The 698th edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown was the first SmackDown of 2013 and it came to you from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA. After being assaulted by The Shield a few weeks ago on SmackDown, leaving him with a separated shoulder and a lot of pent up rage towards Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns, “The Viper” returns to Friday Nights as Randy Orton kicks off SmackDown! Also, after losing the Intercontinental Championship to Wade Barrett in a Champion’s Choice Match on RAW, Kofi Kingston would get the opportunity to regain the gold when he challenges Barrett in a rematch for the Intercontinental Title on SmackDown.
- The Miz def. Heath Slater (with Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre) by pin following the Skull Crushing Finale.
- 6-Person Mixed Tag Match: The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, & Natalya def. Primo, Epico, & Rosa Mendes by The Great Khali pinning Epico following the Khali Chop.
- Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (c) def. Kofi Kingston by pin following the Bull Hammer Elbow to retain.
- Tamina Snuka def. Layla by pin following the Superfly Splash.
- Randy Orton & Sheamus def. Big Show & Antonio Cesaro by Sheamus pinning Antonio Cesaro following the RKO by Randy Orton.
After being assaulted by The Shield a few weeks ago, SmackDown kicks off with the return of “The Viper” Randy Orton. Orton says that, since it is the first SmackDown of 2013 and the thing to do right now is to make New Year’s Resolutions, he is going to make his resolution short and sweet, he will be the World Heavyweight Champion again in 2013! Orton continues, saying that SmackDown used to be his show, but he has a way to get back on top before “The Viper” announces that he will be one of the 30 participants in this year’s Royal Rumble Match! Another former champion then makes his way to the ring as “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus confronts Randy Orton, saying that he is not out there to steal Orton’s thunder. Sheamus then makes his own blockbuster announcement, saying he too will be a part of the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match! Sheamus then thanks Orton for coming to his aid on RAW, mentioning that he did not really need the help, but he appreciates it nonetheless. Orton corrects Sheamus, saying that he did not come out there to help anyone but himself, reminding “The Celtic Warrior” that it is every man for himself in the Royal Rumble Match and January 27 will be about him, not Sheamus. Things then begin to get heated between the two Superstars as Sheamus reminds Orton that he knows all about the Rumble because he won it last year. A past winner of the Rumble himself, Orton tells Sheamus that it will be extra special to eliminate last year’s Royal Rumble winner! Sheamus then claims that he is “sketchy” on the details of the Rumble Match, asking Orton that, if he kicks Orton’s head off of his shoulders and it lands on the outside of the ring, but Orton’s body stays in the ring, does it count as an elimination?
Things then take an even more interesting turn with the emergence of the World Heavyweight Champion himself, Big Show, who says that they might get a chance at his title, but, in reality, all they are going to get is knocked out. Big Show continues that he would be happy to step on a “snake”, telling both men that he is the world’s largest athlete and he is the “most dominant World Heavyweight Champion the WWE has ever seen”. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro then interrupts the conversation, calling the three of them “typical Americans” because they are talking about who can beat the others up. Sheamus chimes in that he is from Ireland, but Cesaro says that is “even worse” before saying that the Swiss are not about talk, they are about “action”. Cesaro continues, saying that he has been coming out there for weeks, telling the American fans that they are “lazy” and “obese”, adding that “the truth is the truth”. With all three men shooting daggers at Cesaro, Orton suggests that he comes up there and drops both champions with an RKO right now! SmackDown General Manager Booker T then comes out to try and diffuse the situation, saying that it is clear that none of them like each other, but they will have to co-exist. Booker then announces that Big Show will team with Antonio Cesaro to face the team of Sheamus and Randy Orton!
“The Awesome One” was in action on SmackDown as The Miz went one-on-one with one-third of 3MB, Heath Slater, with Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre in his corner. After Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre were ejected from ringside, Heath Slater would still take it to The Miz, but Miz overcame, planting Slater with the Skull Crushing Finale en route to picking up the win.
In a highly bizarre matchup, the team of The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, & Natalya would face Primo, Epico, & Rosa Mendes in a 6-Person Mixed Tag Match. In the end, it was The Great Khali putting Epico down with the Khali Chop en route to picking up the win for his team.
After losing the Intercontinental Title to Wade Barrett in a Champion’s Choice Match on RAW, Kofi Kingston would be looking to regain the gold as Kofi challenges new champion Wade Barrett in a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship. During the match, Kofi Kingston would land Trouble in Paradise on Wade Barrett, but Barrett would manage to roll out of the ring. This would give Barrett much needed time to recover and, shortly after this, Kofi would try to fly high on Barrett, but Barrett would come out of nowhere with the Bull Hammer Elbow, putting Kofi down en route to picking up the win and retaining the Intercontinental Title.
The Divas were in action on SmackDown as former champion Layla went one-on-one with the second-generation competitor, Tamina Snuka. In the end, it was Tamina Snuka landing the Superfly Splash on Layla en route to picking up the win.
Then it was time for the tag team main event as “The Viper” Randy Orton would team with “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus to face the team of World Heavyweight Champion Big Show and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. During the match, Sheamus would tag himself into the match against the will of Randy Orton. Not to be outdone, Randy Orton would re-insert himself into the match as, when Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick, Orton would ‘cut in’, hitting the RKO on Antonio Cesaro! Though disappointed in how it went down, Sheamus would still pin Cesaro to win the match for himself and Orton.
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