Friday Night Smackdown kicked off from Little Rock with action right away as The Real Americans took on The Rhodes Brothers, with Zeb Colter still struggling to keep Jack Swagger and Cesaro on the same page. The match boiled down to competition between the members of Colter’s team who took turns in trying to out-do each other. This distraction would end up costing them the match as Cody Rhodes poached upon Swagger with a backslide pin for the win.
The Real Americans vented their frustrations on Goldust & Rhodes after the match with a vicious beat down until The Usos rushed down for the save. With The Usos not having any challenger for their recently won tag-team titles, The Real Americans could likely feature as contenders with their shaky partnership culminating at WrestleMania.
Bow down to the king
Smackdown continued with Triple H telling the fans that Daniel Bryan was not at the show, which was met by a chorus of boos from the Arkansas crowd. The COO said that he’s happy that the fans had their moment with the Yes Movement and that it could’ve continued to grow but now he’s going to crush their hopes and dreams. Triple H vowed that there will be no triple threat match at WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship as he’s going to destroy Daniel Bryan in his match beforehand.
Triple H then introduced Damien Sandow and made him apologise for not entering the ring during Bryan’s Occupy Raw segment. Sandow reluctantly apologised to which Triple H responds by setting him up with a match against Seth Rollins, accompanied by Shield members Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Rollins hit the Curb Stomp finisher on Sandow for the win, after the match Dean Ambrose called for a recently forgotten Shield ritual as all three members hit the triple powerbomb on a helpless Sandow. This was a showing of reconciliation by Ambrose and unity between the Shield amid teases of a break up between the faction.
Up next was a contest between Intercontinental Champion Big E and Fandango who danced to the ring with Summer Rae. With both of the promising superstars confirmed for the 30-man Andre the Giant memorial battle royal at WrestleMania, this was a chance for them to gain some momentum heading into the big stage. The match was over swiftly with Big E hitting the Big Ending on Fandango for the three-count.
Bad News Barrett rose on his podium and says the Undertaker is 21-0 at WrestleMania, which is an implausible achievement, but will come to an end. He said that he bad news is that the children will cry, and it will keep parents up all night, which will make them tired and sleep at work and thus getting them fired.
Feed the Buzzards
With a spot on the WrestleMania card against John Cena awaiting him, Bray Wyatt took on Kofi Kingston with his devotees Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in his corner. The leader of the Wyatt Family didn’t waste too much time, finishing the match in less than five minutes with a painful looking Sister Abigal. Wyatt will be setting his eyes back onto WrestleMania and seeking to resume the mind games with Cena following this boost of momentum.
On the back of her successful title defence on Main Event against Natayla, Divas Champion AJ Lee joined Michael Cole and JBL on commentary as her bodyguard Tamina Snuka faced Nikki Bella. Brie Bella was in her sister’s corner as Nikki continued her string of wins with the Rack Attack backbreaker. Nikki was heavily promoted as the number one contender for the Divas title following her pin on AJ in a tag team match on Raw. With another feat on Smackdown she could be set for a singles match against the champion at WrestleMania.
Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio’s long-lasting rivalry rekindled with an exciting back-and-forth matchup. “The Show Off” refused to accept defeat against “The Mexican Aristocrat” despite taking the same superkick to the head that made him lose the World Championship last year. Ziggler got the upper hand over Del Rio with the Zig Zag for the hard-fought victory. After the match Ziggler told the crowd that he has entered the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal and vows that he will have his “WrestleMania moment” in an emotional promo.
Carlos Colon joined The Ultimate Warrior, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Lita and Paul Bearer in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014. The Puerto Rican is a legend in his home country and had a stint in the WWE in the early 90s. The father of former WWE wrestler Carlito and current superstar Diego will be honoured on 5th April.
Believe in the Shield
Smackdown closed with the main event of Kane vs The Big Show with the director of operations ordering The shield to watch him at ringside. Big Show kicked out of Kane’s chokeslam off the top rope, leading to Kane directing The Shield to back him up. However when Kane got in the face of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns signalled for his group to hold back helping the authority figure. This disorder helped Big Show pick up the win as he delivered a thunderous Showstopper chokeslam to win the match.
As The Shield started to leave ringside, a furious Kane grabbed Rollins and threw him back in the ring but before he could do any damage, Reigns made the save with a spear. The Shield stood united over a wounded Kane, the most cohesive they have looked since their loss against The Wyatt Family at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. This is a massive shift for the direction of unit, who looked to be falling apart. This could lead to a betrayal from Ambrose or Rollins with Reigns looking to be the fan favourite of the group or it could lead to a six man tag match against Kane and two others at WrestleMania. Raw will draw further light on the situation of The Shield and Kane at the “Showcase of the Immortals” with none of them still having any confirmed opponents.