By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Triple H Suspended Big Show
Show's promo was decent for what it was, but the note card he held in his hand while speaking essentially meant it was written by HHH himself. I'm glad HHH gave Show the night off, as it allowed Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton to shine in the spotlight for once. HHH once again came off as a egotistical bully and continues to provide excellent performances. Show's brawl with The Shield was pleasantly surprising and I wasn't at all bothered by the immense amount of selling The Shield did for Show. They ended up taking him out in the end, which is all that really mattered anyway.
Natalya, Brie Bella and Naomi def. Alicia Fox, Aksana and Layla by Disqualification
This was the same exact match we saw on this week's Raw, so what point was this supposed to serve? The action was even worse than it was on Monday and had an abrupt ending with AJ Lee interfering. The odds are certainly stacked against AJ going into her defense of the Divas Championship on Sunady, which hopefully means she will be coming out of the event with her title intact.
The Miz def. Fandango, R-Truth and The Great Khali in a Dance-Off
I usually despise dance contests on WWE TV, but this one was relatively harmless. Personally, I enjoyed it for the dumb fun that it was and didn't find much wrong with it. As of now, Miz vs. Fandango isn't scheduled for Night of Champions, so this segment was rather pointless, but it helped further the feud between the two. I found Miz's comedic antics here to be humorous and it seemed he connected with the Canadian crowd on this show more so than he did on this week's Raw (and no, I don't think it was because SmackDown was taped).
Santino Marella def. Damien Sandow
It's nice to see Santino back and the pops he received from his hometown crowd on both Raw and SmackDown this week were great, but do his wins really need to come against competitors that shouldn't be losing matches at the moment? I was fine with him defeating Antonio Cesaro, but why the Mr. Money in the Bank? Sandow has lost a considerable amount of momentum in recent months and his latest loss to Santino did him no favors. I'm not sure if WWE is planning to push Santino going forward, but one thing is for sure: he shouldn't be placed in any sort of title picture, as he's over enough without gold around his waist.
Michael Cole Interviewed Paul Heyman and Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel
I loved the fact that Heyman came to this interview looking like complete crap. I don't know if that was intended or not, but it was a very nice touch and added to the emotion of his promo. Speaking of such, it was standard mic work for Heyman that helped hype the Handicap Elimination match at Night of Champions. Axel is gradually improving on the mic as well and it was good that his promo here was kept short and sweet.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Ricardo Rodriguez (Non-title)
Did anyone really expect much of a match from these two? Rodriguez is actually a damn good wrestler in reality, but he's made to look like a fool in the ring in storyline. His win and attack on Rodriguez put good heat on Del Rio, but Rob Van Dam was the last man standing when the smoke cleared, so he was the one who technically scored the most momentum going into Sunday. Given Del Rio's ambush of his former friend, it is highly unlikely they will reunite at the pending pay-per-view, but anything is possible in WWE.
Dolph Ziggler def. United States Champion Dean Ambrose by Disqualification (Non-title)
This was the first ever one-on-one match between these two, and I honestly admit that it didn't live up to my high expectations. The commercial break hindered the contest a bit, and they weren't given enough time to truly shine. However, they picked up the pace down the stretch and I'm hoping they were purposely holding back to deliver an instant classic on Sunday. I'm glad the match ended on a non-finish, as it protected Ambrose and led into the subsequent six-man tag team match.
The Shield def. Dolph Ziggler and The Usos
While the match was shorter than I would have wanted it to be, they definitely made the most out of the time they were allotted. The action was exciting and entertaining as expected with everyone involved being able to hit their signature spots toward the end. The finishing sequence was very well done and it was nice to see The Shield score the clean victory. I was originally assuming that The Shield would be winning their respective matches on Sunday, but now I'm not quite sure.
Edge Hosted "The Cutting Edge" with WWE Champion Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan
This was the heated exchange I was hoping to see between Orton and Bryan this past Monday night on Raw. It was a strong segment and both Orton and Bryan cut convincing promos that they will be the ones to walk out victorious on Sunday. Additionally, Edge played his role as well as the host and didn't serve as a major distraction from the intensity at hand. Bryan forcing Orton to tap out to close the show was a cool visual and made viewers believe that Bryan has somewhat of a chance of winning the title. He should have been built up more going into the event, but this was the final boost of momentum he needed in order to be seen as Orton's equal. I'm not sure why The Shield or Triple H didn't interfere here, but either way, I'm very glad they didn't.
Obviously, there were hardly any standout matches coming out of this show, especially since most of the matches barely exceeded two minutes. That being said, the main focus of this show was to build towards Night of Champions, so it was successful in that aspect. Most (if not all) of the matches on Sunday's card were hyped effectively throughout the two hours and made for an enjoyable episode as a whole.
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