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WWE Smackdown preview (May 9, 2014): It could be bunnies

Three singles matches are on the docket for The Shield as we try to break out of the doldrums WWE has had us all week. Plus, The Exotic Express gives us a new reason to want to see an old favorite, even as we question the way another is being used.

What you need to know

One way to adapt (and therefore void perishing) is by playing the game.  And no one does that better than The Authority and Evolution's Triple H.  Heck, he sometimes even calls himself The Game.  So it shouldn't have been a surprise that Raw started and ended with Hunter doing just that.

First, he placed Dean Ambrose in a twenty man battle royal to defend his United States championship.  The wild card of The Shield fought admirably, and his teammates nobly declined to intervene on his behalf, but in the end, a man who once famously proclaimed that he had all of the numbers couldn't overcome the numbers.  And a suddenly sinister-leaning Sheamus was the new US champ.

Kane is a demon, I mean, he's THE demon.  And Stephanie McMahon wants him to do horrible things to Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella.  A bunch of other stuff happened involving cars and masks and hands, but I'm trying to block it out.

Cesaro enjoys kicking Rob Van Dam's ass so much that he doesn't care if he wins or loses.  Bad News Barrett is desperately trying to remain a heel by disparaging the good people of Albany, while Big E is desperately trying to get his groove back now that he's tossed the hot potato that is the Intercontinental championship back to Barrett.

Rusev doesn't need a first name to CRUSH, and he might have an issue with African-Americans.  Zeb Colter hates non-Russian non-Americans in WWE, and his protege is about to feud with a South African pretending to be British.  Ryback rolled through Cody Rhodes, who definitely isn't breaking up his tag team with his brother, unless he is.

Credit where credit is due, WWE was all about the mid-card this week.

Back to the main event, though, Bray Wyatt crowed about his controversial victory over John Cena at Extreme Rules, and promised to lead the fans as their god.  Cena doesn't want to lead anyone anywhere, but he'll fight for your right to be you by being him.  And he'll fight for WWE's survival by driving customers to the Network by only appearing on Main Event this week.

One of the things that a god will do is work for The Authority for a chance to get a fourth shot at his competition for "hottest young faction in pro wrestling history".  The Wyatt Family did battle with The Hounds of Justice again on Monday night, claiming another victory after Trips and company distracted Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.  He, Randy Orton and Batista then bloodied and beat the trio to end the night - and putting this match of the game squarely in the win column for Evolution.

What to look out for

The Smackdown was layeth down on Tuesday night in Buffalo.  Spoilers are here - you open presents on Chistmas Eve, too, don't you?

Faction warfare continues, as the COO has booked each member of The Shield in singles' battle.  Ambrose goes one-on-one with the man who took his red, white and blue belt.  There's a HOSS FIGHT alert for Reigns vs. Mark Henry.  And a member of Evolution actually gets involved as the "will he stay or will he go" movie star Batista faces the high-flying Rollins.

These Shield-centric episodes of the Friday night show tend to work for me, so even if we get a bunch of rematches and comedy skits, hopefully this will be an entertaining show - especially if you DVR it or watch the Hulu-fied version.

What they should do

ReverendKain beat me to it, but Jack Swagger is in a feud with a man who has a giant bunny rabbit as part of his entourage...



It'll probably do Jack Swagger and Adam Rose a world of good, too.  Mascot feuds are all the rage these days.

What we're afraid they will do

How long is RVD sticking around for this time?

I don't know if it was nostalgia on his part or mine when he came back last summer, but neither of us seems to be feeling it this time around.  Major props for impaling his face on the bottom of a trash can last Sunday night, but that will probably be the highlight of this run for Mr. Monday Night.

So can we refrain from protecting him in matches too much, and especially from giving him microphone time?  He's basically Rey Mysterio at this point - as long as his music hits and fans get to chant along as he points at himself before hitting his signature spots, WWE is getting their money's worth.  No one's going to riot if he loses or feel cheated out of not seeing him interviewed backstage.

Van Dam's role, other than delighting live crowds as described above, is to make young heels look good.  Let's keep that in mind before we have him not laying down for Cesaro or Barrett or even Sandow, capesh?

Does the promise of three Shield matches and some advancement in their program against Evolution excite you enough to break out of the current WWE malaise on a Friday night?

Tune in tonight with your fellows in the open thread, and stick with cSs for all your WWE needs!

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