SmackDown Review: John Cena vs. Luke Harper, #1 Contender’s Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship


SmackDown is coming from Houston, Texas this week, trying to rebound from poor ratings last week.

Kane promo

Kane introduced footage from Monday’s Raw of Triple H’s beat down of Daniel Bryan, calling it the end of the Yes Movement. Kane then berates the audience for believing in the Yes Movement, but not The Authority. Kane reads a letter from Triple H, with Triple H apologizing for making people uncomfortable with his beat down of Bryan, but it had to be done. Kane did a good job of playing The Authority’s lackey here. Michael Cole made a point of noting that Kane did not mention The Shield at all.

Fandango vs. Fernando

Fernando wins via roll-up. At the end, El Torito chased Summer Rae around the ring because she was wearing a red dress. Diego was able to calm him down, but it was enough to distract Fandango, allowing Fernando to roll him up and get the win.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow

Ziggler beats Sandow with the Fameasser. Solid matchup.

The Wyatt Family on-screen promo

Luke Harper talks about his match with Cena later tonight, and he says that he will “carry out his will.” I’m very impressed with Harper’s work in these promos. Bray Wyatt then walks into the shot and talks about his upcoming match with Cena at a show called “WrestleMania.” He talks about Cena’s admission of fear, and says that it makes sense, and that Cena should be afraid of him, because he will stop at nothing to end this world of lies. It’s amazing how different they are from The Shield, yet they follow all the exact same principles.

The Shield (Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins) vs. 3MB (Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) vs. Rybaxel vs. The Real Americans

The Shield and The Real Americans were the only teams to get TV entrances.

The match ends in a no contest. Kane and The New Age Outlaws joined 3MB, Rybaxel and The Real Americans in attacking The Shield and causing the referee to throw the match out. Ambrose and Rollins hit some high-flying moves in this match, they were the clear fan favorites in this match. Ambrose left to sell most of this match, which is what a babyface does. He did a good job of it too. Also, interesting to see Rollins get the hot tag.

MizTV w/ Big Show

Miz announces that he will enter the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania. They are eventually joined by Titus O’Neil, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, Goldust, Big E, and Sheamus. Sheamus then aids Miz in starting in impromptu battle royal. Big Show and Sheamus clean house, and Big Show gets rid of Miz and Sheamus to end the segment. This was not an official match. This was a good segment to add some names to the battle royal, and get some more momentum for Big Show, before he suffers another WrestleMania letdown.

Big E vs. Alberto Del Rio

After participating in the MizTV segment, these two stuck around for a singles match. Del Rio pins Big E after the kneeling kick to the head. Good match here. Wonder if this match has anything to do with Intercontinental Championship picture, or if it’s just some battle royal hype.

Santino and Emma backstage

Emma overhears Santino talking to a makeup person about her. He is gushing about her, and obsessing over all that went wrong on their first date. Emma thinks it’s cute so she comes up behind him and taps him on the shoulder, causing him to fall out of the makeup chair and scream like a girl. As he gets up, he accidentally headbutts her. These segments are beautiful disasters. They need to never stop doing these.

The Bella Twins vs. Natalya and Summer Rae

AJ Lee is on commentary

The Bellas pick up a very quick victory. The focus here was on the feud between Natalya and Summer, as those two were not on the same page. Then after the match, the Bellas had a stare down with AJ and Tamina.

Kane backstage with The Real Americans, Rybaxel, 3MB, and The New Age Outlaws

Kane congratulates them on a job well done. Kane gives Rybaxel a tag title shot, then does the same for The Real Americans. He then puts all three members of 3MB in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Kane and The Outlaws then celebrate together.

Lana and Alexander Rusev promo

Lana seems like she might be good at what she does, but I don’t know what she’s saying.

John Cena vs. Luke Harper

Cena wins with an AA. Cena was able to quickly get out of the ring before Erick Rowan and Bray Wyatt could attack him. The coolest part of this match was when Cena countered a powerbomb with a hurricanrana, then the extremely agile Harper hit a hurricanrana of his own.

Overall Impression

SmackDown was average this week. It was nothing special, but it had some decent matches. This is what SmackDown needs to be, due to the fact that most people don’t watch SmackDown. The matches do need to be a little better though. They can sacrifice storyline development for good matches, but they need to remember the good matches.

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