Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, and Sheamus.
Similar to last week, the opening segment on this edition of SmackDown felt jam-packed and overbooked. Sure, it provided nice hype for the Elimination Chamber match as well as WrestleMania, but none of the four Superstars involved had any real significant mic time since it felt rushed. Regardless, I did get a kick out of Cody Rhodes's jabs toward the Big Show.
Throwaway match with The Great Khali dominating Jinder Mahal. I would have liked to see more from these two due to their history, but Khali is just way too limited in the ring. Although I'm not sure if it was piped in or not, his reaction from the crowd is at least getting better. I'm not looking forward to him in the Elimination Chamber match by any means.
Typical Divas match that wasn't at all terrible, but its two-minute length made it feel meaningless. Divas Champion Beth Phoenix continues to establish herself as a dominant title-holder, which will do wonders when she eventually feuds with the returning Kharma. In the meantime, her rivalry with Tamina over the strap should be a nice place-holder.
Great tag team match that saw Sheamus and Big Show defeat the team of Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett. Everyone was able to get their respective time to shine, with an entertaining final moments of the bout. I've grown accustomed to Sheamus being booked as a monster face recently especially since he'll be headlining WrestleMania, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this marks the third loss for both Rhodes and Barrett in the last week.
Ted DiBiase rolls up Hunico for the victory.
Good promo featuring AJ, Michael Cole, and World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan to further intrigue of AJ's role in this angle. She was quite impressive on the mic for someone who has never had more than a thirty second promo before, and her facial expressions were spot on. However, the issue I had with the segment was the fact that Michael Cole acted as the voice of reason despite him being a heel. Bryan was fine here, but it was not some of his best work he's shown in recent weeks.
Brief match between Ted DiBiase and Hunico that was fine for what it was, but was too short to really mean anything. I was expecting something much longer since Hunico was the one who sidelined DiBiase two weeks ago, but it was sadly not meant to be. Hopefully, this can be the blow-off to their feud to allow both Superstars to move on to bigger and better things.
Excellent match between World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton that was extremely entertaining while it lasted. It's no secret these two have amazing chemistry, so I am really looking forward to a future rematch or feud between Orton and Bryan. Smart move in giving the American Dragon to victory by disqualification to give him some credibility by defeating a top name while also protecting Orton. The brawl between Orton and Show that ensued to close the show was well done in the sense that it shows there is tension between all participants of the SmackDown Elimination Chamber going into next Sunday.
Overall, a decent show that certainly a step up from the past two weeks, but nothing that was worth a second look. Much like Raw this past week, this edition of SmackDown was successful in building towards the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, but felt lackluster and drawn-out as a whole. With WrestleMania 28 quickly approaching, expect their hottest Friday night shows to be occurring sooner rather than later.
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