SmackDown Results: With The Shield looming, Sheamus, Orton & Big Show struggled to coexist

SmackDown Results: With The Shield looming, Sheamus, Orton & Big Show struggled to coexist

“Miz TV” welcomed Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show

CINCINNATI — 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. ( BOOKER LAID DOWN THE LAW)

Mark Henry def. Zack Ryder; Henry and Ryback face off

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!”

Zack Ryder vs. Mark Henry: SmackDown, March 22, 2013

Zack Ryder steps inside the ring with The World's Strongest Man.

Dolph Ziggler def. Kofi Kingston

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.

Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler: SmackDown, March 22, 2013

Kofi Kingston has his hands full when he faces Dolph Ziggler on SmackDown.

Jack Swagger def. Chris Jericho; Fandango attacked Y2J

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.

Chris Jericho vs. Jack Swagger: SmackDown, March 22, 2013

Chris Jericho goes one-on-one with Jack Swagger and then gets taught a lesson by Fandango.

Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow ended in a No Contest

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.

Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow: SmackDown, March 22, 2013

During the match between Brodus Clay & Tensai and Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow, chaos erupts outside the ring when The Bellas and The Funkadactyls brawl.

The Miz def. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro

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.

The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro: SmackDown, March 22, 2013

The Miz squares off with United States Champion Antonio Cesaro while Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett helps provide commentary.

Sheamus & Randy Orton & Big Show def. 3MB; Standoff with The Shield

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.”  

Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show vs. 3MB: SmackDown, March 22, 2013

Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show form an unlikely trio when they face 3MB and then stand their ground against The Shield.

Perhaps sensing blood in the water, The Shield emerged from the crowd. But despite the obvious conflict in the ring, the moment that Orton, Sheamus and Big Show saw Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, they instantly presented a united front, causing their treacherous adversaries to rethink their actions and retreat.

In a WWE Active exclusive moment, Big Show stormed out of the ring — after screaming that he is trying to do the right thing — leaving the WWE Universe wondering whether he is destined to join The Viper and The Celtic Warrior on The Grandest Stage of Them All. 

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