By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Intercontinental Champion Big E def. Alberto Del Rio (Non-title)
As I've said in the past, I enjoy the encounters between Big E and Del Rio because they always work well together. They've had a handful of very good matches in recent weeks, and while this too was a good match, it felt far too short. It only went a few minutes long, but I'm glad Big E was finally able to get a clean win over Del Rio. It's nice that Big E is being built back up before his upcoming title defense at Extreme Rules, but why isn't he picking up these kind of victories on Raw where it truly matters? I can't say I liked Bad News Barrett trashing Big E for his lack of charisma if only because he isn't allowed to show that charisma in his matches. It didn't put Big E in a good light, but at least Barrett garnered good heat from it.
Hornswoggle def. El Torito
I didn't think it was possible, but this match was even more painful than their last match against each other last week on SmackDown. The lack of crowd reaction to the match spoke volumes, and it's mind boggling to me that WWE doesn't realize that virtually no one cares about this "feud". Comic relief is one thing, but when it isn't enjoyable, it's a complete waste of time. If nothing else, I'd rather see this take up time on Main Event than on Raw.
Sheamus def. Titus O'Neil
I had a bad feeling Sheamus' "mystery" opponent would end up being Sheamus, and I actually wish I was wrong. That's not a knock against either guy, but their matches aren't usually very good. They had a decent enough outing here, but O'Neil controlled most of the match before Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick for the win in typical fashion. O'Neil's heel turn has been mishandled and Sheamus is a directionless, so the crowd didn't really have much of an incentive to invest in the action.
Ryback def. WWE Tag Team Champion Jimmy Uso
I found interesting that the commentators played up the fact that Ryback was on a complete tear in the WWE, yet he appeared to be in jeopardy in this match against Jimmy Uso toward the end. I didn't at all expect Uso to go over, so it might have been to have Curtis Axel in action instead. Regardless, it was a good match that went much longer than I originally expected. I don't mind long matches more often than not, but it would have been nice if a few minutes were trimmed off this bout for the opener between Del Rio and Big E. Ryback and Axel getting the upper hand was logical given that they are being set up to challenge for the WWE Tag Team Championships at Extreme Rules.
The show was fine for what it was, but none of the matches are worth going out of your way to see. The fact no matches were hyped in advance (excluding Hornswoggle vs. El Torito on WWE.com, but who really tuned into see that?) didn't help matters and was a sign that WWE didn't have any plans to take this episode seriously. WWE has done a great job with making Main Event feel more important in the last two months, so I hope this isn't the start of a new trend going forward.
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