WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Aug. 23, 2013) from Rockford, Illinois, with a taped show on the SyFy channel featuring all the fallout from the SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in Los Angeles.
If you're the impatient type and wish to read full spoilers for the show you can find out exactly what goes down by clicking here.
Either way, come back here at 8 p.m. ET for the SmackDown live blog.
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR AUG. 23
Broadcast is up.
Naturally, we start with a replay of SummerSlam's main event, then Triple H's promo on Monday Night Raw the very next evening. This is very much about Bryan vs. the McMahons, and, really, Bryan vs. Triple H.
We start with Vickie Guerrero and her grating voice screaming over the boos to introduce Randy Orton. It's odd seeing him as the lead star of SmackDown, considering the WWE title is a Raw brand belt. Really, with John Cena and Sheamus both on the shelf, he and Bryan are just going to have to pull double duty like it was in the old days.
Orton promises to be a role model to the fans, and what does a role model do? He tells the truth. And that's what he did. But how did he do that? Well, he promised none of us would see it coming when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.
Except we ALL saw it coming. We didn't see the Triple H heel turn leading up to it.
Orton continues and says we should all be surprised because he was. He was surprised that Triple H hit Bryan with the Pedigree. He didn't know about it, but he wants to make it clear he didn't need that help. The same goes for The Shield beating down Bryan on Raw.
"Although I greatly appreciate the support from the entire McMahon family, I would like to ask each and every one of you for your support as well."
Yeah, that goes over great, as you can imagine.
"After all, I'm not only the WWE champion. But this is also the face of the WWE."
Finally, Bryan's music hits and he's out to his usual reaction. The "YES" chants aren't in sync, though, so it doesn't sound as good as it typically does.
Before Bryan address the "new face of the WWE" he wants to address Cena. He says thanks for the opportunity to wrestle their match at SummerSlam, for being bold enough and courageous enough to wrestle through his injury.
Because if he was only good enough for that one day, it at least allowed him to feel what it feels like to be the WWE champion. And as far as the face of the WWE goes, it's time for that face to change.
"YES! YES! YES!"
Bryan puts over Orton's physique and his good looks. He even calls him "pretty". "I mean, look at him. He's just so pretty."
But he's also arrogant, Bryan tells us, and he's been handed everything he's ever gotten. His father was here, his grandfather was here, and he's been living with that silver spoon since day one.
Bryan literally stops and laughs about how he just can't get over how pretty Randy is; so pretty, it makes Daniel just want to kick him in the face. You see, he had to scratch and claw for every opportunity he's gotten in his career. He gives the old story, the hard work and dedication it took to get him here, how hard it was to overcome the fact that he's not tall and he's certainly not pretty.
But he can wrestle. And he can beat Orton. And he can win back that WWE title.
Bryan brings up the fact that he's entitled to a rematch for that very belt and he's not sure what anyone else thinks but he wants it to go down tonight RIGHT HERE in this very ring.
The "YES" chants quickly get in sync for that.
"Sorry, Short Stuff, you're going to have to wait until Night of Champions."
Orton went for a surprise RKO but ended up getting kicked in the face and sent out of the ring. They aren't saying that match is official, but it's the obvious direction.
Vickie is shown on the phone backstage talking to an empty line saying Bryan is a "troll" who deserves to pay for interrupting Orton's promo to kick off the show.
She says he'll pay.
When she hops off the phone, Wade Barrett is right there to lobby for her to put him into a match with him tonight and he promises that when he's done with Bryan, she'll never hear from the little guy again.
Vickie likes the idea, so she books them in a Steel Cage match for the main event.
Cody Rhodes vs. Curtis Axel
The announcers are putting over Rhodes' recent victories over Damien Sandow as a way for Cody to lay claim to number one contender status once Sandow actually wins the world title.
The match isn't anything to get excited about. Rhodes was distracted by Paul Heyman at the end, leading to Axel racking him on the ropes and hitting his finisher for the victory.
Post-match, we get a promo from Heyman. He says he's in agony, not just physically because his arm is injured, but emotionally because of CM Punk. A man he felt so strongly for has been reduced to being a sad, pathetic loser.
Punk is off the rails. The guy is on a downward spiral and his actions are those befitting a mad man. Without Paul in his corner, let's be real, he never stood a chance against Brock Lesnar. Without Heyman, Punk is lost. Just look at Axel. With Heyman's guidance, he's notched victory after victory after victory. No one can defeat him for the Intercontinental title.
Axel gets the mic and says Punk is so jealous that Heyman has been paying more attention to him that Punk assaulted him with a chair.
"Punk, I'm going to finish the job that Brock Lesnar gave you at SummerSlam."
That's a real line from Curtis.
He finishes by challenging Punk to a match then says he's got the edge because he's got Heyman in his corner. This man is so god awful on the microphone and in every way shape and form other than wrestling ability, I can't see him ever being a real draw for this company.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E. Langston
Ziggler doesn't even get his shirt off for the match, as Langston just attacks like a bull in a china shop, just wrecking shit. It's mostly a game of cat and mouse, with Ziggler taking some nice bumps.
AJ Lee is still riding with Big E. and she tries to help out but it does no good and Ziggy gets the pinfall victory, clean in the center of the ring.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
We're getting the immediate rematch here likely due mostly to the fact that Del Rio is moving on to a feud with Rob Van Dam. I'm guessing the plan was for Rey Mysterio to be in this spot, but his rehab didn't go as planned and Christian was just a holdover guy.
They work a typical WWE main event style match. Whole lot of false finishes, with the babyface nearly going over multiple times before ultimately falling prey to the champion. Christian did a hell of a job in his two matches with Del Rio this week.
And he did the job both times.
Del Rio gets on the mic post-match. He knows they want him to be their hero, their leader, but they can't be like him because they're peasants.
No different than Raw this week, Ricardo Rodriguez comes out with a problem. He introduces Rob Van Dam. Christian had hung back and he hit Del Rio with a dropkick, giving RVD time to come down and hit Rolling Thunder on a prone ADR.
Big Show & Mark Henry vs. 3MB
This is a real match that is happening.
The jobbers are in here to bump around for the big guys, and they're doing just that to spectacular results. Naturally, the babyfaces go over in a big, big way.
This was really just a lead in to The Shield cutting a promo on the titantron challenging them.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Darren Young
Guess what happened? Young won a quick match. Well, okay, he took punishment all throughout. So there's that.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
The steel cage match was really good, some of Barrett's better work, but look who he had to work with. This is one of the good things about having Bryan on top as the big star in the promotion, you can count on him to have outstanding matches on regular episodes of SmackDown.
He went over, of course, and the Barrett feud should be done now.
On to Bryan vs. Orton