Matt’s Smackdown Recap 9/20/13

Randy Orton warns the WWE that his sadistic side has returned. [Photo Courtesy of WWE]
Randy Orton warns the WWE that his sadistic side has returned. [Photo Courtesy of WWE]
WWE: Smackdown
September 20, 2013
Cincinnati, OH
U.S. Bank Arena

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE Champion: Vacant (9/16/2013)
World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio (6/16/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel (6/16/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)

We open with a video package containing the fast-count referee conspiracy at Night of Champions and the aftermath on Raw when COOHHH stripped Daniel Bryan of the WWE title. In the main event, Bryan faced Roman Reigns which led to an attack by the Shield and Randy Orton. Just before Bryan was about to get his neck Pillmanized, the babyface locker room spilled out to save the day, showing solidarity against the COOHHH and full support of Daniel Bryan. For a complete report on all the happenings, check out Scott’s Raw Recap!

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero is in the ring to introduce the “laughing stock of the WWE”. It’s not Bob Backlund who was WWE champion for 2135 days and it’s not CM Punk who was WWE champion for 434 days. It’s Daniel Bryan who is now a two-time WWE champion who has managed to only hold the title for under 24 hours total. Bryan says at least he’s been WWE champion for a day and not a corporate suck-up his whole life like *some* people. Vickie gives Bryan another opportunity to come clean about what happened at Night of Champions. Again Bryan says he did nothing wrong, but doesn’t know why Scott Armstrong did what he did. The cadence of the count is irrelevant to Bryan though. Armstrong could have counted to twenty because Randy Orton was completely knocked out. After what she thinks he has done, Vickie hopes Bryan never becomes the face of WWE. Bryan’s rebuttal is that he’s glad she doesn’t have any real power around here. Here comes that woman’s scorn you always hear about. She puts Daniel Bryan and the ten guys who helped him on Monday Night Raw into a handicap gauntlet match against the Shield. That means that each individual will be involved in a 3-on-1 handicap match tonight until the Shield has gotten their revenge on all eleven guys or on the off-chance that one of these guys actually manages to beat one of the members of the Shield. She specifically saves Daniel Bryan for last. Seems like that would be to his advantage, right? They could be fairly tired beating up another ten other guys. Vickie cackles in his face and then gets serious again to end the segment.

Non-title match: WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Naomi (w/Cameron)

Natalya joins us for commentary. She’s here to reiterate how that AJ Lee is jealous of the success of the ‘Total Divas’ TV show and that’s she’s not a champion, just a title holder. My memory of divas matches isn’t the greatest, but this might be the first time I’ve seen one of them do a springboard. Naomi flies down into a spin kick from AJ, but still. I’m impressed. There’s a butt-butt by Naomi! AJ tries to wear her down and does so with the Black Widow for the tapout in 2:30. Not a bad Divas match, actually. As Natalya stands up from the announce table, AJ sits in the ropes and laughs at her. Crazy! *

Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)

Cole and JBL get in their plugs of Santino’s new gym up in Toronto and appearing on JBL’s call show with Billy Gunn. Swagger makes a big deal out of letting Santino know he can’t be outwrestled. It’s only a matter of time before Santino backslides Swagger for the win in 2:00. Yep, former world champion in that ring, folks. ½*

Ryback (w/Paul Heyman & Curtis Axel) vs. Nick Nardone

Nardone must be an Ohio indie guy. From his wheelchair, Heyman pronounces himself the “Best in the World”. While our hero has been defeated, Heyman could not have defeated CM Punk without *his* hero Ryback. Ryback reminds us that he hates bullies and recounts a story told to him by Heyman that Nardone got belligerent with a kid out in the parking lot who just wanted his autograph. Ryback tells Heyman that he’s about to treat Nardone like he’ll treat CM Punk the next time they meet. Like a douche, Cole wonders why anyone would want Nardone’s autograph. Shellshock ends Nardone quite easily in :50. Along with the three-count, Ryback shouts, “I! HATE! BULLIES!” Awesome.

Next up, here comes Randy Orton. He talks about how he has suppressed who he really is for the last two years because that’s what he thought everybody wanted. Last week on Raw is when the “sadistic side of the Viper of old” who was void of all morality resurfaced in full force when he destroyed the Miz in front of his hometown and his parents. They replay the footage of Miz getting his head Pillmanized. Is he going away for a while too? Orton wants this to be a warning to anybody who stands in his way of becoming the WWE champion. Come Battleground on October 6, he declares scorched earth to end this war once and for all between he and Daniel Bryan over the WWE title. Great promo by Orton!

Handicap Gauntlet Match: The Shield vs. Everyone Including Daniel Bryan Who Helped Him on Raw

Vickie Guerrero sits down at ringside to view this massacre. Almost like a Roman leader watching the gladiators fight. Darren Young is the first victim. He’s beaten down and put away with the spear from Reigns in :40.

His partner Titus O’Neil is next. He puts up more of a fight, but the numbers game gets to him and Rollins puts him out with a front face lock. Triple Powerbomb takes care of O’Neil in 1:00.

Here comes Dolph Ziggler. They have a little more fun with Ziggler. His stick-and-move strategy works well as he cleans house on Reigns and Ambrose. Unfortunately, it’s exactly the thing that gets him beaten. Ambrose grabs Ziggler’s legs on the apron allowing Rollins to dropkick him down to the floor. Meanwhile, here comes Reigns to spear him real good near the barricade to get him counted out in 3:00.

Next up, Kofi Kingston. He leapfrogs a spear from Reigns in the aisle and goes to town on Ambrose and Rollins. Dropkicks and clotheslines everywhere! In comes Reigns, who eats Trouble in Paradise. Kingston jumps on the pin, but Ambrose saves at the last second. Ambrose mounds and pounds Kingston and puts him down with the Headlock Driver in 2:00.

Rob Van Dam comes down. He tears through everybody with his signature stuff. Just as he shoots up to the top for the Five-Star Frog Splash, Triple H’s music hits. He is walking with purpose to ringside to shut this match down and orders Vickie to immediately come to his office. About 9:00 total. Well-booked and pretty entertaining. **½

After the break, we are in the COOHHH’s office. He chastises Vickie for making such a stupid decision. If you have ten guys revolting last week, you’ll have ten more guys revolting this week, and then ten more guys the next. She says she thought she was doing what was best for business. Hey, that’s his line! Triple H forces her to make the guys in the locker room feel safe in this competitive environment by making a six man tag main event with the Usos teaming up with Daniel Bryan against the Shield.

Raw Rebound: Dusty Rhodes gets punched out by the Big Show when he tries to get his son Cody’s job back. You can read all about it here.

COOHHH brings Zack Ryder and Justin Gabriel into his office to apologize for Vickie scheduling them into that nasty gauntlet match earlier. Gabriel accepts the apology, but Ryder is disappointed because he was looking for some competition. To make it up to them, Triple H tells them to go wait in the ring and he’ll give them some competition.

Luke Harper & Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Zack Ryder & Justin Gabriel

The Wyatt family make short work of Ryder and Gabriel. While Rowan and Gabriel go to the floor, Harper blocks the Rough Ryder and drills him with a buckle bomb that was off by a step. Discus Clothesline by Harper takes care of Ryder in 1:00. Bray comes in and delivers Sister Abigail to Ryder. He promises that if they’re going to keep lining them up, the Wyatt family will keep putting them down. All for you, Abigail. Follow the buzzards, ya’ll.

Van Dam is seeing a trainer in the back about his shoulder. Over comes COOHHH to apologize for the gauntlet match and makes it up to him by giving him a rematch with Alberto Del Rio for the world title at Battleground. As RVD looks relieved, Del Rio comes from out of nowhere and attacks him. That’ll give him something to see a trainer about. Cole finds it odd that Alberto Del Rio ambushed Van Dam right as Triple H walked away. JBL rolls his eyes awfully hard at him for that comment.

Non-title match: World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth

Truth starts off strong, but gets cooled down with a backcracker. Meanwhile, Cole and JBL talk more conspiracy scenarios about Van Dam, Triple H, and ADR. Brief comeback by Truth and he gets a big nearfall after the Axe Kick. Cross Armbreaker comes next though as Truth taps out in 3:30. Ehh, average stuff. *½

The Shield vs. The Usos & Daniel Bryan

Nothing touches Daniel Bryan to start as he kicks Rollins around and locks him in a surfboard. The Usos work over Ambrose’s arm with diving headbutts and such. I still can’t figure out how to tell them apart. Tag to Bryan, he kicks down Reigns, but gets drilled with a back elbow. Ambrose and Rollins keep him in their corner for a bit. Back suplex to Rollins leads to a tag to one of the Usos. He gets stuck in the Shield side of town, which Ambrose points out is the “baaaaad part of town”. After a commercial break, there’s a hot tag to the other Uso. Rollins stops all that with an enziguri. Another heat segment occurs. I’m finally told this is Jimmy Uso by Cole. The Shield do a great job of cutting off tags and creating some decent drama. At one point, Ambrose runs in and shoves Jey off the apron, but Bryan is left there as Jimmy rolls past Ambrose and makes the hottest tag of them all. Bryan explodes past Ambrose and catches Rollins and Reigns napping with dropkicks. Crazy energy for this hot tag. Super Hurracanrana on Ambrose gets two and now it’s breaking loose. People start taking dives on each other, but Ambrose and Bryan are left inside the ring. Bryan applies the YES Lock. When Ambrose reaches the ropes, the Usos give him Stereo Superkicks from the floor. With Ambrose totally staggered, Bryan hits the Busaiku Knee Kick for the win at 14:00 shown. Always love me a solid six-man tag. ***½

Final Thoughts: Now this is more like it. This show had its own distinctiveness this week instead of just pushing more of what we already saw on Raw back onto us. A great main event to boot and you’ve got yourself an entertaining two hours.

Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) The Shield (these guys worked their butts off tonight)
2) Daniel Bryan (continually shines in the main event picture)
3) Randy Orton (great promo tonight explaining where his head is at)
4) The Usos (can’t wait for Shield/Usos II!)
5) Dolph Ziggler (made the most of his three minutes in that gauntlet match)