Date: September 6, 2013
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

We’re almost three weeks into the new Corporation and not a lot has really changed. Daniel Bryan is still getting destroyed every week, the roster still won’t help him and it still makes all the good guys look like cowards who won’t stand up for anyone. The other main story is Punk vs. Heyman which is set for a handicap tag at Night of Champions. After that I could see the two stories merging with Punk helping Bryan in his war with the Corporation. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Cody getting a match against Orton and losing his job as a result. No mention of Bryan and Big Show in the intros here.

Opening sequence.

HHH and the GM’s are in the ring (with a red carpet) and the roster on the stage with Shield standing guard at ringside. HHH says as of Monday, Cody Rhodes is no longer a WWE Superstar. He talks about Cody being insubordinate to the COO of the WWE, making him disrespectful to the fans since HHH is the WWE. How long do you think he’s wanted to say that line? He gave Cody a chance to fight for his job but Rhodes lost, meaning Cody Rhodes fired Cody Rhodes.

That was hard since HHH is friends with the Rhodes Family but as COO he has to make some hard decisions. However, tonight he’s going to allow for an open forum for any superstar to air their grievances. No one says anything so HHH begs them to open up to him so he can work hard for everyone here. Damien Sandow supports the firing of Cody Rhodes because Cody embodied everything that was bad for business.

HHH says he appreciates that but doesn’t want this to be all about kissing up to him. Kofi Kingston goes to the mic and says the entire locker room has been living in fear since Cody was fired and that’s not good for business. HHH took Cody’s livelihood away and that makes everyone else live in fear. HHH is about to respond but 3MB cuts him off to complain about Big Show just standing around watching everything. Oh and thank you HHH for having an awesome management style.

RVD comes to the mic and says HHH brought him back to WWE a few months ago. Rob expected things to be better now but the vibe isn’t very cool around here. HHH: “I’ve been waiting since 2000 to have RVD call me dude.” HHH thinks Rob is still cool and asks to hear from someone else.

Ryback is tired of being called a bully and HHH agrees because it wasn’t Ryback’s fault Ziggler was hurt on Raw. Therefore tonight it’s Ryback vs. Ziggler again. HHH stops for a minute to say that Daniel Bryan isn’t here because Bryan thinks he’s above everyone else on the stage. Tonight it’s Bryan vs. a member of the Shield of Bryan’s choice. HHH thanks the stars for their honesty and gives Kofi a non-title match against Curtis Axel. RVD gets a non-title match as well against Randy Orton. Orton gets his big introduction to end this segment.

Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam

Del Rio sits in on commentary. Rob starts with some shoulder into the ribs and a kick to the face for two. Another kick to the face gets two more and a slingshot legdrop has Randy writhing around on the mat. A top rope kick to the face gets two for Rob but Orton counters Rolling Thunder into a powerslam for two. Orton stomps Van Dam’s head but Rob comes back with yet another kick for two. The fans chant for ECW as Randy pounds away at Rob’s head for two.

Rob comes back with the fifth kick to the face of the match as Del Rio says Ricardo was stealing money from him, hence the split. We head to the floor with Orton being draped across the barricade, only to move from Rob’s kick to the back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that move miss before. Back in and Orton goes after the leg with a Robinsdale Crunch before stopping to pose.

Randy throws him back to the floor and we take a break.  Back with Rob fighting out of the chinlock and getting two off a superkick and a standing moonsault. A spinwheel kick in the corner staggers Orton but he avoids a monkey flip and kicks Rob’s leg out for two. The Elevated DDT puts Rob down but the RKO is countered with, say it with me, a kick to the head. A rollup gets two for Rob and now Rolling Thunder connects.

The Five Star misses and Rob rolls to the floor for a second, only to come back in for another kick to Randy’s face. Alberto gets off commentary and sends Ricardo into the post, drawing Rob into a dive to the floor, taking Del Rio out. Randy sends RVD into the announce table and hits the Elevated DDT on the floor (the same move that wrote RVD out of the WWE six years ago, not mentioned here of course) before the RKO gets the pin at 13:18.

Result: Randy Orton b. Rob Van Dam – RKO (13:18)

Post match Del Rio beats up Rob and puts him in the cross armbreaker.

Daniel Bryan says that he wasn’t invited to the town hall meeting and the only attitude problem he has is that he wants to be WWE Champion. Shield can pick a member to face him because any of them are fine with him.

AJ runs into Layla, Aksana and Alicia Fox (who is at least six inches taller than all three of them) and says that she’d rather face any of them rather than the Total Divas because the three of them are actual wrestlers. AJ has a plan.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Ryback

This is a rematch from Monday where Ambrose jumped Ziggler before the match. Ziggler escapes a quick gorilla press and low bridges Ryback out to the floor. Back in and Ziggler hits a quick dropkick but misses a splash into the corner to give Ryback control. Dean Ambrose jumps in on commentary out of nowhere and goes into that creepy voice of his.

Ryback puts on a bearhug and gets a two count out of it before lifting Ziggler back into the air. A BIG DDT gets Dolph out of trouble and he pounds away on Ryback in the corner. Dolph gets two off a neckbreaker and the Fameasser gets the same. Ryback knocks Ziggy to the floor but misses a charge into the steps. Ziggler goes after Ambrose but walks into the Meat Hook to take his head off. Back in and the Shell Shock ends Ziggler at 4:32.

Result: Ryback b. Dolph Ziggler – Shell Shock (4:32)

Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston

Non-title. They fight over a top wristlock to start and the fans are entirely behind the hometown boy Axel here. Axel takes him to the mat as we open with some nice chain wrestling. Off to a headlock by Axel but Kofi fights out for the double leapfrog and jumping back elbow to the jaw. Curtis has a quick consultation with Heyman and walks right into a headscissors.

Kofi dropkicks him to the floor but Axel steps to the side before Kofi can launch the suicide dive. Instead Axel tries to send Kingston into the steps, only to have Kofi jump over the steps, turn around and use the steps as a springboard for a clothesline. A Heyman distraction lets Axel shoulder Kofi to the floor and we take a break.  Back with Axel holding a chinlock but Kofi comes back with kicks to the ribs. Axel will have none of that though and hits a clothesline to the back of the head for a close two.

The fans want to see a PerfectPlex but instead they get Axel jumping into Kofi’s boots to put both guys down. Kofi speeds things up but walks into a great looking dropkick for two more. The dueling chants begin but Kofi misses a charge into the corner and gets caught in a quick Tree of Woe. Not that it matters as Kofi escapes and hooks the SOS out of nowhere for the pin at 9:44.

Result: Kofi Kingston b. Curtis Axel – SOS (9:44)

We get the Bray Wyatt promo from Raw on Kane disappearing while talking about Icarus. The myth, not the indy guy.

Heyman is panicking over what might happen at the PPV when Renee asks him about that very thing. Paul calls tonight an error in judgment and takes the blame instead of putting it on Axel. Renee says that Punk has promised to give Heyman the beating of his life which freaks Paul out even worse.

Naomi vs. Brie Bella

Have we ever gotten an explanation of why she’s Naomi in WWE and Trinity on Total Divas? Brie kicks her down and puts on a chinlock while shouting that she’ll be Divas Champion. Trinity fights out and hits a flipping clothesline for two before they tumble to the floor where AJ, Alicia and Layla run to the ring for the DQ at 1:39.

Result: Brie Bella vs. Naomi went to a double disqualification when AJ Lee, Layla, Aksana and Alicia Fox interfered (1:39)

The Total Divas are beaten down and AJ declares herself Divas Champion. This is somewhat booed, which makes me chuckle as they’re really going with the Total Divas as the good people here.

Los Matadores are coming.

Real Americans vs. Usos

Antonio now has a We The People cape, making him even more amazing than he was before. Cesaro charges right at Jey with a dropkick at the bell to send him to the floor. Swagger gets the tag and runs Jey down with a clothesline on the floor before heading back inside. The Vader Bomb crushes Jey and a double stomp from Cesaro makes it even worse. Back to Swager for a double arm trap but Jey fights up and backdrops Jack to the floor.

The hot tag brings in Jimmy who throws Antonio to the floor and hits a big dive to take him down again. Back in and the running Umaga attack in the corner gets two as Swagger saves. Jey superkicks Cesaro down and loads up the Superfly Splash but Swagger shoves him right into the European uppercut for the pin by Cesaro at 3:37. Jey sold that perfectly by stopping cold on impact and looking like he ran into a building.

Result: Real Americans b. Usos – European Uppercut to Jey (3:37)

HHH comes up to see Big Show and gives him a handicap match against 3MB for what they said earlier. Big Show can use the like stress balls.

Big Show vs. 3MB

Slater is the first lamb to be slaughtered and Show takes out the knee. The other two are knocked to the floor and the carnage begins. Show unleashes the chops on Mahal’s chest and spears Drew in half. Back in and a double chokeslam takes out Mahal and McIntyre but it’s the WMD to pin Slater at 2:35. Exactly what you would expect here.

Result: Big Show b. 3MB – WMD to Slater (2:35)

Shield comes out as Show leaves but HHH takes the giant to the back.

Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan

Reigns steps forward to distract Bryan and give Seth a cheap shot to start. Bryan comes back with a knee to the ribs and fires off the kicks to a kneeling Rollins. A Cactus Clothesline sends both guys to the floor but Bryan heads inside with Shield closing in on him. Rollins knocks him back to the floor and kicks Bryan in the side of the head for two. Off to a chinlock for a bit before Bryan comes back with forearms and a release German suplex. Bryan hits the corner dropkick and its missile cousin for two.

Back up and Bryan fires off more kicks but the Rollins ducks the roundhouse kick and shoves Daniel to the apron. An enziguri puts Bryan on the floor and Reigns gets in a cheap shot to take Bryan down. Bryan is whipped into the steps but Rollins’ top rope knee is countered into the YES Lock. A Reigns distraction breaks it up though and Bryan hits the FLYING GOAT to take out Roman. Not that it matters though as the running knee to the head pins Rollins at 6:06.

Result:Daniel Bryan b. Seth Rollins – Running knee to the head (6:06)

Bryan bails to escape Shield and poses on the stage…..but Orton lays him out with the belt to end the show. This would be the seventh consecutive show to end with Daniel Bryan laid out since he won the WWE Championship.

This concludes our live coverage of Smackdown.  Make sure to join us Monday for Monday Night Raw at 8PM EST.

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