On the latest episode of SmackDown from Columbus, OH, the main event pitted Cody Rhodes and Goldust against Luke Harper and Erick Rowan of the Wyatt Family. The match ended with Cody Rhodes pinning Luke Harper for the victory.
The crowd was very much into the Rhodes Family, as they continue their significantly popular babyface run. Although it came as a surprise, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan received a clean loss to further emphasize WWE's vested interest in the Rhodes brothers.
But this was not the end of the live crowd seeing the Wyatt Family.
Attending the event, I had the opportunity to see the dark match after the show. When the cameras went off the air, Lilian Garcia announced that there was going to be a 20-man Battle Royal to determine who was going to face Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship immediately following the match.
The last four competitors were Titus O'Neil and the Wyatt Family. Although O'Neil put up a valiant effort in trying to eliminate the Wyatts, it fell short and he was eliminated from the match. Bray Wyatt then looked at Harper and Rowan, pointed to the outside, which prompted Rowan and Harper to eliminate themselves.
The match between Bray Wyatt and Alberto Del Rio was a snoozefest. Due to them both being heels, the live crowd was not into this match in the slightest. In fact, it was even more disappointing to see Alberto Del Rio eventually losing by countout due to attempting to avoid the Wyatts. Rowan and Harper than rolled ADR back into the ring, and Bray executed his Sister Abigail finisher on Del Rio.
Many times, WWE uses dark match main events to gauge the reactions from the crowd while using someone as a face who is normally a heel, and vice versa. Moreover, new feuds are oftentimes teased during dark matches as well. Neither of them received a noticeable amount of babyface pops, so this idea did not pan out to receive the reaction that was expected.
One thing to highlight, though, is that Damien Sandow came out and teased a Money in the Bank briefcase cash-in, but was also laid out by the Wyatt Family. However, as seen on SmackDown, he appears to slowly but surely be transitioned into a babyface. He pandered to the live crowd when the cameras were off, after he got up from being laid out by the Wyatts.
Let's hope that the decision to test a Bray Wyatt vs. Alberto Del Rio feud only happened due to the majority of main event talent touring in Abu Dhabi this week. Otherwise, most likely one of them would have to turn babyface if they want to successfully pull the feud off.
However, this is most likely a one-off match, which—at least for now—is a good idea.
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