By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins Interrupted John Cena
I didn't care for any of their previous encounters, so that said, this was their best exchange on the mic to date. Both were believable in their respective roles and Rollins did a nice job of pointing out how repetitive Cena came across. How many times have we heard this promo from him? He wasn't attempting comedy, so there was that. The feud has been well-built so far, but I can't believe they've hardly touched upon their history dating back to Night of Champions. It was the basis of the video package highlighting their Tables match at TLC, but it wasn't talked about at all during this promo. Even still, this was a solid segment to kick off the show.
The Usos def. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd
This had the potential to be a really good match, but most of the focus early on was on The Miz on commentary and not the action. The pace picked up when Miz made a beeline to the back, so they recovered nicely. Despite that, the match still wasn't as great as I expected it to be and it wasn't fun until the final few minutes. As I've noted before, Kidd and Cesaro have great chemistry as a tandem and I'd have no problem with them sticking together for the foreseeable future.
Divas Champion Nikki Bella def. Alicia Fox (Non-title)
Both Nikki and Fox are capable of holding their own in the ring and aren't half-bad, but it was obvious from the get-go that this was going to be a simple squash match for Nikki. The audience was more into Fox than they have been in the past, and the match quality wasn't terrible, but I found it difficult to care. The only real noteworthy aspect of the bout was AJ Lee on commentary. How long until Brie turns on her sister? By the time she finally does, I'm guessing the fans will be confused and not care, so hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.
Big E def. Goldust
The feud between The New Day and Gold and Stardust has been pretty basic thus far and this was more of the same. The live crowd was dead silent and it's hard to blame them. The match wasn't bad at all, it's just that it wasn't given much time and viewers hardly had an incentive to care about it. I'm a fan of everyone in the group on their own, but I'm still not sold on The New Day. Hopefully they do something soon that will change my opinion of them.
Jack Swagger def. Titus O'Neil
O'Neil hasn't meant anything in forever (which is a shame given how he deserves so much better), so the result of this match was never once in doubt. It was essentially a repeat of what we saw on Main Event a few weeks ago. It was a nice, quick win for Swagger and they've done a solid job of making his feud with Rusev mean something, but it's blatantly obvious that this is only temporary before WrestleMania season kicks in.
Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan def. Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper, Kane and Big Show
This is the third six-man tag team match we've seen in recent weeks featuring these six competitors, so while it didn't feature anything out of the ordinary, it was enjoyable for what it was. All six guys put forth a good effort and the finish was well done. I hate to see Harper take the loss for his team. Why couldn't it have been Show or Kane? Neither of them have titles. That aside, it was an effective way of providing hype one final time for these three matches at the pending pay-per-view.
Like most editions of SmackDown before pay-per-views, this show did nothing to affect my excitement level for TLC, positively or negatively. It was just a whole lot of nothing. John Cena and Seth Rollins had an entertaining exchange in the opening segment and the six-man tag was solid, but everything else was forgettable. There was a lot of hype for matches taking place at the event, but none of it was done in an entertaining or engaging manner.
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