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WWE Smackdown preview (Apr. 4, 2014): Playing out the string

In the grand tradition of the final show before WrestleMania, expect tonight to be a two hour hype-fest for The Showcase of the Immortals that doesn't actually advance any stories. Or get you hyped for WrestleMania. But, hey, Hulk Hogan!

What you need to know

This week started with a "dong". The sound of Undertaker's gong, that is. A lot of time was spent to get to Brock Lesnar F5ing The Dead Man. It kind of set the tone for most of the rest of WWE's programming this week...slogging through filler to get to the cool part at the end.

Participants in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal circled one another without really setting up any real drama for that match. The Miz ran his mouth on Piper's Pit and The Big Show stood tall after a mini-brawl. The Rhodes Brothers took care of business against Fandango and Damien Sandow. Alberto Del Rio bested Intercontinental champ Big E in a one-on-one match that is probably more set-up for a post-WrestleMania feud than it is for the 30 man match at The Showcase of the Immortals.

Bray Wyatt continued to say some cold-blooded $#!+ about John Cena being a liar, but then Cena admitted that he was willing to lie and turn himself into a monster to win on Sunday. So...? He did borrow his future brother-in-laws old coveralls to infiltrate Bray's post-match celebration after The Eater of World's defeated R-Truth and scared the bejeezus out of Xavier Woods.

Not one, but two, Divas matches showed up on Raw to set the cause of women's wrestling back ten years. Summer Rae and Natalya botched their way through a match that looked like it was booked at the last minute to capitalize on a hot angle from Total Divas, and AJ almost gave Naomi another reason to wear an eye patch when she battled the Funkadactyl in a Lumberjill match while wearing her new bling that may or may not be from boyfriend Phil Brooks.

The four teams who will battle on the pre-show for the tag team titles took two sides and squared off, with Los Matadores taking a page from The Bellas playbook to roll-up Jack Swagger of The Real Americans for a big win. And Roman Reigns won a fan vote to face Kane, but those naughty Shield boys couldn't help themselves and got themselves disqualified sending a message to The Big Red Exec and the New Age Outlaws.

Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were going to help us all say goodbye to the YES Movement, and they managed to troll a gullible Washington, D.C. crowd into making some of their points for them. WWE World Heavyweight Champion and noted sycophant Randy Orton tried to beg Trips to not join the main event, while skinny jeans aficionado and known cardio-phobe Batista doubted if Hunter would even get past Daniel Bryan to join them in the three-way title match. The COO told his former Evolution mates that they had more pressing matters to concern themselves with, like a no disqualification match at the end of Raw.

That match went on just long enough to make you thankful that it won't be the main event in New Orleans. And then our boi D-Bry jumped the barricade and laid into Triple H to make us all feel a little better about the state of WWE.

What to look out for

Will Monday's YES chants continue on into The Crescent City this weekend? Who knows, because tonight we're probably just getting a lot of filler that was put together in front of the comatose-seeming D.C. crowd who saw both Raw and Main Event live on Monday.

Spoilers (such as they are) can be found here.

Hulk Hogan will be there! Yeah, I got nothing...

What they should do

Well, first of all, if you're reading this, you're probably one of the tens of...well, just tens of folks who read this for the bird. The might Soaring Eagle was only around for a few months in late 2010 and early 2011, so we're kind of limited on pics and clips of his genius level work. The flame that burns twice as bright, burns out twice as fast.

While we're waiting for the bird to descend from the skies and honor us in future Smackdown previews, enjoy that sexy piece of man-meat, Fandango, from the April Fool's edition of's Divas Day-Off photo feature.

Speaking of old Johnny Curtis, could we get the man something to do? He continues to bust his ass in a gimmick-y gimmick that was allegedly pushed because Vince McMahon thought it was funny. He deserves better than escorting Summer Rae around (although he totally needs to keep escorting Summer Rae around) and jobbing to the likes of Santino Marella and Goldust.

And absolutely no disrespect intended to Mr. Dust, but at this point in his career, he should be putting over a guy who could fill the very role he had in the early aughts...the fun mid-carder who can actually go.

Excuse me while I pour one out for the WWE mid-card.

What we're afraid they will do

Afraid's got nothing to do with it. This is going to be an hour and a half of promo videos wrapped around a promo from The Hulkster and some Superstars matches.

Bring on WrestleMania.

Is a show full of commercials and Michael Cole explaining how to buy WWE Network the best way to get you to sign-up for this Sunday's big show?

Let us know what you think, and if you're planning to watch. If you are, watch along with your fellow Cagesiders in our open thread. And stick with us all weekend for the best coverage of The Showcase of the Immortals on the web!

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