The final SmackDown before Elimination Chamber airs this Friday night on SyFy and features a few previews of this Sunday's big pay-per-view extravaganza.
After an accidental Brogue Kick from Sheamus to Christian during a six-man tag team match against The Shield on last week's show, tension between the two Elimination Chamber participants is high. This week, the former partners will stand across the ring from one another as they meet in main event singles competition.
Will Christian be able to rebound and possibly score a much-needed victory heading into the Chamber, or will Sheamus assure that Captain Charisma rides a losing streak into the WWE title match?
Just two days from the most anticipated match WWE has produced in quite some time, the Wyatt Family will gear up for their bout against The Shield by taking on the team of Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes and Goldust.
Also in action are Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Titus O'Neil.
What happened as SmackDown rolled into the World Arena in Colorado Springs?
Let's take a look, courtesy of ProWrestling.net.
Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield
- Daniel Bryan defeated Jack Swagger
- Bryan defeated Cesaro by disqualification when Kane interfered
- The Wyatt Family defeated Goldust, Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio when Bray Wyatt pinned Goldust
- Emma defeated Summer Rae in a dance-off
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Titus O'Neil
- Jimmy Uso defeated Road Dogg
- Sheamus defeated Christian
The Trials of Daniel Bryan
WWE continues to try and sell its audience on a Daniel Bryan-Kane feud. Bryan scores a big win over Jack Swagger to kick off the show, but he is then ordered by SmackDown GM Vickie Guerrero and Director of Operations Kane to square off with Cesaro.
Kane, as one would expect, interrupts the match just as Bryan is about to score the win, delivers a chokeslam and draws the disqualification.
Cesaro adds injury to injury and delivers the Neutralizer for good measure.
While there may be a large contingency of fans unhappy with the way Bryan has been booked as of late, the company is doing exactly what it tends to do with its top babyfaces, which is give them obstacles to overcome.
Bryan has constantly been faced with hurdles he must leap over if he wants to achieve his goal of becoming champion again. It may not happen at Elimination Chamber, but when one objectively sits back and looks at the grand scheme of things, it does appear as though the company has definitive plans for Bryan.
The Wyatt Family Rolls
Over the last few weeks, fans have seen a lot of action from The Shield as they prepare for Sunday's huge six-man tag team match. But their opponents in that bout, the Wyatt Family, have been somewhat quiet in terms of in-ring production.
That changed Monday night with a big win over Sin Cara and Los Matadores and continues this week as the trio defeats Goldust, Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio.
WWE has done a masterful job of building up the war between the Wyatts and The Shield, relying heavily on promos and staredowns to build the match rather than the tired booking method of having them wrestle in singles and tag matches every week, which would have burned fans out on the feud.
Goldust, Rhodes and Mysterio are still considered upper-level midcard stars for the company and beating them still carries a lot of weight.
The Wyatt Family is exactly where it wants to be heading into the most anticipated match on Sunday's card.
Emma's win over Summer Rae in the dance-off on this week's show continues to further the feud, as well as continue the ill will between Santino and Fandango.
The interesting element is potential romance between Emma and Santino, which was teased Monday night on Raw and is again this Friday night. Santino has been fairly lucky in his career, being paired with the likes of Maria, Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mendes, and now he gets to work with Emma, whose comedic timing and quirky personality makes her a perfect fit for the master of the Cobra.
Santino and Emma had a tremendous mixed tag match against Fandango and Summer Rae some months ago on NXT. Fans in attendance were so entertained that "this is awesome" chants broke out for the comedy spots before a single move had even been executed.
If given the opportunity, a match between the two couples could be great filler for a pay-per-view broadcast.
Millions of Headaches for Titus
Just days from a match with former Prime Time Players partner Darren Young, Titus O'Neil is in action this week as he takes on Dolph Ziggler.
Young, never one to miss out on the opportunity to gain a measure of revenge against his former partner, is on commentary and eventually interjects himself into the match, causing a distraction and allowing Ziggler to score the win on a roll-up.
Perhaps it is because it has been stuck on SmackDown, but the feud between Young and O'Neil feels like an old-school wrestling rivalry that has been given the opportunity to unfold organically rather than being rushed like so many of the stories on Raw.
While the match means very little to the overall importance of the Elimination Chamber, count this writer as one who is very interested to see how the former partners work together come Sunday night.
Captain Charisma cannot seem to catch a break, as evidenced by another main event loss, this week to the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus.
There is a silver lining for the Canadian, whose win-loss record since returning from injury is anything but sparkling, and that was a mention by Michael Cole on Monday's Raw about his losing streak and the frustration he is feeling as of late.
Perhaps it will serve as the emphasis for a heel turn, which would benefit Christian and the WWE roster far greater than if the former World champion remains a babyface. It would open up some new matches and it would give the roster another former heavyweight champion heel that it could use to bolster its main event picture, at least in the short term.