By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon Arranged an 11-on-3 Handicap Elimination Match
What was the point of having Triple H enter to his old babyface music as opposed to "King of Kings"? Is it supposed to trick fans into thinking he isn't as bad as he is supposedly made out to be? Whatever the case may be, I'm not liking it, as it confuses fans instead of putting heat on HHH and Stephanie. Regardless, their mic work here was solid as usual, but nothing out the ordinary. The announcement of the 11-on-3 Handicap Elimination match would have felt more monumental than it did had the same match not been made for last week's SmackDown. That is in addition to the fact that we have seen what feels like a million Handicap matches over the last month or so.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Kofi Kingston (Non-title)
I have honestly lost track of how many times these two have faced off in singles competition over the years, but there is simply no denying the fact that their matches are always entertaining. There was no doubt in my mind that Del Rio would be going over here, but Kingston still looked good in defeat with many suspenseful near-falls in the final few minutes. The crowd was into the action and it was a nice win for Del Rio, although defeating Kingston doesn't mean much nowadays.
By Daniel Barker
WWE SmackDown as we all know is the second largest brand in the global juggernaut promotion that stands today as a testament to what I can only describe as short sighted business sense. Let's take a trip down memory lane to a decade ago, pay per views that featured superstars from both brands were the big four events which are of course the Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, Survivor Series and last but not least the greatest stage of them all WrestleMania! The remaining eight monthly showcases had an individual roster performing that night with vert few exceptions. Judgement Day as an example had SmackDown superstars, SmackDown championships and with SmackDown story-lines being disputed both inside & outside the squared circle.
Fast forward to 2013 we see consistently WWE pulling every available string to buffer content on pay per view cards when they were once able to do it with half the roster and executed it twice as effectively. The two brands once had a unique set of tag titles, at WrestleMania 20 both sets were defending in individual four way tag team title matches. That example right there demonstrates how far the tag team division itself has diminished which strangely becomes reflected when you examine the fall of the blue brand SmackDown. Now the creative team struggles to put a single team to contend against the current WWE Tag Team Champions The Shield. isn't it funny they had at least ten teams in circulation years before?
By Carson Koschik
We're in a cool time for the WWE right now. Daniel Bryan is the number one guy, Triple H is the top heel, and the Divas Division is actually interesting. But nothing ever stays the same in the WWE, and in a few months we'll have a new crop of Superstars and Divas standing at the top of the WWE mountain proudly hoisting their championship gold above their heads. But who will those people be? Time to speculate!
Next Divas Champion: Natalya
Ever since AJ won the Divas Championship from Kaitlyn earlier this year, the Divas Division has been more interesting than it has been in years. While it still may not be on par with the Lita/Trish days (how can it be?), AJ Lee has still be doing a good job of adding importance to what was an almost meaningless championship. After finishing her never ending feud with Kaitlyn, AJ Lee decided to take a play out of CM Punk's book and drop a pipebomb on the cast of Total Divas. While her entire speech was basically focused on the Bellas (including a jab at their alleged "blowjobs to the top" career), Natalya was the one to step up to the plate and represent the Total Divas. While representing Total Divas may seem like a bad thing, Natalya is still the BEST women's wrestler in the WWE, and some would arguably say that she is better than half of the male roster.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
SmackDown General Manager Called Out Daniel Bryan
It is always nice to see Raw's top-tier storylines carried over to SmackDown, especially when Bryan is involved. It makes the blue brand feel important, although sometimes overexposure can hinder a storyline. Regardless, both Vickie and Bryan played their respective roles well here, which helped hype the gauntlet match for later in the night.
Divas Champion AJ Lee def. Naomi (Non-title)
These two always work well together and this match was no expection. Namoi is still somewhat green in the ring, but her amazing athletic abilities more than make up for it. AJ always seems to bring the best out of Naomi, thus making for a fun match in the process. Natalya's logic on commentary was a bit flawed when she said AJ resorts to dirty tactics to win matches despite the fact she defeated Naomi clean on this show. Nonetheless, the eventual AJ vs. Natalya matchup for the title should be a good one.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Magnus Called Out EGO
I'm never usually a fan of promos opening up the show, but this was a rare exception. It was cool to see Mangus featured prominently for once, especially following his strong showing against AJ Styles in the finals of the Bound For Glory Series last week. He kept his short and sweet before brawling with EGO, which felt rushed a bit. However, the save from Sting and Samoa Joe set up the six-man tag team match for later in the show nicely.
Jeff Hardy def. X-Division Champion Manik (Non-title)
The crowd didn't appear to be into the action at all, which was understandable. TNA hasn't given the fans an incentive to care about Manik in the slightest, despite the fact he is the current X-Division Champion. He lost another meaningless non-title match that also didn't do anything to help Hardy. Chris Sabin's heel turn could be seen coming from a mile away, and I'm not high on the idea of turning him heel when he is still semi-popular. Not even that, but after feuding with Bully Ray for the World Heavyweight Championship a few short months ago, why demote him to a rivalry with Manik?
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