Smackdown – April 25, 2014

Smackdown
Date: April 25, 2014
Location: Giant Center,
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael
Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things have started to
pick up for Extreme Rules with Kane attacking Daniel Bryan on Monday
and Shield throwing down the gauntlet to Evolution. Other than that
we have a lot of the card set or obvious as we head into whatever
they’re calling PPVs now. Hopefully something actually happens
tonight. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
Here’s Vickie Guerrero
to open things up. She says the Authority has the night off and will
be giving the Shield a match against eleven people tonight. We’ll
get to that later though because it’s now time for the great debate
between Paul Heyman and Zeb Colter, accompanied by their respective
clients. Zeb goes first and
thanks everyone for allowing this to happen but wants to talk about
the night after Wrestlemania when these two men attacked him with a
change of plans. He says no one knew Cesaro’s name ten months ago
when he came to Colter for help. Time
runs out as Colter talks about everything he did for Cesaro.
Heyman’s response
mainly consists of talking about Brock Lesnar breaking the Streak.
He goes on about 15 times
with the same statement and the crowd eats it up. Colter: “SHUT
UP!” Heyman: “I can’t shut up because if I do, you might not
know that my client Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak at
Wrestlemania.” When Paul’s time is up, Colter talks about Heyman
lying all the time and owing everyone money.
Colter: “Why did you
steal Cesaro?” Heyman: “Because I’m the 1 behind the 1 in 21-1
when Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak.” Heyman says Cesaro was
already a Paul Heyman Guy when he won the Andre battle royal, which
he repeats about 10 times as well. Colter says that’s a lie and
turns over his podium. This is between the two of them and
Colter wants Heyman to be a man. “I’d be happy to look at you like
a man but we’re one man short grandpa.” The managers are about to
go at it and are split up as we take a break.
Cesaro vs. Jack
Swagger
I’m surprised this
wasn’t saved for the PPV. Cesaro shoves him around to start and hits
a running uppercut in the corner followed by another to drop Swagger
in the corner. Jack sends
him out to the floor, only to have Cesaro ram him into the barricade
to take over. Swagger fights
out of a chinlock and grabs a belly to belly suplex followed by a
double arm trap. Cesaro easily powers up and hits a spinning
springboard European uppercut to wake up the crowd a little bit.
Jack will have none of
that and slams Cesaro down, setting up the Vader Bomb for two. Both
guys fall out to the floor and we take a break. Back with Swagger
trying to run the corner but getting knocked down for a top rope
European uppercut and two. Jack
comes right back and tries the Vader Bomb but has to settle for the
Patriot Lock when Cesaro raises a boot. Cesaro is quickly out but
gets caught in a slam for two. A tiger bomb puts Swagger down and
the fans want the Swing. They get what they want and the Neutralizer
is good for the pin on Swagger at 8:44 shown of 12:14.
Rating:
C.
This was better than I was expecting it to be with Swagger continuing
to be decent in the ring while working his formula but getting beaten
in the end. Cesaro getting a clean win isn’t a bad thing at all,
especially when it’s what should be the big blowoff to the story.
I’m not sure what Cesaro does at Extreme Rules now though, unless
it’s a rematch which isn’t something we really need to see.
Post
match we have….Shield? Cesaro leaves as the trio circles the
fallen Swagger and the beatdown is on. Swagger takes the Triple Bomb
and Ambrose says HHH told them to adapt or perish. Apparently Jack
Swagger failed to evolve. Reigns says they’re just getting started.
We
look at Bryan being taken out of the arena on Monday. Cole says
Bryan had a neck contusion and is already getting better. Bryan will
be on Raw Monday.
The
same video about Paige from Raw is shown again.
Tamina
Snuka vs. Natalya
Natalya
easily takes her down into a leg lock to start and hits a bad looking
dropkick. Tamina comes back with a kick to the chest to knock Nattie
outside and
an elbow to the back gets two. The Samoan drop gets a big pop but
Natalya rolls away before the splash. Tamina kicks away from a
Sharpshooter but gets caught by a discus lariat for two. Natalya
springs up from the mat and gets kicked in the throat for the pin at
4:05.
Rating: C-.
Better match than I was expecting here until the kick at the end was
boatched. Tamina is decent enough in the ring to be a first victim
for Paige on Sunday and hopefully Paige can have a better match than
the messes she’s had over the last few weeks against people like
Aksana.
We
recap Evolution vs. Shield.
Shield
lays out 3MB in the back.
Vickie
is on the phone with presumably HHH and is told to take the night off
to be replaced by Brad Maddox.
Curtis Axel vs. Jey
Uso
Nothing wrong with the
singles matches to set up the Tag Team Title match. A quick elbow
drops Jey but Axel gets caught in an early chinlock. Curtis shoves
him throat first into the ropes and hits a running knee to the face
to knock Jey into the corner. Axel drops a running elbow for two but
misses a charge into the corner. Jey comes back with some quick
strikes until Axel rams him face first into the buckle a few times.
The neckbreaker into a cutter is good for the pin on Jey at 3:40.
Rating: D.
Very basic match here but it was only kind of interesting. The
problem here is Axel and Ryback have won like two tag matches and are
now the #1 contenders because they’ve cleaned out most of the
division in that winning streak. It amazes me how the division can
go from hot to this in a matter of months, but it’s what happens when
you have teams beat each other at random and don’t let two teams get
built up.
Video
on the Saudi Arabia trip.
Bolieve
video.
Here
are the Wyatts with something to say. The spotlight shows a cage
around the ring and
Bray starts talking about how love determines the power you have.
Love is a wildfire with beautiful flames and a fine wine that brings
warmth to those who drink it. You have to live it and feel it to
know it’s real. Cena needs to get the people to love him so they’ll
do anything for him and that’s exactly what he’s done.
Now
he’s lost their love though and Bray loves his style. On Monday
Cena’s people put him in a three on one handicap match like
a piece of meat being thrown to the wolves. Bray’s words are razor
blades and they’re working just like he planned for them to. He and
Cena have a date with destiny at Extreme Rules and the cage will
define their world.
All
the blood, sweat and tears Cena has shed to fight for the people has
led them here, trapped in a box like a rat with a snake. Bray lays
on the middle rope and says Cena’s nightmares have become Bray’s
dreams come true. One by one the fans will all follow Wyatt, who
says he can see them from the top of the cage. Bray starts singing
and the fans join in to complete the awesome segment.
Wyatt
Family vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust
Cody
starts by dropkicking Luke’s leg out before it’s off to Goldust to
hammer on Rowan. A
bulldog drops Erick again and it’s back to Cody as the brothers start
working on the arm. Rowan slams him into the mat and Bray gets on
the mic to ask if the fans are impressed by what they see. Harper
catapults Cody’s throat into the middle rope before it’s back to
Rowan to crank on the neck.
Bray
is yelling at the fans as Harper puts Cody in the Gator Roll. Rhodes
finally fights up and hits the Disaster Kick to bring in Goldust off
the hot tag. Goldust dives on both Wyatts as everything breaks down.
Harper rolls Goldie up for two but gets caught in a powerslam for
another two. Cody goes up top but Luke sends Goldust into the corner
to knock Cody to the floor. The discus lariat is good for the pin on
Goldust at 5:07.
Rating: D+.
It’s nice to see the Wyatts getting back to what made them awesome
and I’m ok with the Rhodes Brothers wrapping up their run as a team.
There’s nothing left for them to do, but it does make me think the
Outlaws’ reign was completely worthless and the titles should have
gone from the Brothers to the Usos.
Shield
takes out Brad Maddox.
Santino
Marella/Emma vs. Fandango/Layla
No
match as Shield
jumps Fandango and gives him the Triple Bomb off the stage through
some tables. That should write him off TV for awhile.
Adam
Rose is coming.
We
look at Bryan getting injured on Monday.
Shield
vs. Alberto Del Rio/Ryback/Titus O’Neal/Damien Sandow/Bad News
Barrett
Axel
has been attacked in the back as well so it’s 5-3. Ryback takes
Rollins down with a headlock but
a dropkick puts Ryback down, allowing Shield to start making their
fast tags. Ryback catches Rollins diving off the top for a slam and
it’s off to Titus for more power. He misses an elbow drop though and
it’s off to Ambrose for some knees to the face. Reigns
gets two off a clothesline before Dean comes in again. Titus drives
him into the corner as the announcers actually hype up the PPV six
man. Everything
breaks down for a few seconds and Shield clears the ring as we take a
break.
Back
with Barrett putting Ambrose in a chinlock before getting two off a
big boot. Del
Rio comes in for a quickly broken chinlock followed by the enziguri
for two. Dean is sent to the floor before being thrown back in so
Ryback can splash him for two. We hit another chinlock followed by a
spinebuster for two as Rollins makes the save. Dean avoids a charge
in the corner and makes the tag to Reigns to clean house.
Everything
breaks down with the Shield in control and Reigns hitting the running
boot to the apron on Sandow. Del Rio and Barrett look to charge
Roman but Rollins gets on the apron and they bail. Rollins dives on
Ryback and both he and Ambrose dive on Titus and Sandow. Reigns
nails the Superman Punch to Del Rio on the stage and it’s Sandow
being sent back into the ring. A dropkick from Ambrose sets up the
spear for the pin at 10:20 shown of 13:50.
Rating: C+.
Now THIS is what the Shield needs to do before the match against
Evolution. They may
have had some issues for part of the match but by the end it was a
decimation of five names with a former World Champion in the mix.
This was a team dominating to set up a showdown with another team
that could dominate anyone they face. Want to find out what happens?
Watch Extreme Rules. It’s that simple and they made it work here.
Titus
and Ryback get speared as well and the latter takes the Triple Bomb
to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-.
This was all about setting up the PPV and it worked very well. I’m
fired up for the six man and I want to see the other matches even
more now. The wrestling wasn’t all that great but it wasn’t that
kind of a show. Shield taking over is something that hasn’t gotten
old yet and that’s the big story for the night. It’s an entertaining
show that set up future stuff which is a good use for Smackdown.
Results
Cesaro b. Jack Swagger
– Neutralizer
Tamina Snuka b. Natalya
– Superkick
Curtis Axel b. Jey Uso
– Neckbreaker into a cutter
Wyatt Family b. Cody
Rhodes/Goldust – Discus lariat to Goldust
Shield b.
Ryback/Alberto Del Rio/Titus O’Neal/Bad News Barrett/Damien Sandow –
Spear to Sandow

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