by Billy Carpenter (@4CR_Billy)
Daniel Bryan makes his way out to kick off the show. He says that he doesn’t want to be the face of the WWE, he just wants to be himself. He turns his attention towards the attack by Kane this past Monday on RAW. He calls him out and as Kane begins to speak, Bryan invites him down to the ring. Kane declines and gives a generic apology for the attack. They banter back and forth before Kane makes Daniel Bryan vs Antonio Cesaro for later tonight! I’m quite ok with Kane & Bryan crossing paths again in this story of Bryan vs The Authority. They have a chance to do something interesting with these two, whether as enemies or secretly aligned on taking out the corporation.
The Shield make their way down for action, as Roman & Ambrose will be in tag action. No match for the hometown guy Rollins? Their opponents tonight are Dolph Ziggler & Kofi Kingston. Good tag match and while I don’t hate the Kofi/Dolph pairing I want more for Ziggler after that promo last week. Anyhow, Shield matches now seem to me as a vehicle to keep pouring gas on the Roman Reigns fire. He’s the focal point and obviously being groomed for the monster push. He ends things with a thunderous Superman punch and a huge spear that Dolph sold well. Roman tags in Ambrose to let him get the cover, a play on the conflict from RAW. Post-match, The Wyatt Family have more ominous words for The Shield.
Back from break and here comes Sheamus! His opponent is Ryback, who’s already in the ring. This was better–and longer–than I thought it would be. Not great, mind you, but not terrible. Ryback had a chance to look competitive for once and I don’t know if this means they’ll try another push of the Big Guy or not. He’s damaged goods as far I’m concerned but we’ll see. After all, the WWE tried getting Barry Horowitz over in ’95 and he lost for a decade prior to that. I think this could be the start of that rumored feud between these two, an I suppose I wouldn’t mind another match or two. Sheamus wins a competitive affair with a Brogue Kick.
Antonio Cesaro is out for his match against Daniel Bryan. Great match, as was expected. No recap here, just go watch it. Kane comes out post-match after Cesaro attacks Bryan and hits the chokeslam. Alright, so my earlier theory of Bryan & Kane in cahoots is probably beyond far fetched at this point. But seriously, this match will be available on Hulu tomorrow. Watch it if you missed it.
AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella is next. Not much here. AJ wins another match with the Black Widow.
Titus O’Neil is backstage with Renee Young. His promo was ok, there was some stuff that didn’t make sense though. “The only weight I’m carrying now is WWE gold.” Huh? You don’t have a belt (yet) Titus! Darren Young attacks and leaves Titus on the floor.
Goldust vs Bray Wyatt is next. Goldust puts up a little bit of a fight, even hitting his hurricanrana. Bray is too much though and hits Sister Abigail for the win in a match that he dominated. The Shield show up on the tron post match and promise to hand out justice at the Elimination Chamber.
Main event time, as Christian makes his way out to take on the WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton. These two always have great chemistry and this was no exception. Solid work on both ends and I’m glad that Randy isn’t losing all of these matches heading into the Chamber. We all knew Christian wasn’t winning the belt anyway. As much as you have to make the challengers looks strong, the champ needs to look good going into the match too. A nice RKO catches Christian mid-air to secure the win for the champion. Good main event to cap off a great episode of SmackDown.