By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Zeb Colter and Paul Heyman Engaged in a Debate
Both Heyman and Colters are undoubtedly great talkers so this made for a great segment. Heyman was his annoying self when boasting about his clients winning at WrestleMania, but I was glad that he at least mentioned Cesaro's victory in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal for once. Colter not spewing his usual patriotic lines was a refreshing change of pace and I really liked how he was straight to the point in his promo. Based of their reaction, the crowd desperately wanted to see Heyman and Colter go at it despite the fact they're both heel managers. Furthermore, this led into the subsequent match of Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger nicely.
Cesaro def. Jack Swagger
Not counting their match the night after WrestleMania, Cesaro and Swagger really haven't worked with each other at all in singles competition, so this was a fresh matchup with a lot of enjoyable action. As of now, both are still heel, but Cesaro played to the crowd at times and he was the obvious fan favorite. They developed very good chemistry with each other down the stretch and I was happy to see Cesaro pick up the clean victory. I'm not disappointed this match didn't go down at Extreme Rules if only because I expect Cesaro to face Rob Van Dam instead (or a Triple Threat match with Swagger).
Tamina Snuka def. Natalya
Along with Paige and AJ Lee, Tamina and Natalya are two of the better women's wrestlers in the division. They had a passable match here, but it was hard to take seriously after Natalya quickly disposed of Tamina in one-on-one action only a few months ago. I realize they're trying to build up Tamina as a monster heel in the Divas division and as a threat to Paige's championship reign, but it'd be beneficial if they interacted a bit more instead of competing in separate matches.
Curtis Axel def. WWE Tag Team Champion Jimmy Uso
The match between Ryback and Jey Uso on this week's WWE Main Event was much longer than it needed to be, so I was fine with this bout lasting only a few minutes. That being said, the live crowd couldn't have cared less if the flat reaction was any indication. I can't blame the audience for not caring since they haven't been given a reason to. I'm a fan of The Usos' work, but their feud with Ryback and Axel is about as basic as it gets.
Bray Wyatt Addressed the WWE Universe
Is it just me or have Wyatt's promos been getting better and better in recent weeks? The Steel Cage surrounding the ring added to the atmosphere and set the tone for his message. As much as I enjoyed Wyatt's feud with John Cena going into WrestleMania, I love the way they've switched it up a bit by saying Wyatt is taking Cena's fans each week. The singing could get old after a while, but it's still effective right now and the shots of the crowd singing along with him worked.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan def. Cody Rhodes and Goldust
These two teams have had several awesome encounters in the past and this match was no exception. They made the most out of the time they were allotted and the final few moments were fun. My only complaint was that it didn't go any longer than it did. They're obviously teasing tension between the Rhodes brothers and that story was well told here, so I was fine with them taking the loss. The only question now is if it is too little too late for them to finally be feuding with each other.
Santino Marella and Emma vs. Fandango and Layla Went to a No Contest
Words can't not describe how happy I was to see The Shield show up and attack Fandango. Lord knows how many matches we've seen between Fandango and Santino in recent months and it's a feud that needs to end and fast. The Shield's triple powerbomb to Fandango off the stage was a cool visual and differed from all the other beatings they dished out over the course of the night.
The Shield def. Damien Sandow, Alberto Del Rio, Bad News Barrett, Titus O'Neil and Ryback in a 5-on-3 Handicap Match
I, personally, have grown tiresome of seeing Handicap matches, but this one was actually pretty well worked. I liked how The Shield evened the odds by strategically taking out members of the opposing team over the night. For anyone thinking that wasn't a "face" thing of them to do, they aren't supposed to be your typical cookie cutter babyfaces. They're still the same characters they were before, just feuding with heels. The match itself captured more attention more than I thought it would and I'm glad it didn't drag out, either. The Shield getting the upper hand was smart booking and the only heels made to look weak weren't credible to begin with, so it didn't matter.
On paper, there wasn't much about this show that excited me, but it ended up exceeding my expectations with its excellent execution. The Shield were easily the MVPs of the show and they didn't feel overexposed at all. It furthered their feud with Evolution (who wasn't missed) nicely and added intrigue to their upcoming Extreme Rules encounter. Cesaro vs. Swagger and everything involving The Wyatt Family rounded out a rather entertaining edition of SmackDown this week, so check it out if you have the time.
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