Smackdown – April 11, 2014: We Need A Gas Station

Smackdown
Date: April 11, 2014
Location: Cajundome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

WWE is on a roll right now and the main story is Shield/Bryan facing off against Evolution with Kane taking Flair’s place. Other than that we’re likely to get more from the newest Paul Heyman Guy Cesaro, which was one of the most interesting things to come out of Raw. Also WWE seems to be bringing up new people from NXT so maybe we’ll get another debut tonight. Let’s get to it.

 

 

We open with the In Memory graphic for Warrior. Cole does a voiceover offering condolences to his fans and announces that Raw will be a tribute show. I’m so glad he got that one moment last week so this can actually feel genuine. Warrior passed away after this was taped so there won’t be any references to his passing during the show.

 

 

Opening sequence.

 

 

Here’s John Cena to get things going. Cena says the fans sound tired but he asks if they’re ready to go. Wrestlemania XXX started with the most iconic moment John Cena has ever seen with Hogan, Rock and Austin standing together in the middle of the ring. Cena lists off some other highlights from the show before getting to Bray Wyatt. Bray tried to turn a man into a monster but he still can’t see Cena.

 

 

We also saw the Streak broken, but then we saw the Game get played and a NEW WWE Champion. That was just Wrestlemania, because everything really went down on Raw. We turned Silver into Super, believed in the Shield, found out that Brock Lesnar was the one and heard the WWE Universe change his theme music. On top of that, on Monday John Cena was taught to Bo-Lieve, found out what you need to have a party, saw a big man named Alexander Rusev and the Divas division finally turned the Paige.

 

 

Cena lists off various nicknames and says he’s none of those things. He’s the standard bearer and measuring stick. If someone wants to stand on top of the WWE mountain, they have to go through him to get there. Cue the Wyatts with Harper saying time heals all wounds. Unfortunately, Cena has just given them more time to hurt him. Bray wishes he could feel pain sometimes but he’s different.

 

 

We all should embrace our differences and now he can’t stop smiling after losing at Wrestlemania. He feels so good because he saw that Cena isn’t hollow inside. Bray sees a lot of things inside himself and is thrilled because Cena is just one push away from becoming a monster. Wyatt will have to go to further extremes to make Cena because that monster, so hang on because this ride is just starting. He’s got the whole world in his hands.

 

 

We get some headlines about the Streak ending.

 

 

Big Show vs. Cesaro

 

 

Heyman does Cesaro’s intro and the King of Swing comes out without music. Paul brags about guiding Lesnar to a victory over Undertaker and says how it allowed him to pick the next big thing in Cesaro. They shake hands to start as Heyman joins commentary. Cesaro bounces off Big Show and falls to the floor. A loud chop knocks Cesaro off the apron but he gets back inside and tries to suplex Big Show from the apron.

 

 

That goes as well as you would expect and Big Show suplexes him to the floor, only to have Cesaro land on his feet. He tries a sunset bomb but Show sits on his chest to crush Cesaro against the apron for two. Cesaro bails from the KO Punch and has a meeting with Heyman. Paul’s advice: take his air. Back from a break with Show charging into a boot in the corner and getting caught in a sleeper.

 

 

Show drives him into the corner to break but misses a charge and gets put in the sleeper again. The giant shakes him off again and runs Cesaro over, only to have the chokeslam countered into a third sleeper. Heyman actually gives us some backstory by saying he had given Cesaro the advice that won him the battle royal. Big Show misses a middle rope splash and Cesaro loads up the Swing, only to have Jack Swagger run in for the DQ at 8:35.

 

 

Rating: C-. Cesaro not winning by pin is fine here as he held his own against a big name and even got the win. The match with Swagger will close the Real Americans chapter and give us a good moment when he swings Jack. Heyman is just so perfect as the guy bragging about his clients and makes you want to watch Cesaro even more.

 

 

Show cleans house but gets caught by some uppercuts from Cesaro, setting up the Neutralizer to a gasp from the crowd.

 

 

Los Matadores vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

 

 

The announcers talk about being Bo-Lievers despite no vignette airing. Ryback throws Diego around to start but gets caught by a dropkick. Not that it has much effect though as Ryback powerslams Diego down for two before tagging Axel in for the first time. A clothesline to the back of the head gets two and it’s back to Ryback who gets two off a clothesline of his own. We hit the chinlock for a bit before a charge in the corner gets two on Diego.

 

 

Back to the chinlock from Ryback as this has been one sided so far. Diego fights up and makes the tag to Fernando for almost no reaction at all. Fernando cleans house and gets two on Axel with a leg trip DDT. Torito dives onto Ryback but gets caught in midair, only for Fernando to make the save. The distraction lets Axel hit his neckbreaker into a cutter for the pin at 5:00.

 

 

Rating: D-. What a dull match. Neither team means anything at all and they’re getting less and less interesting every time they’re out there. Los Matadores aren’t even that good in the ring anymore as they just do basic stuff and shout OLE a lot. Ryback could work well if given the chance on his own, but Axel just has nothing right now.

 

 

Van Dam says stuff is changing but it’s cool when you’re RVD.

 

 

Damien Sandow vs. Rob Van Dam

 

 

Sandow elbows him in the jaw to start but gets his head kicked off for his efforts. Rob poses but gets rolled up for two, only to get caught by Rolling Thunder. Another kick to the face sends him into the barricade but he comes back with some shots to the knee. Wind-Up Elbow gets two on Rob but he comes back with a rollup and another kick. Sandow breaks up the Five Star but gets shoved off when trying a superplex, setting up the Five Star for the pin at 4:22.

 

 

Rating: D+. Just a match to more firmly establish that Van Dam is back. There’s only so much you can get back out of beating Sandown though. The only good thing for Sandow is that he’s getting to the point where they’re going to repackage him after losing so much. It’s a bad way to go but it’s modern WWE.

 

 

Adam Rose vignette.

 

 

It’s Hogan time. Hulk praises Daniel Bryan’s performance at Wrestlemania and says he turned it into Yes-tlemania. The sight of Bryan holding both titles up gave him chills, so here’s Bryan in person. Daniel wants to tell the Hulkster something: this has been the best week of his life. He’s getting married soon and he just won the title in the main event of Wrestlemania.

 

 

Daniel talks about growing up watching wrestling and seeing Hogan as the biggest star in the world. He prayed every night to be able to main event Wrestlemania and took his vitamins to get 24 inch pythons. Bryan has been a Hulkamaniac since before he can remember but there’s one thing that would make it even better. He asks for Hogan’s music to be played and the posing begins. This is another of those things that never stops making me smile.

 

 

The second hour begins with another In Memory graphic for Warrior.

 

 

Bad News Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston

 

 

Barrett does the catchphrase to start but gets kicked down for his efforts. Some more kicks have the same effect and the Boom Drop connects for good measure. Bad News bails from Trouble in Paradise before laying out Kofi with the Bull Hammer for the pin at 2:10. That was Barrett’s only big move of the match.

 

 

We get the Thank You video from Raw which is a nice touch.

 

 

Santino Marella vs. Fandango

 

 

Apparently Fandango has dumped Summer Rae and replaced her with Layla. Not a horrible trade. Santino hammers away to start as the announcers talk about the dictionary. The hiptoss looks to set up the Cobra but Layla steals the sock, allowing Fandango to grab a rollup for the pin at 1:30.

 

 

Video on Paige about how she’s the anti-Diva. If nothing else we get to see what the Paige Turner is supposed to look like. This transitions into a video from Monday of the title change.

 

 

Adam Rose is still coming.

 

 

We recap the end of Raw with Shield officially turning face by attacking HHH and pals.

 

 

On Main Event, Shield said they were prepared for war with the Authority’s injustice.

 

 

Back live with Kane telling Batista and Orton that they need to put their differences aside and fight their common enemies. He wants Bryan for himself but Orton and Batista both want him for themselves. Kane says that’s what’s wrong with them because they all need each other.

 

 

Usos/Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton/Batista/Kane

 

 

Batista shoves Jimmy into the corner to start as we hear about HHH battling with Shield over Twitter. Off to the injured Jey who takes a shot to his bad ribs as the heels take over. Orton comes in and stomps away before ripping off the tape. We take a break and come back with Kane knocking Jey out of the air with an uppercut for two. Back to Orton for a catapult into the bottom rope and another two count.

 

 

Randy shrugs off a chop and dropkicks Jey down before tagging Kane back in again. That goes nowhere so here’s Orton again for a chinlock with a body vice followed by the powerslam for two. Daniel offers a distraction though and Jey nails a Samoan drop. Kane can’t break up the hot tag and it’s hot tag to the World Champion. Bryan kicks Kane to the floor for the FLYING GOAT before the Usos dive on the other heels as well. The brawl continues on the floor and it’s a double countout at 9:00 shown of 12:00.

 

 

Rating: C-. Basica formula stuff here though I’m not sure why we couldn’t have Bryan hit a knee on one of the guys for the pin or at least slide back in to beat the count. Either way, at least he didn’t get destroyed and the Usos didn’t get pinned either. I’ll take the draw over a champion getting beaten any day.

 

 

Orton and Batista lay out the Usos post match but the Shield runs in to stop Kane from chokeslamming Bryan through the table. Shield chases off the other guys as well and Kane takes the running knee followed by the Triple Bomb to end the show.

 

 

Overall Rating: C. This show wasn’t bad but they were clearly out of steam at this point. This was really just a supplement to everything else that had happened in the last few days and a sequel to Raw minus the interesting stuff. It’s certainly not a bad show or anything like that but there’s nothing worth seeing here.

 

 

Results

 

Cesaro b. Big Show via DQ when Jack Swagger interfered

 

Ryback/Curtis Axel b. Los Matadores – Neckbreaker into a cutter to Fernando

 

Rob Van Dam b. Damien Sandow – Five Star Frog Splash

 

Bad News Barrett b. Kofi Kingston – Bull Hammer

 

Fandango b. Santino Marella – Rollup

 

Usos/Daniel Bryan vs. Kane/Batista/Randy Orton went to a double countout

 

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of Clash of the Champions at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J58H5CY

 

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

3 comments

  1. M.R. says:

    I, for one, appreciate WWE’s direction to make Smackdown a worthless show every week, I rarely have the time to watch it anymore.

    ted Reply:

    This is sarcasm?

    M.R. Reply:

    Not in the slightest.