John Laurinaitis welcomes Christian to his team.
Entertaining segment to kick off the broadcast with the return of the Peep Show. It never ceases to amaze me how Christian continues to draw a face reaction despite being a whiny heel, which speaks volumes regarding his popularity. He had good humor with John Laurinaitis here and had a logical reason for joining his squad at WrestleMania.
Passable match between Kofi Kingston and David Otunga that was fine for what it was worth. Otunga isn't the greatest worker in the world, but I was impressed that he was still able to compete despite not being properly prepared. The overbooked finishes are predictable at this point, so it came as no surprise in the end.
Quick match between AJ and Nikki Bella that was able to further progress the on-going story involving Daniel Bryan and AJ. I'm glad to see AJ back in the ring since she is one of the better wrestlers on the Divas roster, and her win over Nikki should hopefully getting her closer to receiving a shot at the Divas Championship. It felt awkward at the end with Bryan celebrating with AJ, as it seemed the crowd wasn't sure to cheer or boo.
Effective match with Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes cleanly defeating The Great Khali that was successful in giving Rhodes additional momentum going into his title defense at Mania. Khali's offense was kept limited and played his role well, as Rhodes was able to establish that he can indeed defeat gigantic opponents.
Decent promo between Randy Orton and Kane that was finally able to give some meaning behind this impromptu feud. I clearly remember that night Kane and Orton shook hands after their match on SmackDown last summer, so I'm glad they're usually something from not too longer ago as the incentive for this rivalry. Both Orton's and Kane's mic work was nothing to write home about, but did no harm.
Big Show spears Drew McIntyre right out of his boots.
Throwaway match with Big Show squashing Drew McIntyre. If they went through all that trouble of building up McIntyre's lengthy losing streak only to get fired and then rehired the following week, then why pursue it at all if he's once again an enhancement talent? They're are plenty of other guys that Show could have been put up against rather than someone who still has some potential left like McIntyre.
Typical match with Mark Henry dominating Yoshi Tatsu approximately a minute. This type of squash actually held purpose since it is helping Henry be re-established as a force to reckoned with on Friday nights, as opposed to the previous match. Hopefully, Henry's recent victories aren't only being used for Cena to easily defeat him on the next edition of Raw.
Excellent match between Chris Jericho and Sheamus that gave us an extended version of what we saw in the final moments of this year's Royal Rumble. They showed great chemistry and the numerous counters made it suspenseful. With this being a first-time-ever bout, more hype should have been given to it to get more people excited. Smart move by having Daniel Bryan interfere and have the finish result in a count-out. It saves this brilliant feud for a rainy day. On a side, Jericho's promo prior to the match was well delivered.
Overall, a good edition of SmackDown that didn't quite feel like a show on the Road to WrestleMania. The action was very minimal, but I found that the promos on this show were more noteworthy and meaningful. With a little over two weeks remaining, the blue brand must kick into high gear for their final shows before the event to further the handful of programs that they have to offer.
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