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WWE Smackdown preview (Apr. 11, 2014): Slippin' into the future

Getting you ready for a return to the fantasy world of pro wrestling, as our post-WrestleMania programs continue to build with Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, The Shield and more. Plus our usual Friday silliness and ranting.

What you need to know

A raucous New Orleans crowd celebrated the night after WrestleMania, and what felt like the dawning of a new era, with new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan out first to the YESs of his faithful fans. It didn't take long for The Authority to make it clear that they weren't done with The Beard, though, and Triple H came out to announce that he'd have a title shot in the main event.

Former champ Randy Orton and Batista still weren't sure they were on board with The Game's plan, but they seemed to come around at the suggestion of a reunion for their old stable.

Bray Wyatt got his win back from The Show of Shows - kind of. He, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan defeated a trio of babyfaces put together by John Cena. But The Eater of Worlds only pinned Intercontinental champ Big E. I mean, who hasn't done that lately?

Emma and Santino defeated Fandango and Summer Rae in mixed tag action (again) word on how much this contributed to the dancing duo hitting the rocks the next day. In more exciting NXT women's news, Paige demurely showed up to congratulate AJ Lee on her latest successful title defense and walked out with the Divas title.

It was a big night all around for the developmental program, with promises of impending debuts for Bo Dallas and Adam Rose, and a debut victory for Alexander Rusev. The Bulgarian Brute also did some squashing on Main Event, (which featured another epic Shield vs. Wyatts showdown that everybody should check out if you can).

Paul Heyman also had a heck of an evening on Monday, turned all but the most disapproving fans around on his client, Brock Lesnar, handing Undertaker his first ever loss at WrestleMania with a home run of a promo and then bringing Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner Cesaro into his camp. Zeb Colter's only remaining client, Jack Swagger, followed up his destruction of the Andre trophy by breaking Dolph Ziggler on Main Event, so it must be time for the annual "re-build Swaggie as a credible heel" campaign.

The main event was (GASP) a trick. The Viper, The Animal and Kane all softened up Bryan before The COO and his wife/manager, the principal owner, even made their way to the ring. When it looked like another Authority screwjob was going to result in another short-title reign for the leader of the YES Movement, three skull masked paramilitaries made their way to the ring through the stands to save the champ and start a war that has the WWE Universe giddy with anticipation.

What to look out for

Another hot crowd in the fallout of Mania, as Smackdown taped in Lafayette, Lousiana on Tuesday night - before the pro wrestling world was shocked by Warrior's death. Expect a tribute graphic, but any mention of the new Hall of Famer's legacy will probably be saved for Raw. We've got spoilers for what was taped on Tuesday at this link.

Your advertised main event is a rematch of the last two men from Sunday night's Battle Royal. If they want to keep Cesaro a heel, they shouldn't put him against Big Show in front of smark crowds. It will be interesting to see how they promote the newest Heyman guy in this push.

Daniel Bryan and Hulk Hogan will be there, so I expect some YES-amania level pandering. Expect some small level of plot development in the champs's program against The Autho-lution and John Cena vs. The Wyatts.

Don't expect anyone to mention the IC or United States championships. That would be ludicrous.

What they should do

Look, if a pic of Renee Young dressed up like The Mountie doesn't placate the most devoted bird watchers, I don't know what will. I mean, c'mon, it's the best interviewer we've had since Mean Gene dressed up like an early 90s gimmick! Hips don't lie, either, if you know what I mean.

Here, this will help:

  • I guess the plan is to just see if we forget that their are secondary belts that exist? If not, can we just have Big E drop his and try to reset? I still think the former powerlifter could have a bright future ahead of him, but he might need a Bad News Barrett-esque rebuilding. And when he comes back, try to have one of your vaunted "plans" for him, okay?
  • If Summer is transitioning away from her comedic sidekick, can Emma do the same? Every fantasy booking for the infusion of NXT women into the Divas division is fine with me, from an invasion all the way to and extended Summer Rae - Emma program while Paige duels with AJ. The sooner we're they're all serious in-ring competitors, even if they use humor while doing so, the better.

What we're afraid they will do

After the week we've just had, nothing in or out of the wrestling ring will shock me.

Can WWE keep up their momentum from Monday and give wrestling fans a reason to forget their losses on a Friday night?

Watch along with our open thread/support group, Cagesiders!

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