WWE Programming's Best Match for Week of August 9

Brad JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

With SummerSlam only eight days away, you might think the in-ring portion of WWE TV would be more interested in building towards the pay-per-view rather than delivering great matches, but this week has been something of a surprise.

There has, of course, been plenty of time hyping matches set for the event, but there's also been a considerable amount of TV time dedicated to putting on fresh, lengthy matchups. Hopefully this method of using in-ring action to sell fans on SummerSlam will pay off, because it's certainly made for some entertaining weekly programming.


Honourable Mentions

Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins had yet another excellent match on this week's edition of SmackDown. These two have excellent chemistry and very complementary styles, and you hope they'll meet many more times over the course of their careers.

While it's perhaps unsurprising that Ziggler and Rollins could put on a great match, the quality of Sheamus vs. Titus O'Neil on Superstars was rather more unexpected.

One of Sheamus' great strengths is the fact that he is able to mesh well with any opponent, but it has to be said that he really comes into his own when paired up with another big man. The underrated Titus O'Neil proved to be an ideal foe for the Celtic Warrior, and the two put on a compelling match.

It would be nice to see O'Neil get a real shot at showing what he can do on Raw or SmackDown, and a series of matches with Sheamus might be the ideal way to do just that. A standout match on Superstars is one thing, but it's certainly not as great a platform as the flagship shows.

Speaking of which, the unusual decision to begin this week's edition of Raw with a Last Man Standing match proved to be effective. Both Roman Reigns and Kane delivered a great deal of physicality and intensity, and while it wasn't an all-time classic, it was certainly an entertaining bit of television.


Match of the Week for August 9: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger on Main Event

We'll perhaps never know the ins and outs of Alberto Del Rio's sudden departure from WWE. Looking back on what we now know was his final match for the company, we can perhaps see that the writing was on the wall.

Leaving aside the unpleasant situation surrounding his dismissal, Del Rio's in-ring work this week was certainly a successful attempt to go out on a high note.

Throughout his tenure in WWE, Del Rio has proven to be a gifted performer who has suffered from the continued withdrawal of the more colourful facets of his character. Nevertheless, he's been capable of putting on great matches since day one, and happily that was the case until the very end.

If Del Rio was indeed aware of his impending departure from WWE and used it as inspiration to put on a great match, then he should be congratulated for his strength of character, but it has to be said that Jack Swagger held up his end as well.

Swagger finds himself in an altogether different scenario than Del Rio, rather unexpectedly gaining real traction as a fan favourite thanks to his interactions with Rusev. While the longevity of this is somewhat dependant on the outcome of his match with Rusev at SummerSlam, it can certainly be said that Swagger is doing all he can to take advantage of his lot.

Zeb Colter has been a wonderful asset to Swagger in terms of character work, but inside the ring we've seen that the Real American has a lot to offer in his own right. Swagger proved to be an apt opponent for Del Rio's final match in WWE, another superstar who has always been able to fall back on his strong in-ring ability during times when he wasn't given much to work with in terms of character.

The in-ring ability of Del Rio will be missed, but looking forward, it's perhaps best to focus on what Swagger could achieve if he maintains his momentum. SummerSlam will be the real test, but based on his form in recent weeks, it's one that he has a good chance of passing.

What was your favourite match this week? Have you not been able to stop thinking about Bo Dallas vs. R-Truth? Did Damien Sandow show you what can be done in less than a minute? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.