It's a new year! Will it be a new start for Smackdown? Tonight, Randy Orton returns, with his eyes set on The Shield! Will Big Show and Alberto Del Rio continue their pseudo-feud, or is it just a placeholder until Sheamus finds another title shot? All that and more, tonight on Smackdown!
No opening pyro, instead we cut straight to the entrance of RANDY ORTON, as the show is airing from Richmond Virginia. Orton has a new T-shirt! "Since tonight is the first Smackdown of 2013, and since it seems to be the in thing to do, to declare your New Year's resolution, I'm going to make this short and sweet. I want to be World Heavyweight Champion. Not too long ago, Smackdown was my show. But lately, that doesn't really seem to be the case, but I've got a way to change all that, I've got a way to fix all that, you see. So tonight, I officially announce my entry to the 2013 Royal Rumble." And SHEAMUS comes down, probably to make the same announcement. Lets find out!
"Hey Randy, sorry to interrupt ya, fella. And I know what you're thinking, you're probably thinking I'm out here to steal your thunder, but that's not the case at all. The thing is, I was planning to do the exact same thing. 2013 is a new year, and more than that I think that I too want to be World Heavyweight Champion, so right now, I want to cler-declare it to the world that I too will be in the 2013 Royal Rumble match! But that's, that's not the only reason I'm out here because, I wanted to come and personally thank you for helping with The Shield last Monday night on Raw, not that I was asking for your help-" "Wait, you think I came down there to help you, to save you? A month ago, The Shield attacked me, they tried to put me out, I did that for me, not you. Now, I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but it's every man for himself at the Rumble, and on that night it's going to be about me, not you." "Y'know, Randy, I'm very aware of how the Royal Rumble works. If you do recall, I won it last year." "Trust me, trust me, yeah that's right, that's right, you won it last year, I remember. Trust me, I remember, and that's why it's going to be extra special when I eliminate the former Rumble winner." "That's cute, Randy, that's very very cute. Y'know, it has been a year since the last one, I'm very sketchy on this, so bear with me here. If I Brogue Kick that small little head of yours over the top rope, and your body stays in the ring, tell me, fella, does that count as an elimination?" Orton smirks at the threatened decapitation, and the BIG SHOW is the next participant for our opening interview segment.
Show stays up on the ramp to talk to Orton and Sheamus in the ring. "Now I've been sitting in the back listening to you two yap back and forth about 'You're going to enter the Royal Rumble and win it' and 'You want to be world Heavyweight Champion', I get it, you might get a chance if you win the Royal Rumble, because you think you're going to get a chance at this, but unfortunately if one of you two survives the Royal Rumble, all you're really going to get is a shot at this." Show holds up his clenched fist. "Sheamus, I hate to break it to you fella, but your 2013 is going to end up like your 2012, and that's with me knocking you out. And as far as the Viper, Randy Orton goes, c'mon over, take a turn, Randy. I'll be happy to step on a snake. I've got a size 18 boot and I'll grind that snake right into the ground. Whether you guys like to admit it or not, I am the World's Largest Athlete, and I am the most dominant World Heavyweight Champion the WWE has ever seen. I'm a giant! Neither one of you-" And Show is interrupted by... ANTONIO CESARO? I guess he did just polish off a giant of his own on Main Event, which still isn't available in Canada. He's got a mic too! "Typical American, out here talking about who is going to beat up who." "Hey Heidi, you do realize I'm from Ireland, right fella?" "Even worse. Regardless, where I come from, Switzerland, we don't just talk, we take action. That's why for months I've been coming out here talking about soft, lazy, fat, no not fat, grotesquely obese Americans, something you should realize by just looking at the mirror, but you don't. The truth is the truth." He's eyeing Big Show as he says this, and Show does not seem impressed. Orton interjects before Show can launch a comeback. "Hey! Hey! How about this 'fat soft lazy American' comes up there and RKOs the both of you right now." Do we have a tag team main event? Here's BOOKER T to shed some light on the situation!
"Whoa, hold up, wait a minute before this thing gets outta hand. Now it's obvious to me that the four of you gentlemen don't like each other." Show, off-mic, says "I don't like anybody." Have I mentioned that I like when the cameras pick up off-mic dialogue? "But tonight, Big Show, tonight Cesaro, you're going to have to find a way to just get along. Because the deal is this, the World Heavyweight Champion the Big Show will team up with the United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, to face the team of Sheamus ... and Randy Orton." Why does the GM always have to pause when announcing the match like it's some kind of surprise? Of course it's going to be the two guys in the ring! "See tonight, Richmond, we're going to kick this New Year off with a bang! Now can you dig that, sucka?" Show and Cesaro yap at each other on the stage, before departing backstage. Sheamus and Orton just exchange death stares. Later tonight, we have Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston, as Kofi wants his rematch already! That can't be good for him, can it?
Hey, here's ARDA OCAL and former WWE referee JIMMY KORDERAS during the commercial break to review segment one. Instant feedback from the Aftermath crew! They criticize Booker T for taking a page out of the Teddy Long playbook by predictably booking a tag team match. Korderas clarifies that if Sheamus were to punt Orton's head off, it wouldn't be an elimination because both feet didn't touch the floor. Thanks for that, Jimmy!
THE MIZ vs. HEATH SLATER w/DREW MCINTYRE and JINDER MAHAL: 3MB pauses for Air Guitar/Air Sitar on the ramp, as we recap Miz badmouthing them at TLC, which sets up this match one month later. JBL accuses them of being unable to play a jukebox. Slater slaps his leather pants, then they lock up. Slater goes behind, but Miz escapes and reverses into a hammerlock. Slater lands elbows to escape, but runs into a Miz dropkick! Miz delivers a headlock takedown. Slater tries to roll him into a pin, but only gets one. Back to their feet, Slater shoots him off the ropes, but Miz takes him down with a shoulderblock, then follows with another headlock takedown. Slater gets back to his feet and backs Miz into the corner, not wanting another repeat of Aksana 2012. Fisticuffs emerge. Miz whips Slater off the ropes and lands a hiptoss, then another headlock takedown. Slater is quick to return to his feet, and he reverses into a top wristlock, then his own side headlock. Miz cheats and pulls the hair to take him down! That's not fair! Jinder hops up onto the apron to say just that, while Miz mocks him behind the referee's back by doing some Air Sitar. With the referee still occupied with Mahal, Miz delivers a blatant thumb to the eye of Slater! Now McIntyre is up on the apron to complain, as Miz grabs Slater and delivers another headlock takedown. Slater gets back up and throws Miz off the ropes, then is taken down by another shoulderblock. This time Miz runs the ropes, Slater ducks under then leapfrogs over, but Miz blocks the subsequent hiptoss attempt, countering with his own! Miz hits a running kneelift, as JBL defends his 'obscure references' by saying Josh has to Google them because they aren't related to him playing Dungeons and Dragons in his mom's basement. Ouch! Miz tries to go off the ropes for a running move on the downed ginger, but Drew trips him up. Miz gets up and delivers a dropkick through the ropes to send the Scotsman spilling. Jinder pops up onto the apron and gets struck down as well, but he turns around into a flying forearm from Slater to put an end to his advantage. Still, the referee has apparently finally noticed something, as he ejects both Mahal and McIntyre from ringside! Is Drew wearing glasses? As Slater protests the ejection, Drew frantically warns him 'Behind you!', and sure enough Miz gets a schoolboy rollup on Heath, but only for two! Slater rolls out of the ring to avoid a Miz left. Lets go to break!
Back to Aftermath in the commercial. Arda and Jimmy complain about Miz landing the big thumb to the eye, and following it up with a headlock takedown of all things. Jimmy accuses Miz of channeling Roddy Piper but not going anywhere with it. They seem indifferent about 3MB, and question what the future/endgame of the faction is. Arda is hopeful of a return of the Freebird Rule at some point.
Slater is hammering away on Miz in the corner after the break. Stomps aplenty! The ref pulls him back, giving Slater a chance to Air Guitar, but Miz charges him and gets a double leg takedown and punches. Clothesline by Miz! Slater is whipped off the ropes, but bails out of the ring to avoid Miz. He seems ready to leave, but Miz is out to clothesline him down. Miz plays to the fans, pointing behind the timekeeper's area, then drags Slater there and drops him on the barricade! He then points to the fans behind the announce table, but throws Slater back into the ring rather than tossing him out there. Slater tries to bail again but Miz grabs his leg to stop it. Slater lands a kick to the thigh to slow Miz down, then throws him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Slater starts dropping knees to Miz's arm, but Miz fights back to his feet. Slater cuts him off with a kick to the gut, then wraps his arm in the ropes. An elbow punctuates the break, and a hammerlock follows. Miz struggles to his feet and elbows out of the hold. Whip is reversed by Slater into a takedown by the bad arm. Cover gets two. Another hold applied by Slater to the arm. Miz punches out again. This time Slater whips him into the ropes, but Miz gets a sunset flip for two. Both men back up, and Slater hits a Harlem Sidekick for two! Now it's Miz crawling out of the ring for a break, but Slater catches him on the apron and hangs his bad arm over the ropes. Miz lands a shoulderblock through the ropes, then slides under Slater into the ring to get a rollup for two. Slater cuts that off with a jumping clothesline, for another two. Kick to the ribs by Slater. More Air Guitar! Slater works the arm over some more, then whips Miz off the ropes. Miz reverses and lands a knee to the gut! Off the ropes, he kicks Slater in the face! 1, 2, no. Slater throws Miz into the corner shoulder first as Miz tries to pick him back up, then chokes him with his knee. Rolling out of the ring, he wraps Miz's bad arm around the ringpost to a count of four. Another hold is applied, but Miz gets back to his feet and lands gut punches, then a back suplex! Both men are down. They're on their knees trading punches at six. Miz wins that exchange, landing an elbow and a clothesline. As JBL notes, Miz is having to use his off-arm for this offense, because Slater's been working on his left arm and Miz is a southpaw. Back body drop by Miz! He points again to the fans, then goes for his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo, but Slater shoves him off into the corner before the neckbreaker, and hits a flying neckbreaker of his own for two! Slater's corner charge misses, and Miz gets his corner clothesline! Miz goes up to the top rope, points to the crowd again (they happily chant 'Awesome' as he does) and jumps off with his double-axehandle! That hurt his arm, but he still wants the finisher. The Skull-Crushing Finale connects, and that'll do it, Miz wins! Miz goes back to pointing to various sections of the fans to get them to chant 'Awesome' for him.
To the Aftermath studio, as they comment on the length of the match. Korderas is surprised at how much offense Slater got, and isn't yet sold on Miz as a 'good guy'. They aren't sure about face Miz being someone people would pay to see. Hey guys, where's the Ask The Ref segments? I promised people here Ask The Ref last week!
Lets recap the Intercontinental Championship match from Monday. We saw this on Raw! So lets throw it backstage to MATT STRIKER. "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the brand new Intercontinental Champion, WADE BARRETT. Wade, congratulations on your victory, now I'd like to take you back to Main Event-" "I don't care where you want to take me to, Matt. The story is very simple, it's this. Wade Barrett is the new Intercontinental Champion. That's not good enough, is it? That's not good enough for you media types, because you need a bit of scandal, a bit of sizzle. You need to dig up old footage of me to try to tear me down, just like everybody else. You want some scandal? Why don't you have a look at the real Kofi Kingston. The Kofi Kingston who this past week on Main Event attacked me from behind after I'd already defeated three other WWE Superstars. Well, it didn't work then, did it? And it's not going to work tonight either, because I assure you, I'm going to defeat Kofi Kingston, and when I do he's out of options, he's out of chances, and he's out of luck. So tweet about it, Tout about it, do whatever you want to do, because when I defeat Kofi Kingston tonight I will walk away and remain the Intercontinental Champion." "Thank you for your time, Wade. Josh, JBL, back to you." And it's time for a match! Well, after the break it's time for a match.
During the break, Arda Ocal wishes that Natalya would be on NXT instead of Raw and Smackdown, to have a chance to have longer matches. They talk about William Regal being a big Motown fan. Yeah.
THE GREAT KHALI, HORNSWOGGLE and BETH PHO- ER, NATALYA vs. PRIMO, EPICO and ROSA MENDES: The women start the match, with Rosa facewashing Natalya. Natti gets a takedown and slams Rosa's head into the match. A kick to the gut, and more headslams follow. Snapmare by Nattie, followed by a dropkick. That gets two. Natalya wants the Sharpshooter, but Rosa slaps here and flees to the corner, tagging Epico to the crowd's displeasure. Khali comes in for the face team, and Epico looks distressed, tagging Primo and bailing out of the ring. The Asian referee is loudly calling out the names of the people being tagged. Khali beals Primo into the ring. Clothesline by Khali, he takes Primo to the corner and hits a big corner chop. Primo writhes in pain, as Hornswoggle begs for a tag. Hornswoggle comes in to land his own Shh Chop! Primo does not seem impressed. Kick to the shin by Hornswoggle, followed by a Stunner! Epico comes in to protest, so he gets his own shin kick Stunner as well. Primo lands a shoulderblock from his knees to cut that silliness off. Stomps to Hornswoggle, then he steps on the face. Tag to Epico. Primo whips Hornswoggle into an Epico low dropkick. JBL: "That's not really fair. I could hit Hornswoggle with a dropkick! C'mon, I'm 46 and had four knee surgeries!" Hornswoggle tries to punch at Epico, who's holding him at arm's length. He whips Hornswoggle to the ropes, but takes a headbutt to the gut, then a running kick to the head as he's doubled over. Hornswoggle ducks between his legs to make a tag to Khali! Khali tosses Epico aside and enters the ring. Clothesline to Epico! Corner chop to Epico! Another one! Primo tries to run in to stop it, but Khali dodges and Primo splashes Epico by mistake. Khali tosses Primo out of the ring, then holds the ropes to block Epico's Backstabber. The brain chop by Khali finishes things off. It's dancing time! And now off to another backstage interview.
MATT STRIKER has KOFI KINGSTON this time. "Kofi, you lost the Intercontinental Title to Wade Barrett on Raw. You gained a measure of revenge by defeating Wade on WWE Main Event in a Gauntlet Match. Do you feel that this momentum can carry you to a victory tonight here on Smackdown?" "Striker, this has nothing to do with momentum. I knew I was going to challenge Wade long before I beat him on Main Event. It was the second that he stood in the middle of the ring with my Intercontinental Championship raised high in the air, I'll admit, he got the best of me and it cost me the title. This might be my last shot. My back is truly up against the wall right now. But this, this isn't anything new. I've had my back up against the wall my entire life. I've always come up fighting, though. And tonight will be no different as I fight to become Intercontinental Champion one more time. Wade can say that I'm running out of time, running out of options, running out of this running out of that. Wade, tonight is going to be running into Trouble in Paradise." That match is next!
With the Aftermath crew, Ocal says that Khali and Hornswoggle someday becoming tag champs will derail the division. A brilliant deduction! Jimmy Korderas makes a Press Your Luck reference in response to that, saying that they'd be a Whammy.
#31 WADE BARRETT vs. KOFI KINGSTON: Sorry, we're going abbreviated from here on, as real life beckons. Real life has to take precedence over wrestling recaps! The match is lengthy and good, as expected, with a hot finishing sequence that culminates with Barrett landing the Bull Hammer on a leaping Kofi to retain the title.
LAYLA vs. TAMINA SNUKA: Tamina wins reasonably easily with the Superfly Splash.
SHEAMUS and RANDY ORTON vs. THE BIG SHOW and ANTONIO CESARO: At the end of the match, Sheamus blind-tags himself in during Orton's finishing sequence, to Orton's annoyance. After Sheamus goes through his finishing sequence, Orton enters the ring as the Brogue Kick is being prepared to RKO Cesaro first. Sheamus doesn't look happy at his move being upstaged, but reluctantly pins Cesaro anyway. At the Rumble it'll be every man for himself, after all!
Sorry for the half-recap, but half is better than none. Right? Right! See you next week!
Thanks for the transcription of the opening promo (and the others), as always. Sheamus' rules question about the Royal Rumble is now my signature quote.
(The answer is "no", by the way. Both feet must touch the floor.)
"Y'know, it has been a year since the last [Royal Rumble], I'm very sketchy on this, so bear with me here. If I Brogue Kick that small little head of yours over the top rope, and your body stays in the ring, tell me, fella, does that count as an elimination?" --Sheamus, to Randy Orton, SmackDown 1/4/13
Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!
Co-Winner of Time's Person of the Year Award, 2006
It was very hard to resist writing out '2013' phoenetically as Sheamus said it, yeah. Same with when he said thunder and it came out as 'tunder'. With Sheamus and Booker T on the same show, there's so many transcription challenges to be had!
Ok show, the matches were a slight step up from last week. The whole Gunner vs Storm needs a clear direction, honestly. Whose face? Who is heel? The match seemed alright but turned into a near clusterfuck at the end (what double count out, lol?)