up and said he was being persecuted. He said he wasn’t a fighter, he was a man of peace, and therefore was calling for a boycott of Sunday’s Night of Champions PPV. He said people have better things to spend their money on than seeing the destruction of Paul Heyman. He suggested perhaps a college fund for the kids or a new pair of shoes for the wife. Funny.
“If you order Night of Champions, you’re going to see C.M. Punk get his hands on me,” Heyman blatantly admitted as his eyes welled up. He said that he taught Punk how to turn the system on itself, and that’s why he would find a way to beat Axel, noting that it had nothing to do with fighting ability. He said that Punk was going to slaughter him this Sunday to the point that this was the last time you’d ever see Paul Heyman. He wanted to state publicly that if that’s the case, he “will always love C.M. Punk, but he will never forgive each and every one of you [the crowd].” The crowd serenaded him with the goodbye song as he left the ring…
A recap from earlier in the night showed Triple H suspending Big Show without pay for the night and The Shield attacking him afterwards… Alberto Del Rio made his entrance… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Heyman is doing a better job of selling this pay-per-view than the rest of the company combined. I’m surprised they had him talk so in-depth and virtually guarantee that Punk would be getting his hands on him. The fan in me would be really disappointed to see this be the end of Heyman for a while, but I fully expect him to resurface when Brock Lesnar does. Also, halfway through SmackDown with two two-minute matches? Weak.
Back from break, Rob Van Dam’s music hit and Ricardo Rodriguez made his entrance in matching t-shirts with RVD. He cautiously made his way into the ring for his match.
3. Alberto Del Rio vs. Ricardo Rodriguez (w/ Rob Van Dam). Del Rio went right after Rodriguez and wore him out with shoulder thrusts in the corner. He connected with a kick to the arm and a running stomp to the back of the head, but he got distracted trying to start an “A-D-R” chant and Ricardo attempted a schoolboy. Del Rio got out and nailed his superkick, but rather than going for the win, he hit repeated headbutts.
He waited for Ricardo to get to his feet, but Ricardo hit a kick and a tornado DDT for another near-fall on the champ. Ricardo went up to the top rope, but Del Rio tripped him up. He knocked RVD down at ringside before hitting an inverted superplex on Rodriguez for the win.
Alberto Del Rio beat Ricardo Rodrigues in about 2:30.
Del Rio held up his title belt before dropping it to apply the cross armbreaker on Rodriguez. RVD made the save and hit the Five Star Frogsplash on Del Rio before pointing to himself and picking up Del Rio’s title to close the segment…
Michael Cole hyped the WWE Title match this Sunday at Night of Champions and threw to a lengthy video package that ran down the recent history between Bryan, the McMahons, and Randy Orton. There were clips of Hunter’s interview with Michael Cole included to set up the story that Bryan just doesn’t fit the corporate image… Dolph Ziggler made his entrance for his non-title match and Cole explained that if Ziggler won, he would earn a title shot this Sunday… [C]
Zim’s Zag: Another match barely over two-minutes. Meh. I’m more okay with this because they told a good story in a short amount of time. Del Rio gets heat, Ricardo gets sympathy, and RVD gets the upper-hand on Del Rio; can’t really complain about that.
4. Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose in a non-title match. Ambrose had made his entrance during the break. Ziggler worked aggressively in the opening minute, but Ambrose took advantage of a referee separation to take control. Ziggler started to fight back, but Ambrose rolled to ringside and then continued to work over the pursuing Ziggler back in the ring. At the three-minute mark, Ziggler hit a great dropkick and dropped 10 elbows onto Ambrose, but Ambrose avoided a stinger splash going into a mid-match break. [C]
Back from break, Ambrose was still in control and settled into a Regal stretch before letting go to continue his offense. He went to the second tope, but took a boot to the face from Ziggler when he leapt off. Ziggler hit a stinger splash and ten punches in the corner, then followed up with a clothesline for a quick two-count. Ziggler missed the fameasser and the Zig Zag, but came right back with the fameasser a short time later. Before Ziggler could go for the pin, Reigns and Rollins interfered.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Dean Ambrose by DQ in about 6:00
The Usos hit the ring and cleared The Shield before checking on Dolph Ziggler. Vickie Guerrero came out onto the stage and announced that Ziggler would get a title shot against Ambrose this Sunday. She said that since The Usos felt the need to get involved, this was now a six-man tag. [C]
Zim’s Zag: Pretty good action while it lasted. It’s understandable that they wanted to hold back considering they’ll likely put on a great match this Sunday.
5. The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler and The Usos. Back from break, an Uso made the tag to Dolph Ziggler, who went on offense against Rollins before Reigns managed to tag in. The Shield isolated Ziggler and went to work for the next several minutes. Cole announced that this Sunday, Rollins and Reigns would defend their tag titles against the winners of the tag team turmoil match that will take place during the NoC Kickoff. The teams included will be The Usos, The Primetime Players, Tons of Funk, The Real Americans, and 3MB.
The crowd rallied behind Ziggler, but every attempt at a comeback was quelled quickly. Ambrose hit a front dropkick to Ziggler in the ropes, but missed it when he went for a second one. Ambrose was able to make the tag to Reigns before Ziggler could get to his corner, but Reigns missed a charge into the corner and went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Rollins tagged in, but Ziggler made the hot tag to Jimmy Uso.
He hit a Bubba bomb, missed his hip attack in the corner, but came right back with a huge Samoan drop. Ziggler took himself and Ambrose out to ringside and Reigns hit the spear on one of the Usos. The other Uso caught both Reigns and Rollins with superkicks before going to the top tope. He dove off, but Rollins got both knees up and got the win on a rollup.
The Shield beat The Usos and Dolph Ziggler in about 5:30.
Post-match, a replay of the highlights and finish aired. The Shield made their way back through the crowd and the babyfaces sold disappointment… Michael Cole hyped The Cutting Edge coming up next.
Zim’s Zag: Pretty hot match, as usual with the Shield’s style of six-man. I wouldn’t have been opposed to that one getting some more time, but match length and quality clearly aren’t the M.O. of this go-home episode.
Back in the arena, Edge made his entrance to a great reaction. He was the only guy on the show to get pyro. A video recapped the attack on Christian from Monday’s Raw. Edge said that Triple H allowed him to host The Cutting Edge because it was good for business. A small “good for business” chant broke out. Edge said the only reason he was there was for the fans. He said that Triple H married into his kushy job and somewhere along the way, lost his genitals. He spoke to Christian and said that when he comes back, don’t make it for one more match, “come back and tear them apart.” He first introduced the “supposed face of WWE” Randy Orton, and Orton made his entrance. Daniel Bryan was out next and got by-far the best reaction of the night.
Bryan shook Edge’s hand and Edge asked the first question of Randy: “How’s it feel to be a sellout?” Orton said that Edge sounded jealous of his 10 title reigns, before Edge reminded him that he had 11 title reigns of his own. Orton said that he was not a sellout, he just did what everyone else would’ve done by taking advantage of an opportunity. He said that after 10 years of John Cena, WWE needed a change, and Bryan was not a part of that change. He said Bryan had himself a “nice little following,” and was good for business, but Orton was best for business.
Edge said he thinks everyone knows what’s best for business as a loud “yes” chant broke out. Edge asked Bryan if he was best for business. Bryan said everyone wants to see him point his fingers and yell, but he doesn’t care what’s best for business. Orton called Bryan naïve and nothing more than a footnote. Bryan said he’s been listening to what everyone has been saying in recent weeks, but the most important things in Bryan’s life have nothing to do with the corporation. He said his love, satisfaction, passion, and dreams have no place on a balance sheet. He said that he’s never dreamed of being the face of a corporation, the only thing he’s ever dreamed of is holding the WWE title.
He said that this Sunday, his dream will come true when he beats Orton and takes the WWE Championship. Orton tossed the title belt into Bryan’s chest and dropped him with a cheapshot. He fired away at Bryan, but Bryan was able to reverse into the Yes Lock and Orton eventually tapped out after struggling and unsuccessfully trying to escape. Referees hit the ring and broke it up as Orton sold his shoulder. Bryan led the crowd in “yes” chants to close the show…
Zim’s Zag: Really good promo segment. Bryan is as intense and easy to get behind as any babyface in the business and Orton is playing his role excellently. They say the best heels speak with a sense of righteousness for their actions, and when he isn’t being overshadowed by the McMahons, Orton does a great job of conveying that. This episode was incredibly storyline heavy going into the pay-per-view, so it served that purpose well. The lack of in-ring focus was frustrating, especially considering the one-hour show I usually cover regularly features more ring-time than this two-hour broadcast did. If you’re still reading, thanks for hanging in there with my first attempt at SmackDown coverage.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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