WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 21

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2014

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 21

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Every week on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at SmackDown to recap the action, offer analysis and grade the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show. I also provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.

    This week's SmackDown was average for the most part, but a couple of moments definitely stood out.

    The Shield were finally on the receiving end of a gangland-style beating for once, Luke Harper looked extremely impressive against John Cena and Dolph Ziggler got another win.

    Bray Wyatt delivered another one of his classic promos, but this time we got to hear from Luke Harper for more than a sentence.

    A few other storylines were addressed, and plenty of attention was paid to the Andre Memorial Battle Royal.

    Let's get right into the action with Kane's promo from the opening of the show.

     

Kane Delivers a Message from Triple H

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    The show opened with a very angry promo from Kane following a video of the entire attack on Daniel Bryan from Raw.

    Kane directed his anger at the WWE Universe for supporting Bryan, and then he read a letter from Triple H addressing the situation.

    Kane is a solid mic worker, but he plays better off of someone else. Having him deliver a promo all by himself can sometimes fall a little flat.

    Kane was convincing with his anger and he has adjusted his mannerisms to fit his new role in a good way, but this was just kind of a boring segment.

    Grade: C+

    Some notes from the segment:

    • Kane's lapel pin looks like the German cross Triple H uses a lot.
    • Showing the whole attack took way too long. Kane should have come out after the video. He must have been standing in the ring for a good three to four minutes while the video played to the arena.
    • Does Triple H get fined for the chair shot to the head, or does the fact that he hit the ring post make it alright?

Fandango vs. Fernando

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    Something tells me this match might have been a bit of a punishment for busting Goldust open on Raw. Fernando picked up a quick win with a bit of help from El Torito.

    The little bull chased Summer Rae around the ring until she jumped up on the apron so Fandango could protect her. Fernando rolled Fandango up for the pin and it was over.

    This was just a quick filler match. Expectations weren't high going into it, and those feelings were proven right.

    Grade: C-

    Some notes from the match:

    • I love Summer Rae's enthusiasm—she throws everything into her performances.
    • Odds are good that Carlito makes fun of Los Matadores when he comes to induct his father into the Hall of Fame.

Damien Sandow vs Dolph Ziggler

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    This was a pretty good match. Ziggler getting a decisive win obviously made everything shine a little brighter, but the action leading up to it was standard stuff.

    Sandow controlled most of the match, which usually happens when a babyface will make a comeback and pick up the victory.

    Ziggler winning with the Fame-Asser was a bit of shock. Opponents have almost always kicked out of it, but it's possible he is considering using it instead of the Zig Zag.

    The announcers have been talking about Sandow's slump for awhile, which could indicate a possible storyline involving some kind of comeback, and maybe even a babyface turn.

    WWE has used this in the past. They have a heel go on a long losing streak to earn sympathy from the crowd before they turn babyface. It worked with MVP, it could work with Sandow.

    Grade: B

    Some notes from the match:

    • Ziggler sold a fall from over the top rope onto the steps really well.
    • Only JBL would make a reference to Yukon Eric, a wrestler who passed away in 1965, almost two years before JBL was even born. And yes, I looked it up.
    • I really hope Ziggler uses the Fame-Asser as a finisher from now on. The Zig Zag can look so sloppy sometimes, but he always hit the Fame-Asser with precision.

     

The Wyatt Family Promo

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    I may as well just copy and paste the slide every time Bray Wyatt gets on the mic, because it's always the same thing. He's just plain awesome.

    Peppering in Luke Harper more and more is a very smart way to slowly introduce him as a more prominent part of the group. Keeping Rowan silent adds to his character's creepiness.

    The way things have been done with The Wyatt Family over the past several months has been one of the major highlights of the entire WWE.

    They don't need titles to chase and they don't even need to make sense—just hand Bray Wyatt a mic, point him at an opponent and you will get a great segment.

    It's also probably not a coincidence that they have been involved in some of the better pay-per-view matches we have seen over the past few months.

    Grade: A

    Some notes from the segment:

    • I used to compare Wyatt to Mick Foley, but now Wyatt stands out on his own.

The Shield vs. 3MB vs. Rybaxel vs. Real Americans (No. 1 Contender Match)

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    The Shield were the stars of the match portion of this segment, with Rollins really shining in the final few moments.

    This may have started out as a four-way tag team match, but it ended with the total destruction of The Shield at the hands of Kane, The New Age Outlaws and the other teams involved in the match.

    The bout lasted several minutes before all hell broke loose, and then Kane appeared out of nowhere and started beating on Roman Reigns while the Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were destroyed by the other men in the match.

    Kane, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg left Reigns on the ramp and returned to the ring to get in a few final shots on Rollins and Ambrose.

    This was a great segment because it finally made The Shield look really vulnerable. We have never seen them dominated like that before, and it will really help their storyline with Kane stay fresh.

    Grade: B+

    Some notes from the match:

    • The way Cesaro knocked Rollins to the ground with a front-thrust kick to the chest made him look so dominant. It even merited a replay.
    • Seth Rollins is amazing when he really gets going. Some of the stuff he did towards the end of the match was really impressive and very exciting.
    • It appears as if The New Age Outlaws may be involved in the feud now

MizTV

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    ShowMiz were reunited with a segment focusing on the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

    Miz brings up Big Show's record of losing nine times at WrestleMania, and Show gets right in his face and threatens him.

    Miz brings out eight other Superstars who will be in the Battle Royal and they all attack Big Show. Somehow they all end up treating this as if it's a real battle royal.

    Big Show and Sheamus eliminate just about everyone before Big Show eliminated Sheamus and Miz after he tried to sneak back in.

    No bell was ever rung, but everyone just walked away after they were thrown over the top rope, so I guess Big Show won.

    This segment was good for a bit of entertainment, but it would have been cooler to have an official 10-man battle royal instead of a fight that just looks like one.

    Grade: C+

    Some notes from the match:

    • Am I the only one who laughed when they showed everyone fighting in the ring and then they pan to Miz outside the ring, straightening his tie and smiling like an evil genius? 
    • Why would Mark Henry even try to sell being Brogue-Kicked over the top rope by Sheamus? He didn't even come close to making it over the top rope without Sheamus' help.

Big E vs. Alberto Del Rio

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    This was another quick match which saw Del Rio defeat Big E with a big kick to the face. This match was made because they are both in the battle royal and not because they are starting a feud.

    Big E and Del Rio made the most of the time they had, but you can only fit so much into a few minutes.

    Grade: C+

    Some notes from the match:

    • The way Del Rio went from being on Langston's shoulder to hitting a Back Stabber was really cool.
    • It's a little surprising to see Del Rio defeat the IC champ so easily.

Santino and Emma Sitting in a Tree...

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    Santino was shown having a black eye covered up by a makeup artist and talking about how much he liked Emma.

    Emma appeared behind him, naturally, and she scared him out of his seat. When he got up he accidentally hit her in the face with the back of his head.

    Whoever wrote this segment must have recently watched some old Three Stooges episodes, because this was classic slapstick.

    I like Santino in small doses, and the way they are using him with Emma is a nice way to keep him relevant without a feud.

    Grade: C

    Some notes from the segment:

    • The makeup lady who was working on Santino was really good at her job. The bruise she was covering up was vanishing like nothing was there.
    • I'm a little surprised WWE made a joke about the phrase "fun buddy" being misheard by the makeup lady.

The Bellas vs. Natalya and Summer Rae

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    This match is obviously being done specifically so it can be featured on Total Divas. Why else would Summer Rae and Natalya be teaming together against The Bella Twins?

    AJ was on commentary with Tamina by her side for this one, and there were clearly a few sound bites from her that will make it into the reality show.

    Natalya and Summer Rae got into an argument that ended up costing them the match, and that led to Natalya kicking Summer Rae while she was still down outside the ring.

    All of this just screamed "Total Divas segment", so expect to see it in an upcoming episode. That is, if you watch the show at all.

    Grade: D+

    A note from the match:

    • I kind of miss crazy AJ. She had some great moments, and could easily slip back into that role again after losing the Divas title.

Kane Handing out Matches/Alexander Rusev

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    Kane was shown rewarding the teams that helped attack The Shield with title matches for Rybaxel and The Real Americans and spots in the Andre Memorial battle royal for 3MB.

    The New Age Outlaws came in and hugged Kane, telling him he can always count on them. It's easy to forget how much history Kane has with the various members of DX.

    This was a quick segment used to make a few matches, but the interesting thing is that neither Rybaxel or The Real Americans asked who got the title shot first, or if they got it at the same time. By the looks of it, WrestleMania could end up featuring a three-way tag title match.

    We went back to the arena and got another one of Alexander Rusev's promos from on top of a small set of stairs.

    I love Rocky IV, so it's easy for me to really like this character. Having him win the Andre Memorial Battle Royal would be a great way to debut him after his appearance at The Royal Rumble.

    Lana really adds to his character, and the way she smiles while speaking Russian and frowns while speaking English is such a great little detail in her performance.

Luke Harper vs. John Cena

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    This was a really great match that showcased the best parts of Luke Harper. He controlled almost the entire match and—even though he didn't win—he came away looking like a star.

    The variety of moves in this guy's arsenal never ceases to amaze. Who cares if his huricanrana is sloppy? He's a 300-pound brute who would never be expected to attempt that move in the first place.

    John Cena sold really well for Harper, but it was the bearded man who made the match what it was. He even pulled a superkick out of his bag of tricks.

    That's the great thing about WWE—you can have a guy who combines the beard and outfit of a poor lumberjack and he ends up being able to do things nobody else his size should even attempt.

    This match should have been given more time than it had because these two men really did put on a good show, and more of it would have only made it better.

    Grade: A

    Some notes from the match:

    • I think this is the shortest match to ever earn an A, but Harper's performance deserves it.
    • I love how Rowan just makes one lap around the ring while Cena briefly has control of Harper to throw him off.
    • When Harper hit the huricanrana you could hear JBL make a noise like he couldn't find a word to use to describe how surprised he was.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    There were a few low points, but this episode of SmackDown had some very good matches and segments.

    The destruction of The Shield was a really cool way to make Kane look like he has a chance of coming out of this feud on top, but it's pretty clear that The Shield will prevail in some way.

    Luke Harper really shone in his match with John Cena, Dolph Ziggler got a clean win over Damien Sandow and we got a good deal of storyline development. Not a bad night of rasslin'.

    Predictions:

    • The Shield will get revenge on Raw by attacking Kane and at least one team from the beatdown.
    • Damien Sandow's losing streak will be used to turn him babyface.
    • Wade Barrett will finally return to the ring during the Andre Battle Royal.
    • The family relationship between The Rock and Roman Reigns will be acknowledged more on TV once he turns face.
    • The tag title match at WrestleMania will be a triple threat.

    What did you think of this week's SmackDown?

    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter: @BR_Doctor.