The landmark 700th episode of SmackDown started and ended with a bang, as the WWE Universe joined new World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio in a fiesta before the Mexican Superstar joined forces with Sheamus to defeat Big Show & Dolph Ziggler in an epic tag team match that left The World's Largest Athlete all wet.
One week after his World Heavyweight Championship victory over Big Show in an unforgettable Last Man Standing Match, Alberto Del Rio threw a fiesta for the ages. With the ring adorned in decorations and accompanied by the sounds of a Mariachi band, Del Rio welcomed the San Antonio crowd to “Fiesta Del Rio”!
Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee and Big E Langston soon crashed the party, and using Big E as leverage, The Showoff threatened to cash in his Money in the Bank contract right then and there. A furiously silent Big Show arrived on the scene, tipping the scales even further against the Mexican Superstar — just nine days before his World Title rematch at the Royal Rumble.
But Sheamus quickly evened the odds, and putting aside their differences, The Celtic Warrior congratulated Del Rio on his title victory, shaking his former rival's hand and offering his services as the “bouncer” for Del Rio’sfiesta.
Before things got out of hand, General Manager Booker T joined the party by making a mega match for the night — Big Show & Dolph Ziggler against Del Rio & Sheamus!
Ordering the opposition out of the ring, Booker answered Del Rio's call for a Spinaroonie, and with a reluctant jig from The Celtic Warrior, the party was officially underway.
After tangling with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair Monday night on Raw and suffering the retribution of “The Nature Boy” and The Miz, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro returned to the fray Friday night to battle Kofi Kingston, as The Awesome One looked on in the back.
In a match that saw two contrasting styles — Cesaro's power game against Kofi's aerial assault — The Swiss Superman took control of the action early on. And though Kingston looked to build up some steam, Cesaro caught the highflier off the top rope and countered with the devastating Neutralizer to put away his opponent.
With the lovely Natalya at his side, The Great Khali battled the massive Tensai. The two behemoths traded mighty assaults, but once The Punjabi Playboy hit the Great Chop, Tensai was down for the three-count.
Notably absent during the bout was Hornswoggle, who's still feeling the effects of Big E Langston's punishing attack one week ago on SmackDown.
Two days after Randy Orton was attacked by The Shield during his match against U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro on WWE Main Event, The Viper joined forces with Team Hell No to take on Wade Barrett & Team Rhodes Scholars on SmackDown.
With their WWE Tag Team Title Match at Royal Rumble looming, there was certainly bad blood between Team Hell No and Team Rhodes Scholars, made worse by Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes making an unwelcome appearance Monday night during the champions’ therapy session with Dr. Shelby.
Chaotic action was par for the course in the six-man tag bout from the start. And when Rhodes hit Cross Rhodes on WWE's Apex Predator, the end seemed near. But after Kane was able to break-up the three-count, Orton rallied. The Viper coiled, unleashing a ring-shaking RKO to Sandow to send Orton & Team Hell No on to a huge victory.
After their win, Orton found himself in the middle of a (not-so-voluntary) group hug with Kane & Daniel Bryan — all part of Team Hell No's road to recovery.
After exchanging words with Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes earlier in the night, The Miz took on Primo in one-on-one action. Primo was chosen by Rosa to battle The Awesome One.
Just when Miz looked ready to finish off the former WWE Tag Team Champion, a distraction from Epico allowed Primo to attempt a Figure-Four Leglock. The Awesome One turned the tables, however, trapping Primo in the Figure-Four and forcing his opponent to tap out.
Following her huge hometown win on the 20th anniversary of Raw on Monday, new Divas Champion Kaitlyn locked horns with Aksana in a physical bout on SmackDown. With the entire Divas locker room now eyeing Kaitlyn's title, Aksana looked to capitalize on her opportunity, hitting The Hybrid Diva with everything she had.
But with the titleholder trapped in the corner and the referee forcing Aksana to break her hold, Aksana wasted precious moments arguing with the official. This opened the door just enough for a big spear from Kaitlyn, leading to a victory for the Divas Champion.
Broadcasting from an undisclosed location, The Shield delivered a pointed message to Sheamus, Randy Orton and Ryback. Addressing their assault on Mick Foley on the 20th anniversary of Raw, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns made it clear they hold The Hardcore Legend “accountable” for “the broken bodies and broken dreams” he left in the wake of his WWE Hall of Fame career. The Shield went on to say that they also hold Sheamus, Randy Orton and Ryback “accountable” for their actions.
Then, instead of responding directly to The Shield's claims, Sheamus and Randy Orton shared an uneasy exchange of words, as both Superstars looked ahead to the Royal Rumble.
A huge night of SmackDown action was capped off with a massive main event, as World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio joined forces with Sheamus to square off against Big Show & Dolph Ziggler in an epic tag team bout. But with Big E Langston and AJ Lee at ringside, the match was frenzied from the get-go as both of Ziggler's “friends” were ejected from the arena by the referee.
At the height of the action, Sheamus built up momentum against Ziggler, but when The Celtic Warrior looked to hit a high impact move off the top rope, Big Show tossed him to the ringside floor. The Showoff then made the tag, and The World's Largest Athlete went to work isolating Sheamus and taking firm control of the bout.
Sheamus somehow managed to fight back, and tagged in Del Rio just as Big Show tagged in Ziggler. With the San Antonio crowd firmly behind him, the World Champion immediately leveled The Showoff with a kick to the head before locking in the Cross Armbreaker.
Big Show broke the hold, but Sheamus caught the giant in White Noise before Del Rio nailed him with an acrobatic kick. Then, adding insult to injury, the champion hurled a bucket of water in Big Show's face, sending a humiliated and irate giant packing from the ring and resulting in a count-out victory for Del Rio & Sheamus.
“Fiesta Del Rio” then resumed, as balloons fell from the ceiling and Del Rio and Sheamus celebrated inside the ring.
But was the water-tossing move a smart one on the part of the Mexican Superstar, or has the World Champion's attempt to embarrass the giant worked only to enrage Big Show, perhaps putting the champion in a vicarious position when the two rivals square off with the title on the line at the Royal Rumble?
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Antonio Cesaro defeated Kofi Kingston (3:02)
- The Great Khali (w/ Natalya) defeated Tensai (1:24)
- Randy Orton, Kane and Daniel Bryan defeated Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and Wade Barrett (7:44)
- The Miz defeated Primo (w/ Rosa Mendes and Epico) (5:48)
- Kaitlyn defeated Aksana (3:29)
- Sheamus and Alberto del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated The Big Show & Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ Lee and Big E. Langston (14:28)
Other on-screen talent
A huge tag team match established during “Fiesta Del Rio”
Antonio Cesaro v Kofi Kingston
The Great Khali v Tensai
Orton, Kane & Bryan v Rhodes, Sandow & Barrett
The Miz v Primo
Kaitlyn v Aksana
Sheamus & Alberto del Rio v The Big Show & Dolph Ziggler
- WWE Smackdown #700 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [Smackdown #700 on WWE Network]