Daniel Bryan forces Christian to submit to the No Lock.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Daniel Bryan def. Christian
These two faced off on an episode of SmackDown in August 2011, and I've been highly anticipating the rematch ever since. Thank you, WWE, for finally granting me my wish. Despite getting a significant amount of time, the match felt like it was over in mere minutes due to how fast paced and exciting the action was. Bryan going over was a no-brainer, but it helps further his momentum going into Money in the Bank. At one point can we see Christian and Bryan engage in a full-fledged feud?
WWE Tag Team Champion Seth Rollins def. Jey Uso
While the match was pretty basic, it helped build towards the WWE Tag Team Championship match at Money in the Bank. It was fine for what it was and both guys put forth a nice effort. However, the crowd just wasn't into the action unlike the previous bout. Regardless, I was surprised to see Rollins go over here given the fact that The Shield will more than likely be retaining come Sunday.
Chris Jericho def. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel by Count-out (Non-title)
This was yet another solid match from Jericho and Axel. They work very well together and it seemed like they received even more time to shine here than they did on Raw this week. I didn't see the point in having Axel lose to Jericho twice in one week, but I guess it makes sense if they want Jericho to look strong and Axel to look vulnerable going into Money in the Bank. The post-match meltdown from Axel was a nice touch and showed a side of the Intercontinental Champion we had yet to see.
Ryback def. The Miz
The match was decent while it lasted, but it served its purpose in helping Ryback regain heat. I would have hated to see Ryback forfeit yet again against Miz, so I'm glad that wasn't the case here. Ryback sold his injury well and picked up a win the process. I'm not sure what story they are trying to tell with his character, but I can honestly say that I am semi-intrigued by it.
AJ Lee and Kaitlyn Took Part in the First-Ever Divas Championship Match Contract Signing
Of all the lousy segments these two have took part in over the last two months, this was by far the best yet. AJ wasn't the typical bully that she's portrayed as of late and actually delivered some of the best mic work of her career in this segment. Kaitlyn didn't back down like she usually does and instead took it to AJ using her physical advantage. It was cool to see that this first-ever Divas contract signing was made out to feel important and did a great deal in getting me excited for Sunday's title match.
Fandango def. Wade Barrett
It's a shame that the World Heavyweight Championship Contract Money in the Bank Ladder match has been overlooked since it was first announced. It has an amazing array of talent, but the build-up has left a lot to be desired. The fans don't have an incentive to root for anyone involved. I thought taking the Intercontinental Championship off Barrett would help rejuvenate him, but apparently not, as he lost to Fandango within the blink of an eye. Hopefully that changes Sunday, though, with a Money in the Bank victory.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara Ended in a No Contest (Non-title); Vickie Guerrero Invaded SmackDown
In all honesty, I didn't realize Dolph Ziggler was under the mask until he performed the Zig Zag on Del Rio. It was a cool trick, but a weak way to hype the World Heavyweight Championship match for the pending pay-per-view. The whole feud up to this point has been throwaway and needs to end relatively soon. As for Vickie, her promo garnered a ton of heat as expected, but I surely hope this doesn't mean she'll be fighting for an authority position on SmackDown. She's better in a managerial role at this point.
Sheamus vs. Randy Orton Ended in a No Contest
Sheamus and Orton have great chemistry together and this match was a prime example. It featured some solid action before ultimately ending in a no contest. Sure, it didn't end in clean fashion, but it didn't need to. All of the All-Star Money in the Bank Ladder match participants (sans CM Punk and Ron Van Dam) fighting for the briefcase was predictable, but it provided a cool conclusion to the show. Orton being the last man standing was a pleasant surprise and it gave him the focus he desperately needed going into Money in the Bank.
This show continued the strong streak of entertaining editions of SmackDown and was definitely wrestling-heavy. Christian vs. Bryan was fantastic, the Divas contract signing was a pleasant surprise and the hype for most of the matches on Sunday's card was excellently executed. I didn't think it was possible, but now I'm even more pumped for Money in the Bank than I was prior to watching this show. Here's hoping the event will live up to everyone's lofty expectations.
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