Commentator: Michael Cole & Josh Matthews
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Kane & Daniel Bryan… NXT Championship: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Eve Torres
WWE Hall of Famer, Edge and his new haircut pone the show. Fans chant for Edge. Not sure why the WWE brought him in for a random SmackDown though. After eighteen months after sitting home, watching the WWE as a fan, and enjoy it. He’s never seen anything quite like this… clips from Team Friendship hugging it out and then arguing again. So awesome. He’s befuddled on how they became a tag champion but is instantly interrupted by Daniel Bryan. Bryan needs to correct Edge’s use of pronouns since “they” are not the tag champions… “I” [Bryan] is the tag champions. He goes on about how he is an anchor, rock, and one with his emotions. Bryan says that he figured Edge would be suspicious. Edge says “excuse me” and Bryan Freud’s him into a conversation about Vickie Guerrero. He gets into Edge’s head even using the “you think you know me” in his entrance music; he tells him to go back to retirement because there is nothing that anyone can do to make him snap. Edge accepts the challenge. They of course get into a “yes”/”no” battle, which brings Kane to the ring. The champs get into an agreement over which the tag champion is which driving Edge nuts. Kane says that Dr. Shelby has great relaxation exercises to help. Edge angrily turns to Kane and calls him the Big Red Barney not the Big Red Monster; he goes over their past including Tombstoning the priest. Edge asks him if he remembers it; Kane says that he does and needs to RECTIFY the situation RIGHT NOW! Edge removes his jacket and… Kane asks for a HUG! Edge reluctantly accepts and gets a huge hug from Kane. Edge is bewildered. For some reason Bryan freaks out screaming “no” a lot. Kane calls him over for a GROUP HUG but Damien Sandow interrupts this awesomeness. I did not even think this could get better but it did. He calls Bryan and Kane shameful with the hug it out. He rants on and on until Edge shuts him up. He tells Sandow to take one of the tag champions on if he wants to stop the madness so bad. Sandow is a THINKING man and does not resort to violence, thank you. Edge leads the fans in a “yes”/”no” chant over who Sandow should face as the tag champs argue over who should face Sandow and as Sandow himself complains that the fans’ opinion is irrelevant. The segment ends with them all screaming at each other. 8.5/10 Anything that Kane and Bryan do is wrapped in gold; add Edge’s entertaining wit and Sandow’s attitude (he’s getting rather over, BTW) and you have a recipe for one of the more entertaining opening promos in a LONG time.
Kane (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. Damien Sandow: I guess Kane won the poll. Booker T made this match during the commercial. Kane opens up by shoulderblocking Sandow. Kane pummels Sandow on the floor and then in the ring. Sandow gets a boot up in the corner but runs into Kane’s boot as he tries to hit a rope run. Sandow runs to the floor where Bryan informs him WHO the tag team champions is. Sandow back up but runs into Kane; Sandow runs across the ring to the other side where he hangs Kane off the top rope. Sandow pounds in the corner but tries a side headlock which Kane instantly counters into a back suplex. He this a clothesline in the corner and a side slam for two. Kane to the top for a diving clothesline (complete with oversell from Sandow); he readies for the chokeslam but Bryan uses this moment to parade around the ring with both tag belts proclaiming he is the tag champions. He hops up on the apron and he and Kane argue again. Kane tries to take the belts from Bryan but Sandow snags him from behind and hits Finis for three! Post-match, Bryan smiles and celebrates with the tag titles up the ramp. 7/10 Everything here went as is should have; Kane dominated (as he always does), Sandow wins (as he always does) and Bryan entertained (as he always does). This tandem may have propelled Kane into one of my current favorite wrestlers on the roster (which is amazing); the WWE has an uncanny knack to keep Kane relevant and entertaining years past his feuds with his brother.
Here is your winner… Damien Sandow @ about 5:05 via Finis pinfall.
In the back, Kane is turning the backstage area upside down searching for Daniel Bryan. He finds Dr. Shelby who calms him down. Kane wants tag title back or he will rip the beard off of his goat face. Bryan pops out of a PRODUCTION TRUNK to retort that claim of goat face. They get into a ten-year-old argument over who is a goat face and who is a big red freak. Shelby FREAKS OUT and gets them to stop arguing. He suggests a TRUST exercise; Shelby utters a phrase I thought I’d never hear: “Kane, do you promise not to rip Daniel’s beard off his face if he gives your tag team belt back?” Bryan agrees and gives him his belt back. Kane now wants to discuss the fact that Bryan cost him a match. Shelby suggests that Daniel compete tonight as well. This appeases Kane and then he sneaks in one more (in a low eight-year-old sounding voice), “I am the tag team champions”. Bryan wants to explode but Shelby calms him down. So funny.
Oh, wait there are other superstars on the roster?
Alberto Del Rio is awaiting Booker T in his office; he demands to know why he reinstated the Brogue Kick. Booker calls the move dangerous but legal. Del Rio makes a good observation that it was not fair that he did it right before the title match. Booker agrees. Del Rio thinks he’s getting another title shot but Booker tells him he has to earn it and shows him the door.
Layla vs. Natalya: Eve Torres is on commentary (enjoy her music); both divas do not get entrances. Nattie sticks a finger in her chest so Layla savate kicks her; she follows up with a face planter and a low dropkick. Layla gets too preoccupied with Eve and gets nailed with a spin-around clothesline. She stamps her and gets a one count; Nattie with an abs stretch. Eve’s complete disregard for Kaitlyn’s mysterious injury on commentary is the best part of this match. Eve counters a pump-handle slam with a reverse rollup. Nattie tries the Sharpshooter but Layla counters into the Layout and gets three. 1.5/10 Usual divas match. For a sport that is half driven my characters and personality the divas are sure lacking it. Eve is the only one who has any sort of character development regularly since the beginning of 2012. AJ Lee had it for a while but the GM role totally silenced that.
Here is your winner… Layla @ about 3:45 via Layout pinfall.
Sheamus & Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio (w/Vickie Guerrero & Ricardo Rodriguez): I see Sheamus went back to the black trunks as opposed to the tighty whiteys from Night of Champions; I guess this match is JIP after the commercial because Del Rio and Sheamus are locking up and I did not hear a bell. Alberto kicks Sheamus in the corner as Vickie and Ricardo yell at each other on the floor. Sheamus comes back with a DDT. Orton tags in and he hits a dropkick. Randy drops knees and stomps the crap out of him (some more). Sheamus tags in but misses a shoulderblock in the corner. Del Rio hits a step-up enziguri. He has the advantage briefly until Sheamus catches him in a Finlay Roll. Both managers/ring announcers hop up on the apron to distract Sheamus, Orton, and the referee, which allows Dolph to backjump Sheamus. Ziggler tags and works the champ over with a Showoff elbow; he applies a chinlock. Sheamus piggybacks him but cannot make the tag. Dolph rides him back down to the mat and tags in Del Rio who hits a running kick. Del Rio goes for the cross-armbreaker but Sheamus twists free; he slaps on a chinlock instead. Del Rio tries to hit the ropes but Sheamus powerslams him. Orton gets a tag and hits a bunch of clotheslines and a short powerslam. Ricardo tries to pull Del Rio to the floor but Orton cuts it off halfway, on the apron, and plants him with the Viper DDT. Voices are heard, which apparently was Ziggler sneaking up from behind because he’s countered into a powerslam as well. He goes for another DDT but Del Rio provides a distraction, which allows a Ziggler counter off the top rope, which in turn causes Orton to rebound into a Backstabber. It gets two. The heels now quick tag on Orton and Dolph rakes his face in the corner. He hits a running Hart Attack clothesline for two. Ziggler hits another chinlock but Orton’s had enough of those and back suplexes himself free. Del Rio cuts off the hot tag and mocks Sheamus. Orton creates space dropkicking Alberto off the top to the floor. Sheamus gets the tag and clobbers Dolph with Irish Hammers; Ziggler avoids the running kneelift and tries the sleeper. Sheamus ends that quickly but misses the Brogue Kick wildly. Dolph tries the Namedropper but Sheamus sidesteps it and hits the Irish Curse. Del Rio breaks it up and tries to put the cross-armbreaker on Sheamus. He gets shoved off… right into the RKO! Dolph tries to use the MitB briefcase but a Brogue Kick ends him. 5/10 Dolph gets pinned again; Del Rio couldn’t have taken that fall? He’s jobbed to Sheamus about fifty times at least Dolph STILL has his briefcase, you’d think the WWE would want to keep him strong leading into his (eventual) title reign. The match was just the usual mid-show main event.
Here are your winners… Sheamus and Randy Orton @ about 10:20 via Brogue Kick pinfall.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes: Bryan is already in the ring arguing with the fans. Bryan gets some kicks and Euro uppercuts at the bell, screaming “no” each time, of course. Rhodes hangs him off the top rope as Bryan is shouting at the fans. He hits some stomps and a release gourdbuster. Cody tries to corner him but Bryan counters with kicks; he dusts off his babyface flip off the top and hits the running Hart Attack. Bryan hits the running No Dropkick in the corner and looks for the No Lock but Kane’s pyro (and entrance) distracts him. He lights the ringposts on fire which allows Cody to nail Cross Rhodes for the pinfall. Post-match, Kane laughs at Bryan as they now have both cost each other singles victories. 6/10 The match itself was whatever it just served as a backdrop for the tit-for-tat between the tag champs.
Here is your winner… Cody Rhodes @ about 4:15 via Cross Rhodes pinfall.
Now Daniel Bryan is in the back looking for Kane. He finds him in the back laughing at him. Kane has no idea what he’s mad about. Bryan says he cost him the match; Kane says they are now even. Bryan says Kane belongs in a basement where he can sit there and wallow. Kane calls him a goat face again and they argue over who belongs in a petting zoo. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are laughing at them. The heels call them jokes, which snaps them out of their argument and they challenge them to a match tonight. Rhodes and Sandow leave and Bryan and Kane now argue over who the heels were more scared of.
“Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (w/Cameron & Naomi) vs. Heath Slater: Didn’t we see this squash already? At least he gets a full entrance this time. Slater and Clay have a brief dance off until Slater shoves Brodus. Clay slams him and mocks the dance. Clay plows over him with a running knee but telegraphs a backdrop. Heath punches away but gets caught in the Schuplex but Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal attack Clay from behind. Random. Slater joins in and they triple team him. Mahal and McIntyre double suplex him; a Future-Shock DDT and Camel Clutch follows. Slater yells in Clay’s face and the three of them take a bow. 6/10 That ending was totally random but I like the new alliance, at least there is strength in numbers for the lower tier heels; I guess the match on WWE Superstars was a subterfuge… or is the WWE that clever.
Here is your winner… Brodus Clay @ about 2:00 via DQ.
Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana): Santino tries a drop-toehold but can’t take Cesaro down so he lays him out with a European uppercut. He powers him over with a gutwrench suplex. He works a side headlock looking move but Marella quickly begins a comeback with the split-legged hiptoss and the Salute head-butt. The Cobra makes an appearance but hasn’t gotten over its thing for Aksana so it fails. Cesaro rips the sock off and tosses it into the ring. Aksana tries to grab it but falls over the ropes into the ring and huts her ankle. Meanwhile, as the referee tends to her, Cesaro hits the Very European Uppercut and covers Marella for a fifteen count. Antonio yells at Aksana to get out of the ring and Marella schoolboys him for three. Post-match, Cesaro sits in the ring stewing. He grabs a mic and tells her something in five languages… “We’re finished!” 3.5/10 So I guess the romance is dead. Santino is probably next in line to job to Cesaro in a title match.
Here is your winner… Santino Marella @ about 3:45 via schoolboy pinfall.
Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow: This match was set up by all of the shenanigans earlier in the show. The Prime Time Players, The Usos and Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel surround the ring, the commentators call it “scouting”. Cody and Kane start off. Kane pounds on him in the corner and stomps the crap out of him. Rhodes tags in Sandow, much to his dismay. Kane drags him into the ring and pummels him in the corner. Kane hits a short clothesline for a one count; he hits the low dropkick and Bryan tags himself in triggering a brief argument. Sandow tags Rhodes in the interim but he charges right into a drop-toehold and a bunch of No Kicks. Bryan hits his own low dropkick and feigns a tag to Kane. They get into a “yes”/”no” argument, which allows Cody to shove Bryan into Kane and hit the Beautiful Disaster. Cody gets two. Sandow attacks Kane in the floor to the pleasure of the Prime Time Players. The heels quick tag on Bryan and beat him up. Rhodes applies a chicken wing. Bryan and Rhodes collide in the old double crossbody spot. Kane gets the tag and lowers the boom on Sandow. Cody gets wiped as well. Kane nails a big DDT to Sandow. Sandow counters the chokeslam once but not twice. Cody shows up with a chair and clobbers Kane from behind drawing a DQ. Post-match, Rhodes thinks about nailing Kane again but Bryan takes the chair from him. Bryan thinks of nailing Cody with the chair but he SHARES with Kane who decimates Rhodes and Sandow with it. Bryan gets his own chair and they smile at each other as they completely destroy Sandow with the chair. The other teams are not safe as Kane snags all of them and feed them to Bryan to destroy them with the chairs. Kane and Bryan lay out Sandow, Rhodes, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Tyson Kidd, and Justin Gabriel all with chairs. After that, Bryan hands Kane a tag title and they celebrate together to a huge eruption. 6.5/10 Fun ending; I guess this is the official beginning of the real tag team of Kane and Bryan. I hope they continue to bicker because that stuff is priceless!
Here are your winners… Kane and Daniel Bryan @ about 8:10 via DQ.
OVERALL 7/10 Welcome to the Kane and Daniel Bryan show! I love the fact that they bicker with each other but defend each other from outside forces. The rest of the show was pretty much there except for the dissolution of the Aksana/Cesaro alliance and the formation of the new J.O.B. Squad. Entertaining show this week but primarily due to Kane and Bryan.