This week’s SmackDown once again opens up with a match.
MATCH 1: The Usos (Jey and Jimmy) vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt)
Harper starts with an Uso (I can’t tell which one, since they are wearing shirts and I can’t remember which one has which arm sleeved), and Uso immediately ducks a clothesline before knocking Rowan off the apron. Harper then gets backdropped to the floor. The other Uso hits a suicide dive on Rowan on the outside. In the ring, Uso #1 rolls up Harper for 2 before getting dropped. Uso #2 gets knocked off the apron by Harper, then turns around into an uppercut by Uso #1. Uso #1 hits a Whisper in the Wind on Harper for 2, then nails a kick. Rowan makes a blind tag as Harper hits a discus clothesline. Rowan hits his big splash and gets the 3.
John Cena makes his way down to the ring. We see what happened on RAW this past Monday night before Cena says tonight is even more important than Monday night. This is the last SmackDown of 2013. That means this audience right here in Corpus Christi, TX is going to help the WWE Universe around the world bring in the New Year. We have to have fun while we can, because with the New Year coming, it’s all over. We all know about New Year’s resolutions. Cena wants to bearhug a bear and star in a musical version of No Holds Barred. He wants a reboot of Manimal, and of course, he wants to get an early start on drafting his fantasy XFL team. He also wants to gain 40 pounds, and he can do that tonight. The weight of the two belts in the WWE World Championship is roughly forty pounds, and he has a rematch for that title with Randy Orton, who may be in the back listening. Just maybe, right now, Orton will walk down the aisle and bring in the New Year with Orton vs. Cena for the title.
Instead of Orton, however, we get the Shield making their way down to the ring. They surround Cena before jumping him in the ring. Before they get too far, however, Mark Henry runs down to the ring. He knocks down all three members until they begin triple-teaming him. Big E. Langston is the next man to run down, and he launches Roman Reigns to the floor. Dean Ambrose is sent flying by Langston and Cena, while Henry throws Seth Rollins to the floor. The Shield begin heading out through the crowd until Kane makes his way onto the stage. He says that, as Director of Operations, it’s obvious to him everyone out here has issues to deal with before the New Year. As a result, each member of the Shield will be in singles competition. First up, Ambrose will face Langston. Next, Reigns will face Henry, and finally, Rollins faces Cena.
We get a video, hyping the return of Batista.
Renee Young is standing by with Randy Orton. She says that, as the WWE World Champion, he’s had a fantastic 2013. So, with the year coming to an end, does he have a resolution? Orton says he’s already surpassed every superstar in WWE and doesn’t have anything left to prove. But, since she asked so nicely, he might enter himself in the Royal Rumble, win it, then go onto Wrestlemania XXX and watch from a luxury skybox while writing his induction speech. The next night, he’ll retire as champion and induct himself into the WWE Hall of Fame. Dolph Ziggler walks up and says he didn’t know they had a HOF for spineless, undeserving champions. Since Young is talking about resolutions, Ziggler has one as well: he’ll be the one to finally shut Orton up. Orton asks Young if she heard something. It sounds like somebody wants and RKO. Kane walks up and steps between them. As Director of Operations, it’s his responsibility to ensure a safe, calm working environment. He will not tolerate these harsh displays of aggression, so tonight, these two will settle this in the ring. Ziggler leaves, and Kane tells Orton that backstage must be a safe zone. However, out in the ring…Kane walks off while smiling.
MATCH 2: WWE Tag Team Co-Champion Cody Rhodes (w/Goldust) vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger)
The two lock up, then break free before going at it again. Rhodes applies a side headlock into a hip throw, then gets back to his feet with the headlock. Cesaro counters into a hammerlock, and Rhodes counters into a drop toe-hold, going right into a front chancery. Cesaro counters into a hammerlock, and Rhodes breaks it by sliding to the mat and sending Cesaro through the ropes. Outside the ring, Goldust taunts Cesaro, which brings Swagger over. Rhodes takes the side of Goldust before a fight breaks out. Cesaro and Rhodes both slide back into the ring, where Cesaro boots Rhodes in the gut before nailing a right in the corner. Rhodes counters a corner whip with an Oklahoma roll for 2. The two then trade forearm shots until Cesaro low-bridges Rhodes to the floor. Cesaro throws Rhodes back into the ring for a 1-count before backing Rhodes into the corner for a series of shots to the gut and head. He follows up with a running European uppercut and a suplex, which gets 2. Cesaro applies a rear chinlock now, but Rhodes quickly breaks free. He ducks a clothesline and hits a high knee before nailing a clothesline and the Goldust Uppercut. The standing gourdbuster connects for 2. Rhodes nails a forearm to the back, ducks a clothesline and hits a misdirection clothesline. Swagger jumps on the apron, and Rhodes quickly knocks him off. Cesaro comes in from behind with a European uppercut to the back and rolls Rhodes up in a schoolboy for 3.
WINNER: Antonio Cesaro.
MATCH 3: Rybaxel (Curtis Axel and Ryback) vs. The Prime-Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young)
Young and Ryback start the match with a lock up before Ryback boots Young and lands a forearm to the back of the head. Young escapes a slam and nails a right before hitting a dropkick to the knee and a knee trembler. Titus tags in and gourdbusters Young onto Ryback. Ryback recovers and boots Titus down. Titus ducks a clothesline and runs through Ryback with a shoulderblock. The two shove each other until Ryback hits a back elbow. Axel makes a blind tag and knees Titus in the back before Ryback hits a running boot. Axel beats Titus down in the corner before landing a knife-edge chop. Titus hits a few of his own until Axel hits a boot to the gut and a dropkick. Axel foot-chokes Titus under the bottom rope, then tags in Ryback. Ryback hits a forearm from the floor, then climbs in the ring and begins kicking Titus in the head before applying a front chancery. Ryback breaks the hold with a kneelift and shoulders Titus in the corner. Axel tags and nails a shot to the gut. He smacks Titus across the head a few times until Titus gets to his feet and hits a big boot. Young tags in. He hits a few kicks to the gut and a running clothesline. Young ducks a clothesline by Axel and hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Ryback gets knocked off the apron, and Axel receives an a corner clothesline. A northern lights suplex gets 2, but Ryback breaks up the pin. Titus is back in, and he receives a boot from Ryback. He escapes an over-the-shoulder powerslam attempt, and the PTP double-clothesline Ryback to the floor. Titus drops down as well as Axel goes for a roll-up on Young, but Young reverses into a roll-up of his own and gets 3.
WINNERS: The Prime-Time Players.
MATCH 4: WWE World Champion Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler (non-title)
The two lock up, and Orton backs Ziggler into the corner. Ziggler reverses, and Orton does the same. Ziggler reverses once more, and once the referee breaks them up, Orton drops to the floor. Back in the ring, They lock up once again, and Orton applies a side headlock before shouldering Ziggler off the ropes. Orton boots Ziggler and throws him to the corner. Ziggler comes back with rights to the head and gut. Orton recovers and knocks Ziggler down with a headbutt. He hits a suplex for 1, then whips Ziggler into the corner. Ziggler blocks a charge with a back elbow, then begins attacking Orton in the corner with mounted punches. Ziggler mocks Orton as Orton slumps down in the corner. Ziggler picks him up and hits a snapmare before landing the Show-Off Elbow for 2. Orton pulls Ziggler by the tights, sending him face-first into the middle buckle. Orton pulls Ziggler back up, and the two trade punches. Orton kicks Ziggler in the gut, but Ziggler recovers and hits a dropkick, sending Orton to the floor. Orton is checking his ear on the outside, then marches back to the ring. He breaks the count before rolling outside once more. Ziggler leaves the ring and clotheslines Orton from behind. Ziggler blocks a slam into the steps, then slams Orton face-first into them before rolling Orton back into the ring for 2. Ziggler goes for a neckbreaker, but Orton escapes and hits a back elbow off the ropes. Orton misses a corner clothesline, and Ziggler hits another dropkick. Ziggler misses a corner clothesline himself, and Orton sends him shoulder-first into the ring post, causing Ziggler to fall through the ropes and to the floor. Ziggler makes it back into the ring at 9. Orton rolls him onto his back, stomps him a couple times and hits a jumping kneedrop for 2. Orton yanks Ziggler’s hair, then applies a rear chinlock. Ziggler fights out before Orton hits him with a kitchen sink for 2. Orton goes back to the rear chinlock, but Ziggler breaks it with a jawbreaker. Ziggler blocks a back body drop attempt and hits a cross-body, right into some mounted punches. He follows up with a corner splash and some more mounted punches before hitting a neckbreaker. He hits another Show-Off Elbow for 2. He misses the rocker dropper, avoids a powerslam and hits a leaping DDT for 2. Ziggler goes to the top rope now, but is climbing slow. Orton gets to his feet and crotches Ziggler. He hits Ziggler with some rights and a headbutt before climbing up for a superplex. Ziggler fights him off, knocking him down with a headbutt. A missile dropkick connects for 2. Ziggler throws Orton shoulder-first into the ring post and connects with the rocker dropper for another 2. He assaults Orton in the corner with rights to the head until Orton thumbs him in the eye and hits a quick RKO for 3.
WINNER: Randy Orton. After the match, Orton continues the attack on Ziggler, throwing him outside to the floor. Ziggler gets slammed face-first into the announce desk, the ring steps and the apron. Orton hits a European uppercut before throwing Ziggler face-first into the ring post. He launches Ziggler into the timekeeper’s area, then hits Ziggler with the suspended DDT on the floor.
The Shield are in the backstage area. Dean Ambrose says 2014 will be no different than 2013 as their machine continues to wreak havoc. Nothing changes. Big E. Langston got a little taste of the Shield, and tonight he’s bitten off more than he can chew. Roman Reigns tells Mark Henry he steps into Reigns’ ring tonight, and he will give pain a whole new meaning. Seth Rollins says John Cena believes in hustle, loyalty and respect. Rollins believes there is nothing more important than putting his boot into the back of Cena’s head and driving his face into the mat. Believe in that, and believe in the Shield.
MATCH 5: Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow
The two lock up, and Sandow backs Bryan into the corner. He misses a clothesline, and Bryan fires off a few kicks. Sandow comes back with a headbutt and a side headlock before shouldering Bryan off the ropes. They crisscross until Bryan hits a kitchen sink. Sandow boots Bryan in the knee, then hits some forearms against the ropes before throwing him to the floor. Outside, Sandow rams Bryan into the barricade before rolling him back into the ring for 2. Sandow hits a few kneelifts and a headbutt before connecting with a bodyslam. The Cubito Aequet connects for 2, and now Sandow has a rear chinlock applied. Bryan elbows out, but runs into a back elbow off the ropes. Sandow throws Bryan in the corner and headbutts him. Bryan backflips off a corner whip, ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. Bryan hits a running dropkick in the corner, then sets Sandow on the top rope, where he connects with a super hurricanrana. Bryan fires off the Yes! Kicks, but misses the Buzzsaw. Sandow quickly schoolboys him for 2. Bryan gets back to his feet and nails the Buzzsaw before hitting the running knee strike for 3.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan. As Bryan is celebrating, the lights go out. The Wyatt Family appears on the stage. Bray Wyatt says that, even though Bryan has stuck them with all these daggers, he’s still walking upright. Wyatt admires his courage, and these people have chosen him, the same way he chose them, like a moth to a flame. But Bryan has forgotten who is controlling this inferno. Wyatt is more than just a man; he is a god.
MATCH 6-Champion vs. Champion: WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston (w/John Cena and Mark Henry; non-title)
Langston rams Ambrose into the corner, hitting a few shoulder thrusts in the process. Ambrose gets corner-whipped, and Langston follows up with a running shoulder thrusts. He whips Ambrose back across the ring, but this time, Ambrose blocks him with a boot and hits a clothesline. Ambrose connects with some rights to the head and hits a power-drive elbow for 1. Ambrose ties Langston up in the ropes and hits some rights before landing a running seated dropkick for 2. He applies a rear chinlock now, but Langston quickly elbows his way out. Ambrose catches him with a kitchen sink against the ropes before climbing to the top rope. Langston grabs him and launches him back into the ring before hitting a pair of running clotheslines and a belly-to-belly suplex. He connects with a Warrior Splash, but Ambrose pulls him to the floor by his singlet. Reigns and Rollins come around to where Langston lands, but Henry and Cena step in. Ambrose heads out and rolls Langston back into the ring, but when he gets back in himself, Langston ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. The Big Ending connects and this one’s over.
WINNER: Big E. Langston.
Roman Reigns & Mark Henry enter the ring, and we’re going right into the next match.
MATCH 7: Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry
Reigns locks up with Henry, but gets shoved back. He asks for a test of strength, then boots Henry in the gut before hitting a couple of uppercuts. Reigns hits a punch and a headbutt before Henry simply shoves him backwards over the top rope and to the floor. Henry heads outside and hits Reigns with a headbutt before ramming him back-first into the apron. Reigns gets rolled back into the ring, and Henry covers him for 2. Henry clubs Reigns across the back, then headbutts him down. Henry sends Reigns into the ropes, nailing a big boot on the rebound. He kicks Reigns in the head, and Reigns rolls to the apron. He catches Henry with a hotshot, climbs back in the ring and hits a jumping clothesline for 2. Reigns stomps Henry down before nailing some rights to the head. He goes back to the stomps and applies a rear chinlock. Henry turns over, gets to his feet and launches Reigns with a pancake. Henry follows up with a pair of shoulderblocks and a clothesline before hitting a Thump. An avalanche connects in the corner, but Reigns escapes a powerslam and hits a Samoan drop. Reigns hits a Superman Punch to the head and cuts through Henry with a spear for 3.
WINNER: Roman Reigns.
Rollins applies a side headlock. Cena counters into a snapmare, followed by a chinlock of his own. Rollins escapes and applies a front chancery. Cena counters into a hammerlock. Rollins reverses before going back to the side headlock. Cena escapes, the two crisscross and Cena hits a hiptoss. Rollins rolls to the floor to regroup, then climbs back into the ring. He boots Cena in the gut and hits an elbow to the back of the head. Cena comes back with rights, but misses a splash in the corner, going chest-first into the buckles. Rollins nails some kicks and punches, knocking Cena down. He stomps Cena down in the corner, then hits a running boot to the face. Cena fights back once again and sends Rollins across the ring. Rollins escapes the running facebuster and hits a clothesline for 2. Rollins applies a cobra clutch, then climbs on Cena’s back while maintaining the hold, driving him back down to the mat. He breaks the hold and applies a rear chinlock. Cena powers himself up and rams Rollins back-first into the buckles. Rollins boots an incoming Cena in the face, then drops a knee for a 2-count. Rollins hits a neckbreaker for another 2. He kicks Cena in the ribs, then chokes him over the middle rope. Rollins drops to the floor, drags Cena to the apron and drops some forearms across Cena’s chest before hitting a running boot to the side of the head. Back in the ring, Rollins covers Cena for 2 before going back to the rear chinlock. Cena breaks free, throws Rollins over his head and hits a clothesline. Rollins ducks another clothesline and drops Cena with a DDT for 2. He goes for the pin again, getting another 2-count. Rollins lands a straight right, followed by a second one that knocks Cena off his feet. Cena gets sent hard into the buckles, collapsing on the mat. Cena pulls himself up to his feet in the corner, and Rollins assaults him with gut shots. Cena reverses a corner whip, and Rollins flips in the corner, crotching himself on the top rope before collapsing back down to the mat. Cena ducks a clothesline and loads the spaceship with the rocket fuel. Rollins avoids a Proto-Bomb and hits a complete shot into the second buckle for 2. Rollins mocks Cena by doing the “You can’t see me” gesture, then knocks Cena off his feet with a right. Cena escapes a neckbreaker and hits the Proto-Bomb. The Five-Knuckle Shuffle connects and Cena goes for the AA. Rollins lands on his feet, hits an elbow out of the corner and follows up with a middle rope blockbuster for 2. Rollins charges at Cena in the corner, hitting a forearm to the face. He goes for it again, but Cena moves, causing Rollins to crash face-first into the top buckle. Cena hits a half-nelson into a neckbreaker for 2. Wow. Cena’s getting a bit creative in his matches lately. Cena goes up top, but Rollins knocks him down by hitting the ropes. Rollins hits an Asai DDT for 2. Rollins his some rights to the head, but Cena ducks a clothesline, floats over Rollins and puts him into a powerbomb. Rollins tries to counter with a hurricanrana, but Cena holds on, lifts Rollins back up and hits the powerbomb for 2. Cena picks Rollins up for the AA again, but Rollins quickly grabs a hold of the top rope. Cena drops him, then slingshots him off the ropes. Rollins lands on his feet and nails Cena with a jumping kick to the head. He crawls to pin Cena, getting a 2-count. Rollins climbs to the top rope and nails Cena with a flying knee to the side of the head for another 2. Rollins comes off the ropes, looking for the boot, but Cena counters into the STF. Rollins quickly gets to the bottom rope to the break the hold. Dean Ambrose tries to interfere, but Big E. Langston sends him to the floor. Langston heads to the floor and launches Ambrose across the announce desk. Reigns drops Langston, but then gets thrown over the desk by Mark Henry. Back in the ring, Rollins comes off the top rope with a cross-body, but Cena catches him, rolls through and connects with the Attitude Adjustment for 3.
WINNER: John Cena.
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:
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