Smackdown – April 11, 2014

Date: April 11, 2014
Location: Cajundome,
Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators: John
Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
WWE is on a roll right
now and the main story is Shield/Bryan facing off against Evolution
with Kane taking Flair’s place. Other than that we’re likely to get
more from the newest Paul Heyman Guy Cesaro, which was one of the
most interesting things to come out of Raw. Also WWE seems to be
bringing up new people from NXT so maybe we’ll get another debut
tonight. Let’s get to it.

We open with the In
Memory graphic for Warrior. Cole does a voiceover offering
condolences to his fans and announces that Raw will be a tribute
show. I’m so glad he got that one moment last week so this can
actually feel genuine. Warrior passed away after this was taped so
there won’t be any references to his passing during the show.
Opening sequence.
Here’s John Cena to get
things going. Cena says the fans sound tired but he asks if they’re
ready to go. Wrestlemania XXX started with the most iconic moment
John Cena has ever seen with Hogan, Rock and Austin standing together
in the middle of the ring. Cena lists off some other highlights from
the show before getting to Bray Wyatt. Bray tried to turn a man into
a monster but he still can’t see Cena.
We also saw the Streak
broken, but then we saw the Game get played and a NEW WWE Champion.
That was just Wrestlemania, because everything really went down on
Raw. We turned Silver into Super, believed in the Shield, found out
that Brock Lesnar was the one and heard the WWE Universe change his
theme music. On top of that, on Monday John Cena was taught to
Bo-Lieve, found out what you need to have a party, saw a big man
named Alexander Rusev and the Divas division finally turned the
Cena lists off various
nicknames and says he’s none of those things. He’s the standard
bearer and measuring stick. If someone wants to stand on top of the
WWE mountain, they have to go through him to get there. Cue the
Wyatts with Harper saying time heals all wounds. Unfortunately, Cena
has just given them more time to hurt him. Bray wishes he could feel
pain sometimes but he’s different.
We all should embrace
our differences and now he can’t stop smiling after losing at
Wrestlemania. He feels so good because he saw that Cena isn’t hollow
inside. Bray sees a lot of things inside himself and is thrilled
because Cena is just one push away from becoming a monster. Wyatt
will have to go to further extremes to make Cena because that
monster, so hang on because this ride is just starting. He’s got the
whole world in his hands.
get some headlines about the Streak ending.
Big Show vs. Cesaro
Heyman does Cesaro’s
intro and the King of Swing comes out without music. Paul brags
about guiding Lesnar to a victory over Undertaker and says how it
allowed him to pick the next big thing in Cesaro. They shake hands
to start as Heyman joins commentary. Cesaro bounces off Big Show and
falls to the floor. A loud chop knocks Cesaro off the apron but he
gets back inside and tries to suplex Big Show from the apron.
That goes as well as
you would expect and Big Show suplexes him to the floor, only to have
Cesaro land on his feet. He tries a sunset bomb but Show sits on his
chest to crush Cesaro against the apron for two. Cesaro bails from
the KO Punch and has a meeting with Heyman. Paul’s advice: take his
air. Back from a break with Show charging into a boot in the corner
and getting caught in a sleeper.
Show drives him into
the corner to break but misses a charge and gets put in the sleeper
again. The giant shakes him off again and runs Cesaro over, only to
have the chokeslam countered into a third sleeper. Heyman actually
gives us some backstory by saying he had given Cesaro the advice that
won him the battle royal. Big Show misses a middle rope splash and
Cesaro loads up the Swing, only to have Jack Swagger run in for the
DQ at 8:35.
Rating: C-.
Cesaro not winning by pin is
fine here as he held his own against a big name and even got the win.
The match with Swagger will close the Real Americans chapter and
give us a good moment when he swings Jack. Heyman is just so perfect
as the guy bragging about his clients and makes you want to watch
Cesaro even more.
cleans house but gets caught by some uppercuts from Cesaro, setting
up the Neutralizer to a gasp from the crowd.
Matadores vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel
announcers talk about being Bo-Lievers despite no vignette airing.
Ryback throws Diego around
to start but gets caught by a dropkick. Not that it has much effect
though as Ryback powerslams Diego down for two before tagging Axel in
for the first time. A
clothesline to the back of the head gets two and it’s back to Ryback
who gets two off a clothesline of his own. We
hit the chinlock for a bit
before a charge in the corner gets two on Diego.
to the chinlock from Ryback as this has been one sided so far. Diego
fights up and makes the tag to Fernando for almost no reaction at
all. Fernando cleans house and gets two on Axel with a leg trip DDT.
Torito dives onto Ryback but gets caught in midair, only for
Fernando to make the save. The distraction lets Axel hit his
neckbreaker into a cutter for the pin at 5:00.
Rating: D-.
What a dull match. Neither team means anything at all and they’re
getting less and less interesting every time they’re out there. Los
Matadores aren’t even that good in the ring anymore as they just do
basic stuff and shout OLE a lot. Ryback could work well if given the
chance on his own, but Axel just has nothing right now.
Dam says stuff is changing but it’s cool when you’re RVD.
Damien Sandow vs.
Rob Van Dam
Sandow elbows him in
the jaw to start but gets his head kicked off for his efforts. Rob
poses but gets rolled up for two, only to get caught by Rolling
Thunder. Another kick to the face sends him into the barricade but
he comes back with some shots to the knee. Wind-Up Elbow gets two on
Rob but he comes back with a rollup and another kick. Sandow breaks
up the Five Star but gets shoved off when trying a superplex, setting
up the Five Star for the pin at 4:22.
Rating: D+.
Just a match to more firmly establish that Van Dam is back. There’s
only so much you can get back out of beating Sandown though. The
only good thing for Sandow is that he’s getting to the point where
they’re going to repackage him after losing so much. It’s a bad way
to go but it’s modern WWE.
Rose vignette.
Hogan time. Hulk praises
Daniel Bryan’s performance at Wrestlemania and says he turned it into
Yes-tlemania. The sight of Bryan holding both titles up gave him
chills, so here’s Bryan in person. Daniel
wants to tell the Hulkster something: this has been the best week of
his life. He’s getting married soon and he just won the title in the
main event of Wrestlemania.
talks about growing up watching wrestling and seeing Hogan as the
biggest star in the world. He prayed every night to be able to main
event Wrestlemania and took his vitamins to get 24 inch pythons.
Bryan has been a Hulkamaniac since before he can remember but there’s
one thing that would make it even better. He asks for Hogan’s music
to be played and the posing begins. This is another of those things
that never stops making me smile.
The second hour begins
with another In Memory graphic for Warrior.
Bad News Barrett vs.
Kofi Kingston
Barrett does the
catchphrase to start but gets kicked down for his efforts. Some more
kicks have the same effect and the Boom Drop connects for good
measure. Bad News bails from Trouble in Paradise before laying out
Kofi with the Bull Hammer for the pin at 2:10. That was Barrett’s
only big move of the match.
We get the Thank You
video from Raw which is a nice touch.
Santino Marella vs.
Apparently Fandango has
dumped Summer Rae and replaced her with Layla. Not a horrible trade.
Santino hammers away to start as the announcers talk about the
dictionary. The hiptoss looks to set up the Cobra but Layla steals
the sock, allowing Fandango to grab a rollup for the pin at 1:30.
Video on Paige about
how she’s the anti-Diva. If nothing else we get to see what the
Paige Turner is supposed to look like. This transitions into a video
from Monday of the title change.
Adam Rose is still
We recap the end of Raw
with Shield officially turning face by attacking HHH and pals.
On Main Event, Shield
said they were prepared for war with the Authority’s injustice.
Back live with Kane
telling Batista and Orton that they need to put their differences
aside and fight their common enemies. He wants Bryan for himself but
Orton and Batista both want him for themselves. Kane says that’s
what’s wrong with them because they all need each other.
Usos/Daniel Bryan
vs. Randy Orton/Batista/Kane
Batista shoves Jimmy
into the corner to start as we hear about HHH battling with Shield
over Twitter. Off to the injured Jey who takes a shot to his bad
ribs as the heels take over. Orton comes in and stomps away before
ripping off the tape. We take a break and come back with Kane
knocking Jey out of the air with an uppercut for two. Back to Orton
for a catapult into the bottom rope and another two count.
Randy shrugs off a chop
and dropkicks Jey down before tagging Kane back in again. That goes
nowhere so here’s Orton again for a chinlock with a body vice
followed by the powerslam for two. Daniel offers a distraction
though and Jey nails a Samoan drop. Kane can’t break up the hot tag
and it’s hot tag to the World Champion. Bryan kicks Kane to the
floor for the FLYING GOAT before the Usos dive on the other heels as
well. The brawl continues on the floor and it’s a double countout at
9:00 shown of 12:00.
Rating: C-.
Basica formula stuff here though I’m not sure why we couldn’t have
Bryan hit a knee on one of the guys for the pin or at least slide
back in to beat the count. Either way, at least he didn’t get
destroyed and the Usos didn’t get pinned either. I’ll take the draw
over a champion getting beaten any day.
and Batista lay out the Usos post match but the Shield runs in to
stop Kane from chokeslamming Bryan through the table. Shield chases
off the other guys as well and Kane takes the running knee followed
by the Triple Bomb to end the show.
Overall Rating: C.
This show wasn’t bad but they were clearly out of steam at this
point. This was really just a supplement to everything else that had
happened in the last few days and a sequel to Raw minus the
interesting stuff. It’s
certainly not a bad show or anything like that but there’s nothing
worth seeing here.
Cesaro b. Big Show via
DQ when Jack Swagger interfered
Ryback/Curtis Axel b.
Los Matadores – Neckbreaker into a cutter to Fernando
Rob Van Dam b. Damien
Sandow – Five Star Frog Splash
Bad News Barrett b.
Kofi Kingston – Bull Hammer
Fandango b. Santino
Marella – Rollup
Usos/Daniel Bryan vs.
Kane/Batista/Randy Orton went to a double countout
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