After a scintillating Survivor Series pay-per-view last Sunday, Friday Night SmackDown presented a night of enjoyable action and nice fallout from the event. Although this week's Raw failed to excite viewers and meet original expectations, the blue brand more than made up for it with a solid show from start to finish.
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 with John Cena
Entertaining Miz TV segment featuring John Cena, AJ, Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero. Miz didn't come off as a full-fledged face here (nor should he have given the obvious history between him and Cena), but he was extremely entertaining.
Everyone else played their roles well, which made for some strong mic work between all four of them. This was far more enjoyable than anything we've seen on Raw in recent weeks involving this angle, so it was nice to see the feud furthered on SmackDown as well.
Cena's "nut" joke may have seemed stupid, but it got a minor chuckle out of this viewer, so I found this to be a hot start to the show.
Ryback def. Darren Young
Fine match with Ryback defeating Darren Young. It was basically what you'd expect from a typical Ryback squash, so there was nothing out of the ordinary here.
I was hoping for a mention of the Nexus history between the two, but no such luck. It was also enjoyable to hear Titus O'Neil on commentary during the course of this contest, who is really allowing his personality to shine through as of late.
R-Truth def. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (non-Title)
Decent match between United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and R-Truth. Much similar to their Survivor Series encounter, I didn't care all that much for this rematch, but the action was fine for what it was.
The finish was nicely done and sets up a future title rematch between the two. Although I don't want to see the feud continue, it's logical in order to give both guys something to do for the foreseeable future.
Alberto Del Rio def. Sin Cara
Nice fight between Alberto Del Rio and Sin Cara. As much as the dimmed lights annoy me, the match itself was fun while it lasted, and it consisted of some cool spots from both guys.
There weren't any blatant botches from Cara as far as I could tell, and the win was necessary in rebuilding Del Rio. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how much a win over Sin Cara means at this point for Del Rio, but it was still a good match nonetheless.
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show def. WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No in a Handicap Match
Boring Handicap match with World Heavyweight Champion Big Show defeating WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No. The action was pretty decent, but the crowd was absolutely flat for it.
Neither the tag champs nor Show should've taken a loss here, but they went about it logically by having Kane walk out on Bryan. However, this match wasn't all that necessary and didn't do anything for anyone.
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. Damien Sandow
Great match with Kofi Kingston defeating Damien Sandow to successfully retain his Intercontinental Championship. They received much more time than last week, so that was nice to see.
The action was solid and Sandow looked strong in defeat. I have no problem with Sandow losing here as his loss was expected with Kingston moving into a Intercontinental title feud against Wade Barrett.
Speaking of Barrett, he greatly added to commentary during this bout with his marvelous mic skills and brought up a handful of fun facts regarding his storied history with Kingston.
Dolph Ziggler def. Randy Orton
Excellent main-event match between Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler. It was a great way to follow up their clash from Survivor Series and undoubtedly earned Match of the Night.
These two have amazing chemistry and are simply incapable of providing bad matches. Sure, Ziggler won via dirty tactics, but it was still a huge victory nonetheless considering the massive week he's had since Sunday.
The post-match attacks with Del Rio targeting Orton and Cena applying the STF to Ziggler on the stage were well done and it was an exciting way to end the show.
Overall, a great show that featured some nice fallout from Survivor Series and had a better flow to it as opposed to this past week's Raw. Nothing on this week's SmackDown felt meaningless aside from the Handicap match, which wasn't even that bad to begin with.
The opening and conclusion of the show were entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed the episode as a whole.
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