- WWE Open.
- The opening video package advertised The Rock’s Smackdown appearance by reviewing him being attacked by The Shield on Monday, along with C.M. Punk’s comments later on Monday’s show. Also, Vince McMahon’s ultimatum regarding The Shield as it pertains to the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. Then, the package switched to a plug for Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show at the Rumble.
- Inside the arena, Kane’s pyro blasted and he and Daniel Bryan came to the ring. Josh Mathews and JBL were shown at the announce table during their entrance. We also saw clips of Team Hell No’s anger management graduation ceremony from Raw (and all of the hugs, of course). Kane wanted to address rumors that they’ve “gone soft” simply because they’ve learned how to channel their anger. He said those people should watch the Rumble on Sunday, because after they defeat Team Rhodes Scholars, he’ll enter the Rumble match and win it. Bryan wasn’t on board with that. Kane reminded Bryan of his Rumble statistics. Bryan reminded Kane that he has never won a Rumble match, so Bryan insisted he would win on Sunday. They argued until Big Show’s music hit and he strode to the ring.
Show said no one cared about their plans, as their chances of winning the Rumble are much lower than of him reclaiming his World Title from Alberto Del Rio. Bryan reminded Show that he beat him for the World Title last year, but Show didn’t want to hear it. Instead, he talked about Del Rio stealing his title from him. He said he’ll squish that bug that is Del Rio Sunday, and if Team Hell No doesn’t leave the ring, he’ll squash them right now. Kane said they’re not bugs, and they’re not going anywhere. Before things could degenerate further, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes walked out to class things up.
Sandow made a goat joke at Bryan’s expense then said Team Hell No is underestimating them. He said their destruction of Team Hell No will be of biblical proportions. Rhodes dumbed the promo down for the crowd, simply stating that Team Rhodes Scholars will take the titles on Sunday. Sandow proposed an alliance with Show to decimate Team Hell No post-haste. Of course, Alberto Del Rio’s music rang out and he came to Team Hell No’s defense. As the six men squared off in the ring, Booker T. came out. Book made the requisite six-man tag main event of Show & Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Del Rio & Team Hell No. As an added stipulation, it’ll be an elimination match. The men in the ring couldn’t wait, and Show’s early jump on Del Rio was unsuccessful. After another stand-off, Del Rio’s music played while the faces stood in the ring. Show attacked the poor ringside steps in anger. That was your standard predictable Smackdown opening segment.
- Also tonight, C.M. Punk calls out The Shield.
- Plus, The Rock will also discuss The Shield, notably, their attack on him Monday.
- In a split-screen, Sheamus and Wade Barrett were walking backstage. They square off next.
1 – SHEAMUS vs. WADE BARRETT
The two hard-hitters started the clobbering right off the bat. Barrett took over on offense after a punch to Sheamus behind the ref’s back, while the official was attempting to restrain Sheamus. That onslaught didn’t last long, as Sheamus took back over with a chin-lock. The back-and-forth action continued, with Barrett avoiding a possible Brogue Kick by sliding out of the ring. As Sheamus was talking to the ref, Barrett pulled Sheamus out of the ring. He couldn’t capitalize, and Sheamus pounded away. He attempted the forearms to the chest, but a back kick to the knee created separation for the Brit. Boot to the jaw sent Sheamus off the apron and to ringside. They went to break at 2:33 of the match.
Back at 6:31 of the match, and it appeared as if neither man had established control to this point. But Barrett did clothesline Sheamus over the top and to the floor. It was a bit of a weak clothesline, with Sheamus helping out tremendously. Sheamus beat the count, but Barrett gave Sheamus a number of knees to the face. As the ref admonished Barrett, Sheamus propelled himself over the top with a shoulder tackle. Sheamus made his trademark comeback, including the ten forearms to the chest. Barrett missed a kick with Sheamus on his knees, allowing Sheamus to roll him up for two. Back-breaker by Sheamus for two. Sheamus went to the top, but Barrett pulled his arm, causing Sheamus to tumble into the ring. Back-kick by Sheamus for two at 10:20. A few counters led to Barrett cradling Sheamus for a two-count. White Noise on Barrett. Brogue Kick upcoming. Barrett walked right into it.
WINNER: Sheamus, at 11:47. It turned out to be a pretty even match. It was mostly a back-drop to talk about the Royal Rumble match and each man’s chances.
The Brogue Kick finish was replayed.
- A six-man elimination tag match is tonight’s main event. I assume, anyway.
- Next, footage of The Shield’s attack on Raw Monday night.
- JBL thanked Clement Marfo & The Frontline for “Champion,” one of the official theme songs to the Royal Rumble.
- After a brief preview of the situation by Mathews and JBL, they sent it to footage of The Rock’s promo from Monday while C.M. Punk looked on from a skybox.
- Tonight, the Rock will be on the show to comment on The Shield’s attack.
- Backstage, Punk and Paul Heyman were shown having a private discussion. No audio to pick up on what they were talking about.
- Natalya came out for a Divas match. She was accompanied by Hornswoggle and The Great Khali. The match is next.
2 – NATALYA vs. ROSA MENDES
Mendes was dancing in the ring out of break. The Colons joined the commentary team, as did Khali and Hornswoggle. Natalya kipped up out of a headscissors. She then picked the ankle of Rosa to take her down. A hair pull put Natalya down for a two-count. Khali will apparently be in the Rumble match. Rosa stretched Natalya, working her back and neck. Nattie got to her feet and took Rosa down. Spinning clothesline, but Rosa kicked out of a pin. Natalya rolled out of a roll-up and tried the Sharpshooter. Rosa got to the ropes. Clothesline, then Rosa slammed Nattie’s head into the mat. Horny translated for Khali on commentary. When Rosa danced, Horny got on the announce table and danced himself. This upset Mendes and allowed Natalya to lock on the Sharpshooter for the win.
WINNER: Natalya, at 2:45. This match would’ve lasted about a minute had the four men not been on commentary.
- Mathews and JBL talked about the Royal Rumble Fan Fest that starts tomorrow.
- The Rock is on the show tonight.
- Up next, C.M. Punk calls out The Shield.
- C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman came to the ring. Punk said he’s afraid of his own potential and everything in WWE right now just scratches the surface of his potential. He called his reign as champion “unparalleled brilliance.” But because of The Shield and their “independent actions,” Punk received a letter from Mr. McMahon. Heyman read the letter, which reiterated what McMahon told Punk and Heyman on Monday night. He said Vince is trying to take from him what no man could take, that being the WWE Championship. He went so far as to say Vince wanted to “steal” the title from him. He vowed to do something no one else has had the stones to do since they debuted on the scene….so he went to ringside and called out The Shield, grabbing a chair in the process. He mentioned that they’re hanging out in their “clubhouse,” which took me back to Aces & Eights for a second.
Shield’s music played and they appeared in the crowd, making their way to the ring. The Shield surrounded the ring, then climbed to the apron as Punk wielded a chair for defense. Heyman cowered in the corner. Punk said he never asked them for anything and told them to stay out of his way. Dean Ambrose was staring a hole through Punk. Punk said The Shield stands for justice, but there would be no greater injustice than if he lost his title because of their interference. He promised to beat The Rock for the biggest victory of his career. He got in Ambrose’s face as he said he was going to win by himself. He said he doesn’t need The Shield’s help. Punk said if The Shield truly wants justice, they’ll never have to cross paths again. The Shield hopped off the apron and left the way they came. “Now that is how the champ takes care of business!” said Punk after The Shield cleared the area. He said he tackles problems head-on. Punk said The Rock is like everybody else, inferior to him. He vowed to prove that not only is he the Best in the World, but the Greatest of All-Time. That was enough to bring out The Rock.
Rock did his entire entrance, standing on the turnbuckle to salute the crowd, and everything. Punk held his WWE Title in front of him, showing it off for The Rock. Rock said he’ll put an end to this garbage right now. His gut said Punk was a liar and that he’s working with The Shield. But he really doesn’t give a damn. Rock promised his boot would get shoved straight up Punk’s candy ass. There was a verbal edit there I think, not sure why. Rock said the walls are closing in on Punk as on Sunday, Punk is going to panic and crack. Rock said when that happens, he’ll hook Punk for the Rock Bottom, launch him in the air, and when he gets him there, time will stand still. He said Punk’s final thought will be, “It’s over.” Rock promised Punk that he will become WWE Champion. He very calmly ended with, “If ya smell what the Rock is cookin.’” Really good segment with a nice surprise of Rock interrupting. As an added bonus, segments like this make Smackdown feel newsworthy for the first time in a long time.
- The six-man elimination tag is still to come.
- Randy Orton was walking backstage. He’s in action next.
[Commercial Break - included was a commercial for Robot Combat League on SyFy, to be hosted by Chris Jericho. His name wasn’t mentioned in the ad, however.]
3 – DREW MCINTYRE vs. RANDY ORTON
McIntyre, Heath Slater, and Jinder Mahal were playing air guitar in the ring out of break. McIntyre dominated the first 30 seconds, but for the most part, the rest of the match was Orton. He went right into his signature moves. Mahal sense trouble, so he interfered for the disqualification.
WINNER: Orton, via DQ, at 1:05. At least 3MB is getting air time, I suppose.
Mahal received an RKO while McIntyre was given the rope-assisted DDT. Slater ran in for the RKO too, and just to make things even, McIntyre was RKO’d, too.
- Alberto Del Rio & Team Hell No take on Team Rhodes Scholars & The Big Show in a six-man elimination tag match.
4 – DARREN YOUNG vs. THE MIZ
No entrance for the Prime Time Players. Antonio Cesaro was at ringside doing guest commentary to preview his United States title match with The Miz on the Royal Rumble pre-show. During Miz’s entrance, they showed Miz and Cesaro’s confrontation from Raw two weeks ago, with guest star Ric Flair. Young got the early advantage and trash-talked Miz. Chop in the corner by Young. Miz fought back with lefts and sent Young head-first into the corner. Corner clothesline by Miz, then a kick to Titus O’Neil on the outside. Young fought off the Skull Crushing Finale, so Miz kicked him in the knee. Figure-four locked in and Young tapped.
WINNER: Miz, at 1:53. I wonder what has led to the downfall of the PTP’ers. I wouldn’t be offended if Cesaro vs. Miz were actually on the Royal Rumble PPV.
- They showed what happened in the last segment with The Rock and C.M. Punk.
- Still to come: The six-man elimination tag match.
- “What Makes a Good Man” from The Heavy is another Royal Rumble theme, as JBL noted here.
- The capital building in Sacramento was shown.
- The much-anticipated “Rumble: By the Numbers” video aired.
- Lilian Garcia handed introductions off to Ricardo Rodriguez to introduce the World Champion Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio hobnobbed with fans on his way to the ring as the show went to break.
5 – ALBERTO DEL RIO & TEAM HELL NO vs. TEAM RHODES SCHOLARS & THE BIG SHOW – SIX-MAN ELIMINATION TAG MATCH
Del Rio took Rhodes down with a unique headscissors, much to the delight of the crowd. A distraction by Rhodes led to Sandow getting the upper-hand on Kane. Chokeslam on Sandow for the three at 2:19. That was quick. Big Show came in to oppose Show. Kane went to the top rope and clotheslined Show. the two men went at each other and ended up dumping each other over the top rope. Kane charged at Show, who gave him a knockout punch. Kane was counted out at 3:39 of the match. They cut to break at 3:58.
The show returned at 6:53 of the match. It was two-on-two at this point. Bryan and Rhodes collided in mid-ring as both attempted cross-body blocks. Show tagged in and Bryan was able to fight him off by taking out the knee. Show swatted Bryan in the chest as Bryan came off the top rope. A knockout punched knocked Bryan to ringside for another count-out, at 9:21. Down to Del Rio vs. Show and Rhodes. Del Rio came in and went after Show, but was caught for a chokeslam. Del Rio rolled out of the ring and Show seemed content to take another count-out. However, Del Rio regained his bearings and reentered the ring. Show and Del Rio battled each other near the apron, and Show ended up getting kicked out of the ring. Show was down, holding his leg, and was counted-out at 11:29. These near count-outs and count-outs also provide a preview of the Last Man Standing World Title match on Sunday. Rhodes tried a surprise roll-up for the win, to no avail. Del Rio nearly kicked the mustache off Cody’s face, but it only got him a two-count. Running enziguiri in the corner and that was enough to get the win.
WINNER: Del Rio, at 13:07.
After the match, Show returned to spear Del Rio as the champ celebrated. Show cleared out the announce table and gave Del Rio a knockout punch. He then dumped the announce table onto Del Rio, just as Del Rio did to him a few weeks ago. Show did his own ten-count. He counted in Spanish, too. The post-match was replayed. Medics and Ricardo Rodriguez checked on Del Rio to close the show.