WWE SmackDown returns to SyFy this coming Friday night (Jan. 4, 2013) from Richmond,Virginia, but the show was taped, this past Sunday night. That means full spoilers are readily available if you're the impatient type who doesn't want to wait a couple (extra) days for the payoff.
Unwrap that present early (via Wrestling Observer):
-- The reports on the show aren't detailed from any source, just know that going in here.
-- Randy Orton is back! And he made it official that he will be in the Royal Rumble match. In response to this, Sheamus came out and declared he, too, would be in the Rumble this year. Those are the two biggest names on SmackDown, and both legitimate threats to win. Big Show and Antonio Cesaro made their presence felt, leading to Booker T booking a tag team match for the main event, which means Teddy Long is really getting to him.
-- The Miz def. Heath Slater.
-- Great Khali, Hornswoggle, and Natalya def. Primo, Epico, and Rosa Mendes. So they didn't go away from the weird former trio while still sending the latter trio spiraling even further. Now that Mendes had her storyline with Alberto Del Rio seemingly dropped, the future looks bleak for that group.
-- Wade Barrett def. Kofi Kingston to retain the Intercontinental championship in a rematch that Kofi earned on Main Event by beating Barrett. Once again, WWE books its matches ass backwards.
-- Tamina Snuka def. Layla. Word on the house show circuit is Tamina has been having some good matches and WWE has been letting her grow quite a bit. We'll see how that translates to TV, if at all.
-- Randy Orton and Sheamus def. Big Show and Antonio Cesaro. It sounds like they booked this perfectly to tease dissension between the two babyfaces, with Orton retaining that status for this show if only because he returned from a short break to a big pop. Orton hit the RKO on Cesaro but Sheamus stole the pin. A staredown apparently ends the show. So it looks like the rumor mill may have been correct in regards to a program between the two heading into WrestleMania 29.
That's the show, Cagesiders. How does it sound to you?