Smackdown – May 16, 2014: The Importance Of Minions

Smackdown
Date: May 16, 2014
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re back in WCW country now but the interesting thing is the lack of a healthy WWE Champion. Daniel Bryan has been forced out of action by neck surgery, meaning we’re likely to have the title vacated in the near future. Other than that we’re still focused on the Shield vs. Evolution which will likely get a lot of TV time tonight, along with Cena vs. Wyatt. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Daniel Bryan announcing his neck surgery from Monday. He promises he’ll be back.

Here’s Cena to get things going. We get a quick video of Bray Wyatt mentioning a last man standing match on Raw. First up though, Cena wishes Daniel Bryan the best and hopes he gets back soon. That brings Cena around to Bray, who he knows can’t want a last man standing match. Bray doesn’t have the heart to get into a match where there are no rules and you have to beat your opponent so senseless that they can’t answer the count of ten. Cena has been in those kind of matches before and knows what they’re like.

Bray is a far more intelligent person than that because he doesn’t have any of the dozen words Cena uses for testicles. Cena accepts the challenge for a last man standing match at Payback. However that leaves us with nothing to do tonight, so Cena thinks we should have a fight. He makes an open challenge to any member of the Wyatt Family and Bray gets to make the pick. Cena bets that Bray won’t pick himself but here’s Wyatt to answer.

Bray says Cena doesn’t know him as well as he thinks he does. Wyatt walks with monsters and sings with spirits while Cena’s world begs on its knees for mercy. Now comes the end of the story. Whoever shall be the last man standing will conquer all, but whoever loses will be trapped in the prison of his own thoughts. Cena can make all the jokes he wants but Bray wants to thank him. John has opened Bray’s mind and shown him the key to all of Bray’s problems. His cure will take the air from Cena’s lungs. The challenge for tonight is accepted.

Bolieve!

Cody Rhodes/Goldust vs. Usos

Non-title. Goldust and Jey get us going with the Uso being run over by a shoulder block and taking an atomic drop. Some armdrags take Goldust down as Cole tells us about Cody celebrating about his win over Sandow on Raw. Speaking of Cody he comes in off a missile dropkick and cranks on a hammerlock. It’s not good enough to prevent a tag though as Jimmy comes in and works on an armbar of his own.

The champions start their fast tags to stay on Cody with a double elbow drop for two. Cody fights over and tags in Goldie for some elbows of his own. Rhodes low bridges Jey to the floor to take over in a rather heelish move. We take a break and come back with Cody whipping Jey into the corner for another near fall. Goldust sends Jey’s weakened arm into the post and gets two off a powerslam.

Back to Rhodes who stays on the arm but gets caught by a shot to the ribs. Goldust saves the hot tag but gets sent to the floor, allowing Jimmy to come in. The Samoan drop and running Umaga attack are good for two on Rhodes. Everything breaks down with Goldust and Jey fighting to the floor. The Disaster Kick lays Jimmy out but Jey makes the save. Jimmy comes back with the superkick and the Superfly Splash is good for the pin at 8:20 shown of 10:50.

Rating: C. Basic but well done match here with both teams looking fine. This was much more interesting than watching Cody have a two minute singles match that goes nowhere for the same purpose. It could also play up the idea of Cody not being able to do anything with Goldust around and wanting to do everything on his own.

Cody is upset post match and leaves on his own.

El Torito vs. Heath Slater

Slater holds up a cape for no apparent reason and gets gored from behind. Heath slams him down and kicks Torito around with his boot before posing a bit. Torito tries to fight back but Slater holds him back with one hand. Horny tries to come in but hits Slater by mistake, allowing Torito to hit a moonsault press for the pin at 2:18.

We recap Shield vs. Evolution on Monday.

Natalya vs. Nikki Bella

Eva Marie is guest referee for no apparent reason. Natalya takes her down to start and we get a nice bridge up into an attempted backslide. A discus lariat gets two on Nikki but she comes back with a kind of facebuster for two. Natalya comes back with a surfboard but Nikki rolls backwards into a cradle for the pin at 2:30. Again they were there for how they looked in their outfits, but this was WAY better than Raw.

Dolph Ziggler is in the back and says that Batista is the weak link of Evolution. He can’t just come back and be the star that he once was. Tonight the Show Off is going to show Batista up.

Batista vs. Dolph Ziggler

Feeling out process to start with Ziggler actually knocking Batista out to the floor. Big Dave pulls him out as well and sends Dolph hard into the steps. Back in and Dolph is whipped into the corner before a suplex gets two. We hit the chinlock for a few seconds, followed by a wicked spinebuster to put Ziggler down. Ziggler punches out of the Batista Bomb and comes back with a DDT to put both guys down. Batista misses a charge into the post and Dolph hammers away until Batista hits him low for the DQ at 4:32.

Rating: C-. These guys have always had good chemistry together, even back when Dolph was first starting out in the WWE. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere but it’s nice to see Ziggler hanging in there with Batista. I really wouldn’t mind seeing these guys get a nice long match someday which isn’t something I’d think I’d say about Batista.

Batista lays out Ziggler post match, powerbombing him onto the barricade.

Titus O’Neil vs. Sheamus

Non-title and fallout from a few weeks ago when Titus jumped Sheamus before a match, only to get beaten in about 40 seconds. Before the match this time, Titus says Sheamus didn’t even pin anyone for the title. He shouldn’t be US Champion because he’s not from the United States. On top of that, everyone in the company is tough, including Titus. He gives Sheamus a chance to get out of the ring before the match. Bell, Brogue Kick, Sheamus laughs, pin at 15 seconds. According to a live report, Titus called Sheamus “hot mayonnaise white”, which must have been edited out.

Byron Saxton tries to interview Adam Rose but Adam is more interested in a cheeseburger. He has no issue with Jackie Swagger, even though he finds Zeb and Jack boring. A big lemon comes out of the bus and Byron declares himself a Rosebud. Someone puts a clown wig on Saxton’s head and he starts dancing.

Bolieve!

Santino Marella vs. Damien Sandow

This is the result of Sandow’s open challenge. Sandow hammers away to start but misses a charge into the corner, gets caught with the Cobra and pinned in 40 seconds.

Post match Sandow goes on a rant about what a great soldier he is and how the fans love it when the smart guy loses. However someone keeps leaving the mic on, which cues the mic guy to cut the sound. This might go somewhere if Sandow ever got to say anything.

Video of Cena at the Susan G. Komen rally in Washington DC.

R-Truth vs. Cesaro

Truth is a North Carolina boy so the fans are even more into him. Before the match we get the usual schtick from Heyman, this time focusing on the truth of Brock Lesnar conquering the Streak, and Cesaro winning the Andre battle royal being what’s up. Cesaro jumps Truth during WHAT’S UP but Truth does his backflip into the side kick for two. The ax kick misses though and it’s Swiss Death into the Neutralizer for the pin at 1:15.

The Raw ReBound talks about Bryan being attacked after his announcement of requiring neck surgery. The update says Bryan’s surgery was a success. Another update will be coming on Monday, along with an announcement on the future of the title.

It’s time for the main event and all three Wyatts surround Cena. This brings out the Usos to even things up as we take a break.

John Cena vs. ???

Bray selects Erick Rowan to do the dirty work tonight. Rowan takes it right to Cena in the corner before slamming him down in the middle of the ring. John fights back with right hands but runs into a back elbow to the jaw. Cena is thrown to the floor and then into the steps, right in front of Wyatt. Back in and Erick does the two fist head vice before throwing him right back to the floor.

John gets back in and Rowan runs him over again before we hit the bearhug. A modified Boss Man Slam gets two on Cena but he fights back with the ProtoBomb and Shuffle. Cena dives into a fall away slam followed by a splash in the corner. Not that it matters as Cena grabs the STF, drawing in Harper. Jey easily takes him out though and a dive to the floor drops Harper again. Rowan busts out a claw slam of all things for two, only to walk into the AA for the pin at 8:23.

Rating: C. That’s the beauty of minions for Wyatt. On top of that it was a decent power match with Rowan continuing to look fine. He and Harper have a future as a tag team and likely will get the shot against the Usos at Payback. It’ll be a solid power vs. speed match and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Overall Rating: C-. This was another meaningless Smackdown but there are far worse ways to spend a Friday night. Like reading through all the people running off at the mouth about the stock falling. The short matches worked in a way as I didn’t have time to get annoyed or bored with a lot of the lame acts. Some story progression took place, but everything is kind of in limbo due to the impending announcement about the title and the European tour.

Results
Usos b. Cody Rhodes/Goldust – Superkick to Rhodes
El Torito b. Heath Slater – Moonsault press
Nikki Bella b. Natalya – Cradle
Dolph Ziggler b. Batista via DQ when Batista hit him low
Sheamus b. Titus O’Neil – Brogue Kick
Santino Marella b. Damien Sandow – Cobra
Cesaro b. R-Truth – Neutralizer
John Cena b. Erick Rowan – Attitude Adjustment

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

2 comments

  1. not big into the wcw era – but does wcw country mean in the start of your write up?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia.