Damien Sandow takes control of Randy Orton.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Randy Orton def. Damien Sandow
These two have faced off countless times in the past, so this match wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Nonetheless, it was given a substantial amount of time and Sandow was on offense for match of the match. Given the fact it was a battle of the Mr. Money in the Banks, I would have liked to see this match hyped in advance, but it still made for a nice opening bout. Sandow should score a victory over Orton at some point, but I was fine with The Viper going over here since it was due to a distraction from Cody Rhodes.
CM Punk Addressed the WWE Universe
Punk cut yet another strong promo on Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar here. I'm loving his recent intensity and the fire he's been showing as a babyface as of late. Punk seldom makes appearances on SmackDown, so it's good to see his program with Lesnar getting some attention on the blue brand.
Mark Henry and The Usos def. Wade Barrett and The Prime Time Players
This was nothing more than a tune-up match for Henry and The Usos, but it was still a fun bout, nonetheless. Everyone was able to hit their signature spots during the finishing sequence and it was a good win for the face team before they face The Shield next week on Raw. It's a shame that The Prime Time Players continue to be underutilized. Meanwhile, I can't remember the last time Barrett actually received a televised entrance.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Rob Van Dam (Non-title)
This has the potential to be a great match, so I'm happy they didn't give it away on this show. However, it was odd to see RVD lose his first singles match only two weeks after returning. Del Rio continues to be extremely entertaining as a heel and at least he didn't lose yet another non-title match when he didn't need to. I'm sure this isn't the end of this feud and I look forward to how it plays out in coming weeks.
Divas Champion AJ Lee Delivered "State of Her Mind Address"
AJ's promo wasn't anything noteworthy, but she continues to play her psychotic persona to perfection. Dolph Ziggler's interruption of the segment was predictable, but his exchange with AJ was hysterical Sure, he was made to look like an egotistical ex-boyfriend and not a babyface that he should be, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Kaitlyn's attack on AJ foreshadows a mixed tag team at SummerSlam, which makes sense from a story-line standpoint.
Luke Harper and Erik Rowan def. Tons of Funk
The Wyatt Family continues to be one of the hottest acts in all of wrestling. Their squash match against Tons of Funk was well done and they came as a force to be reckoned with. Bray Wyatt once again cut an excellent promo that was short and sweet. I'm eagerly anticipating their involvement in the match between Kane and Daniel Bryan on next week's Raw.
Christian def. Jack Swagger
Although it isn't saying much, these two had the best match of the night. It was very well wrestled and it was nice to see Christian featured in a main event match for the first time in a long while. Take nothing away from Swagger, who was good on offense throughout. I'm liking the current push Christian is receiving at the moment and I hope it leads to something sooner rather than later.
Cody Rhodes Tossed the Money in the Bank Briefcase Into the Gulf of Mexico
This segment was all over the place and had its respective positives and negatives. Firstly, I like the fact that Sandow and Rhodes were featured in the closing segment of the show, which shows that WWE has faith in both men to be top stars in the near future. Rhodes tossing the briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico didn't do much for me, though, as he was made out to look like a bully more than a sympathetic figure like at Money in the Bank. While Sandow's attempt to swim was entertaining, the segment went on a bit longer than it should have. Even still, I hope this leads to a match between the two at SummerSlam where the briefcase will be up for grabs.
It was a good episode as a whole, but merely because everything served a purpose and no filler was featured. All the segments and matches entertained this viewer at least a little, but nothing was worth watching for a second time. There was a few good matches, but you didn't miss much if you weren't watching live. Regardless, the build for SummerSlam is still in full force and it is shaping up to be one hell of a pay-per-view.
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