By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins Interrupted Dean Ambrose
Ambrose cut a great promo as usual and had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire time. He has gotten over quite nicely since breaking off on his own and the same can be said for Rollins who also had a good showing on the mic here. They haven't had many exchanges on the mic in recent weeks, so I liked the move to have them kick off the show. Ambrose's announcement of what the stipulation their SummerSlam match will have left something to be desired since Lumberjack matches are rarely ever good, but I have hope they'll make the most of it and have an instant classic.
Mark Henry and Big Show def. Rybaxel
Did I miss Big Show's official return to TV or something? I figured they would bring him back in a more memorable fashion seeing how he was gone for a few months, but apparently not. That's not a complaint, though, since Show shouldn't be hogging the spotlight in 2014. This was a glorified squash match that seemed to serve the purpose of establishing the team of Show and Henry. They're a nice addition to the dwindling tag division, that's for sure.
Sin Cara def. Damien Sandow
Sin Cara isn't relevant anywhere outside of Mexico or Texas, so I understand why he was featured here and went over. The match was about as forgettable as it gets and there's really not to discuss. It was simply the latest loss in a long line of inexcusable mishandling of Sandow and his floundering character. They pushed the envelope a bit with the "border control" persona, but the gimmick in general wore thin with this viewer months ago.
Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler
Rollins and Ziggler have had a handful of matches together in the last two months yet they never tend to get old. In fact, this might have been their best bout together to date. The action was entertaining from start to finish and both guys put forth a strong effort. Ziggler may not mean as much as he did a year ago, but a win over him is still a nice credibility boost for Rollins.
Paige def. Natalya
Anyone who saw their match from NXT in December must have been as disappointed with this as I was. I'm not at all saying it was bad, but it was not what it should have been. It had potential to be much longer and much better given the talent both Divas possess. I can't say I'm surprised by the brief match length, but it was definitely a letdown.
Rusev def. Big E
This match paled in comparison to what these guys have accomplished together in the past. Then again, this wasn't meant to be much more than an enhancement match for Rusev anyway so it was what it was. Where was Jack Swagger? More importantly, where were Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston? I will be extremely disappointed if they dropped that angle already. It was one of the few stories I was actually interested in and for them to seemingly pull the plug on it so quickly would be asinine.
Dean Ambrose def. Randy Orton by Disqualification
Like only they could, Ambrose and Orton had a very good back and forth matchup. They told a solid story and kept the pace consistent throughout. They have such great chemistry together that I'd love to see them engage in a feud with each other down the line. The interference from Seth Rollins was logical, but I was surprised to see Roman Reigns not make the save considering his current rivalry with Orton. Rollins' attack on Ambrose made up for his loss on Monday's Raw and I was glad to see their feud spotlighted properly over the course of the show.
This show revolved around the Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins rivalry and they saved this episode from being a complete disaster. The Ziggler-Rollins match as well as the main event were both excellent, but everything else was completely throwaway. This had to be the most mediocre edition of SmackDown in quite some time, which is a shame since we are coming up on the highly anticipated SummerSlam pay-per-view.
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