Only 48 hours before WWE's Survivor Series event is finally upon us, this week's edition of SmackDown effectively hyped the annual pay-per-view and built towards a majority of the matches on the card.
From an entertaining opener to an intense conclusion, the show was successful in getting this viewer excited for Sunday.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of analysis and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in coming weeks.
The Miz hosts Miz TV featuring Team Foley and Team Ziggler
Entertaining Miz TV segment with all the members of both Team Foley and Team Ziggler appearing. It did an effective job of establishing tension between the teammates on both teams, and almost everyone played their roles well on the mic.
Furthermore, it set up the many matches throughout the night, so this was a successful start to the show.
Damien Sandow def. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston (non-title)
Good match between Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston and Damien Sandow. The action could easily have been better, but it seemed as if they were holding back a bit, which is a good thing if they'll eventually feud at some point in the future.
This was a nice win for Sandow over the Intercontinental Champion, but it wasn't what I expected it to be.
Kaitlyn, Layla and Natalya def. Divas Champion Eve, Alicia Fox and Aksana
Fine six-Divas tag team match with Kaitlyn, Layla and Natalya defeating Divas Champion Eve, Aksana and Alicia Fox. Regardless of Natalya's and Fox's random face/heel turns, which I never knew occurred, the match itself was okay, but the main focus was furthering the feud between Kaitlyn and Eve.
The action was at least given some time, even if it wasn't a five-star classic. It helped to give Kaitlyn more momentum going into her Divas Championship match on Sunday, so that's all that mattered.
Randy Orton and The Miz def. Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler
Solid tag team match with Randy Orton and The Miz defeating Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler. I have thoroughly enjoyed Miz's organic face-turn up to this point, and his mannerisms and entertaining antics throughout this bout were fun to watch.
Since they were in Miz's hometown of Cleveland, it was nice to see him pick up the victory for his team. The post-match RKO was expected, but at least it further foreshadowed dissension inside Team Foley.
Sheamus calls out World Heavyweight Champion Big Show
Strong segment featuring Sheamus and World Heavyweight Champion Big Show. Sheamus displayed true intensity on the mic, something that's been missing from his character for quite some time now.
Show was also pretty good in his role and really drove home the fact that he's been a dominant World Champion thus far. Having Sheamus escorted from the building was also a nice touch, adding an extra layer to this feud that wasn't originally there.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kane def. Wade Barrett
Brief match between Kane and Wade Barrett. The action lasted under a minute, but the post-match brawl wasn't anything special.
It was mostly basic, with Team Foley getting the better of Team Ziggler and each Superstar being given their moment to shine. Nonetheless, it was still a solid build for the Survivor Series elimination tag team match on Sunday, which it desperately needs to have any relevance at the event.
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro def. Sin Cara (non-title)
Fun match between United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and Sin Cara. Cara pulled off a handful of high-flying maneuvers that Cesaro sold well, so each Superstar looked good coming out of this.
Cool finish with Cesaro hitting his European uppercut on Cara out of nowhere and scoring the victory shortly thereafter. R-Truth didn't do much on commentary, but at least this provided hype for the United States Championship match on Sunday.
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show def. The Great Khali (non-title); Sheamus ambushes Show
Throwaway match with World Heavyweight Champion Big Show defeating The Great Khali. The action was slow and plodding as you expect, so why even bother having it?
This match benefited no one (especially not the viewers), so it was meaningless. However, the post-match parking-lot brawl was intense and enjoyable.
Both guys looked liked absolute monsters and established the bad blood between them.
I've been pleasantly surprised with how WWE has handled this feud so much better in recent weeks, as opposed to how it was prior to Hell in a Cell.
Overall, a good show that was all about building towards Survivor Series, and it was certainly successful in that aspect. Some of the matches on this edition of SmackDown were good, but none were good enough to the point where they're worth a second look.
While nothing all that exciting happened, the show had me really anticipating Sunday's event with the extra hype they put into Big Show vs. Sheamus and Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling, like me on Facebook and listen to my SAVE US GSM radio show every Wednesday night at 10/9c for more of my thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, reviews, recaps and more.