A Hero is Born.
The 699th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown came to you from the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL. As he prepares to square off with CM Punk for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, “The Great One” would return to the show that he inspired, SmackDown, in his hometown of Miami! Also, after coming to the aid of his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, on last week’s RAW and leaving Big Show laid out, “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio would go one-on-one with World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a non-title match.
- Non-Title: Randy Orton def. Antonio Cesaro by DQ after The Shield interferes.
- Mixed Tag Match: Dolph Ziggler & AJ Lee def. The Great Khali & Natalya by AJ Lee pinning Natalya following a modified running bulldog.
- 3-on-1 Handicap Match: Sheamus def. 3MB by pinning Heath Slater following the Brogue Kick.
- Non-Title: Team Hell No def. The Prime Time Players by Kane pinning Darren Young following the chokeslam.
- World Heavyweight Championship: Last Man Standing Match: Alberto Del Rio def. Big Show (c) to win the World Heavyweight Title.
SmackDown kicks off with SmackDown General Manager Booker T, who welcomes everyone to SmackDown before promising to kick 2013 off with a “bang”. Booker continues that, anything RAW can do, SmackDown can do better. With that said, Booker T announces that the opening match of the night will see the first ever meeting between “The Viper” Randy Orton and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro! The GM then makes the major announcement that the originally scheduled non-title match between Alberto Del Rio and World Heavyweight Champion Big Show will now be a Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship! Clearly not informed about the match beforehand, World Heavyweight Champion Big Show makes his way to the ring, accusing Big Show of having a “problem” with him as the World Heavyweight Champion. Big Show continues, saying that Booker is trying to appeal to the Latino population of Miami by having Alberto Del Rio get a shot at the title, saying that Del Rio is not on his level and no “hero” can stop him. Big Show then gets in the face of Booker T, trying to intimidate the GM and “advising” Booker to make a “good decision”, but Big Show then takes things too far by actually putting his hands on the General Manager, grabbing Booker by the throat and cornering his boss! However, Alberto Del Rio rushes to the ring, taking it to the champion with an enziguiri and knocking Big Show out of the ring before Booker restrains the new challenger!
The opening match of the night promised to be an interesting one as, for the first time ever, “The Viper” Randy Orton would go one-on-one with United States Champion Antonio Cesaro in a non-title match. During the match, Randy Orton was poised for victory as he set Antonio Cesaro up for the RKO, but out of nowhere comes The Shield! Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns then commence the mauling of “The Viper” before dropping Orton in the center of the ring with the three-man powerbomb!
Appearing in the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman have a message for The Rock. Punk says that he is a huge college football fan, referencing The Rock’s time as a college football star. Punk mentions that the actual stadium that Rock competed in as a youth, the Orange Bowl, was demolished. The WWE Champion calls that fact a “metaphor” for The Rock’s time in the WWE, saying that the modern day WWE is not the same WWE that The Rock “dominated”, this is Punk’s WWE now. Punk continues, saying that he likes to wreck “feel good moments” and, he knows that The Rock is going to return to his hometown later on, but says that The Rock can truly “never go home”!
WWE’s resident power couple was in action on SmackDown as, with Big E. Langston in their corner, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler would team with his girlfriend, AJ Lee, to face the unusual pairing of “The Punjabi Giant” The Great Khali & Natalya, with Hornswoggle in their corner, in a Mixed Tag Match. During the match, Natalya would try to lock the Sharpshooter in on AJ Lee, but the unbalanced Diva would actually bite the knee of Natalya to get out of the move. Shortly after this, AJ would bite the ear of Natalya, which would give AJ the advantage long enough for AJ to hit a modified running bulldog on Natalya en route to picking up the win for herself and Dolph Ziggler. After the match, Big E. Langston would hit the ring, tackling The Great Khali to the mat and Ziggler follows that up with the Zig Zag! Hornswoggle then makes the mistake of getting into the ring and Big E. Langston makes the pint-sized Superstar pay for it as Langston lays Hornswoggle out with the Big Ending!
Then it was time for “The Great One” to return home as, after a ten-year absence from the blue brand, The Rock returns to his show, SmackDown, in his hometown of Miami! The Rock first gives a shout-out to another Miami native, the Grammy Award winning Flo Rida before saying that he is back on his show, SmackDown. The Rock continues that he wants to continue what he started on RAW, but he was disappointed to learn that CM Punk is not in the arena. Rock then says that everything that he has accomplished in his life has started in Miami, saying that being “home” is not just about being in Miami or being back on SmackDown, it’s about beating CM Punk for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. Rock continues that, since CM Punk is not there, he is going to have some “fun” tonight, but before The Rock can get to the fun, “The Great One” is interrupted by Team Rhodes Scholars, Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow. Sandow says that they are out there to “correct” The Rock before Cody Rhodes states that The Rock will be the champion, but they will be the WWE Tag Team Champions. Rhodes continues, saying that The Rock does not deserve this time and telling The Rock to leave the ring, threatening to force him out if he does not comply! The Rock responds by saying that it takes a lot of guts for them to come out there dressed like that, asking Rhodes what is on his face. Rhodes argues that he is an “adult” and, if he wants to grow a mustache, then he will grow a mustache.
Damien Sandow then says that he has recently been quizzing the fans to try and find an apprentice, asking The Rock to do what the “people” could not do by answering three simple questions and, if Rock answers correctly, then he can stay, but if he is wrong, then he must leave. The Rock agrees to the quiz and Damien Sandow asks the first question, “who was the 19th president of the United States?” and The Rock answers in the only way that The Rock can be saying, “Rutherford B. Hayes, bitch”! Rhodes then handles the second question, asking Rock “what film won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1993?” The Rock correctly answers, “Schindler’s List”, adding that Rhodes should know something about lists, alleging that Rhodes spends his free time on Craig’s List, letting Lilian Garcia know that he will protect her if Rhodes gets too close! The Rock then interrupts the asking of the third question to ask his own question to the intellectual team. Rock asks Team Rhodes Scholars, “What happens when you combine a geological aggregate of minerals with its lowest form?” Sandow proudly answers that you get “rock bottom”, which is all The Rock needed to hear as “The Great One” plants Damien Sandow with the Rock Bottom! Cody Rhodes then gets the gumption up to take a run at The Rock, but Rock puts Rhodes down with a spinebuster before dropping the legendary People’s Elbow on the second-generation Superstar!
After their confrontation on RAW, SmackDown would see a 3-on-1 Handicap Match pitting “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus against all three members of 3MB. It was a quick victory for Sheamus as, with Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre opting not to help out, Sheamus would blast Heath Slater with the Brogue Kick en route to picking up the win.
The WWE Tag Team Champions were in action on SmackDown as Team Hell No faced The Prime Time Players in a non-title match. In the end, it was Kane planting Darren Young with a chokeslam en route to picking up the win for Team Hell No.
Then it was time for the major main event as “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, challenges Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing Match, where the only way to win the match is to incapacitate your opponent to the point where they cannot get back on their feet by the referee’s count of ten! Early on in the match, Big Show produces a table from under the ring, setting it up at ringside. Big Show then methodically brings Del Rio to the outside, where he uses a scoop slam to drive Del Rio through the table! Somehow, Del Rio manages to get back to his feet before the ten-count and the match continues. Big Show then grabs a steel chair, but Del Rio gets his hands on the chair and uses it to repeatedly waylay the giant, but only manages to bring Big Show down to one knee. Del Rio then looks to soften the champion up with the cross armbreaker, but Big Show uses his superior strength to lift Del Rio up and over the top rope. However, Del Rio would hang onto the arm of Big Show, managing to lock the cross armbreaker in on Big Show over the top rope! Big Show’s strength would again save him, however, as Big Show pulls Del Rio back up before dropping him to the floor on the outside. The title war then resumes on the outside of the ring before Big Show rolls Del Rio into the ring as Big Show presents another table, sliding it into the ring.
As Del Rio gets to his feet, Big Show sets up the table in the corner of the ring, but when Big Show turns his back, Del Rio takes advantage, hitting Del Rio with a series of headbutts before landing a dropkick on Big Show that sends the giant through the table! Big Show narrowly makes it to his feet before the ten-count and Del Rio immediately locks a sleeper hold on the champion, trying to put Big Show to sleep. However, Big Show powers out of the move and Del Rio fires back with a superkick, but Big Show remains standing, even after several clotheslines. Undaunted, Big Show grabs hold of Del Rio, drilling him with the chokeslam, but Del Rio manages to narrowly beat the ten-count! Shortly after this, champion and challenger would return to the outside of the ring for their fight and big smile comes across Big Show’s face when he realizes what his next move will be as the champion tackles Del Rio, driving Del Rio through the ringside barricade! Despite this, Del Rio manages to make it to his feet at the very last second, but, back in the ring, Big Show looks to put the final touch on the match by knocking Del Rio out with the K.O. Punch! However, the savvy Del Rio is able to roll to the ring apron before technically landing on his feet on the outside of the ring, which breaks the referee’s count.
A frustrated Big Show then grabs the top half of the steel steps and charges at Del Rio, but Del Rio moves out of the way and Big Show runs face-first into the steel ring post with the steel steps smashing into Big Show’s face! Spotting an opening, Del Rio picks up the steel steps and, after three shots to the bad arm of Big Show, the giant topples to the floor behind the announce table. Then, in a genius move from “The Mexican Aristocrat”, Del Rio tips the entire table over on top of Big Show. This would keep Big Show pinned to the floor underneath the heavy table for the entire ten-count, resulting in a brand new World Heavyweight Champion in Alberto Del Rio!
What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Post your comments in the box below.