If there’s anything WWE wanted to establish this past week, it’s that the Dolph Ziggler/A.J. Lee/Big E Langston unit is tight, Big Show’s a threat, Brad Maddox can’t get a contract, The Shield isn’t done getting rid of injustice and Alberto Del Rio really cares for Ricardo Rodriguez.
The only problem was that a Big Show/Santino Marella match was teased, but not delivered and in its place was Show/Del Rio.
WWE needs to establish where Del Rio stands. He was a heel one night and a face the next. It’s a mess.
- Video opener focused on Sheamus/Big Show, Dolph Ziggler/A.J. Lee’s relationship and Big E Langston’s attack on Miz.
- The Sheamus/Big Show/Booker T segment hyped the matches later on in the show. Sheamus and Big Show had a good exchange. Things became interesting once Booker came out and introduced the lottery drawing of Big Show’s next opponent to defend his Title against, which turned out to be Santino Marella.
- Brodus Clay (w/Cameron, Naomi) def. Primo (w/Epico, Rosa Mendes): Quick match. Clay attacked Epico when he stood on the apron. Clay manhandled Primo and beat him with a Splash. After the match, Rosa confronted Clay and was taken out by Cameron and Naomi via a Double Team Suplex followed by a Double Split Leg Drop. Impressive.
- Entertaining segment between Sheamus and Santino Marella as he tried to teach Santino the Brogue Kick and Santino pulled a hamstring as he fell to the floor. This was more of the humor that Santino should deliver.
- Team Rhodes Scholars/Wade Barrett def. Team Hell No/Kofi Kingston: A match that was created seemingly more to fill up television time than anything else didn’t disappoint. Kingston had a good outing here. Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise on Cody Rhodes and turned around right into Barrett’s Bullhammer Elbow. Barrett pinned Kingston.
- Big Show tried to get out of having a Title match with Santino out of the picture. Booker assured him that wouldn’t be the case, had Teddy Long pick out another ball from the lottery and told Show he’d know his opponent later. A Santino/Big Show match would’ve been intriguing.
- Back from commercial, Big Show still argued with Booker T when Ricardo Rodriguez walked in. Show dismissed Rodrigez as an opponent and gave him the Championship Belt to hold and laughed at him. He told Rodriguez to announce himself as Champion. As Rodriguez did, Show knocked him out cold. Good animosity from Show as Booker told Show he would be in trouble.
- Antonio Cesaro def. Zack Ryder: Ryder missed the Broski Boot and was hit with an Upper Cut to the back of the head followed by the Neutralizer as Cesaro won. Glorified squash match as Cesaro dominated much of the match.
- Dolph Ziggler (w/A.J. Lee, Big E Langston) def. The Miz: Just okay, not nearly as good as their Main Event encounter a few weeks back. Miz blew a kiss to A.J., who sent Langston to the ring. This distracted Miz, as Ziggler took advantage and hit the Zig Zag for the victory. Miz insulted A.J., which sent Ziggler to the ring. Miz hit Ziggler with the microphone and took him out. Langston took out Miz and left him lying. Ziggler recovered and stood over Miz as well as A.J. skipped around. The Ziggler/A.J./Langston trio has really looked strong.
- Booker T checked on Rodriguez’s condition. Brad Maddox asked Booker T for one more chance. Booker T said it would be his last. Del Rio came in and checked on Rodriguez and wanted a piece of Big Show. Booker inserted Del Rio into the Championship match. Effective.
- Sheamus def. Brad Maddox: Despite some offense, Sheamus tossed Maddox around and finished him off with the White Noise and the Brogue Kick.
- The Usos def. The Prime Time Players: Disappointing match despite the result, which had the Twins do the old switch routine.
- Another fantastic handheld video promo from The Shield as they claimed 2013 would be their year, that they had no friends and didn’t need any and to believe in them.
- Big Show complained about Booker T and said he had no problem knocking Del Rio out and making it a trifecta.
- World Heavyweight Championship- Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) def. The Big Show via countout: Decent match, but crappy finish. Show through Del Rio out of the ring and onto the floor. Show walked up the ramp. Sheamus confronted Show and fought with him as the bell rung. The rest of the Smackdown locker room attacked Big Show and rolled him into the ring, where Del Rio hit the Ensigiuiri and then Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick as they both stood over Big Show to end the show. Harmless ending.
Final Thoughts: There hasn’t been too much hype for Royal Rumble, but that should all change when all the Holiday filler is done with.