By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Seth Rollins Interrupted Dean Ambrose
These two have done all they possibly could to build their feud over the last five months, but their verbal exchanges continue to entertain. Ambrose is excellent when he's serious (why so serious?) and not silly, and thus his promo here was well done. Rollins has never been the strongest mic worker, but he's improved immensely since his heel turn in June and his response to Ambrose was good. Usually I'd prefer in-ring action kicking off the show over a talking segment, but this was an effective way of giving their feud one final push going into Hell in a Cell.
The Miz and Damien Mizdow def. Los Matadores
Miz and Sandow have developed awesome (no pun intended) chemistry together since they initially joined forces in August and I really like the idea of them forming a tag team. As big of a Mizfit as I am, virtually no one cares about his current feud with Sheamus and he's better off sharing the spotlight with Sandow. This was a fine enough match to give Miz some momentum before he contends for the United States Championship on Sunday, but it's hard to care about anything involving Los Matadores. Sandow locking in the Figure Four Leg Lock at ringside while Miz did it in the ring was hilarious, though.
Divas Champion AJ Lee def. Alicia Fox (Non-title)
There's only so much AJ and Fox could do together not only with the brief period of time they were given to work with, but the amount of times they've faced each other in recent weeks. They're capable of better matches, that much is obvious, but if nothing else, I was glad they gave AJ her win back over Fox. It made no sense for Fox to beat AJ (twice) and not give her the title shot instead of Paige at Hell in a Cell. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm hoping this AJ vs. Paige feud wraps up at the pay-per-view. It's been so mishandled that there's no point in continuing it past that point.
Michael Cole Interviewed Big Show
This beat the hell out of whatever they tried to do on Raw this week. Don't get me wrong, I'm still no fan of the solider angle they did with Rusev, but Show came across very sincere in this interview and his intensity really shined though. He's always been an excellent actor and I was thankful he didn't shed any tears this time. Rusev vs. Show has been a better than expected feud this last month and I expect their upcoming match to surprise people.
Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler def. Cesaro
Did anyone honestly expect anything less than a great match? The action was extremely entertaing and it's amazing (yet unsurprising) they keep finding ways to top themselves every time they square off. They definitely didn't hold back as much as they did on Monday night and it made for an exciting final few minutes. It helped that the ending outcome wasn't as predictable this time around even though titles rarely change hands on SmackDown nowadays. Ziggler beat Cesaro clean, so from a storyline standpoint, there's no reason for a rematch at Hell in a Cell. But hey, I'm not complaining! Their 2-out-of-3 Falls match should be stellar if given the appropriate amount of time.
Nikki Bella, Cameron and Summer Rae def. Brie Bella, Naomi and and Natalya
We saw this exact same match only a week or two ago on Raw, so this was essentially nothing new. Somehow, someway, it was even worse this time around. Perhaps that had to do with how Cameron was doing most of the in-ring work for her team early on. Never a good idea! Nikki pinning Brie for the win was interesting since I expect Nikki to go over in their match, but it made up for Brie pinning her in their last encounter in tag team action.
WWE Tag Team Champions Gold & Stardust and Bo Dallas def. Mark Henry and The Usos
I apologize for sounding like a broken record, but man, these six-man tag team matches have grown incredibly tiresome as of late. It's ridiculous WWE keeps on relying on them to further the feuds involved. It's such a lazy way of booking and the competitors involved feel overexposed. Then again, I guess anything is better than the atrocious game show approach they took on Main Event this week (and if you didn't see it, then you're in luck). I just find it odd that Dallas went from losing on WWE Superstars this week to pinning Henry on SmackDown. How does that work? Needless to say, expect a Henry heel turn sooner rather than later.
Seth Rollins Called Out Dean Ambrose
I've enjoyed the Rollins vs. Ambrose feud as much as anyone, but was it really necessary to put them in two talking segments in the same night? As mentioned earlier in this review, they've done and said everything imaginable to each other over the last five months. What's left to say or do? Regardless, Rollins did well for himself here even though the material he was dealt with was garbage. What's with all the props? They did a nice job of recapping their long rivalry and Ambrose putting Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble through tables was a pleasantly surprising way to close the show.
The go-home editions of SmackDown are usually horrendous, but this show wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I certainly wouldn't call it good, but it was at least effective in building toward Hell in a Cell and hyping up each of the advertised matches on the card. Lord knows the pay-per-view needs it since WWE has done next to nothing to get viewers excited about the event. Nevertheless, there isn't anything about this episode that you must go out of your way to see, but if you're determined on watching it anyway, it wasn't a total waste of time this week.
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