Only 48 hours before WWE presents its electric TLC pay-per-view, SmackDown provided yet another enjoyable show filled with good action, solid segments, and excellent build for this Sunday.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of aftermath and wishful thinking about what we hope to see in coming weeks.
Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes interrupted Booker T
Good promo from Booker T and Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes to kick off the show. Their rivalry needed this one last promo to get me excited about their upcoming title match at TLC, and they succeeded. Rhodes continues to significantly improve on the mic every week, and Booker also got serious as well when he needed to.
Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes def. Daniel Bryan (non-title)
Great match between Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan in their third rematch from over the past week. Their chemistry keeps their matches intriguing, as shown in the very cool finish to the bout.
Although I'm not high on the idea of Bryan losing again, Rhodes's win at least gives him the momentum he needs going into Sunday.
Alicia Fox def. Natalya
Pointless Divas match with Alicia Fox once again burying Natalya. It still amazes me as to how they can book one of the best female wrestlers in the division as an enhancement talent on a consistent basis, whereas lesser performers in Kelly Kelly and Eve continue to get title shots handed to them.
In a perfect world, this segment was only used to either push Fox towards the title picture or foreshadow an eventual Natalya face turn.
Primo and Epico (with Rosa Mendes) def. The Usos
Quick, but decent tag team match with Primo and Epico picking up yet another victory, this time against the Usos. Both tandems work well together, so more time could have made this match more memorable.
As stated by the commentators, Primo and Epico deserve a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships and will hopefully receive it sooner rather than later.
Big Show def. Jack Swagger
Typical squash match with Big Show basically dominating Jack Swagger the entire bout, but I was glad to see the flashback from Swagger's match with Show from last year. The All-American American was able to get a minimal amount of offense in towards the end, so the story-telling here was the mai focus.
The true highlight of this whole segment was the fact that Mark Henry blindsided a cameraman with a chair to the back, further proving his line about how "expect the unexpected."
Ted DiBiase def. Heath Slater; Jinder Mahal attacked DiBiase
Another forgettable match from Ted DiBiase and Heath Slater. Sure, I love the growing fan reaction for DiBiase and his strong winning streak in recent weeks, but he needs to start defeating credible Superstars in the mid-card if he wants his push to get him any further.
Sheamus def. Jinder Mahal
Just as Jinder Mahal garnered legitimate heat for attacking Ted DiBiase after his match, it was all erased within minutes when Sheamus quickly defeated the Punjabi Superstar. As I've said before, it's quite the same how much they've dropped the ball on Mahal, since he was once contained the potential to be something big.
By this point, the matches he's involved in are just perceived as nothing more than filler.
Randy Orton and Zack Ryder def. United States Champion Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett
Solid main event tag team match to close the show with Randy Orton and Zack Ryder going over the team of United States Champion Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett. This bout got great time, featured no silliness from Ryder, and furthered the two respective rivalries included.
The closing minutes were suspenseful action, and even though Orton picked up the victory here, I'm still hopeful Barrett pulls out an upset on Sunday at TLC in their Tables match. On the other hand, it was also nice to see the United States Championship feud featured in the main event slot as well.
Overall, an enjoyable show that managed to feature its share of action and limited promos, but didn't heavily hype the TLC pay-per-view as much as they should have with this being the go-home show. Nonetheless, there wasn't much to complain about on this show and made for an entertaining two hours.
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