1/18 Smackdown, 1/16 Main Event & SMS Spoilers
* Dolph Ziggler defeated Zack Ryder with a Zig Zag.
* Wade Barrett defeated Yoshi Tatsu with the Bull Hammer elbow.
First was Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder. Small pop for Ryder. Mixed reaction for Ziggler when his music initially hit, but he gained more heat once he began taunting the crowd.
(1) Dolph Ziggler (w/A.J. Lee and Big E. Langston) beat Zack Ryder. Ryder was on the offensive for most of the match. Highlights included a springboard cross-body to the outside on Ziggler. Good use of Big E. and A.J. on the outside to hold off Ryder while Ziggler was down. The crowd was solidly behind Ryder the whole match; he got some pretty good "Woo"s when he teased the Broski Boot. The boot itself missed and Ziggler hit him with the Zig-Zag on the rebound for the win.
Next was Wade Barrett vs. Yoshi Tatsu Not much crowd response for either Superstar. People cheered for Tatsu because he was the face, but it seemed like nobody was truly interested in the match. Pre-Match, Barrett stared down Kofi Kingston (who was on commentary) to continue their current feud.
(2) IC champion Wade Barrett beat Yoshi Tatsu. Surprisingly, Tatsu had most of the offense during the match. Everyone around me wondered about why a champion like Barrett would actually have a hard time with someone like Tatsu. The match finished with Tastu coming off the rope and Barrett hitting him with what looked like Abyss's Black Hole Slam for the win.
- Randy Orton battled Antonio Cesaro in the opening match. After about 25 minutes, The Shield interfered and beat down Orton. The Miz hit the ring to make the save. The crowd was hot and chanting, "Feed Me More!" The Shield hit a triple power bomb on Orton, while Cesaro laid Miz out with a Neutralizer. No verdict announced, but it appeared to be either a no-contest, or a disqualification victory for Orton.
- The Usos defeated The Prime Time Players in a very slow match.
First was Randy Orton vs. U.S. champion Antonio Cesaro. Big Pop for Orton during his extended entrance. They really gave him time to play to the crowd. Little heat for Cesaro, even after recapping Raw's events where he insulted The Miz and Flair. Miz is on commentary, so I'm sure there will be comments on his side when the episode airs.
(1) Randy Orton beat U.S. champion Antonio Cesaro via DQ in a non-title match. This was easily my favorite match of the night. The match opened with a lot of striking and brawling, but also had plenty of good spots to get the crowd excited and into the match. This was probably the most response from the crowd for the evening, as well, with just as many pro-Orton chants as there were anti-Cessaro. Highlights were a superplex by Orton where he stood on the top rope and Randy's signature standing clotheslines, scoop slam, and second rope DDT. The finish came after the DDT, when Cesaro rolled out and The Shield jumped the rail and climbed the apron. Miz then jumped from commentary to stand by Orton's side. The Shield feigned leaving before rushing the ring and attacking the two Superstars - Ambrose and Rollins on Orton and Reigns on Miz.
Post-match, Rollins and Ambrose were able to beat down Orton enough to leave him and help Reigns triple-team Miz. Rollins and Ambrose held Miz up to allow Reigns to hit a pretty big Spear. The three then turned to Orton and hit him with the triple powerbomb. After The Shield left, Cesaro re-entered to pick up Miz and hit him with his finisher. The sequence ended with Cesaro holding the U.S. Title and flag standing over Miz.
Next was Prime Time Players vs. The Usos
(2) The Usos beat Prime Time Players. Everyone was pretty disinterested in most of the match. Neither team got much reaction during their entrances and the match was more of the same. Titus was able to get some reaction during a spot when Young was thrown out and O'Neil (with whistle) called for the Time Out. He also responded to the crowd trying to get The Usos back with him whistling off their cheers. PTP controlled most of the match until the finish, when one Uso hit a superkick on Young. They both climbed the top rope and teased a double splash, but one jumped onto O'Neil on the outside and the other hit the Uso splash on Young for the win.
- The show opens up with Del Rio Fiesta. Alberto Del Rio got a small pop coming out, they'll probably dub that. Dolph Ziggler interrupts the party. The Big Show comes out as well, and then Sheamus. This sets up a tag match for later tonight, with Ziggler and Big Show vs. Del Rio and Sheamus.
- U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro defeated Kofi Kingston in a non-title match.
- Team Hell No and Randy Orton vs. Team Rhodes Scholars and Wade Barrett is up next. Orton won the match for his team after hitting Sandow with an RKO and pinning him. After the match, Kane hugged Orton and Daniel Bryan joined in.
- The Miz defeated Primo with a figure four leglock.
- The Great Khali defeated Tensai.
- WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn defeated Aksana.
- World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler and The Big Show.
- Smackdown opened with Del Rio's "fiesta." The ring is decorated with red, white, and green balloons and ring curtains. Inside is the red carpet with a Mariachi band and a Flamenco dancer. The Latino crowd was really into the band and dancer. There was a small pop for Ricardo Rodriguez as he brought out Del Rio. Del Rio didn't have a car again and was dressed in a white suit. Del Rio talked about how he was ready to party, but didn't get much mic time before being interrupted by Dolph Ziggler (Big E. and A.J. in tow). Not much heat for Ziggler as he made his way to the ring. Ziggler reminded Del Rio that he may thing he's won the World Title, but all he's really gained is a target on his back because he can cash in his MITB case at any time. He threatened to have Big E. drop him right now, to which Del Rio said "Bring It On."
Big Show's music then hit. Still little heat. Ziggler then stated that Del Rio is pretty outnumbered right now. Cue Sheamus's music. Sheamus stated he wanted to come out and help Del Rio with this numbers situation. He also stated he wants to make amends with Del Rio over everything they've been through, including the last time they were in San Antonio and he stole his Ferrari. Sheamus offered to be the bouncer for this Fiesta, but Del Rio said he doesn't want a fight...okay maybe a little.
Before a brawl could ensue, Booker T's music hit and he broke it up. He pulled a Teddy Long announcing tonight's Main Event will be a Tag Match between Del Rio & Sheamus and Ziggler & Big Show. Booker then kicked the heels out of the ring and re-kicked off the party including a Spin-a-rooni and Sheamus dancing with the Flamenco girl.
(1) U.S. champion Antonio Cesaro beat Kofi Kingston in a non-title match. Just a little heat for Cesaro, even after seeing what he did to The Miz an hour earlier in the Main Event taping. Good pop for Kofi. Cesaro controlled most of the match, but Kofi also had some good offense. The match finished with Kofi trying a huracanrana from the top, but he was caught and put into the Neutralizer.
Backstage Segment: Miz was stopped by Primo and Epico, calling him Ric Flair's new partner. Some funny back and forth ended with Miz challenging one of them to a match, Rosa's choice.
(2) Great Khali beat Tensai. Nobody cared about this match. They recapped last week when Ziggler assaulted Hornswoggle, who was not present. The only good thing about this match was that it was quick (which all of Khali's matches are). Awkward brawling was finished with the Chop from Khali for the win.
Backstage Segment: Kane and Bryan talking about Rhodes Scholars interrupting their therapy session on Raw. Bryan talked about Cody's mustache which led to an inferred dislike from Kane about Bryan's beard. It ended in a Yes/No fight. Orton interrupted asking if they were going to act like they're second graders, or focus on tonight's match. Kane left, then Bryan told Orton they're not second graders, they're in therapy. Orton mentioned the importance of winning the Rumble, but Bryan told him not to worry about that, and focus on tonight's match. He then offered a group hug.
Next was Wade Barrett/Rhodes Scholars vs. Orton/Hell No. Little heat for Barrett, and decent heat for Rhodes Scholars. I felt like if they gave Sandow the mic, it would have gotten the crowd more against them. Big pop for Orton and good "Yes" chants for Bryan.
(3) Randy Orton & WWE tag champions Daniel Bryan & Kane beat IC champion Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow. Orton started it off, but was out pretty quickly. Most of the match was Barrett/Rhodes Scholars working pretty well together isolating Kane. Big pop when Randy was finally tagged back into the match. The finish came while Sandow was the legal man, but Rhodes hit the Cross Rhodes on Orton behind the ref's back. Kane made the save and went out to fend off Rhodes. RKO on Sandow for the win.
After the match, Bryan wanted a hug from Randy. Randy turned away, but was stopped by Kane. Kane then held his hands up before grabbing Orton in a bear hug. Bryan jumped on from behind (looked as bad as it sounds). Final big pop for Orton during his curtain call.
Next was The Miz vs. Primo. Decent pop for Miz, but I expected more, especially with how much the crowd reacted when he jumped in to help Orton on Main Event. Little heat for Primo.
(4) The Miz beat Primo. I didn't get this match. It honestly felt like it was simply to try to get the predominantly Latino crowd into a filler match that would usually have little interest. Primo also had most of the offense during the match, which I also didn't get. Why would they have The Miz, who's being billed as a title contender, have this much trouble with a guy that's going to be on NXT next week? The finish came after Miz's corner clothesline. He teased the Skullcrushing Finale, but Epico interfered. Primo hit Miz from behind and teased the Figure Four, but Miz kicked him off into Epico, knocking him off the apron. Miz then locked in the Figure Four to win.
Backstage Segment: Divas congratulated Kaitlyn on her Divas Title win. Booker T and Teddy also come in to congratulate, Booker T thanking for representing H-Town and Teddy thanking for making Eve quit. Kaitlyn then left for her match.
(5) Divas champion Kaitlyn beat Aksana in a non-title match. Small pop for Kaitlyn, even when announced that she's from Texas. They played a recap from Raw where Kaitlyn won the title and Eve quit. Most fans weren't really into this match, as there were more cat-calls than cheers. The Divas did get a small pop when Kaitlyn smacked Aksana on the ass. The finish came with Kaitlyn winning with the spear.
Recap of Shield on Raw.
Shield backstage promo from a self-shot camera. (It's back!) Shield stated they tried to hold Mick accountable for all the kids who injured themselves emulating his hardcore style. They threatened Orton stating they only broke just one of Orton's bones and he has many more to come. It ended with Ambrose yelling "Believe in the Shield!" Orton and Sheamus were then shown watching the promo backstage. Sheamus apologized for not being there to help Orton out on Main Event. Orton stated he doesn't need Sheamus's help, but needs a win at The Rumble.
Main Event time with Show/Ziggler vs. Del Rio/Sheamus. Medium heat for Show. They recapped last week's title match to which Show just stared at the screen. Medium heat for Ziggler (with Big E. and A.J.).
Commercial Break: Promo for the new Best of Raw/SD 2012 DVD.
Back from break, they recapped Monday's cage match between John Cena and Ziggler. Big pop for Sheamus, but still only a decent one for Del Rio. Again no car for Del Rio, so I guess WWE is moving away from that. Despite the mediocre pop, the Latino crowd was behind Del Rio for most of the match, shouting things in Spanish that I didn't understand.
(6) World Hvt. champion Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus beat Big Show & Dolph Ziggler via count-out. The match opened with Del Rio and Ziggler, who both had some really good spots together. Big E. attempted interference when Del Rio was on the outside, but was fought off. The ref saw this and tosses Langston. A.J. went nuts and climbed into the ring to yell at the ref. She's tossed. The rest of the match was pretty good. I like the change of pace that Show/Ziggler created as a team. Highlights included a big slam from Show and a second rope splash from Show on Sheamus. After a nearfall, Show attempted a second one, but Sheamus rolled out. Sheamus tagged in Del Rio and the crowd was really getting behind it, but it seemed like it was more in reaction to Rodriguez's cheerleading on the outside. It makes you wonder how much worse this face turn would be if Del Rio were forced to stand on his own. Del Rio hit a big kick on Ziggler and got a nearfall. He locked in the cross-arm, but it was broken up by a leg drop on Show. Sheamus came in and hit the White Noise on Show (very impressive) to cause him to roll out of the ring. Del Rio then brought back the bucket from last week, but this time it actually had water in it. Show left and the team lost via count-out (Ziggler had also rolled out of the ring as some point, but it seemed like the ref was counting out Show, despite Ziggler being the legal man). Red, white, and green balloons fell from the sky as the crowd celebrated the face's win.
Post-show: Ziggler re-entered the ring to be hit with the title belt by Del Rio. Sheamus then hit the brogue kick to send everyone hope happy.
- Del Rio (eventually)
- Rhodes Scholars
- Shield (during their promo)