WWE taped episodes of SmackDown, WWE Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam Sunday night at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va.
Main Event will air Wednesday, Jan. 2, on ION Television. SmackDown will air Friday, Jan. 4, on the SyFy Channel. Saturday Morning Slam will air Saturday, Jan. 5, on the CW Network.
The following are spoilers from the taping of these programs, so turn away if you'd prefer to remain in the dark...
- Alex Riley defeated Mark Chase by pinfall in about two minutes.
Saturday Morning Slam
- Natalya defeated Alicia Fox with the Sharpshooter finishing move. It actually was an entertaining and acrobatic match.
- Sheamus defeated Michael McGillicutty with the White Noise finishing move. This match had many silly comedic moments the kids will enjoy.
At one point, Sheamus put McGillicutty in an Airplane Spin. A dazed McGillicutty then grabbed the referee and tried to pin him, while Sheamus did a three-count and lifted McGillicutty’s hand in mock victory before finishing him. The crowd enjoyed it.
WWE Main Event
- U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro defeated The Great Khali in a match that was more entertaining than anticipated. The match went back-and-forth before Cesaro gained the upper hand and hit Khali with the Neutralizer finishing move, much to the crowd’s amazement.
Cesaro and The Miz then engaged in a battle of words before Cesaro left the ring.
- Newly crowned Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett came out and exchanged words with former champ Kofi Kingston, whom Barrett beat the night before at the Raw taping in Washington, D.C. Barrett announced he would take on any challengers from the locker room to prove he is worthy of the title.
First out was Yoshi Tatsu, who fell to Barrett’s Bull Hammer elbow within 20 seconds. JTG came out next, followed by Justin Gabriel. Barrett beat both of them with the Bull Hammer, although the match with former Nexus mate Gabriel lasted several minutes.
Then Kingston climbed into the ring and hit Barrett with Trouble in Paradise for the pin. The belt was not up, however.
It was immediately announced that Barrett would face Kingston in a title rematch on SmackDown.
- Randy Orton returned from his shoulder injury to open the show and announced he would enter the Royal Rumble match next month for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Sheamus followed and announced he would try to win the match for the second straight year.
Orton said he was looking forward to eliminating the defending RR match champion, and Sheamus countered by saying he would Brogue Kick Orton’s head out of the ring.
Current World Champ The Big Show then intervened and said that neither man would take the title from him. U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro came out to do some more anti-American ranting.
SmackDown GM Booker T then announced that Big Show and Cesaro would face Sheamus and Orton in a tag match later that night.
- The Miz defeated Heath Slater in what turned out to be a fairly decent match once the referee sent Slater’s 3MB mates Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre to the locker room. There were lots of back-and-forth and near falls before Miz finished Slater off with the Skull-Crushing Finale.
- Wade Barrett’s Intercontinental Championship victory over Kofi Kingston at the Raw taping in Washington, D.C. was shown on the Titantron, followed by a tease of the IC rematch later in the show.
- The Great Khali, Natalya and Hornswoggle defeated Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes in a six-person mixed tag match. This match had nothing special, but before it got under way, a somewhat disturbing vignette of Mae Young giving birth to the New Year Baby—Hornswoggle—was shown. It did not receive that great of a response from the Richmond crowd.
- Wade Barrett defeated Kofi Kingston in a rematch for the IC title. This also was an entertaining match with several near-falls.
At one point, Kingston hit his Trouble in Paradise move on Barrett, but the champ rolled out of the ring. Kingston pulled him back into the ring and was going for a flying move out of the corner when Barrett hit the Bull Hammer elbow in mid-air.
- A Raw vignette, “Ringing in the New Year,” was teased to follow this match, but it apparently was not edited in time for showing. It likely will be inserted into the show before Friday night.
- Tamina Snuka defeated Layla in a Divas match that no one seemed to care about. Snuka pinned Layla after hitting her with the Superfly Splash.
- In the main event, Sheamus and Randy Orton defeated The Big Show and Antonio Cesaro, but the outcome may have set the stage for the long-awaited Orton heel turn.
Sheamus took the brunt of the attack from Big Show and Cesaro, as Orton tagged in and out quickly. At one point, Sheamus recovered to hit Big Show with the Brogue Kick, and Orton tagged in. Orton was setting Cesaro up for the RKO when Sheamus tagged himself in and beat on Cesaro for a while longer.
Orton paced around ringside while Sheamus called for the Brogue Kick. Just as he was about to move in, Orton jumped into the ring and RKO’ed Cesaro. He then rolled out of the ring, leaving Sheamus to cover Cesaro for the pin.
Afterward, Sheamus and Orton glared at each other as Orton made his way up the ramp.
- After the cameras stopped rolling, it was announced that Sheamus would face Big Show for the World title. Big Show nixed that idea and started for the exit. Sheamus jumped out of the ring and dragged Show back to the ring.
Show got the upper hand and went for a chair when Sheamus grabbed it and hit Show with it. Since the bell never rang, it was not an official match.
The evening ended with Sheamus high-fiving and shaking hands with fans at ringside. Show took the World belt and slowly walked up the ramp.
Bill Atkinson is a columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.