Date: March 28, 2014
Location: TD Bank North Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the last regular Smackdown before they head to the Crescent City. The main stories are all set at this point so this show is just going to be about firming up the plans for Wrestlemania. The only match announced for tonight is Big Show vs. Bray Wyatt which should be a good win for the monster. That would be the monster with hair in case that's not clear. Let's get to it.
Here's Batista to get things going. Batista wants to know why the fans are booing a six time World Champion, the winner of the 2014 Royal Rumble and the headliner of Wrestlemania XXX. They boo him, but they cheer for Daniel Bryan? This brings him to a clip from Raw with Batista implying Stephanie is shall we say, friendly, and getting slapped as a result. Batista thinks Stephanie hits harder than any of his opponents, which brings out HHH.
The boss suggests leaving Stephanie out of this but Batista asks why we should do that. She's responsible for the suit and for HHH being COO. HHH wouldn't have anything without marrying the boss' daughter. Triple H says this is the Reality Era and it doesn't matter why he has what he has and all that matters is what he has. He asks why Batista wants to make this personal. Batista says it's because HHH has accused him of living off his past glories, which includes never losing to HHH. Now HHH is trying to take Batista's title and that's not cool with Big Dave.
HHH agrees that he's never beaten Batista but that was a long time ago. Batista has gotten lazy after getting all that success and he's been in Hollywood letting his stuntman doing all his work. Now he's back in WWE and HHH has yet to see the Animal. HHH has shown what he can do a few weeks ago against Daniel Bryan. You know, the little guy that Batista couldn't finish off. However, HHH is willing to help Batista again tonight. Maybe he can find that Animal in his match against Sheamus.
We look back at the fourway from last week, leading to Shield being beaten down by Kane and the Outlaws.
Shield vs. 3MB
Rollins/Ambrose vs. Mahal/McIntyre and Seth starts against Jinder. JBL brings up a good point: the Shield has dominated the last year but three guys from the Attitude Era took them down. Rollins hits Two Amigos before bringing in Ambrose for the third. Back to Rollins who gets taken into the corner and pounded by McIntyre. Drew thrusts his hips at Reigns for some reason but it allows Seth to roll over for the tag to Ambrose. The running dropkick against the ropes has Drew in trouble and Seth hits the big dive to take out Mahal. The bulldog driver, now named Dirty Deeds, is enough to pin McIntyre at 3:04.
Rating: D+. You can only be so entertaining in a three minute match. At least Shield didn't sell too much for 3MB as they're already going to have to sell for a team that couldn't remember if they were good or bad a month ago. It's nice to see Ambrose getting a clean pin as well.
Post match Kane and the Outlaws come out and say they'll end Shield at Wrestlemania. That's unlike what Shield is going to do to their next opponents.
Shield vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel
This is joined in progress after a break with Ambrose taking Curtis down with a drop toehold. Ryback offers a quick distraction though and Axel knocks Dean to the floor. Dean gets caught in the corner as the announcers do their usual bickering. Ryback loads up a suplex but gets countered into a nice DDT. The hot tag brings in Rollins to clean house with a Blockbuster to Axel. A series of kicks takes Axel down and Ambrose jumps off the steps to pound on Ryback. Rollins unleashes the dive to Ryback before countering a PerfectPlex into the Peace of Mind for the pin on Axel at 4:14.
Rating: C-. More entertaining match here with Rollins stealing the show again. I'm still not sure why we need extra proof that the Shield can dominate when they're coming into a match against the Outlaws. But hey, Gunn and Dogg were awesome in the Attitude Era and that means the match will rock now right?
Post match Shield points at the Authority members on stage and lays out Ryback with the Superman Punch and Triple Bomb.
Sin Cara vs. Damien Sandow
The maskless one takes him into the corner to start and drives a knee into his ribs for two. We're in a chinlock thirty seconds into the match but Sin Cara rolls him up out of the corner for the pin at 1:04.
Big Show says what the Wyatts did to Cena on Raw was very disturbing. However, some of the stuff Bray has been saying makes sense. That's how they suck you in, but tonight they have a giant problem on their hands.
Fandango vs. Goldust
No Cody for this one. Summer is looking great tonight in an outfit similar to Jasmine from Aladdin. Fandango takes him down to start and puts on a very early chinlock. Goldust fights up with a belly to back suplex followed by an atomic drops and right hands in the corner. The powerslam gets two for Goldust and they head outside where Summer distracts Goldust long enough for Fandango to kick him in the head and grab a handful of tights for the pin at 3:16.
Rating: D. Summer was the only interesting thing to see in this match. She looked great and was so goofy when she was distracting Goldust that she was kind of adorable. The match was barely long enough to rate and the first minute or so was spent on a chinlock and laying around after the suplex.
Batista vs. Sheamus
HHH is watching from the back. Batista hides in the corner to start until Sheamus nails him with a shoulder block to send the Animal to the floor. A chase goes badly for the Irishman and Batista drives shoulders into the corner. Batista scores with a big clothesline before dropping Sheamus with a knee to the ribs.
There's the spinebuster but Batista walks around instead of following up. The delay lets Sheamus nail Batista with a clothesline and come back with his usual high powered offense. Batista fights out of the ten forearms but Sheamus makes the second attempt work. A powerslam looks to set up the Brogue Kick but Batista bails tot he floor. Sheamus follows but walks into a chair to the right for the DQ at 5:33.
Rating: C. This was a nice power brawl and more importantly, Sheamus looked like an equal to Batista. Batista was in trouble at the end and that's how you make Sheamus look awesome. This is the kind of stuff that Batista should be doing a lot of the time and it worked well here.
Batista sends Sheamus into the post and hits the Batista Bomb. He asks if HHH is happy now and promises to leave Wrestlemania as champion.
The Raw ReBound looks at the Wyatts attacking Cena on Monday.
Bray Wyatt is holding a mask and says if you give it to a man, he'll reveal his true face. Every man wears a mask at some point John, whether it's to to hide his intentions or not. Cena has hidden behind a mask for so long that it's become him, but when he removes it he removes his own skin. Bray's sword has left a scar on Cena's soul that can never heal. Can't Cena hear the song? Bray will never forget what the woman singing first told him. A man's secret comes to life underneath the shade of the cypress tree. He sings part of He's Got The Whole World In His Hands and we're done.
Bella Twins vs. AJ Lee/Tamina
Vickie Guerrero is on commentary to explain the 14 Divas match at Wrestlemania. Her explanation: it's going to be awesome. Brie quickly takes AJ down to start but it's quickly off to Nikki for a middle rope kick to the face. Tamina comes in and nails Nikki in the face before it's back to the champion for a two count.
We hit the guillotine choke from AJ which transitions into a sleeper until AJ lets go and brings Tamina in again. Snuka misses a middle rope splash and it's back to Brie for some dropkicks. A middle rope dropkick sends Tamina to the apron where she nails AJ in the face and tags her in, setting up the Bella Buster for the pin at 3:27.
Rating: D+. The Bellas looked good in their outfits, most of the focus was on Vickie, AJ loses again. Next.
Santino and Emma are on a sound stage that is supposed to look like a restaurant for a date. She calls him the ultimate friend with benefits but means benefits like going out together instead of the usual meaning. We get a staring contest for a bit before Emma says she feels the same way he does: they'll always be best friends. Santino freaks out and says he can't eat. He chokes on something and makes it worse by trying to drink wine. The wine is spat out on Emma and thankfully the segment ends.
Jack Swagger vs. Jimmy Uso
Jack takes him into the corner to start but Jimmy knocks him outside and hits the big dive over the top. Back in and a high cross body gets two followed by something resembling a Whisper in the Wind for the same. Not that it matters as Swagger takes out the knee and the Patriot Lock is good for the win at 1:58.
We look at Undertaker and Lesnar brawling on Raw.
Mark Henry vs. The Miz
Henry takes too long pointing at the sign and Miz nails some kicks to the ribs to start. A dropkick to the knee puts Henry down and Miz goes to work on the leg. He cranks on the ankle a bit but lets Henry up and charges into a boot to the face. Mark misses a Vader Bomb and bangs up his knee again. The Figure Four is easily broken up but Miz throws him over the top and out to the floor. Miz gets sent hard into the steps for his efforts and a whip into the barricade has him in trouble as well. Back in and the World's Strongest Slam gets the pin at 3:30.
Rating: C. Much better than I was expecting here, even though that doesn't mean all that much. Miz working on the leg made sense and the throw over the top was a surprising visual. I can also forgive the leg work here as it only lasted a few moments and Henry's legs are thick enough that some basic stuff from Miz wouldn't have very long term effects.
Razor Ramon Hall of Fame video.
Big Show vs. Bray Wyatt
The giant shoves him into the corner to start but Bray smiles at him. Wyatt is sent out to the floor so he sits in front of the announce table and says that was nice. Back in and Bray tells Show to show him all his might. Big Show hammers away in the corner and knocks Bray around with a headbutt. Wyatt charges into a boot to the face but avoids an elbow drop.
It's Wyatt in control now and kicking away at the giant but being launched off a cover. The Spider Walk looks good but only gets Bray clotheslined down. He comes back with a splash in the corner but has to stop before running into a boot to the face. Something like a Stunner to the leg puts Big Show down and Harper gets in a shot of his own. Sister Abigail gets the pin at 4:10.
Rating: C-. This is the kind of win that Bray needed going into the pay per view. You don't often get to see him wrestle but he always puts on a good show when he does. Big Show is still someone who can give a rub and that's what we got here. Nice main event and thankfully it didn't last too long.
Overall Rating: C+. Tonight was a night of wrestling and did a nice job of firming up things for the show in nine days. Other than Sandow vs. Sin Cara and Fandango vs. Goldust, most of the matches had some storyline development, but even those four guys are all in the battle royal. It's a good show to set up Wrestlemania and that's the kind of thing WWE needs right now.
Shield b. 3MB – Dirty Deeds to McIntyre
Shield b. Ryback/Curtis Axel – Peace of Mind to Axel
Sin Cara b. Damien Sandow – Rollup
Fandango b. Goldust – Kick to the head
Sheamus b. Batista via DQ when Batista used a chair
Bella Twins b. AJ Lee/Tamina – Bella Buster to Lee
Jack Swagger b. Jimmy Uso – Patriot Lock
Mark Henry b. The Miz – World's Strongest Slam
Bray Wyatt b. Big Show – Sister Abigail