WWE SmackDown returns to SyFy this coming Friday night (Aug. 23, 2013) from Bakersfield, California, but the show was taped, as usual, on Tuesday night. That means full spoilers are readily available if you're the impatient type who doesn't want to wait a couple days for the payoff.
Unwrap that present early:
- Randy Orton opened the show, to the surprise of no one. And, of course, he gets a ton of heel heat for having screwed over Daniel Bryan. He claims he didn't know about Triple H's plan to turn on Bryan at SummerSlam, and that he doesn't need any help. Naturally, Bryan comes out and says otherwise, taking the stance that he has had to scratch and claw his way to the top while Orton has had everything given to him. An RKO attempt was countered into a dropkick before Orton bailed while Bryan led the "Yes" chants with the crowd eating it up.
- In a backstage segment, Wade Barrett asked Vickie Guerrero for a match with Bryan and she gave it to him ... in a STEEL CAGE!
- Curtis Axel def. Cody Rhodes in a match that saw Rhodes have the upper hand for much of it but Paul Heyman cause enough of a distraction to allow Axel to pick up the victory. After, Heyman cut a promo on CM Punk that somehow led to Axel challenging Punk to a match on Raw next week for the Intercontinental championship.
- Dolph Ziggler def. Big E. Langston after the Zig Zag despite interference from AJ Lee. Call me crazy, and maybe even a turncoat, but I'm to the point that I would rather see Langston getting pushed than Ziggler.
- Alberto Del Rio def. Christian in yet another good long match between the two. We're on the Del Rio revenge tour, as he gets all his wins back from Christian. Like a good soldier, though, Christian gave an assist to Rob Van Dam, helping him set up a Five-Star Frog Splash. So ADR vs. RVD is your next world heavyweight title feud.
- Big Show & Mark Henry def. 3MB in a squash match before The Shield show up on the titantron to call them out. Looks like that feud is going ahead as planned.
- Darren Young def. Antonio Cesaro despite Jack Swagger interfering in the match. I'll continue to harp on the Real Americans for being the least successful tag team in history when it comes to singles encounters with one partner trying to help the other win. They fail every time. It's almost their gimmick at this point.
- Daniel Bryan def. Wade Barrett in the main event steel cage match. You probably don't need to be told that this was a fine match and beyond that, Bryan once again used the flying knee for his finisher. I like it. The post-match angle saw Randy Orton come out from under the ring, apparently after hanging with Hornswoggle for a while, to lay Bryan out with an RKO to end the show.
That's the show, Cagesiders. How does it sound to you?