Randy Orton returned and teamed with Sheamus to battle Antonio Cesaro and Big Show, Wade Barrett defended his IC title against Kofi Kingston and more! Check out 411ís full WWE Smackdown report for all the details!
Hello and welcome! The name's Michael Benjamin and I'm the new guy on 411. I'll be recapping Main Event and Smackdown moving forward. I hope you guys enjoy.
Now let's see what the first Smackdown of 2013 has in store for us!
Welcome to 411's LIVE WWE Smackdown Report 1.04.13 Championship Roll Call: WWE Champion: CM Punk World Champion: Big Show US Champion: Antonio Cesaro IC Champion: Wade Barrett Unified Diva's Champion: Eve WWE World Tag Team Champions: Kane & Daniel Bryan
Randy Orton makes his way down to the ring to kick off the show. Randy says that his New Year's resolution is to become World Heavyweight Champion. This brings Sheamus out to the ring. Sheamus says that he isn't down here to steal Orton's thunder. He simply wants to announce that he too is throwing his name in the Royal Rumble... and that he will win!
They have a little back and forth that the crowd seems to enjoy before Big Show interrupts the festivities from atop the ramp. He says that if either of them win the Royal Rumble, they're just going to get knocked out at Wrestlemania. He says something about being the world's largest athlete? I like that. He should run with that.
CESARO~! Antonio Cesaro joins Big Show at the top of the ramp. He says that it's just like typical Americans to argue over who's going to beat who. A few more xenophobic comments from our favorite Swiss superstar leads to Booker T strolling out. Two heels... Two faces... One GM.... I don't know what's going on here. Booker announces that Big Show and Cesaro will wrestle Sheamus and Randy Orton in a TAG TEAM MATCH (~!) in tonight's main event!
The Miz vs. Heath Slater (w/ McIntyre and Mahal)
I should mention that I'm a hopeless 3MB mark before we get started here. The bell rings and Slater locks on a waist lock. Miz powers out and hits Slater with a drop kick. Miz is exhausted from that drop kick and has no choice but to lock on a headlock. Har. Slater tries to escape the headlock multiple times to no avail. Mahal and McIntyre try to get involved and that gets them banned from ringside and sent to the back. Miz goes for a rollup while Slater's distracted by 3MB's departure! Kick out at 2! Slater rolls to the outside to catch a breather as we head to commercial.
~Another Commercial Break!~
We're back! We join in as Slater pummels Miz in the corner. Slater's putting some work in on the left arm of Miz. I'm pleasantly surprised with the amount of offense he's getting. Josh reminds us to keep our eyes on iTunes in the coming weeks. 3MB's single is going to drop as soon as Heath's vocal chords are healed. Slater whips Miz into the ropes and hits a stiff looking outside crescent kick for two. A little jukin' and jivin' from Heath before he goes back to the arm, trying to yank it out of it's socket. He sends Miz shoulder first into the turnbuckle and goes back for another arm ringer. Miz power slams his way out of that and the ref begins a ten count!
Both men make it to their knees by five and start punching each other out of desperation. Miz gets some adrenaline and starts rocking Heath with clotheslines like he got a hot tag or something. Slater doesn't let this end his momentum though and hits a nice looking neck breaker for TWO! Miz uses the turnbuckles to help himself up and Slater bolts at him! There's nobody home though and Miz hits his patented corner clothesline! SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! That's it for Slater. You can't really complain about what we were given here. Slater showed that he can hang in a lengthy TV match with a big name and Miz got a much needed win on his road to revival. Good match.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Miz @ 12:20 (aired) via pin
We get a recap from Raw covering Wade Barrett defeating Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship.
Matt Striker is backstage with Wade Barrett. Barrett says that the story is very simple. He's the new IC champion and he'll defeat Kofi Kingston tonight!
The Great Khali, Hornswoggle and Natalya vs. Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendez
WWE's production team would have you believe that Khali is receiving a hero's welcome tonight. For whatever reason, they feel the need to show us Mae Young giving birth to Hornswoggle on Raw. I get that Hornswoggle is in the match but can't we all just agree to forget about that?
Primo, Epico, and Rosa's entrance got cut off by the commercial break but we DO get to see them enter from the apron. So they get the lower midcard entrance instead of the jobber entrance this week. The bell rings and the ladies are going to start things off. Natalya grabs Rosa by the hair and starts slamming her into the mat face first. She hits a loose looking dropkick on a downed Rosa before Rosa crawls to her corner and tags in Epico. Khali's in now and Epico immediately tags Primo in out of fear. Khali flips Primo into the ring and guess what he does? If you guessed "chops him" you win an internet cookie. Khali tags in Swoggle now and he delivers a couple of stunners to Primo and Epico!
Hornswoggle turns around and gets tackled by Primo! Epico's in now and they're keeping Hornswoggle isolated in their corner. I still find it amusing to see heels work Horny over so seriously. Khali's in now and he decides to mix things up by throwing some chops. He tosses Primo to the outside and hits Epico with the big chop over the head for the three count. It was what it was..
OFFICIAL RESULT The Great Khali over Epico @ 4:00 via pin
Matt Striker is backstage with a pissed off Kofi Kingston. He says that the second that Wade stood in the middle of the ring holding the Intercontinental Championship, he knew had to get it back. The IC title is Kofi's title. His back is against the wall and this may be his last chance.
Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
I'm pretty excited about this. Let's see if these guys can deliver (again). They lock up to start and we get a stalemate. Barrett acts like he wants to lock up again but kicks Kofi in the gut instead. BOOO! Before he can mount any offense, Kofi fights back! Barrett gets hit with a nice elevated dropkick before evading to the outside. Kofi isn't feeling patient tonight though and he quickly follows Wade to the outside. Kofi hasn't been giving Barrett any breathing room so far. He sends Barrett face first into the ring steps and the announcers put over Kofi's new found aggression. What a wildcat.
Back inside and Kofi hits a springboard open palm strike from the top rope. He locks in a headlock and Barrett is quick to make it to his feet. Barrett gives him a strong Irish whip into the corner and begins to lob punches at Kofi's ribs. I love the Bull Hammer, but watching Barrett's matches can be a little frustrating at times because he has a lot of opportunities to finish it early like he did to Tatsu on Main Event (Check out this week's Main Event recap here if you haven't! Cesaro neautralized Khali!). They trade some roll-ups before Kingston ducks a clothesline and sends Barrett flying to the outside. Kofi follows up with a nice plancha! Kofi rolls in and out to break the count and gives Barrett a stiff toe kick before rolling him in for a near fall.
We're back from commercial as Barrett locks in a headlock. Kofi fights out in a matter of seconds but succumbs to a knee to the gut.Barrett climbs to the second rope and hits a nice looking elbow drop. TWO COUNT! Barrett locks Kofi in the ropes and pummels him a bit before sending him flying to the floor with his signature big boot spot. That ALWAYS looks devastating. Kofi manages to roll in at 9 but doesn't have enough power to get any offense. Barrett goes for a superplex off the top rope but Kofi headbutts him off! Kofi hits a huge high cross body and holds on for the pin but Barrett kicks out at TWO! Both men make it to their feet and exchange blows. (Giggity)
Kingston hits the S.O.S but Barrett gets his shoulder up at two! Kofi follows up with a kick to the head before Barrett can get up! BOOM DROP! Kofi's setting up for Trouble in Paradise now! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Barrett dodges it and goes for a Bull Hammer! Kofi ducks that and rolls him up! They exchange kick outs as the crowd heats up. Black hole slam by Barrett for two! He lifts Kofi up and Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise our of nowhere! Barrett intelligently rolls to the outside to avoid getting pinned. Kofi follows him out again and rolls him in for a pin but Barrett grabs the bottom rope to break it up at two! Barrett's in the corner now and Kofi runs at him! BIG BOOT CATCHES KOFI! Barrett picks him up for the Bull Hammer but Kofi ducks again! He jumps to the top turnbuckle and flies off BUT GETS HIT WITH THE BULL HAMMER IN MID AIR! It's over!
This was a really good TV match. They cut to commercial early on and left the majority of the match to be seen in it's entirety. The match progressed nicely and they really got the crowd buying into their near falls towards the end. Kofi's aggression made the match seem especially competitive which definitely helped the audience get sucked into the action. Both men put in a really good performance tonight.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Wade Barrett retains @ 13:50 via pinfall
Layla vs. Tamina Snuka
Layla is already in the ring and Tamina gets the TV entrance. That's almost a spoiler. Tamina sends Layla to the outside after looking at Layla with crazy eyes momentarily. She powers her into the barricade and rolls her back in. Tamina dominates in between Layla's attempt to gain some momentum. Tamina locks in a headlock and Layla is doing the splits while on the receiving end of it. Not really nessecary but I'm not complaining. Layla fights back with some kicks to the gut. She hits a dropkick and tries (and fails) to rally up the crowd. She jumps to the second rope for the "LOL" but Tamina catches her and hits a pretty sick looking Samoan Drop. She goes to the top rope and hits the splash for three.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Tamina @ 2:00 via pinfall
RAW REBOUND: We get a recap of Ziggler and AJ's toast that closed the show. Not much more to say about this that hasn't been said. I really hope Big E gets a chance to work as a face with his "five" gimmick at some point though. I think he could be something special.
Big Show and Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton and Sheamus
Cesaro and Sheamus are going to start the match off. Being in the ring with three established main eventers like this can do nothing but make Antonio seem like a big deal. Orton quickly tags in and Cesaro gets him into the corner and punches a mudhole into Orton. Orton reverses an Irish whip and Sheamus tags back in. The faces are making quick tags and keeping steady control over Cesaro. Matthews and JBL both agree that Cesaro doesn't seem out of place in a high caliber match like this. Antonio tags in Big Show and a couple of headbutts are enough to knock Sheamus down. Orton decides to help out Sheamus and they double clothesline Big Show to the outside as we head to commercial break!
We're back as Sheamus beats the tar out of Cesaro with a bevy of chops to chest. Cesaro blind tags Big Show in and Sheamus gets a BIG SPEAR! Big Show's picking apart Sheamus with headbutts and other Big Show-like moves. He delivers a pretty impressive looking running elbow drop but that only gets two. Big Show runs at a cornered Sheamus but Sheamus gets out of the way! Sheamus starts to kick Big Show in the legs to take the big man down but Show hits Sheamus with a chokeslam! He goes for the cover but again, only gets TWO. Sheamus dodges a knockout punch and hits Big Show with the Brogue kick! Both men are trying to make the tag! The fresh men are in and Orton is fired up! Powerslam to Cesaro! Sheamus tags himself in and Orton doesn't seem very happy about that.
Sheamus picks up Cesaro and delivers White Noise! He signals for the Brogue kick! Cesaro makes it to his feet but Orton hits the ring and gives Cesaro an RKO before Sheamus can deliver the boot. Sheamus pins Cesaro and isn't very happy that the match ended that way.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Sheamus over Cesaro @ 13:00 (aired) via pinfall
Sheamus and Orton stare each other down as we fade to black.
OVERALL: The first Smackdown of 2013 was a pretty good show. We had a little over 45 minutes worth of wrestling in total, which is always a good thing. Kofi and Barrett delivered big, Slater and Miz put on a better than expected match, Cesaro looked great in a main event, and the rumored Orton/Sheamus feud started solid enough. Go out of your way to see Kingston vs Barrett if you get a chance.
What did you guys think of the show? Did you enjoy the Intercontinental title match as much as I did? Let me know in the comments.
I'll be back on Wednesday with the WWE Main Event Recap!