Following a disappointing edition of WWE Monday Night Raw, this week's Friday Night SmackDown did more than enough to make up for it. On a night filled with awesome action and solid segments, the blue brand successfully built toward the Extreme Rules pay-per-view in a little less than a month.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of predictions and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in the coming weeks.
Fandango def. Santino Marella
Fine match between Fandango and Santino Marella. Fandango's pre-match promo was much better than what he delivered on Raw, while Santino's comedy was harmless at best.
The match lasted mere minutes, but it served its purpose in furthering Fandango's strong momentum. A win over Santino may not mean much nowadays, but it was a short and sweet contest, nonetheless.
United States Champion Kofi Kingston def. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett (non-Title)
Good match between Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett and United States Champion Kofi Kingston. The two worked a well-wrestled matchup that kept a consistent pace throughout.
Champion vs. champion matches hardly mean anything anymore, but at least Kingston's victory came in a way that didn't do much damage to Barrett. Nonetheless, both Kingston and Barrett are in desperate need of wins at this point, so pitting them against one another right now was not the smartest move.
Alberto Del Rio with Ricardo Rodriguez def. Jack Swagger with Zeb Colter
Excellent match between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger. They developed awesome chemistry with one another and the suspenseful near-falls down the stretch kept the action exciting.
It was given great time and seemed to outshine their WrestleMania match. Del Rio needed to regain some lost momentum by winning here, while Swagger looked strong in defeat.
The Shield Sent a Message to The Undertaker and Team Hell No
Great promo from The Shield. Each member played their role well and established themselves as a threat against Team Hell No and Undertaker.
It wasn't much different than their past promos, but it did an effective job of building toward the blockbuster Six-Man Tag Team match on next week's Raw. I was shocked how little that match has been hyped up to this point, but this promo from The Shield did quite a bit in righting that wrong.
The Great Khali, Hornswoggle and Natalya def. Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes
Throwaway match with The Great Khali, Hornswoggle and Natalya defeating Primo, Epico and Rosa Mendes. The setup for this match that took place in the parking lot was atrocious, but at least it gave a reason for this match to happen.
As you would expect, Khali and Hornswoggle were limited here while Natalya did her best to carry most of this matchup. Hardly anyone in this bout is relevant right now, so I don't see the purpose in having this match to begin with.
Big Show and Mark Henry def. Sheamus and Randy Orton
Solid match with Big Show and Mark Henry defeating Randy Orton and Sheamus. While the match was slow at points, it was mostly formulaic and basically what you'd expect from these four competitors.
Everyone was able to hit their signature spots and Big Show pinning Orton cleanly was a pleasant surprise. I'm not intrigued by either story being told here, but I have hope that the heels will do everything in their power to make their respective feuds as entertaining as possible.
Overall, a good show that featured a number of well-wrestled matches and successful storyline progression. Not everything on this week's show was worth watching, but I'd strongly suggest going out of your way to watch Del Rio vs. Swagger once again.
Everything else wasn't necessarily bad, but we're still seeing the same faces against each other each and every week. With Extreme Rules about a month away, it's good to see the blue brand have at least some direction going into the event.