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SmackDown!: The Shield overcome the odds
By NOLAN HOWELL - SLAM Wrestling


The Authority has evolved. With Evolution returning, The Shield have become primary targets of WWE COO Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton. Tonight on WWE SmackDown, The Shield again come up with the short end of the stick in a handicap match. Will they overcome the odds? Plus, the former Real Americans battle as Cesaro takes on Jack Swagger! All that and more on this week's edition of WWE SmackDown!

We are on tape from Hershey, Pa. Michael Cole and John "Bradshaw" Layfield have the call for this week.

WWE SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero opens us up to announce that The Shield will have a handicap match tonight in the main event due to their conduct on Monday.

Guerrero introduces Zeb Colter and Paul Heyman, accompanied by Jack Swagger and Cesaro respectively. The two will be debating. Colter tells the crowd that the debate will cover the night of WrestleMania and the night after. Colter takes snipes at Cesaro and Heyman before declaring that Cesaro came to him for help. Colter claims to have made Cesaro what he is before he is cut off.

Heyman thanks Colter for the opportunity to debate. Heyman wants to make it known that his client, Brock Lesnar, conquered "The Streak" of The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Colter tries to cut off Heyman, saying that he isn't answering the question.

The men are given sixty seconds from the previous ninety. Colter believes Heyman is sleazy and Cesaro will learn the facts about Heyman and vice versa. Colter asks why Cesaro was stolen from him. Heyman says Cesaro was his client at WrestleMania and he won it as a "Paul Heyman guy." Colter says he knew this would be a game for Heyman when he came out here. Colter knocks down the podium and the two get face-to-face. The two shoving and trading barbs as we go to break.

(Commercials)

Match One: Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman)

Jack Swagger muscles Cesaro into the corner for some corner work. Side headlock from Swagger. Cesaro leapfrogs and ducks to get a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Cesaro landing European Uppercuts from corner to corner before putting Swagger down for a nearfall.

Cesaro sent over the top by Swagger to the floor. Cesaro is on the apron, but knocked down by Swagger. Swagger charges Cesaro, but runs right into an European Uppercut. Uppercuts and chops landing against the barricade. Double foot stomp from Cesaro gets a nearfall back inside.

Rear chinlock in for Cesaro. Swagger works out of it and chop blocks the leg of Cesaro. Belly-to-belly throw from Swagger gets the nearfall. Clubbing forearms from Swagger land. Cesaro stretching Swagger. Headbutts from Cesaro break the stretch of the pectorals and he connects on a springboard European Uppercut. Gutwrench throw gets Cesaro a close nearfall.

Swagger being worked in the corner. Shoving Cesaro into the corner, Swagger with a backdrop. Swagger Bomb connects and almost steals the victory for Swagger. Rights landing for Swagger and Cesaro exchanging back. Big boot sends Swagger away and Swagger is sent out by a clothesline. Both men down and out on the floor as we break.

(Commercials)

We return with both men up top. Swagger sent down. He rebounds and tries to meet Cesaro up top, but runs into a forearm. Corkscrew uppercut from the top by Cesaro nearly finishes Swagger. Swagger cornered, but he gets the elbow up and lands a big boot for a nearfall.

Swagger Bomb is thwarted by a boot from Cesaro, but Swagger turns it into a Patriot Lock. Cesaro rolls his way out and Swagger counters with a waistlock slam for a nearfall. Swagger stalking and Cesaro comes back with an uppercut. Tiger bomb puts Swagger down. Cesaro shoots the double and connects on the Cesaro Swing. Neutralizer converts.

Winner by pinfall: Cesaro

The Shield make their way down post-match. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns stalk one of their opponents later in tonight's handicap match. Reigns with a Superman punch and the triple powerbomb lands. Ambrose echoes WWE COO Triple H's "adapt or parish" mantra. Rollins says Swagger didn't apat and Reigns informs us that they are not done for tonight.

Raw Rebound shows the injuries WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan suffered at the hands of Kane.

(Commercials)

Video package gives us a deeper look on WWE Divas Champion Paige.

Match Two: Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya

Natalya with the waistlock takedown and a front facelock. Tamina Snuka catches a leg, but Natalya rolls through for a calf slicer. Back to the feet and Natalya with a clothesline into a side headlock takeover. Shoulder bump puts Snuka down. Dropkick sends Snuka out to the floor. Snuka yanks Natalya to the floor by her hair and whips the leather jacket on her. Nearfall back inside for Snuka.

Surfboard stretch in for Snuka. Natalya fights out, but Snuka yanks her to the mat by her hair. Nearfall for Snuka leads to a Samoan Drop. Snuka drags Natalya nearer to the corner. Superfly Splash is aborted by Snuka after Natalya moves. Rollup nearfall from Natalya.

Both ladies exchanging. Natalya off the ropes with a sunset flip and tries a Sharpshooter. Snuka kicks it away and Natalya comes back with a discus clothesline for a nearfall. Natalya sent into the corner and the floatover gets caught by Snuka. Natalya wiggles out and tries a rollup. Snuka holding the ropes and she lands a Superkick as Natalya gets to her feet.

Winner by pinfall: Tamina Snuka

Raw Rebound shows The Shield's feud with Evolution.

3MB discussing plans backstage. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose show up. Heath Slater taunts The Shield as they show up one at a time. All three show up and take out 3MB.

(Commercials)

Vickie Guerrero on the phone with WWE COO Triple H. HHH puts WWE Raw GM Brad Maddox in charge for the night. Maddox says The Shield will respond to "real authority" when he demands something.

Match Three: Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso) vs. Curtis Axel (w/Ryback)

Both men exchanging strikes to start. Shoulder bump from Jey Uso knocks Curtis Axel down. Chinlock applied by Uso. Axel ramming Uso from corner to corner to break the hold. Backdrop suplex breaks the hold. Axel stomping Uso down and lands an elbow drop across the apron.

Back inside, Uso with uppercuts. Uso runs into a kick to the midsection from Axel. Running knee lands for Axel. Backbreaker from Axel and a splash get the first nearfall of the contest. Axel stomping Uso down in the corner. Corner splash attempt misses and Uso on the offensive with uppercuts and kicks. Axel has his leg kicked out from under him and an uppercut lands for Uso. Jimmy Uso and Ryback get into it outside and distract Jey Uso. Uso has his head bounced off the turnbuckle multiple times. Hangman's facebuster lands.

Winner by pinfall: Curtis Axel

(Commercials)

The Wyatt Family make their way out and climb inside of a steel cage. Bray Wyatt laughing and telling the crowd to sing. Wyatt says love is used to measure power and describes love. Wyatt tells John Cena to get the crowd to love him and they'll do anything for him. Wyatt asks Cena what it is like to know that he lost their love.

Wyatt recalls Raw, saying Cena's people didn't even give him a chance at a fair fight. Wyatt tells Cena to stop underestimating him, declaring that he is everywhere and everything. Wyatt describes his words as razor blades that cut and he knows they are working. At Extreme Rules, Wyatt says the cage will define Cena's world. Wyatt will be snake to Cena's rat, but Wyatt declares that his venom hasn't been removed yet. Wyatt wants all of those followers who once followed Cena and he leads them in song at the top of the cage.

(Commercials)

Match Four: The Wyatt Family (w/Bray Wyatt) vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust

Luke Harper starts with Cody Rhodes. Rhodes with a waistlock from behind, but Harper with an elbow. Rhodes cornered and he gets the boots up to land a missile dropkick to the knee. Harper off the ropes, but Rhodes catches up to land a clothesline.

Goldust and Erick Rowan brought in. Rowan getting the better of the exchange with his strikes. Goldust with a bulldog and an elbow drop. Rhodes brought in and lands an uppercut after a double team.

Bray Wyatt takes the microphone and asks the crowd if they are entertained. Harper inside and he lands a catapult between the ropes before bringing Rowan in. Rowan with a knee to the midsection and he works the neck crank. Rhodes with body shots, but he tries a crossbody that is caught. Rowan brings him to his corner and hangs him up top.

Harper inside and the two landing clubbing blows .Gator roll into a side headlock from Harper. Rhodes dropped and Goldust sent off the apron by Harper. Rhodes looking for a tag, but Goldust isn't there. Backdrop suplex is flipped out of by Rhodes and he connects on a Disaster Kick to Harper.

Goldust brought in and clotheslines on the Wyatts. Inverted atomic drops for both. Corkscrew crossbody takes out Harper and Rowan. Rowan sent out as he charges and has the top rope pulled down on him. Goldust gets a powerslam on Harper that is broken up by Rowan. Rhodes in with a missile dropkick and he sends Rowan out with a clothesline. Rhodes up top and Harper sends Goldust into his brother, sending him careening into the barricade. Lariat lands.

Winners by pinfall: The Wyatt Family

Brad Maddox on the phone with WWE COO Triple H. The Shield surround him and toss the phone away. Maddox tells them to not take out more Superstars. Roman Reigns tosses Maddox into the wall and Dean Ambrose attacks him with punches before the trio leaves.

(Commercials)

Layla & Fandango enter to have their match with Santino Marella & Emma. The Shield chase Layla off and beat Fandango down. Triple powerbomb off the stage through the production tables puts Fandango out.

Video package hypes the debut of Adam Rose.

(Commercials)

Recap of The Shield attacking Fandango.

Raw Rebound shows the attack of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan at the hands of Kane.

(Commercials)

Handicap Match Five: The Shield vs. Ryback, Alberto Del Rio, Titus O'Neil, Bad News Barrett, & Damien Sandow

Ryback with a side headlock takeover and shoulder block on Seth Rollins. Rollins with a dropkick and now a side headlock. Roman Reigns in and Ryback being worked over in The Shield's corner. Ryback fighting out against Dean Ambrose, but he is worked back. Rollins slammed by Ryback.

Titus O'Neil in. Slam, bur an elbow drop misses. Rollns fights back with a chop and works O'Neil into the Shield corner. Ambrose in and striking away before bringing in Reigns. Reigns with body shots and a clothesline that earn a nearfall.

Side headlock in for Reigns and Ambrose brought inside with a kick to the torso. O'Neil backs Ambrose up to bring in Bad News Barrett. Suplex attempts blocked by Ambrose and Rollins in. Double suplex lands and The Shield clear out the ring as the team pours in.

(Commercials)

We return with Bad News Barrett working the rear chinlock. Side headlock transition for Barrett. Ambrose goes after everyone on the apron and eats a boot from Barrett that gets a nearfall. Alberto Del Rio in with a running dropkick to the jaw of Ambrose for a nearfall.

Sleeper applied by Del Rio. Ambrose fights out, but gets sent into the corner for a Del Rio enzuigiri that earns a nearfall. Ambrose tossed outside and Ryback sneaks in a cheap shot. Back inside, Ryback tags in and stomps Ambrose. Scoop slam followed by a splash that nearly puts Ambrose away.

Rear chinlock applied by Ryback. Ambrose fighting to his feet, but he is clubbed by Ryback. Ambrose falls back and Ryback hits his head on the second turnbuckle. Ryback with a spinebuster that puts Ambrose down for a nearfall. Rollins sent outside after he goes after everyone. Del Rio tries to attack, but falls outside with Rollins.

Roman Reigns and Damien Sandow in. Clotheslines and Samoan Drops landing. Side slam on Sandow nearly puts it away. The Shield in and brawling Ryback and O'Neil. Clotheslines from Reigns send O'Neil and Ryback out. O'Neil sent into the steel steps. Running dropkick from Reigns on Sandow as he is draped on the bottom rope. Del Rio and Barrett walk out together to avoid punishment. Flip dive from Rollins to Ryback on the outside.

Del Rio and Barrett at the top of the ramp. Del Rio shoves Barrett as he takes a Superman Punch from Reigns. Suicide dives from Ambrose and Rollins take out O'Neil and Sandow. Sandow sent inside and he is the last man standing. Ambrose with a running dropkick and Reigns follows up with the Spear.

Winners by pinfall: The Shield

Post-match, Ryback and Titus O'Neil are taken out by the Spear. Triple powerbomb on Ryback lays him out and the show closes with The Shield posing over Ryback.

Nolan Howell can be reached at nth993@gmail.com for any questions or comments. Click here to follow Nolan on Twitter.