Bryan kicked off the show by yessing his way to the ring before grabbing a mic. He recapped Monday, saying in his whole career he'd never had a match stopped due to injury. When the doctor asked Monday if he could continue, he said YES! But the doctor and WWE officials stopped the match, due to them “being concerned”. He said it was really because they saw him as the weak link and not tough enough. He said the worst perpetrator was Orton, who didn't fight to keep the match going, or rage with Bryan against the machine, instead he picked him up and petted his head. Bryan saw nothing but pity in Orton's eyes. But tonight Bryan doesn't care what anyone thinks, he will prove he's not the weak link by beating Orton. He then got everyone to yes with him.
Orton came out, still absolutely loved. Orton said the reason the match was stopped was because people were concerned for his well being. He said he respected Bryan more because even when Orton wanted it over, Bryan kept charging him. So he put his arm over Bryan due to respect, not pity. Bryan had none of it. Bryan said he proved how tough he was last week when he beat the Shield, and he would shove Orton's respect down his throat tonight. Orton told him he was out of line, so tonight they'd fight and Orton would hurt him. But when the officials stop the match Bryan won't be able to walk out, he'll be carried out.
Match Number One: Sheamus Vs. Cody Rhodes w/ Sandow.
Rhodes was fun here, getting in far more offence than I would have expected. He used the apron cloth to trap Sheamus and take over. He even turned Sheamus' slingshot shoulder block into an lock at one point. Sheamus then came back, kicked Sandow from the apron, sent Rhodes into Sandow, locked on the Clover Leaf and got the submission.
Winner: Sheamus, Submission.
Sandow was in the ring kicking Sheamus before the bell stopped ringing. Sandow stomped away before intensely up the ramp.
They cut to a Wyatt family. They are the fist, they are change. They have a secret, too.
Match Number Two: Curtis Axel (c) w/ Paul Heyman Vs. Wade Barrett, IC Championship Match.
I was going to say I was looking forward to this match not having Miz. He then put on a headset. They had a little spot in front of him early. Barrett chased away Heyman and stared Miz down before tossing Axel back in the ring. He then missed a second rope elbow and Axel hit the McGillicutter for the pinfall.
Winner: Curtis Axel, Pinfall.
Heyman and Axel turned their attention to Miz. Miz took off his headset and got in the ring. He then took off his jacket and tie before Heyman pulled Axel from the ring.
They replayed the fantastic Henry “retirement” from Raw.
Match Number Three: AJ (C) w/ Big E. Vs Natalya, Non-Title Match.
Katlyn was a real bitch to Natalya the week before the secret admirer ruse was revealed. Don't know why she wants revenge for a friend like that. AJ was laughing in her face at the start, so Natalya socked her and beat her around. She tried to put on the Sharpshooter but it was blocked, so she had fun with AJ's small frame and tied her up in knots. Layla and Kaitlyn were shown watching in the back.
AJ took over when Natalya was being too aggressive and missed a charge. She used Dolph's sleeper, then won with the Black Widow when Natalya tried to tilt-a-whirl her.
Winner: AJ, Submission.
Aksana came up and made a snarky comment to Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn hit Aksana with a water bottle and slammed her into a bin. All the girls then got them apart, trying to calm Kaitlyn.
Match Number Four: Chris Jericho Vs. Alberto Del Rio (C) w/ Ricardo, Non-Title Match.
Ricardo's back to Spanish. They had a fun match, I just feel like I've seen this all before from Del Rio. Jericho started out strong, knocked Del Rio off the apron to the floor with his springboard dropkick. Ricardo then caught Jericho's attention so Del Rio regained control. Alberto worked Jericho's arm and shoulder.
Jericho again came off the top rope for a flat footed axe handle, but couldn't lock on the Walls of Jericho. He followed with a top rope cross body, bulldog and Lionsault. He sold the arm off the Lionsailt , so Del Rio had time to kick him. Jericho managed to turn the Arm Breaker into a Walls attempt, but Del Rio got an armbar essentially from guard. Jericho rolled through that and finally properly locked on the Walls. Ricardo got on the apron, so Jericho pulled him in and put him in the hold. He was tapping with the ref yelling at Jericho. Time then stood still.
Finally Dolph hit the ring and started laying into Del Rio who fled through the crowd. Jericho yelled at Dolph for causing the DQ and gave him a Code Breaker and left. He may even have spat on him. Dolph was down selling the head so Del Rio came back in the ring and had Ricardo prop Ziggler up for a superkick.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio, DQ.
Match Number Five: Drew McIntyre w/ Mahal & Slater Vs. Christian.
Good to see Christian back without the “one more match” gimmick. Drew got a touch of offence, catching Christian in a cross body and hitting a slam. Christian was quickly back on top and called for the Killswitch, but Slater got on the apron. Christian did a baseball slide through Slater's legs and pulled his head down to hit the apron. Mahal then got on the other side and did distract Christian. Drew tried a backdrop but Christian landed on his feet and hit the Killswitch for the pinfall. Mahal had dropped off the apron and turned his back to pose, assuming the noises were his partner slamming Christian.
Winner: Christian, Pinfall.
Christian took a mic and said after ten months it felt damn good to be back on SmackDown. But he won't lie to the peeps, he had come back for that... shit... One more match. Shield's music hit and they came down the ramp, which confused Christian as he'd turned his back to look for them in the crowd. They hit the triple powerbomb and left.
They showed the video for RVD's return at Money in the Bank. They then showed Lesnar killing Punk.
Renee introduced Heyman backstage and asked if he was involved in Lesnar's attack. He asked how her relationship was with her father, was it better than before? He asked why her uncle pulled her prom date from their limo, since its on public record. He then brought up her recent separation. He was saying it wasn't fun talking about personal lives on TV. Punk made it clear they weren't in business together, therefore anything that happened between them was purely personal and he won't air his dirty laundry on television. He put over Axel defending his title for the first time and left.
Match Number Six: Randy Orton Vs. Daniel Bryan.
They began by brawling before Orton slowed the pace down. Bryan came back with a kneebar but Orton turned it into a side headlock to slow things down again. Bryan broke it with a shin breaker and tried a No lock, then tried on the other arm when he couldn't get it. Orton took over and sent us to commercial by hitting the often teased, rarely hit suplex from the apron, while Bryan was inside the ring, so that Bryan ended up on the floor outside.
They had Bryan on the face role, being beaten down with little explosions of offence, but it didn't feel like it did Monday. The crowd just wasn't behind Bryan during the down times like you'd expect. Then Bryan started his kicking and dropkicking comeback and they were in. Orton cut it off by catching him at one point with the powerslam, and seemed frustrated when Bryan kicked out. Bryan caught him in a backslide out of an uppercut and then got another nearfall with a headkick.
Bryan tried for the top rope headbutt but Orton cut him off and got a two count from a well milked superplex. He followed it with the draping DDT and called for the RKO. The crowd really wanted to see it, but Bryan slid outside. Orton then hit the back drop that ended their match on Raw onto the barricade. He then teased the draping DDT from the ring to the floor but Bryan came back, shoving him away and hitting a suicide dive. Bryan then got back in at 8 and Orton missed the count.
Winner: Daniel Bryan, Count Out.
When Bryan realised what'd happened he was furious. He wouldn't let the ref raise his hand. He grabbed a mic and said he wouldn't accept a count out victory and demanded the ref restart the match. They went back and forth with the yes/no.
Orton just stood sour in the corner while Bryan kept yelling yes. Pretty interesting finish.
The body of the match, maybe the first two thirds wasn't as hot as you'd expect. Unlike Punk/Jericho, the crowd never really got in a groove on where to fall on who to get behind. Maybe they've had Bryan be too stubborn outside of the ring, maybe they haven't given enough reason to doubt Orton. Maybe it won't matter come Raw. Still, by the end, knowing that Bryan was meant to win Monday only have it delayed, it was a pretty creative finish and it ended feeling like the story would actually progress soon.