By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Real Americans Confronted World Heavyweight Champion John Cena
The first few lines of Cena's promo basically rehashed what he said on Raw, and does it seem like Cena is trying to talk black to anyone else? He did it when he was the Doctor of the Thuganomics a decade ago, but now it comes off as phony with his character. I had high hopes for Cena's confrontation with The Real Americans, but I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that he didn't take them seriously whatsoever. Granted, I chuckled at Cena's Back to the Future reference toward Jack Swagger, but everything else about this segment was a train wreck. Damien Sandow's promo was great and losing the world title match on Monday has seemed to have benefit him more than if he had won. Cody Rhodes and Goldust making the save set up the main event tag team match nicely.
The Usos def. United States Champion Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
I liked the logic behind this match that The Shield was looking to end their rivalry with The Usos once and for all. Whether this was indeed the culmination of the feud between the two teams remains to be seen, but this was a very fun match to kick off the show. It isn't often we get to see Ambrose and Rollins team up without Roman Reigns, so that certainly made for an interesting dynamic. Big E Langston was a nice counterpart to Reigns as ringside and a future match between them was seemingly foreshadowed. Ambrose and Rollins holding Reigns back after the match was intriguing, and it might have been planting the seeds for the Reigns babyface turn which has been heavily rumored as of late.
Luke Harper and Erik Rowan def. The Prime Time Players
This was a nice tag team bout that went longer than I expected it to, which isn't a bad thing at all. If anything, it was a good thing, as The Wyatt Family didn't completely squash The Prime Time Players, who were able to score some offense before ultimately coming up short. The live crowd was hoping to see CM Punk and/or Daniel Bryan make the save during the post-match, but no such luck. Bray Wyatt's promos are still awesome as ever and I highly anticipate his pending program with Bryan and Punk.
Randy Orton Crashed "Miz TV"
Perhaps this is just bias on my part given the fact that I am a fan of Miz, but I can't help but feel for the guy. He has been highly underutilized for the longest time now and even Orton blatantly spoke out about how no one cares about him, which is a massive shame. To add injury to insult, Orton finished him off with an RKO before he could even get a word in. By this point, it appears Miz either has heat with management or they simply couldn't care less about him, or both. Either way, it is disappointing to see Miz being relegated to WWE's resident whipping boy.
Natalya and The Bella Twins def. Divas Champion AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka and Alicia Fox
The match wasn't as long as I hoped it would be, but everyone was able to get involved and it thankfully wasn't over within a blink of an eye. As stated in my Raw review from this week, I have no intention of seeing Brie Bella contend for the title again any time soon, so I was glad to see Natalya pick up the win over her team here. She never received that title shot she rightfully deserved a few months ago, so I would be willing to bet that we see her contend for the gold against AJ at Survivor Series, which has the potential to be great.
World Heavyweight Champion John Cena and WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust def. Damien Sandow and The Real Americans
I was pleasantly surprised by just how much time this match ended up receiving and I enjoyed every minute of it. The crowd appeared to be into the action the entire time and the combatants built toward the hot tags from the face team very well. Every competitor was able to shine one way or another, and the finishing sequence was extremely exciting. Cena going over doesn't shock me, but there was no need for him to go over anyway. Sandow and The Real Americans looked strong in defeat while the tag team champions avenged their loss from Raw. In essence, everyone involved benefited from the bout in some form or fashion.
This was a great show that was very wrestling-heavy with very little filler, if any at all. Even the talking segments we did get served their purpose, as Cena's promo set up the main event and "Miz TV" (albeit somewhat pointless) furthered the feud between Randy Orton and Big Show. Without a doubt, this was one of the best episodes of SmackDown in weeks and was a great fallout show from Hell in a Cell. It was also heavily focused on tag teams, which was a refreshing change of pace. I wouldn't miss out on watching this show in its entirety, but if you have time for only one match, definitely check out the strong six-man tag team match in the main event.
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