Smackdown – March 14, 2014

Smackdown
Date: March 14, 2014
Location: Verizon
Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Michael
Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The major matches are
now set for Wrestlemania and all we have left is to fill in the
roster for the battle royal and get the midcard taken care of. Aside
from all of the big stuff from Raw, the other top story we might get
some more on tonight is Shield having some issues with Kane, which
might lead to Kane embracing his hate and dropping the corporate
character. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
We look back at Occupy
Raw.
Here’s HHH sans
Stephanie to open things up. He’s greated by a YES chant and HHH
says that must feel good. Monday was one of the greatest nights of
their lives and it must have been one of Daniel Bryan’s best nights
ever as well. That was their moment in the sun though and Daniel
Bryan isn’t here tonight. He’ll be dealt with on Raw and everything
will be ended at Wrestlemania, but tonight he has to deal with the
fans.
The people chant NO
which tells HHH that they would have jumped in the ring and
participated had they been at Raw. However, they traded in all of
their happy tomorrows for the end of the YES Movement. HHH has
protected Daniel Bryan over the last few months by keeping him away
from the deep end of the roster so the people could have hope.
That’s what the YES
Movement represents: hope for the people and all of their miserable
lives. The fans chant for Bryan, who HHH says is just like each and
every one of the people here: good, but just not good enough to
succeed. At Wrestlemania he’ll crush those hopes and dreams because
there will be no triple threat and more happily ever after. However
let’s get to business tonight, so get out here Damien Sandow. HHH
cuts him off before the apology can get started. Sandow gets a match
against an opponent picked by Vickie Guerrero.
Damien Sandow vs.
Seth Rollins
This is joined in
progress after a break with Seth in full control. Sandow gets in a
few shots and Rollins heads outside for a second. Back in and Seth
does his backflip in the corner into the downward spiral into the
middle buckle. A running forearm in the corner sets up a dropkick
but Sandow gets outside to avoid the top rope Black Out. Shield
distracts him so Seth can hit a suicide dive, followed by the Black
Out for the pin at 2:27. The announcers spent the match arguing
about this being a conspiracy.
Ambrose sends Sandow
into the ring again for the first Triple Bomb in months.
We look back at Hogan
announcing the battle royal.
Fandango vs. Big E.
Non-title. Before the
match Fandango enters the battle royal. Fandango takes over to start
but Big E. fights up and hits the belly to belly. The Warrior Splash
connects and Big E. runs Fandango over, takes down the strap and Big
Endings his way to a win at 1:37. Total squash.
We take a quick look at
Heyman and Undertaker’s segment on Raw.
Bad News Barrett says
the Streak will end and children will cry. Therefore, parents won’t
get any sleep and fall asleep at a meeting and get fired.
Real Americans vs.
Cody Rhodes/Goldust
We recap the Americans’
problems from Monday with Cesaro crushing Jack’s hand. Goldust and
Swagger get things going with Goldust scoring off a shoulder and the
uppercut. Off to Cody to crank on the arm but Jack drives him into
the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. Cody escapes a belly to
back suplex and drops to the mat for an uppercut to the face. A
springboard dropkick knocks Swagger off the apron and a backdrop puts
Cesaro outside but he catches Cody’s plancha in mid air.
Rhodes is gutwrenched
onto the floor and we take a break. Back with Cody firing off some
right hands and backdropping Swagger to the floor. Cesaro blocks the
tag with the Swing (JBL: “He’s swinging him so much his daddy’s
polka dots are dizzy!”) but Swagger’s Vader Bomb hits boots.
Cesaro breaks up
another tag attempt but the Real Americans argue over a tag. It’s
Cesaro staying in with a vertical suplex right in front of Jack.
Swagger tags himself in as Zeb is losing his mind. Jack realizes
what’s about to happen and knocks Goldust off the apron, only to get
caught in a backslide to give Cody the pin at 7:48.
Rating: C-.
That loss is all on Swagger and Cesaro shouldn’t get much of the
blame. Seriously, how do you lose to a backslide of all things? The
lack of a hot tag was a change of pace from the usual formula and
it’s kind of nice to see. The pin was a surprise as I’m so used to
waiting on the big hot sequence and it was nice to not know what was
coming.
The
Real Americans destroy Cody post match until the Usos make the save.
We recap Bray vs. Cena
from Raw and Wyatt accepting the challenge.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi
Kingston
Bray’s eyes bug out at
the bell and Kofi gets in a right hand, making Wyatt smile. He sits
in the corner and shouts at Kingston before grabbing him by the leg
and shoving him down. Kofi grabs Bray’s leg and spin kicks Wyatt out
to the floor. Back in and Kofi hammers away but Wyatt shoves him
down with ease. Kofi comes back with a springboard shot to the head
but Bray just throws him over the ropes and out to the floor. A
backsplash gets two on Kingston and Bray just runs him over with a
clothesline. Sister Abigail is good for the pin at 3:54.
Rating: D+.
The match wasn’t much to see but Bray’s eyes and power stuff looked
good. There’s something so off about him that it’s hard not to watch
him every time he’s out there. Kofi is a good sacrificial lamb for
Bray or anyone for that matter as he’s going to be the same guy no
matter what happens to him.
Kane
tells Shield to be at ringside for the main event but they say they
don’t listen to him. They’ll be out there because it’s best for
business.
Nikki
Bella vs. Tamina Snuka
AJ
sits in on commentary as Tamina takes Nikki down by the hair. Nikki
is sent to the floor and holds her knee, prompting some amusing fake
concern from the champ. Back in and Nikki gets slammed down but
still avoids the Superfly Splash. AJ tries to figure out who the #1
contender is as Tamina kicks Nikki’s head off for two. Tamina gets
bored with Nikki and throws Brie into the barricade for fun. It
doesn’t pay off though as Nikki hits the Rack for the pin at 3:13.
Rating: D.
Divas, regular match, Nikki’s turn for a push. Next.
Dolph
Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del
Rio is in the battle royal as well, saying it’s the only thing he has
left to win. Ziggler quickly knocks Alberto outside before tossing
him right back in for the ten elbows. Del Rio avoids a charge in the
corner and double stomps him to the mat and we go to a break. Back
with Ziggler (Dolph Showoff according to Cole) hammering away in the
corner and getting two off a neckbreaker.
Alberto
catches a charging Ziggler in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but the low
superkick misses, setting up the jumping DDT from Ziggler. Now the
low superkick connects for a close two but Ziggler countered the
armbreaker. Ziggler ducks the running enziguri in the corner and
hits the Fameasser for an even closer two. Dolph goes up but gets
crotched and caught in the reverse superplex for two. The armbreaker
is countered again but this time into the Zig Zag to give Dolph the
pin at 6:03 shown of 9:33.
Rating: B-.
This was pretty much just the ending sequence to a main event match
after cutting off all the buildup. I could get used to this idea in
matches that don’t mean anything such as this. Del Rio and Ziggler
are another of those combinations where they’re fought so many times
that I just don’t care to see them ever again. This was entertaining
though.
Dolph
enters the battle royal and says it will be his Wrestlemania moment.
The
next inductee into the Hall of Fame is Carlos Colon.
WWE
Network tutorial.
It’s
Wyatts time. Luke says everything has been forgotten and the lie has
become the truth. Bray says he never sleeps but is always dreaming,
and lately his dreams have been of John Cena. They’ll be sharing a
war in New Orleans but off in the distance there’s a woman’s voice.
Bray can’t understand it but the closer he gets the clearer it
becomes. The voice is saying she loves him and how proud she is of
Bray. Now he sees Cena for what he’ll become. Eventually he’ll be a
lonely old man full of regret. Cena shouldn’t worry about a thing
because he’ll make it quick. Follow the buzzards.
Kane
vs. Big Show
Shield
is nowhere in sight. Kane
whips Show across the ring but Show does the same to him as Shield
comes to ringside. A headbutt drops Kane and a chop sends him to the
floor, right in front of the Shield. Back in and Kane avoids a knee
drop and gets two off a low dropkick. We hit a leg lock on the
bigger monster but Big Show counters out with pure leg strength.
Back
up and Kane gets two off a running DDT but Show breaks the chokeslam
attempt. Show runs him over with a spear but rolls to the floor to
glare at Shield. He goes up but gets chokeslammed off the top for
two. Shield gets on the apron and Kane orders them to attack but
Shield bails and Kane walks into a bad looking chokeslam (thankfully
the camera hid it) for the pin at 5:30.
Rating: D.
These guys just are not fun to watch. WWE has this theory that you
can put these two against each other and it’s going to be
entertaining because they’re both big and strong. They’ve fought
several dozen times over the years and I don’t remember any of them
being anything better than watchable.
Reigns
spears Kane to end the show.
Overall Rating: C.
There were some decent matches tonight but a lot of them were just
quick ones that didn’t really add anything. It was nice to see some
stuff actually happen here, such as the battle royal growing and the
Hall of Fame announcement, but there still wasn’t much of interest to
this show. You have to expect that once Wrestlemania is made though.
Sheamus vs. Heath
Slater was taped but not aired. That appears to be a thing they’re
doing on Smackdown anymore. The spoilers indicate it’s presented as
part of the taping and not a dark match. Sheamus won via Brogue Kick
in about five minutes.
Results
Seth Rollins b. Damien
Sandow – Black Out
Big E. b. Fandango –
Big Ending
Cody Rhodes/Goldust b.
Real Americans – Backslide to Swagger
Bray Wyatt b. Kofi
Kingston – Sister Abigail
Nikki Bella b. Tamina
Snuka – Rack
Dolph Ziggler b.
Alberto Del Rio – Zig Zag
Big Show b. Kane –
Chokeslam
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