Matt’s Smackdown Recap 4/25/14

Maybe putting the Shield in another crazy handicap match wasn't such a good idea. [Photo courtesy of]
Maybe putting the Shield in another crazy handicap match wasn’t such a good idea. [Photo courtesy of]
WWE: Smackdown
April 25, 2014
Hershey, PA
GIANT Center

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.

Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero is standing in the ring. She announces that due to the Shield’s disrespect shown to the Authority this past week on Raw, they will have ANOTHER 11-on-3 handicap match – tonight. She mentions a few names who will be competing against them, but finds it more hilarious if we all just find out later. Now with that said, we have the Great Debate with Paul Heyman and Cesaro against Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. They let the mouthpieces talk. Zeb wants to know why after all he did to mentor and mold Cesaro that he would turn on him this way. This is not really how debates work. Usually there is a clear subject defined where points and counterpoints are made. There’s a couple podiums, two people who are very good talkers, and a moderator. It has the appearance of a debate, but that’s as close as it gets. When Heyman gets the chance to speak, all he does is mention how his client Brock Lesnar ended the Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak over and over again until his time is up, ignoring everything Colter had to say. Colter then points out the character of Paul Heyman to Cesaro mentioning how he lies, cheats, manipulates, and owes people money in 47 different states. HA. Bottom line, Colter wants to know why Heyman stole away one of his Real Americans. Heyman responds with a bunch of “1” words. He wants to know the last time a Zeb Colter guy “won” a match. When Cesaro won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, he was already a Paul Heyman guy. Now Heyman starts to repeat that *his* client Cesaro won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania. Colter then realizes he’s not going to get any answers. He now understands that this is really more about he and Heyman than it is about Cesaro and Swagger. These two old men get held back before they hurt themselves to take us into commercial.

Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)

Swagger has plenty to prove here against Cesaro as he’s hot to start, but then Cesaro catches him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Cesaro battles Swagger with European uppercuts and tries to wear him down with a chinlock. Swagger fights out and delivers a Belly to Belly Suplex for two. Cesaro escapes a double chickenwing hold and blasts Swagger as he springs off the second rope with another European uppercut. Dead-lift Gutwrench Suplex gets two. Heyman tells Cesaro to cut off Swagger’s air. Nevertheless, the Swagger Bomb scores a nearfall. They trade blows ending with Cesaro and Swagger falling out to the floor, which takes us into commercial. When we return, Cesaro hits him with a Flying European Uppercut for 1-2-NO! Swagger stops a corner charge and tries another Swagger Bomb, but Cesaro brings the boot up only to be caught for the Patriot Lock. Cesaro rolls out of the hold, but then gets caught in a powerslam for two. Cesaro comes back with a Butterfly Powerbomb (!!) and delivers the Cesaro Swing! Neutralizer follows and Cesaro gets the win. (8:30 shown) Afterwards, the Shield come out and stick Jack Swagger with the Triple Powerbomb since he’s one of the eleven. Looks like he failed to adapt. Pretty disappointing because I really think they could have something here if they wouldn’t book Swagger as nothing more than a mindless jock. I always like “I know you better than you know you” psychology when you have former teammates battling it out, and we saw none of that here. I understand they want to push Cesaro and wouldn’t want to make a mid-carder like Swagger look like a threat, but that bit of psychology really shouldn’t be avoided when you have a team splitting up. **

Meanwhile in the back, the Authority tells Vickie Guerrero on the phone to take the night off and let Brad Maddox take over because he knows how to get the Shield to respond to “real authority”.

We get a big Paige promo video here. She’ll be taking on Tamina Snuka at Extreme Rules in her first major Divas title defense.

Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya

Pretty competitive match here to make Tamina look good. After some preliminary stuff, she hits Natalya with the Samoan Drop. Natalya avoids the Snuka Splash and surprises Tamina with an inside cradle, but only gets two. Sharpshooter is kicked away, but then Natalya lands a discus clothesline for another nearfall. Once Tamina blocks an O’Connor roll, Natalya does some flips and stands up into a superkick to give Tamina the victory. (4:00) Tamina was fine in the Diesel role for AJ, but she’s not a Divas title contender. She’s just not. ¾*

Backstage, the Shield walk by 3MB and leave them laying. Can’t really blame them. They’re pretty awful.

Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso) vs. Curtis Axel (w/Ryback)

Rybaxel attacked the Usos on Raw, Ryback pinned Jimmy Uso on Main Event, and now we’re getting what’s left over. Totally by-the-numbers match as Jey makes a comeback, but Ryback causes a distraction and Jey gets nailed with the Hangman’s Facebuster to complete Rybaxel’s “clean sweep” of the Usos as Cole calls it. (3:30) Well, that almost guarantees the Usos retain against these guys at Extreme Rules. *

Just like in the olden days of promos when people had to see the gimmick that would be used in an upcoming match, Bray Wyatt and his boys cut a promo in the ring from inside a steel cage. Back in those days though, it was normally just a wrestler talking in front of a cyclone fence screen on wheels. Still effective. Bray mentions how the majority of the people who voted on the WWE App wanted to see Cena in a 3-on-1 handicap match against the Wyatts this past week on Raw. Why did this happen to the fan favorite? Bray says it is because his words cut deep like razor blades and they are working on the people. At Extreme Rules inside the cage, John will be like a rat trapped in a box with a snake, and Cena hasn’t even removed the venom. John Cena’s nightmares have now become Bray Wyatt’s dreams. In his dreams, they all follow him. Can’t you hear them sing, John? He’s got the whole world in his hands…he’s got the whole world in his hands. If you can find me a scarier heel in WWE since Jake Roberts in 1991, I’d love to know who he is.

Erick Rowan & Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust

Bray Wyatt points to Harper and Rowan while they beat up on Cody and tells the people that these men are the future. Goldust gets the hot tag and he’s rocking and rolling all over the Wyatt boys. Cody then takes care of Rowan with a missile dropkick and heads up top again, but Harper tosses Goldust into Cody, thus knocking him to the floor. Pissed at what just happened, Goldust gets surprised by Harper with a Stan Hansen Lariat for the win. (5:00) Follow the buzzards, ya’ll. *½

Meanwhile, The Shield now find Brad Maddox and teach him a fun lesson.

Santino Marella & Emma vs. Fandango & Layla

Match never happens. Fandango is one of the eleven, so the Shield ambush him and dish out a Triple Powerbomb off the stage through a couple tables. Believe in the Shield. No, seriously. If you don’t, they will F you up!

5-on-3 Handicap Match: Ryback, Titus O’Neil, Bad News Barrett, Alberto Del Rio & Damien Sandow vs. The Shield

Swagger, McIntyre, Slater, Mahal, and Fandango are all out of the match. Curtis Axel is supposed to be a part of this, but I don’t know what happened to him. We see a couple tide turns to set up the Shield cleaning house as we go into a commercial break. When we come back, Ambrose is *your* face in peril. He’s controlled with a series of chinlocks. He finally gets the hot tag to Reigns. The match breaks down and it appears that Barrett and Del Rio have been bought off by Reigns. They leave the other three guys and head up the aisle, but then Reigns surprises Del Rio with a Superman Punch out of nowhere. Barrett runs away scared. Back to the ring, the Spear from Reigns takes care of Sandow for the win. (10:30 shown) So yeah, the Authority’s plan backfired. That’s pretty obvious. Afterwards, Ryback receives a Spear and the Triple Powerbomb. Poor Titus doesn’t get any attention, which may not be a bad thing. **¼

The Shield stand tall and united as we close the show.

Until next week, so long for now!