The final Smackdown before the Battleground PPV opened with a dramatic video package recapping Randy Orton terrorizing Brie Bella and dismantling Daniel Bryan four nights ago on Raw.
In the arena, Big Show’s music played to bring out Big Show with a sheepish look on his face. Show bowed his head as he took a victory lap, then unconfidently entered the ring and took the mic. Show spoke quietly about doing some bad things to good people as of late. Show then tossed to a video package on Show mixing tears with fists over the past month.
Back in the ring, Show claimed to have no alternative to his actions, drawing boos. Show said there just aren’t a lot of job opportunities out there for him. He said he’s done things on-par with a crazy person or a lunatic. But, he is asking for some understanding. Just think about what it would be like if Stephanie McMahon called your wife and said you’re not measuring up anymore.
Show entered Crazy Mode that he has all this built-up anger and frustration, going so far as to threaten to knock out Triple H. But, if he KO’ed Hunter, he would have been fired on the spot. Maybe it would have been for the best, but he finds himself in a situation where he’s facing The Shield in a handicap match tonight. Show, now fired up, said he’s turning all that rage and frustration loose tonight on Shield. He vowed to take Shield down with him.
Show began to leave the ring, but Triple H’s music provided an interruption. The on-air COO slowly walked out on-stage and looked into the ring to address Show. Hunter said he is also ashamed of Show’s actions and ashamed of what Show has become. Personal problems? Finances? Marital problems? Can’t pay the mortgage? That’s all on Show.
But, yet, here he is. Hunter said he doesn’t know why he has considered Show a friend for 20 years, but he decided to pay Show’s mortgage this morning. Hunter pulled out a piece of paper and said Show no longer owes the bank, but him. (Sounds like a chapter out of J.J. Dillon’s book.) Hunter then warned Show to get his emotions in check because if he doesn’t, he will end up living in Show’s house.
Hunter referred to Show’s comments earlier that he’s a crazed lunatic, so it doesn’t seem fair to place Shield in harm’s way. So, the Main Event will now be Show against Shield & Randy Orton. Hunter said it’s four men against a “borderline, lunatic giant.” Hunter revisited Show’s threat on Raw to conclude. Hunter held up the paper and said it’s all water under the bridge. “We’re cool,” he said. Show sighed in the ring to wrap the segment.
Backstage: Rob Van Dam and Ricardo Rodriguez were shown walking down the hallway. RVD is in action next.
In-ring: Back from break, Fandango’s music played to bring out Summer Rae to lead the way for Fandango’s entrance. Cole drew attention to Fandango wearing a pink shirt for WWE’s Susan G. Komen partnership. After FandangoRae’s long ring introduction, Ricardo Rodriguez presented Rob Van Dam for singles action.
1. ROB VAN DAM (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. FANDANGO (w/Summer Rae)
As the bell sounded, Cole and JBL played up the idea of RVD having a good shot at the World Title on Sunday because he’s competing under Hardcore Rules. RVD did not give a good account of himself early on, as Fandango knocked Van Dam to the floor early on. This sent Smackdown to break.
Smackdown returned with RVD catching Fandango in the corner with a kick to the face. RVD then ran over Fandango with clotheslines into a spin kick. Van Dam followed with Rolling Thunder, then posed for the crowd. RVD wanted to follow with a Five-Star Frogsplash, but Summer Rae grabbed RVD on the top rope and knocked him down, causing a DQ.
Post-match, Fandango assaulted RVD with strikes before suplexing him center-ring. Fandango collected himself, then went under the ring looking for a weapon, but no weapon was to be found. This allowed RVD to recover and attack Fandango on the floor. RVD rolled Fandango into the ring and delivered a slingshot DDT. RVD then went under the ring and found weapons to his liking.
Back in the ring, RVD set up a trashcan over Fandango as Summer Rae sold concern ringside. RVD then delivered a coast-to-cast Van Terminator, ending Fandango’s night. JBL said if RVD hits that on Sunday, it could lead to a new World champion.
WINNER: RVD via DQ at 6:20.
Still to come tonight: Big Show vs. Randy Orton & The Shield in a handicap match.
Still to come: World champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler in non-title action. This was a PPV title match a few months ago. Now it’s a random singles match on Smackdown.
In-ring: Ryback was randomly standing by in the ring. Paul Heyman was ringside, leading to a plug for Ryback vs. C.M. Punk at Battleground. After a camera shot of Heyman staring longingly toward Ryback, R-Truth’s music interrupted to bring out Truth for a full rap introduction.
2. RYBACK (w/Paul Heyman and IC champion Curtis Axel) vs. R-TRUTH
Before the bell sounded, Cole announced Truth challenging Curtis Axel for the IC Title on Sunday. Early in the match, the crowd chanted C.M. Punk’s name, which got in Ryback’s head. Ryback bailed to the floor for a breather, prompting Heyman to try to motivate Ryback by noting that Truth is currently bullying him.
Back in the ring, Ryback tried to attack Truth, but Truth slipped out of a Gorilla Press and kicked Ryback in the head. Ryback didn’t leave his feet, so Truth helped him out with a missile dropkick from the second rope. Truth couldn’t follow up, though, and Ryback smashed Truth with the Meathook Clothesline. Ryback then dropped Truth with Shell Shock. It was good for the win. On commentary, Cole wondered if that will be C.M. Punk on Sunday.
WINNER: Ryback at 2:32.
Post-match: Curtis Axel decided to get himself a piece of the action, rolling up his sleeves and cheap-shotting Truth with a knock-down clothesline. Axel then held Truth’s head up to get a look at the IC Title belt. Axel collected himself and left the ring as Heyman looked on approvingly.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in World champion Alberto Del Rio to discuss Rob Van Dam’s earlier victory. Del Rio vowed to use a trashcan, just like RVD did, but place RVD in the can and throw him in the dumpster. Del Rio tried to move on to a discussion of Dolph Ziggler, but a stagehand brought over the trashcan used by RVD earlier in the night. Del Rio, angry, threw down the trashcan and stomped off.
In-ring: Alberto Del Rio’s music played back from break to bring out the World champion. After Del Rio got a look at RVD’s Top 10 Hardcore Moments, Damien Sandow was shown sitting ringside holding his World Title MITB briefcase. Dolph Ziggler was then introduced to face Del Rio.
3. World Hvt. champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER — non-title match
As the bell sounded, Cole plugged Ziggler vs. Sandow on the Battleground pre-show on Sunday. On commentary, Sandow suggested he would contemplate cashing in MITB after the Del Rio vs. RVD hardcore rules match at the PPV. But, only in a gentleman fashion. As for the match, Ziggler knocked Del Rio to the floor early on. Del Rio collected himself as Smackdown cut to break.
Back from break, Ziggler and Del Rio went back and forth in the ring as Sandow continued to tease the possibility of cashing in MITB on Sunday. Ziggler suddenly popped Del Rio in the shoulder, which sent Del Rio flying to the floor. Del Rio was slow to re-enter the ring, allowing Sandow and Cole to engage in a chat about pronouns.
Back in the ring, Ziggler suplexed Del Rio to the mat as Sandow leaned forward in his chair to tease cashing in MITB. Ziggler then nailed a running clothesline before teasing a Fameasser, but Del Rio avoided and hit a backbreaker for a nearfall. Del Rio tried to follow with a top-rope move, but Ziggler popped him with a dropkick for a two count.
Ziggler could not follow up, though, as Del Rio smashed Ziggler with a facebreaker into a corner enziguiri. Del Rio tried to end it with a top-rope move, but Ziggler blocked and nailed a Sunset Flipbomb for a two count.
Ziggler hopped on Del Rio’s back for a Sleeper, but Del Rio ran them into the corner to escape. Del Rio followed with a double-foot drop to the back of the head, but landed awkwardly on his feet. On commentary, Sandow noted this battle is playing right into his hands before Battleground. Del Rio tried to capitalize on his offense with a decisive kick to the head, but Ziggler escaped a pin attempt.
Del Rio tried to end it with the Cross Arm-breaker, but Ziggler blocked and nailed a Fameasser for a close two count. Both men recovered as the crowd buzzed over the nearfall. Del Rio then tossed Ziggler into the air and flowed right into the Cross Arm-breaker. Ziggler fought for a few seconds, but eventually tapped out. On commentary, Cole tried to market Battleground by noting the possible World Title scenarios involving Ziggler, RVD, and Sandow’s briefcase.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 13:39.
Still to come: Big Show vs. Shield & Randy Orton in a handicap match.
Back from break, 3MB members Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal were in the ring. Cole noted 3MB is upset about losing to Los Matadores on Raw, so they’re looking for revenge tonight. Earlier Tonight, Slater and Mahal talked about being ready for Los Matadores and their mini-bull this time. Back in the arena, Lilian Garcia introduced Fernando & Diego, Los Matadores, complete with El Torito.
4. LOS MATADORES (FERNANDO & DIEGO w/El Torito) vs. 3MB (HEATH SLATER & JINDER MAHAL)
As the bell sounded, Cole cracked himself up relaying “news” that El Torito tweeted earlier this week. Los Matadores used some choreographed tag-team maneuvers to control the action early on. The theme continued until the end, where Los Matadores delivered their double-team sit-out slam after posing sideways and pointing. Mahal took the fall to set of a celebration.
Post-match, an embarrassed Slater and Mahal tried to jump Los Matadores, but they sent them flying over the top rope. El Torito then finished them off with a flying splash. Cue up Cole’s second Giant Gonzalez reference after getting a look at Torito’s bodysuit.
WINNERS: Los Matadores at 3:18.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Paul Heyman, who was joined by IC champion Curtis Axel and Ryback. Heyman extolled the virtues of his clients ahead of their matches against R-Truth and C.M. Punk, respectively, at Battleground on Sunday. Heyman said he is confident that Punk will be forever deterred from seeking vengeance against him after Ryback puts him down at Battleground. Then, Heyman will stand tall, still the Best in the World.
Back in the arena, Aksana was standing by for singles action against Brie Bella, who was introduced along with Nikki Bella.
5. BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella) vs. AKSANA
Brie got in early offense, then Aksana cut her off. Aksana’s usual cockiness got the best of her, allowing Brie to make a comeback and nail her facebuster finisher for the win.
Post-match, A.J. Lee’s music played to bring out the Divas champion. A.J., flanked by Tamina, said she is feeling so inspired by Brie’s victory tonight. A.J. said she’s going to do to Brie what Randy Orton did to Bryan on Raw, then the two of them can go away, make babies, and the doctor will spank Brie once that baby boy comes out. A.J. smirked and left, leaving Brie to seethe in the ring.
WINNER: Brie at 2:10.
Back in the arena, Big E. Langston was in the ring. Michael Cole noted he’s been on the WWE App during the show, so he demonstrated to eight-year-olds how to download the App. Kofi Kingston was then introduced as Langston’s opponent. Before the match, WWE replayed events on Raw when Bray Wyatt confronted Kofi and offered a warning.
6. KOFI KINGSTON vs. BIG E. LANGSTON
Langston’s attempt to overpower Kofi worked against him, as Kofi scored a quick pin for the win less than one minute into the match.
Post-match: Kofi stood his ground as the Wyatts announced their arrival. Kofi then found himself stuck in-between Bray on one side and Erick Rowan & Luke Harper on the other outside. Bray spoke to Kofi that he is the product of a lost generation. Bray said that “on this Sabbath, the first will fall.” Bray cackled before the feed “cut out.”
WINNER: Kingston at 0:53.
Back from break, Cole announced that Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero has booked Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston for Battleground. JBL said Kofi Kingston better be ready for Bray Wyatt on Sunday. Cole then transitioned to a Raw Rebound video replay of the Rhodes-McMahon Family Summit that led to The Shield beating down Cody, Dustin, and Dusty Rhodes.
In-ring: The Shield’s music played to bring out the U.S. champion and Tag champions for the main event. Shield made their way through a parade of extended hands in the crowd before arriving in the ring. Randy Orton was then introduced as Shield’s tag partner tonight. Of note, none of the four top heels were wearing pink.
Orton took his time posing in the ring while Shield stood behind him, then Big Show was introduced for the four-on-one main event. Before the main event started, Smackdown cut to break.
7. BIG SHOW vs. RANDY ORTON & THE SHIELD (U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE & WWE tag champions SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS) — four-on-one handicap match
Smackdown returned nine minutes before the top of the hour with the opening bell for the main event. Show started off with Dean Ambrose, whose midriff was quickly exposed to receive a giant chop to the torso. Ambrose had enough, so he tagged in Rollins. Rollins tried to find an opening, but Show quickly put him on the mat, stepped on his chest, and chucked Rollins across the ring.
Next in was Reigns for a big-man vs. big-man situation. Show quickly ran him over with a shoulder tackle, though. That was enough for Reigns, who tagged in Orton. Show slapped Orton across the chest, but the heels found an opening by taking out Show’s knee to begin an in-and-out-tag assault. Meanwhile, Cole and JBL discussed potential jobs for a giant like Show if he got himself fired. “Circus,” they settled on.
Show suddenly teased a chokeslam, but Orton countered with a DDT for a nearfall. More in-and-out tags to keep the pressure on Big Show. Reigns lost control, though, and took a spear from Show. Suddenly, the heels fed for Show one at a time, but they took out his knee again. The heels beat down Show in unison until Show let out all of his frustration chucking all four men away from him. Ambrose tried to run in with a chair, but Show KO Punched the chair and the ref called for a DQ with Shield introducing the chair.
WINNER: Show via DQ at 5:39.
Post-match, Show thwarted another chair shot attempt, then tried a double chokeslam on Orton and Ambrose, but Reigns delivered his trademark spear. The crowd fired up with “Yes!” chants, wanting Daniel Bryan to make the save, but Orton quieted the crowd with an RKO to Big Show. Orton and Shield surveyed their damage as the crowd chanted Bryan’s name while Cole rejected Triple H’s claims for why this match was booked. Suddenly, The Usos hit the ring and a brawl broke out.
Meanwhile, Orton wanted to destroy Show’s neck inside a chair, but Daniel Bryan stormed the ring to a loud ovation. Bryan kicked and slapped and punched and struck Orton, who took a beating as the crowd “Yes!’ed.” Orton tried to fend off Bryan, but Bryan slapped on the Yes! Lock center ring. But, Ambrose broke it up, allowing Orton to take off.
Bryan wasn’t done, though, as he kicked Ambrose in the head before delivering his KO Knee Strike. JBL referenced that being the knee that knocked out John Cena before Bryan’s music played. Bryan stood tall in the ring doing his “Yes!” with the crowd as Cole offered a final sales pitch for Battleground: who will win the WWE Title match – Bryan or Orton?
Report by James Caldwell & PWTorch.com