Smackdown – March 14, 2014: When Being Big Isn’t Enough

Smackdown
Date: March 14, 2014
Location: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

The major matches are now set for Wrestlemania and all we have left is to fill in the roster for the battle royal and get the midcard taken care of. Aside from all of the big stuff from Raw, the other top story we might get some more on tonight is Shield having some issues with Kane, which might lead to Kane embracing his hate and dropping the corporate character. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

We look back at Occupy Raw.

Here’s HHH sans Stephanie to open things up. He’s greated by a YES chant and HHH says that must feel good. Monday was one of the greatest nights of their lives and it must have been one of Daniel Bryan’s best nights ever as well. That was their moment in the sun though and Daniel Bryan isn’t here tonight. He’ll be dealt with on Raw and everything will be ended at Wrestlemania, but tonight he has to deal with the fans.

The people chant NO which tells HHH that they would have jumped in the ring and participated had they been at Raw. However, they traded in all of their happy tomorrows for the end of the YES Movement. HHH has protected Daniel Bryan over the last few months by keeping him away from the deep end of the roster so the people could have hope.

That’s what the YES Movement represents: hope for the people and all of their miserable lives. The fans chant for Bryan, who HHH says is just like each and every one of the people here: good, but just not good enough to succeed. At Wrestlemania he’ll crush those hopes and dreams because there will be no triple threat and more happily ever after. However let’s get to business tonight, so get out here Damien Sandow. HHH cuts him off before the apology can get started. Sandow gets a match against an opponent picked by Vickie Guerrero.

Damien Sandow vs. Seth Rollins

This is joined in progress after a break with Seth in full control. Sandow gets in a few shots and Rollins heads outside for a second. Back in and Seth does his backflip in the corner into the downward spiral into the middle buckle. A running forearm in the corner sets up a dropkick but Sandow gets outside to avoid the top rope Black Out. Shield distracts him so Seth can hit a suicide dive, followed by the Black Out for the pin at 2:27. The announcers spent the match arguing about this being a conspiracy.

Ambrose sends Sandow into the ring again for the first Triple Bomb in months.

We look back at Hogan announcing the battle royal.

Fandango vs. Big E.

Non-title. Before the match Fandango enters the battle royal. Fandango takes over to start but Big E. fights up and hits the belly to belly. The Warrior Splash connects and Big E. runs Fandango over, takes down the strap and Big Endings his way to a win at 1:37. Total squash.

We take a quick look at Heyman and Undertaker’s segment on Raw.

Bad News Barrett says the Streak will end and children will cry. Therefore, parents won’t get any sleep and fall asleep at a meeting and get fired.

Real Americans vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust

We recap the Americans’ problems from Monday with Cesaro crushing Jack’s hand. Goldust and Swagger get things going with Goldust scoring off a shoulder and the uppercut. Off to Cody to crank on the arm but Jack drives him into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. Cody escapes a belly to back suplex and drops to the mat for an uppercut to the face. A springboard dropkick knocks Swagger off the apron and a backdrop puts Cesaro outside but he catches Cody’s plancha in mid air.

Rhodes is gutwrenched onto the floor and we take a break. Back with Cody firing off some right hands and backdropping Swagger to the floor. Cesaro blocks the tag with the Swing (JBL: “He’s swinging him so much his daddy’s polka dots are dizzy!”) but Swagger’s Vader Bomb hits boots.

Cesaro breaks up another tag attempt but the Real Americans argue over a tag. It’s Cesaro staying in with a vertical suplex right in front of Jack. Swagger tags himself in as Zeb is losing his mind. Jack realizes what’s about to happen and knocks Goldust off the apron, only to get caught in a backslide to give Cody the pin at 7:48.

Rating: C-. That loss is all on Swagger and Cesaro shouldn’t get much of the blame. Seriously, how do you lose to a backslide of all things? The lack of a hot tag was a change of pace from the usual formula and it’s kind of nice to see. The pin was a surprise as I’m so used to waiting on the big hot sequence and it was nice to not know what was coming.

The Real Americans destroy Cody post match until the Usos make the save.

We recap Bray vs. Cena from Raw and Wyatt accepting the challenge.

Bray Wyatt vs. Kofi Kingston

Bray’s eyes bug out at the bell and Kofi gets in a right hand, making Wyatt smile. He sits in the corner and shouts at Kingston before grabbing him by the leg and shoving him down. Kofi grabs Bray’s leg and spin kicks Wyatt out to the floor. Back in and Kofi hammers away but Wyatt shoves him down with ease. Kofi comes back with a springboard shot to the head but Bray just throws him over the ropes and out to the floor. A backsplash gets two on Kingston and Bray just runs him over with a clothesline. Sister Abigail is good for the pin at 3:54.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t much to see but Bray’s eyes and power stuff looked good. There’s something so off about him that it’s hard not to watch him every time he’s out there. Kofi is a good sacrificial lamb for Bray or anyone for that matter as he’s going to be the same guy no matter what happens to him.

Kane tells Shield to be at ringside for the main event but they say they don’t listen to him. They’ll be out there because it’s best for business.

Nikki Bella vs. Tamina Snuka

AJ sits in on commentary as Tamina takes Nikki down by the hair. Nikki is sent to the floor and holds her knee, prompting some amusing fake concern from the champ. Back in and Nikki gets slammed down but still avoids the Superfly Splash. AJ tries to figure out who the #1 contender is as Tamina kicks Nikki’s head off for two. Tamina gets bored with Nikki and throws Brie into the barricade for fun. It doesn’t pay off though as Nikki hits the Rack for the pin at 3:13.

Rating: D. Divas, regular match, Nikki’s turn for a push. Next.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio is in the battle royal as well, saying it’s the only thing he has left to win. Ziggler quickly knocks Alberto outside before tossing him right back in for the ten elbows. Del Rio avoids a charge in the corner and double stomps him to the mat and we go to a break. Back with Ziggler (Dolph Showoff according to Cole) hammering away in the corner and getting two off a neckbreaker.

Alberto catches a charging Ziggler in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but the low superkick misses, setting up the jumping DDT from Ziggler. Now the low superkick connects for a close two but Ziggler countered the armbreaker. Ziggler ducks the running enziguri in the corner and hits the Fameasser for an even closer two. Dolph goes up but gets crotched and caught in the reverse superplex for two. The armbreaker is countered again but this time into the Zig Zag to give Dolph the pin at 6:03 shown of 9:33.

Rating: B-. This was pretty much just the ending sequence to a main event match after cutting off all the buildup. I could get used to this idea in matches that don’t mean anything such as this. Del Rio and Ziggler are another of those combinations where they’re fought so many times that I just don’t care to see them ever again. This was entertaining though.

Dolph enters the battle royal and says it will be his Wrestlemania moment.

The next inductee into the Hall of Fame is Carlos Colon.

WWE Network tutorial.

It’s Wyatts time. Luke says everything has been forgotten and the lie has become the truth. Bray says he never sleeps but is always dreaming, and lately his dreams have been of John Cena. They’ll be sharing a war in New Orleans but off in the distance there’s a woman’s voice. Bray can’t understand it but the closer he gets the clearer it becomes. The voice is saying she loves him and how proud she is of Bray. Now he sees Cena for what he’ll become. Eventually he’ll be a lonely old man full of regret. Cena shouldn’t worry about a thing because he’ll make it quick. Follow the buzzards.

Kane vs. Big Show

Shield is nowhere in sight. Kane whips Show across the ring but Show does the same to him as Shield comes to ringside. A headbutt drops Kane and a chop sends him to the floor, right in front of the Shield. Back in and Kane avoids a knee drop and gets two off a low dropkick. We hit a leg lock on the bigger monster but Big Show counters out with pure leg strength.

Back up and Kane gets two off a running DDT but Show breaks the chokeslam attempt. Show runs him over with a spear but rolls to the floor to glare at Shield. He goes up but gets chokeslammed off the top for two. Shield gets on the apron and Kane orders them to attack but Shield bails and Kane walks into a bad looking chokeslam (thankfully the camera hid it) for the pin at 5:30.

Rating: D. These guys just are not fun to watch. WWE has this theory that you can put these two against each other and it’s going to be entertaining because they’re both big and strong. They’ve fought several dozen times over the years and I don’t remember any of them being anything better than watchable.

Reigns spears Kane to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. There were some decent matches tonight but a lot of them were just quick ones that didn’t really add anything. It was nice to see some stuff actually happen here, such as the battle royal growing and the Hall of Fame announcement, but there still wasn’t much of interest to this show. You have to expect that once Wrestlemania is made though.

Sheamus vs. Heath Slater was taped but not aired. That appears to be a thing they’re doing on Smackdown anymore. The spoilers indicate it’s presented as part of the taping and not a dark match. Sheamus won via Brogue Kick in about five minutes.

Results

Seth Rollins b. Damien Sandow – Black Out

Big E. b. Fandango – Big Ending

Cody Rhodes/Goldust b. Real Americans – Backslide to Swagger

Bray Wyatt b. Kofi Kingston – Sister Abigail

Nikki Bella b. Tamina Snuka – Rack

Dolph Ziggler b. Alberto Del Rio – Zig Zag

Big Show b. Kane – Chokeslam

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9 comments

  1. james gracie says:

    I’m officially renaming the ‘Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal’ to the ‘Creative Has Nothing For You Battle Royal’

    Jay H. (the real one) Reply:

    So better they not be involved rather than be on the WM Card?

    jamesgracie Reply:

    And what if it gets bumped to the pre show?

  2. Jon Gill Bunny says:

    Your use of the word “anymore” boggles me, and it’s not the first time.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I think it’s a Kentucky thing.

    ted Reply:

    It’s an incorrect word usage thing.

  3. frank says:

    Your headline of being big not being enough is very true. I have seen people on this board and other places defend larger wrestlers who aren’t very good “khali, john studd, etc. Just because they are big. It is nice to see that more people are realizing that will not be enough anymore.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    That gets on my nerves as well. People say Khali doesn’t do anything but big chops and slams. Well what else would you expect him to do?

    I remember watching a Harris Brothers (DOA/Creative Control/whatever other name they had. They’re the big bald twins) from Memphis and they chain wrestled against two jobbers. It was really awkward and you just wanted them to start throwing the guys around.

    If you listen to the main event commentary at Wrestlemania 13, Shawn Michaels sums it up perfectly (paraphrased): Sid has gotten where he is on nothing but power and there’s no reason for him to change because that power is going to take him wherever he needs to go.

    Khali, Studd etc wrestle a power style because they’re big strong guys. It wouldn’t make sense for them to use armbars and figure fours.

    zappa Reply:

    In Khali’s case I think it’s more he fumbles a lot and doesn’t really have the coordination needed to be a wrestler. Even a big power wrestler. No one is expecting a short arm scissors. But it would be nice not to look like your about to fall over in every step.