By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Triple H Addressed The Shield
Nothing ever important happens on SmackDown when it comes to furthering big angles, but this was a nice way of addressing the events that occurred on this week's Raw without having another confrontation between Evolution and The Shield. Triple H cut a good promo on the motivation behind his and Evolution's actions and made their six-man tag team match official for Extreme Rules. It was the biggest talking point coming out of Raw, so it made sense for this promo to kick off the show.
Intercontinental Champion Big E def. Alberto Del Rio by Disqualification (Non-title)
These two always work well together and this match was no different, but I must question why they even face off if Big E isn't allowed to win cleanly. It isn't like Del Rio is involved in any top-tier feud right now, so why does he have to lose? Isn't this the same guy that lost clean to Sin Cara of all people a few months ago? Big E has been struggling as champion as of late, but the problem doesn't lie within him, it lies within the booking of his title run. He is yet another victim of the curse when it comes to losing non-title matches when holding a midcard strap. Granted, he picked up a victory here, but the way it came about (via disqualification) hindered it a bit.
Paul Heyman Addressed the WWE Universe
Anything involving Heyman is a must-see, and while the content of his promo wasn't anything new, it was still extremely entertaining. It might have been medicore at best if it was anyone else's promo, but his execution was excellent and garnered great heat from the live crowd. It was probably used to kill time more than anything else, but I'm glad Heyman isn't in a holding pattern with Brock Lesnar out of the picture for the near future, instead managing Cesaro.
Divas Champion Paige def. Aksana (Non-title)
Aksana's pre-match promo was a nice reminder of why it's smart of WWE to never hand her a microphone. Perhaps she's never heard of the phrase, "It's better to be seen and not heard." Anyway, the match felt longer than it actually was, if only because it was a better match than most Divas matches nowadays. Thus, Paige was able to pull decent matches out of both Aksana and Alicia Fox within the same week. If that isn't an impressive feat, then I don't know what is. AJ Lee will be taking time off for the foreseeable future, but at least she'll have a good thing going with Tamina Snuka for now.
El Torito def. Hornswoggle
The video package hyping this match and the way the announcers called the action was comical, but not in a good way. What was the point of this match, and who honestly cared? The live crowd, who sat on their hands the entire time, certainly didn't. Was this a match anyone really cared to see happen? If even WWE knew this was a complete waste of time (based off Bad News Barrett trashing it in the very next segment), then why do it to begin with?
Alexander Rusev def. R-Truth
While I'm not the biggest fan of Rusev, I definitely don't see him as a disappointment already like some people have. He is a highly athletic and agile individual, I just think his gimmick is too outdated to the point where it might not get over. He hasn't garnered any real heat yet, and squashing people no one cares about in Truth and Xavier Woods doesn't help matters. It's a step in the right direction, but he'll need to feud with a credible babyface in order to really gain credibility.
Santino Marella def. Fandango
This is another feud that has no meaning behind it and is also a complete waste of time. They trade wins in minute-long matches that do nothing for either individual. Fandango is/has been damaged goods at this point and Santino is... well, just Santino. I like the pairing of Fandango and Layla but it does more to help Layla (who hardly gets any television time) than it does Fandango. The true downside to it all is that Emma is being held down by this nonsense for no apparent reason.
Batista def. Sheamus
I enjoyed this match much more than their encounter three weeks ago (which I found rather dull) in that they kept a consistent pace and were given a substantial amount of time. Their styles meshed nicely and they showed a great deal of chemistry down the stretch. I really liked the clean finish with Batista going over Sheamus to make up for the DQ finish from their last match and to put Batista over in a big way. Sheamus isn't doing anything at the moment anyway, so the loss doesn't damage him at all. He is in definite need of a heel turn, so here's hoping that's coming sooner rather than later.
Aside from Triple H's promo, this was a one-match show with Batista vs. Sheamus in the main event. Even Paul Heyman's promo, which was enjoyable, isn't worth the time to re-watch since it wasn't anything new. Everything else ranged from decent to pointless to painful to watch, so there's no way I'd suggest watching this episode back in its entirety. If anything, skip to the very solid main event and avoid the pain of Hornswoggle vs. El Torito and Santino vs. Fandango.