Smackdown!: Orton is the new face of WWE
DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling
SummerSlam is in the books and we have a new WWE champion, but will we see them on Smackdown? Former champion, John Cena, almost never showed up on Smackdown, but maybe that will change with new WWE champ, Randy Orton. Michael Cole and JBL man the booth as the show starts in Bakersfield, California.
The shoe starts with Vickie Guerrero in the middle of the ring, which is always a great way to start things off. The Smackdown GM introduces the new WWE Champion, Randy Orton. Vickie wants a hug from the champ, but she settles for a handshake and leaves the champ to bask in his own glory in the ring.
Orton says he is what we want and deserve in champ, and that he will be a role model. The new champ also promises to be role model by telling the truth, and he told the truth when he said no one would see it coming when he cashed in Money in the Bank. Orton tells the crowd he didn't know Triple H would pedigree Daniel Bryan after the WWE Title match, and he didn't know The Shield would attack Bryan on RAW. Orton then calls himself the face of the WWE.
Former champ Daniel Bryan has heard enough and he wants to say what he couldn't on RAW. He thanks John Cena for the title shot at SummerSlam and wrestling injured. Bryan then tells Orton it's time for the face of the WWE to change. Bryan calls Orton pretty, but arrogant. Bryan points out that Orton had been handed everything in the WWE because of who is family is. Bryan says he has earned everything that he has gotten and tells Orton he can beat him. Bryan announces that he wants his title rematch, tonight. The crowd agrees. Orton tells him he has to wait until Night of Champions. Orton feigns leaving, but Bryan is able to block the RKO and push the champ out of the ring.
Vickie Guerrero is on the phone ranting about Daniel Bryan, when Wade Barrett offers to take care of him. Vickie makes the match, in a steel cage.
Match #1 - Cody Rhodes vs. Curtis Axel w/ Paul Heyman
Heyman has his arm in a sling from injuries suffered after Punk got his hands on him on RAW. In other news, Rhodes shaved off his mustache, which is apparently important since Cole tells us there's a YouTube video. Despite the injury, Heyman provides a distraction from Axel, allowing the Intercontinental Champ to crotch Cody on the top rope, Axel hits the over the shoulder facebuster, which I guess is another finisher in his arsenal. Axel covers to get the win.
Winner via pinfall: Curtis Axel
Paul Heyman gets on the mic and said he is pain and distress, not because of the injury, but because CM Punk is now a loser. He calls Punk a madman, who never stood a chance against Brock Lesnar. He says Punk is lost, while Axel has found himself. The IC title holders says Punk doesn't deserve an IC title match, but he will finish the job that Brock Lesnar started. Axel issues Punk a challenge to face him on Monday night.
Match #2 – Big E Langston w/ AJ Lee vs. Dolph Ziggler
Langston jumps Ziggler before Dolph can even get in the ring. The ref gets Langston to back off, so he can start the match. Ziggler tries to gain the upper hand, but Big E overpowers him. Ziggler dodge a spear and E crashes into the ring post. Ziggler follows with a face buster, but gets raked in the eyes from AJ. Big E sets up the Big Ending, but Ziggler counters with the Zig Zag and covers to get the win.
Winner via pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Match #3 – Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio
Christian lays on the offense early, sending Del Rio back up the ramp to take a breather. After the break, Del Rio has Christian cornered. He shoves him off the top rope to the floor.
Back in the ring, Del Rio hits a tilt-a-whirl back breaker. Christian fights back and climbs the turnbuckle, Del Rio swats Christian out of mid air, but cannot get the pin. Christian ducks an enziguri and nearly gets the pin after a sunset flip. After rolling out of the cross arm breaker, Christian hits a tornado DDT, but still can't get the pin. Del Rio rolls out of the ring to avoid the spear, and then catches Christian with an enziguri on the top rope. Del Rio sidesteps a spear and locks in the cross arm breaker. Christian tries to fight out, but eventually succumbs and taps out.
Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio
After the match, Del Rio thanks all the Latinos in the crowd, but tells them they can't be the next Alberto Del Rio. He calls them peasants and that they should follow him. Ricardo Rodriguez walks out on stage and tells Del Rio that he won't be following him anywhere, since he is now with RVD. Van Dam makes his way to the ring, which allows Christian to nail Del Rio with a missile drop kick. RVD hits Rolling Thunder and Del Rio limps to back.
Match #4 – Big Show and Mark Henry vs. 3MB - Handicapped Match
Props to JBL for making a Mean Street Posse reference. Anyway, 3MB pulls the upset! No, not really, Henry and Show take care of business, with Show pinning Drew McIntyre after the KO punch.
Winner via pinfall: Big Show and Mark Henry
After the match, The Shield appears on the Titantron calling out Show and Henry for only beating 3MB.
Match #5 – Darren Young w/ Titus O'Neil vs. Antonio Cesaro w/ Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter
Young gets a busted lip after an uppercut from Cesaro. Young responds with an overhead suplex and a Northern Light suplex. Cesaro kicks out of pin. Swagger jumps on the apron, but the distraction doesn't work. Young connects with the Gut Check and covers to get the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Darren Young
Ryback continues his reign of terror by bullying a fan that just wanted an autograph for his son. How did this guy get backstage? Man, WWE security is really lax. Ryback rips up the photo when the "Dad" admits he doesn't know who Ryback is.
Los Matadors are coming!
Match #6 – Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett - Steel Cage Match
Bryan kicks Barrett into the corner. Barrett drives Bryan into the cage face first. Bryan lands on his feet after a suplex, and works Barrett over in the corner, again. Bryan runs into a spinning side slam and we go to commercial.
After the break, Bryan smashes Barrett into the cage and follows with a series of drop kicks. Bryan starts to climb the cage, but Barrett catches him. Bryan knocks Barrett back to the floor and catches him with a missile drop kick. Barrett ducks a kick and unloads with a monster clothesline. Barrett picks Bryan up and drops him with an electric chair. Bryan kicks out of the pin. Barrett the starts the climb, but Bryan catches him. Bryan looks to suplex Barrett to the floor, but Barrett is able to elbow his way out of it. Barrett gets to the top, but Bryan is able to catch him, again. Using the cage as a weapon, Bryan is able bomb Barrett back to the ring. Bryan explodes out of the corner, catching Barrett with a running knee to the face. Bryan covers and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Daniel Bryan
After the match, Randy Orton cuts the celebration short, sliding out from under the ring to hit Bryan with an RKO. The show ends with Orton standing over Bryan with the title belt.
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627