And another step in the rise of Daniel Bryan.

Date: June 14, 2013
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for Payback tonight so hopefully we can get to some more interesting stuff soon after this. The main story tonight is the continued rise of Daniel Bryan in his war against the Shield. Other than that Dolph Ziggler is back and will be in the ring on Sunday, meaning we may get a warmup match for him tonight. Let’s get to it.

The opening recap focuses on Ziggler returning in a tag match with Langston to face Jericho and Del Rio. We also focus on Shield vs. HELL NO/Orton in a six man tag tonight.

Here’s an upset Daniel Bryan to open the show. If you had asked him when he debuted in the WWE if he would be world champion, he would have said YES. If you had asked him if he would lose the belt in 18 seconds, the answer would be NO. YES he could win the tag titles with anyone, but NO he didn’t think he’d spend nine months teaming with Kane. Either way, HELL NO is one of the best tag teams in WWE history, so Bryan asks kane to come out here.

Kane says all he cares about is the six man tag tonight. Bryan thinks they need to get everything out in the open because the last nine months were awesome. They’ve become a better team and better friends over the last few months, but on Sunday they’re not going to be teaming together. After that, they’re not going to be a team anymore because Bryan is going to win the tag titles with Randy Orton to make Team RK-NO!

Kane doesn’t see why Bryan is getting this excited because no one can beat the Shield and Bryan and Orton can’t get along. Bryan says he’ll prove he isn’t the weak link because he and Randy will do something that HELL NO could never do. Kane asks if he’s the weak link but Bryan won’t answer. He finally admits that Kane is the weak link and is grabbed around the throat. Cue Orton to keep Kane from killing his partner. If Kane chokeslams Bryan then it’s going to cause an RKO.

Bryan gets mad at Orton for meddling in his business but Orton says he’s just helping his partner. Kane goes to leave so Bryan says go run off like you always do. All three are about to fight when Shield shows up on screen and tells them to keep fighting. They’d be fighting too if the Shield had beaten them up for six months. Ambrose asks if they believe in the Shield after every super team has been beaten. Orton and HELL NO argues a bit more in the ring.

Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro gets the jobber entrance in case there were a few people that thought he had a chance. Before the match Sandow comes out to say that he’s already humiliated Sheamus physically and intellectually, so Sunday will be Sheamus’ Irish wake. Cesaro takes Sheamus into the corner and slaps him in the face before hiding on the floor. Back in and Sheamus pounds on him in the corner before taking him down with a clothesline. A tilt-a-whirl powerslam gets two on Antonio as Zeb Colter rants on the WWE App.

Cesaro comes back with the gutwrench suplex and a big forearm sends Sheamus to the floor. Sheamus catches a diving Cesaro coming off the apron and rams him into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Sheamus getting two off a backbreaker before they head to floor. Cesaro rams him into the steps before hooking a chinlock back inside. Sheamus fights up and hits some running forearms, only to be taken down by a European uppercut for two.

A double stomp to the chest gets two for Antonio but Sheamus sends him to the apron for the ten forearms to the chest. The Irish Curse gets two back inside but Cesaro comes back with the modified Angle Slam (looked more like an AA here) for two. Cesaro shoves Sheamus into the corner but the Celt comes out with the Brogue Kick for the pin at 7:26 shown of 10:56.

Rating: C. Cesaro has the same problem that Rhodes, Sandow or almost anyone else that faces Sheamus runs into: Sheamus hardly ever loses so it’s hard to get into the matches as a result. The Brogue Kick out of the corner looked good but it’s supposed to set up a match on Sunday that no one cares to see.

Post match Sandow jumps Sheamus from behind and lays him out.

The Wyatt Family is still coming.

CM Punk is returning on Sunday.

Teddy Long plugs Hardee’s for sponsoring the show tonight. Ziggler and company come in and make fun of Teddy for his poor handling of Smackdown. Langston steals the burger.

Great Khali vs. Heath Slater

McIntyre is in different attire tonight. Khali pounds away to start but has to swat away the other Band members. Slater gets in some shots in the corner but gets caught with the big chop. Khali has to go after the other Band members again, allowing Slater to hit a DDT for the pin at 2:20.

Alberto Del Rio/Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler/Big E. Langston

Del Rio wants to start with Ziggler but gets Langston instead. Big E. takes him into the corner and pounds away with shoulder blocks, only to have Del Rio come back with a running enziguri. Off to Jericho to pound away on the big man and hit an enziguri of his own. Langston takes him down and brings in the world champion for the first time in over a month. Dolph drops an elbow drop for two and brings in Langston to face Del Rio. A backstabber puts Big E. down and it’s back to Dolph who immediately runs away.

We take a break and come back with Jericho sending Langston into the steps. AJ interferes with a slap to Chris’ face, allowing Langston to run Jericho over. Back in and Ziggler drops Jericho with a neckbreaker for two. Ziggler misses a charge into the corner and it’s hot tag off to Alberto. Everything breaks down Langston runs Alberto over. A dropkick puts Alberto down but he rolls up Ziggler for the pin at 8:10 shown of 11:40.

Rating: C+. This was a fine return for Ziggler but the feud was built up enough for Sunday without having Ziggler lose in his comeback match. I get the idea of Del Rio pinning the champion, but he didn’t need to do it. Jericho was just kind of there but he’s perfect for filling in a spot like this.

We recap the opening segment.

Jericho says he’s going to be ready for Punk on Sunday and goes over his history in Chicago. Heyman comes in and says that Jericho can claim to be the best in the world until Punk pins him or makes him tap out at Payback.

Video on Kaitlyn’s secret admirer being revealed on Monday.

Kaitlyn vs. Aksana

Kaitlyn goes right at her and pounds away before the bell. The referee tries to pull her off and takes a quick beating as well. Aksana finally runs away so no match.

Recap of Ryback vs. Cena over the last few weeks with a focus on the events of Raw.

Curtis Axel vs. Wade Barrett

Non-title of course. Before the match, Barrett wants to have a businessman to businessman with Heyman. He doesn’t know why this match is happening as he could injure Axel on Sunday, thereby taking away his title shot. Wouldn’t it make sense to save this until Sunday? Cue Miz to say really a lot and make some thinly veiled gay jokes. Barrett pounds away to start but gets caught by a dropkick for two. They head to the floor where Axel blasts Miz in the face for no apparent reason. As they come back in, Axel hits a horrible looking McGillicutter for the pin at 2:05.

Post match Miz lays out Axel.

Video on the Wyatt Family with Bray quoting the Bible and talking about the riddles of your mind.

Shield vs. HELL NO/Randy Orton

Rollins starts with Bryan and pounds him down into the corner, only to have Bryan come back with kicks to the chest of his own. Kane comes in with a low dropkick and suplex for two each. Off to Orton for some headbutts to Ambrose in the corner before it’s back to Bryan. Rollins comes in and fires off elbows to the head before Ambrose gets the tag for a dragon sleeper. Bryan hits some knees to the head and one to the ribs to escape before bringing Orton back in to clean house.

Ambrose and Rollins break up the Elevated DDT before Rollins hits an enziguri for two. We take a break and come back with Orton being elbowed down for two. It’s back to Reigns who pounds on Orton’s head but gets caught in the Orton backbreaker to give Randy a breather. Reigns misses a charge into the post and it’s off to Kane vs. Ambrose with the big man getting two off a side slam.

Kane misses the top rope clothesline and stumbled into the hot tag to Bryan. Daniel hits the springboard missile dropkick on Ambrose and gives Reigns and Rollins a dropkick each. FLYING GOAT puts the tag champions and Rollins takes a pair of dropkicks in the corner for two. Bryan kicks the tag champions down again but can only get two on Seth.

Ambrose delays the swan dive and allows Rollins to roll away at the last minute. Kane and Ambrose go to the floor but Reigns spears Orton down. Kane avoids a spear from Roman and chokeslams Dean onto Reigns on the floor. Rollins hits the buckle bomb but Kane shoves him off the top into the RKO. Bryan throws on the NO Lock and THEY DID IT! Rollins taps out at 13:48 and the Shield loses for the first time ever.

Rating: B+. The ending was INSANE and a great bit of storytelling as HELL NO and Orton finally learned from their past mistakes and made the adjustments to beat the Shield. That is a huge win for Bryan as he is looking more and more like a star every day. They had to lose eventually and while I’d question doing it on Smackdown, the moment was awesome and the place went nuts at the ending.

Lillian announces it as the first time the Shield has ever lost a six man tag as the winners celebrate to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. This is the kind of wrestling centered show that Smackdown needs to be. Tonight was about longer matches which built up the matches on Sunday. I’m not sure on having Shield lose here, but it certainly launches Bryan up the charts and gives him his biggest win in a very long time. Payback is going to do horrible numbers due to the lame build, but tonight was a good show.


Sheamus b. Antonio Cesaro – Brogue Kick

Heath Slater b. Great Khali – DDT

Alberto Del Rio/Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler/Big E. Langston

Curtis Axel b. Wade Barrett – McGillicutter

HELL NO/Randy Orton b. Shield – NO Lock to Rollins


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