The Shield Falls
SmackTalk! With Rick Foley
Hello again Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the go-home edition of SmackTalk just before Payback on Sunday! Ever-changing is the structure of these articles, and I look to continue that tradition now. Matches for the evening included:
- Sheamus versus Antonio Cesaro
- Health Slater versus The Great Khali
- Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio versus Big E Langston and World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler
- Curtis Axel versus Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett
- Kane, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton versus The Shield (WWE Tag Team Champions Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and United States Champion Dean Ambrose)
Sheamus def. Antonio Cesaro
As you might have already been able to guess, of course The Celtic Warrior overcame The Swiss Superman. Though Cesaro did not go down without a fight. In his arsenal was his patented European Uppercuts and inhuman strength, utilizing that Gutwrench Suplex that he has used to wear down other opponents in the past. At one point in the match, Cesaro even lifted Sheamus up and threw him back into the ring. It wasn’t too long after that that things would play into Sheamus’ favor as Sheamus would catch Cesaro on the ropes and bring those massive hands down onto Cesaro’s chest, reddening it in the process. Cesaro would fight back and get Sheamus into the corner, but Cesaro let too much time get away from him and Sheamus Brogue Kicked Cesaro for the win. Moments after celebrating, Sandow would attack Sheamus from behind. Though we now know that the United States title as well as the other titles were meant for the younger starts, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for Cesaro. He had a great run with that title, and I liked him. I think what went wrong was that no one knew who to book him against. The most obvious choice would have been a returning Jack Swagger and his “Real American” gimmick to oppose Cesaro’s abrasive Anti-American persona. Again, being the most obvious answer, that’s probably why it wasn’t even booked. Instead, Swagger went into a now-pointless feud with Alberto Del Rio. So now Cesaro doesn’t have much of anything to do other than wait around like most of the older locker room. As for Sheamus and Damien Sandow in the Payback Kick-off show, I think Sandow will have the edge this time. These two always put on great matches with each other, which is most likely the reason why they’re so often booked against each other. This could also be a bad thing, but I digress. Sandow wins at Payback
Heath Slater def. The Great Khali
This was an utterly pointless match, best left for something like Superstars. Not to discredit each of the opponents, but since there isn’t that much time left between now and Payback, I feel that more important matches should be happening. I suppose this is what you get when 3 (2 if you really want to get technical) of the current title holders are booked in the main event. Anyway, Khali’s offense consisted of chest chops, while Heath Slater worked on Khali’s legs, and he did ultimately bring the giant down. He did it with the help of Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. As they distracted the referee, Slater was able to attack Khali’s legs more and then put him down with a DDT. One positive thing that I can take away from this match is that Drew McIntyre sent a tweet to Paul Heyman, essentially asking him to help his career. This means that McIntyre would drop the Rock star gimmick and reemerge as The Chosen One again. It will be very interesting to see if anything is to come of this. Maybe Curtis Axel and Drew McIntyre will form a faction of their own, under the guidance of Heyman. Though that’s likely to not happen seeing how The Shield is essentially “it” on stables. But one can dream.
Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio def. World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston
With the World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler finally cleared to wrestle after suffering a concussion a few weeks ago, Dolph Ziggler had a heavy task at hand in the form of Chris Jericho and his opponent this Sunday, Alberto Del Rio. Evident were many Inziguri’s and side kicks from Ziggler and Del Rio, while Big E Langston used his body like a battering ram. He would bounce off of the ropes and use his massive body to bring Jericho down to the mat. This would prove useful towards the closing moments of the match. When Del Rio or Jericho were making a pin attempt, Big E would come in and save Ziggler, but he could only do that so many times. The last time he tried to save Ziggler, Jericho greeted him with a Code Breaker to the outside. Alberto Del Rio came away with a victory against World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler using the simplest of moves, a small package pin. Seeing how Dolph has only been champion for a month and he hasn’t properly defended it, this move was a definite no-no. He should have won in order to create some sort of momentum. I am only a mark, so what do I know. I wouldn’t be shocked if Ziggler was going to drop the title at Payback. It would only cement fans ideologies about the creative team. They are nothing but a bunch of idiots that make decisions at the last second. But what do I know? I’m just a mark.
WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn versus Aksana ends in a No-Contest: Kaitlyn attacks referee
Before this match even got underway, Kaitlyn’s emotions got the best of her and she attacked Aksana. Last week on Monday Night Raw, Kaitlyn’s secret admirer was supposedly revealed to be Big E Langston but instead it was all really a plot to get under Kaitlyn’s skin, masterminded by AJ. Aksana was the target of Kaitlyn’s rage, and so after the rebound played Kaitlyn jumped on Aksana and would not let up, even slapping the referee. Moments later Aksana was finally able to escape Kaitlyn’s attack, and the Diva’s Champion was left in the ring to sob. I still don’t think A.J. deserves the title. She doesn’t work as much as the other divas do, and when she does she’s always put in these Battle Royal’s that require little or no input from her. I understand that it makes for a great story, but it’s not so great if one superstar is working their way to stay on top and the other is just there because she’s good eye candy for the teen age group. I hope Kaitlyn retains. Otherwise A.J. and Dolph will be the new “Power Couple”. Great.
Curtis Axel def. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett
Now that Fandango is out with a concussion, Curtis Axel was selected to take his spot. It looks as if Curtis is making his way up through the mid-card pretty quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was given the title. If you followed WWE regularly from Wrestlemania 29 until now, you’ll know that Wade Barrett lost the Intercontinental title at Wrestlemania, only to regain it the following night on Raw. Awful decision making on WWE’s part. Unless they planned to give Axel the title in the first place, a move like a triple threat match for that title would be the only saving grace. Originally, Wade Barrett didn’t even want to compete in this match. After some goading from The Miz, they finally got underway. Both fighting styles were pretty evenly matched as Barrett and Axel utilized a brawling style. As the action spilled to the outside, The Miz was also there, so when Axel was shoved into him by Barrett, The Miz would get his revenge. He would wait until after the match, however. As Axel and Barrett went back into the ring, the young superstar Axel would catch Barrett on the ropes with his articulate Swinging Neck Breaker for the win. Before Axel could celebrate, The Miz caught him from behind with a Skull-Crushing Finale.
Team Hell No and Randy Orton def. WWE Tag Team Champions The Shield
Smackdown opened up with Kane and Daniel Bryan still at odds with each other. They went on and on about how neither of them were the weak link. Moments later, Randy Orton came down to the ring to separate them before things boiled over. Kane threatened to Choke slam Bryan, but Orton chimed in and said that if Kane did that, Orton would RKO him. The Shield appeared on the tron and went on to say that neither of them would beat The Shield. As match time came around, Daniel Bryan got off to a hot start with his barrage of kicks, missile dropkicks and submission holds. Orton utilized his usual forum of European Uppercuts and clotheslines mixed in with a Backbreaker here and there. Kane was the power guy of the match, lifting his opponents for moves such as the vertical suplex. He also utilized the dropkick on a seated opponent. As for The Shield, Ambrose matched Bryan with his own style of technical offense, wearing him down with many strikes and submission holds. Seth Rollins has now been known as the high-flying speed demon of the group, and Roman Reigns is the power man. Through out the match there wasn’t really a clear momentum holder. When it looked like Orton and Team Hell No was in control, The Shield struck back. Such was the case when Orton tried to do a double rope-hung DDT on Ambrose and Rollins, but they escaped. All 6 men entered the ring and all hell broke loose. After Kane and Orton cleared Ambrose and Reigns from the ring, Rollins went to the top rope to fly, but he fell into Randy Orton’s RKO and then was quickly placed in the No! Lock by Daniel Bryan. Rollins had no choice but to tap out. And so The Shield was handed their first loss by Goatface. I have a feeling that all of The Shield members will retain their titles. With rumors running rampant about Orton finally turning Heel, who knows what’s in store?
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