With WrestleMania XXX from the Superdome in New Orleans just over one week away, WWE rolls into the TD Garden in Boston for this week's Friday Night SmackDown.
After a Monday Night Raw in which he first insulted Stephanie McMahon and received a slap for his troubles, then delivered a vicious spear to WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton, Batista arrived at SmackDown to address the WWE Universe. Did he rant and rave about the treatment he has received at its hands, or did a high-ranking official have other plans for The Animal?
The suddenly popular Shield enjoyed a banner night on Raw, gaining a measure of revenge for a violent beatdown at the hands of Ryback, Curtis Axel and the Real Americans. They received the WrestleMania match they so coveted against Kane and the New Age Outlaws.
What did the Hounds of Justice have in store for the WWE Universe? Would the Director of Operations Kane and the former tag team champions make their presence felt?
With former World Heavyweight champions Sheamus, Jack Swagger and Mark Henry in action, as well as Divas champ AJ Lee, and a main event pitting Big Show against the "Reaper of Souls" Bray Wyatt, SmackDown figures to be an action-packed show.
What went down during Tuesday night's tapings?
Find out now, courtesy of our friends at WrestlingInc.com!
TD Garden in Boston
Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield
- Batista kicks off the show, cutting a promo where he runs down the fans and their reaction towards him since returning. He discusses Daniel Bryan but is cut off by Triple H, who warns his former Evolution teammate to leave Stephanie's name out of his mouth. This leads to the COO booking Batista in a match against Sheamus for later in the night.
- The Shield (Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins) defeated Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. After the match, Kane and the New Age Outlaws booked another match for Ambrose and Rollins.
- The Shield defeated Ryback and Curtis Axel. After the match, Reigns planted Ryback with the Superman Punch and the entire Shield followed with the triple powerbomb.
- Sin Cara defeated Damien Sandow.
- Renee Young interviewed Big Show about his match against Bray Wyatt.
- Fandango defeated Goldust after a distraction from Summer Rae.
- Sheamus defeated Batista by disqualification after a steel chair shot. After the match, Batista asked if Triple H if he was happy.
- Bray Wyatt cut a promo about wearing masks.
- The Bella Twins defeated AJ Lee and Tamina in a match where Vickie Guerrero was on commentary. AJ and Tamina stared at each other after the match.
- Santino Marella and Emma go on a date.
- Jack Swagger defeated Jimmy Uso via submission.
- Mark Henry pinned The Miz.
- Alexander Rusev and Lana cut a promo.
- Bray Wyatt defeated Big Show after Luke Harper and Erick Rowan interfered. The Wyatt Family posed over Big Show to close out the show.
The Animal Unleashed
During Tuesday's tapings, Batista continued his ranting and raving about his treatment at the hands of the fans, accurately pointing out the fact that they asked him to come back then turned on him when he did. The unique thing about Batista's current heel character is that he has not done anything actively wrong. Even his comments about Stephanie McMahon mirrored those that the highly popular Chris Jericho would say back in the early 2000s.
Unfortunately, he came back at the wrong time and was on the receiving end of a push no one wanted to see. As a result, his heel turn was accelerated.
He has yet to fully embrace his inner villain as he did back in 2010, but giving him an edge by having him beat down someone like Sheamus will only help to enhance the character.
Double Trouble for the Hounds
The Shield is coming off an eventful show on Monday night that saw the team destroy Ryback and Curtis Axel before defeating Cesaro and Jack Swagger in an outstanding tag bout later in the evening.
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are in action twice this week thanks to Kane.
First, they defeat 3MB's Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal, both of whom were involved in the beatdown of The Shield on last week's SmackDown. Immediately afterwards, they take on the aforementioned Ryback and Axel, whom they also defeat.
Roman Reigns joining Ambrose and Rollins in attacking Ryback and powerbombing him through the announce table continues what has been the rediscovery of their dominance. They will be riding a wave of momentum heading into their match against Kane and the New Age Outlaws at WrestleMania.
The Bella Twins' victory over Divas champion AJ Lee on this week's SmackDown accomplishes two things: It continues to create doubt as to whether AJ can yet again retain her Divas title come WrestleMania, and it also adds to the tension between her and bodyguard Tamina, who is quickly emerging as one of the top threats to AJ's title.
The Bellas seemingly win more than they lose at this point without it ever meaning anything. Their win Friday could hint at either Nikki or Brie leaving New Orleans with the title, but it is more than likely they were simply just lucky recipients of a win to continue telling the AJ-Tamina story.
Follow the Buzzards to SmackDown
Bray Wyatt has been one of the MVPs on the road to WrestleMania, and it appears as though his talents will once again be on display Friday night as he cuts a promo in regards to his match with John Cena on April 6. He competes against the Big Show in the evening's main event.
The spoilers indicate that the main event is a short one, which is probably a good thing. Big Show is not the guy to be competing in long matches at this point, and Wyatt has proven to be at his best when competing against equally talented performers. Killing his momentum with a bad match against Show would be a mistake when everything else he has done to this point has been outstanding.