On this week's edition of Friday Night SmackDown, The Shield once again targeted the likes of Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show. Not only that, but WrestleMania 29 opponents Jack Swagger and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio were once again at each other's throats.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of prediction and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in the coming weeks.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez mocked Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter
Decent opening segment featuring Jack Swagger and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. They've been sticking to the immigration shtick for weeks now, so nothing new was said.
Del Rio's impersonation of Swagger was far from humorous for this viewer, but it was mostly harmless. If nothing else, this segment helped further their feud and give both guys good mic time.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No def. 3MB (non-title)
Fine match with WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No defeating 3MB. While there was nothing necessarily wrong with the match, I simply don't care for either team at this point in time.
3MB have been nothing more than a joke stable in recent months, so they are not threats to the tag titles. Meanwhile, Team Hell No have grown stagnant and really need to part ways sooner rather than later.
Ryback def. Damien Sandow
Nice match between Ryback and Damien Sandow. Sandow's pre-match promo was excellent as always, but it's a shame he didn't get an entrance.
Nonetheless, Sandow scored some nice offense over Ryback over the course of the contest, so at least he looked strong in defeat. The ending outcome was never in doubt, but it was still well-wrestled for what it was worth.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez def. Dolph Ziggler
Great match with World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defeating Dolph Ziggler. As expected, these two produced some entertaining action and never seem to have a bad match together.
My only complaint is that this is the fourth time we've seen this match in the last month, and the ending reuslt was no different. Nonetheless, it was a logical victory for Del Rio, but I hope to see Ziggler get back to his winning ways in the near future.
The mid-match angle with Ricardo Rodriguez taunting Big E Langston and AJ Lee was fun and made for an enjoyable exchange between AJ and Daniel Bryan backstage shortly thereafter.
Mark Henry def. Yoshi Tatsu
Basic squash match with Mark Henry decimating Yoshi Tatsu. It lasted a mere minute and simply showcased Henry's sheer strength and domination.
I look forward to his pending program with Ryback, which was once again teased earlier in the evening during a backstage segment.
Tamina def. Divas Champion Kaitlyn w/Layla (non-title)
Throwaway match between Divas Champion Kaitlyn and Tamina. They've had exceptional matches against one another in the past, but the timing felt off for most moves in this specific bout.
It may also be due to the fact that it was given only a few minutes and no real importance or build-up. It's possible Tamina could be getting another title shot at WrestleMania 29, but I see Layla contending for the belt after inadvertently costing Kaitlyn the match here.
Fandango refused to compete against Justin Gabriel
Another impressive promo from Fandango. I'm still on the fence regarding his gimmick, but he's showing true potential on the mic.
He generated nice heat as well, which is reassuring to hear. I'm not sure how much longer this "no compete" gimmick will last before it gets old, but here's hoping they don't drag it out to the point where the fans simply don't care anymore.
Sheamus def. Big Show by Disqualification
Solid match between Big Show and Sheamus. These two have great chemistry with one another, so the match was basically what you'd expect.
The Shield's interference was pretty predictable, but it made sense in setting up a potential six-man tag team match for WrestleMania. Big Show has been flourishing as a heel since last May, so I'm hoping he remains a heel going forward despite going against The Shield at Mania.
Overall, a decent show that featured enjoyable action, but nothing all that memorable to say the least. A number of feuds were either furthered or teased for WrestleMania 29, so the show was successful in that aspect.
The only major gripe I have regarding this week's edition of SmackDown is the unnecessary number of Raw recaps that were shown. I understand we normally get them on the blue brand, but this week seemed to have a bit more than usual.
On a side note, Brad Maddox was a treat to have on commentary and was extremely entertaining over the course of the night.