The March 15, 2013 Edition of Smackdown is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on March 12, 2013 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Just 23 days before WrestleMania, the No. 1 contender to the World Title, Jack Swagger, went head-to-head with Y2J in an instant-classic main event. Plus, with their sights set on The Grandest Stage of Them All, the calculating Shield unleashed a massive assault on Randy Orton and Sheamus and stormed into the middle of a Ryback vs. Mark Henry showdown.
Looking to avenge a bad night this past Monday on Raw in which their alleged dates with the returning Bella Twins was ruined, Team Rhodes Scholars entered the SmackDown arena with high hopes of delivering a little payback to the team of Randy Orton & Sheamus. For their part, though, The Viper & The Celtic Warrior — a team the WWE Universe has taken to calling #CelticVipers on Twitter — were still seething from The Shield's assault on Raw that was caught on WWE Active.
With Brad Maddox once again joining Michael Cole and Josh Mathews at the SmackDown announce table, Sandow & Rhodes did a good job overcoming an early Sheamus offensive to isolate him from WWE Apex Predator. But The Celtic Warrior was able to muscle his way back into the bout, flooring the aggressive Sandow with a flying shoulder off the ropes to make the crucial tag.
Orton entered the fray on a mission and instantly began to dominate Rhodes, and when Sandow came in to interfere, he was met with a devastating Brogue Kick from the first-ever Irish-born World Champion. The Viper then struck with an RKO on Rhodes, leading to the pinfall.
Moments after Sheamus & Randy Orton's tag team triumph, The Shield's music emanated from the speakers, but the rogue trio didn't descend through the WWE Universe as they are wont to do. Instead, The Shield appeared on the TitanTron, broadcasting from an undisclosed location and looking to sour the victory celebration.
Claiming that it's the “greatest injustice” that they're not scheduled to compete at WrestleMania, The Shield laid down the gauntlet to Sheamus & Orton. “Find a partner,” Dean Ambrose told The Viper & The Celtic Warrior. “At WrestleMania, you face The Shield.”
Both Orton & Sheamus accepted the challenge without hesitation. The question then became, who will they choose as their partner to even the odds on The Grandest Stage of Them All?
After their victory over Team Rhodes Scholars and the challenge thrown down by The Shield earlier in the evening, Randy Orton & Sheamus were approached backstage by Big Show. “You need a tag team partner that’s larger than life,” Big Show emphasized, effectively offering to join them against Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The Celtic Warrior & The Viper agreed, but not in the way The World's Largest Athlete would have liked.
Instead, they chose Ryback to join them at The Showcase of The Immortals!
It's been a tumultuous week in the Divas division, as The Bella Twins made their shocking return to WWE on Raw. The action continued Friday night, as Divas tag team action lit up SmackDown.
With The Funkadactyls looking on backstage, Tamina & Aksana isolated Layla early on, but a tag of Kaitlyn turned the tide of the match as the Divas Champion promptly took control. With her victory clearly in sight, however, Layla tagged herself back in — to the surprise of Kaitlyn — and hit a splash off the top rope to pin Aksana for the win.
In the back, The Bellas “introduced” themselves to The Funkadactyls. When Cameron & Naomi tried to express how much of an influence The Bellas have had on them, though, the twins responded by calling the dancing pair “hoochie mommas” before instigating a nasty backstage brawl.
Four days after Dolph Ziggler defeated WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan on Raw (and Big E Langston added insult to injury with a post-match assault), Bryan was at Kane's side Friday on SmackDown. In the intense battle pitting The Showoff against the monster, Kane looked for some retribution for his tag team partner.
It was all Kane early on, but Mr. Money in the Bank turned things around, hitting a missile dropkick off the top rope. When Kane fought back, the explosive battle raged on. Then, in the final moments, when AJ Lee did her best to distract the monster, Bryan was there to lend a helping hand. Unfortunately for the submission specialist, he ran right into Big E and promptly needed some help himself.
Kane successfully fought off Langston, only to get back into the ring and right into the Zig Zag. In the midst of the chaos that followed at ringside, Ziggler to get the huge victory, thus defeating both tag champs in the same week.
But when The Showoff went to rub his victory in, Kane grabbed him, setting him up for a Chokeslam. Fortunately for Ziggler, Big E re-emerged to lay waste to The Big Red Monster, sending a very clear message that he intends to be a dominant force in WWE.
In another hilarious parody of the incendiary duo of Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez took on the “hot-button” issues of borders, pancakes and Canadians. R-Truth and Chris Jericho — who were watching backstage — may have thought the parody was funny, but Swagger and Colter definitely did not, as they confronted the pair.
Jericho told Swagger that, instead of worrying about politics, he should worry about his title match against Del Rio at WrestleMania — and his match later in the night against Y2J.
The WWE Universe will just have to wait to see the in-ring debut of Fandango, as the mysterious dancer yet again refused to compete. Scheduled in a match against The Great Khali, Fandango declined to leave the ramp after he determined that Khali was “absolutely horrible” at properly pronouncing his name.
Despite SmackDown General Manager Booker T's warning last week, Fandango is yet to see in-ring action.
Backstage, Sheamus & Randy Orton talked to Matt Striker about Ryback joining them at WrestleMania against The Shield, but Roman Reigns appeared out of nowhere, hitting a devastating spear on The Celtic Warrior. The Shield proceeded to lay waste to Orton before hurling Sheamus through a table.
SmackDown General Manager Booker T was called in to pick up the pieces of the wreckage, and Ryback emerged demanding to know what happened. The former World Champion assured Ryback he's got the situation under control, and that the Superstar should focus on his match against Mark Henry.
Just as Ryback and Mark Henry were locking up, the highly anticipated showdown between the two behemoths was interrupted by the emergence of The Shield. Henry momentarily vacated the premises, allowing The Shield to launch a 3-on-1 assault on Ryback. When the scary-strong Ryback managed to clear the ring, Henry re-emerged to get Ryback's attention ... enough of his attention, in fact, for Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to take “The Human Wrecking Ball” out with a Triple Powerbomb.
Preying on the defenseless Ryback, Henry decimated the beast with three consecutive World's Strongest Slams in the middle of the ring. Then, standing over a prone Ryback, Henry screamed, “You will not run through me! Welcome to The Hall of Pain!”
Nearly three years to the day when Jack Swagger cashed in his Money in the Bank contract against Chris Jericho to claim the World Title, the same two Superstars squared off in an epic main event on the blue brand.
After their backstage confrontation earlier in the night, Y2J took on the “Real American” in a brutal back-and-forth battle that had “instant classic” written all over it. While it was all Swagger early on, Y2J roared back, matching his opponent move for move.
In the final moments of the contest, Jericho seemed primed for victory as he attempted to nail Swagger with the Codebreaker. But the “Real American” used his brute strength to catch Y2J in midair and hurl him into the bottom turnbuckle. From there, it was just a matter of time, as Swagger planted Jericho with a devastating gut-wrench powerbomb before covering him for the victory.
With his SmackDown win, Swagger passed a huge test as he continues on his road to WrestleMania — and to World Champion Alberto Del Rio.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- Celtic Vipers (Sheamus and Randy Orton) defeated Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow) (5:57)
- Layla and Kaitlyn defeated Tamina and Aksana (3:49)
- Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ Lee & Big E. Langston) defeated Kane (w/ Daniel Bryan) (7:17)
- Ryback vs Mark Henry ended in a no contest (3:00)
- Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) defeated Chris Jericho (10:04)
- Dark match: Randy Orton, Ryback & Sheamus defeated The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) by Count Out
Other on-screen talent
Celtic Vipers v Rhodes Scholars
Layla & Kaitlyn v Tamina & Aksana
Dolph Ziggler v Kane
Fandango v The Great Khali
Ryback v Mark Henry
Jack Swagger v Chris Jericho
- WWE Smackdown #708 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [Smackdown #708 on WWE Network]