– “In Memory of Johnnie Mae Young: 1923-2014.” A picture of Mae was included as well.
– The show began with the entrance of the New Age Outlaws. I’m surprised Worcester is a big enough name city to get a graphic acknowledging that’s where Smackdown is from. Michael Cole, JBL, and The Miz were on commentary at ringside. Oh what fresh hell did I walk into? During the entrance of the Outlaws, they showed a video of them walking out on C.M. Punk Monday night. Road Dogg did his intro without any editorializing beforehand. Billy Gunn followed.
1 – THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS vs. CODY RHODES & GOLDUST
Road Dogg took offense to a right hand from Goldust, and he tried to tell Goldie his side of the story in the middle of the ring, only to cheap-shot him. Springboard back elbow by Goldust, but Gunn tagged in before Goldust could take out. A minute-and-a-half in, Goldust was selling as if he’d been in for ten minutes. He finally made the hot tag at 2:08 of the match. Top-rope double-dropkick by Cody onto the Outlaws. Dogg broke up a pin at 2:46. Gunn tried a Fameasser, but missed. He countered a Cross Rhodes into a suplex. Gunn slowly got Rhodes back to his feet and the Fameasser missed again. Disaster Kick hit but before Cody could crawl to a pin, Vickie Guerrero came out and interrupted the match. She reminded fans that the Royal Rumble match will take place in nine days. Gunn used the tights to roll up a distracted Rhodes for the win.
WINNERS: The Outlaws, at 4:43. There really wasn’t much to like about that entire segment.
– Renee Young was backstage with C.M. Punk, who is currently on Twitter cheering on his Chicago Blackhawks against my Anaheim Ducks. Punk confirmed the rumor that he’s going to call out The Shield. That was all he said.
– Paul Heyman was walking backstage after talking to a production assistant. He’ll be out next.
– Paul Heyman came to the ring sans theme music. He wanted to address the “smear campaign” regarding Big Show’s assault on Brock Lesnar. Heyman talked up Lesnar’s mantra and how he beat up Mark Henry. He assured fans that at the Royal Rumble, Lesnar will conquer Big Show. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the giants, I feel no evil, for Brock Lesnar walks right next to me,” he said. Heyman said Show would try “that” with Zeb Colter, referring to the knockout punch on Monday, but said he’d never try it to him. He said Lesnar will be on Raw Monday to get in Show’s face. This of course brought out Big Show.
Heyman yelled for Show to stop right before he got into the ring. Show did at first, but then he climbed into the ring, causing Heyman to leave the ring and head through the crowd. Show said he thought Heyman feared no evil. Show reminded Heyman why he and Lesnar should run in fear – they showed a video of Show fending off Lesnar from two weeks ago. Show said he was a Heyman Guy before it was cool. He said he knows Heyman is lying through his teeth. He wanted Heyman to send Lesnar a message: At the Royal Rumble, he’s knocking Lesnar out.
– Eva Marie, in a pre-produced vignette, told us that when Smackdown returns, Alberto Del Rio faces Rey Mysterio.
– A Batista returns vignette aired.
– As Alberto Del Rio was already in the ring, they showed what happened in the Del Rio vs. Mysterio match from Monday night, where Mysterio tapped to the cross arm-breaker. Before the match began, Mysterio got a mic and accused Del Rio of being worried about Batista’s return, when he should be worried about him, tonight.
2 – ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. REY MYSTERIO
Del Rio aggressively went after Mysterio as soon as the bell rang, and tied Mysterio’s arm up in the middle rope to prepare for his finish. Del Rio missed a diving move and fell through the ropes. Mysterio slid under the bottom rope and splashed Del Rio. Back in the ring, Del Rio hung Mysterio in the tree of woe. They went to break at 1:30 of the match.
Back at 5:03 of the match with Mysterio going for the 619. Del Rio countered with a tilt-a-whirl back-breaker. The announcers spent the bulk of this match talking up the Royal Rumble match itself. Mysterio went to the top by Del Rio caught him with an enziguiri, knocking him down. Mysterio went back up to the middle rope and hit a tornado DDT for two. Mysterio rolled through a cross-arm breaker and ended up hitting the 619. He went to the top and tried a splash, but Del Rio got his knees up. Del Rio missed a kick and Mysterio rolled him up for the win.
WINNER: Mysterio, at 8:21. Two matches, two roll-up finishes. Decent enough match to tell the story of an impending Del Rio vs. Batista feud. Sad to see Mysterio used as a pawn to build a feud rather than in something of his own that he can sink his teeth into.
Del Rio attacked Mysterio after the match and locked in the cross-arm breaker. The finish was replayed, as was the post-match attack.
– Tonight, C.M. Punk is expected to call out The Shield.
– The Funkadactyls were walking backstage. Naomi is in action against Tamina, next.
– As the Funkadactyls came to the ring, they showed their win over A.J. Lee and Tamina on Raw, and Naomi’s save of Cameron post-match. Emma was again shown in the crowd with a sign, #Emmataining. I guess every new character (Bad News Barrett, Emma) has to have their own hash-tag.
3 – NAOMI vs. TAMINA
Tamina dumped Naomi over the top rope as The Miz, who openly acknowledged that he’s engaged to Maryse, addressed her feelings on A.J. taking over for her as the longest-reigning Divas Champion by saying, “I talked to Maryse the other day…” but quickly corrected himself that, of course, he talks to her all the time. Naomi was dumped hard in the middle of the ring, taking a bad bump in the head and shoulder area. Naomi recovered enough to hit a back heel kick on Tamina. A.J. got on the apron as Naomi hit the Bubba Bomb on Tamina. Cameron attacked A.J. and Tamina went after her. Roll-up by Naomi for two. Enziguiri by the Funkadactyl, followed by a split-legged moonsault from the top (shades of Miz’s former tag partner, John Morrison) for the pinfall.
WINNER: Naomi, at 2:35. I heartily approve a Naomi vs. A.J. Lee feud.
– Michael Cole narrated a quick graphic on the passing of Mae Young. Then a more formal video package was shown, narrated by Stephanie McMahon. Very touching tribute.
– A video package aired on the WWE Network.
– The announcers were shown on-camera discussing the Daniel Bryan-Wyatt Family situation. They showed a video package of what happened on Raw that led to the break-up.
– The Wyatt Family came to the ring. Bray said that as a child, he wanted to be powerful, just like his father. Well, the Internal Revenue Service does have a lot of stroke. Bray said his father was never there for him, that he betrayed him. He said when he was stuck in a black hole, calling for help, Abigail saved him. She sang to him sweet songs and he became enthralled with her beauty. She said that on his path to purity, he’d be deceived again. On Monday, he said he knew he had to sacrifice himself so that he may be resurrected into the creature he was born to be. He said he can’t be hurt, because he’s already dead. Wyatt said he does not bleed like one of us. He said Bryan was given the chance to walk with the reapers; but now, he’ll burn with the saints.
– Backstage, Renee Young was with C.M. Punk…again. She said she’s also hearing Punk wants to call out the New Age Outlaws. He said he’s calling out The Shield and the Outlaws. She asked if it was career suicide. He said he’s giving The Authority the opportunity to do what they want to shut him up.
– Because we need a graphic for everything, there was a graphic previewing who Punk is expected to call out.
– Similar to Eva Marie earlier in the show, The Bella Twins welcomed us back to Smackdown and told everyone that Big E. Langston would face Fandango next. They argued over the pronunciation of Fandango.
4 – BIG E. LANGSTON vs. FANDANGO
Langston got an abbreviated entrance, while Fandango’s was shown in full. Fandango nursed his back on the outside soon into the match after a power move from Langston. Fandango kicked Langston out of the ring at 1:10. Back in, Fandango settled into an arm-bar. Langston made a comeback with clotheslines and a belly-to-belly suplex. Fandango came off the middle rope in desperation, but Langston punched him in the gut. The Big Ending ended Fandango.
WINNER: Langston, at 4:16. It’ll be interesting to see how Langston is booked in the Rumble, as far as how strong he looks and how many wrestlers he eliminates.
– The announcers talked on-camera about the WWE Hall-of-Fame and Cole sent it to a video package on the first inductee for 2014: The Ultimate Warrior. The question is: Does he wear face paint to the HOF ceremony or Mania the next night?
– Next, a video on the WWE Network announcement from a week-and-a-half ago.
– The Shield was backstage with Renee Young. She asked them if they’ve devised a plan for the Royal Rumble, since it is every man for himself. Dean Ambrose asked how all the other Rumble participants will deal with them. He assured Young they’re all on the same page. Young asked if Ambrose would throw Seth Rollins over the top rope in order to win the Rumble. He said he’d never bring himself to do that. Rollins interrupted by saying Ambrose couldn’t throw him over anyway, but Rollins would do it to Ambrose. Ambrose said he was kidding, of course he’d win. Roman Reigns stepped in and said he’d throw both of them over the top rope to win, but in the end, they’ll still be together as The Shield.
– Cole sent it to a video plugging everything you get with the WWE Network.
– Aksana plugged The Usos vs. The Real Americans next. For some reason, A.J.’s music was playing in the background.
– The exterior of the Arena in Worcester was shown.
– They showed Kofi Kingston upsetting Randy Orton on Raw, and Orton then attacking John Cena’s dad. Cole said Cena Sr. suffered a fractured orbital socket and a dislocated jaw. Triple H, apparently, said the situation is being dealt with internally.
– The Real Americans came to the ring for their match. Zeb Colter was brought out wearing a neck-brace and in a wheelchair. As the Americans did the “We the People” thing at the top of the stage, Zeb began to roll down the ramp, so they had to run to catch him. They showed how Colter ended up in the neck-brace, courtesy of Show from Raw.
At ringside, Colter had a mic and could barely talk. He accurately called Show “a big bully.” He said he hopes Brock Lesnar treats Show the same way Show treated him. Colter led in the “We the People” chant.
5 – THE REAL AMERICANS vs. THE USOS
The Usos were all taped up from their war with the Wyatts on Monday. The Americans were all over The Usos to start. It was all Real Americans when they went to break at 1:53 of the match.
Back with The Real Americans still in control at 5:14. Antonio Cesaro floored Jimmy with a spinebuster, then did the Cesaro Swing. Jack Swagger tagged in and suplexed Uso. Jimmy came off the top with a bit of a Whisper in the Wind move and finally made the tag to Jey at 6:47. Jey took Swagger down with a shoulder tackle despite his shoulder being heavily taped. Samoan Drop to Swagger. Cesaro broke up a pin. A distraction led to a Patriot Lock by Swagger. Jimmy superkicked Swagger, causing him to break the hold. On the outside, Cesaro used Colter to protect himself. Jimmy drove Colter, in his wheelchair, into Cesaro. Back in the ring, an electric chair by Jey on Swagger, then a splash off the top from Jimmy for the win.
WINNERS: The Usos, at 9:28.
The trainers and the Real Americans checked on Zeb after the match.
– C.M. Punk calls out five men, next.
– C.M. Punk came to the ring. Punk said unlike The Authority, he won’t have anyone fight his battles for him. He said The Authority will do anything to shut him up because when he talks, people listen, and that’s real power. The fans chanted his name. He talked about Triple H always trying to satisfy his personal agenda, and how he hides behind his wife. The Shield’s music hit and they came out through the crowd to silence Punk. As they reached ringside, the New Age Outlaws came out next. As the heels readied for an attack on the apron, Kane came out to tell everyone to stand down. Kane said Punk’s anger and paranoia have been misplaced. He said The Authority wants Punk to main event Wrestlemania, which is why they’ve entered him in the Royal Rumble match. And from now on, Kane’s top directive is that Punk is treated justly and with the respect he deserves. He gave Punk his word that it would happen. As Kane left, Punk said Kane’s word means nothing from a 7-foot sell-out suck-up. Kane, on the ramp, turned back toward Punk and said, “get him, boys.” As Punk again put his head on a swivel, Kane entered the ring and chokeslammed Punk. No pyro, but he stood over Punk as his music played, and as the show closed.