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   August 29, 2014



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Smackdown!: Wrestling dominates final show of 2013
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


WWE television never takes a week off. The closest it comes is during the holidays when the shows are taped over a week in advance. What does this mean for the WWE Universe, well, expect Smackdown! to feature a lot of wrestling, some holiday nonsense, and not a lot of story line advancement.

John Cena kicks of the final show of 2013. Cena stands in the middle of the ring and gets the Corpus Christie, Texas, crowd fired up. Cena runs down his ridiculous list of New Year's resolution, which include gaining 40 pounds. Cena says he can do that right now, by cashing in his rematch with Randy Orton. See, the title belts way about 40 pounds; there's some math involved. Instead of Orton, Cena gets the attention of The Shield, who make their way out of the crowd and beat down Cena. It doesn't take long for help to arrive in the massive form of Mark Henry. Big E Langston also joins the fray, sending The Shield into retreat.

Kane, using whatever power that comes with his title, walks out on stage and makes three separate matches for tonight's show, including the Main Event of Cena versus Seth Rollins.

In case you missed it, Batista is returning to WWE. YAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWN!

And now it's time for the holiday nonsense, well it will happen on RAW. I don't think seeing Big Show dressed as a New Year's baby is going to get me to tune into RAW.

Match #1 - The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Erik Rowan w/ Bray Wyatt

My hope for 2014 is that WWE continues to cultivate the tag team divison. Although the last PPV featured teams that were two singles wrestlers teamed up, and not a true tag team. The Usos seem to be getting over, but tonight they get squashed by The Wyatts losing in under four minutes.

Winner via pinfall: Luke Harper and Erik Rowan

Renee Young asks WWE Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton if he has any resolutions. Orton says maybe he will win the Royal Rumble, watch Wrestlemania 30 from a suite, retire the next night and then induct himself into the WWE Hall of Fame. Dolph Ziggler mocks the plan, when Kane intervenes. He makes a match between Orton and Ziggler, telling Orton the backstage needs to be a safe zone, but out in the ring is a different story.

Match #2 Cody Rhodes w/ Goldust vs. Antonio Cesaro w/ Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter

One of the great things about WWE is that you really can't predict what will happen in the grand scheme of things. Who would have thought six months ago that Goldust would be a major player again, holding the Tag Team belts with his brother that had just lost the Money in the Bank ladder match. Swagger distracts Rhodes, allowing Cesaro to roll him up and get the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Antonio Cesaro

Match #3 - The Prime Time Players vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback

Darren Young pins Axel with a Northern lights suplex, but Ryback breaks it up. Titus O'Neal jumps in and sends Ryback to the floor. Axel looks for the roll up, but Young rolls through into a pin of his own. Axel can't kick out and the Prime Time Player pick up the win.

Winner via pinfall: The Prime Time Players

Match #4 Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

So, Ziggler has pink highlights in his hair. Just thought I'd mention that. Ziggler punches Orton into the corner, but the champ fights back, answering with a suplex. The two men slug it out in the middle of the ring. A standing drop kick sends Orton scurrying out of the ring, and we go to commercial.

After the break, Orton is in full control, stomping away at Ziggler in the middle of the ring. Orton goes for the power slam, but Ziggler counters with a DDT and gets a near fall. Ziggler fights Orton off the top rope and then catches him with a missile drop kick. Ziggler then rams the champ into the ring post shoulder first. Orton gauges Ziggler in the eye and hits him with an RKO. Orton covers and gets the pin.

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton

After the bell, Orton tosses Ziggler to the floor and goes to work. He smashes Ziggler into the ring steps and the tosses him into the time keepers area. Orton hits him with the elevated DDT off the security barrier. The champ leaves Ziggler a broken mess at ringside.

The Shield as a message for the WWE. They inform us that 2014 will be a continuation of 2013. Reigns tells Mark Henry that tonight he will give pain a whole new meaning.

Match #5 Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow

Damien Sandow sure has been in a free fall the past few months. He went from being Mr. Money in the Bank to getting beat up dressed as Santa. Losing to Bryan isn't terrible, but Bryan picks up a pretty quick win after hitting the running knee.

Winners via pinfall: Daniel Bryan

After the match, Bray Wyatt has a message for Bryan. He says he admires the courage he has shown, but Bray is still in control.

Damien Sandow runs down Christmas before his match, promising to cancel it on Monday at RAW.

Match #6 Big E Langston vs. Dean Ambrose

It's should come as no surprise that the rest of The Shield is at ringside, so Mark Henry and John Cena join the party. Langston drives Ambrose into the corner with a shoulder. Langston catches Ambrose on the top turnbuckle, tossing him to the mat. Langston hits the Big Ending and covers to get the win.

Winner by pinfall: Big E Langston

Match #7 Mark Henry vs. Roman Reigns

Reigns wants to start with a test of strength, but when Henry puts his arm up, Reigns kicks him in the gut. Henry responds with big boot, but Reigns answers with a flying clothesline. A shoulder block knocks Reigns to the mat and Henry follows with a splash in the corner. Reigns is able to get the big man up for a Samoan drop. After a Superman punch, Reigns hits the spear and covers to the win.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Match #8 John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

Cena dominates Rollins to start the match, and after a hip toss, Rollins rolls out of the ring to collect himself. Back in the ring, Rollins gains the upper hand, stomping away at Cena in the corner. Rollins avoids a bulldog and slams Cena to the mat. Rollins applies a sleeper, taking Cena to the mat. Cena gets to his feet and slams Rollins into the corner to break the hold. Rollins hits a neck breaker and Cena kicks out of the pin as we go to break.

After the commercials, Rollins is still in full control. Cena reverse a whip and nearly sends Rollins over the turnbuckle. Cena connects with a shoulder block, but Rollins counters the side slam by planting Cena into the turnbuckle. Rollins spends too much time mocking Cena, allowing him to slam Rollins to the mat and hit the five knuckle shuffle. Cena goes for the AA, but Rollins lands on his feet. Cena gets splashed in the corner and hits the mat. Cena is able to hit a neck breaker, but can't get the pin. Cena power bombs Rollins, but still can't get the pin. Rollins grabs the top rope to block the AA and catches Cena with a kick to the head, when Cena tries to pull him off the ropes. Rollins catches Cena with a knee from the top rope. Cena catches Rollins trying to drive him into the mat and locks in the STF. Rollins gets to the ropes, as The Shield hits the ring. Henry and Langston clear them out, allowing Cena to hit the AA on Rollins.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale hopes everyone had a Merry Christmas and here's to a Happy New Year. Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627