By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Erik Rowan Went to a Double Count-out
It was another enjoyable match from The Usos and The Wyatt Family, as these two teams always work well together. It was given good time, and the non-finish was smart in protecting both teams. However, as high as I am on The Usos and believe they should be tag team champions sooner rather than later, would it be best to give Harper and Rowan the win here with The Wyatt Family building momentum as of late? At least they got their heat back when they along with Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan attacked The Usos. Unlike on Old School Raw, no tension was teased between Bryan and the other members of The Wyatt Family, and Michael Cole mentioned on commentary that his transformation was "complete", so he appears to be a heel for the time being.
The Miz Hosted 'Miz TV' with Big Show
It is hard to take Show's character seriously after months of crying and appearing in a diaper, but this segment was a good start. He looked aggressive on Raw in his confrontation with Brock Lesnar, and this promo relayed that aggression nicely. Miz's role was limited and Paul Heyman was solid here as well. I can't say I am all that excited for a match between Lesnar and Show at the Royal Rumble (their first match taking place at the event 11 years ago), but at least it has now been confirmed and it will give Lesnar a dominant victory under his belt if he were to win.
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and Los Matadores def. Curtis Axel, Ryback and The Real Americans
It was as fun of a match as one would expect given the teams that were involved. Mysterio, Cara and Los Matadores are a dream team in my book and they had plenty of crowd-pleasing offense throughout the bout. I couldn't care less about Axel and Ryback as a tandem, but The Real Americans still have potential, so to see them do the job here was disappointing. I hope Mysterio and Cara reform their tag team and end up facing off at WrestleMania 30 once and for all, even if Mistico isn't under the Cara mask.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton def. Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston (Non-title)
It is such a shame that champion vs. champion matches in WWE don't mean anything anymore. I realize this match was hyped on Old School Raw and I am glad WWE did that (as it is rare nowadays), but this match still didn't feel special as it should have been. Nonetheless, it was a solid match with Langston protected in defeat. Langston had an impressive showing against Orton, but I fear it wasn't a strong enough showing to really benefit him in the end.
Xavier Woods def. Fandango
Why is Woods using Brodus Clay's old entrance music as his own? He should really use the theme he used down in NXT in order to create his own identity and not steal someone else's. The match was way too short to mean anything, and the win doesn't do much for Woods seeing how Fandango lost so quickly and decisively. It is hard to believe he was poised to be an actual threat to Big E Langton a little less than two weeks ago.
The Shield def. CM Punk and The New Age Outlaws
The pre-match promo from The Shield was good and highlighted their individual mic skills. Roman Reigns was better than expected, Dean Ambrose was humorous, and Seth Rollins showed that he has come a long way on the mic. Some people might be tired of seeing Punk work with The Shield at this point, but I still think the matches are a joy to watch. The commentators hyped the six-man tag team bout nicely throughout the night and making mention of the fact that this was the first time that the New Age Outlaws have been on SmackDown since February 2000. It was a very good six-man tag match with a fun finishing sequence. The Shield was the right team to go over, and it only furthered the momentum of Reigns following his win over Punk on Old School Raw.
With the Royal Rumble still a few weeks away, you have to know that most of these shows will be made up of filler matches. Surprisingly enough, the only true filler match on this show was Woods vs. Fandango, as the eight-man tag team match was good albeit random and all the other matches furthered feuds and/or served a purpose. No match stood out above all the others, but if anything, the main event was worth watching if only because the New Age Outlaws returned to the ring on the blue brand. There was quality build for the Bryan/Bray vs. Usos match coming up on Raw, so that was nice to see unfold over the course of the show as well.
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