The Good, the Great and the Awesome from SmackDown 5/23/14
The May 23 episode of SmackDown may not have featured much in the way of importance, but it did deliver another night of entertainment from a hard-working crew of WWE Superstars.
The John Cena-Bray Wyatt program took center stage as Wyatt cut another strong promo before watching from ringside as Luke Harper and Erick Rowan took on the Usos, accompanied by Cena, in the night's main event.
The match ended in disqualification and the subsequent stare down between Cena and Wyatt that closed out the show creates questions about what the creative team will have in store for fans on the last Raw before Payback this Monday night.
Batista and Dolph Ziggler settled the score in a No Disqualification match that saw Ziggler again steal the show before Batista secured the victory.
Bo Dallas debuted, instructing the fans to Bo-Lieve and picking up a big first win over Sin Cara.
Finally, the feud between United States champion Sheamus and Cesaro intensified as the Swiss Superman interfered in a match between the Celtic Warrior and Alberto Del Rio, leaving the champion lying following the Neutralizer.
With Payback just nine days away and a hot London crowd on hand for the night's festivities, SmackDown provided a night of action and intrigue.
Here now is the best of the best from this week's broadcast.
Former NXT champion Bo Dallas made his return to the main roster Friday night, imploring fans to Bo-Lieve before defeating Sin Cara.
The match was incredibly basic but Bo played his character to perfection. His post-match victory lap was humorous, and his surprising show of sportsmanship, complete with the condescending "you did good," capped off a much more effective debut than that of Dallas' fellow NXT standout Adam Rose.
It will take the character some time to connect with the audience, but when it does, Dallas has the potential to be a valuable member of WWE midcard.
After all, not everyone can be a main eventer and Dallas' current character lends itself to the midcard and championships such as the Intercontinental and United States titles, rather than the top prize in a sport of marquee pay-per-view matches.
The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
The main event of this week's show may have been on the lower end of either team's recent bouts, but it was still an action-packed contest that furthered the program between John Cena, the Usos and the Wyatt Family.
The Usos were well on their way to victory when Bray Wyatt got involved, drawing the disqualification decision.
Cena delivering the Attitude Adjustment to Rowan while Wyatt backed down kept the Payback opponents away from one another, neither gaining the definitive advantage in the rivalry heading into the "go-home" episode of Raw.
While the majority of the focus was on Cena and Wyatt at ringside, the Usos, Harper and Rowan did enough to suggest that a pay-per-view title match with more time may be fun.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Sheamus scored a disqualification victory over Alberto Del Rio in a hard-fought and highly competitive match, but it was the interference from Cesaro that will have a greater impact on June's Payback pay-per-view.
Two weeks ago on Main Event, Sheamus and "Swiss Superstar" Cesaro engaged in a physical war that ended with a ringside brawl. Six days later, Cesaro knocked off Sheamus in non-title competition, thanks to well-timed interference from Paul Heyman.
Sheamus and Cesaro have worked well together in the past, and a high-profile match between them on pay-per-view could prove to be a show-stealer given their bodies of work over the last year.
The big question is whether or not a United States Championship program can be considered a step in the same direction for Cesaro. Despite having Paul Heyman as a mouthpiece, winning that title or feuding over it for an extended period of time would mean that Cesaro would be competing for a title he has held once before, and he would therefore remain one step away from elite level competition.
Working with a former WWE and World Heavyweight champion such as Sheamus will elevate him, but until the company gives Cesaro that one last push and lets him prove he can hang with the upper echelon of WWE Superstars, he will remain in the same spot he has been in for the majority of his WWE career.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Batista
Looking to put an end to the side feud that has developed in recent weeks, Batista returned to SmackDown to meet Dolph Ziggler in a No Disqualification match.
Ziggler got in far more offense than one would have expected given his spot on the card but "The Animal" dodged an attempted Fame-Asser off the apron, delivered a spear and picked up the win.
Despite the disdain from the audience, Batista has done more to put Ziggler over as a legitimate threat than anything management or creative have since the end of his World Heavyweight Championship reign. He sold a ton for Ziggler and made the resident show-off look like a guy capable of beating one-third of Evolution.
The match, arguably Batista's finest singles effort since returning, was an excellent way to kick off this week's broadcast and wrap up and intriguing little program for both Superstars.
It is a shame Ziggler is not in a higher position on the card at this point because the feud would certainly be one worth revisiting when the program between The Shield and Evolution concludes.
Bray Wyatt Promo
The sky is still blue, the grass is still green and Bray Wyatt cut another awesome promo.
Business as usual here at The Good, the Great and the Awesome.
Again attempting to expose John Cena as a fake and a fraud, Wyatt stated: "I don't know about you, but I feel like we have let this monster lie to our children for long enough."
He continued: "The Cenation has infected our world like the plague."
Wyatt spoke in tongues before singing to close out the promo.
His work on SmackDown was not nearly the quality of what he delivered Monday on Raw, but it was still a very strong piece of work from a guy who is on an absolute roll right now from a promo standpoint. If he and Cena can ever manage to back up the stellar storytelling and promo work with a great match, it will solidify their rivalry as one of the best of the last decade.