Location: Houston, TX
Date: March 21, 2014
Commentators: Michael Cole and JBL
Smackdown opened by having the cameras focus on the crowd inside the Toyota Center in Houston.
– A graphic was shown for a Fatal Four-Way #1 Contender’s Match for the Tag Titles.
– Plus, John Cena vs. Luke Harper.
– Kane came out first. The camera showed Michael Cole and JBL at ringside as Kane entered the arena. Kane called Monday “a glorious night for WWE.” He introduced a video package on the final segment of Raw as “the end of the Yes Movement.” No fancy music or slow-motion needed – they showed it as if it were taking place in real-time. Kane called Bryan “an insufferable egomaniac,” and blamed the fans for fanning those flames within Bryan. Kane said Bryan believed he was bigger than WWE and bigger than The Authority. But no one is bigger than The Authority, said Kane. Kane said that some people are just better than others – and The Authority is better than Daniel Bryan. Kane was yelling for much of this, saying what happened to Bryan is what the fans deserved. He moved on to read a letter Triple H asked him to read to the fans. Kane paused for a “you sold out” chant. In the letter, Triple H expressed regret that Bryan pushed him into his actions on Monday night. Hunter wrote that he hoped the fans understood there needed to be a respect for authority. The letter closed with, “thank you, and welcome to Smackdown.” As Kane exited the ring to his music, Fandango’s music hit and he came out with Summer Rae. They passed Kane on the ramp as they came to the ring for Fandango’s match. Los Matadores and El Torito then came out. Fernando faces Fandango (that’s a mouthful), next.
1 – FANDANGO vs. FERNANDO
The match was joined in progress. Fandango settled into a rear chinlock right after they returned from break, not exactly the kind of excitement you’d think they’d want to catch channel-changers with. A second-rope knee-drop missed the mark for Fandango. Fernando made a comeback with headbutts and a hurricanrana. Springboard back-elbow found the mark. Summer Rae got on the apron at the 2:00 mark, allowing Fandango to take advantage of a distracted Fernando. Summer, in her red dress, attracted the attention of El Torito. He chased Summer around the ring, presumably wanting to gore her (even though, as I understand it, it’s not the red that bulls are attracted to, as they are colorblind). Summer jumped onto the apron into the protective arms of Fandango. Fernando rolled Fandango up for the win.
WINNER: Fernando, 2:34 shown. You could tell this entire match came about because someone had the idea about El Torito going after a Diva in a red dress.
– Cole and JBL talked about the WWE Network and the free trial, which tomorrow at midnight.
– A graphic for the four-way tag match was shown. How did Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal make it into the match instead of Los Matadores, the recapper asked rhetorically.
– Next, Dolph Ziggler faces Damien Sandow.
2 – DAMIEN SANDOW vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
No entrance for Sandow. Side Russian leg-sweep by Sandow right off the bat. Ziggler went to the top rope, where Sandow tripped him sending Ziggler crashing into the steel steps. Sandow was all over him when Ziggler finally crawled back into the ring. Ziggler worked out of a chin-lock, but was elbowed down after coming off the ropes. Jumping knee-drop by Sandow. Outside the ring, Sandow flung Ziggler into the barricade. At 4:25, Ziggler planted Sandow with a DDT. Ziggler punched away at Sandow in the corner, and then landed a neck-breaker. It got a two-count. Fameasser by Ziggler, this time, enough to get the win.
WINNER: Ziggler, at 5:51. Hard to believe, but Ziggler is gaining momentum over the last few weeks. Still, it’s difficult to see that translating into a battle royal win at Wrestlemania.
– Tonight, Luke Harper takes on John Cena in the main event.
– Luke Harper cut a promo from the Wyatts’ usual dark spot backstage. He called himself the reaper and will carry out Bray Wyatt’s will tonight. Bray showed up in front of Harper and Erick Rowan, saying he’s the color red in a world of black and white. He held out his hand and said he has Cena’s fear in the palm of his hand. Bray said he rules Cena’s entire world. After a pause and a wide-eyed look into the camera, Bray told Cena, “run.”
– Cole and JBL talked about the Bray vs. Cena feud, and then switched gears to WWE Slam City. It was somewhat of a jarring change of tone from the dark Wyatt discussion, thanks to the lack of a real segue. A video aired on slam City.
– The Shield came to the ring for the Fatal Four-Way tag team match. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins would represent The Shield in the match, after the break.
3 – DEAN AMBROSE & SETH ROLLINS vs. DREW MCINTYRE & JINDER MAHAL vs. RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL vs. THE REAL AMERICANS – FATAL FOUR-WAY MATCH TO DETERMINE THE #1 CONTENDERS TO THE WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Real Americans were the only ones with an entrance after the break. Jinder Mahal has a new hairstyle, for what It’s worth. Ambrose worked over Mahal and tagged in Rollins, who did the same. Ryback came in and went to work on Rollins. Some “Goldberg” chants from the Houston fans, but certainly not as many as in the heyday of that reaction. Stereo suicide dives by Ambrose and Rollins onto Ryback and Axel on the outside. They went to break with The Shield standing tall, 2:47 into the match.
Back at 6:55 with the 3MB representatives in this match taking down Ambrose. Ryback slammed Ambrose then splashed him for two. Ryback later broke up a pin attempt by Swagger on Ambrose. Cesaro hopped over Swagger for the double-stomp on Ambrose. Rollins made the hot-tag at 11:05, and Mahal was the recipient of his offensive outburst. Rollins did a flip-dive onto Ryback outside the ring and even landed on his feet in doing so. Heath Slater tripped up Rollins, giving Mahal an opening. Unfortunately for Slater, Roman Reigns speared him and Mahal failed to take advantage of the opportunity afforded him by Slater. Rollins gave Mahal his finisher, but the pin was broken up and all hell broke loose. Kane ended up coming out to attack The Shield, causing a disqualification. Reigns was subdued on the ramp by Kane, which was followed by the New Age Outlaws coming out. In the ring, the Real Americans and Rybaxel took out Ambrose and Rollins.
WINNERS: No contest (apparently), at 12:23. The Shield was clearly the face team in this match, no doubt about it. WWE is going all-in with them in that spot.
Kane and the Outlaws came to the ring once Reigns was horizontal on the apron. Billy Gunn gave the Fameasser to Rollins. Kane chokeslammed Ambrose. Reigns tried to crawl to ringside, but Road Dogg gave him a kick. Gunn then socked him with a right hand. Back in the ring, Kane chokeslammed Reigns as well. The heels stood tall amid the carnage to end the segment.
– The Houston skyline was shown back from break.
– A replay of the post-match attack on The Shield aired.
– The Miz was in the ring for Miz TV, a segment which was not mentioned once up to this point in the show. He talked about the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and threw his name into the match. Miz brought out the odds-on favorite, the Big Show, as his guest. Show said he’s always been a big fan of Andre and he’s been compared to the legend since his debut in the business. Miz said Show has lost more at Wrestlemania than any other Superstar in history. Nine times, to be exact. Show insulted Miz, so Miz said he asked a few others from the Battle Royal to join them on Miz TV. Titus O’Neil came out first, followed by Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, Big E., Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, Goldust, and Sheamus, all entries narrated by Miz. Sheamus had a mic and wanted to quit the talk and instead, fight. Miz wanted them all to take out the biggest threat in Big Show. Show grabbed Miz, leading to everyone going at it with each other. Miz slipped out under the bottom rope and adjusted his suit. Everyone was getting tossed over the top rope in abandon-ship style until it was left with just Sheamus and Show. The two of them went at it. Sheamus was placed on the apron and he tried to pull Show over. Miz snuck into the ring to try to help eliminate Show (from what?), but Sheamus was knocked to ringside and Show tossed Miz over the top rope. A nice change-up to build this match rather than just multi-man tag matches or singles matches featuring the Battle Royal competitors.
– Cena vs. Harper is still to come tonight.
4 – ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. WWE Intercontinental champion BIG E in a non-title match.
Del Rio took a corner bump very gently, then found himself on the receiving end of a shoulder to the gut. Big E. made his comeback with clotheslines and a belly-to-belly suplex. Big E. went for his finisher, but Del Rio turned it nicely into a backstabber. E. went shoulder-first into the post. Del Rio capitalized with a superkick to the kneeling Big E. for the win.
WINNER: Del Rio, at 2:49. Basic time-filler, and not much more.
– Earlier today, Santino Marella was in makeup, getting some coverage for a facial bruise, complaining about always screwing up around Emma, his “fun-buddy” (which the makeup lady heard wrong at first). Emma surprised Santino from behind, causing him to fall out of his makeup chair. He ended up accidentally knocking heads with Emma, and running away.
– The next inductee into the WWE Hall-of-Fame will be announced.
– Cole and JBL threw it to a video package on this year’s H.O.F. celebrity inductee, Mr. T.
5 – NATALYA & SUMMER RAE vs. THE BELLA TWINS
A.J. Lee was on commentary, with Tamina at her side. No entrances for anyone here. Lee called her problems with Tamina, “water under the bridge.” Natalya caught a Nikki kick, but missed a clothesline. Face-buster by Nikki for two. Summer tagged herself in, clearly having issues with her partner. Summer worked over Nikki’s leg, using the ropes for an assist. Brie tagged in at 1:30, wearing a “just say YES” shirt. Her offense against Summer was less-than-impressive. Nataly and Summer got into a shoving match, with Brie finally giving Natalya her X-Factor finisher for the victory.
WINNERS: The Bella Twins, at 2:18. A Total Divas-based segment, perhaps hoping to attract more viewers to the show after the disappointing numbers the season two premiere pulled in on Sunday.
– From Main Event on Tuesday, the Undertaker’s appearance interrupting Paul Heyman’s promo was shown.
– Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker will share a ring on Raw Monday night.
– The heel tag teams in the four-way earlier tonight were gathered in an office backstage. Kane came in and said because Rybaxel held up their end of the bargain, they get a tag title match. Zeb Colter talked about what the Real Americans did for Kane and the Director of Operations awarded them a tag title match too. That left just 3MB. “What do you want?” asked Kane. “We were down…we were down there, too,” said Heath Slater, sounding as if he knew he really didn’t have a convincing argument. Kane entered them into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The New Age Outlaws walked in and shared an embrace with Kane. Kane said he knew he could count on them. “You always can,” said Road Dogg, before they walked off.
– Lana walked out to do her schtick with Alexander Rusev. “Houston, we have a very big problem,” she said. She spoke more English in this promo, calling Rusev a superior athlete. Rusev walked out and stood on his little podium. He cut a promo, but not in English.
– Cole went over the injuries suffered by Bryan. No surgery needed, but he does need rest. Cole assured fans Bryan would make his dates at live events this weekend, and will be at Raw on Monday.
– John Cena came out for the main event. It’s next.
– As Luke Harper came to the ring, a video package on the Wyatt-Cena feud aired.
6 – JOHN CENA vs. LUKE HARPER
Harper went to work on Cena in the corner, but Cena battled back. He missed a corner charge, falling victim to a neck-breaker for two. Bray Wyatt watched on in his rocking chair with a little more than passing interest in this match. Gator roll by Harper, followed by yet another chin-lock on this show. Suplex by Cena. Shoulderblock by Cena, but an atomic drop by Harper for two at 2:05. Cena with the You Can’t See Me routine as Erick Rowan paced around ringside. Attitude Adjustment was countered and Harper booted Cena in the face for a two-count. After recovering from a trip to ringside, Cena locked in the STF. Harper bit Cena’s arm to break it, then gave Cena a face-first suplex for two. Harper went for a powerbomb but Cena countered with a hurricanrana. Harper gave him one of his own, surprisingly. Another near-fall followed. After a missed clothesline by Harper, Cena recovered to hit the AA for the win.
WINNER: Cena, at 5:29.
Cena escaped the ring before Wyatt and Rowan could get to him after the match. Cena celebrated as his music played to end the show.