WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 30

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2014

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 30

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    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 was WWE's very last show before Payback on Sunday, though it didn't feel like the go-home show before a pay-per-view.

    It seemed like whoever was booking this show just gave up at some point and booked a bunch of comedy and squash matches. Only two bouts were even worth watching, with only one of them having an outcome that was not obvious when the match began.

    It's a real shame that NXT put on such an amazing show on Thursday night and the main roster had such a horrid night on Friday.

    Let's take a look at what went down on the final SmackDown before Payback.

The Shield Talk About Payback

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    The show opened with The Shield delivering a promo directed at Evolution. They showed some footage of Evolution attacking them on Monday to remind everyone that Evolution won the last exchange.

    Seth Rollins spoke a little more than Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, but Ambrose and Reigns made sure to get in some time on the mic.

    Reigns said it was a big mistake for Evolution to put him through the table on Monday because now The Shield are going to destroy everything around the ring while decimating Evolution.

    It was a decent promo, but without any kind of confrontation, it seemed a bit pointless. A backstage segment would have been just as helpful. At least they didn't go on too long.


    Grade: C

    Some notes from the segment:

    • It was a nice change for Rollins to get the most mic time. Ambrose has always been the talker and Reigns has been getting more time lately with his blossoming popularity, so seeing Rollins take the lead was interesting.
    • I sometimes feel bad for how The Shield get groped by the audience during their entrance. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to take a swing at one of them during a house show?

Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro

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    This wasn't a very long match, but it was pretty entertaining. These two have faced off plenty of times before, so they have some chemistry built up.

    Cesaro picked up the win with a huge uppercut as Kofi was coming off the top rope. He followed that up by hitting a Neutralizer after the match had finished.

    Kofi had a little more pep in his step during this match and he even had a pre-match promo shown while he made his entrance. A push for Kofi could be coming soon.


    Grade: B-

    Some notes from the match:

    • I think Cesaro has been watching too many tapes of Vince McMahon. He is starting to adopt his signature strut to the ring a little.
    • I have never seen someone turn an armdrag into a backbreaker before. Cesaro is very creative in the ring.
    • Bad News Barrett had an interview with Renee Young immediately after the match was over. He talked about RVD clinging to his past, and how he would beat Sheamus later during the show. It was a solid promo from a guy who is going from strength to strength on the mic.
    • Watching Renee Young try not to laugh when Barrett said he had some bad news for her was kind of funny.
    • Kofi isn't a big guy, but pressing him above Cesaro's head was still impressive.

Tamina vs. Paige

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    Paige ended up winning the match with the PTO, which is what she calls the scorpion crosslock, but this match wasn't really about the match itself.

    This was all about building up the Divas title match at Payback, which is why Alicia Fox made an appearance at ringside to mess with Paige.

    She took Paige's title and pranced around the ring with it, causing a significant distraction for the champion, but not enough to cost her the match.

    Any Divas match after the clinic Natalya and Charlotte put on at Takeover will look bad in comparison, but this wasn't that great to begin with.

    Paige is very good in the ring, but Tamina has an awkwardness to her that sometimes makes her matches fall short of what we all know she is capable of.


    Grade: D+

    Some notes from the match:

    • I realize that this is probably all just to build up a challenger for Paige, but I really like what WWE is doing with Alicia Fox right now.
    • Paige getting Tamina up in the PTO was impressive. Tamina is not what you would call a small woman and it was an impressive show of strength from the Divas champion.
    • Paige being so distracted by Fox really made her look like a rookie.

Xavier Woods vs. Bo Dallas

4 of 10

    This was another short match that had one or two highlights, but not much else. I like that Bo Dallas is facing people who aren't just local jobbers, but WWE needs to realize that newer talents need to be tested with better matches earlier in their run.

    Xavier Woods looked a little off in this match. There were a few spots that seemed awkward, but Dallas dropkicking him as he came off the top rope was the best part of the match.

    Dallas hugged Woods after the match, much to Woods' dismay. This match was what it was: nothing special.


    Grade: C-

    Some notes from the match:

    • Bo made sure to let everyone know that he was undefeated since debuting on the main roster with a 2-0 record. Goldberg better watch out, his streak is in danger.
    • It really takes a special kind of talent to make someone hate a character who doesn't actually do anything illegal and has nothing but positive things to say. Dallas has a bright future, but he needs to change his gimmick just a little.
    • I find it funny that segments involving Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt keep going back to back. A video package showing what happened with Bray Wyatt on Raw was played right after the match was over.
    • Sheamus gave an interview with Renee Young after the match to respond to what Barrett said earlier in the evening. For some reason he called Renee, "fella." I get that it's his thing, but why would he call a woman "fella?"

Jinder Mahal vs. El Torito

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    This was just ridiculousness for the sake of ridiculousness. El Torito put away the final member of 3MB, giving him victories over everyone in the group, while Los Matadores got in a bit of a fight outside the ring with Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre.

    I wasn't going to trash this feud until it got really bad, and it is reaching that point.

    At least 3MB deserve credit for selling the angle without looking too frustrated with their current position. I guess any TV time is good, right?


    Grade: F

    Some notes from the match:

    • Michael Cole saying that El Torito's tail appears to be growing back and JBL asking "like a salamander?" was pretty funny.
    • The worst part of all this is that Torito didn't even hit Mahal with his moonsault but still picked up the win. The show is taped, did they not think to reshoot that part? They have reshot whole matches before.
    • I think I need to accept that WWE does some segments solely for kids, and that they just won't appeal to a fan of my age.

Sheamus vs. Bad News Barrett

6 of 10

    This match almost made up for the subpar show leading up to it. This was a brawl in every sense of the word and it just goes to show you that not every great match is a technical clinic.

    Both men looked really good throughout the entire bout, with Sheamus picking up a clean win with his Brogue Kick.

    It was a little surprising to see Barrett take a clean loss this close to a title defense, but he will bounce back by defeating RVD on Sunday.

    Paul Heyman was on commentary for the match, and he ended up having a brief exchange with Sheamus after the match that saw Sheamus walk away instead of taking out his frustrations on Cesaro's advocate.


    Grade: A

    Some notes from the match:

    • Normally I hate interference, but having Barrett lose clean was an odd choice. WWE should have had RVD and Cesaro get involved so both men walked in the PPV without a recent loss.
    • Sheamus has gotten even more pale recently, if that's even possible.
    • It's always fun to watch these two fight. They up their physicality every time they are in the ring and it always leads to a great brawl.

Titus O'Neil vs. Big E

7 of 10

    This was essentially a squash that saw Big E defeat Titus O'Neil and have an exchange with Rusev that saw both men were wave their respective flags at each other.


    Grade: D-

    Some notes from the match:

    • I miss The Prime Time Players. Who thought it was a good idea to break them up? That person deserves to be fired.
    • Big E needs more mic time and some freedom to be funny. He has a good sense of humor, but WWE has given him very little chance to show it.
    • I would love to see Lana bring in Vladimir Kozlov and form a team with Rusev. I just don't see the WWE audience buying into Rusev as a singles competitor right now.

Adam Rose vs. Jack Swagger

8 of 10

    After this match was over, I paused my DVR so I could figure out what I wanted to say. I sat for about 10 minutes contemplating, and I think I finally have an analysis of this match: awful.

    Rose picked up a win with almost no actual physicality whatsoever, and the way he pinned Swagger was downright insulting to Swagger and his skills.

    The only upside to all this was that Swagger sold everything with his temper and baffled looks on his face throughout.


    Grade: F

    Some notes from the match:

    • I think Cole got Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam mixed up.
    • Seriously, how could anyone think this was good? Even small children have to see how bad this was.
    • Whoever booked this whole show needs to seriously reconsider being in the wrestling business. Way too much unfunny comedy and not nearly enough wrestling.

Jimmy Uso vs. Bray Wyatt (Last Man Standing Match)

9 of 10

    This was a pretty entertaining match, but even this couldn't save what was mostly a terrible show.

    Jimmy Uso looked really good going up against someone with a lot more singles-match experience, but even having his brother at ringside wasn't enough to keep him from being put down for a 10 count.

    Jimmy managed to take out Luke Harper and Erick Rowan before he was taken down by Sister Abigail, which makes me think that WWE will add a Tag Team title match at Payback between The Usos and Harper and Rowan.


    Grade: B

    Some notes from the match:

    • Just when I think I can't like JBL more, he brings up Big Van Vader—one of my favorite heels of all time.
    • Uso running on the barricade reminds me of how Jeff Hardy used to do the same thing.

Final Thoughts and Payback Predictions

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    I try to focus more on the positive aspects of WWE than the negative when I write these reviews, but shows like this make that really hard to do.

    The only two matches worth watching were Sheamus vs. Barrett and Uso vs. Wyatt.

    Everything else on this show was either barely watchable or terrible. There's no other way to say it. It's especially sad that the developmental system put on two hours of awesome wrestling on Thursday and then the main roster puts on such a bad show the next night.

    Since Sunday is Payback, all the predictions this week will be about the matches taking place at the PPV. Hopefully that show isn't as big of a let down as SmackDown was.


    Predictions for Payback:

    • El Torito will defeat Hornswoggle and shave his head.
    • Rusev will defeat Big E.
    • Paige will retain against Alicia Fox.
    • Cesaro will defeat Sheamus for the U.S. title.
    • Bad News Barrett will retain the IC title against RVD.
    • John Cena will defeat Bray Wyatt.
    • The Shield will defeat Evolution with Roman Reigns being the only man who is not eliminated.
    • A Tag title match will be added and The Usos will retain against The Wyatt Family.

    I would ask what you thought of the show, but I think I know the answer. Share your thoughts in the comments section anyway.


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