The Good, the Great and the Awesome from SmackDown (3/21/14)
With only two weeks until WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, Friday Night SmackDown rolled through Houston and the Toyota Center for an action-packed show headlined by John Cena vs. Luke Harper.
Monday night on Raw, Cena admitted his fear for Bray Wyatt, to the surprise of many. Would that fear adversely affect him as he took on the massive Harper in SmackDown's main event?
Fans would get their answer, as Cena withstood the assault of his larger opponent, including a running head scissors, and planted him with an Attitude Adjustment for the pinfall victory.
Just days after suffering a triple powerbomb from The Shield, Kane would have retribution on his mind during SmackDown.
Using a tag team Fatal 4-Way match as a cover, Kane instigated a major beatdown of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns and left them lying in the center of the ring, a rarity for the Hounds of Justice. With the New Age Outlaws by his side, it appears as though the Director of Operations has found backup in his war with his former henchmen.
With Big Show joining The Miz for another edition of Miz TV, it had to be expected that the focus would be on April 6's Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. That was the case, as several of the competitors entered into the match joined the former WWE champions in the ring before a mini Battle Royal broke out.
Who walked away as the last man standing? Let's just say it was no giant surprise.
What was good, great and awesome about the March 21 episode of SmackDown?
Find out now.
Battle Royal Preview
Miz TV returned on SmackDown with the host introducing Big Show as his guest for this week.
The Miz brought up Show's lackluster WrestleMania win-loss streak, indirectly calling into question why he should be the favorite to win the Battle Royal. Big Show took exception and told the former WWE champion that he was selling out arenas (debatable) while Miz was still in high school.
Miz brought out several of the competitors in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and a smaller version of the WrestleMania bout occurred.
It was quick and painless, with Big Show and Sheamus standing out among the competition. Miz slid out of the ring early and attempted to slide back in and win just as Big Show let his defenses down, but the giant caught him by the throat and dumped him over the top rope for the win.
The segment did what it was designed to do in that it attracted heat for the match and put over Big Show as a major threat to win the whole thing.
Which means he will not.
While the show may have lacked that one really good match to put it over the top as a great episode of SmackDown, this week's broadcast did a tremendous job of highlighting three of the matches on the WrestleMania card (Cena-Wyatt, Shield-Kane and the Battle Royal) and setting up both Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio (to a lesser extent) as threats to leave New Orleans with the Andre the Giant trophy.
Tag Team Warfare and Kane's Revenge
It was only a matter of time before Kane got his revenge on The Shield for the triple powerbomb he suffered last Monday on Raw. He did just that during Friday's broadcast.
But first, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose attempted to earn a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships in a Fatal 4-Way match that also included Ryback and Curtis Axel, 3MB and the Real Americans. Rollins once again stood out, as he continued one of the hottest streaks an in-ring performer has enjoyed this year.
Late in the match, action spilled outside the ring and Kane appeared. A massive beatdown of The Shield by their competitors, by Kane and by the New Age Outlaws ensued, and for the first time in their WWE careers, Roman Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins were left lying in a heap at the feet of the Director of Operations.
Backstage, Kane rewarded the Real Americans and Ryback and Axel with a shot at the Tag titles and inserted 3MB into the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
The involvement of the Outlaws in the beatdown of The Shield indicates that they will join Kane in what should be an entertaining six-man tag match between stars of yesterday and today.
John Cena vs. Luke Harper
Was the main event between Cena and Harper an awesome match? No.
But the effort both men put into the match was, and the exchange of head scissors late the match was more than awesome.
Cena and Harper packed a great deal of action into the five-minute main event, and the big man looked impressive against a Superstar of Cena's stature. The Attitude Adjustment after evading a third big boot from Harper was a nice finish, and Cena immediately rolling out of the ring and escaping up the ramp really put over the fear he claims to have of Bray Wyatt.
A great way to showcase the Cena-Wyatt story, which may be the best heading into WrestleMania, especially after taking a backseat to the Daniel Bryan-Triple H saga over the last two weeks.
Bray Wyatt Promo
Does it really surprise you at this point that Wyatt's latest promo would wind up in the "Awesome" section of this article?
I did not think so.
Wyatt discussed both hate and fear and said that Cena's hate is his power.
The third-generation star continues to impress with his delivery and the conviction with which he speaks.
Dolph Wins Again
As a long-suffering Dolph Ziggler fan, the resident Show Off's recent winning streak is celebration-worthy.
Recent wins over Alberto Del Rio, Damien Sandow, Fandango and in eight-man tag action have the former two-time World Heavyweight champion rolling heading into WrestleMania's Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
While Big Show has been positioned as the favorite to win that match, do not be surprised if Ziggler pulls off a major upset to continue his winning ways.