The August 23, 2013 Edition of Smackdown is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on August 20, 2013 at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, California.
Just five days after The Biggest Party of the Summer, Daniel Bryan set his sights on WWE Champion Randy Orton before stepping into a steel cage against The Barrett Barrage; Big Show & Mark Henry rocked 3MB and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio battled Christian in a rematch of their SummerSlam classic.
The new WWE Champion, Randy Orton, opened SmackDown by justifying cashing in his Money in the Bank contract at SummerSlam. The Viper claimied he didn’t know Triple H was going to Pedigree Bryan – but that he just couldn’t pass up an opportunity literally lying in front of him.
While Bryan emerged to praise the efforts of John Cena in Sunday’s WWE Title showdown, he quickly refuted Orton’s claim that he was "the face" of WWE, insisting that it was time for that face to change. The Bearded Superstar mocked how "pretty" and arrogant Orton is, reducing The Viper’s success to established in-ring lineage and the "genetic golden ticket" he was bestowed upon birth. Bryan then invoked his rematch clause, challenging Orton that very night on SmackDown!
While the WWE Universe agreed, Orton said the former titleholder would have to wait until Night of Champions. When he tried to RKO Bryan, however, the journeyman grappler delivered a thundering dropkick that sent The Viper flying out of the ring!
Stewing over Daniel Bryan’s interruption of the WWE Champion moments earlier, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero looked to "teach that little troll a lesson." When Wade Barrett emerged offering just the thing, Vickie one-upped The Barrett Barrage’s offer, making Bryan vs. the British brawler in a Steel Cage Match for later in the night!
Following up his huge victory in a highly personal match against former buddy (and current Mr. Money in the Bank) Damien Sandow at SummerSlam, Cody Rhodes looked to insert himself into the Intercontinental Title hunt as he battled current champion Curtis Axel.
A "perfect" victory?
But after Paul Heyman distracted Rhodes, Axel hit the neckbreaker to score a huge win over the "son of a son of a plumber."
After, Heyman described himself as being "in agony" over the actions of CM Punk on Raw, calling The Second City Saint a "sad, pathetic loser" for going "off the rails." The mad scientist went on to say The Straight Edge Superstar was "lost," while Curtis Axel had "found himself," making the bold statement that no Superstar can defeat the reigning Intercontinental Champion. Axel then challenged Punk to a match on next week’s Raw!
Later, Punk would Tweet his response, setting the stage for their Monday night clash.
After being decimated by The Shield on Raw, Dolph Ziggler looked to take out some frustrations against his former heavy and Divas Champion AJ Lee’s “best friend,” Big E Langston, on SmackDown.
Langston assaulted The Showoff before the bell even rang, clocking Ziggler from behind. When Dolph assured the referee he was okay, the match officially started and Big E once again put his scary strength — and temper — on display.
Just when it looked like Ziggler was getting back on track, AJ inserted herself into the mix, delivering a fierce shot to her ex-boyfriend with the referee distracted. But when Big E went for the Big Ending, The Showoff countered with the Zig Zag out of nowhere, and picked up the big Friday night win without even taking off his T-shirt.
After their instant-classic confrontation at SummerSlam, Christian engaged in a rematch against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio on SmackDown. Again placing Mexican flags in each corner, the titleholder looked to take down his Canadian counterpart, dominating the bout early on.
Despite Del Rio’s best efforts to soften up Christian’s shoulder, Captain Charisma would not give in. Despite his heroic efforts after being flung, shoulder-first, into the steel ring post, the champion ultimately proved to be too much for the challenger, locking Christian into the Cross Armbreaker off the ropes to make his adversary tap out.
As Del Rio then told the WWE Universe to follow him as their “leader,” he was interrupted by his former personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, who ushered Rob Van Dam into the arena.
When RVD made his way down the ramp, Christian blasted Del Rio with a missile dropkick, which RVD promptly followed up with Rolling Thunder on the Mexican champion.
In a Handicap Match in name only, Big Show & Mark Henry decimated 3MB on SmackDown.
After an angry Big Show flattened Drew McIntyre with a resounding chokeslam, Heath Slater broke up the pin attempt – receiving a World’s Strongest Slam for his troubles. While he allowed McIntyre just enough time to get back to his feet, the only reward for Drew was a KO Punch!
After pinning McIntyre, Big Show & Henry were “greeted” by WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns, who promised to once again knock the colossal connection down.
One-half of The Prime Time Players battled one-half of The Real Americans as Darren Young went one-on-one against the scary strong Antonio Cesaro.
When Mr. No Days Off nailed Cesaro with The Gut-Check, The Prime Time Players kept rolling along with another victory.
Showing that his mean streak knows no bounds, Ryback ripped up an autograph meant for a young fan, calling the well-meaning dad who approached the Superstar a “scrawny, pencil-necked fool.”
“Brutal” is a good descriptor for the main event battle that raged inside the steel cage, as Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett beat each other like two caged animals. Still holding a grudge for Bryan shaving his beard, The Barrett Barrage looked to punish his foe. But, as he’s done his entire career, Bryan found a way to turn the tables on his larger, stronger opponent.
And in the final moments, with both Superstars perched on the top rope, Bryan sent Barrett crashing to the canvas with a crazy powerbomb. This set up an explosive knee to Barrett’s (clean-shaven) face. A three-count later and Bryan earned himself an impressive Friday night win.
Just like at SummerSlam, however, Bryan’s post-match celebration was cut short by The Viper, as Randy Orton slithered out from beneath the ring and leveled Bryan with an RKO on the outside!
WWE Title raised over his head and with Bryan at his feet, the image of a triumphant Orton sent SmackDown off the air.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman) defeated Cody Rhodes (8:21)
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Big E. Langston (w/ AJ Lee) (2:00)
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Christian (13:05)
- Big Show & Mark Henry defeated 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal) in a Handicap match (3:07)
- Darren Young defeated Antonio Cesaro (2:31)
- Daniel Bryan defeated Wade Barrett in a Steel Cage match (13:30)
- Dark match: Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry & The Big Show defeated The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins)
Other on-screen talent
Bryan embarrassed Orton
Curtis Axel v Cody Rhodes
Dolph Ziggler v Big E. Langston
Alberto Del Rio v Christian
Big Show & Mark Henry v 3MB
Darren Young v Antonio Cesaro
Daniel Bryan v Wade Barrett
- WWE Smackdown #731 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [Smackdown #731 on WWE Network]