“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video airs highlighting that “The Rock Concert” will roll through Smackdown. It then shows Alberto Del Rio defeating Big Show last week on Smackdown to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Tonight, he’ll kick off his title reign with a “Fiesta Del Rio!”
A mariachi band is in the ring with Ricardo Rodriguez. There is a woman dancing in traditional Mexican garb. The ring is decorated with red, green, and white balloons as well as a red carpet. Lilian Garcia introduces Ricardo Rodriguez, and he welcomes the crowd to “Fiesta Del Rio.” He then introduces the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Alberto Del Rio makes his way to the ring to a tremendous reception. Del Rio gets in the ring and hugs Rodriguez. Del Rio welcomes the crowd to his fiesta. Now it’s time to party. Del Rio says they haven’t always seen eye to eye, but they have to celebrate the fact that the fat jackass Big Show is no longer the World Heavyweight Champion.
Dolph Ziggler’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring with AJ Lee and Big E. Langston. JBL wonders if he’s going to cash in his contract. Ziggler asks if someone said “fiesta.” AJ says they love a good party. They’re going to assume their invitations were lost in the mail. Del Rio says this is his party, Ricardo’s party, and all his friends’ party. Ziggler says it’s funny that he thinks all these people are his friends. It’s also funny that he thinks he holds the title, but he doesn’t. What he has is a giant target on his head, and he knows better than anyone what this contract means. Whenever he sees fit to cash it in, he’ll be saying “adios” to the championship. Del Rio laughs at the idea of Ziggler cashing in on him. Ziggler wonders where his manners are, and he introduces Big E. Langston to Del Rio and Rodriguez. Langston says, “Que paso, little man?” Del Rio tells them to get out right now. Ziggler says they’ll leave, but maybe Langston will drop him where he stands, he cashes in his contract, and leaves with the title. Del Rio threatens him to do it.
Big Show’s music hits, and the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion makes his way to the ring. He’ll be Alberto Del Rio’s opponent at Royal Rumble as he invokes his rematch clause there. Ziggler says he doesn’t know how good Del Rio is with math, butt he’s pretty outnumbered.
Sheamus’ music hits, and he walks down to the ring. He says he thought he’d come help out with this numbers situation he was talking about. Sheamus says everyone knows he can’t resist a “Fiesta Del Rio,” especially when he has so many great friends right here. Sheamus says he didn’t come out to crash the party. They’ve had their differences in the past, beat each other black and blue, uses cars on each other, and fought all over the arena. Last time they were in this city, he even tried to steal Del Rio’s car. He came out here to congratulate Del Rio on an epic victory over the giant last week. He has no doubt in his mind that Del Rio deserves to be the World Heavyweight Champion. It would be an honor to be the first to shake his hand. Sheamus puts his hand out, and Del Rio shakes it to a nice applause.
Sheamus would also like to offer his services as a bouncer for this fiesta to make sure none of these moppets get involved in the party. Del Rio thanks him, but this is a fiesta. He doesn’t want anyone fighting. Sheamus wonders if he’s kidding. Del Rio then says, “Maybe just a little bit.”
They get ready to fight, but Booker T’s music hits. The Smackdown General Manager makes his way to the ring. Booker says this is a party, but he has to get serious. Booker says if Big Show ever puts his hands on him again, he will ruin his day, SUCKA. There will be a fight tonight. It will consist of Big Show and Dolph Ziggler taking on Sheamus and the World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. That will be a tag team main event extravaganza. Booker then asks Big Show, Ziggler, Langston, and AJ to leave, as they’re not invited. Big Show looks at Booker menacingly before leaving. Booker asks if the crowd is ready to party. They respond positively, and Booker tells them to kick the party off. The mariachi band plays, and Del Rio calls for a spinaroonie. Booker does it.
Sheamus goes to leave, but Del Rio says he’s going to be a little Mexican today. Del Rio motions for Sheamus to dance. Sheamus says no one wants to see him dance, but the crowd actually does. Sheamus then does a little jig with the dancer in the ring.
Randy Orton and Team Hell No will take on Wade Barrett and Team Rhodes Scholars. We’ll also see a replay of “The Rock Concert.”
Antonio Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston
Before the match begins, they show footage of Antonio Cesaro interrupting Miz TV featuring Ric Flair. Flair attacked Cesaro, and Miz locked him in the Figure Four Leglock.
They lock up, and Cesaro powers him to the corner before punching him in the ribs. Cesaro goes for a hip toss, but Kingston cartwheels to counter. Kingston comes back with a forearm and kicks him in the corner. Cesaro quickly kicks him and applies a side headlock. Cesaro gets whipped off, but he shoulder blocks him down. Cesaro goes into the ropes, and Kingston leapfrogs him twice, but Cesaro holds the ropes at the end. Kingston charges, and Cesaro gives him a drop-toe-hold into the ropes. The Miz is seen watching backstage.
Cesaro dead lifts Kingston up and hits a gutwrench suplex for a near fall. Cesaro hits a double stomp for another two count. Cesaro applies a chin lock. Kingston fights up, but Cesaro shoves him to the corner. Cesaro runs into a back elbow and then some chops. Kingston dropkicks him down and counters a back body drop into a rollup for a two count. Kingston flips over him and rolls him up, but Cesaro rolls through and grabs the tights for a near fall. Kingston hits the SOS for another near fall. Kingston kicks him in the ribs. Cesaro reverses a whip to the corner. Kingston tries to counter back by jumping off the top rope with a hurricanrana attempt, but Cesaro counters into the Neutralizer for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Antonio Cesaro
Match Rating: *
The Miz is not happy watching that backstage. Miz walks away, but he quickly bumps into Primo, Epico, and Rosa Mendes. They call him Ric Flair’s new sidekick and make fun of his “really” thing. Miz says this is the first time the three of them have talked in three years, and they copy one of his lines. Rosa says they talk all the time, and they were just talking about how much Miz has in common with Flair. It was a short conversation. Primo says Flair was a great wrestler, and Miz has catchphrases. Miz mixes up their names and says no one cares. Miz suggests a match with one of them. Miz says they can leave it up to Rosa, whatever it is she does. Rosa flips out at that statement as Miz walks off.
Tensai vs. The Great Khali w/ Natalya
They show footage of Big E. Langston attacking Hornswoggle last week on Smackdown, finishing him off with The Big Ending. Hornswoggle is not at ringside this week.
They lock up, and Khali forces him to the corner. Khali chops the chest, follows him to another corner, and chops him again. Tensai comes back with an uppercut and splashes him in the corner. Tensai head-butts him down in the corner and knees away at him. Tensai charges into a boot, and Khali floors him with the Brain Chop for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: The Great Khali
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Daniel Bryan and Kane are backstage. Bryan says he doesn’t get why Dr. Shelby thought it was a good idea to bring Team Rhodes Scholars into their therapy session. Kane says since they’re talking about things that are a bad idea, what’s with that thing on Cody’s face? Bryan says some people just don’t understand when their facial hair starts to look ridiculous. Kane says, “Tell me about it.” Bryan wonders what he’s trying to say, but Kane says “No.” They go back and forth with “Yes” and “No.”
Randy Orton comes up behind them. He asks if they’re interested in acting like second graders or bringing some pain to Team Rhodes Scholars and Wade Barrett. Kane says, “Both” and walks off. Bryan says they’re working through their anger issues, something Randy knows about. They used to be like Orton, but thanks to Dr. Shelby, they’re in a better place. They’re also champions, something Orton isn’t. Orton mentions the Royal Rumble, but Bryan says tonight isn’t about that. First they win their match, and then a group hug. Orton says he’s not much of a hugger. Bryan says he isn’t… yet.
Team Rhodes Scholars and Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton and Team Hell No
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee of all time, is the official for this match. Randy Orton will start against Cody Rhodes. Orton talks a little trash to Barrett before punching at Rhodes. Orton takes him down with a back elbow and tags Kane in. Kane hits a snapmare and a low dropkick to the face for a two count. Kane wrenches the arm and tags in Daniel Bryan, who comes off the top rope with a double axe handle. Bryan wrenches the arm and kicks him in the ribs a few times. Rhodes ducks a kick to the temple and tags in Damien Sandow. Bryan quickly attempts a No! Lock, but Sandow escapes and exits the ring to regroup.
We come back from the break to see Sandow drop an elbow on Kane. Rhodes is tagged in, and he kicks Kane in the ribs. Rhodes punches at Kane before tagging Sandow back in. During the commercial, Rhodes avoided a diving lariat, Barrett got a blind tag, and he stunned Kane with a big boot. Sandow hits the Cubito Aequet for a one count on Kane. Barrett is tagged in, and he kicks and punches at Kane. Kane stuns him with an uppercut and takes out the other two on the apron. Kane runs into the Winds of Change for a near fall. Rhodes is tagged in. He goes for the Disaster Kick, but Kane uppercuts him out of mid-air. Sandow is tagged in. He knocks Bryan off the apron, but Kane quickly catches him with a back body drop. Randy Orton is tagged in.
Orton hits a pair of clotheslines and a powerslam on Sandow. Rhodes runs in, and he takes a powerslam for his troubles. Orton goes for a hanging DDT on Sandow, but he gets off the apron. Barrett tries to surprise him with a clothesline, but Orton ducks it and knocks him off the apron. Bryan takes Barrett out with a flying knee off the apron. Rhodes counters an RKO into Cross Rhodes. Sandow runs in for the pin, but Kane breaks it up. Kane throws Rhodes over the top, and Sandow dumps him over. Sandow then turns into an RKO, and Orton picks up the win!
Winners by Pinfall: Randy Orton and Team Hell No
Match Rating: * 1/2
Daniel Bryan signals for a group hug. Orton tries to reason that he isn’t a hugger. Orton turns and sees Kane, who also signals for a hug. Kane hugs Orton against his will, and Bryan sandwiches him. Orton does not look happy.
They’ll replay “The Rock Concert,” next.
They replay “The Rock Concert,” which featured some really good comedy with The Rock destroying Vickie Guerrero. It ended with a big pull apart brawl with The Rock and CM Punk.
Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus will take on Dolph Ziggler and Big Show in tonight’s main event.
The Miz’ music hits. He’ll be in action, next.
The Miz vs. Primo w/ Epico and Rosa Mendes
They circle the ring and lock up. Primo gets a side headlock applied, but Miz whips him off. Primo takes him down with a shoulder block and struts like Ric Flair. Primo goes over and under Miz before eating a back elbow. Miz then slicks his hair back like Flair. Miz ducks a clothesline and hits a back body drop. Miz hits a knee lift, has a whip reversed, and Primo hits a knee to the midsection. Primo comes down hard on the back of his head, drops an elbow, and gets a one count. Primo punches at Miz and scrapes his face with his boots. Primo hits a dropkick to the face for another one count.
Primo applies a chin lock. Miz reaches for the ropes, but he can’t reach. Miz fights up instead and elbows out. Miz takes him down and viciously punches at him. Primo stuns him with a punch and a clothesline for a two count. Primo kicks at him and drops a leg for a two count. Primo hits a suplex for another two count. Primo goes back to the chin lock. Miz fights up and punches out. They trade punches and kicks with Miz coming out on top, beating him down in the corner. Miz runs into a back elbow, and Primo charges into a flapjack. Miz rolls through a sunset flip and kicks him in the face.
Miz hits his patented corner clothesline, goes to the top rope, and hits a double axe handle. Miz sets up for his finisher, but Epico gets on the apron for the distraction. Primo hits a chop block and gives a Ric Flair “Woo” before trying for a Figure Four. Miz kicks him into Epico, and he applies the Figure Four Leglock on Primo for the submission victory.
Winner by Submission: The Miz
Match Rating: *
Kaitlyn is showing off her Diva’s Championship to Alicia Fox and Layla. Layla holds it and forgot how heavy it was. Booker T congratulates Kaitlyn on winning. Teddy Long says he’s so glad that Kaitlyn caused Eve Torres to quit. Long wasn’t happy about Eve slapping him. Booker starts laughing about that again. Kaitlyn says she has to get to her match.
Aksana vs. Kaitlyn
They show footage of Kaitlyn defeating Eve Torres for the WWE Diva’s Championship on Raw this past Monday. Eve then quit on WWE Active.
Aksana wants to shake hands, but she shoves her instead. They lock up, and Aksana powers her into the ropes. They lock up again, and Kaitlyn gets a waistlock applied. Kaitlyn takes her down and applies a front face lock. Kaitlyn hits a suplex for a one count. Aksana kicks her in the face and pushes her off the apron. Aksana puts her in the ring for a one count. Aksana applies a chin lock, but Kaitlyn fights up. Aksana takes her down by the hair for a one count. Aksana applies a nerve hold, but Kaitlyn fights out. Aksana takes her down and bounces her head off the mat. Aksana gives her a clothesline and knees her in the corner. Kaitlyn then charges out of the corner with a spear for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Kaitlyn
Match Rating: 1/4 *
They show Mick Foley’s WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013 video.
We’ll hear from The Shield, next.
They show footage of The Shield interrupting Mick Foley’s moment on Raw. Ryback came out for the save. Randy Orton and Sheamus ran out to help him out.
Dean Ambrose asks for the WWE Universe’s attention. They also ask for the attention of Ryback, Randy Orton, and Sheamus. On January 14, they crashed Mick Foley’s Hall of Fame moment for the broken bodies he’s left throughout his career. Seth Rollins says they spoiled the celebration in the name of justice. Ambrose says Foley may deny responsibility for the example he set. Reigns says everyone is accountable. They mention that they took away Ryback’s chance at the title. There are 206 bones in the body, and they already broke one of Orton’s. Sheamus fights for fun, they fight for justice. Believe in the Shield!
Randy Orton is seen watching the video backstage. Sheamus walks in and mentions it’s funny how they act so tough when no one knows where they are. Orton says he doesn’t find The Shield that funny. It wasn’t funny when they hurt his shoulder or when they attacked him on Wednesday. Sheamus apologizes for not being there. Orton says he doesn’t need Sheamus’ help. Sheamus sarcastically says he was doing such a good job on his own. Orton says Sheamus always has something to say. In two weeks at the Royal Rumble, he needs the win. While Sheamus has an answer for everything, he’ll have no answer for him. Orton walks off, and Sheamus laughs.
Big Show’s music hits. They show footage of him losing the championship to Alberto Del Rio last week. The main event of Smackdown begins, next.
Big Show and Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio will start the match against Dolph Ziggler. They lock up, and Ziggler wrenches the arm. Del Rio kips up and takes him down by the arm. Ziggler kicks him in the knee and punches him to the corner. Ziggler charges, but Del Rio avoids the splash. Del Rio hits a body slam and goes for a moonsault, but rolls through after Ziggler moves. Del Rio catches him with a flapjack for a two count. Sheamus tags in, and he stomps Ziggler. Sheamus puts him in the corner and beats him down. Sheamus sends him to the ropes, but Ziggler kicks him in the face. Ziggler goes back to the ropes, but Sheamus hits a shoulder block. Sheamus then hits a nice delayed vertical suplex for a near fall.
Sheamus sends him to the corner, but he runs into a boot. Ziggler gets out of White Noise and tags in Big Show. Big Show viciously punches and kicks Sheamus to the corner, beating him down to the mat. Show hits a head-butt and chokes him on the ropes. Big Show then head-butts him out of the ring. The referee is distracted, so Big E. Langston tries to throw Sheamus into the ring post. Sheamus blocks it and punches him back. The referee comes outside and ejects him from ringside! AJ gets in the ring and throws a fit before getting ejected as well!
We come back from the break to see Del Rio trapped in a chin lock by Ziggler. Del Rio fights up, but Ziggler kicks him in the face. Del Rio catches him with a German suplex, and they’re both down. Sheamus is tagged in, and he hits some Irish hammers. Sheamus shoves him to the corner and clotheslines him there. Sheamus takes him down and goes to the top rope, but Big Show pushes him off to the outside! Sheamus struggles to get in, but he beats the referee’s count.
Ziggler kicks and punches at Sheamus. Big Show is tagged in, and he drops an elbow. Big Show drops an elbow on the knee before hitting a big body slam. Big Show stands on him as Ziggler screams in his face. Big Show drops another elbow on the knee and wrenches it. Sheamus clubs out of it and goes for a tag, but Big Show drops another elbow. Big Show stares at Del Rio before giving Sheamus another head-butt. Sheamus tries to fight back, but Big Show takes him down. Big Show chops the chest, but Sheamus comes back with some right hands. Big Show hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Big Show goes for a second rope slingshot splash, and he hits it for a near fall. Big Show goes to repeat the move, but this time Sheamus moves.
Del Rio and Ziggler are tagged in. Del Rio hits a pair of clotheslines, ducks on, and hits a nasty tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Del Rio gets pumped up and kicks him in the face for a near fall. Del Rio signals for the Cross Arm Breaker, and he locks it in! Big Show drops a leg to break it up. Sheamus runs in and hits Big Show with White Noise! Del Rio then hits a step-up enzuigiri to knock Big Show off the apron. Del Rio then takes a bucket of water and dumps it on Big Show! Big Show can’t believe it. The referee is counting Big Show out. Big Show turns and walks out, getting counted out in the process.
Winners by Count-Out: Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: * 3/4
Balloons fall from the rafters as Fiesta Del Rio continues. Del Rio and Sheamus continue to celebrate as the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Antonio Cesaro def. Kofi Kingston (non-title)
The Great Khali def. Tensai
Randy Orton and Team Hell No def. Wade Barrett and Team Rhodes Scholars
The Miz def. Primo via Submission
Kaitlyn def. Aksana (non-title)
Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio def. Big Show and Dolph Ziggler via CO
Bump of the Night: Sheamus hitting White Noise on Big Show
Match of the Night: Sheamus and Del Rio vs. Show and Ziggler * 3/4
Alberto Del Rio’s fiesta was just ok. It was what it was. It was just another thing for a face to celebrate his title victory. It was predictable right down to who came out and the resulting match that was booked at the end. About the only thing of note was Sheamus can hold his own dancing. Then again I’m just a wrestling recapper. What do I know about good one is or isn’t at dancing?
The Cesaro/Kingston match was quick and painless. Those two match up well together, so it wasn’t bad for the short amount of time it was given. I’ve said it quite a few times now, but this guy Cesaro is scary strong. That dead-lift gutwrench suplex blows me away every week.
I think the comedy experiment with Tensai is officially dead. Now they’re going with the story that his WWE career is off the tracks after finding success in Japan. This was just filler. So far, for what is Smackdown’s 700th episode, which I think is kind of a big deal, this is extremely underwhelming.
That was a pretty typical tag team match with Orton and Team Hell No coming out on top. It’s your usual Smackdown tag team fare. I did get a few chuckles out of Orton’s face as Team Hell No went for the group hug afterward. That was pretty priceless.
I enjoyed The Miz’ match tonight against Primo. I was surprised to see Primo take it to him, but it worked out fine. A few weeks ago, Heath Slater took it to Miz in a longer than usual match that wasn’t half bad. I’m not sure if Miz doing the Figure Four is something he’s going to stick with or if it was just another shout out to Ric Flair for a nice moment on Raw.
So how many Divas are we down to in WWE now? Maybe five or six? Yikes…
Not a bad main event to close the show, but it couldn’t save it. For the 700th episode of Smackdown, this was a real letdown. This is a milestone that not a lot of shows get. I know we already had the 20th Anniversary of Raw on Monday, but how about a little extended celebration?
Final Rating: **
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