Date: January 4, 2013
Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Bradshaw Layfield, Josh Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Welcome to the day of
the year where more stuff happens in wrestling than any other.
Whether it be the NJPW supershow or the Fingerpoke of Doom or Foley
winning the title or Hogan debuting on Impact or Bret and Shawn
burying the hatchet, something ALWAYS happens on January 4. Odds are
not much of note will happen tonight, but things in the WWE will pick
up big on Monday when Rock returns. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is
about Orton returning to fight the Shield tonight as Alberto
attacking Big Show after Ricardo got beaten up.
Here’s Orton to open
the show. He says that his new year’s resolution is to become World
Champion again. For some reason Smackdown isn’t his show anymore, so
he’s entering the Royal Rumble. This brings out Sheamus who enters
the Rumble as well. He’s also here to thank Orton for his help with
the Shield on Raw. Orton says that was for himself and now Sheamus
and starts talking about the Rumble again. Sheamus says he knows a
bit about the Rumble since he won it last year. They say they’ll
eliminate each other, so here’s Big Show with something of his own to
The champ says all the
winner of the Rumble gets is a shot at his fist, which is what
Sheamus has gotten every single time they’ve fought. If Orton wants
a shot, that’s fine with him so come take a shot. Cue Cesaro who
makes fun of these bragging Americans. Sheamus says he’s from
Ireland but Cesaro doesn’t really care. Orton says how about this
lazy American comes and RKOs Cesaro. Booker, tag match set, end
Kingston gets his
The Miz vs. Heath
Did Drew always have
that cowboy hat? JBL: “Here comes the air guitar playing version
of the Spirit Squad.” So which one is Dolph Ziggler? Apparently
this is because of 3MB being on MizTV the week before the Slammys.
Feeling out process to start with Miz cranking on Slater’s arm. A
dropkick of all things puts Heath down and Miz works on a headlock.
That stays on for a good while, suggesting this is going to be a long
Miz makes fun of the
air guitar playing and pokes Slater in the eye. I would say it
worked for Roddy Piper but Miz hasn’t acted like Piper in years.
Think back to the time he was champion: he ran his mouth a lot, he
wasn’t the best technical guy in the world, no one could seem to beat
him no matter what, he had a lackey who was better in the ring than
he was, and he somehow kept getting by the top guy in the company.
Sound like any famous kilt wearing wrestlers?
Miz hiptosses Slater
down but McIntyre trips him up to change momentum. Miz has to fight
off the other 3MB guys, drawing an ejection for them and a quick
rollup for two on Slater. We take a break and come back with Slater
pounding away in the corner. Miz fights back so Slater bails again,
only to get clotheslined down again. JBL talks about how important
it was for Miz to team with Cena on Raw. Remember kids: title reigns
from two years ago aren’t as important as a one off tag match that
opens up a New Year’s Eve episode of Raw that no one watched.
Back inside, Miz misses
a charge and his shoulder goes into the post, giving Slater something
to focus on. After escaping a quick arm hold, Miz grabs a sunset
flip for two before having his head kicked off for the same result
for Slater. The sequence works so well that we do the exact same
thing but with a clothesline instead of a kick by Slater. Miz comes
back with a knee to the ribs and a kick to the face for two, only to
have Slater send him into the buckle to stop the comeback.
Slater wraps Miz’s arm
around the post as JBL goes back and forth between praising Slater’s
abilities and blasting his non-existent singing abilities. Miz
suplexes out of a headlock and both guys are down. Slater goes back
to the arm so Miz uses the good elbow to take over again. A
neckbreaker gets two for Heath but Miz shrugs it off and hits his
signature stuff, finishing Slater with the Skull Crushing Finale at
12:22 shown of 15:22.
My first guess as to why Miz isn’t getting over as a face: it took
him fifteen minutes to beat Heath Slater in a one on one match. That
being said, I’m not going to complain about a match with a decent
story in it and some psychology thrown in. The fact that Slater had
nothing to be able to finish Miz off with didn’t help, but I could
come up with far worse ways to kill time on this show.
We recap Kofi losing
the title on Monday.
Barrett doesn’t want to
talk about losing to Kofi in a gauntlet match on Main Event.
Khali/Hornswoggle/Natalya vs. Primo/Epico/Rosa Mendes
This is an excuse to
show the Mae Young stuff from Raw again. You know, because THAT is
something to be proud of. The girls start things off with Natalya
taking over with ease. Rosa tags in Epico, who gets to fight Khali.
Epico turns around, sees Khali, and tags out to Primo. Khali hits a
big chop and it’s off to Horny for some comedy offense. He hits a
Stunner on Epico but Primo finally takes him down with a shot to the
head. JBL: “Doesn’t PETA have rules against that?” Horny
finally tags Khali, house is cleaned, and the big chop pins Epico at
I feel sorry for Epico and Primo. They aren’t ever going to be the
kings of the tag division, but man alive they deserve better than to
have to sell for Hornswoggle’s offense. This was one of those comedy
matches that was lacking the comedy, but at least it was pretty
Kofi says this isn’t
about momentum because it’s likely his last chance at the title. I
highly doubt that.
Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
Feeling out process to
start with Kofi using his speed to escape the power brawling Barrett.
Off to an armbar by the challenger which doesn’t last that long.
Wade bails to the floor but Kofi follows him out and sends him into
the steps to take over again. Back in and a springboard forearm to
the head gets two. The champ sends him into the corner and things
slow down again. It’s rather interesting how the fans seemed to be
WAY more interested in Miz vs. Slater than they are here for a title
match. I’m sure the fans not moving during the Miz match isn’t
noteworthy at all.
We hit the chinlock
which doesn’t last long as Kofi tries some fast rollups for two each.
Barrett gets backdropped to the floor, followed by a dive from Kofi
to take him out. Barrett seems fine to chill on the floor for a
countout while claiming an injury but Kofi will have none of that.
Wade hides in the ropes again as we take a break. Back with Wade
knocking Kingston down with something we didn’t see for no cover.
Back to the chinlock
before Barrett shifts his attack to the ribs, firing off some kicks
and dropping a middle rope elbow for two. Kofi gets placed in the
ropes and kicked to the floor again, drawing what appears to be
legitimate heat from the crowd. Kingston gets back in at nine and
immediately has to block a superplex. The top rope cross body gets
two on Barrett and Kofi wins a slugout.
Kofi loads up another
springboard but Barrett avoids it, only to get caught in the SOS for
two. A BIG running kick to the side of Barrett’s head sets up the
Boom Drop. Kofi loads up Trouble in Paradise but Barrett ducks,
setting off a very hot sequence of near falls for both guys. Winds
of Change (Boss Man Slam) gets two for Wade but Kofi kicks his head
off, sending him out to the floor.
After Kofi finally gets
him back inside, Barrett grabs the rope at two. The place is really
getting into this. Kingston charges into a boot in the corner but
ducks the Bull Hammer, only to jump off the middle rope right into
said Hammer, which retains the title for Barrett at 13:14 shown of
What is with all this wrestling tonight? That’s two matches out
three that broke fifteen minutes, which is almost unheard of anymore.
Kofi continues to be the guy that can have a good match with anyone
and contrary to some opinions, there is absolutely nothing wrong with
having that role for the next five years for him. Just because he
doesn’t make it to the main event doesn’t mean he’s a failure by any
stretch. Good match here as you would expect from these two.
Layla vs. Tamina
Tamina chokes Layla
against the ropes to start. Layla stares at Tamina like an idiot
before getting shoved to the outside. We hit the chinlock as the
crowd is SILENT. JBL makes fun of Josh’s inability to talk to women
as the match is dragging despite only running a minute and a half so
far. Layla makes her comeback and hits a dropkick to the side of the
head before screaming. When you can understand every word she’s
shouting, you might need to do a better job at firing up the crowd.
The bouncing cross body is caught in a slam and the Superfly Splash
gets the pin at 3:05. I think you can figure out the rating by
The Raw ReBound is the
really stupid ending to the show.
vs. Big Show/Antonio Cesaro
Cesaro and Sheamus
start things off and pound on each other for a bit as you would
expect the two of them to do. Off to Orton for a suplex for two and
here’s Sheamus again. Cesaro gets pounded some more as Big Show
yells instructions to him. Orton comes in and pounds him in the head
for a bit before Sheamus gets another tag. Cesaro finally gets in
some shots to the ribs and there’s the tag to Big Show.
Show puts Sheamus down
and swings at Orton, allowing Sheamus to come back with a shot to the
head. The good guys double clothesline Show to the floor and we take
a break. Back with Sheamus sending Cesaro to the apron for the ten
forearms. Show makes a blind tag and spears Sheamus down as momentum
really shifts for the first time. Cesaro can be heard telling Show
what to do (a recurring theme tonight) as Show gets two off an elbow
The referee tells Show
to let Sheamus out of the corner, but Show yelling at the referee
allows Sheamus to get in some offense for a change. Show misses a
charge in the corner but comes back with a chokeslam for two. I
guess that’s officially just another big move for Show anymore. The
KO punch misses and Sheamus kicks Show’s head off to put both guys
Double tags bring in
Cesaro and Orton and it’s time for Randy’s finishing seq uence.
Cesaro counters the Elevated DDT and Sheamus tags himself in, much to
Orton’s annoyance. White Noise takes Cesaro down but as Sheamus
loads up the Brogue Kick, Orton comes in with an RKO. Sheamus
reluctantly gets the pin at 10:36 shown of 14:06.
Standard main event tag match here but it’s clear that they’re sowing
the seeds for at least the Rumble and possibly an Orton heel turn and
the world title match at Wrestlemania. They didn’t have any actual
contact but they didn’t need to, which is something a tag match like
this is good for. I’m talking about Orton and Sheamus if that wasn’t
Sheamus and Orton stare
each other down (not really out of rage) to end the show.
Overall Rating: B.
When you have three matches that are about fifteen minutes each, it’s
hard to say it’s not at least a pretty good show. This is the kind
of stuff that Smackdown can offer as a legit different style from
Raw, as there were zero backstage segments here and almost all
wrestling. The quality wasn’t always great, but it was nice to see a
wrestling show for a change. Good stuff.
Miz b. Heath Slater – Skull Crushing Finale
Khali/Hornswoggle/Natalya b. Primo/Epico/Rosa Mendes – Chop to
Barrett b. Kofi Kingston – Bull Hammer
Snuka b. Layla – Superfly Splash
Orton b. Big Show/Antonio Cesaro – RKO to Cesaro
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