Hello, Cagesiders! Welcome to the fourth Cageside Seats Week in Wrestling of 2013! It's Sunday again, so it's time to run down what happened onscreen in WWE and TNA over the past seven days.
This week's WWE television was focused on hyping their first big pay-per-view of the year, the Royal Rumble, which was a mixed bag.
CM Punk and The Rock continued to hit the ball out of the park with their promos building up their main event singles match together and some seeds of doubt over the finish were sown by The Shield laying out Rock, presumably at Paul Heyman's behest. But John Cena cut a promo to hype the Royal Rumble match so horrid that it left him with heat backstage.
Meanwhile, TNA did a bad job of explaining exactly why Taz turned on Bully Ray and led Aces and 8s in destroying Bully's wedding ceremony with Brooke Hogan.
So find out all the other goings on in WWE and TNA over the past week with our latest weekly synopsis of all their televised shows:
- Vickie Guerrero and Paul Heyman started the show all lovey-dovey, due to both having been unmercifully buried by The Rock in his Rock Concert last week. Vickie announced that The Rock was banned from the arena for the evening and would be arrested if he dared to show up. Rock was already outside the building and promised he would somehow find a way in.
- It was Beat The Clock Challenge night with the winner earning the right to choose what number he would enter the Royal Rumble match.
- In a Beat the Clock Challenge match, Randy Orton pinned Antonio Cesaro with the RKO in 11:36.
- Big Show squashed Zack Ryder in seconds with the WMD. Brad Maddox did commentary again during this bout.
- Maddox then confronted Paul Heyman backstage, who finally changed his tune and now wanted to help the down on his luck jabroni out.
- Ryback squashed Heath Slater with the Shellshock.
- Vickie met with the cops outside to tell them to arrest The Rock. When they refused, as Rock hadn't crossed their line yet, she told Rock she'd lift the ban if he apologised to her. Of course, the word sorry wasn't forthcoming and Rock called her a bi-atch instead.
- CM Punk did another superb promo putting over the length of his WWE title reign and bashing The Rock for choosing to be the People's Champion, just because he can't be the actual champion.
- In a Beat the Clock Challenge match, Dolph Ziggler pinned The Miz with the Zig Zag in 10:56 after AJ Lee and Big E Langston helped him to break the figure four leglock behind the referee's back and also distract his opponent.
- Kane & Daniel Bryan had their Anger Management Graduation ceremony. Dr. Shelby wanted to let them decide who the Valedictorian of the class should be, but this inevitably led to an argument between the two. They then tried to get an arena wide group hug going, but only a small fraction of the people in attendance joined in.
- Kaitlyn pinned Alicia Fox with the spear.
- Paul Heyman did a promo calling The Rock stupid. This was the cue for Rock's music to hit, as he got a spare ticket to the event from one of the cops outside. Rock gave an inspirational speech about winning the WWE title at the Royal Rumble. The light then went out and when they came back on The Rock was laid out by The Shield. He even let Roman Reigns split his upper lip and bloody it up on purpose.
- In a Beat the Clock Challenge match, Sheamus ran out of time with Wade Barrett thanks to Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee and Big E Langston causing a distraction to run the clock down and consequently the Brogue Kick came just as time ran out.
- Ziggler then made out with AJ in front of Vickie Guerrero backstage. A jealous Vickie got her own back by telling him that he doesn't get to pick any old number, it's either one or two.
- CM Punk and Paul Heyman bump into Vince McMahon, who wasn't happy with the earlier Shield shenanigans and told them both that if the Shield interferes in Punk's title match at Royal Rumble, he would be stripped of the title.
- Alberto Del Rio pinned Tensai with a top rope moonsault.
- Bob Backlund was announced for the WWE Hall Of Fame.
- Bizarrely, John Cena went into the crowd to make lame jokes at the expense of hopefully planted fans about what they did on Sundays. Eventually he got to the point and said he would win the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Then Sheamus, The Prime Time Players, Randy Orton, The Miz, Team Hell No, Antonio Cesaro and 3MB all came out one by one to say, "Oh no you're not, I'm gonna win." The show went off the air with a battle royal style in ring brawl with almost everyone on the roster.
- Shawn Michaels, yes the one and only HBK, was brought in to announce that there would be a tournament to determine the first NXT tag team champions.
- In a tag team tournament match, The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) defeated Yoshi Tatsu & Percy Watson when Harper pinned Watson with a spinning clothesline.
- Dusty Rhodes told Alex Riley & Derrick Bateman they would have a tournament match against Kassius Ohno & Leo Kruger next week. Corey Graves interrupted, upset that he was never given a rematch for the NXT Championship after The Shield ran in on his match with then-champ Seth Rollins. Riley doesn't appreciate this rude disturbance and lets Graves know about it. Dusty tells Graves that he isn't in the tournament because no-one was willing to team with him and if he wants another shot at the singles belt he has to defeat Jake Carter tonight.
- Sasha Banks pinned Alicia Fox with a small package.
- After a video package for Paige, Aksana did an interview contrasting herself with the Anti-Diva to set up a match between the two next week.
- Corey Graves submitted Jake Carter with his 13th Step finisher. After the match, Graves declared anarchy on NXT for not being put in the tag team tournament and told Riley that he would take care of him if he got in his way.
- Bo Dallas approached former heel Michael McGillicutty to ask him why he saved him from a recent beat down by Primo & Epico, who responded by saying that what he was doing wasn't working. This angle set up a tournament match between Dallas & McGillicutty vs. the Colóns for next week.
- Oliver Grey & Adrian Neville defeated 3MB's Drew McIntyre & Heath Slater when Neville pinned McIntyre with a corkscrew shooting star press.
- NXT Champion Big E Langston squashed Axl Keegan for a five count. After the match, Conor O'Brian appeared on the Trinatron and informed the champ that in two weeks, he will show him what he thinks of the five count, leaving Langston perplexed.
- Ryback defeated Antonio Cesaro by count out, when Cesaro walked out of the match after taking a Meathook Clothesline.
- Team Rhodes Scholars defeated The Usos when Damien Sandow pinned Jimmy Uso.
- The Great Khali pinned Epico with a tree slam. Afterwards, Primo challenged Khali to an immediate match, which led to...
- The Great Khali pinned Primo with a big chop to the head.
- Kofi Kingston defeated JTG with the Trouble in Paradise.
- Kane & Daniel Bryan opened up the show with a promo and soon started squabbling about which one of them is going to win the Royal Rumble match. Big Show interrupted the petty fight to tell them that he would win back the World Heavyweight Championship at the Rumble and he'd squish them like bugs if they stood in his way. The Rhodes Scholars then came out to tell Team Hell No that they would also win the Tag Team Championship on Sunday and to propose an alliance with Show. Of course, Alberto Del Rio then entered the ring to even the odds and Smackdown GM Booker T also came down before all hell broke loose to book the obvious six-man tag team match for the main event, but with the added twist of it being an elimination match.
- Sheamus pinned Wade Barrett with the Brogue Kick.
- Natalya submitted Rosa Mendes with the Sharpshooter.
- CM Punk called out The Shield for their recent "independent actions" that have gotten him into trouble with Vince McMahon, namely beating up The Rock on Monday. They came out and were told by Punk to stay out of his way and that he doesn't want or need their help. The Shield then left, allowing Punk to continue his promo, saying that on Sunday he would prove that he is the best in the world and the greatest of all time. Then we had The Rock add his two pennies worth, that Punk will realise it's over when he lifts him up for the Rock Bottom on Sunday. He closes by getting right up into Punk's face and telling him "If you can smell what The Rock... is cooking."
- Randy Orton defeated Drew McIntrye by disqualification when Jinder Mahal interfered. After the match, Orton laid out all three members of 3MB with RKOs.
- The Miz submitted Darren Young with the Figure Four leglock.
- Then it was time for the elimination match main event of Alberto Del Rio & Team Hell No vs. The Big Show & Team Rhodes Scholars. Kane pinned Sandow with the chokeslam. Then there was a series of three eliminations by count out: Kane after a WMD by Big Show on the outside, Daniel Bryan after a WMD by Show that knocked him over the top rope and Show after being superkicked off the apron by Del Rio. Del Rio ended up being the soul survivor by pinning Cody Rhodes with an enzuigiri. The show ended with Big Show knocking Del Rio out cold with the WMD, then tipping the announcers table on top of him and counting to ten.
Saturday Morning Slam (Jan. 26th)
- The Miz pinned Darren Young with the Skull Crushing Finale.
- Kofi Kingston pinned Epico with the S.O.S.
- Next week's main event will be Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder.
- The show started with a wishy washy explanation about why Taz joined Aces and 8s. He wanted to be a part of a group that is so elite, and take direction and vision from a "higher power". His contract makes him bulletproof, as he's an announcer no-one can lay a finger on him.
- Tara pinned Velvet Sky after a distraction from Jesse.
- Joseph Park said next week he'd call someone out, hold court in the ring and get "the W."
- Zema Ion & Kenny King defeated Rob Van Dam & Christian York when Ion stole King's pinfall on York, making King mad at the spotlight stealer.
- Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco acted concerned about Kurt Angle's wellbeing. Angle told them he's not 100% but he's good enough to go tonight and is ready to kick some ass.
- Bully Ray (with Brooke Hogan, of course) described how stunned he was over Taz's betrayal and told Aces and 8s he absolutely won't stop until he makes every single one of them pay for what they've done. He then begged Hulk Hogan to lift his suspension so he can get revenge. Sting joined the couple to also lobby the Hulkster to overturn the ban and said that Hogan should make the announcement next week in the U.K. that Bully is reinstated.
- Austin Aries and Bobby Roode argued with each other about which one of them should face Hernandez.
- Bobby Roode pinned Hernandez after unwanted interference from Austin Aries. They argued up the ramp after the match, both trying to take credit for the win.
- Kurt Angle called out Mr. Anderson, who answered the invitation in Aces and 8s garb. Anderson repeatedly challenged Angle to a match next week. They eventually started brawling and once Angle had made Anderson flee, he accepted the challenge but wanted it to be inside a steel cage.
- In an awesome main event, Jeff Hardy pinned Christopher Daniels to retain his TNA World Heavyweight Championship. After the match, Taz distracted Hardy so that a masked member of Aces and 8s could blast him in the back of the leg before running off.
Be sure to click all the corresponding tabs to find out more with live blogs and post-event reactions. Until next week, Cagesiders!