WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 16

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2014

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 16

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Every week on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at WWE 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 show was packed with eight matches, making most of them fall on the shorter side, with only two matches really having a decent amount of time.

    The big feuds addressed this week were Bray Wyatt and The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family, Cody Rhodes' continuing heel turn and Evolution vs. The Shield.

    Some of the minor angles addressed included Damien Sandow's continuing frustration, Natalya and Nikki Bella feuding over a painting and 3MB and Los Matadores' ongoing issues.

    Lets take a look at what went down on this week's episode of SmackDown.

John Cena and Bray Wyatt

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    The show opened with John Cena addressing the crowd about Bray Wyatt, and how they will have a Last Man Standing match at Payback.

    Wyatt came on the big screen and delivered the kind of response we all expect from him at this point. Nothing special happened and the segment was a pretty normal build-up for their feud.

    Grade: B-

    Some notes from the segment:

    • At this point we need to see Cena stop talking and start doing something. A sneak attack or some kind of mind game would help him to not seem so repetitive week after week.
    • I wonder if Erick Rowan will ever talk or if WWE will keep him as a silent monster.

The Usos vs. Goldust and Cody Rhodes

2 of 10

    This was a decent match but, considering the participants, I expected more. Both of these teams have proven that they can steal the show, so it was surprising not to see them do that.

    Cody took a couple of cheap shots during the match to advance his eventual heel turn before he took the pin, allowing him to act like a crybaby after the match.

    Goldust looked really good in this match. He was a bit more aggressive than usual, but not in the same way that makes everyone think he will turn heel like Cody.

    WWE is doing the right thing by not rushing Cody and Goldust's breakup. Hopefully the match they end up having at the end of all this is worth it.

    Grade: B

    Some notes from the match:

    • Did anyone else see something black and gold fall off of Goldust when he hit the floor? What was that, part of his outfit?
    • The crowd seemed really into The Usos, which is great to see, but it's still a little surprising not to see more people wearing their face paint.
    • The Usos won with more of a Frog Splash than a Superfly Splash this time.

Heath Slater vs. El Torito

3 of 10

    The feud between Los Matadores and 3MB has had its share of entertaining moments, but this match lost me.

    Nothing about the bout had the same level of humor as their past interactions, and seeing Heath Slater lose to El Torito for the second time was pointless.

    Hopefully WWE knows what they want to do and finishes this feud up at Payback, because it's losing its longevity quick.

    Grade: D

    Some notes from the match:

    • Why does anyone still think a bull is attracted to a red cape? They're color blind.
    • The look on Slater's face after he lost was priceless.

Nikki Bella vs. Natalya

4 of 10

    Nikki managed to keep up with Natalya's physicality in this match, but—like almost every Divas match—this was just too short to be good.

    And why Eva Marie was the special guest referee is mystifying.

    Nikki picked up the win after a sloppy counter from a surfboard submission into a pinning combination, but Eva Marie's counting was even sloppier than the counter.

    Grade: D

    Some notes from the match:

    • JBL should apologize to Tim White for saying Eva Marie is a better ref. Even as a joke, that's just cruel.
    • It's hard to tell if WWE is planning to turn Natalya heel, but it might be the best move. Most of the girls on Total Divas have been babyface for too long. It's time for a change.
    • Eva Marie's outfit was distracting...in a good way.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Batista

5 of 10

    A backstage interview with Dolph Ziggler took place before the match, in which he said that Batista has been a failure since returning, he is the weak link in Evolution and he will show Batista up in their fight.

    While it's not hard for Ziggler to show up many people in WWE, this match did not see him do much out of the ordinary.

    Batista took the low road and was disqualified after a low blow, but he didn't stop there. He ended up hitting Ziggler with a Batistabomb in the ring before hitting him with another one into the barricade outside the ring.

    This was not a very long match, but the proceeding beating was definitely made Batista look like a good heel.

    Grade: C

    Some notes from the match:

    • Watching this gave me flashbacks to Ziggler's first match as this character, when he faced Batista on Raw back in 2008. You decide which match was better.
    • Ziggler sold the hell out of everything Big Dave threw at him, especially the powerbomb into the barricade.
    • I am really surprised WWE isn't doing more to promote Guardians of the Galaxy. Batista will be a much bigger star once that movie comes out and WWE should be trying to capitalize on it while they can.

Sheamus vs. Titus O'Neil

6 of 10

    There should be a word other than "squash" to identify a match that ends in one move, because that is what we saw here.

    Titus O'Neil got on the mic before the match and told Sheamus to get out of his ring and ended up eating a Brogue Kick in what was Sheamus' quickest win since he defeated Daniel Bryan for the World title in less than a minute.

    The worst part about this is that Titus should be getting a push, not jobbing to Sheamus every week. He would actually be a good challenger for the U.S. title if he was booked to look stronger. Even if he didn't win the title, chasing the belt would be a step up.

    Grade: F

Damien Sandow vs. Santino

7 of 10

    I didn't think it could get worse after the last match—then Damien Sandow lost to Santino in about 30 seconds.

    Luckily this was all about Sandow's post-match temper tantrum. He grabbed a mic and tried to go on a rant, but it was cut off quickly and he walked away holding up his hands like they were cuffed together.

    This is where I get conflicted. I am happy WWE is doing something with Sandow that looks like it could actually lead somewhere, but in the meantime he has to take quick losses to Santino.

    Grade: D+

    Some notes from the match:

    • The plus in the grade is only because Sandow did a good job selling his current angle with just 10 seconds of talking time.
    • At least WWE didn't put Santino in another match with Fandango.

Cesaro vs. R-Truth

8 of 10

    This was the third match in a row that was way too short and basically accomplished nothing. Giving Cesaro an easy win over R-Truth just doesn't help him.

    One quick uppercut and a Neutralizer gave Cesaro the victory.

    Grade: D-

    Some notes from the match:

    • Paul Heyman took up more time talking before the match than the previous two matches combined.
    • The only reason this did not get an F is because of Heyman's promo before the match started, which was mildly entertaining.

John Cena vs. Erick Rowan

9 of 10

    The Wyatt Family almost teamed up on John Cena before the match even had a chance to get going, but Cena had The Usos on standby just in case.

    Once everything was settled, we saw Erick Rowan take the open challenge from Cena. He took it to Cena right from the opening bell and put him through the wringer.

    Rowan looked really good in this match. He controlled the action throughout most of the bout and managed to remind us all that every member of The Wyatt Family has something to contribute.

    Cena ended up picking up the win with an AA thanks to a little help from The Usos, who prevented Luke Harper from getting involved.

    Grade: B

    Some notes from the match:

    • I'm still not convinced that Rowan isn't the long lost third Highlander.
    • John Cena may not lose very often, but he also never seems to dominate matches anymore. He always does a good job giving his opponents time to look good.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    This was a bit of a down week for SmackDown. Only two matches were really worth tuning in for, with the rest of the card way too short and uneventful.

    The only matches worth taking the time to see are The Brotherhood vs. The Usos and John Cena vs. Erick Rowan.

    This also reinforces a theory I have had for quite some time: SmackDown always books the best matches in the first and last spots on the show.

    SmackDown is usually a solid show, but this week WWE stumbled a bit. Hopefully we see things get back on track next week, especially since Payback will be right around the corner at that point.


    • Harper and Rowan will receive a tag title shot at Payback.
    • Evolution vs. The Shield will be turned into an elimination match.
    • Adam Rose will win a match against Jack Swagger at Payback.
    • El Torito and Hornswoggle will have one more match before their feud is done.
    • Cody and Goldust will break up after losing a match at Payback, probably to RybAxel.
    • Alicia Fox will be the next challenger for Paige's Divas title.
    • Dolph Ziggler will attempt to get revenge for the attack he suffered at the hands of Batista.
    • Daniel Bryan will be stripped of his title on Raw.
    • Natalya will turn heel because nobody likes her art.
    • Nobody will bring up Bo Dallas' short feud with Wade Barrett when he debuts next week.

    What did you think of SmackDown this week?

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