By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt by Disqualification
This has the potential to be a big time money matchup down the line, so I don't see why this match was wasted here. I realize there was a non-finish and it set up a six-man tag match for later on in the night, but this is a main event caliber match that will mean much more if they save it for later. It didn't help that this was the exact same finish we saw to John Cena's match with Wyatt on Monday night.
Seth Rollins def. Rob Van Dam
The fact these two have faced off so much of the last few months made this match less special, especially considering the fact their last match together took place on Tuesday's Main Event. That said, this was probably their best bout to date, especially down the stretch. RVD looked good defeat and it was another nice win for Rollins. I've read that this was RVD's final WWE match for the time being, so at least he went out in style.
Divas Champion Paige def. Emma (Non-title)
Anyone who has read my recent reviews of Raw and SmackDown knows how disappointed I was with Natalya vs. Paige not living up to expectations set from NXT, and this match was more of the same. Paige and Emma had one of the best women's wrestling matches of the year at NXT Arrival, so for them to not get more than a minute of in-ring time was ridiculous. Then again, Paige is the Divas Champion and Emma has been an enhancement talent for her entire run on the main roster, so I can't say I'm surprised. The post-match interaction between AJ Lee and Paige was just flat-out strange. Their feud has seemingly jumped the shark since SummerSlam. Why do they have to tease being in love with each other to have a compelling feud? Why can't they be treated like the respected competitors they are?
Rusev def. Jack Swagger in a Submission Match
Rusev and Swagger continue to work well together, but that's not the problem. The problem is that they're still facing each other. Their feud should have ended at SummerSlam and leave it at Rusev beating Swagger. To repeat that same outcome twice more was pointless. Bo Dallas costing Swagger the win furthered their feud, but could Swagger have lost to someone else other than the guy who has already beaten him three times? For anyone curious, no, I don't think this will lead to Swagger finally defeating Rusev at some point since Swagger shouldn't be the one to end the undefeated streak anyway.
WWE Tag Team Champion Jey Uso def. Stardust
The match was over within the blink of an eye, so there's really not much to analyze. Normally, I would have been angry with the bout being so brief, but I figured it was done intentionally to give Stardust and Goldust a reason to attack The Usos as opposed to them being victims of time constraints. As I said in my Raw review, I'm still not sold on the Stardust character, but turning him and Goldust heel is a refreshing change of pace and they'll make an interesting set of of opponents for The Usos.
United States Champion Sheamus def. Damien Miz-dow (Damien Sandow) (Non-title)
Sandow resembles The Miz so strongly when he's wearing his gear, it's almost scary. Anyway, the match was a total squash which wasn't suprising in the least considering Sandow has been a jobber for months. Miz played his role well at ringside and Dolph Ziggler tossing him into the ring to eat a Brogue Kick from Sheamus was a nice touch. The only complaint I have is that Cesaro didn't make an appearance. One would think he would since he'll be facing Sheamus for the U.S. title at Night of Champions next month.
Roman Reigns, Big Show and Mark Henry def. The Wyatt Family
Most of the match was slow and plodding, but it was a significant improvement over Monday's main event when it came to the final few minutes. Everyone worked hard and the live crowd was invested in the action. They were given great time and the finishing sequence was exciting. Again, though, I don't agree with The Wyatt Family losing so decisively. It feels like such a waste coming off Bray's victory over Chris Jericho at SummerSlam.
Although this show wasn't nearly bad as this week's Raw, it came pretty close. The main event was solid, but everything else felt like filler. There was very little worth watching from this episode and the constant Raw recaps didn't help matters whatsoever. There was simply too much mediocrity and not enough compelling action or storyline development. Nothing of note ever happens of SmackDown, but this edition came across as a bigger waste of time than usual.