Ryback def. Primo and Epico in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Before finally finding direction in late 2012 in his feud with then-WWE Champion CM Punk, Ryback was constantly competing against two athletes at a time, so this was a nice throwback to that. Primo and Epico were (and still are) a nothing tag team, so them losing as decisively as they did here didn't do any more than damage than what was already done. Ryback looked dominant heading into his match with Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29, where he would lose for some strange reason.
Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella twins Mocked Tons of Funk
I can virtually guarantee you this segment was written by Vince McMahon. Thankfully, they made the most of it by putting their own twist on it, so it was somewhat enjoyable. Tons of Funk got the last laugh by coming out and forcing them to flee, but it was almost sad watching this back knowing their mixed tag team match was ultimately scrapped from the WrestleMania card. Not that it was going to be an in-ring classic or anything, but they didn't deserve that.
Jack Swagger def. Kofi Kingston
No matter how hard WWE tried, they just couldn't get Swagger over as a legitimate threat to the main event scene, and his feud with Alberto Del Rio back then bored me to tears. He was a very sound wrestler, as seen in this match with Kingston, and I appreciate their attempt to make him relevant again, but the silence he was greeted with while walking to the ring for this bout spoke volumes. Swagger and Kingston had been done to death in the past, and although this was a good match from them, their last-ditch effort to make him a force to be reckoned with heading into WrestleMania, failed.
Of all the pre-WrestleMania editions of SmackDown that have always consisted of video packages and footage from WrestleMania Axxess (this episode being no exception), this was among the weaker ones I've seen. Ryback's squash match was thankfully kept short and sweet, but Swagger vs. Kingston wasn't remotely interesting and the Tons of Funk/Rhodes Scholars/Bella Twins segment didn't end up serving a purpose. All in all, this was a very forgettable show.
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