From The Wrestling Observer:
By James Shannon: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Cena came out to kick off the last SmackDown of 2013. He tried out some new year’s resolution comedy, with a joke about wanting to star in a musical of No Holds Barred landing especially flat. He then tried to hype the crowd about using his rematch for the WWE Heavyweight Championship but it was the Shield that came out, not Orton. They attacked Cena and were laying in the boots when Mark Henry’s music played and he jogged down to help Cena. The numbers quickly got the better of him, which was when Big E. Langston ran down. With fair numbers the Shield were thrown from the ring. They were leaving when Kane came out and announced Ambrose Vs. Langston, Reigns Vs. Henry and Cena Vs. Rollins. All six men were fine with this plan.
Match Number One: The Usos Vs. Harper & Rowan w/ Bray Wyatt.
This was really short, but all action. Rowan got the pinfall with the big clothesline from Harper after a blind tag. The match broke down at the bell. At no point were two legal men in the ring and the other two on the apron. I like when they do something like that, something to just keep you on your toes. Bray hit the Sister Abigail after the match.
Winners: Rowan & Harper, Pinfall.
Renee introduced Orton in the back. She asked for a new year’s resolution. He said he surpassed every superstar in history, so he didn’t want for much. He did suggest entering the Rumble so that he could win and give himself the night off and focus of inducting himself into the Hall of Fame. Ziggler took exception to the idea of Orton being in the HoF. Ziggler said his resolution was to be the guy to shut Orton up. Orton asked if he wanted an RKO. Kane came in and said he wouldn’t tolerate these displays of aggression and told them to settle it in the ring. After Ziggler left Kane told Orton that backstage had to be a safe zone, but the ring was a different story.
Match Number Two: Cody Rhodes w/ Goldust Vs. Antonio Cesaro w/ Swagger & Colter.
Goldust fought Swagger on Main Event, which Goldust won after Cody stopped Cesaro from interfering. They were having a basic match, but it ended before it could become anything. Cody knocked Swagger off the apron as he tried to interfere, but then ate an uppercut to the back and was school boyed for the pinfall.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro, Pinfall.
Match Number Three: The Prime Time players Vs. RyBack & Curtis Axel.
Cole tried to brand them RybAxel. I hope for their sake it doesn’t stick. This was a far more basic tag match. A blind tag to Axel led to the heat on Titus. He got the hot tag to Young, then stuck around to help him get rid of RyBack from the ring. Titus followed RyBack outside and Axel tried to roll up Young, but Young rolled through for the pinfall.
Winners: Prime Time Players, Pinfall.
Match Number Four: Randy Orton (C) Vs. Dolph Ziggler, Non-Title Match.
JBL is not a fan of the pink in Dolph’s hair. The crowd were awkwardly quiet for a lot of this match. Far quieter than you’d want for your only world champion. Ziggler strung some nearfalls back to back, then got frustrated that he couldn’t put Orton away. He had him in the corner, and wouldn’t stop punching as the ref counted. The ref pulled him away and Orton used the separation to thumb the eye and hit an an RKO for the pinfall.
Winner: Randy Orton, Pinfall.
Orton continued the action outside after his win. He threw Ziggler around before hitting the draping DDT off the barricade to the timekeeper’s area.
The Shield told us that nothing will change in the new year for the Shield. Each addressed their opponent for the night without any tension between them.
Match Number Five: Daniel Bryan Vs. Damien Sandow.
They showed Sandow failing to cancel Christmas as he entered. His bad luck continued as he was on the wrong end of a squash. Bryan won with the Busaiku knee after a series of headkicks. Another fun short match. Bray appeared on the tron telling Bryan that he admired his courage. He said the people had chosen Bryan but he’d forgotten who was controlling this inferno. He called himself a god to end the promo, which was booed.
Winner: Daniel Bryan, Pinfall.
Match Number Six: Dean Ambrose (c) w/ Rollins & Reigns Vs. Big E. Langston (c) Henry & Cena, Non-Title Match.
The Shield came out together first. Big E. made his entrance, then waited at the bottom of the ramp as Henry then Cena came out so that the numbers would be even. They really pushed the idea of unifying the United States and Intercontinental Championships.
This was never going to last long, as there wasn’t a great deal of time for the last three matches. Langston was on top for the majority before Ambrose threw him outside. Rollins & Reigns moved towards him but Cena and Henry came from the other side to stop them getting involved. Ambrose got Langston back in the ring only so that he could be run over and hit with the Big Ending for the pinfall.
Winner: Big E. Langston, Pinfall.
Match Number Seven: Roman Reigns w/ Rollins & Ambrose Vs. Mark Henry w/ Cena & Langston.
Henry controlled the match, maybe even for a little longer than I expected given where these two are positioned right now. They again went outside with a stand off from the four men not in the match. This time when they went in Henry continued dominating until Reigns used his speed to dodge an attack in the corner, hit an impressive Samoan drop and then spear him for the pinfall.
Winner: Roman Reigns, Pinfall.
Match Number Eight: Seth Rollins w/ Ambrose & Reigns Vs. John Cena w/ Langston & Henry.
This was the longest of the three matches. Rollins controlled the majority of it, having a counter for most of Cena’s major offence. He survived the AA by rotating to land on his feet, hit an uppercut then followed with a blockbuster for two. Rollins then hit a splash in the corner but missed a second. Cena tried to go up top but Rollins ran the ropes to knock him down and hit an unassisted standing shiranui for a great nearfall. Cena came back with a powerbomb for another close nearfall straight afterwards. Rollins avoided another AA by holding onto the ropes and following it an enziguri. He then came off the top rope to hit a knee before trying for his curb stomp, but Cena caught his leg in the air to put on the STF.
Rollins took just enough time to make the ropes to let Ambrose get in the ring, who was taken out by Langston. All in front of the ref, who let the action continue as they quickly left the ring. Langston knocked Ambrose over the announcer’s desk, but was taken out with a flying clothesline from Reigns. Reigns was thrown wildly into Ambrose by Henry. Back in the ring Cena caught Rollins coming off the top with a cross body. Cena then threw him up to his shoulders and hit the AA for the pinfall. Excellent showing by Rollins. Also good on Cena and whoever put the match together for giving Rollins so much time and offence.
Winner: John Cena, Pinfall.
Cena, Langston and Henry all celebrated in the ring to close the show while the Shield licked their wounds ringside. Overall it was a pretty inconsequential show, but it went quickly. It also helped that the first and last matches were both very entertaining. Very different matches, but entertaining.