WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 14

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2016

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 14

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    Maryse returns to WWE.
    Maryse returns to WWE.Credit: WWE.com

    Every week on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at WWE SmackDown to recap the results, offer analysis and grade the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show, as well as make a few predictions for future events.

    This week's show featured the last two quarterfinal matches in the ongoing tournament to determine which duo will challenge The New Day for the WWE Tag Team Championships.

    We also got to see a few entertaining bouts between some of the best technical wrestlers in the men's and women's divisions.

    All in all, it was a good week for SmackDown, but a few matches did end up suffering from not having enough time.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on Thursday's show.

Opening Segment and Zack Ryder vs. Baron Corbin

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    The Miz opened the show. Or should we say Maryse opened the show so she could introduce him. She did the intro in both French and English to remind us she is French-Canadian.

    They fawned over each other and made out in front of the crowd, which obviously got some heat. You have to wonder if people are mad because he was kissing her or because they don't get to.

    Zack Ryder came out in a fancy new ring jacket that was almost as ridiculous as the one The Miz was wearing. They talked some trash, and Ryder tried to goad him into defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship. It almost worked, until The Miz revealed Ryder would face Baron Corbin.

    While Ryder got in some offense, Corbin dominated most of the match. Ryder did a good job of making it seem like Corbin could overpower him, when in reality they are probably on equal ground when it comes to strength.

    The problem with matches this early in a Superstar's run is they are never long enough to show us what someone is capable of. Corbin spent most of his time in NXT in short bouts, so he has yet to have his endurance tested.

    Corbin predictably picked up the win. Once he started attacking Long Island Iced Z after the match was over, Dolph Ziggler made the save to continue his feud with The Loan Wolf. Both the opening segment and the match were decent but nothing to write home about.

    Grade: C+

    Notes and Highlights

    • Maryse looks just as comfortable in front of the camera as she did when she left the company. That's the kind of charisma you can't teach.
    • Ryder and The Miz facing off in their ridiculous jackets looked like something out of a sci-fi movie, but I can't think of which one.
    • It's cool to see Ryder and Ziggler's real friendship brought into a storyline. They have appeared on multiple YouTube and WWE Network shows together.

Emma vs. Paige

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    The two Divas who could arguably be credited with starting the Divas Revolution in NXT squared off in the second match of the night.

    Paige was once the top star in the division, but she has taken a bit of a backseat to all the other women who have debuted over the past year. Emma, on the other hand, has been waiting a long time to be portrayed as a real threat.

    They had a good, physical match. The only problem was how short it was. We know these two can work, but this bout didn't give them the opportunity to show off all their skills.

    Grade: C+

    Notes and Highlights

    • Emma's weird shoulder pad thing she wore during her entrance reminded me of American Gladiators for some reason.
    • It's amazing how accessories can change the way a person looks. All it took to make Emma look edgy was a pair of sunglasses and leather gloves.
    • WWE played a replay of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows debuting on Raw. Mauro Ranallo really played up the Bullet Club possibilities by saying "they are looking to go to No. 1 with a bullet." 

The Ascension vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady

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    Before the match, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady gave one of their typical entertaining promos. Amore seemed a little more riled up than usual, maybe because he is finally where he belongs on the main roster.

    We have seen Amore and Big Cass fight The Ascension in NXT, so we knew what to expect heading into this showdown. Konnor, Viktor and Big Cass played up their power, while Amore acted as a punching bag until it was time to get the win.

    This was another match that would have benefited from a little more time, but it was still satisfying to see Amore and Cassady do their thing on the main roster.

    The Realest Guys in the Room picked up the win to advance to the semifinals of the tag team tournament.

    Grade: B-

    Notes and Highlights

    • I never realized just how much Carmella added to Amore and Big Cass until they didn't have her with them. She has a certain presence about her.
    • The Ascension might not be the best tag team, but they have been poorly handled since being called up. They should be booked as a dangerous duo, not a steppingstone.
    • Amore never met an animal print he didn't like. 
    • Is it just me, or do Viktor and Konnor have a different face-paint design every time they wrestle?

Alberto Del Rio vs. AJ Styles

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    This is the kind of match a lot of people had on their wish list a few years ago. Alberto Del Rio is one of the smoothest technicians in the business, and Styles is one of the best high flyers working today.

    Del Rio controlled a lot of the action, but Styles got in plenty of his signature moves throughout the match.

    These two worked well together, which shouldn't surprise anyone. They both have experience wrestling different styles from around the world, so there was nothing one could do the other hadn't seen before.

    They had two full segments to work with, so they had enough time to tell a story and make the outcome less predictable.

    Styles picked up the win with a roll-up after what could be described as a pay-per-view-level match.

    Grade: A

    Notes and Highlights

    • It was a little surprising to not see anyone else from The League of Nations accompany Del Rio to the ring.
    • Styles sold a backstabber like he was hit by a car.
    • It looked like Styles was almost killed when Del Rio hit the super inverted suplex. His head was driven right into the mat. That could have legitimately ended his career.

The Vaudevillains vs. Goldust and Fandango

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    After what felt like years of buildup, we thought we were going to see Goldust and R-Truth finally become a tag team, but Goldie told Truth he would team with Fandango instead.

    Simon Gotch and Aiden English were able to advance to the next round of the tag team tournament after defeating Fandango with the Whirling Dervish. 

    This bout had even less time than the other quarterfinal bout earlier in the night, so The Vaudevillains didn't get to show off much of their signature brand of old-school offense.

    Grade: C-

    Notes and Highlights

    • It makes me sad to see Goldust and Stardust being so misused after they were one of the best tag teams on the roster throughout 2014.
    • I can't remember the last time two guys as low on the card as Goldust and Truth had a storyline last this long. WWE usually gives up on things like this after a few weeks, but this has been going on for months.

Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho

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    Just like Del Rio vs. Styles, Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn is the kind of dream match that didn't seem possible a few years ago.

    It took all of a minute before Kevin Owens came out in an attempt to distract Zayn, and Dean Ambrose was right behind him, handing out flyers for The Ambrose Asylum. 

    Owens and Ambrose didn't distract from the action in the ring too much, but Zayn and Jericho never quite reached the same level as Del Rio and Styles got to earlier in the night.

    Still, this was a great match between two gifted performers. Ambrose and Owens were taken out at ringside by their respective rivals, which led to Owens rushing the ring and attacking Zayn. 

    Ambrose made the save, and the show ended with him and Zayn standing tall. Interference usually ruins a good bout, but this time it worked to advance two different storylines.

    Grade: A-

    Notes and Highlights

    • Watching Jericho throw a tantrum like a toddler will never get old. 
    • The banter between Ambrose and Owens on commentary was one of the best parts of the show. Ambrose's claim that he didn't want his talk show to always end in a fight was especially funny.
    • How long do you think it will be before we see Jericho and Owens vs. Ambrose and Styles? My guess is it will happen on next week's Raw.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    This week's show featured a few firsts for the WWE main roster. Jericho vs. Zayn and Styles vs. Del Rio easily stole the show, but a lot of other storylines were front and center too.

    The feud between Ryder and The Miz doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon, and Emma is still targeting Becky Lynch after a brief promo before her match with Paige.

    The tag team tournament wrapped up its quarterfinal round with Enzo and Big Cass and The Vaudevillains advancing to the next round.

    Most of the feuds that will occupy the Payback card have been established. We just need WWE to make the matches official.


    • Jericho and Owens will face Zayn and Ambrose on Raw.
    • Enzo and Big Cass will defeat The Dudley Boyz to advance to the finals.
    • The Vaudevillains will defeat The Usos to advance to the finals.
    • Natalya will be granted a shot at the Women's Championship by the end of next week.
    • John Cena will return to promote American Grit, but not to wrestle.

    What did you think of this week's SmackDown?

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