WWE SmackDown Results: Biggest Winners, Losers and Moments from April 23

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2015

Credit: WWE.com

It was a Shield reunion of sorts Thursday night as Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns teamed up to face former partner and current WWE world heavyweight champion Seth Rollins and Luke Harper in the night's gigantic tag team main event.

The marquee match of this week's broadcast was a phenomenal one, with nonstop action late that eventually led to a bone-crushing spear from Reigns to Rollins and a victory for the babyfaces.

Reigns' victory not only put him in position for a championship opportunity, perhaps as early as the Payback pay-per-view in May, but also allowed Ambrose and Harper's rivalry to bask in the main event spotlight.

Those two Superstars, easily among the most underrated by management, have the opportunity to steal the show Sunday night when they meet in a Chicago Street Fight, and they gave fans a taste of what to expect in that bout.

All four performers left enough of a mark to be considered winners coming out of Thursday's broadcast, but they were not the only ones. On a night when WWE did an excellent job of setting the stage for this weekend's Extreme Rules pay-per-view extravaganza, there were several competitors who stood head and shoulders above the others.

At the same time, there were undeniable losers, those stars who broke down on the road to Sunday's event.

Who are they? What does it mean for them going forward?

Let's take a look.

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Neville

The Man Who Gravity Forgot has been on a roll since debuting on the main roster, competing regularly against Superstars perceived to be just a step below main event status. He's gone up against former heavyweight champions and celebrated in-ring workers.

Thursday night, he partnered with Dolph Ziggler to face Bad News Barrett and Sheamus in a very good tag match. Better yet, it was his Red Arrow finisher that put away Barrett and earned him the biggest win of his career.

Furthermore, depending on the outcome of the current intercontinental title situation, it could very well earn him a shot at the championship in the very near future.

Unlike some of his other NXT alumni, Neville has been given a very real chance to shine since his debut, and he has made the most of that opportunity. As long as he continues to do so, we could be looking at a guy who will help to carry the brand as one of its elite stars for years to come.

Credit: WWE.com

Loser: Natalya

If losing a Triple Threat match to Cameron on last week's show was not bad enough, this week the third-generation Diva lost to Naomi and was subjected to an insulting post-match kick to the ribs. Even worse? WWE Creative cannot seem to figure out if she is a babyface or a heel, a role that seems to change depending on the situation.

Arguably the best technical worker of all of WWE's Divas, Natalya deserves so much better than to be left in limbo every week.

One moment she is gleefully helping Tyson Kidd and Cesaro retain their titles against some of the most popular teams in the industry, the next we are asked to feel sympathy for her because of the treatment she endures at the hands of her husband.

The lack of continuity surrounding her character is frustrating and certainly hurts any connection with the audience.

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Rusev

Just days before his Russian Chain match with John Cena at Extreme Rules, Rusev looked incredibly strong as he punished Ryback, applying the Accolade with the assistance of the chain, forcing the Big Guy to scream in agony.

There are few wrestlers who have developed as much over the last year as Rusev has from an in-ring perspective. Once a green heavyweight, Rusev has benefited from working against former heavyweight champions and legitimate main event talent to become one of the most dependable and entertaining stars in the company.

It will be imperative that WWE books him carefully coming out of Extreme Rules so that he does not lose the momentum that has been built over the last 365-plus days. With a roster lacking truly great villains, he is head and shoulders above all of the heel Superstars, and sacrificing his heat to put John Cena over too strong would be a travesty from a booking standpoint. 

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