By Graham "GSM" Matthews
WWE Tag Team Champion Jimmy Uso def. Stardust
I was fine with Stardust losing to one of the Uso brothers the first time around because it was a quick win, but this was a more competitive contest and Stardust should not have lost given his past success as a singles competitor. Worse yet, Stardust and Goldust are in desperate need of a victory after suffering various losses to The Usos in recent weeks. As it stands, they don't at all look like legitimate threats to the twin titles going into Night of Champions.
United States Champion Sheamus and Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler def. Cesaro and The Miz
It was a fairly well wrestled match, but we've seen Ziggler and Miz in so many tag matches recently (especially in the last week alone) that I've grown tiresome of them. Cesaro and Sheamus felt like afterthoughts in this match since they don't have as much storyline support behind their feud as Ziggler and Miz do, but they played their parts well. Any heat Miz got from winning his tag match on Main Event dissipated here when he took the pinfall loss for his team. I guess I'm glad the midcard champions didn't lose again, but Miz needed more heat as he prepares to contend for the Intercontinental title in two days.
Adam Rose def. Heath Slater
Although I'm a "rosebud", my biggest gripe when it comes to the Rose character is his lack of evolution since coming to the main roster. He showed a bit more aggression here in his match with Slater, but aside from that, it wasn't any different than the past matches they've had together. As stupid as they are, the bunny antics continue to amuse me, and now I found myself semi-intrigued as to who is in the costume. What's wrong with me?
The Wyatt Family def. Big Show and Los Matadores
You know the tag team division is in a bad state when you can't find any other tandem to team up with Show than Los Matadores. I realize Luke Harper and Erick Rowan faced Los Matadores on this week's Superstars, but hardly anyone watches that show, so how would the casual viewer know that? It probably seemed random to them why Los Matadores of all people were getting paired up with Show. They're a joke tag team, so I couldn't take anything they did in this match seriously, but at least The Wyatt Family managed to salvage it by making it passable and coming out on the winning end. They were in desperate need of a victory and I fear they won't get many of them if this feud with Big Show sticks.
Divas Champion Paige def. Nikki Bella (Non-title)
The match was fine for what it was, but the heel vs. heel dynamic is was hurt it. Rarely do those kind of matches work since the audience has no incentive to cheer for either person. That was no different here as Paige and Nikki received zero crowd support. AJ Lee was effective on commentary, but that was about it. If nothing else, it was nice to see Paige score a clean, non-title win for once and the post-match angle with her, Nikki and AJ helped hype the Night of Champions Triple Threat match.
Bo Dallas def. Jack Swagger
It was the same match they had on Raw earlier this week, only not as good. That's because you knew who was coming out victorious since Bo had to win here to even the score. Both matches between them have been decent, but the feud as a whole just isn't clicking for this viewer. Dallas got his heat back with the win, but I'm not really anticipating a rubber match between them even though it's obvious that's where they are going with this.
Rusev def. Roman Reigns by Disqualification
Rusev and Reigns contested a boring bout a few months back and this was a significant improvement over that. It wasn't a home run or anything, but it wasn't cringe-worthy and both guys put forth a good effort. It wasn't much of note until the final few minutes, but by that point one had to expect interference since WWE is keen on protecting both guys at the moment. The Rusev-Mark Henry and Reigns-Seth Rollins feuds were furthered, so this match was successful in that respect.
The go-home editions of SmackDowns are usually throwaway and this wasn't any exception. It's like WWE doesn't even attempt to make it must-see or worth watching. Seeing this card on paper, I thought it would be a lot of worse than it ended up being, but it was passable at best. That said, I still wouldn't recommend anyone watch this show, especially since it did nothing to move the meter in terms of my excitement for the pending pay-per-view.
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