Smackdown opened this week with John Cena attempting to invoke his rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, only to face a response from the Shield instead. They beat him down, until Mark Henry made an unsuccessful save attempt followed by Big E Langston making a successful save, leading Kane to book a six man t.. waitaminute, he made three singles matches instead! Those three matches, back to back, served as the main events of the show.
The first match had Big E Langston facing Dean Ambrose. Late in the match, with Big E dumped to the outside, Ambrose directed the rest of the Shield to attack him, but Cena and Henry moved to stop them. Ambrose was angry at his partners not attacking anyway, shoving past Reigns to grab Langston and throw him back into the ring, only for Big E to hit the Big Ending for the win. The next match was Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry, with Reigns getting the shield on the board by beating Henry clean with the spear.
That left the rubber match, Seth Rollins vs. John Cena, a twenty minute match that Rollins dominated much of. In the end, each man traded near falls with big moves, with Cena using his half-nelson neckbreaker and a Batista Bomb, while Rollins hit a Sliced Bread #2 (no turnbuckles needed) and his top rope knee. A missed Blackout by Rollins led to the STF by Cena, though Rollins quickly made the ropes. Ambrose hit the ring to try to force a DQ, but Langston took him out first, setting up a brawl on the outside (including Henry throwing Reigns over the announce table into Ambrose, where it looked like Ambrose got legit kicked in the face by Reigns). Cena caught a Rollins crossbody and turned it into the Attitude Adjustment for the win. Rollins' effort in the losing cause was emphasized by the announcers afterwards, and rightly so!
In other matches, the Wyatt Family defeated the Usos pretty handily, with a Harper 360 clothesline setting up a Rowan big splash. Antonio Cesaro defeated Cody Rhodes with a Shoryuken to the back of a Swagger-distracted Cody's head, followed by a rollup. The Prime Time Players defeated The Rybaxel with a Darren Young rollup on Curtis Axel. Daniel Bryan beat Damien Sandow with TKTBC, with Bray Wyatt appearing post-match to congratulate Bryan on still walking upright, but proclaiming himself a god.
Renee Young interviewed Randy Orton backstage, and Orton (perhaps jokingly) became the first superstar to put his name into the Royal Rumble, saying that he would win it, watch Wrestlemania xXx from a luxury box, then retire the next day and induct himself into the Hall of Fame. He was interrupted by Dolph Ziggler, who called Orton a spineless, undeserving champion, leading Kane to set up a match between the two. Ziggler put up a game effort, but Orton eventually landed a thumb to the eye without the referee catching him, followed by the RKO.. and a post-match beatdown for good measure.
That's all for Smackdown in 2013! I do recommend checking out the Cena/Rollins match if possible, for those who might not normally watch the show. It'll wind up on Youtube somewhere, right?
Solid show, with an great main event. Rollins was all over the place, and Cena was with him all the way, making him look credible. It -should- be the match that puts Rollins on the map as more than 'the third guy from the Shield' Also, this is the John Cena I want to see more often. He fought and clawed his way to a win, and sold everything Rollins threw at him. And yes of course he won using the AA, but it was technically a savvy reversal and not a "Get up, no sell, hit move. Done." situation. Wow.
Another bit of praise for the Cena/Rollins match as compared to other similar matches this year like Cena/Sandow. For all the offense that Rollins hit, he wasn't able to nail Cena with his finishing move. It makes the viewer stop and think "Hey, if Rollins had hit the Blackout like he promised in the backstage promo, he might have come out on top". Whereas in the Cena/Sandow cash-in match, Sandow actually hit both his old finisher and his new one, only for Cena to kick out of both of them.
Protecting the finishers of your up and coming guys is generally a good thing!
Oh that Orton/Ziggler match was great too. The announcers even talked up Ziggler it seemed. Well, when JBL wasn' talking about the pink hair that is. It proves that in wrestling you're only as 'pushed' as your latest match. Ziggler got to look good and seemed a threat to Orton. Will this lead anywhere? We'll see, probably not.