- WWE Open.
- A video package began the show by summing up World Title-related events at Elimination Chamber. The package then transitioned to The Rock unveiling the new WWE Title belt and the goings-on with John Cena and C.M. Punk.
- In the arena, Lilian Garcia introduced Ricardo Rodriguez to introduce Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio wore a nice white suit with matching white scarf. He gave the scarf to a fan on the way to the ring. JBL and Josh Mathews were shown at the announce desk as Del Rio and Rodriguez entered the ring. On the mic, Del Rio bragged about heading to Wrestlemania as World Champion, then turned his attention to Jack Swagger. He said he saw Swagger’s State of the Union Address on Raw and his YouTube videos. Del Rio explained Swagger’s gimmick and reminded Swagger that the country was built by immigrants chasing the American Dream. He said it’s why America is great. Del Rio said Swagger is nothing but a real jack-ass. Del Rio said Swagger thinks immigrants just want hand-outs, so he should come out so Del Rio can lay his hand across Swagger’s face. Man, I would’ve gone with “…so come out and I’ll hand out the beating of your life” or something like that. Instead, Randy Orton’s music played and he walked to the ring.
Orton paused for a “Randy” chant. He said he was going to try to stay calm and cool, but at the Chamber he was “this close” to having the chance to regain the World Title. He said that chance was taken from him by Jack Swagger. While part of him respects Swagger because he would’ve done the same thing, a larger part wants to take his anger out on Swagger tonight. He asked Del Rio to step aside for tonight, as he wanted Swagger for himself. And if he and ADR have to fight over it, so be it. Booker T.’s music hit to presumably resolve this situation.
Booker came onto the stage. He said he already had plans for the show (unheard of!), that being a Champions vs. Champions match. This would entail ADR taking on Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett. As far as Jack Swagger, he’ll be going one-on-one with Orton. Booker ended with a flourish, as he always does.
- Sheamus was walking backstage. He faces Damien Sandow next.
[Commercial Break – Next Friday will be Social Media Smackdown, with Live Tweets, Touts, Interactive Fan Polls, etc.]
- A Fandango vignette aired.
1 – SHEAMUS vs. DAMIEN SANDOW
On his way to the ring, Sandow vowed the destruction of Sheamus tonight. Both men got out of the blocks quickly, with Sheamus landing a short-arm clothesline. He followed that up with a clothesline over the top rope. Sandow was thrown into the barricade, then again into the barricade on the other side of the ring. Sheamus propelled himself over the top, shoulderblocking Sandow to the mat. The next big spot was Sheamus pounding Sandow in the chest with forearms. Sandow avoided a suplex back into the ring. It appeared that he was trying to crawl behind JBL to hide and regroup. They went to break at 2:57 of the match.
The show returned at 7:32 of the match. Sandow was in control, and they showed a replay of what happened during the break that led to Sandow’s offensive streak. Elbow of Disdain, but no pin attempt follow-up. Flip neck-breaker for two at 8:12, though. Sandow showed off his brawling skills in keeping Sheamus on the mat. Sandow locked in another rear chinlock. Sheamus made his comeback just north of 10:00 in. He ran into a boot in the corner, however. Sandow tried the Terminus neckbreaker, but Sheamus broke free. He missed a Brogue Kick and Sandow took out the knee of Sheamus. A second flip neckbreaker missed and Sheamus collected Sandow for White Noise. Brogue Kick was next, and last.
WINNER: Sheamus, at 13:01. Gets Sheamus back on the right foot after coming up short in two six-man tag matches in the last week. The match was fine; usual TV fare that didn’t blow you away but wasn’t embarrassing either.
- They aired a video package on the announcement of the location of Wrestlemania XXX, in New Orleans.
- Still to come tonight, Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger.
- Plus, Alberto Del Rio vs. Wade Barrett, in a Champion vs. Champion match.
- Mathews and JBL talked about Smackdown’s Syfy success (after a “Did You Know” proclaimed Smackdown to be the most-watched show on Syfy for the 25th week in a row), then sent it to a video package of The Shield’s recent successes.
2 – KAITLYN & LAYLA vs. AKSANA & TAMINA
They showed a clip of Kaitlyn and Layla interacting on the WWE App during the break. Cody Rhodes and Kaitlyn had an awkward encounter backstage wherein Kaitlyn complimented Cody’s mustache. No entrance for the heels in this one. As Kaitlyn found herself outside the ring, Tamina gave her a cheap-shot. Back in, Aksana landed a side slam for two. Kaitlyn tried to fight out of the heel corner, to no avail. Tamina seemed unimpressed by her partner’s offense. A missed splash led to Layla and Tamina tagging in. Layla was a house afire, but Tamina rolled through a springboard cross-body (I refuse to acknowledge the name WWE has given the move). Tamina lifted Layla up and put her on her shoulders. But a blind tag by Kaitlyn led to her hitting the Spear and the win.
WINNERS: Kaitlyn and Layla, at 3:28. For some reason, it seems like Aksana of all people has been getting a lot of ring time in these Divas tag matches of late.
After the match, Layla grabbed the title from the ref, but Kaitlyn took it from her. Both shook it off and celebrated, though Layla couldn’t take her eyes of the championship belt.
- Up next, we’ll see The Rock’s WWE Championship Celebration from Raw.
- Mathews thanked Stellar Revival for “The Crazy Ones,” the official Elimination Chamber theme song.
- The Raw Rebound aired.
- A graphic aired for John Cena vs. C.M. Punk at Raw this coming week.
- Zeb Colter was giving Jack Swagger a pep talk backstage as they walked down the hall. They came upon Wade Barrett, who complimented Swagger on his thoughts as it pertains to Alberto Del Rio. Colter interrupted, noting Barrett doesn’t talk like him. He asked where Barrett was from. Barrett said he was from England. Colter said Barrett is just as bad as Alberto Del Rio, taking jobs from Americans. Barrett chimed in, but Swagger interrupted with a simple “we the people,” and walked away.
- Randy Orton came to the ring for his match with Swagger. The match is next.
3 – RANDY ORTON vs. JACK SWAGGER
An extended collar-and-elbow tie-up led to a stale-mate in the middle of the ring. Back elbow then a back suplex by Orton. A clothesline out of the corner failed to know Swagger off his feet, but subsequent blows did the trick. Swagger slowed the match down with a chin-lock and a series of elbowdrops. A roll-up by Orton out of nowhere got a two-count. He dismantled Swagger with a Garvin Stomp. Swagger tried to by himself time at ringside, and slammed the back of Orton’s knee into the ring post while doing so. Swagger went for his ankle-lock submission, but Orton fought out of it. The fight went to ringside, where Orton got the best of it. Swagger was laid out with a clothesline as they cut to break, 6:47 into the contest.
As the show returned, the fight once again was on the outside of the ring, but this time, Swagger was the aggressor. Big slam in the middle of the ring by Swagger. Swagger worked over Orton in the ring, but Orton was able to break free and sent Swagger to ringside. He used the barricade as a weapon against the Wrestlemania World Title challenger. Back in the ring, Swagger went low to take out the knee of Orton. Fans chanted “RKO” as Orton was in peril. Big suplex by Orton and both men were down at 14:58. Swagger missed a corner charge, going shoulder-first into the post. Orton began his comeback, but Swagger gave Orton a knee-lift. Another Vader Bomb attempt, but Orton kicked Swagger in the gut and land a neck-breaker. Vintage Orton attempt, but Swagger thumbed Orton in the eye, tripped Orton and rolled him up for the win with his feet on the ropes.
WINNER: Swagger, at 16:54. Boy did they protect Orton on that finish. This isn’t the kind of match I’d use to give Swagger more credibility as a Wrestlemania title contender, credibility he still needs after spending most of 2012 jobbing. A long, even match with Orton isn’t going to help much.
- ADR vs. Wade Barrett is still to come tonight.
- Next, the F5 Fallout: The confrontation between Mr. McMahon and Paul Heyman on Raw.
- Mathews and JBL talked about Brad Maddox being made Assistant (to the) Managing Supervisor on Raw. Then they sent it to video of Mr. McMahon making a match between himself and Heyman next week on Raw. JBL and Mathews then discussed that match.
- The trailer for the latest WWE Films movie, Dead Man Down, aired.
- Wade Barrett was backstage with Matt Striker. Striker called Barrett “the star” of Dead Man Down. Before he could speak, Sheamus walked up and once again made fun of Barrett’s role in the movie and imitated his acting. So WWE is trying to use this movie to appeal to the WWE fans by talking about how poorly the one WWE Star performed in said movie? Barrett rhetorically asked Sheamus if he was having that much fun losing to The Shield two nights in a row. Sheamus wasn’t happy with that question, but Barrett walked away before Sheamus could respond.
- The Miz came out for a match. It’s next.
4 – THE MIZ vs. CODY RHODES
Miz was still sporting bandages from his beating at the hands of Antonio Cesaro. Rhodes did an inset interview, complaining about those obsessing over his mustache, or as he calls it, “lovestache.” Miz went to the top rope, but Cody met him there and brought him down arm-first over the top rope. Mathews once again plugged next week’s Social Media Smackdown, WWE having apparently set aside any pretense of getting their shows to trend organically. Rhodes continued to dominate Miz, working the arm and shoulder. Knee to the face by Rhodes for a two-count. Miz dodged a back suplex and gave Rhodes a big boot for two. Alabama Slam countered into a Figure-Four. Rhodes tapped.
WINNER: Miz, via submission, at 3:54. The match was all Rhodes, so Miz kind-of stole the win. WWE clearly likes Cody’s mustache, so he’ll continue to be on TV despite them not really having anything for him to do.
- Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger’s “Don’t Tread on Me” YouTube video on Immigration aired.
- The main event is next, and it’s Wade Barrett vs. Alberto Del Rio.
5 – WADE BARRETT vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO
Before the match could begin, Swagger and Colter came onto the stage to observe the match. Del Rio kicked at Barrett in the corner, and followed it with a snap mare. Ricardo Rodriguez mocked Barrett outside the ring, so Barrett gave chase. This proved to be a mistake, as Del Rio kicked him through the ropes and knocked him down. Break time, 1:26 into the match.
Back at 5:32 of the match. Barrett was hammering away on Del Rio, but not for long. They went back-and-forth until Del Rio was shoved off the top rope by Barrett. Back in the ring, Barrett attempted to wear Del Rio down with a chinlock. Pump-handle slam by Barrett for a near-fall. Some choking in the ropes followed that. With Del Rio held up in the ropes, Barrett connected on a running boot. Barrett was all smiles after that development. Barrett dropped a number of elbows on Del Rio, registering him a two-count at 8:58. Del Rio came back with a middle-rope dropkick. Rodriguez tried to get the crowd behind Del Rio, and it seemed to succeed. Tilt-a-whirl back-breaker. They were constantly going to reaction shots of Colter and Swagger atop the stage throught the match. Chairs were set up for them on the stage, but I don’t believe they were used. Boss Man Slam by Barrett for a near-fall. Back-stabber by Del Rio for two. Swagger and Colter approached the ring as Del Rio went for the cross arm-breaker. Barrett rolled Del Rio up, with a handful of tights, for two. Big boot by Del Rio down again. Barrett set up for his finisher, but Del Rio flipped Barrett into the cross arm-breaker. Barrett had no choice but to tap.
WINNER: Del Rio, via submission, at 12:48.
After a replay of the finish, Swagger and Colter stared from ringside at Del Rio and Rodriguez in the ring.