SmackDown: Return of the Shield…sort of. (4/23/15)


Seth Rollins should never be allowed to speak, just for his own safety. The man can cut a beautiful promo, he’s an excellent heel–but he always manages to dig himself a grave. As of Thursday night SmackDown, he has managed to build himself an entire mausoleum. Not only did he make remarks about his future opponent at Extreme Rules, not only did he remark that he didn’t need anyone’s help (looking at you J&J) but he even went so far as to especially point out Kane.

What happens is something that’s very eerily reminiscent of a stunt Randy Orton had pulled weeks before. Kane proceeds to force a match right at the start, urging Seth to lie down for him. After scaring the golden boy to near death and getting him to lie down, Kane merely states that he was joking and wonders what happened to Seth’s sense of humor.

Hm, I remember a particular viper doing this before turning on the Authority.

However, Kane is very good at holding a grudge, which I think one has to admire. To teach Seth a valuable lesson and to prepare him for Extreme Rules (which is honestly really considerate), he sets up a match which will remind Seth just what extreme is. His opponent for the evening was to be Dean Ambrose who was more than ready to hurt the golden child, had Luke Harper not interfered and led to an ambush on Dean.

Roman Reigns entered and saved his brother while Kane seemed completely fine with this.

Kane’s facial expressions during this beat down are notable. While yes, he does remain rather stoic, I think it’s very telling of how he feels in regards to Seth Rollins. While he may not be wearing a demonic red mask to express himself, the plain-face clearly expresses one thing:

Kane would love nothing more than to watch Seth Rollins suffer and fall from his pedestal.

Dolph Ziggler, Neville vs. Sheamus, Bad News Barrett

In a battle of the giants (somewhat giants) versus the munchkins (they’re really not that short), team munchkins win when Neville hits BNB with the red arrow maneuver.

What a match this was to start off SmackDown. Well, the first actual match to happen at least. Neville and Dolph are both wonderful for showmanship and putting on a great match. Putting the two of them together created an explosive in-ring experience, especially tonight.

The most memorable part of the match has to be when Dolph and BNB were in the ring together. It’s clear they work rather well off of each other’s particular styles with their amazing counters and endless flow of movement around the ring.

Gee, maybe Sheamus and BNB will look at little men differently? Probably not, but they will remember this match for quite some time if they weren’t beaten too badly by it.

Promo: Bray Wyatt

Whoever Bray Wyatt is calling out is about to be exposed for the weakling he is because his strength is just an illusion.

Bray, you’re a wonderful madman but I’m an impatient loser who wants to know who you plan on attacking next. Rumor has it that the man he is calling out (**SPOILER ALERT**) is none other than Ryback. Not quite sure that I feel too strongly about that match up. While I understand it’s random because Bray just likes to call out whoever he damn well pleases (and he can, because he’s absolutely terrifying), I don’t see how this can play out between the two of them that would be beneficial for either contender.

Unless, this is just pure vengeance because Ryback must have eaten some of Bray’s food and now it’s just all going downhill from there. It’s believable, after all, Ryback seems to have a never ending stomach, Bray is psychotic…things can happen.

Naomi vs. Natalya

The new and very violent, very cocky and entertaining Naomi defeated Natalya with the rear view.

These two women have wonderful chemistry in the ring–even now that Naomi is through being the nice girl and is instead doing whatever she wants. They’re both incredible athletes and put on a performance as though they’re both two superheroes brawling for the greater good of the universe. If they could build a legitimate feud between the two of them that simply just isn’t women being catty women (as apparently every Diva’s feud has been for quite some time) they could really tell an amazing story.

Promo:Prime Time Players

The dynamic duo of Titus O’Neil and Darren Young do a fine job of calling out Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. Not only do they make sure to recap all the other tag teams they have made fun of, but they really get into their comedy job.

Hell, Titus had the leather satchel and beret and really channeled Antonio Cesaro so well. Calling out their opponents in these comical promos was such a wonderful idea that fits so well for these two.

But again, they absolutely could pull off having their own show.

In Ring Promo: Lana and Rusev

The promo comes before Rusev’s impending match. The ravishing Russian stands tall and beautiful beside her Bulgarian Brute (who has the chain with him of course, always be prepared). He just wants to make Cena suffer, prove Russia is the supreme, all that fun jazz.

The hate they get is quite lovely though.

Ryback vs. Rusev

In a match up of big mean man versus big mean man, the hungrier mean man (Ryback) won after Rusev hit him with the chain meaning Ryback won by disqualification.

As per usual, Rusev had to put Ryback in the accolade while using the chain.

It wasn’t a bad match, it was just brute versus brute. It did however, show how Rusev is willing to do anything to try and restart the unbeatable streak he had going for himself. He just wants to be the best and impress his lovely Lana even more, which you can’t fault the guy for.

But you know, if Lana ever leaves him I think everyone can expect the Bulgarian Brute to go into a full on meltdown and start charging the ring whenever he felt like it just to beat up people and leave.

Hell, I’d watch that.

Promo:Seth, J&J Security search for Luke Harper.

Can we talk about how Jamie Noble and Luke Harper are in some obscure, overly complicated way cousins? This big monster of a man with terrifying eyes and the little Noble that could? I want to know more about that relationship right there.

Oh this is a perfect opportunity for WWE to make a ridiculous twins reference with the two of them, it’s perfect!

But let’s also point out how Luke Harper appeared to be way more of a threat than Seth Rollins. While he is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the moment, the way they present him make it almost seem like he’s incapable of retaining the title on his own or even defeating Randy Orton legitimately by himself.

Seth Rollins, while a wonderful heel, is still being betrayed as a petrified puppy, fearful of everyone and hiding behind the Authority. It doesn’t bode well for someone who has a promising future.

Kofi vs. Cesaro

After the New Day cuts a promo on positivity, these two go head to head in preparation for their upcoming tag team match on Sunday. Due to a lovely distraction, Kofi is able to hit Cesaro with trouble in paradise for the win.

Have you ever heard someone say that baby blue is a likable color? The soft blue color is meant to make people feel calm, relaxed, and more at ease towards the person who is wearing it. It makes the wearer seem far more approachable and nicer than they may be. I find it funny that Cesaro was wearing the baby blue trunks in this match, when he and Tyson are notoriously the fact-dropping, cocky heels.

New Day’s been rising in the psychotic level, so could this be foreshadowing a turn in New Day becoming full-fledged evil clappers while the fact droppers become….sweet fact droppers?

I haven’t the slightest clue. I’m slightly confused on where these two groups are going.

Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper, Seth Rollins

Kane sits by and watches as Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns decimate their opponents, leading to Roman to spear Seth for the win.

Kane watches and it looks like he’s scouting out both Roman and Dean for Authority. One could even go as far as to think that Kane was reminiscing over him making Dean lose the Money in the Bank match. Perhaps he’s considering lending a hand to the fringe this time around? Who knows.

But this was one perfectly organized chaotic match. Bodies were everywhere.Harper had devastating superkicks, Dean was flying all over the ring and Roman was decimating Seth with brute strength.

Don’t worry, Seth proved he’s quite the competitor when he lifted Roman onto his shoulders and threw him into a turnbuckle. He’s more than capable of standing on his own against his brothers, he’s just rarely shown to be able to do that.

Not a single person was left unharmed in that match, and that’s always something to grin at. Something else that was highly enjoyable was the mini-Shield reunion in the ring. Granted, it was Dean and Roman laughing over decimating their estranged little brother, it was still highly entertaining.

I doubt it’s the reunion fans had hoped for in regards to the shield, but this was a well done teaser for what once was.

Plus, it was nice to not have to see the Big Show in another match with Roman given the fact that we’ll see them together on Sunday. Their matches have been a little stale, so it’s best to leave something for Sunday, given the negative fan reaction to the two of them in the ring together. Maybe they’ll come out with a nice little surprise.

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