WWE SmackDown found itself at the mercy of WWE’s everchanging landscape in 2014. CM Punk’s exit from the company only resulted in the dwindling star power for the blue brand. Despite the setbacks, SmackDown had some fairly decent outings against the ever-stacked RAW.
Stars such as Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose played their part in giving PPV quality matches on TV. The tag team division also received a major boost in the form of Tyson Kidd and Cesaro.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best WWE SmackDown matches of 2014:
CM Punk & Usos vs. The Shield (January 3)
WWE SmackDown kicked off 2014 with a solid tag team match between The Shield (Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) and The Usos. Reigns and Rollins’ fellow tag team partner, Dean Ambrose, did watch the match from the announcer’s desk.
The action would get more chaotic with the involvement of CM Punk and Dean Ambrose – leading to a six-man tag team main event. Punk, Jimmy and Jey Uso would clear the house of the Hounds of Justice due to rising miscommunication between the trio.
Punk would make one more televised appearance on the blue brand as he’d be fired from his contract in the aftermath of the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins (WWE SmackDown — December 16)
Dolph Ziggler had one of the most consistent showings of his career in 2014. The Show Off sent The Authority home with a huge win at Survivor Series 2014. He once again came on the opposing side of their chosen champion in Seth Rollins.
Both men got nearly 16 minutes to tell the story inside the ring, and they did a brilliant job with it. Ziggler did a tremendous job selling Rollins’ offense. In the end, the Show Off put away the Architect with a vicious Zig Zag to close out one of the best matches of SmackDown in 2014.
The Usos vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd (December 12)
Pairing Cesaro with Tyson Kidd was one of the best decisions WWE made in 2014. The pair were quickly able to rally the crowd in their favor because of their tremendous chemistry inside the squared circle.
They also delivered one of the best matches on WWE SmackDown in 2014 against The Usos. Both teams showed splendid tag team work. In the end, The Usos emerged victorious with a splash on the Swiss Superman.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd (Triple Threat Intercontinental Championship Match — November 14)
This match was a breath of fresh air on an otherwise lackluster edition of WWE SmackDown. The quiet crowd didn’t help the show either, but the three men in the ring ended up stealing the night with their performance.
Cesaro looked as dominant as ever with his superhuman strength. Tyson Kidd displayed some fantastic technical work. The champion, Dolph Ziggler, showcased his resiliency in the face of overwhelming odds.
Cesaro vs. Randy Orton (WWE SmackDown — February 14)
Cesaro found a huge opportunity to prove himself when he faced Randy Orton in a non-title match on WWE SmackDown. The Swiss Superman had been considered the best kept secret in the lead-up to the match.
Both men had a fantastic main event on this taped show. Cesaro looked extremely impressive with his raw power and in-ring acumen. Orton, on the other hand, was effortless in his execution of great spots.
The Viper lost clean to the Swiss Superman, making Cesaro’s win even more impressive.
Also read: Best WWE RAW Matches Of 2014