Friday, 14 March 2014 09:11
Triple H kicked off SmackDown after a long recap of Bryan occupying Raw. Cole talked about being blown off for his usual mid-week wwe.com interview with Hunter, with Hunter saying he’d address it in the ring. The crowd morphed from chanting “no” at him to just chanting “yes”. He said he was happy Bryan and the fans got their moment in the sun Monday, but because of that Bryan isn’t here tonight. He’ll be dealt with on Raw. So it just leaves the fans to be dealt with. He polled the fans there as to whether they’d have joined in on Monday. He then let them know they traded in all their happy tomorrows, that the Yes Movement could have kept going. But now it ends.
He again talked about protecting Bryan at SummerSlam. And how he did it for the fans. He wanted to let the fans have hope and dreams for their pathetic lives. But at the end of the day Bryan is just like the fans, not good enough to succeed. So at Mania he will crush their hope, crush their dreams. He was turning red here losing his cool, after being calculated. He then slowed down to make sure everyone heard that “At Wrestlemania, I put an end to your dreams and I bury Daniel Bryan.” He then said the show must go on and welcomed Damien Sandow.
Hunter ran down Sandow for refusing to do his job Monday. He warned of extreme repercussions if he doesn’t get a sincere apology. Sandow apologised and Hunter lightened up saying good enough, no harm no foul, and shook his hand to give him the best of luck before a surprise opponent from Vickie that Hunter had no idea about. The Shield.
Match Number One: Damien Sandow Vs. Seth Rollins w/ Ambrose & Reigns.
Cole was defending Sandow the entire time. Very weird dynamic as to who wwe wanted to be cheered and booed here. Sandow made a little comeback after an adbreak at the start of the match before Rollins took over. Sandow left the ring when Rollins was looking for the curb stomp variation from the top rope. But Ambrose and Reigns blocked his exits and Rollins hit him with a tope. Big high fives among all Shield members, then Rollins hit the curb stomp for the pin
Winner: Seth Rollins, Pinfall.
There was a little hiccup in the Shield after the match. Rollins and Reigns had their fists out but Ambrose didn’t join in. Instead he told them to wait, grabbed Sandow from outside on the floor and threw him back in. They all hit him up a bit more before hitting the triple power bomb. They then all happily put their fists in with Cole putting over how the Shield of old were back.
They showed Hogan announcing the 7 foot tall gold statue and battle royal at Mania.
Match Number Two: Big E. (c) Vs. Fandango w/ Summer Rae, Non-Title Match.
Both of these guys will be in the battle royal. Fandango cut a little inset promo saying how he’d bring grace and class with a win at Mania. He then actually started the match with some offence. But Big E. won with the Big Ending not long afterwards. He threw Fandango around, blocked a move or two and hit the finisher for the pin.
Winner: Big E., Pinfall.
Bad News Barrett’s bad news was that Taker’s streak will be ended by Brock. It will lead to people being fired. Because children will be up all night crying, so parents will be tired during the day and fall asleep in meetings. Which will get you fired. And JBL said only idiots fall asleep in meetings. Someone must have fallen asleep in a meeting recently.
Match Number Three: The Real Americans Vs. The Brothers Rhodes.
I really liked the Rhodes/Shield match Monday. I hope they still have plans for them, at least something more than breaking them up or not. There was a scary moment where Cody was running through both guys, then used the top rope to slingshot himself from inside the ring to the outside onto Cesaro. I assume the spot was meant to be Cesaro catching him and turning him into a tilt-a-whirl on the apron (that’s sort of what eventually happened), but Cesaro gained control of Cody quite low to the ground. He did end up holding on, but if Cody had kept going it was straight onto his neck, as he ended up being caught in a tombstone like body position. The other problem was Cody posting down with his arm. Cesaro did have control of Cody’s weight before Cody’s hand hit the ground, but if it wasn’t someone as strong as Cesaro it could have been bad. Don’t post with a straight arm. Bad things happen.
Back in the ring Cesaro used the giant swing on Cody, then tagged in Swagger for a failed Swagger bomb. Cesaro got in and took control again, then unwanted blind tags between Swagger and Cesaro kept coming. Zeb was just shaking outside. Cody was looking to crawl to Goldust during an argument but Cesaro noticed him in the last second and told Swagger to go get him since he was the legal man. Swagger knocked Goldust off the apron, but was pinned with a backslide by Cody.
Winners: Brother Rhodes, Pinfall.
Swagger and Cesaro continued to beat the Rhodes after the match, and it looked like Cody was bleeding a little. The Usos then ran down to stop the post match beat down. No contact though as the Americans left the ring. Everyone then checked on Cody’s arm which had been thrown into the ring post.
They played a video of The Wyatts on and Cena on from Raw. Wyatts then came out for an adbreak.
Match Number Four: Bray Wyatt w/ Harper & Rowan Vs. Kofi Kingston.
The match was just a backdrop for Cole and JBL to talk about Cena, Hulk and Mania. Kofi got his offence in early which Bray would smile at. Until Bray was sent from the ring with a kick and he got serious. Kofi then made one last brief comeback before being caught coming off the turnbuckles with a cross body into a big STO. Bray then splashed him in the corner and hit the Sister Abigail for the pinfall.
Winner: Bray Wyatt, Pinfall.
Kane approached the Shield in the back. He congratulated them for their win on Raw, Main Event and tonight. Ambrose asked if he expected different? He told Kane to focus on his own match with Big Show tonight. Kane told him he had a lot to learn about the business, but he will teach them by example. He ordered them to be ringside tonight to get a close up look at how to properly handle a situation. He said he may even leave a few scraps for them out there. Rollins piped in saying that’s why he wanted them out there, he wanted them for protection. Reigns stepped up and told Kane they don’t take orders from him, but are looking forward to see how Kane handles the situation. Rollins pulled him back and told Kane not to worry, that when push comes to shove they always do what’s best for business.
Match Number Five: Tamina Vs. Nikki Bella w/ Brie Bella.
AJ was on commentary. AJ talked about how the Divas division had stepped up, which was down to her influence. Tamina had just thrown Nikki around all match until Nikki rolled out of the way of the Splash. Nikki then made a comeback before being flattened by a superkick. AJ got off commentary thinking the match was over but Nikki kicked out. AJ was then hit with a cross body by Brie from the apron. Brie was laying into AJ with punches so Tamina left the ring and threw Brie into the barricade. Tamina then tried for a second superkick inside the ring on Nikki, but Nikki side stepped and got her up for the torture wrack back breaker, shock treatment move, for the pin.
Winner: Nikki Bella, Pinfall.
Match Number Six: Dolph Ziggler Vs. Alberto Del Rio.
They replayed Del Rio distracting Dolph last week and costing him the match with Christian. Del Rio had an inset promo about winning the Battle Royal at Mania. They had a far more entertaining match than I expected. Both guys can be great, but their match circumstances have been terrible lately. This was fast paced and aggressive from both with a fair amount of time. One beautiful dropkick from Ziggler as Del Rio came off the top rope. He missed the ZigZag when Del Rio held the ropes, and Cole with JBL put over how his problems started when Del Rio took the title from around this time last year.
Del Rio hit a superkick for two, then tried for the arm breaker. They got a little lost in the counter but the crowd were right into the next nearfall, a fameasser from Ziggler for two. Del Rio got a big nearfall with an inverted superplex. He again tried for the armbar but Ziggler jumped over him and hit the ZigZag for the pinfall. Really good match from two guys mired in the midcard.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler, Pinfall.
Renee got in the ring to ask Dolph if he feels like he’s hitting his stride at the right time. They really celebrated that he won TWO matches in a row. That’s pretty sad. Dolph announced himself for the Battle Royal. He said we’ve all seen him steal the show. But this is Mania, and he makes his own destiny. He said winning the trophy will be his Wrestlemania moment.
After Cole walked us through the Network’s free trial the Wyatts cut him off. Wyatt said he never sleeps but always dreams. Now he’s sharing his dream with Cena. He can hear a woman’s voice. And as they’re fighting closer to her she’s saying how she loves him, and is proud of him. But then he wakes up. He still sees Cena, and what he becomes. A lonely old man with regrets. He told Cena not to worry about a thing, he can make it quick.
Kane told the Shield that he won’t repeat himself. It’s time to follow him. They did.
Match Number Seven: Kane w/ The Shield Vs. The Big Show.
After the adbreak the Shield were no longer following Kane for his entrance. They did come out, but once the bell had already rung. Kane worked over Show’s knee. Kane got him up and grabbed his neck for a chokeslam, so Show did the same. As much as I love the double running boot spot I’d love to see a double chokeslam spot even more. Neither man got it but Show started his comeback. He had Kane down with a spear and went outside. He made eyes with the Shield when he got back up the stairs but they were happy just watching at that point, taking everything in.
Show climbed to the top rope but Kane brought him down, sort of with a chokeslam for two. Kane sat back into the ropes and told Rollins to get in there. Rollins slowly got on the apron, the other two did too. Kane wasn’t happy with the pace they were setting and yelled in Rollins’ face that he told them to get in there so move it. Rollins called the attack off and all three dropped down. Kane was angry and walked into a chokeslam from Show for the pinfall.
Winner: The Big Show, Pinfall.
Show didn’t hang around long and neither did the Shield. They locked eyes with Kane who was still down and started leaving. Ambrose and Reigns were over the barricade when Kane grabbed Rollins by the hair and pulled him into the ring. He had lifted Rollins up for the chokeslam when Reigns speared him. The show went off the air with the Shield leaving Kane laying after standing over him.
This was actually a really good show. Things moved forward. No terrible matches, just one or two short ones, and one or two forgettable. No Bryan, but that’s not a bad thing, oversaturation can be a killer. Just a good wrestling show that went quickly.