The opening promo was similar to the one we got three weeks ago on SmackDown, but it established the four top faces of the blue brand. Everyone's involvement was well done and set up the main event contender's match nicely for later in the night.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Sin Cara was the right choice to start the action for the night. Another exciting match with Cara pulling off most of the spots, and the unique finish also got the crowd hot.
The Cody Rhodes promo prior to the match did nothing for me, as it seems like he is in repeat mode each week. Nonetheless, he and Daniel Bryan had an excellent match that lived up to my expectations. I'm glad to see Bryan get the hometown win, and judging by the post-match attack, I wish to see the feud continue.
Heath Slater vs. Ezekiel Jackson was a throwaway match, and only used to prove Big Zeke's dominance. The run-in was predictable, which makes me care less and less about this feud.
This angle with The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal has gotten me more intrigued by the week. Sure, the match itself was lackluster, but the real focus goes on Khali's heel turn, and where they go from here.
Booking T mocking Michael Cole seemed filler and served no purpose. Why not just limit it to commentary? Is this leading to something big for Cole, such as taking on the role of the RAW General Manager?
The Divas match was as bad as it gets, but I'm happy it included in the debut of AJ. But why have her debut against two wrestlers that are barely on television as it is? Make her look strong and have her chase the Divas title.
The main event was without a doubt match of the night, serving a logical purpose and continuing an awesome story-line so far. Sheamus earning the victory is a bit shocking, but I'm glad Christian lost at the expense of Randy Orton at ring-side, building more tension towards his imminent heel turn.
Overall, this was a very entertaining show. Three great matches, and three lackluster matches. Most of the segments served a purpose, and the promos were limited. I find it humorous the wrestling has increased on SmackDown in recent weeks at the same time as TNA's new "Wrestling Matters" campaign.
It was predictable to kick off the show with John Cena, but I like his chemistry with R-Truth. I'm anticipating a match between the two and it builds nicely for Truth's eventual title match. Bret Hart was a nice touch, and gave Truth some heat in the process.
The WWE Tag Team Title match wasn't horrible, but it failed to get this viewer excited when it's supposed to. I came a bit surprised by the title change however, and I'm glad the titles are on a team where their opponents have a legitimate chance of losing even the belts mean next to nothing these days.
I didn't care for the Big Show injury angle as they've been played out and I'm not intrigued by a feud with Alberto Del Rio and Show. It also felt weird seeing Kane act compassionate about the situation rather than chase after Ricardo.
Although it's unusual for WWE to host a random contest such as Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne on RAW, I'm excited to see both back on the main show. I hope this leads to a feud between the two as they both have potential to be breakout stars on RAW.
I was hoping for Michael Cole to come out and reveal himself as the RAW General Manager, as it's simply idiotic to have him work with Lawler after all that has transpired. He was decent in his heel role, but I would rather see him in an authority or manager position rather than listen to him on commentary.
The Miz and Alex Riley segment had to be the highlight of the night for me. I was worried Miz would turn on Riley, attack him, and we would never hear from A-Ry again. Fortunately, WWE realized Riley has major potential and based off his huge reaction following his aggressive attack, he could have a real future on SmackDown.
The Kharma crying bit not pissed me off, but left me very confused. Why destroy such hot momentum with her monstrous character? I have since learned she is pregnant and had to be removed from television, but this was not the way to go out.
Kofi Kingston and Drew McIntyre provided a very solid showing. We have seen this feud done before on SmackDown, but it was a nice one night match with kudos to both men. I'd like for Kofi to be elevated eventually with a permanent program soon.
The main event was fun, and the inclusion of Bret Hart and his interference was decent enough to see the crowd home happy. The action was hot, but I wonder where each Superstar involved goes from here.
Overall, this was an enjoyable episode. We were able to digest the aftermath of Over the Limit, and not move so quickly into the next pay-per-view next month. It's good to see stars not normally including on the card making appearances, and the crowd was hot all night long.
The show kicked off with Rey Mysterio and R-Truth, which proved to be an excellent choice. Truth's promo was a smart move in order to give him some more heat prior to his match. Him and Mysterio bonded well, and I'm glad Truth went over cleanly to establish himself as a top heel on RAW.
The Intercontinental Championship Match wasn't great, but certainly better than expected. Ezekiel Jackson is still improving, so it was smart to keep the title with Wade Barrett for the time being. The disqualification finish, however, was not creative by any means seeing we witness the same thing each week.
Sin Cara and Chavo Guerrero put on a great match as expected, with the only thing holding it back was the botches performed by Sin Cara. Does this mean he won't be featured on live television as prominently? Good win for Sin Cara, and I'd like to see the feud continue.
The tag team match was solid for the most part, but highly predictable. I would have never guessed CM Punk's elbow from the top rope was a tribute to Randy Savage due to little reaction from the fans and the commentators failing to recognize it. I was surprised there was no tension between Punk and Ryan, with the suspicion that a Mason Ryan face turn is imminent.
Usually, it is expected for the Divas to provide a terrible match, much like their contest Monday. However, I had hopes that a Kharma appearance could save the disastrous match, but never once came down to interfere. Her feud with Kelly is the hottest thing in the division, and they won't even pursue to continue it? Even worse, Brie ended up retaining her Divas Championship.
Christian and Randy Orton set the bar for the rest of the show, ultimately earning Match of the Night. They were able to top their bout from SmackDown a few weeks ago, and this match has easily become one of my favorites from both men. It was logical to keep the title with Orton, in order to continue the strong feud and eventually turn Christian heel.
I do not care that the Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole Match only lasted five minutes, I'm just glad this rivalry is finally over! It was a fun way to go out as well, with special appearances from Jim Ross and Bret Hart.
To say the least, the WWE Championship match was disappointing. I expected a back-and-forth hot match to keep the fans intrigued, but instead we got a handicap domination that lasted 20 minutes. The Champ pulling a win out of his ass and having Miz submit in five seconds further proves my point that Cena's character is boring and stale, makes the Awesome One look weak, and how predictable Cena's matches have become.
Overall, I believe this was a lackluster show that has been rated the worst of the year so far by my standards. The action was decent, but the entire event was flat and no one cared. I had higher hopes than I should have.
The show kicked off with which ultimately won Match of the Night, Christian vs. Sheamus. Both are tremendous workers and developed more chemistry as the match progressed despite only working a singles match together nearly a year prior. The close-near falls and clever finish made Sheamus look strong in defeat, and also set up the main event nicely with the save by Randy Orton afterwards.
The Divas match this week wasn't as bad as expected, given that at least Brie Bella was given the perfect opponent to work with. The finish was decent, but it's good to not to see the campy twin switch for once.
Ezekiel Jackson's promo was well cut, which shows signs of improvement, but his facial expression is what distracted me. Anyways, his performace in the ring was slightly disappointing with the multiple bodyslams he did, but I enjoyed the unique finish. As for everyone else, the match was well constructed and given enough time to make The Corre look somewhat credible in the ring.
Chavo Guerrero and Daniel Bryan have tremendous chemisty, so I was a little disappointed to see them work only a five minute match. Nonetheless, they provided us with decent action, but nothing compared to last week. I was quite surprised Bryan kicked out of the Frog Splash, where suspense is a nice quality I look for in all matches.
I'm psyched to see the reunion of Legacy, but it was a bit awkward seeing they just had a match together last week. As for the match, Trent Barreta did well for himself and gave DiBiase the win he needed.
Going into the The Great Khali and Jey Uso match, there was no doubt who was coming out victorious. However, the angle with Jinder Mahal is getting more intriguing by the week and I'm anxious to see how Khali will react next week after attacking his translator.
With another fresh match in the main event, Mark Henry certainly impressed me with his showing against World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. They provided solid action and gave us disqualification finish in order for Henry stay strong. The post-match celebration with Orton and Christian was different with Orton's unexpected enthusiasm, along with the fact they allowed the other one to be beaten one while they watched, so it's odd to see them shake hands and say thank you thereafter.
Overall, I rate this a watchable and decent episode ofSmackDown. It did an excellent job building towards Over the Limit this Sunday and provided overall average action as well.
Having Alex Riley open the show was an excellent move, as he truly shined in his promo and made me looking forward to his future days in singles competition.The video package showcasing The Miz and his high intensity was simply awesome to say the least, and a good attempt to rebuild the Awesome One going into Over the Limit on Sunday.
I literally marked out after hearing CM Punk was taking on Kofi Kingston, seeing they had yet to face each other in a singles match and given their history together. I was a little disappointed to see the match only last four minutes, but at least Punk went over clean in order to gain back some momentum he's lost recently.
The Divas match was weak as expected, but I can only hope it leads to Kelly Kelly taking the belt off Brie Bella seeing that the twins do not make good champions. The angle with Kharma furthers my interest, and hopefully leads to a match between the two down the line.
Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio always deliver strong matches, even if the finish was a little weak. R-Truth's promo following the match gives me hope his heel persona will pay off.
Words can not describe how badly I want this angle between Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler to be over. We hear the same thing every week now, and the added foot stipulation did nothing to add interest into this match for me.
The tag team match was nothing special, but much like Punk's match, I was glad to see Nexus go over here to show that Kane and Show can be defeated.
I am impressed with Swagger's showing against John Cena and would like to see a future feud between the two, even though I'd love to see Swagger go babyface after abandoning Cole earlier in the show. I was a little confused as to why Cena was the one getting the better of The Miz as the show closed, but at least he showed aggression.
Overall, it was a decent show. It did an acceptable job building hype for Over the Limit, and also provided us with some limited in-ring action.
Final Grade: B-
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