Cody Rhodes hits a Cross Rhodes on Justin Gabriel.
Solid promo from World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan to kick off the show. Much similar to his promo on Monday's Raw, Bryan continues to progress on the mic as a heel while his boos only get louder and louder. He isn't complaining as much as his counterpart Christian once did, as Bryan makes a logical case of what happened last week while continuing to portray a heel.
Good match between Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Justin Gabriel while it lasted. Gabriel's alliance with Hornswoggle has given him the positive reaction from the crowd that he needs in order to get over. Rhodes came out strong champion with the victory, but Gabriel looked good in defeat. Hopefully, this isn't the last time we see these two rising talent clash.
Brief, but fun match with WWE Tag Team Champions Primo and Epico and The Usos. The Tornado tag stipulation allowed them to go without limitations, but a longer bout could have really given the two teams more time to shine. I'm glad the champs went over here to establish them as strong champions, but hopefully it develops into a feud with The Usos in a chase for the straps.
Hilarious dance-off involving Brodus Clay, Vickie Guerrero and William Regal. Clay's reaction from the crowd continues to grow, since pairing him with a heat magnet in Vickie got him over big time. It's about damn time they finally put Regal on television. His dancing skills were not only spectacular, but the audience actually booed when Clay attacked him. I'd like to see a feud develop between Regal and Clay in coming weeks that could really benefit both men on Friday nights.
Excellent Tables match between Wade Barrett and Sheamus that saw the Englishman walk off with the victory. These type of matches always prove to be suspenseful with the variety of spots that can be done. As much as I would have like to see Barrett win cleanly, having Jinder Mahal interfere and aid him was harmless. However, the Celtic Warrior burying Mahal following the contest is erasing any momentum he had going before. No one will ever take Mahal seriously as a competitor if they continue to treat him as an enhancement talent.
Wade Barrett attacks Sheamus on the top rope.
Decent match between Ted DiBiase and Hunico for what it was worth. I don't believe the Flag match stipulation held these back, but both Superstars needed a victory here so it was tough for either to go over. Personally, I see more potential in DiBiase as Intercontinental Champion, so I hope to see him continue to ascend the ladder on his way back into the title picture.
Meaningless match between Drew McIntyre and Santino Marella that really served no purpose. The Blindfold stipulation was meant for pure comedy, but we were already treated to that earlier in the night so this bout felt unnecessary. Seeing a potential strong mid-carder in McIntyre lose to a comic relief in Marella is mind-boggling, as I continue to lose interest in McIntyre's extensive losing streak angle. McIntyre's face antics backstage prior to the contest showed shades of a possible turn in the foreseeable future, so that's one possible direction they could be headed for with all of this.
An ordinary match between World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry, but the Lumberjack stipulation made the bout drag on longer than it needed to. However, it's what's expected when you have a bout with two heels competing against one another. The ending was predictable, as no one really saw a definitive finish coming from the get-go. The ensuing brawl to close the show was more to hype the Royal Rumble match than the actually title match at hand, so at least it had somewhat of a purpose.
Overall, a good show that wasn't an extraordinary edition, but wasn't terrible either. The routlette wheel served for some good matches and segments, so that didn't feel like it was completely worthless. The important thing is that they provided some hype for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view next Sunday, while also presenting good action throughout the night.
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