On WWE Main Event, Randy Orton had a second chance to battle United States Champion Antonio Cesaro after their bout on SmackDown was interrupted by The Shield. The highly competitive featured contest was followed by a fast-paced tag team match between The Prime Time Players and The Usos and Michael Cole was joined by a surprise guest commentator!
The United States Champion first encounter with WWE’s Apex Predator came on SmackDown last week following The Swiss Superman’s declaration of intent to enter — and win — the Royal Rumble Match. During their highly competitive contest, however, The Shield targeted The Viper and the bout ended with a disqualification victory for Orton. Certainly dissatisfied with the outcome of the battle — and the subsequent Three-Man Powerbomb, The Viper was poised to face the United States Champion once again, hopefully without having to worry about The Shield.
Orton and Cesaro’s tale of the tape paints an evenly matched portrait. Both Superstars stand 6-foot-5 and weigh the same — give or take a pound. Of course, as a nine-time World Champion who is approaching his 10-year anniversary in WWE, The Viper brings a great deal of experience to the squared circle and this certainly plays in his favor. Although, Antonio Cesaro has proved to be a dominant champion and a definitive victory against WWE’s Apex Predator would surely put him in a potential World Title conversation.
As the bout got underway, Orton and Cesaro tested the waters, looking for a single misstep that would allow one of them an advantage to gain the upper hand in the match. Following their heated battle on SmackDown, each Superstar brought a better understanding of their opponent’s ring psychology. Momentum shifted back and forth early in San Antonio, though, and the WWE Universe realized they were in for a great night on WWE Main Event.
The match spilled outside the ring and Cesaro managed to maintain some semblance of control, but back inside the ring, The Viper took over sending The Swiss Superman flying back over the ropes to the outside. WWE’s Apex Predator fed off the energy inside the AT&T Center taking the fight to Cesaro. As momentum shifted in The Viper’s favor, the U.S. Champion proved his sheer ingenuity and strategy by recognizing Orton’s history of shoulder injuries and tossing the third-generation Superstar shoulder first into the steel steps.
The strategic targeting of Orton’s shoulder displayed the type of shrewd calculation that has made Cesaro a dominant champion early in his career. The Swiss-born Superstar maintained the upper hand against Orton as the contest continued. Cesaro even took the time to taunt his rival — WWE Main Event commentator The Miz — by using maneuvers from The Awesome One’s arsenal.
Each time WWE’s Apex Predator fought his way back against the powerful United States Champion; Cesaro would answer and kept The Viper in a very precarious position — the prey. But Orton is one of the most resilient Superstars in WWE history and a devastating superplex shifted the tide and The Viper took advantage. Unfortunately for Orton, his offensive onslaught was countered and matched by Cesaro striking back, leaving both Superstars exchanging blows in the center of the squared circle.
There could be no way to determine who would leave San Antonio victorious as momentum continued to shift, with both Superstars displaying their competitive spirit and refusal to back down. With Cesaro reeling on the ring apron, however, The Viper seized the opportunity to execute his patented DDT much to the delight of the WWE Universe. As Orton once again fed off the energy in the AT&T Center — no doubt preparing an RKO — The Shield appeared and surrounded the ring.
The Miz left the announce table to help Orton try and fend off the deviant trio, but the numbers were too great and they were overwhelmed. The United States Champion — absent during the attack — returned to the ring and sent a clear message to his nemesis, taking down The Awesome One with the Neutralizer.
The Miz did not return to the broadcast position following the attack by The Shield and the Neutralizer that followed from Antonio Cesaro. As a result, before the second contest of the evening got underway, Brad Maddox jumped over the fan barricade and joined Michael Cole on commentary. Caught off guard, Cole tried to ascertain why Maddox was now sitting at the announce table, but the rogue individual acted as though nothing was out of the ordinary.
As the tag team match got underway, Cole was still flabbergasted by his new broadcast partner’s presence as Maddox called the action inside the ring. Nevertheless, The Prime Time Players and The Usos engaged in a brutal contest highlighting the teamwork and abilities of both duos.
Maddox continued to call the action as The Prime Time Players utilized their size and strength against the Samoan brothers to try and maintain dominance throughout the contest. The explosive and fast-paced style and abilities of The Usos, though, ultimately proved to be too much for the combined efforts of Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. With a high-octane offensive, The Usos were able to secure victory in San Antonio.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton ended in a no contest (21:10)
- The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil) (10:38)
Other on-screen talent