As we quickly approach the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, this week's edition of SmackDown was once again filled with solid action and story-line progression. Although nothing on the show was as entertaining as in weeks past, it was still enough to leave this viewer content with the direction Friday nights are taking.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of aftermath and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in coming weeks.
Absolutely asinine opening segment featuring Big Show and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus. Show's promo was well executed, and I appreciate the effort to acknowledge history by showing the footage of his 45-second World Title reign from last year, but this feud seems more about Show's past embarrassments and not making Sheamus look like a vulnerable champ.
As in Monday's Raw, Sheamus was not funny and displayed more heel tactics than Show himself. I'm not sure where they're going with this feud, but so far, I'm not enjoying its direction.
Prime Time Players def. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to advance to the semifinals of the WWE Tag Team Championship tournament
Good match with Prime Time Players defeating Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to advance in the WWE Tag Team Championship tournament. We've seen it a few times before, but it made for some fun action.
No dissension between Truth and Kingston was shown, so it's unclear as to whether they remain a tag team going forward, but Darren Young and Titus O'Neil's win here is logical and sets up a match with their rivals Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in the semifinals.
Ryback def. Primo (with Epico and Rosa Mendes)
Brief match with Ryback quickly defeating Primo. It's the same basic Ryback match we've been accustomed to for months, just with a different opponent.
Primo and Epico are quality talents, so it's a shame to see them so underutilized. I'm glad they put over Ryback's heroic actions from Raw, though, as those will help give him momentum going in next Monday night.
Layla def. Alicia Fox
Fine match with Layla defeating Alicia Fox. There were some clunky spots, but nothing all that disappointing, as it was exactly what you'd expect from these two.
It gave Layla the win she needed as she looks to regain her Divas Championship from Eve, but her promo that followed the bout was confusing and I had a hard time understanding it. On a side note, is Alicia Fox heel or does the Creative Team not even care at this point?
Wade Barrett def. local athlete
Typical squash match with Wade Barrett decimating a local athlete. We've seen Barrett take out lower-card Superstars in recent weeks, so it was baffling as to why the organizers took two steps back and had him take on a noncontracted wrestler.
Nonetheless, it showcased Barrett's dominance nicely, but he needs a substantial feud sooner rather than later.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz def. World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus by disqualification (nontitle)
Great match between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Intercontinental Champion The Miz. It had significance following their brief encounter last week on SmackDown, and they had enjoyable chemistry here.
Big Show causing Sheamus to lose via disqualification made sense, I guess, but the big thing here is Miz scoring yet another victory. Sure, it wasn't clean, but a win is still a win, and it helps boost his credibility after all the nontitle losses he's taken in recent months.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No def. Alberto Del Rio and David Otunga (nontitle)
Decent match with WWE Tag Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan defeating Alberto Del Rio and David Otunga. Even before the match started, Del Rio's imitation of Orton was fantastic, and it really fit his gimmick, to be honest.
Otunga did nothing for me, so I'm glad he was the one to take the loss. This match isn't all that significant, but it was fun while it lasted, all thanks to Team Hell No.
Tensai def. Big Show by disqualification
Throwaway match between Big Show and Tensai. The two have some history, but that was nearly a decade ago, so I didn't expect that to be acknowledged.
The match was fine while it lasted, but Sheamus' run-in was inevitable given what occurred earlier in the night. Giving Tensai the win was strange when the organizers could've easily put some other face in his spot, but still, the interferences from Show and Sheamus throughout the night failed to get me excited about their feud.
WWE Champion CM Punk (with Paul Heyman) def. Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) (nontitle)
Excellent match with WWE Champion CM Punk defeating Dolph Ziggler. It had a story behind it after what's happened between the two in the last month, so it made sense, but why book a heel vs. heel match?
I strongly suspected that someone would interfere, but that never came to fruition. Nonetheless, both are great workers and put on an entertaining match that saw Punk look strong with his victory.
I'm not sure what it does for Ziggler, but it helps progress Punk's story that he continues to decline facing John Cena at Hell in a Cell.
Overall, a decent show that featured some good action and solid story-line progression, but unlike in previous weeks, I didn't find anything on the show to be all that exciting. There are still a few weeks left until the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, so I understand in making this a filler show for the most part.
For my full thoughts on SmackDown, watch my latest WrestleRant video.
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