This week’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown opens with a graphic for Warrior who, as you know, passed away on Tuesday. Michael Cole announces a special this Monday night on RAW.
MATCH 1: The Big Show vs. Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman)
I LOVE the pairing of Cesaro and Heyman. This will do nothing but further Cesaro’s push, without question. Heyman comes out to do a formal introduction for “The King of Swing”. He continues talking as Cesaro and Heyman make their way down, listing off his credentials, then calls Cesaro the “Next Big Thing”. The bell rings, and Cesaro offers a handshake. Show obliges, and it’s clean. Heyman is now on commentary. Cesaro shoves Show back out of a lock-up, and Show reciprocates, knocking Cesaro down. Cesaro runs into a shoulder, but then comes back with a European uppercut. Show hits another shoulderblock, and Cesaro rolls to the apron. Show picks him up and hits an open-hand chop against the ropes. He rolls Cesaro back in the ring, where Cesaro hits a boot and goes for a suplex from the apron. Show blocks it and picks Cesaro up on his shoulders. Cesaro rolls through and looks for a powerbomb to the floor, but Show simply sits down on his chest. Cesaro is rolled into the ring, where Show gets a 2-count. He signals for the KO Punch, but Cesaro rolls to the floor to get some advice from Heyman, who tells him to take Show’s air, because he can’t fight if he can’t breathe. Cesaro climbs back into the ring and goes for a waistlock. Show breaks it with an elbow, then hits a headbutt. He fires off some body blows in the corner, then hits another open-hand chop. He goes for another chop, but Cesaro slugs him. He hits a couple of European uppercuts before getting hit with a back body drop off the ropes. Cesaro may have landed awkwardly, as he’s grabbing his ankle. Show hits another chop in the corner, then another. He comes back with a back elbow, a European uppercut, a punch and a series of throat chops. Show stops that with a pair of headbutts, then walks across Cesaro’s gut. Show shoulders Cesaro in the corner, then hits yet another chop. Cesaro blocks a corner charge, then applies a scissored sleeper. Show manages to break it by throwing Cesaro in the corner. Cesaro dodges another charge and reapplies the sleeper. Show starts to fade, and Cesaro turns the hold into a rear chinlock. Show eventually armdrags Cesaro off, then hits a pair of clotheslines, a corner whip, a running hip bump and a running shoulderblock. He signals for the chokeslam, but Cesaro turns the hold into another scissored sleeper in mid-air. Show breaks it by falling backwards, and now he’s pulling himself to his feet. He mounts the middle rope, where he misses a flying elbow. The crowd starts a “Swing!” chant, and Cesaro looks to go for it. Before it can happen, Jack Swagger enters the ring and locks Cesaro in the Patriot Lock, leading to the DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Cesaro. Show shoves Swagger to the floor over the top rope. From behind, Cesaro bulldogs Show over the top rope, hits a European uppercut to the back of the head, a spinning one from the middle rope, and he caps it off with a damn impressive Neutralizer.
John Cena comes out and says it’s been an exhausting week. It started with WMXXX, and that event started with the most iconic moment he’s ever seen with Austin, Rock and Hogan together in the ring. After that, Kofi Kingston defied gravity again, Cesaro win the Andre battle royal, Bray Wyatt tried to turn a man into a monster, but he figured out he still can’t see Cena. And sadly (speak for yourself, John), the Undertaker was defeated, ending the historic “Streak”. On the flipside, “The Game” got played, and now we have a new WWE World Champion. A “Yes!” chant breaks out. And that was just WM. At RAW, that’s when everything really went down, listing off what happened with the Shield, Cesaro and Bad News Barrett. He also thanks the WWE Universe for re-writing his theme music. They say the future is now, and he agrees. On Monday, he was told to Bolieve in himself. He also mentions Adam Rose and Alexander Rusev, then says the Divas division has finally turned the Paige. It’s an exciting time to be in WWE, and there are so many promising stars. He’s not the One, the Viper, the Animal, the King of Swing or the Boss. He’s the measuring stick, the standard bearer. He’s John Cena. Any WWE star can talk all they want, but past, present or future, they know if they want to be on top of the WWE mountain, they have to go through him to do it.
The Wyatt Family appear on the TitanTron. Luke Harper says they say time heals all wounds. Unfortunately, Cena has only given them more time to hurt them. Embrace the future, Cena. It’s his gift to you. Bray Wyatt says sometimes he wishes he could feel pain. But he’s different, and we should all embrace our differences. If he lost at WM, why can’t he stop smiling, and why does he feel so good? Because he saw it in Cena’s eyes. For the first time, he saw that Cena isn’t hollow. It’s inside of him, and it’s something Wyatt knows too well. When he looks in himself, he sees everything, dreams you haven’t dreamed and worlds you haven’t explored. He is free. It must’ve been so frightening for Cena, because he was this close. All he needed was one last little push. Now, Wyatt realizes he has to go to new extremes to bring out the monster. Strap it on, John. This party is far from over. He’s got the whole world in his hands.
MATCH 2: Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando, w/El Torito) vs. Rybaxel (Curtis Axel and Ryback)
Ryback and a Matador start with a lock-up. Matador hits a chop, ducks a clothesline and hits a trio of them. Apparently, this is Diego. Ryback sends Diego into the ropes, Diego ducks a boot and a clothesline, then hits a dropkick. He hits another chop in the corner, blocks a charge, then goes for a cross-body. Ryback catches him and turns it into a powerslam. Axel tags in and boots Diego down. Diego comes back with punches, but Axel stops him with a Northern Lariat. He hits a running knee to the side of the head. Axel assaults Diego in the corner before tagging in Ryback. Axel hits a running elbow in the corner, and Ryback follows up with a clothesline for 2. He applies a rear chinlock, and as Diego tries to get to his feet, Ryback pulls him back down. Diego gets hit with a kneelift, but then escapes a suplex before hitting a dropkick. Axel tags in and tries to knock Fernando down. Fernando avoids it, then makes the tag. He hits some chops, then a pair of flying headbutts. He hits a handstand headscissors out of the corner, then nails a chop on the opposite side. Axel reverses a corner whip, then runs into a back elbow. Fernando comes off the middle with a double axe handle, then hits a Devil Lock DDT for 2 as Ryback breaks it up. Diego low-bridges Ryback, and Torito comes off the top with a plancha. Ryback catches him, and Fernando dropkicks Ryback from behind before Diego wipes him out on the floor. Axel hits the Stonecutter on Fernando off the distraction and gets the 3.
Renee Young stops Rob Van Dam in the back, asking how it feels to be home. RVD says it’s a whole new day, and since he’s been gone, the whole face of the company has changed. There’s a face that’s been missing, but it’s back. Everything’s cool when you’re RVD.
MATCH 3: Damien Sandow vs. Rob Van Dam
They lock up, and RVD applies a waistlock. Sandow elbows out and misses a clothesline, allowing RVD to roll him up for 2. RVD nails a superkick off an Irish whip, then taunts the crowd. Sandow rolls him up for 2, then goes for a corner whip. RVD reverses before hitting a corner spinning heel kick. He connects with Rolling Thunder, which sends Sandow to the floor. As Sandow tries to get back in, RVD baseball slides him before missing a moonsault from the apron. Sandow throws him head-first into the barricade, then rolls him back in for 2. Sandow begins driving his knee into the ribs, then applies a rear chinlock. RVD elbows his way out, but then gets yanked down by the neck. Sandow pulls his kneepad down and drops it before hitting the Cubito Aequet for 2. Sandow lays in some headbutts, then drags RVD to the apron, where he hits another elbow. Sandow drags him back in, hits another elbow for 2, then applies a rear chinlock. RVD tries to elbow out, but Sandow hits him with a headbutt. RVD comes back with a high kick in the corner before hitting a bodyscissors takedown for 2. He follows up with a step-over spinning heel kick, then goes up top. Sandow meets him with a right, nails a headbutt, then mounts the middle for a superplex. RVD fights him off, knocking him down with a forearm. He gets to his feet on the top and connects with the Five-Star Frog Splash for 3.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam.
We get a vignette for Adam Rose and the Exotic Express.
Hulk Hogan comes out, and I die just a little bit more. Is he still in the Silverdome tonight? He says that, as the host of WM, he was there at the SUPERDOME when he witnessed one of the greatest moments of all time. When Daniel Bryan won the title, he turned the show into “YEStlemania”, brother. As held the titles over his head, Hogan got chills. So, he’s very proud to introduce the new champ, brothers. Let’s hear it for Daniel Bryan.
Bryan comes out, and instantly this segment has been saved. Kudos to the man who grew up just down I-5 from me about 30 minutes on his huge win at WM. A more deserving person, there is not. Bryan does Hogan’s bit, then calls this the greatest week of his life. He’s back here on Smackdown after five weeks, he’s getting married, he just main-evented WM and became the new WWE World Champion. And now, he’s in the ring with the “Immortal” Hulk Hogan. He’s just like everyone in the crowd-an average guy from a small town. He sat in those same seats and watched those same screens as a kid, and during that time, the biggest star in the world in his eyes was Hogan. He listened to everything Hogan said. He prayed every night he could main event like Hogan. He took his vitamins every day, trying to get 24″ pythons like Hogan. He didn’t quite make it, but he’s still working on it. He’s been a Hulkamaniac as long as he can remember, and this is a special moment to him. But there is one thing that could make this awesome week better. There’s one thing he’s always wanted to see live in the ring. Please, play his music. Hogan’s music hits, and he goes through his usual shtick, asking Bryan to join in, which he does.
MATCH 4: Kofi Kingston vs. Bad News Barrett
While I don’t particularly like this gimmick, I am so glad Barrett is getting to wrestle again. That’s a pretty fancy cape he’s got now, too. The fact that he’s always had good matches with Kofi certainly isn’t hurting anything here tonight. After the bell rings, Barrett calls for a mic and asks for some decorum. He then slugs Kofi and says he has some bad news. He drops the mic and lays in some rights to the head before throwing Kofi to the corner. He nails another right, then corner-whips Kofi. Kofi jumps to the middle rope and hits a comes off with a dropkick. He lays in some punches and kicks, then hits a top rope cross-body of a corner whip for 2. Barrett recovers and hits a right to the gut before throwing Kofi to the outside. Kofi skins the cat, ducks a clothesline and hits a jumping one of his own. He hits the Boom Drop and calls for TIP. Barrett sees it coming and drops to the floor. Kofi chases him back in, and Barrett meets him with a boot. Kofi blocks it and nails a roundhouse kick. He goes for TIP once again, and Barrett nails him mid-spin with the Bullhammer for 3.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett.
MATCH 5: Santino Marella (w/Emma) vs. Fandango (w/Layla)
How many times have these two wrestled on TV since Emma’s debut? 45? 127? Either way, it’s way too much. At least Layla isn’t a disgusting Ent (look it up) like Summer Rae. They lock up, and Santino hits a judo throw before hitting a hip throw into a side headlock. Fandango nails him with a right off an arm wringer, then hits a chop as Santino tries to power walk off an Irish whip. Fandango knocks him down with another one, then hits a back elbow off the ropes for 2. Santino comes back with snap jabs, ducks a clothesline and hits a hip toss. He pulls out the sock for the Cobra, but Layla grabs it from him. Fandango rolls him up in a schoolboy and gets the 3.
We get a video package for Paige, the new WWE Divas Champion.
The “RAW Exclusive” for this week is Rey Mysterio vs. Bad News Barrett. I only mention this because I am laughing my ass off at the complete lack of reaction Rey got from the RAW crowd when he came out, while Barrett got a HUGE pop, not to mention a big-ass chant while the crowd dumped all over Rey once the match started. Stuff like this is why I love wrestling.
Another Adam Rose promo.
Kane is in his office with Randy Orton and Batista. He says they need to put their problems aside and not be selfish. They have two things in common: Daniel Bryan and the Shield. Orton adds a third with the Usos. Kane wants Bryan tonight, and now they’re fighting over who gets him, as well as a title match. Kane says this is what he’s talking about. Tonight, they need each other, and they all answer to a higher Authority. After he leaves, Batista and Orton both say they don’t answer to anyone.
MATCH 6: WWE Tag Team Champions the Usos (Jey & Jimmy) and WWE World Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Kane, Batista and Randy Orton
I just noticed there are two guys in the front row wearing “I’m a Pat Patterson Guy” t-shirts. That’s nice. Real classy. Batista with an Uso. He backs the Uso in the corner, but Uso comes back with punches and a mule kick. He hits an uppercut, then applies an arm wringer before tagging in the other Uso. Uso hits a chop and a kick off the ropes before running into a spinebuster for 2. After a Google Images search, I believe that is Jey in the ring. Sorry. Now that they both have big, matching chest tattoos, it’s hard to tell them apart. Orton tags in and kicks Jey in his ribs, which are all taped up. He then stomps him in the gut before ripping the tape off. Orton mounts Jey for some punches, then tag out. Commercials.
Back from the break, Jey blocks a corner charge from Kane, then jumps off the middle into an uppercut for 2. Batista tags in and stomps Jey before hitting some shoulder thrusts to the back. Orton begins slamming Jey’s head into the top buckle before Batista pulls Jey to the apron on the floor for an elbow. Orton tags in and catapults Jey under the bottom rope for 2. Jey fights back before Orton hits a kneelift. He then hits a gourdbuster across the top rope, which is good for 2. Orton applies a waistlock, but Jey elbows his way out. He hits a chop, then runs right into a dropkick. Orton tags out to Kane, who sends Jey to the corner for a clothesline and a sidewalk slam for 2. Kane applies his own waistlock, but Jey breaks it with back elbows. Kane yanks him down by the hair before he can tag out, then tags in Orton, who gets 2. Kane drops all the way to the floor when exiting, only to immediately jump back up on the apron. Weird. Orton applies a scissored rear chinlock because he’s Orton and chinocks are what he knows. Jey fights out and hits a series of chops, but Orton shoves him into the ropes, then nails a powerslam. He knocks Jimmy off the apron, then talks trash to Bryan. This allows Jey to hit a Samoan drop. Kane tags in, and Jey nails him with a jumping spin kick. Bryan tags in and comes off the top with a seated missile dropkick. He dropkicks Batista off the apron, then trips Kane into the second buckle. Kane reverses a corner whip, Bryan backflips off, ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. He fires up the Yes! Kicks, but misses the Buzzsaw. Kane shoves him into the ropes, where Bryan low-bridges him to the floor before hitting a suicide dive. Orton and Batista attack him as the Usos hit a pair of somersault planchas. Kane is back up, and he nails Jey while Batista throws Jimmy around. Kane nails an uppercut on Bryan, and now the bell has rung.
WINNER: Double Disqualification. Batista and Orton throw the Usos into the ring as Kane takes care of Bryan by the announce desk. One of the Usos gets hit with an RKO. Kane is now taking apart the announce desk as Batista hits the other Uso with a Batista Bomb. Kane goes for a chokeslam through the table, but the Shield come from out of nowhere and begin destroying Kane. They jump on the apron and into the ring, sending Batista and Orton running for the hills. Kane comes back in the ring with a chair, but before he can do anything, Bryan wipes him out with a running knee strike. He signals for the Shield to hit Kane with the triple powerbomb, and they are happy to oblige. Rollins screams at Batista and Orton, “This is your future!” as they celebrate with Bryan in the ring.
End of show.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below: