Vickie Guerrero opened Smackdown and hosted a “Great Debate” between the teams of Cesaro & Paul Heyman and Zeb Coulter & Jack Swagger. This was an intense stand-off between two of the best talkers in the business with Coulter starting off by addressing the fact that Cesaro betrayed him despite The Real Americans making him what he is today. The veteran then asked Heyman why he took his asset away from him.
Heyman totally ignored the question to repeatedly state how his other client Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Heyman’s antics infuriated Coulter who called Heyman a manipulator. Coulter continued to state that Cesaro will learn sooner or later of how much of a liar his new manager is before repeating his question of why Heyman stole Cesaro from him.
Heyman finally responded by saying that he is not only is the reason why Lesnar broke The Undertaker’s streak but also the reason why Cesaro won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal as he was already a “Paul Heyman Guy” when it happened. Zeb became even more tensed and knocked over his podium before proceeding to push Heyman, leading to a scuffle between the two representatives. The pair was soon separated, which led to the matchup between Cesaro and Swagger.
The managers continued to hurl abuse at each other as the two athletes went back and forth in a solid technical bout. Swagger hit his belly to belly suplex on Cesaro to set up the ankle lock but the “King of Swing” countered with an underhook powerbomb before performing his famous swing. The match finished with the neutraliser as Heyman watched on with a sadistic and proud smile.
The Hounds Seek Justice
The Shield’s music then hit as the trio headed down to the ring to cause havoc as they were booked in a 3 on 11 handicap match and “The Real American” was included in the opposing team for later on. Roman Reigns hit the “Superman” punch on Swagger before Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins joined to lay the triple powerbomb. Ambrose then picked up a microphone and sent a message to evolution about how Swagger failed to adapt.
Next we saw Tamina take on Natalya ahead of her Divas Championship match against Paige at Extreme Rules. The match was dominated by the number one contender with very little offence by the Total Divas star. Natayla tried to go for the sharpshooter but Tamina was quick to counter with a double kick to the face to regain momentum. The match was soon won by Tamina who delivered a variation of the “Sweet Chin Music” to the face of Natayla. AJ Lee’s bodyguard had her head held high as she strengthens her position before facing the newly crowned Divas Champion next weekend.
The cameras cut backstage where 3MB are brag about how all three of them are back in the main event as they are set to feature against The Shield. Their excitement quickly came to an end as The Shield threw Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre into a wall before Reigns walloped a pleading Heath Slater with the “Superman” punch. This attack left even more doubts to the amount of people they’ll be facing later on in the show.
Smackdown continued as Luke Harper & Erick Rowan took on The Rhodes Brothers in a tag team match following their diminishing of John Cena on Raw. Bray Wyatt accompanied his stable members as a steel cage lowered to promote his match with Cena at Extreme Rules. Bray Wyatt boasted about The Wyatt Family’s disposal of Cena and sang his catchy “He’s got the whole world in his hands” song before The Rhodes Brothers made their way to the ring.
Wyatt tried to instigate the opposition by saying they have no future in the business and asked the fans what they think of the pair. Cody Rhodes went for a moonsault but Goldust was thrown into him by Harper, which sent Rhodes flying to the outside. The Wyatts stole the win as an upset Goldust walked out on his brother, further teasing a breakup between the duo.
The next match saw Curtis Axel take on Jey Uso to continue their teams’ rivalry in the tag team divison. Axel hit a backbeaker followed by a double axe handle smash for a two count. Ryback caused a distraction, which caused Jimmy Uso to get involved. The chaos caused Axel to take advantage and hit his swinging neckbreaker finisher for the victory.
Next we saw Santino Marella and Emma face Fandango and Layla as the two parties continue their prolonged rivalry. The match was however cut short as The Shield made their way through the crowd and attacked the Salsa dancer just when he was gaining momentum. They hit their second triple powerbomb of the night, this time on a defenceless Fandango to again increase their odds for later on. All three members stood tall in the ting to a chorus of "This Is Awesome" from the Hershey crowd.
Believe In The Shield
The handicap match finally came about in the form of 3 on 6. Alberto del Rio, Damien Sandow, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Wade Barrett, and Titus O'Neill all lined up to get their hands on the faction. The Shield however quickly cleared the ring of all members of the opposition team apart from "Bad News" Barrett. The Englishman however manages to sneak his way out of the ring and run up the ramp to avoid a beat down.
Reigns signalled for another "Superman" punch before knocking an unsuspecting Axel out. Sandow was next to witness Reigns' wrath with a ferocious spear from the Samoan to give The Shield the win. Reigns was not finished as Titus and Ryback were payed with spears before the latter received the third triple powerbomb of the night. The crowd stood and applauded the masterful display by The Shield as Smackdown drew to a close.
This week's show was a big improvement on last week's as most of the events really got the audience into the development of the feuds heading into Extreme Rules. The Rhodes Brothers look to be splitting up soon, however it could be just a tease as The Shield were at tipping point just before WrestleMania yet resolved their issues and stood united yet again tonight as they demolished the roster.
Both The Shield and Evolution consist of remarkable talent and the match could go either way but it was the younger team that showed their worth tonight on the back of an attack from the veterans. Triple H said on Raw that people need to adapt or perish and it The Shield showed that they were definitely able to adapt when faced with the impossible task of surviving against eleven men.