Damien Sandow vs. Alberto Del Rio
For a match with no hype heading into it, Sandow and Del Rio delivered an outstanding match that started slow, picked up in the middle and had a hot crowd hanging on every near-fall late.
They appeared to be testing one another early in the bout, but once they established chemistry with one another, the match hit a second gear and wowed the fans in Columbus.
Sandow had little trouble portraying the babyface in the match, adding "You're Welcome" before a suplex and his Cubito Aequet elbow drop and eliciting a crowd response because of it. The way he hung in with the world heavyweight champion, who has proved himself a big-match performer throughout 2013, won over the audience and had them wanting to see him leave the arena with his arm raised in victory.
Unfortunately for Mr. Money in the Bank, Del Rio moved out of the way of a knee dropped, delivered a vicious side kick and, moments later, locked in the cross armbreaker for the tapout win.
If rumors via The Wrestling Observer (h/t Yardbarker.com) of a Sandow face turn come to fruition, Friday night's match against Del Rio should have management feeling confident in the performer's ability to succeed in the role.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Wyatt Family
Entering SmackDown, the Wyatt Family sported an unblemished win-loss record. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan had defeated tag team title contenders The Prime Time Players in recent weeks, and their wins, coupled with Bray Wyatt's dominant performances, had many questioning if anyone could derail the group.
Enter Cody Rhodes and Goldust, who were also riding a wave of momentum into Friday night's show.
They had defeated Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns Sunday at Battleground, winning back their spots on the WWE roster.
The main event match was a good, old-school wrestling match that saw the larger heel duo dominate the majority of the action, only for Goldust to make the hot tag to his brother, Cody.
The second-generation star cleared house and delivered a cross-body block off the top rope and onto Rowan. After catching a boot from Harper in front of a Wyatt, Rhodes was rolled back into the ring where it looked like he would be the victim of Harper's trademark clothesline.
Goldust would throw himself in harms way and catch most of the clothesline, giving Cody a moment to recover. Harper tossed the youngest Rhodes into the corner and charged in after him. Cody caught him with a rollup and scored a huge upset victory for he and his older brother.
The win for Cody and Goldust was unexpected in that so much time has been devoted to establishing and building the Wyatt Family, and to have them lose so unceremoniously on WWE's secondary show SmackDown was surprising.
That does not mean it was a bad decision. As JBL stated on Friday's broadcast, the brothers defied the odds by defeating The Shield at Battleground and did so again by knocking off the previously undefeated Harper and Rowan.
The win came in a fluky manner, which allows Cody and Goldust to pick up the victory without really hurting their opponents at all.
More importantly, it enforces WWE's claim that anything can happen at any time. While unlikely, perhaps the unexpected result will cause more fans to tune into SmackDown next Friday night.