By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Daniel Bryan def. Jack Swagger
Bryan and Swagger had a good match and made the most out of the time they were allotted. However, the finish completely came out of nowhere. I know Swagger isn't even close to being on the same level as Bryan, but why would he lose so decisively? Did Creative already forget that he was the No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship? This made him look weak going into his title match, but at least it was a nice win for Bryan.
Daniel Bryan def. Cesaro by Disqualification
As only they can, Bryan and Cesaro had another excellent match together. It started out slow but they picked up the pace down the stretch and delivered a fun final few minutes. They also told a solid story throughout with Cesaro working over the injured shoulder of Bryan. It would have been a mistake for Bryan to go over Cesaro cleanly given his injury, so why not give Cesaro the win? Bryan had an out for losing and it wouldn't have been the same thing we saw on Raw this week with Bryan and Kane. It would be absolutely awesome if Bryan is being booked to look like the ultimate underdog and come out on top on Sunday, but the odds of that happening are unfortunately slim.
The Wyatt Family def. Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes and Goldust
The promos during this feud between The Wyatt Family and The Shield have been fantastic, and Bray Wyatt's brief promo prior to this match was no exception. It was short, sweet and right to the point, a perfect predecessor to their match Sunday. As for the bearded clan's match against Mysterio and the Rhodes brothers, it was entertaining enough that I didn't really mind seeing it again. I preferred their last encounter over this one, but it was a good way to keep The Wyatt Family looking strong going into Elimination Chamber. I know the Kickoff match between the Rhodes brothers and Curtis Axel and Ryback was plugged by the commentary team, but it should have been built better (or built at all) so it actually had some meaning.
Emma def. Summer Rae in a Dance-off
Wasn't this the same segment Emma debuted in a few weeks ago? I swear, it felt like I was having deja vu while watching it. The only difference this time around was that more audience members actually did Emma's signature dance along with her this time, which was encouraging. The number of people doing it will only increase over time. However, I would like to think that WWE knows she is useful for more than just dancing. Those that have seen NXT know she is a great wrestler, but it is a shame that WWE has yet to put her in a match on the main roster to showcase her skills.
Dolph Ziggler def. Titus O'Neil
The match was fine for what it was and Darren Young was decent on commentary, but a lot of people just don't care about this feud. As I've said before, it was way too soon to break them up and their entire feud has transpired on SmackDown, meaning it has yet to be exposed to the Raw audience. So, what will that mean for their match come Sunday? Crickets, that's what. Ziggler gained nothing from the victory since all the focus was on O'Neil and Young, and it is somewhat sad to think that a former World Heavyweight champion needed help beating O'Neil.
Jimmy Uso def. Road Dogg
Road Dogg is more polished in the ring as a singles competitor than Billy Gunn, but he still shouldn't be wrestling in one-on-one action. Regardless, I appreciate the effort WWE has put into building up the tag team title match for Elimination Chamber between these two teams. It was a decent match, but too short to really mean anything. The second straight win for The Usos signifies they'll lose against The New Age Outlaws at the pay-per-view, which I'm fine with if it wins they'll capture the straps on a grander stage at WrestleMania 30.
Sheamus def. Christian
These two had a handful of great matches in 2011, and I was expecting more of the same from them here. Although it didn't live up to my lofty expectations, it was still a very good match with Christian working over Sheamus' formerly injured shoulder throughout (similar to Bryan and Cesaro earlier on). The finishing sequence was well done and the win for Sheamus was logical, though I am glad Christian was given some spotlight in the post-match by attacking The Celtic Warrior. I guess that solidifies his heel turn from Raw.
Not a lot on this show excited this viewer, but it didn't need to. I didn't expect anything amazing on the go-home show for Elimination Chamber, but it was a wrestling-heavy edition of SmackDown with seveal solid matchups. There was quite a bit of hype for most matches on the pending pay-per-view card, so it succeeded in getting viewers excited for the event.
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