With WrestleMania just 16 days away, the crucial final spot in the Six-Man Tag Team Match against The Shield at The Show of Shows remained vacant, as The Viper and The Celtic Warrior were thrown into a main event partnership with The World’s Largest Athlete and forced to work together or crash and burn.
The Miz wasted little time asking his special guests, Randy Orton and Sheamus, who would replace Ryback in their upcoming Six-Man Tag Team Match at The Showcase of the Immortals. The Viper made it clear that he wanted Big Show — acknowledging that he would rather have the devil he knew over the devil he didn’t. While WWE’s Apex Predator appeared as the uncharacteristic voice of reason, The Celtic Warrior was not so certain.
The Awesome One then invited the giant himself to join the discussion. While acknowledging that he couldn’t stand Orton or Sheamus, Big Show argued that together they could conquer the likes of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Still, his long-standing Irish adversary remained resistant and things quickly grew even more intense between Sheamus and the gigantic Superstar who ended his most recent World Title run.
But the commotion was silenced by the emergence of SmackDown General Manager Booker T, who decided the three competitors would be unlikely partners in a SmackDown main event to see if they could, in fact, get along.
In a related issue, Booker later confronted Theodore Long, expressing his displeasure with the way his Senior Advisor handled his business in the matter of Ryback’s newly created Show of Shows match against Mark Henry.
With his WrestleMania showdown against Ryback set in stone, Mark Henry unleashed absolute destruction on Zack Ryder in a completely one-sided matchup, finishing him in convincing fashion with the World’s Strongest Slam.
But as the furious World’s Strongest Man continued to punish Long Island Iced-Z after the bell — with two more doses of his devastating finishing maneuver — Ryback stomped into the picture. After an intense staredown that spoke volumes, the “Human Wrecking Ball” delivered an epic clothesline that sent his stunned Showcase of the Immortals adversary heading for the hills. “Feed Me More!”
With AJ Lee literally sitting in “on” commentary, Dolph Ziggler bested Kofi Kingston for the second time in a week.
In the final moments of the fast-paced contest, Big E Langston took it upon himself to stand in the way of Kingston’s offensive and become a human shield. This prompted “The Wildcat” to launch an aerial onslaught, leaping off the top rope and out onto Ziggler’s massive enforcer on the ringside floor. Although gutsy, this caused the former Intercontinental Champion to turn his back on his opponent, allowing The Showoff to hit the leg drop and the Zig Zag for the three-count.
After the bell, Big E once again put the exclamation point on Ziggler’s triumph, sending Kingston crashing to the canvas with absolute force. This just may be a prophecy to the destruction that will unfold when Ziggler and his heavy battle WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No at WrestleMania — an epic title contest that will serve as Langston’s first-ever WWE match.
Four days earlier on Raw — after attacking World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio — Jack Swagger broke Ricardo Rodriguez’s ankle with the Patriot Lock. With Del Rio reportedly absent from SmackDown to tend to his injured friend, the “Real American” competed against Chris Jericho in a highly anticipated rematch.
Prior to the contest, Zeb Colter stated that what happened to Rodriguez was “unfortunate, but necessary,” and it was nothing compared to what would happen to Del Rio at WrestleMania, though. He warned that, “In Jack Swagger’s America, if bones need to be broken, bones will be broken,” and that it should serve as a “wake-up call” to everybody, including Jericho.
In the height of the hard-fought match that followed, Colter distracted the referee. This cleared the road for a lurking Fandango — who had danced his way down to ringside minutes earlier —to deliver a cheap shot to Y2J. Seizing the opportunity, Swagger followed up with the Swagger Bomb to pick up the victory.
As the smoke cleared, Fandango would deliver a post-match assault to the war-torn Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla, leveling him with a thunderous leg drop off the top rope. His attack was, no doubt, a response to Jericho poking fun of his name on Raw.
Team Rhodes Scholars may have appeared optimistic about the future as they emerged for competition with the lovely Brie & Nikki Bella on their arm. But with only one week passing since a huge Divas brawl broke out between The Bella Twins and The Funkadactyls in the back, history was bound to repeat itself.
And when one of The Bellas jumped up on the apron during the contest between Team Rhodes Scholars and Brodus & “Sweet T,” it triggered another melee between the four Divas and their Superstars and ultimately left the match without a clear winner.
After surviving the face-paced Triple Threat Intercontinental Championship Match on Raw, current titleholder Wade Barrett joined the SmackDown announce team to watch The Miz take on Antonio Cesaro.
After The Awesome One picked up a huge non-title victory over the U.S Champion with the Figure-Four Leglock, he cinched the classic maneuver back onto the Swiss Superstar for a second time, sending a powerful message that The Miz was not done with The Barrett Barrage.
From the moment SmackDown General Manager Booker T put Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show in a match together against 3MB, the buzz ran wild as to whether they would be able to trust each other or a lack of trust would make them vulnerable to a Shield attack.
In the final moments of their main event showdown, a resilient Orton tagged in Big Show, triggering a gigantic attack on Jinder Mahal. But when The World’s Largest Athlete suddenly caught a boot to the face from Drew McIntyre, Sheamus tagged himself in. Seconds later, Big Show rebounded to hit a KO Punch on McIntyre. This cleared the way for The Celtic Warrior to execute the Brogue Kick on the legal Mahal for the pin.
Immediately after the bell, however, Big Show took issue with Sheamus tagging himself into the match after the giant “did the work.” This led to a complete breakdown in order and things looked ready to explode between the three reluctant “partners.”
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Mark Henry defeated Zack Ryder (0:48)
- Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ Lee & Big E. Langston) defeated Kofi Kingston (10:20)
- Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) defeated Chris Jericho (12:21)
- Brodus Clay & Tensai (w/ Cameron & Naomi) vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) (w/ Brie Bella & Nikki Bella) ended in a No Contest (0:40)
- The Miz defeated Antonio Cesaro (2:28)
- Randy Orton, Sheamus & The Big Show defeated 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal) (5:20)
- Dark match: Randy Orton, Sheamus & The Big Show defeated The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) by DQ
Other on-screen talent