SmackDown results: Cesaro def. Sheamus by Count-out, thanks to the strategic ruthlessness of Big Show

SmackDown results: Cesaro def. Sheamus by Count-out, thanks to the strategic ruthlessness of Big Show

World Heavyweight Champion Big Show def. R-Truth

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — On the final SmackDown before WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, World Heavyweight Champion Big Show nearly made Sheamus break their No Contact Contract, following a painful chair attack on William Regal. Also, The Shield attempted to unleash a little pre–pay-per-view “justice” on “Miz TV” and WWE Tag Team Champions Hell No.

Big Show opened SmackDown in a match against R-Truth – with his No. 1 contender, Sheamus, joining the announce team. On the other side of the table would be United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, who will put his title on the line against Truth this Sunday. ( MATCH PREVIEW)

During the contest, when a war-torn R-Truth was down at ringside, Cesaro decided to approach him. This prompted Sheamus to shove the Swiss Superstar back into his seat and to the floor.

Back in the ring, despite a few high-octane moments from Truth, Big Show finally left him lying with KO Punch for the win.

The World’s Largest Athlete then confronted Sheamus. But as The Celtic Warrior rose to meet the giant and turned his back on Cesaro, the still-fuming U.S. Champion decided to get even and hit The Celtic Warrior from behind.

As Sheamus flew forward, he made accidental contact with Big Show. Though not intentional, The World’s Largest Athlete realized it was a possible violation of the No Contact Clause both Superstars signed one week ago and sudden showed signs of a “shoulder injury.”

R-Truth vs. Big Show: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

The World Heavyweight Championship Chairs Match at WWE TLC is put into jeopardy following the events that took place after the match between R-Truth and Big Show.

Rhodes returned to SmackDown; Team Rhodes Scholars def. The Usos

Damien Sandow came before the WWE Universe, comparing his search for a single, worthy apprentice to finding a needle in a haystack. The self-professed “Intellectual Savior of the Masses” then welcomed his mustachioed tag team partner, Cody Rhodes, back to SmackDown — who was sidelined for several weeks following an injury at the hands of Kane. Rhodes made it clear the quest for an apprentice was over, as Sandow’s “equal” had returned.

In the fast-paced match that followed against The Usos, Jimmy Uso flipped Rhodes into the ring, only to have his brother Jey take the second-generation Superstar out again with an explosive clothesline over the top rope. While impressive, the commotion allowed the legal Sandow to roll Jimmy from behind and pick up the quick three-count with a handful of tights.

Will the reunited Team Rhodes Scholars be able to use this momentum to overcome Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara in a No. 1 Contenders’ Tag Team Tables Match at WWE TLC? ( MATCH PREVIEW)

The Usos vs. Team Rhodes Scholars: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

The Usos have their hands full when they face Team Rhodes Scholars.

World Heavyweight Champion Big Show demanded his World Title Chairs Match against Sheamus at WWE TLC be called off

After SmackDown General Manager Booker T dismissed Big Show’s claim that Sheamus had violated their No Contact Clause, the giant enlisted the services of his legal counsel, David Otunga.

Once in the squared circle, the Harvard-educated attorney threatened to go to the WWE Board of Directors, seeking not only a cancellation of the pay-per-view World Title Chairs Match, but also for the removal of Booker T from power. The GM soon looked to take charge. But when his opposition continued their threats, adding Sheamus’ name to the list of those who had to go, The Celtic Warrior emerged with a chair in his hand.

Sheamus proceeded to give “one good reason” why the match should not be called off, making it clear that if it was, there would be nothing stopping him from using the chair on Big Showright now. Hearing this, the giant opted to go through with the match this Sunday and made his exit. This left Otunga in the ring to become the recipient of a fierce Brogue Kick.

World Heavyweight Champion Big Show demands that his World Title Chairs Match against Sheamus at WWE TLC be called off: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

Booker T weighs in on Big Show's attempt to have the World Title Chairs Match called off against Sheamus at WWE TLC.

Randy Orton suffered a shoulder assault at the hands of The Shield

The rogue trio — made up of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns — delivered a vicious surprise assault on Randy Orton on SmackDown, leaving the nine-time World Champion lying on a broken table in the backstage area.

After examination by WWE medical staff, Matt Striker reported Orton has separated his shoulder, it was literally hanging out of the socket and needed to be popped back in. There was also concern Orton may have suffered a concussion, which would require further evaluation.

An additional update was provided during the SmackDown main event between Sheamus and Antonio Cesaro. Josh Mathews explained Orton had been taken to a local medical facility, he did not have a concussion and that he may be able to compete.

Randy Orton gets attacked by The Shield: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

The Shield make Randy Orton the next target in their brutal series of attacks.

Kaitlyn def. Aksana

In a fast-paced Divas matchup, Kaitlyn continued to get retribution on Aksana for attacking her from behind on two separate pay-per-views, hurling the Eastern European Diva to the canvas for an impressive victory.

Kaitlyn vs. Aksana: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

Kaitlyn takes on Aksana in some an intense Divas match on SmackDown.

“Miz TV” with special guests Team Hell No got interrupted by The Shield

“Miz TV” welcomed WWE Tag Team Champions Hell No to discuss their upcoming pay-per-view showdown at WWE TLC, where they will team up with Ryback against The Shield. Kane and Bryan talked about how Bryan would release all of his so-called anger on the group without mercy and how the treacherous trio made a big mistake by attacking them because it only served to unify the usually dysfunctional tag team.

Team Hell No were soon interrupted by another Shield video — from an undisclosed location somewhere within the arena — in which the rogue faction looked to get into the heads of their pay-per-view opponents. When Kane proposed they not wait until WWE TLC, Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns appeared in the crowd, seemingly ready to strike.

But when the fierce Ryback stomped to the ring and joined his partners for the imminent battle, The Shield immediately rethought there strategy.

"Miz TV" with special guests Team Hell No: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

Things almost escalate out of control when The Shield interrupt Team Hell No on "Miz TV".

Eight-Man Tag Team Match

The tag team division in WWE is the strongest it’s been in years. And the action-packed Eight-Man Tag Team Match on SmackDown once again proved just that, as The Prime Time Players and Primo & Epico took on Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, The Great Khali & Hornswoggle.

When Rosa decided to slap Kidd through the ropes, Natalya sent her crashing to the ringside floor for the second week in a row. Moments later, as Primo countered Kidd, the last graduate of the Hart Family Dungeon answered back with one of his own for the three-count.

After the match, order gave way to a post-match dust-up, in which both The Prime Time Players and Primo & Epico were sent packing.

Eight-Man Tag Team Match: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel join the team of Hornswoggle & The Great Khali to face the foursome of Primo, Epico, & The Prime Time Players.

’Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. Alberto Del Rio; Sent Barrett to ‘Paradise’

Kofi Kingston battled Alberto Del Rio, just two days before he will attempt to defend his title against Wade Barrett and The Barrett Barrage at WWE TLC.

Despite numerous near falls by The Mexican Aristocrat, “The Wildcat” refused to relent. And when Del Rio went for a suplex, Kofi countered in mid-air, rolling up his opponent for the quick win. While his triumph gave him major momentum heading into his title match on Sunday, he was about to pick up even more.

As Kingston began to make his exit, Barrett charged down the ramp after him. But before he could deliver his assault, Kofi ducked, immediately regrouping to blast his No. 1 contender with Trouble in Paradise.

Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

Alberto Del Rio tries to control "The Wildcat" offense of Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston.

United States Champion Antonio Cesaro def. Sheamus by Count-out

Before Sheamus’ match with United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, his mentor William Regal warned The Celtic Warrior not to let his temper get the best of him.

In the fierce main event that followed, you wouldn’t have known both Sheamus and Cesaro had a title match in 48 hours. It was such a fierce battle that it seemed like a championship match in itself.

Then, just as it looked as if Sheamus might be closing in on a victory over the freakishly strong Swiss Superstar, Big Show suddenly appeared at the top of the ramp, presenting a beaten Regal. When Sheamus ran up the ramp to interject — leading eventually to his count-out loss — Regal stepped in front of The Celtic Warrior to make sure his protégé didn’t break the No Contact Clause. As he did, The World’s Largest Athlete struck Regal with a steel chair.

Show tempted Sheamus yet again to hit him and finally nullify their World Title Match at WWE TLC. But even as furious as Sheamus was, he would not take the bait. ( MATCH PREVIEW)

Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro: SmackDown, Dec. 14, 2012

Big Show makes a major statement at the expense of William Regal during the main event match between Sheamus and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro.

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