SmackDown was fairly slow to start this week, but the pace soon picked up and the show ended in exciting fashion with a frantic main event involving a large portion of the WWE roster.
WWE Tag Team Champion Team Hell No was featured prominently, as was World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, No. 1 contender the Big Show and Mr.-Money-in-the-Bank Dolph Ziggler.
It was the penultimate SmackDown before the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view at the end of this month, and unsurprisingly there were a number of instances relating to the event that only make the PPV even more eagerly anticipated.
This article looks at this week’s top-five talking points from SmackDown in what was another solid showing from the Blue Brand.
Mysterio was advertised alongside Sin Cara for the tag-team tournament match against Team Rhodes Scholar next Monday on Raw, but will he actually be there?
With Raw just a few nights away, it seems ambitious that WWE is promising his appearance, as there is no guarantee that he will have fully recovered by then.
But to have Mysterio withdraw would be a massive anti-climax to what has been a good concept presented by Creative. So for his sake and that of the show, everyone will be wishing him the speediest of recoveries.
And if he doesn’t recover in time?
Perhaps this could be used as fuel for the much-speculated feud with partner Sin Cara, which many believe is headed for a bitter WrestleMania showdown between the two masked stars.
Either way, let’s hope Rey makes a swift and full recovery as soon as possible.
Another development involving the tag team division—this time coming after Kane and Daniel Bryan’s match with Big Show and Dolph Ziggler.
While arguing, the two were jumped from behind by Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, thus suggesting that this feud seems far more feasible and likely than a team Hell No vs. Mysterio and Sin Cara clash at Hell in a Cell.
This, combined with Mysterio’s illness rendering him less than 100 percent, makes the tag team tournament match on Raw seem a little too predictable.
But if WrestlingInc.com is correct in its early rumor, this potential predictability won’t rob us of some great tag-team action come the Oct. 28 PPV.
But nonetheless, developments on SmackDown would seem to suggest that Team Hell No will defend against Team Rhodes Scholars at WWE Hell in a Cell.
These guys have attracted much attention since their recent alignment, mainly due to fans questioning the logic behind an American, a Scot and an Indian teaming up and forming a band.
Furthermore, many have assumed that these three will be no more than a team of jobbers, much in the mould of the J.O.B. squad of the late 1990s.
But this week on SmackDown, frontman Heath Slater defeated Brodus Clay in one-on-one action.
Sure, it wasn’t a clean victory, but it was a pin-fall victory, nonetheless. And besides, they’re a heel group, and heels don’t win clean in the WWE; just ask CM Punk.
So could the Three Man Band be more than just a team of jobbers? Unlikely as it may sound, this just might be the case.
I know many people have little, if any, time for the Divas division in WWE, but I certainly appreciate the effort that Creative is putting into the first credible storyline involving the company’s female talent in a long, long while.
And as a result, I’m going along with this Eve/Layla/Kaitlyn situation and have genuinely been left wondering what was on Eve’s iPad.
No doubt it was some form of evidence regarding the attack on Kaitlyn at Night of Champions. But either way it will be intriguing to see how this one plays out given the added TV time and authoritative role that Eve has been enjoying in the WWE of late.
This meaningful storyline may not have increased the length of Diva matches on television, but at least it gives them a bit more substance.
In Barrett’s main event lumberjack match with Sheamus this week, it was noticeable how heavily taped and supported the Englishman’s left elbow was.
Of course, he has donned extra protection on his elbow since returning from an ugly dislocation two months ago, but never to the extent that he did on this week’s episode of SmackDown.
The taping spread to much of Barrett’s forearm and bicep, opening up debate as to whether the former bare-knuckles fighter has fully recovered from the painful injury he sustained at the start of this year.
Perhaps this explains the WWE’s decision to book Barrett in short-lived squash matches upon his return, thus easing him back into competition so as not to cause a recurrence of the injury.
Let's hope the added protection was merely a precaution, as Barrett has been gradually regaining the form that saw him develop into one of the company’s top heels.
Another spell on the sidelines would unfortunately abolish the prospect of an extended program with Sheamus, should the world champion retain his belt at Hell in a Cell. This is a potential rivalry that could deliver great matches, which we’ve already had glimpses of in recent weeks.
So SmackDown continued its decent run of form that has seen it arguably rival Raw in terms of excitement and entertainment quality in recent weeks.
Another point to take from the show, which unfortunately just missed making the list, was the announcement of Miz’s rematch with Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship at Hell in a Cell.
The two have impressed when working together in the past week or so, thus I’m fairly sure this will be another great showing on what is shaping up to be an impressive card for Hell in a Cell.
Remember to stay posted for the talking points from the upcoming episodes of Raw and SmackDown, as we enter the final week of programming before the upcoming PPV next week.
But until then, comment below with your thoughts on this week’s showing of SmackDown as well as the talking points that were discussed in the article.