Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: January 10, 2014
Commentators: Michael Cole and JBL
– A Wyatt Family vignette aired. The focus was on Daniel Bryan joining the group.
– Fireworks(!) shot off inside the arena in Philadelphia. Looks like WWE is already spending some of that upcoming network cheddar. Michael Cole intro’d the show with JBL at ringside.
THE USOS vs. LUKE HARPER & ERICK ROWAN
Harper and Rowan magically appeared in the ring with no entrance after the Wyatt flash/tease that usually airs before their theme hits. Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt were nowhere to be seen. The Usos got the advantage on Harper early on. The teams went back-and-forth in fast-paced action. Harper and Rowan finally took a decided advantage and slowed the tempo. A big boot caught one of the Usos for a near-fall at 2:59 of the match. The show cut to break at 3:09.
Back at 5:59 with Harper engaging Jimmy Uso in a gator roll. Erick Rowan slammed Jimmy to the mat, then grinded his fists into the side of Jimmy’s head. Not pretty, but effective. Jimmy created some separation and hit a corkscrew-like moonsault. Jey made the hot tag and cleaned house on the Wyatt Family. Samoan drop on Harper. Running butt splash found the mark as well. Jey superkicked Rowan off the apron, which led to Harper slamming Jey. Jimmy broke up a pinfall and Jey rolled up Harper for two. Harper was back-dropped out of the ring and Jey flew onto him. As Jey tried to get Harper up to throw him back into the ring, Rowan ran him over. Jimmy felled Rowan and Harper clotheslined Jimmy. The bell rang at this point, signaling a double count-out.
WINNERS: Double count-out
We haven’t seen that finish very often, and I didn’t expect it here, so I was okay with it.
The Usos escaped further damage and their theme music played as they headed to the back. That was interrupted by an attack by Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan, called in the most insincere and fake voice I’ve heard Michael Cole use in years. It sounded like he was reading it straight off a piece of paper. In the ring, Bray gave Sister Abigail to one of the Usos. The crowd chanted “No!” as Bryan posed with the other family members. He knelt next to Bray and did the arms-out gesture, just like Wyatt.
– In Vickie Guerrero’s office, Randy Orton approached the Smackdown General Manager. Orton wanted to talk to The Authority, but they weren’t in the building. He wasn’t happy about having a match tonight. Orton said on Raw, he’d give The Authority a piece of his mind, because that’s what’s best for business.
– The New Age Outlaws, on Smackdown for the first time since February 2000, team with C.M. Punk to face The Shield.
– Next, Miz TV with The Big Show.
– Miz welcomed fans to Miz TV, then sent it to a video package of what he called one of the most “must see moments” of Old School Raw. It was Mark Henry having his elbow dislocated by Brock Lesnar, then Big Show making the save. Miz then introduced Show to the live crowd. He asked Show what was going through his mind when he treated Lesnar like a rag doll. Show said there’s only so much crap someone can take, and he’d had it. “I don’t like Brock Lesnar,” said Show. He said he didn’t like him when he was here before, and he likes him even less now that he’s back. He said people are afraid to confront Lesnar, but on Monday, Lesnar was standing in the ring with a giant. Show challenged Lesnar to a fight. He paused, then said it again, which was followed by Paul Heyman walking out from backstage. Did Paul E. miss his cue?
Heyman introduced himself and called Lesnar the “ultimate fighter of WWE.” Heyman asked Show how he’d like to fight Lesnar right there in Philadelphia. Show got ready, but Heyman said Lesnar doesn’t fight when Show wants to fight; he fights when Heyman wants them to fight. And that will happen at the Royal Rumble. It’s going to be weird when/if the term “Pay-per view” goes the way of the dinosaur on WWE TV. Heyman said his client won’t be hard to find when it’s time to fight.
– Still to come, Randy Orton faces Big E. Langston.
– Up next, WWE’s Blockbuster announcement from Wednesday night.
– A Batista returns vignette aired. He returns to Raw January 20.
– They showed highlights from the WWE Network announcement on Wednesday evening.
– Rey Mysterio was finishing up his entrance for an eight-man tag match.
CURTIS AXEL, RYBACK, & THE REAL AMERICANS vs. REY MYSTERIO, SIN CARA, & LOS MATADORES
Zeb Colter was at ringside with a “Sneak back” sign, which also said, “it’s -4 here and 76 and sunny in Cancun.” Diego and Axel began the match. Headscissors take-over by Diego as El Torito cheered at ringside. Double-team by Los Matadores led to a cover by Fernando for two. Antonio Cesaro but didn’t stay long. Lots of quick tags at this point, leading to Sin Cara vs. Ryback. Cara hit him with dropkicks, then tagged Mysterio. Mysterio set up for a 619, and Ryback took a break. The heels regrouped outside the ring as they went to break at 2:56 of the match.
Back at 6:21 of the match with Ryback missing a splash on Cara. Cesaro tagged in and prevented Cara from making a tag. Swagger came in and gave Cara a weak belly-to-belly for two. Cara got even closer to the tag, but Cesaro stopped him again. Tornado DDT by Cara right on the top of Cesaro’s melon. Swagger tagged in, but so did Mysterio. Mysterio went to work and registered a near-fall at 8:48. Swagger Bomb attempt, but Rey got his feet up. A pin was broken up by Rybaxel, and Los Matadores took them out, with both men hitting Ryback with a suicide dive. More bodies flying around (including El Torito, off the top and onto Axel outside the ring) until it came down to Swagger and Mysterio. The 619 hit right in front of Colter. Rey Dropped the Dime and got the win for his team.
WINNERS: Cara, Mysterio, and Los Matadores
Interesting, and entertaining, match. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention El Torito’s interference and no disqualification called for.
– Some of the high points of the match were replayed as the babyfaces celebrated.
– Cole and JBL talked on-camera about the upcoming rematch between John Cena and Randy Orton for the WWE World Championship at the Royal Rumble. They showed clips of their TLC match, and their subsequent interactions over the past few weeks.
– Randy Orton made his entrance for the champion vs. champion match, set to take place next.
WWE world heavyweight champion RANDY ORTON vs. WWE Intercontinental champion BIG E. LANGSTON in a non-title match
A brief feeling-out process began the match, with Langston taking Orton down with a shoulder tackle. Langston again took down the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, who again took a break on the outside. Orton got the better of Langston when they came back in, stomping on the head of the horizontal Langston, then working him over on his feet. Another shoulder-tackle from Langston for two. He settled into an arm-bar. Langston delivered a few shoulders into the gut of Orton in the corner until Orton retaliated by sticking his knee out. Even Charles Robinson appeared to feel the pain Langston felt on that. Back-breaker by Langston, followed by a second one. A cover got him two at 4:52. Langston took Orton up for another slam, but Orton escaped and again went outside the ring. Big E. seemed to be in Orton’s head as they took a commercial at 5:59.
The show returned at the 9:30 mark of the match. Orton kept Langston grounded with a rear-chinlock. Orton used Langston’s momentum against him once he broke free, and he ushered Langston to ringside through the middle ropes. Back in the ring, Langston exploded out of the corner with a clothesline. He landed a few more and hit a belly-to-belly suplex. Big splash found the mark for two at 12:55. Orton turned the tide and hit Langston with a rope-assisted DDT. Orton worked the crowd, then set up for an RKO. Langston avoided it and splashed Orton in the corner. Orton begged off only to stab him with a thumb to the eye. RKO by Orton, followed by a pin.
If you weren’t high on Langston before this match, it likely didn’t do anything to change your mind. He showed he could hang with Orton, but the pace was so methodical for much of the match, it seemed to take the crowd out of it.
The finish was replayed after the match.
– Still to come, the main event six-man tag match of C.M. Punk & The New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield.
– Bray Wyatt cut a promo in the dark with the Wyatt Family at his side. He addressed The Usos and asked if he broke one of their bones, would the other one feel it? He said The Usos are living a lie, and Bryan began shouting that everything we’ve learned is a lie.
– Fandango and Summer Rae just finished up their entrance upon return from break. Why WWE continues to skip over the best part of their gimmick is beyond me.
– A little cross-promotion with SyFy saw them show a preview for the SyFy original show, Helix, which premieres after Smackdown.
FANDANGO vs. XAVIER WOODS
As Woods, R-Truth, and the Funkadactyls made their way to the ring, they showed how this match came about, as it was based on an incident from Main Event Wednesday night. R-Truth sat in on commentary and said he and JBL were “down like four flat tires.” Headscissors by Woods, who continued dancing. Fandango took advantage and tossed him out of the ring. As Fandango neared the ropes, Woods catapulted himself through the middle rope and rolled up Fandango for the win.
Summer Rae got in Woods’s face, leading to the Funkadactyls giving her a double leg-sweep. Fandango went after Woods, so R-Truth helped him out and the babyfaces ended up standing tall.
– Tom Phillips was backstage trying to interview The Usos, who were sitting, disgusted, in the hallway. Jimmy talked about the Wyatts playing the numbers game, but they always stand up and fight back. He cut an angry promo, previewing their match against Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan on the upcoming episode of Raw.
– Up next, a look at what happened on Old School Raw.
– The skyline of Philadelphia was shown, as well as the exterior of the Wells Fargo Center.
– The Raw Rebound aired.
– The Shield came out for the six-man tag match. As they did, they showed a clip of the end of Punk vs. Roman Reigns from Raw. Reigns took the mic and talked about the legends who appeared on Old School Raw. Dean Ambrose gave him a dirty look when he mentioned Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Reigns said the only thing that mattered was that he pinned Punk and became the new Best in the World. Ambrose took the mic and said he hates snakes. He said someone will pay for what happened to him on Raw. Ambrose went on a rant about what he’d do to that snake if it were in the building. Seth Rollins had to take the mic away from Ambrose, who began to rant like a lunatic. Rollins said with Old School Raw over, it’s time to look toward the future – a future that doesn’t involve the New Age Outlaws. Rollins said it’ll be their pleasure to put Road Dogg and Billy Bunn out of their misery. As for Punk, Rollins said they’ll break him and prove that they are the future of the company. The New Age Outlaws came out next. Before their entrance could be completed, the show went to break.
– Cole thanked 2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa for “We Own It,” the official theme to the Royal Rumble.
THE SHIELD vs. THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS & C.M. PUNK
Punk and Ambrose started the match and exchanged a few holds. Gunn and Road Dogg both tagged in and had their way with The Shield. Punk tagged in and went to the top rope, doing a shoulder shake a la Dogg in the process, and came down with a double axe-handle on the arm of Rollins. Punk and The Outlaws held off The Shield as they went to break at 3:48 of the match.
Smackdown returned from its final break at 7:19 of the match. Ambrose was in control of Road Dogg. A few punches and a dancing knee-drop by Road Dogg. Rollins made the blind tag and floored Dogg after Ambrose was sent out of the ring. Ambrose mocked Dogg’s dancing before his punches, and it almost came back to bite him. Dogg continued to do most of the selling. Rollins blocked a tag, but Dogg gave Rollins a back-drop. Punk finally tagged in at 12:32. Ambrose bumped for him once he entered the match. After both men’s finishers were countered, they collided as both went for a cross-body. Gunn tagged in and gave Reigns a big boot. Everybody came into the match at this point, with Punk diving onto Rollins outside the ring. Gunn tried a Fameasser on Ambrose, but Reigns ran into him with a spear as Gunn jumped in the air. That led to the pin for Reigns and The Shield.
WINNERS: The Shield
After the end of the match was replayed, the focus was on The Shield, and specifically, Roman Reigns, to close the show.