Matt’s Smackdown Recap 4/18/14

A motivated Sheamus looks to avenge the beating he received at the hands of Batista prior to WrestleMania. [Photo courtesy of]
A motivated Sheamus looks to avenge the beating he received at the hands of Batista prior to WrestleMania. [Photo courtesy of]
WWE: Smackdown
April 18, 2014
Nashville, TN
Bridgestone Arena

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan (4/6/2014)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E (11/18/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: Paige (4/7/2014)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (3/3/2014)

Your hosts are Michael Cole & JBL.

COOHHH kicks off the show this week. He’s out here to talk about the Shield. Nothing makes him prouder than to see talent succeed (ah-HAHAHA…), but he regrets giving the Shield so much power. When people get power, they try to see how far that power can take them on their own. HHH is dropping life lessons on us. When we find out where the line is in the sand, he tells us not to cross the line. Last week on Raw, the Shield paid the price for crossing the line with an 11-on-3 handicap match followed by a nasty beatdown by Evolution v2. The name “Evolution” makes no sense anymore, but whatever. For all the details, check out Scott’s Raw Recap. HHH responds to Roman Reigns comment about how “kings don’t win wars, soldiers do”. He says that, “soldiers are simply the currency on which empires are bought and sold.” I won’t even touch *that* comment in this column. HHH now feels the Shield have no value to him and will be destroyed by Evolution at Extreme Rules. I guess Ric Flair is too embarrassing right now to be on WWE TV. Just a thought I was having when he hyped up the members of Evolution.

Paul Heyman comes out to remind us that his client Brock Lesnar ended Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak. Seriously, he says it over and over again to piss off the crowd. John Wayne died in “The Shootist”, Clint Eastwood died in “Gran Torino”…it happens to the best of them, Undertaker.

Non-title match: WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E vs. Alberto Del Rio

So Big E battles one of the losers of the #1 contenders tournament to get prepared for the winner of the tournament at Extreme Rules. On the split-screen, Big E responds to what we’ve seen in the tournament so far. Oh geez. Apparently, the same guy who writes “aw shucks” Cena promos is writing for Big E as well. Del Rio controls to start trying to wear down Big E. He fires back with the Belly to Belly Suplex and tries the Warrior Splash, but ADR brings up the knees. Commercials! When we come back, Big E catches Del Rio in mid-air for a backbreaker. Big E lands the Warrior Splash and Down Come The Straps. Del Rio counters the Big Ending with the Backstabber for 1-2-NO! Del Rio is ready for the Cross Armbreaker, but Big E clasps his hands together to avoid the hyperextension on his elbow and manages to make the ropes. However, Del Rio lets go of the hold right after the ref’s five-count and gets DQ’ed. (6:00 shown) In protest of the ref’s actions, Del Rio further attacks Big E, but winds up paying for it with the Big Ending. **

Non-title match: WWE Divas Champion Paige vs. Aksana

Paige will make her first defense of the Divas title against Tamina Snuka at Extreme Rules. Aksana gets on the mic and calls Paige a “flash in the pan” before giving her a cheapshot. Cole mentions how AJ Lee went home and hasn’t come back since she lost her Divas title. Clearly a dig at CM Punk, right? Scorpion Cross Lock gets the win for Paige. (3:00) Nothing too crazy here. ¾*

Renee Young speaks with Sheamus. He feels fights are not about who hits the hardest, but who gets hit and keeps coming back. Three weeks ago, Bats got his shots in on Sheamus. Tonight, it’s Sheamus turn. In fact, it’s time to fight, fella.

El Torito (w/Los Matadores) vs. Hornswoggle (w/Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre)

They are bringing this crap onto my Smackdown show? Not even Heath Slater would agree to be a part of this. There’s a lot of Cole & JBL laughing and bull fighting nonsense. Torito wins with a Flying Moonsault. (4:00) I’ve never cared for little people matches in WWE because they are always treated like comedy affairs. I’m not a little person, and I don’t have any little people in my family, but isn’t anyone else uncomfortable with these kind of matches? How has the PC police not given WWE crap for all the midget stuff? Does Vince really find midget-tossing *that* funny?

See what I mean?
See what I mean?

Bad News Barrett gives the crowd crap for applauding that last match. I’m with you, Wade.

Alexander Rusev (w/Lana) vs. R-Truth (w/Xavier Woods)

Rusev is about 40 years too late. Imagine Rusev as a challenger to Bruno. Cha-ching, indeed. Rusev dominates Truth and submits him with the awesome emotionless Communist Camel Clutch. (2:00) Xavier tries to jump Rusev after the bell, but gets pitched aside. ½*

WWE’s “Tribute to the Ultimate Warrior” video from Raw gets replayed. This is followed by the ten-bell salute.

Meanwhile in the backstage area, Emma smacks Santino on the butt. Yep.

Santino Marella (w/Emma) vs. Fandango (w/Layla)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as much as I like Summer Rae, Layla is even better. End of story. When Layla takes away Santino’s sock puppet, Emma comes to his defense and tackles Layla. Meanwhile, Santino avoids the O’Connor roll and sunset flips Fandango for the upset win. (1:30) Emma holds the Cobra for Santino to slip it on. Uh huh huh huh. He threatens Fandango, but Fandango makes it out alive. Emma sells the high-five when Santino uses his Cobra hand. Oh geez. ¼*

Last Week on Raw, Kane held the mask in his hands! You know what’s coming next.

Also, Adam Rose is coming. I already want this guy off my TV screen.

Batista vs. Sheamus

Three weeks ago on Smackdown, Batista beat up Sheamus with a chair. While we may have forgotten about it, Sheamus hasn’t. Back and forth brawl to start. Sheamus goes to whack on Batista’s chest. Bats doesn’t want any of that though, and snaps Sheamus neck off the top rope. When Batista gets back on the apron, Sheamus runs him down to take us into commercial. When we return, they go to the floor where Bats capitalizes with some ringside violence. Back in, Batista controls with his slow offense. He looks for the Batista Bomb, but Sheamus slings him out to the floor. Back inside the ring, Sheamus shoves Batista shoulder-first into the ringpost and fires back with the Polish Hammers. Again, Sheamus avoids the Batista Bomb. This time, he beats on Batista’s chest and delivers the Slingshot Forearm Smash for two. White Noise is blocked, but Sheamus settles for the Irish Curse Backbreaker instead for another nearfall. Bats avoids the Cloverleaf, but then charges into a powerslam. Time for the Brogue Kick, but Bats slides out to the floor. Sheamus brings Batista back inside and tries again for the Brogue Kick, but Batista ducks and lands the Spear for 1-2-NO! Sheamus backdrops away the Batista Bomb, but gets crotched up top. That damages Sheamus enough to where he has no choice but to take the Batista Bomb as Bats gets the three-count. (10:20 shown) Pretty fun main event as Sheamus was bound and determined to beat Batista, but it just wasn’t enough. IMO, Batista’s best singles match since he’s been back. ***

Until next week, so long for now!