Mar 26, 2013 - by Steve Gerweck
JBL came out to a good pop, followed by Lilian Garcia.
The Rock’s music hit and the building literally started to shake. My God, what an ovation. There were loud rocky chants that picked up after the music stopped. Rock held up a Hershey bar to a big pop. Funny. Rock talked about how he lived an hour away in Bethlehem, Pa. He showed a picture of himself when he was 15 and had a Cody Rhodes style mustache. He did the “Finally…” routine.
Rock said tonight is the first sold out WWE event in Hershey in a decade. He told us the origin story of Candy Ass. Awesome. Rock said he’s going to beat Cena at WrestleMania. This led to boos, to Cena sucks chants, to Rocky chants. It was a very pro-Rock crowd in that respect. Rock started his millions routine when he was interrupted by John Laurinaitis, which drew huge heat and a “You Suck” chant.
Rock asked who in the blue hell he was. Laurinaitis said they were two peas in a pod, Rock is the People’s Champion, and Big Johnny started people power. He offered to be in Rock’s corner at WrestleMania. Rock polled the crowd for what he should do. No chants ensued. The Rock hit a spinebuster and the People’s Elbow to a monster pop! The Rock said that at WrestleMania, Cena was getting his candy ass beat again. Rock posed for a bit then left.
1. Chris Jericho beat Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett in a non-title match. Jericho came out for his match to a big pop. Wade Barrett was out next to relative silence. What a shame and a waste. Barrett hit a shoulder block on Jericho, who responded with chops and a clothesline. Barrett came back with punches and a headbutt. Barrett whipped Jericho to the corner and hit a boot to Jericho to send him to the outside. Y2J continued getting punished, and Barrett cut off a comeback with a stiff back kick to the midsection. In the end, jericho hit the Codebreaker for the win.
After the match, Fandango made his full entrance to the ring, followed by “You Can’t Wrestle” chants. Fandango said nothing and danced back to the back.
Paul Heyman was interviewd by Josh Mathews. Heyman said it is a must lose situation for Triple H.
The Ryback/ Mark Henry bench press challenge was up next. Booker T and Teddy Long came out to introduce the contestants. There were huge Feed Me More chants for Ryback. Henry came out to some decent heat. Booker said if they get physical, they will be banned from WrestleMania.
Henry won a coin toss so he went first. He benched 220 lbs. 54 times. Apparently, this was a new record. Big Hungry was on his way to breaking that record, when Henry shoved the bar down across his throat. Ryback was helped to the back. There were Feed Me More chants throughout the segment.
2. Daniel Bryan and Kaitlyn (w/Kane) defeated Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee (w/Big E Langston). Zigglers music hit and we’re on our way to a mixed tag match. Ziggler took the early control with a shoulder block. Kaitlyn and AJ tagged in. AJ hit successive neckbreakers. Bryan and Ziggler tagged back in and traded offense. Langston tried to interfere but was taken out by Kane, who was taken out by Ziggler. In the end, Kaitlyn speared AJ for the win.
A video aired of The Shield, stating that the team of Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show don’t stand a chance. They said they would believe in The Shield.
3. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) fought The Great Khali (w/Natalya, Hornswoggle) to a double count out. Khali overpowered early, with Swagger getting in a few shots. Swagger locked Khali in the Patriot Lock on the outside and ignored the 10 count, resulting in a double count out. Afterwards, Ricardo came out to distract Swagger, who was ambushed by Alberto Del Rio, who sent Swagger and Colter packing. A good pop for Ricardo and a better one for Del Rio.
Sheamus came out to a good pop, followed by Orton to a much bigger pop, followed by Big Show to a noticeably smaller pop. Rhodes Scholars and Cesaro came out together. Sandow tried to silence the crowd to very negative effect.
4. Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, and Antonio Cesaro. Orton and Cesaro started things off with Randy taking an early advantage. Sheamus tagged in and roughed up Cesaro a bit, then Big Show and Cody tagged in. Big Show dominated, then Orton tagged back in and roughed up Cody a bit. That mustache is wonderful. Cesaro tagged in and got some shots but was double teamed by Orton and Sheamus. Sandow tagged in and traded offense with Sheamus. Orton came back in and took control. The heels took control for a while, isolating Orton in their corner. In the end, Sheamus made the hot tag and hit the Brogue Kick on Cody for the win.
After the match, The Shield’s music hit and they started to head down through crowd, but orton and company met them halfway up the stairs and a fight ensued, with The Shield sent packing to a thunderous pop. This should be where Smackdown ends.