With just one more SmackDown to go before the Royal Rumble this Sunday, WWE has a lot of balls in the air that it is hoping will draw in legions of fans and make this one of the biggest years in company history.
On Tuesday, the go-home SmackDown tapings featured a number of angles that continued from Raw. There were also some standalone moments that could make this one of the more memorable shows of 2013 when we look back on it..
Everything that WWE wants to do the rest of this year will be shaped by what happens this Sunday, so it is imperative the company hits all the right beats leading up to the show to make people realize this will be different from any Royal Rumble they have seen.
Here is a complete look at the SmackDown taping results, as well as a closer look at some of the biggest angles.
Spoilers courtesy of NoDQ.com
|Sheamus def. Wade Barrett via pinfall|
|Natalya def. Rose Mendes via submission|
|Randy Orton def. Drew McIntyre via DQ (Jinder Mahal interference)|
|The Miz def. Darren Young via submission|
|Six-Man Elimination Match: Alberto Del Rio, Kane & Daniel Bryan def. Big Show, Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow|
The Rock and CM Punk provide one final pipe bomb
In what can only be classified as a miracle, considering the injuries he said that he suffered after being destroyed by The Shield on Raw, The Rock was back on SmackDown the next day to do one final segment with CM Punk.
Punk and Paul Heyman called out The Shield and told them to stay out of Punk's business. The young trio leaves, which leads to Rock coming out. The two have their usual back and forth, but this one ends with Rock laying Punk out with a Rock Bottom.
I don't like the sound of this angle. You had a great thing with Rock being a beaten man on Raw, he was teasing injuries and had an out if he were to lose this match. By bringing him back for a show taped just 24 hours later, it makes that angle from Monday look less impactful.
Punk and Rock are great talkers, obviously, so I don't doubt that what they were saying will be entertaining. It is just when you put it in context, it doesn't make sense.
Big Show goes insane
The main event of the show was the six-man elimination match between Alberto Del Rio, Kane and Daniel Bryan defeating Big Show, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow when Big Show gets counted out and Del Rio pins Rhodes to win for his team.
After the match is over, Big Show decides that he isn't happy with the result and wants to give Del Rio something to remember him by. Show destroys Del Rio, pins him under the announcers table and counted to 10 in order to prove he can win their Last Man Standing match on Sunday.
I'm not sure how serious anyone takes Del Rio as champion, so having him not beat Big Show in this match and then getting destroyed after the match by the challenger doesn't do much for him. I suppose if he wins on Sunday a lot will be forgiven.
Another thing to watch is the crowd reaction. Even though WWE has two days to edit the reaction to make Del Rio come off as a babyface and Big Show a heel, because the audience isn't taking to Del Rio as a new hero.