WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 18

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2014

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 18

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Every week on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at SmackDown to recap the action, offer analysis and grade the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show. I also provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.

    This was an average episode of SmackDown at best. A couple of good matches and promos kept things interesting, but several matches felt pointless.

    Paige was one of the standouts with her match against Aksana, but Batista and Sheamus stole the show in the main event.

    Let's get right into the show with the opening promo from Triple H.

Triple H

1 of 10

    Triple H managed to do something in the opening segment that few Superstars have ever accomplished. He delivered a promo that wasn't interrupted by anyone.

    That in itself made this a more effective segment. Triple H appearing on SmackDown was good for the blue brand, and this kind of promo really helps build his feud with The Shield.

    Triple H is always great on the mic, so it should come as no surprise that this was a very watchable segment for being essentially one guy talking for 10 minutes.

    Grade: B+

    Some notes from the segment:

    • Triple H became Christian Bale's version of Batman for a second. He was doing the growl before Bale, but now he just reminds of Batman.
    • Would Triple H make a better Batman than Ben Affleck? He's got the voice and physique to pull it off.

Big E vs. Alberto Del Rio

2 of 10

    This match started out pretty average, but the second half picked up the pace and made for a good show.

    Alberto Del Rio ended up being disqualified for not breaking the cross armbreaker at the five-count after Big E made it to the ropes. Del Rio was upset that he waited a split second too long to break the hold, so he tried to take his anger out on Big E.

    Big E ended up getting the better of Del Rio, and he hit the Big Ending to cap things off. The IC champ really could have used a clean win here to make him look strong heading into his title defense, but he still ended up coming out on top in the overall fight.

    Grade: B-

    Some notes from the match:

    • Big E took a really nasty header into the floor after spearing Del Rio through the ropes and off the apron.

Paul Heyman's Client, Brock Lesnar, Conquered the Streak

3 of 10

    Absolutely nobody can rile up a crowd like Paul Heyman. This is literally the only guy who could repeat the same seven words 10 times in a row and make it entertaining.

    "My client, Brock Lesnar, conquered The Streak!" was something Heyman really wanted to make sure everyone knew.

    While he should have put Cesaro over more since he is now the active client, this was a solid promo from one of the best talkers WWE has ever employed.

    Grade: A-

    Some notes from the segment:

    • This was another promo that went uninterrupted by anyone else. Two in one night is really out of the ordinary.
    • The feud between El Torito and Hornswoggle was highlighted after Heyman left the ring. Hornswoggle should do impersonations of other Superstars all the time.
    • How does Heyman not lose his voice every week?

Paige vs. Aksana

4 of 10

    This was an above-average Divas match, which is a very good sign that Paige will be a good addition to the roster.

    Aksana got a little mic time before the match to tell Paige that she got lucky when she won the title, but Paige made her tap to the Scorpion Crosslock to pick up the win.

    Paige got to show a little more of what we have seen from her in NXT during this match, but the crowd did not seem as into it as they should have been.

    A good Divas bout can get the crowd fired up, but this wasn't a five-star match, so their reactions were pretty subdued.

    Grade: B

    Some notes from the match:

    • Aksana's voice somehow makes her even more attractive. I miss the days of her popping into Teddy Long's office with mood lighting and saxophone music.
    • Akana nearly took Paige's head off with a clothesline outside the ring, and Paige sold it like a champ.
    • If Paige and Sheamus ever got together, they would make the palest babies known to man.
    • I wish Paige carried her NXT and Divas titles with her. It might spark a little more interest in NXT.

Sheamus Backstage Interview

5 of 10

    Renee Young interviewed Sheamus about his match with Batista, but it was basically her asking one question and him giving a lengthy promo.

    This might be the best promo Sheamus has given in months. He was convincing, he dropped the jokes and he seemed more serious that usual.

    It wasn't anything we haven't seen from him before, but it's been a while since Sheamus looked this interesting.

    Grade: B

El Torito vs. Hornswoggle

6 of 10

    We have to accept that sometimes WWE has matches simply for the sake of some comedy and fun. Not everyone will find this kind of thing funny, but WWE knows it has to appeal to everyone who watches a little bit at a time.

    This is WWE, and the E stands for Entertainment. While I fully expected to hate this match, I have to admit that it won me over.

    Los Matadores, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal were at ringside for the match, but the real Heath Slater is still MIA.

    Hornswoggle was pretty flawless in his Heath Slater impression, but it was El Torito who made the whole thing worthwhile with an awesome moonsault to pick up the win.

    Grade: C

    Some notes from the match:

    • JBL deserves an Emmy for his performance of these lines during this bout: "This is the match of the century," "I love a good scientific wrestling match. This is like Briscoe vs. Funk" and "I wish this was 2-out-of-3 Falls." 
    • Nobody has ever been more convincing saying something they could not possibly have meant in human history.
    • Should we start calling him Hornslater? How long is he going to be the third man in 3MB?
    • I love how Cole tries to say the silence in the arena was due to the tension from the big-fight feel of the match.
    • If you didn't like this, then you should just be thankful they didn't put this match on a pay-per-view.

R-Truth vs. Alexander Rusev

7 of 10

    Bad News Barrett delivered one of his podium promos before we got the actual match. R-Truth got the jobber entrance, while Alexander Rusev got a big introduction by Lana.

    This was a quick squash match that basically featured Rusev hitting all his big moves. It truly is sad how far Truth has fallen down the ladder.

    The match itself was forgettable, but the thrust kick Rusev hit on Truth was impressive enough to keep this from being a failing grade.

    Grade: D

    Some notes from the match:

    • It was nice to see Xavier Woods wearing a Warrior shirt at ringside. SmackDown didn't featured a lot of Warrior-talk, but they did show the tribute video and 10-bell salute from Raw.
    • Lana yelling "Rusev, crush" at the end of the match was a little on the cheesy side.
    • Truth doesn't even have Little Jimmy anymore. We need Crazy Truth to make a comeback.

Fandango vs. Santino

8 of 10

    This was a not a great program to begin with, but this feud is really beginning to wear thin. Santino Marella and Fandango are just trading wins with no real storyline.

    Emma and Layla got into a bit of a scrape, as anyone would have predicted. Hopefully, this is the last we see of these four interacting.

    Grade: D-

Sheamus vs. Batista

9 of 10

    This was a really good way to end SmackDown. Everything you would expect from a match featuring these two was seen here.

    Sheamus controlled the first part of the match, Batista took control for a bit, and they ended with a series of signatures and near-falls that led to Batista winning with the Batista Bomb.

    These are two talented powerhouses who have very different styles that seemed to mesh together well. This was a worthy main event.

    Grade: A

    Some notes from the match:

    • This is the best Batista has looked since returning to WWE.
    • Sheamus continues to be one of WWE's most valuable workhorses.
    • This should be built up as a bigger feud during the summer.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

10 of 10

    This was a hot-and-cold episode of SmackDown, but the main event was worth waiting through the show.

    The non-wrestling segments were strong with Heyman and Triple H delivering promos that managed to go completely uninterrupted.

    A lot of this week's show was filler, and only a few major feuds were addressed. Batista vs. Sheamus was easily the match of the night, but Del Rio and Big E did a pretty good job being the first match of the night.

    Predictions:

    • Heath Slater will return and be jealous of Hornswoggle hanging out with 3MB.
    • Ric Flair will appear at some point to address the reformation of Evolution.
    • At least one title will change hands at Extreme Rules.
    • Sting will debut either at Extreme Rules or the Raw that follows.
    • Kane will destroy Daniel Bryan on Raw.

    What did you think of this week's SmackDown?

     

    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter: @BR_Doctor.